Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center, officially designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the first WHO Collaborating Centre in Qatar and the GCC, on Monday opened a dedicated smoking cessation clinic at Al Wakra Hospital.
The first Smoking Cessation Clinic to open outside Doha, it will operate at Al Wakra Hospital on Mondays with plans to expand clinic hours to cope with future demands. There are also plans to open similar clinics at all HMC hospitals across Qatar.
Available to all residents of Qatar, appointments at the new clinic can be booked through HMC’s Nesma’ak Customer Service line (16060) or by referral from Primary Healthcare Centres. Appointments can also be booked through referral from Al Wakra Hospital or in person at the Al Wakra Hospital reception desk.
The new clinic will provide consultations by specialist physicians for those who want to quit as well as offer a range of tests including carbon monoxide levels and lung function, free of charge.
Dr Ahmad al-Mulla, head, Tobacco Control Center said the centre’s mission is to provide health and medical advice to the public on the dangers of tobacco use in addition to behavioral support and counselling for smokers to help them kick the habit.
Staff at the centre offer smokers alternatives to nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, and help them overcome withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation, Dr al-Mulla said.
“Quitting smoking improves blood circulation and glucose levels which regulates insulin, especially in diabetic patients, and reduces bad cholesterol as well as preventing many ailments and conditions. Smokers who quit this dangerous habit also regain the sense of smell and taste as well as reducing bad breath. Tobacco contains more than 45 harmful chemicals that cause cancer and this is why we advise smokers to seriously consider giving this habit up,” he noted.
Experts believe that the most effective way to quit smoking is for smokers to adopt lifestyle changes that would help them resist smoking temptations. Ex -smokers are also advised to avoid second hand smoking areas like cafes where cigarette and shisha smoke is present.
“Some other methods to help people quit include smokers quit include increasing exercise, drinking lots of water and minimising socialising with active smokers,” said Dr al-Mulla.
Dr al-Mulla thanked HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari for her continued support for the centre’s activities and programmes.
Dr Sabah A al-Qadhi, medical director, Wakra Hospital, said the new clinic, is an important addition to services and programmes targeting residents in the growing southern region of Qatar. He said it was important to continue to increase awareness of the harmful effects of smoking in the community to ensure a healthy population.
For more information, one can call HMC’s Tobacco control Center at 40254857 or 50800959.
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