Respecting the emphasis on purity throughout the holy month, even heavy smokers attempt to refrain from cigarettes after the sun rises. However, the nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive, often causing smokers to develop both a physical and psychological addiction. That’s why many smokers, despite their best intentions, have a difficult time during the first few days of Ramadan. Their will to quit smoking is strong, but they require a stronger commitment in order to seek all the support and resources they need to successfully quit, according to the findings of a recent survey conducted on smokers’ attitudes and behaviour towards smoking.
According to the survey, which was conducted in the Middle East and Africa, smokers who want to quit try three or four times on an average. However, 77 per cent wrongfully believe that will power is all a person needs to quit successfully. Studies have shown that this results in less than a five per cent success rate.
Dr Ahmed Yousif M. Ali, Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director at the National Rehabilitation Centre Abu Dhabi says, “Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in the world. Quitting requires professional help in many instances and I would advise smokers who wish to abstain to combine their personal efforts with advice from smoking cessation clinics, which are there in every emirate. The psychological and pharmacological interventions provided by these clinics are now well established and have decent success rates.” Fasting allows smokers to refrain from smoking during the day, making the period of Ramadan a perfect opportunity for them to take control of their habit and quit, he said.
“But the real challenge is to not smoke even after they break their fast. For this, they would greatly benefit from the support of a doctor or qualified healthcare professional who can help them understand that there are new treatments available that will lessen withdrawal symptoms and help them quit during Ramadan and beyond.”
Tobacco has been proven to harm nearly every organ in the body and is a significant cause of a wide variety of diseases, many of which are fatal, including heart attacks, cancer, respiratory disease, and stroke. Many smokers are aware of these dangers yet they often find it difficult to quit.
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