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DHA logs rise in smoking quitting rate

Dubai, June 30, 2014

The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) smoking cessation clinic recorded an increase in the quitting rate from 11 per cent in 2012 to 14 per cent in 2013.

Globally the quitting rate is in the range of 10 to 20 per cent.

Dr Nahed Monsef, acting-director of health affairs department within the primary healthcare sector at the DHA, said: “DHA is keen on curbing the menace of tobacco consumption in its community and therefore in addition to regular awareness campaigns, we have dedicated smoking cessation clinics.”

“We are pleased with the results of the audit that showed an increase in the quitting rate. In 2013, we introduced several initiatives such as an updated questionnaire format that helps assess the type of dependency smokers have. For example, physiological, behavioral etc. Then we chalked out an action plan for the patient and continuously monitored the patient. All these measures have helped increase the quitting rate.”

She said the measures are in line with the Tobacco Free Dubai Project which was implemented in 2009 and the Dubai Health Strategy 2013-2025. Since the project was implemented in 2009, more than 30,000 people have benefited from the smoking cessation campaigns which the DHA has conducted across universities, schools, private and public sectors.

DHA conducts three dedicated smoking cessation clinics per week and all 14 primary healthcare centres refer smokers to these clinics as well as provide them with health information on the dangers of tobacco consumption.

Dr Hanan Obaid, head of community health services program section at DHA’s primary healthcare sector and leader of the Tobacco Free Dubai project, said: “On an average per clinic receives 150 to 200 patients per year.”

Dr Obaid said the clinic provides a holistic approach to help smokers stub the habit and overcome nicotine dependency. “The clinic caters to people who want to quit smoking by addressing their individual problems and by giving them medical and psychological support. The clinic reaches out to smokers to help them cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms which is a factor that often dissuades them from stubbing the habit.”

She added that patients need most support when they experience these symptoms which can include nervousness, irritability, headaches, insomnia, tiredness, etc.

“We have developed a smoking cessation package so that smokers who visit the cessation clinic receive all aspects of medical care. The package includes blood investigations, ECG, lung function tests, Smokerlyzer test to measure the levels of toxic carbon monoxide (CO) inhaled from tobacco smoke. The clinic will also provide medical and psychological support to smokers,” she said.

Dr Shamsa Abdulla bin Hammad, head of wellness centres, said that cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and that tobacco smoke is a mix of more than 4,000 chemicals, of which 250 are toxic and at least 50 are known to cause cancer. “People who quit smoking have a lower risk of lung cancer but their risk is higher than the risk of people who never smoked.

“However, it is important to note that quitting tobacco at any age can lower the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases,” she added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai Health Authority | DHA |

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