Ramazan can help reduce smoking frequency: NUMS Nutrition expert

RAWALPINDI, Apr 6 (APP): Over 22 million smokers in the holy month of Ramazan can improve the quality of their life by reducing the frequency of smoking in their effort to ultimately quit it, Nutrition and Dietetics expert of National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Dr Abdul Momin said here on Thursday.

Dr Momin, who is heading the NUMS Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, debunked the myth that electronic smoking and vaping were less dangerous, adding, the use of tobacco in any form was “absolutely detrimental to one’s health and causes cancer”. He advised smokers to taper off smoking gradually as it would be long-lasting because quitting it, in one go, has its own complications.

During the holy month of Ramazan, fasting smokers get a big gap from dawn to dusk which can make it for them easier to give up smoking, he added.

Quoting the figures from International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease regarding tobacco control in Pakistan, he said 20 % of the adult population smoke in Pakistan; 32% of men while 6% of women smoke in Pakistan. 16% of male and 4.9% of female deaths were linked to the use of tobacco which kills around 163,000 in Pakistan annually, he added. The economic cost of smoking in Pakistan is estimated to be around USD 3.85 billion which is a whooping amount for a developing country like Pakistan.

Dr Momin urged parents for sensitizing their children on the ill-effects of tobacco in their teenage and advise them not to accept peer pressure to start smoking.

Secondhand smoking (passive smoking) affects the entire family as smoke is equally damaging to those who do not smoke themselves but are exposed to smoke because of active smokers, he informed.

Smokers expose their families and office colleagues because if someone has smoked in a room, smoke particles penetrate the body through the skin, and can harm those present in the room, a phenomenon known as thirdhand smoke, Dr Momin added.

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