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Quit Squad on hand during Ramadan

Posted on the 2nd July 2014

Health professionals in Lancashire are encouraging people to stop smoking during Ramadan, and to continue to quit for good once the religious fasting period is over.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Quit Squad is raising awareness of the dangers of both smoking and chewing tobacco.  During the fasting period of Ramadan those taking part are unable to smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, shisha (also known as hookah) or chew tobacco and in cutting this out they have already won half the battle to stopping for good. Kicking the habit can reduce the risk of heart attacks, some cancers, and also significantly improve blood pressure and cholesterol. Chewing tobacco can also be known as betel quid, paan or gutkha and is a mixture of ingredients including nuts, spices and often tobacco wrapped in a betel leaf. It is popular with many South Asian communities

Julie Trezise, Quit Squad Manager for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Ramadan is a great time to start some healthy habits and get rid of some unhealthy ones such as smoking.  Quitting smoking certainly isn't easy, but when people see the real improvements it will make to their life and health, they will want to give it a go as soon as possible.

“Shisha or hookah has grown in popularity especially among young people but they are not always aware of the damage this can have on their health. People often think that shisha is less harmful than smoking cigarettes when in fact, one shisha or hookah session contains the same amount of nicotine as 200 cigarettes!”

Julie continued:

“Some people may think that as it is smokeless, chewing tobacco isn’t as harmful as smoking cigarettes or shisha. However, it can increase the risk of mouth cancer and studies have shown that even without including tobacco the betel leaf itself can pose the same health risks as other types of smoking.”

You are four times for likely to quit smoking with the help of an NHS Stop Smoking Service than going alone. If you would like more information on how to give up tobacco for good and support with e-cigarettes please contact the Quit Squad on Freephone 0800 328 6297 or visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk