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Cairo: Health experts have warned against increasing rates of smokers, mainly those of electronic smoking amid reports that the habit has cost the country over KD500 million in 2022.

“Depression increases by 2.4 per cent among e-smokers compared to others,” said Dr Maryam Al Oteibi at a workshop on addiction in Kuwait.

“E-smoking is not a way to give up traditional smoking,” added Dr Al Oteibi, who is in charge of a clinic to help quit smoking at the Kuwait Society for Preventing Smoking and Cancer.

Al Qabas newspaper quoted reports as saying that smoking is on the rise among children and youngsters in Kuwait with around 28 per cent of those aged 13 to 15 years being smokers and that 12 per cent of girls becoming daily smokers.

Meanwhile, Dr Khaled Al Saleh, the secretary general of the Arab Association for Prevention of Drugs and Addiction, told the same workshop that tobacco addiction is the main preventable cause of deaths in the world.