It's the best time to kick that butt
Ramadan provides smokers with the perfect opportunity to quit smoking.
Published: Tue 30 May 2017, 8:04 PM
Last updated: Tue 30 May 2017, 10:08 PM
The holy month of Ramadan provides smokers with the perfect opportunity to quit smoking and turn a new page towards a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking, of course, can induce withdrawal symptoms, with effects ranging from irritability and nervousness to problems sleeping and concentrating.
Ramadan, however, forces smokers to confront this withdrawal for 12 hours at a stretch. If you've made it that long without smoking and dealt with all the withdrawal symptoms, why not keep going? According to most doctors, the worse of the withdrawal symptoms will be over within two days. Six hours from one's last smoke, heart rates slow down, and after 12 hours, the body will be nicotine free. After a whole month, one's blood pressure will improve and the immune system will begin to recover from the effects of smoking.
In a blog post, Dr Puthavadathayil Mohamed Shamsudden of Medeor 24x7 Hospital in Abu Dhabi laid out a number of steps to help people avoid smoking - and quit - during the Holy Month.
An important step, Dr Shamsudden noted, is to avoid ending the fast while in the presence of people who smoke. This will help avoid any temptations caused by "social smoking". Stay home if you have to! If one is breaking the fast with smokers, consider leaving the table immediately and taking a walk or headed to a mosque for prayers, instead of lighting up a cigarette.
Additionally, for many smokers, certain foods and drinks are normally associated with their habit. During this month of fasting, smokers should consider alternative drinks and food items that they don't mentally attach to smoking.
At Iftar meals, consider filling your stomach with soup and water, rather than overindulging in carbohydrate-rich dishes. Later in the evening, go for vegetables, fruits or nuts, which have high protein and fibre content. Exercise can also help curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Ramadan, is, of course, a month of discipline and abstinence, and not smoking between sundown and sunrise provides an excellent opportunity to stop smoking for good. In the long run, this could be a life saver by significantly lowering the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, hypertension, and even kidney disease.