HMC experts highlight the importance to quit this World No Tobacco Day
With a recent study indicating that one in four adults use tobacco or tobacco products in Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) experts are calling on the community to commit to quitting.
Celebrated globally on May 31 each year, World Health Organization (WHO) communicates the importance of quitting smoking this World No Tobacco Day.
Apart from affecting your health and wellbeing, WHO stated that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19.
Furthermore, it exacerbates conditions that reduce the body’s ability to use oxygen, putting patients at higher risk of pneumonia.
Dr. Kholood Al Mutawa, Head of Non-Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and focal point for tobacco cessation under the WHO FCTC said that the harmful habit not only affects the smoker but also the individuals who are exposed to secondhand smoke.
“Tobacco use is also a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes. Moreover, people living with these conditions are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19.
“Quitting smoking and the cessation of tobacco use is the most effective way to reduce the risk of tobacco-related diseases and reduce the burden these place not just on the community but also our healthcare system,” she added.
MoPH has taken steps towards helping smokers commit to quitting, such as being responsible for implementing Tobacco Law no10 2016 and empowering the community to quit smoking through awareness campaigns on the dangers of smoking.
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC’s Tobacco Control Center – a WHO Collaborating Center – said there were important treatment and support services available for people wanting to “commit to quit”.
According to Dr. Al Mulla, nicotine found in tobacco is highly addictive and creates dependence. However, there are several state-of-the-art treatments available in Qatar for those who want to quit smoking and tobacco.
More importantly, individuals need to address lifestyle choices that have a direct impact on their physical and mental wellbeing and the reasons they smoke as well.
It was also explained that behavioral and emotional ties to tobacco use such as having a cigarette with your coffee, craving tobacco, and feelings of sadness or stress make it hard for individuals to commit to quitting.
Dr. Wadha Al-Baker, Director of Wellness Programs at Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), pointed out that smoking tobacco is hardly linked to cardiovascular (heart) diseases and lung cancer. Similarly, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke increases the risk of illness and death.
Dr. Al-Baker said that smoking can also be the cause of other diseases and health problems such as skin wrinkles, pregnancy complications, osteoporosis, impotence, and peptic ulcer disease.
In fact, 60 percent of smokers do not realize that even small amounts a day, such as one cigarette a day, can increase the risk of disease.
Quitting smoking can foster a better and healthy lifestyle, improve exercise, and regain normal sleep patterns, said Dr. Al-Baker.
HMC is currently providing behavioral counseling to help smokers who wish to lead a healthier lifestyle.
You can also contact PHCC Hayyak on 107 to book an appointment in one of the 11 health centers offering smoking cessation services.
For more information on HMC’s Tobacco Control Center services, you may dial 50800959 or 40254981 to book an appointment.
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