Help is at hand in the run up to Ramadan for Muslims to receive support in quitting tobacco before the holy month begins.
Ramadan is one of the most important events of the Islamic calendar as it is a time for fasting, praying, forgiveness and purification. It is seen as a time to start positive habits, making it an ideal time to stop tobacco.
The ‘Quit Tobacco Before Ramadan’ campaign launched on Friday April 28, four weeks in advance of Ramadan – commencing May 26/27 – to ensure there is sufficient time to prevent nicotine cravings during the fast.
Dr Somen Banerjee, director of public health at Tower Hamlets Council said:
“As Ramadan is a time for abstaining from addictive substances, quitting before the holy month begins is a great way to kick start your health and benefit from reducing your risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.
“Local stop smoking advisers are always available but they will be even more accessible over the next month to offer advice on the free services and quitting options.”
Smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco like ‘sada’ and ‘zarda’) is widely used in the South Asian community with Betel nut and paan leaf. Tower Hamlets has one of the highest rates of smokeless tobacco use as well as other products like shisha.
Although Tower Hamlets has some of the highest levels of smoking and smokeless tobacco use in London, smoking rates continue to decline.
Since April 2015, local stop smoking services have helped over 2,236 people quit tobacco.
If you have long term condition (i,e diabetes, high blood pressure heart condition) and are taking medication please talk to your local pharmacist, practice nurse or GP who will be able to advise you on your medication during Ramadan.
You can drop in to your pharmacist or GP for advice and support on stopping smoking at any time.