Going smoke-free in Ramadan
The holy month of Ramadan is approaching and it offers its observers a great opportunity to make some healthy lifestyle changes. Channeling the spirit of gratefulness, dedication, reflection, and goodness, Muslims fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Along with abstinence from eating and drinking during the day, this is a period when Muslims also refrain from smoking.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths worldwide. And quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of lung cancer and other types of cancer, as well as heart diseases, stroke, and other health problems. All these ill effects can be reduced if smokers continue with the spirit of dedication and motivation even after Ramadan and try their best to get rid of this habit.
However, to be completely tobacco-free, a clear strategy, motivation, awareness, and reason to quit are all essential which is why the month of Ramadan can prove to be ideal for promoting smoking reduction and cessation.
Smokers can benefit from this opportunity and take measures to set out on the journey to quitting smoking. Although it may seem daunting at the start and the first few days do get hard for smokers, it gets easier as days go by. During the sunlight hours, the fasting smokers are bound to not smoke so cessation might seem easier but as soon as the fast is broken, many smokers may find it difficult to resist the urge to smoke.
To reduce some of the harm for such smokers, after they break their fast at sunset, they can turn to less harmful alternatives such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products (HTPs), snuff, nicotine patches, or gums. These alternatives are scientifically proven to be significantly less harmful than cigarettes as they do not burn tobacco and eliminate the consequent production of toxic smoke otherwise released in cigarettes.
While quitting cigarettes altogether is the best decision a smoker can make, adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke can be provided proper rehabilitation through therapies or reduced risk alternatives along with an individual-centric approach. This will help smokers feel more involved and in control of their health which can result in a positive attitude change that is necessary to eliminate the habit of smoking from one’s life. In the current times, it has become imperative that we move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to improve public health outcomes and embrace innovative and smoker-centric alternatives that are substantiated by scientific evidence.