Abu Dhabi clinic treats tobacco users
Abu Dhabi, July 17, 2013
Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) is treating a record number of tobacco addicts at its Smoking Cessation Clinic since the initiative opened in late 2010.
The most recent influx of patients into the facility comes after the May 31 World No Tobacco Day, which appears to have inspired attempts to quit from those who are hooked on the killer weed, said a statement.
The clinic, licensed by the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, is aimed at reducing the deaths and diseases resulting from the addiction.
“We have received a great deal of interest from patients who have decided to quit smoking with the help of our specialist clinic – we are taking three times the amount of bookings than when we first initiated the programme,” said Dr Abdul Razzak Alkaddour, a consultant cardiologist.
“The increase in demand for our services is in part due to the attention from World No Tobacco Day and the measures taken by our federal government, the recent cigarette pack images of what smoking does to the body being a good example,” he said.
The treatment is a combination of cognitive counselling and pharmacological treatment where necessary, with best practice being taken from established international smoking cessation programmes.
The centre is one of the community outreach programmes run by SKMC, which is part of the Seha Health System and is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha).
One out of three attendees quit tobacco for at least six months following treatment, according to a report.
The tobacco epidemic kills nearly six million people a year globally as a result of cancer, heart disease, asthma and other illnesses, with the figure including more than 600,000 non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke. It is thought that without intervention, the number will increase to more than eight million a year by 2030.
“Cigarette smoking in the west used to be the preserve of men until it became acceptable for women to take up the habit in the 1920s and we are now seeing the same pattern with shisha smoking,” said Dr Alkaddour.
“Taking a pipe of shisha was traditionally an activity associated with older men in the Arab communities, but it has since developed into a trendy pastime for young people, including women. With one bowl of unfiltered shisha tobacco the equivalent of 30 cigarettes, it is not difficult to see that we are sitting on a health time bomb that needs to be defused as quickly as possible,” he added.
“All forms of tobacco use are potentially injurious to health and may lead to addiction, including the smoking of tobacco through a little pipe or ‘midwakh.’ Scientific studies are ongoing to determine the exact nicotine content in midwakh tobacco in comparison to that of cigarettes, which will help us to devise methods to overcome this spreading form of harmful tobacco use,” said Dr Alkaddour.
Dr Alkaddour added that stopping smoking not only halts, but can also reverse the biological damage caused by the habit and improves the treatment for conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer. The risk of heart disease will decrease significantly within five years of quitting. - TradeArabia News Service
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