Health experts are urging Jordanians to quit smoking rather than switch to local cigarettes as product boycotts gain momentum, reports The Jordan Times
Following the war in Gaza, consumers in Arab countries have called for boycotts of companies that they perceive to be supporting the Israeli occupation. As a result, Jordanian tobacco product retailers and distributors have reported a modest decline in tobacco sales for some international companies.
Abdel Rahman Shaher, a respiratory doctor, said the boycotts presented a golden opportunity for Jordanians to protect their health and their values.
“Quitting smoking has numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory illnesses,” Shaher said. “Jordanians have the chance to not only show their solidarity with Gaza, but also prioritize their own wellbeing and contribute to a healthier, smoke-free future.”
Jordan has one of the world’s highest rates of tobacco consumption, with more than 66 percent of males smoking, according to Muhammad Anees Abdallah, secretary-general of the Jordanian Society for Anti-Smoking. He noted that Jordanians spend JOD1.6 billion ($2.26 billion) annually on cigarettes, alone. “This figure doesn’t include Jordanians spending on shisha, vape and electronic cigarettes,” Abdallah said.