Fasting in Ramadan ideal time to quit smoking: expert
May 20 2017 09:21 PM
Dr Ahmad al-Mulla
Dr Ahmad al-Mulla


Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC)'s Smoking Cessation Clinic has encouraged tobacco smokers to use the opportunity of fasting during Ramadan to quit the habit and focus on living a healthier lifestyle.

Every year during Ramadan, HMC’s Smoking Cessation Clinic receives hundreds of new patients seeking help to quit their habit of tobacco use.

Quitting smoking has various health benefits, such as improved blood sugar levels and blood circulation, increased insulin reception, decreased cholesterol levels and decreased health complications.

Dr Ahmad al-Mulla, head of the Smoking Cessation Clinic, said: “Fasting in Ramadan provides an ideal opportunity for smokers to quit, so the number of people who visit us with the intention of quitting during this time is higher than during other periods of the year. We are prepared to provide them with professional advice that will help them quit permanently.”

He said the Smoking Cessation Clinic provides patients with ways of replacing their nicotine consumption and coping with withdrawal symptoms, supporting patients throughout the process of quitting. Aside from seeking medical help, Dr al-Mulla said Ramadan activities such as family visits and prayers help keep an individual occupied and assist him or her to quit smoking.

Dr al-Mulla explained that nicotine, which is the addictive substance in tobacco products, is as addictive as any other hard drug. He stressed that carbon monoxide - another component of tobacco products - is a poisonous gas emitted from tobacco smoking. “This gas replaces oxygen in the blood and causes shortness of breath. In severe cases, it can cause dizziness. Smoking poses a major threat to the health of a smoker and the people around them who are exposed to second-hand smoke,” he said.

Tar inhaled during smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease. According to Dr al-Mulla, lung cancer is directly associated with smoking due to the presence of carbon monoxide and tar - the leading causes of various types of cancers.

“Cigarette smoke contains more than 45 poisonous chemicals that can cause cancer. Exercising, drinking plenty of water after Iftar and spending less time socialising with friends and family members who smoke can help decrease the urge to smoke,” said Dr al-Mulla.

He advised those wishing to quit smoking to also avoid inhaling second-hand smoke, which can be as bad as smoking itself.

Second-hand smoke, which is responsible for thousands of heart disease-related deaths every year, contains more than 7,000 chemicals. There is no risk-free acceptable level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Second-hand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome.

The Ministry of Public Health, HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation have partnered again this year to provide the public with information about common health issues through the Ramadan Health website.

Introduced last year, the website is Qatar’s first online resource devoted to health and wellness during Ramadan and available at

Last updated: May 20 2017 09:44 PM

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