Saudi Arabia aims to help 1 million smokers quit by 2032
Following the case of Sweden as a model of success in reducing the smoking rate to 5% and the initiatives of Great Britain to reduce the number of traditional smokers, other countries are undertaking concrete initiatives to move towards smoke-free alternatives.
Specifically, the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia (PIF) announced on Thursday the establishment of Badael, a company that aims to develop, manufacture and distribute smokeless products to help reduce the prevalence of cigarette smoking in Saudi Arabia.
The products, which aim to promote healthier lifestyles by offering less harmful alternatives, align with the Kingdom's vision to improve the quality of life of citizens and residents by 2030.
According to the World Health Organization, about 70,000 people die each year from cigarette-related diseases in Saudi Arabia alone. Smoking increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes and various other health issues.
PIF said smokeless nicotine products will be available across Saudi Arabia by the end of 2023, adding that it aims to expand its reach into regional and international markets. Badael's products are expected to help nearly one million people quit smoking by 2032, roughly 25 percent of all smokers in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi News Agency (SPA) reported.
The use of smoke-free alternatives has the potential to save over $1.59 billion in health care costs in 2023.
According to the SPA, this could potentially deliver direct annual savings of more than $6 billion in health care costs by 2032.
Badael also aims to support local production, raw material sourcing, knowledge transfer and intellectual property (IP) development, SPA reported. The company's products will be manufactured entirely in Saudi Arabia, ensuring the highest quality and product safety through best practices.
The establishment of "Badael" will provide new economic opportunities and create thousands of jobs as a partner company with the local private sector and world-class global partners. Since 2017, PIF has established 77 companies and created more than half a million direct and indirect jobs.