Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Smoking Cessation Clinic encourages tobacco smokers to use the fasting period during Ramadan as an opportunity to take the first steps towards quitting the habit and living a healthier lifestyle.

Fasting requires abstinence from smoking as well as eating and drinking during the day. Ramadan provides an ideal opportunity for smokers to quit. Activities during Ramadan such as family visits and prayers can help keep an individual occupied and assist him or her in quitting smoking.

Quitting smoking has various health benefits, especially for diabetics. It can result in improved blood sugar levels and blood circulation, increased insulin reception, decreased cholesterol levels, and decreased complications.

Acknowledging that it is difficult for many people to quit smoking, experts encourage smokers to seek professional help, such as through HMC’s Smoking Cessation Clinic, where patients can obtain advice, treatment and support from specialists to help them to quit smoking permanently. The clinic provides patients with ways to replace their nicotine consumption and cope with withdrawal symptoms, and supports patients through the process of quitting.

Exercising, drinking plenty of water after Iftar and keeping away from other smokers are some steps that people can take to decrease the urge to smoke. Avoiding places such as shisha cafes and other areas frequented by smokers will also help prevent inhalation of secondhand smoke, which is responsible for thousands of heart disease-related deaths every year.

Tar inhaled during smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease. Lung cancer is directly associated with smoking due to the presence of carbon monoxide and tar that are the leading causes of various types of cancers. Cigarette smoke contains more than 45 poisonous chemicals that can cause cancer.