UAE smokers: 3 Dubai centres to help you quit tobacco use

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on January 11, 2021
Image from used for illustrative purpose.

New smoking cessation clinic opens in Dubai's Nad Al Hamr Health Centre.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched a new smoking cessation clinic in Nad Al Hamr Health Centre. With this, the DHA now runs three smoking cessation clinics. The other two are in Al Twar and Al Barsha.

The clinics cater to around 400 customers annually. It clocked a 14 per cent quitting rate in 2020.

The DHA’s Primary Health Care Sector established the first smoking cessation clinic in 2010 after studies found that professional support and approved medications can more than double a tobacco user’s chance of quitting.

Studies also found that without cessation support, only four per cent of attempts to quit tobacco will succeed.

Dr Ayesha Al Olama, Senior Specialist Registrar and acting Head of Acute and Chronic Diseases Unit, said tobacco addiction is a chronic disease that often requires multiple attempts to quit.

“Although some smokers are able to quit without help, many others need assistance. Both behavioural interventions (counselling) and medication can help smokers quit; but the combination of medication with counselling is more effective than either alone.”

The counseling and medication services target all tobacco-type smokers.

How it works

Dr Ayesha said: “Management plans will also be set through a discussion between the smoker and the treating physician in a patient-centered care manner. Patients will be advised to set a quitting date and will be encouraged to get rid of all items that remind the smoker to smoke.

“Smokers will also be informed about withdrawal symptoms that may arise once they stop smoking and how to overcome them. Also, medicines will be given to support them and help them overcome withdrawal symptoms.”

Smokers will be encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle, which will increase the chances of quitting smoking.

“Medications that are used in smoking cessation clinics to support quitting are Nicotine patches and Champix tabs. Patient will have support from the smoking cessation clinic team through regular follow ups,” she said.

Alarm bells

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It kills half of all lifetime users, and half of those die in middle age.

Furthermore, cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body; causes many diseases; and reduces the health of smokers in general.

Benefits of quitting

Dr Ayesha said: “The immediate health benefits of quitting smoking are substantial. The heart rate and blood pressure, which are abnormally high while smoking, begin to return to normal. Within a few hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline.

“Within a few weeks, people who quit smoking will have improved circulation, produce less phlegm, and stop coughing or wheezing as often. Within several months of quitting, people can expect substantial improvements in lung function.”

Long-term health benefits include reducing the risk of cancer and many other diseases, such as heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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