Smokers encouraged to quit during Ramadan
Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Smoking Cessation Clinic encourages tobacco smokers to use the fasting period during Ramadan as an opportunity to take the first steps towards quitting the habit and living a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of HMC’s Smoking Cessation Clinic said fasting requires abstinence from smoking in addition to refraining from food and drink during the day. “This provides an ideal opportunity for smokers to quit. Ramadan activities such as family visits and prayers can also keep an individual occupied and assist him or her in quitting smoking,” he said.
Exercising, drinking plenty of water after Iftar and keeping away from other 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 secondhand smoke, which is responsible for thousands of heart disease-related deaths every year. Tar inhaled during smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease. “Lung cancer is directly associated with smoking due to the presence of carbon monoxide and tar that are the leading causes of various types of cancers. Cigarette smoke contains more than 45 poisonous chemicals that can cause cancer,” said Dr. Al Mulla.
“Quitting smoking has various health benefits, especially for diabetics. It can result in improved blood sugar levels and blood circulation, increased insulin reception, decreased cholesterol levels, and decreased complications,” he added.