The smoking cessation clinics at primary health centres are proving highly effective in helping people quit smoking.
Over 200 people benefited from the smoking cessation programme at Gharafa health centre alone over the past six months.
“One of every four people who came to us in the last six months to get help to quit smoking, were successful in their objective,” said Dr Ahmad Alhomdani, general practitioner at the heath centre. The first question the family doctor asks a patient when coming for a consultation is if he is a smoker. If the answer is yes, the patient is invited to make the commitment to quit. Alhomdani stressed the need for raising awareness among smokers about the smoking cessation
programme. “There are doctors, nurses and medication that will help patients who have the desire to quit,” he added.
The smoking cessation clinic guides potential “quitters” through a four step programme.First, smokers are invited to think about the advantages of a smoke-free life. In the second step they are encouraged to be ready and avoid temptation and get support. Step three is the most important: stop smoking, and “always keep reminding yourself why you’re stopping and, among other changes, find a different daily routine and stick to none-smoking areas,” advised the doctor. The fourth and last step is the most essential: staying a non-smoker for good.
Among the symptoms of smoke abstinence is intense desire to smoke, coughing and dry mouth, weight gain, constipation or diarrhoea, trouble sleeping, dizziness, mood swings, poor concentration and irritability. On World No Tobacco Day, which was observed on Friday, Al Gharafa heath centre hosted a series of lectures by experts about the benefits of not smoking, which are noticeable 20 minutes after stopping, when the circulation improves, especially in hands and feet.
Eric Protasio, a nurse from Ras Gas Medical Center, who smoked for 18 years, narrated how he received support at the health centre to quit the habit.
He called the smoking cessation clinic at 4417 4411 to make an appointment. Specialists measured the levels of carbon dioxide in his blood stream and gave him a supply of nicotine gum for a week. “I continued to come to consultation, but after the first visit, I stopped smoking thanks to my willpower,” said Protasio.
Source : Qatar Chronicle
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