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May 19, 2018

Fasting may help quit smoking

Rawalpindi: The cessation of smoking that causes 87 per cent of fatal lung cancer can preferably be done by Muslims in the month of Ramazan as fasting develops strong spiritual and physical will power to correct those who fast and to remove their weaknesses.

An estimated 150,000 deaths every year can be attributed to smoking and tobacco use in Pakistan and according to studies, smokers are at a chance of suffering from lung cancer 22 times more than non-smokers.

Cigarette smoke contains 4,000 chemicals at least 40 of which are known to be carcinogenic (cancer causing agents) and the toxic ingredients in cigarette travel throughout body causing damage in several different ways. Studies reveal that besides nicotine, the addictive substance of tobacco, the gas and vapour phase of cigarettes contain thousands of other toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, growth retardative and immunosuppressive compounds which include poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, cyanide, carbon monoxide, lead and cadmium.

According to Director WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Research and Training Dr. Fareed Aslam Minhas, a smoker can quit smoking at any time but for a fasting person, the first of Ramazan is the best time for it.

He said majority of smokers, nearly 70 per cent want to quit smoking but can not do so because of their addiction to Nicotine and a weaker will power. The Muslims, however enjoy a strong will power in Ramazan and it is time for them to make a sincere effort to quit smoking, he said.

Head of Community Medicine at CMH Lahore Medical College Professor Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Chaudhry is of the opinion that one should make the firm intention from the depth of heart to give up this evil habit in the holy month of Ramazan. “Trust in Allah’s words “--- when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, for Allah loves those who put their trust in Him”--- (Surah Al-Imran 3:159).”

He said all ulema agree that smoking is haram (totally forbidden) so a Muslim should not use haram thing during the holy month of Ramazan. Allah says “--- make not your hands contribute to destruction---“. (Sura Al-Baqra 2;195), “-- not kill yourselves---“(Surah Al-Nisah 4:29), he said.

He said quitting smoking gives you decades longer with your friends and family. “Just 20 minutes after quitting smoking, your heart rate drops, 12 hours after quitting smoking, carbon monoxide (poisonous gas) levels in your blood drops to normal. Two weeks to three months after quitting smoking, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve. One to nine months after quitting, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

One year after quitting, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half of a smoker’s. Five to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker. Ten years after quitting smoking, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s. Your risk of cancers of mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

Fifteen years after quitting smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a non-smoker’s.” Dr. Ashraf added that all forms of tobacco -- cigarettes, pipes, cigars, Hubble Bubble (huqqa or sheesha), smokeless tobacco (beedis, niswar or snuff, tobacco pan), and filtered, light, mild or low tar cigarettes -- are hazardous and no amount of tobacco use is safe.