More come forward to stub out smoking

There has been a significant increase in the number of smokers being registered at the smoking cessation clinic in Ras Al Khaimah since the beginning of Ramadan.

By Sebugwaawo Ismail

Published: Tue 31 Aug 2010, 12:48 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:15 AM

An average of seven smokers visit the centre daily in a bid to quit the habit. The centre has also registered a five per cent increase in the number of people giving up the habit during Ramadan compared to other months, according to the authorities.

Dr Ahmed Nasser, general practitioner and supervisor of the smoking cessation programmes at the Ras Al Khaimah Smoking Cessation Clinic, said that the centre had witnessed an increase in the number of people pledging to quit smoking and seeking for advice on how to give up smoking easily, specially during the days of fasting.

He stressed that the centre launched anti-smoking awareness campaigns in public areas of the emirate ten days before the beginning of Ramadan to encourage smokers in giving up the habit while fasting.

“It is easier for a smoker to quit the habit during this month of fasting as one spends more than twelve hours without eating or drinking. It is important for smokers to utilise the opportunity of Ramadan to quit smoking,” said Nasser.

Dr M Mustafa, a health expert in Ras Al Khaimah, said that fasting enables smokers to abstain from cigarettes from dawn to sunset which is enough time to give the body an opportunity of getting rid of the nicotine addiction, as smokers breathe in oxygen instead of carbon dioxide for many hours. Dr Ahmed Nasser said that during the anti-smoking awareness campaigns which have been carried out during Ramadan, the doctors have been conducting scores of lectures on negative effects of smoking including severe health problems both to smokers and to non-smokers through passive smoking.

The officials said that at least 1055 smokers have enrolled at the clinic during the past three years and 75 per cent of them have successfully quit smoking.The officials also revealed that more than 60 per cent of the smokers who visited the centre for assistance were teenagers below eighteen years and three per cent were female smokers.

The authorities have vowed to continue with the anti-smoking awareness campaigns stressing that they are very important especially in secondary and upper primary schools as most of the youngsters take up the smoking habit during their adolescent period.

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