Dubai: If you’ve been battling your smoking habit, there are several quit smoking centers in the UAE that can help you quit.
In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center (ADPHC) today launched a Tobacco Control Awareness Program to encourage smokers to quit, coinciding with World No Tobacco Day every year on 31 May.
Talking to Gulf News about the need for people to quit smoking, Dr Mariam Al Wahedi, Director of Community Health at ADPHC, said smoking is the second leading cause of death globally and accounts for 10% of all cardiovascular diseases
“Smokers are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers, and the habit can also have damaging effects on the immune system and increase the risk of lung infections,” she said.
“Each ADPHC advocacy plan addresses a different topic related to tobacco use. This year the focus is on vaping and its deadly risk to the lungs. The advocacy plan will address two important themes – popcorn lung disease and EVALI,” Dr. Mariam explain.
Smokers are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers, and the habit can also have damaging effects on the immune system and increase the risk of lung infections.
– Dr. Mariam Al Wahedi, Director of Community Health, ADPHC
What is popcorn lung disease?
Bronchiolitis obliterans is an irreversible lung disease in which the tiny air sacs in the lungs become scarred, causing the airways to thicken and narrow. It was first observed in microwave popcorn factory workers who inhaled a buttery-flavored chemical called diacetyl, hence the name “popcorn lung disease.”
This is a serious lung disease that causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, similar to symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
While major popcorn makers have removed diacetyl from their products, it’s still present in many vaping flavors. Researchers at Harvard University found that 39 of 51 e-cigarette brands contained diacetyl. The study also found two equally harmful chemicals — 2,3-pentanedione and acetoin — in 23 and 46 of the 51 flavors it tested, respectively. About 92 percent of the e-cigarettes tested contained one of the three chemicals.
Source: American Lung Association
What is e-cigarette or e-cigarette use-associated lung injury (EVALI)
EVALI stands for e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury. A term for lung disease that may develop as a result of vaping. As of mid-February 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported more than 2,800 lung injuries requiring hospitalization and 68 deaths across all 50 US states. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, or weight loss.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control
Where can I go to quit smoking?
Dr Mariam mentioned that there are 15 public and private smoking cessation clinics in the emirate of Abu Dhabi that are licensed to provide smoking cessation services. “This service varies from person to person, depending on the type and amount of smoking an individual has. It may last six months, and may follow up people who quit after a year,” she added.
Smoking Cessation Center Locations:
1. Al Bateen Medical Center Abu Dhabi
2. Outpatient medical services at Baniyas Medical Center Abu Dhabi
3. Outpatient health services at Madinat Khalifa Health Center, Abu Dhabi
4. Al Mushrif Children’s Specialist Center in Abu Dhabi
5. Al Maqta Medical Center, Abu Dhabi
6. Al Jahli Medical Center, Al Ain
7. Al Ain Al Muweiji Health Center Outpatient Health Services
8. Tawam Smoking Cessation Clinic – Tawam Hospital, Al Ain
9. Outpatient medical services at Oud Al Touba Medical Center in Al Ain
10. Al Ain Al Quaa Medical Center
11. Al Dhafra Family Medicine Centre, Al Dhafra
12. Al Fuad Medical Center Abu Dhabi
13. Health plus Diabetes and Endocrinology LLC, Abu Dhabi
14. Madinat Mohamed Bin Zayed Medical Center, Abu Dhabi
15. Al Ain Sweihan Health Center
Service fees will depend on the procedures you require. However, these services are free for Thiqa insurance card holders and under individual health insurance plans for non-Thiqa holders. You can find out more details about the scheme by calling the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) call center on 800 50.