(MENAFN - Jordan Times) As part of the health ministry's efforts to help smokers across the Kingdom kick the habit, two new "quit smoking clinics" were opened in the northern and southern regions on Sunday.
The new clinics were established in Irbid, 90 kilometres north of Amman, and in Karak, 140 kilometres south of the capital.
"These two clinics will provide services for smokers who want to quit smoking," said Malek Habashneh, director of the ministry's awareness department.
Habashneh added that the clinics will be open to the public every Sunday and Tuesday.
"Staff at these clinics will provide consultation for smokers on how to quit smoking and the withdrawal symptoms they should expect," he told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday, adding that nicotine replacement treatments will be given free of charge to those who decide to quit smoking.
He noted that the clinic in Amman serves up to 40 beneficiaries each week.
According to the ministry's figures, up to 26 per cent of those who visit the clinic each year succeed in kicking the habit, although the success rate dropped to 18 per cent in 2011.
"The drop was related to a shortage of medication in the ministry's stores last year," Sadeq Ghabashah, head of the ministry's tobacco control unit, told The Jordan Times previously, noting that the ministry spends JD60,000 on nicotine replacement treatments each year.
Habashneh added that the ministry issued 178 tickets and 500 warnings in the first six months of the year against individuals, restaurants, fast-food outlets, malls and hotels for violating the law that prohibits smoking in public places.
Under the law, any person caught smoking in a public place is subject to imprisonment for one week to one month or a JD15-25 fine.