Some 200 people visited the Smoking Cessation Clinic at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) during Ramadan to quit the habit.
“We have received around 200 new patients seeking to quit their habits of tobacco use at our clinic during Ramadan,” said Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Senior Consultant Public Health, and Head of the Clinic.
“ Usually, the number of people who are motivated to quit smoking increases in Ramadan because fasting requires abstinence from smoking in addition to refraining from food and drink during the day. So the figure we have recorded for this year is almost similar to previous years in Ramadan,” he said.
“Fasting in Ramadan presents a great opportunity to smokers to quit their habits. So in Ramadan the number of smokers who want to quit is higher than other months of the year.”
“Nicotine, which is the addictive substance in tobacco products, is as addictive as any other hard drug such as cocaine and heroin. Carbon monoxide — another component of tobacco products is a poisonous gas emitted from tobacco smoking.”
“This gas replaces oxygen in the blood and as such causes shortness of breath and in severe cases can cause dizziness. These components pose a major threat on the health of a smoker and people around them who are exposed to second-hand smoke (SHS),” said Dr. Al Mulla.
According to American Cancer Society, SHS is also called environmental tobacco smoke. It’s a mixture of two forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco: mainstream smoke (the smoke exhaled by a smoker); and side stream smoke (smoke from the lighted end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, or tobacco burning in a hookah).
Acknowledging that it is difficult for many people to quit smoking, Dr. Al Mulla encouraged seeking professional help, through the clinic or primary healthcare centres, where patients can obtain advice, treatment and support from specialists to enable them to quit smoking permanently.
The clinic provides patients with ways to replace their nicotine consumption and cope with withdrawal symptoms, and supports patients throughout the process of quitting.
“Quitting smoking has various health benefits for a healthy individual and also for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes. For the diabetic, quitting smoking can result in improved blood sugar levels and blood circulation, increased insulin reception, decreased cholesterol levels, and decreased complications,” said Dr. Al Mulla.
Exercising, drinking plenty of water and staying away from smokers are some steps that people can take to decrease the urge to smoke, according to Dr. Al Mulla. Avoiding places such as shisha cafes and other areas frequented by smokers will also help prevent inhaling SHS, which is responsible for heart and respiratory diseases every year.
Tar inhaled during smoking constitutes the main agent of causing several types of cancers. “Cigarette smoke contains more than 45 poisonous chemicals that can cause cancer,” said Dr. Al Mulla.
Source Credit: The Peninsula Qatar