Ramadan may help many quit smoking

DUBAI — With the holy month of Ramadan fast approaching, smokers have yet another opportunity to kick the habit after the month-long conditioning of the body which forbids intake of any substance between sunrise and sunset.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 17 Sep 2006, 9:29 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

The holy month, in fact, sees a significant reduction in the sale of cigarettes, as those who smoke find it easier to abstain, owing it to religious dictates. All that it needs later is to give up the addiction once and for all, is determination.

While health groups and anti-tobacco lobby have been propagating methods to reduce smoking like hiking prices and tax, banning smoking in public places, and increasing the age limit for smokers, studies show that the monetary pinch by far remains the most effective deterrent to adult and underage smoking in the West.

However, a recent study conducted in Saudi Arabia indicates that the cost of tobacco was a minimal and an unimportant factor for people to give up the habit in the country. The findings are also clearly applicable to most of the GCC countries including the UAE.

“The difference in these findings are more likely related to the fact that cigarette costs in the west are up to five times higher than those the GCC region,” stated Rany Victor spokesperson for Nicotinell. “Such findings may also be a result of living in a tax free haven,” he added.

If any smoker is asked why he or she smokes they will almost certainly state that “because it is a habit that I feel hard to quit.” Very few would dare use the word “addiction.”

The World Health Organisation has a different view and defines addiction as “the habitual intake of a substance that cannot be stopped without causing pain or suffering.” No smoker will dispute that tobacco falls in this category.

It is Nicotine — a powerful addictive — and its strong pharmacologic effects (including increased heart rate, heart stroke volume, and oxygen consumption by the heart muscle) as well as psychodynamic impact (such as euphoria, increased alertness, and a sense of relaxation) that makes cigarette smoking such a serious health hazard.

Ramadan provides a great chance to quit the habit that can shorten one’s life. There are products to help smokers get over their withdrawal symptoms or cravings. But the most effective remedy lies within you, and that is your will power and determination to say no when the euphoric visions start luring you!

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