To minimise the impacts of smoking and other tobacco use, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has urged smokers to quit the habit as a New Year resolution.
“There is no safe use of tobacco or exposure to second-hand smoke," according to a statement issued Wednesday.
To limit the risks of developing smoking related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and respiratory issues, people are strongly urged to quit.
“Irrespective of their age or years smoking, those who quit have substantial gains in life expectancy and health compared with those who continue to use tobacco.
“The fact is that tobacco is a poison and is harmful not just to the smoker, but to those around them. Worldwide one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco use and in Qatar, lung cancer is one of the five most common cancers.
Dr Khulood al-Mutawa
Dr Kholood al-Mutawa, manager, Health Promotion and Non-Communicable Diseases at MoPH said, “The campaign is designed to serve as a reminder of the dangers of cigarettes, shisha and other tobacco use. We are urging everyone to protect themselves, their children and families by staying away from tobacco. By providing our citizens with accurate information we are empowering them to make positive personal decisions about their health.
“Shisha smoking has similar health risks as cigarette smoking as it contains several toxic agents known to cause lung, throat, bladder, and oral cancers. Even after it has passed through water, the smoke from a shisha has high levels of these toxic agents and is not filtered. In fact, because of the way a shisha is used, smokers absorb more of the toxic substances than cigarette smokers do. In addition, secondhand smoke from shisha can also be a major health risk for nonsmokers being exposed to it.
“The New Year can be a good time to make healthy lifestyle decisions. The Ministry of Public Health urges tobacco users to access the comprehensive resources available to assist in smoking cessation in Qatar. Hamad Medical Corporation’s Tobacco Control Centre is a WHO Collaborating service designed to assist in cessation through clinically guided programmes. Tobacco users can book an appointment at any of HMC’s tobacco cessation services by calling 16060. People seeking to quit can also access Primary Health Care Corporation’s services by calling 107.