Every year, tobacco kills about 7mn people, more than 6mn of whom are already taking drugs, and more than 890,000 people are exposed to negative smoking, according to WHO statistics.
According to these statistics, there is an urgent need to stop smoking in all its forms in order to preserve human health and money.
In the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims stop eating, drinking for about 15 hours, according to the Qatari calendar.
Director of Tobacco Control Center at Hamad Medical Corp (HMC) Dr Ahmed Mohamed al-Mulla in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) said that fasting motivates people to do good things, including quitting smoking, especially with the existence of many religious fatwas that prohibit smoking, there are those who start this month with a strong decision to quit smoking, so the turnout reported for registration was significantly higher at Tobacco Control Center before Ramadan, to benefit from this opportunity, stressing that smoking all types of tobacco causes serious damage to human health.
Dr al-Mulla said that about 35% of smokers quit the habit at Tobacco Control Center, which annually amounts to 1,200 to 1,400 people. This percentage increases during Ramadan.
On the methods used to help people quit smoking, he said that the smoker is treated in two ways: through psychological sessions and behavioural therapy and the treatment of nicotine addiction.
With regard to electronic cigar, which could be used as an alternative to help smokers quit the habit, Dr al-Mulla said that many studies do not support its use as an alternative to smoking.
Some studies believe that its harm is less than smoking.
He stressed that Qatar as well as the World Health Organisation do not support the use of electronic cigarette as an alternative to smoking.
This year, Ramadan coincides with the Qatar Cancer Society's "Decide..We Are With You" campaign to raise awareness of tobacco use and quit smoking in conjunction with World Tobacco Day which falls on May 31.
A health educator at the Qatar Cancer Society, Noor Makia said that May is the month of lung cancer awareness. Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer in the world.
Lung cancer is also one of the five most common cancers in Qatar.
Ramadan is a valuable opportunity to acquire good health habits and quit bad habits, which can be used to give up smoking gradually and not to return to it.
Makia presented a programme for the benefit of those who want to quit smoking.
The Ministry of Public Health has launched a national campaign to reduce the effects of smoking and the consumption of other tobacco products targeting the population of Qatar.
The three-phase campaign, which has been going on for several years, aims to encourage people to abide by the tobacco control law, and urged young people to refrain from adopting this habit and to guide people to useful ways to quit smoking.
Smoking is one of the most important public health issues in Qatar.
About 37% of the population over the age of 15 smoke tobacco and its derivatives, according to statements made by HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari.
The ministry has established in the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 a target to reduce smoking by enforcing the tobacco control law, which was not only to reduce tobacco consumption, but also to protect non-smokers, such as children, who are exposed to secondhand smoke.
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