Quit smoking fast this Ramadan and improve your physical and spiritual health

The Imam of Oxford Central Mosque has called on Muslim smokers in the county to take Ramadan as the push they need to quit smoking for good.

Ramadan is a holy month observed by Muslims across the world and requires followers to fast during daylight hours. Fasting means to abstain completely from food, drink and cigarettes.

Ashan Ameen, Imam, said: “Ramadan is the month of fasting; the month of self-control and self-discipline. It's a time when Muslims come face to face with their eating, drinking, smoking and other related weaknesses.”

With this in mind, Solutions 4 Health, the smoking cessation specialists contracted by Oxfordshire County Council, are hoping to see more people at their Friday Smokefreelife Oxfordshire sessions at the Manzil Way mosque, where they can offer expert guidance on how to manage the cravings and irritability sometimes caused by giving up.

Dr Naseem Mushtaq, Health Improvement Manager at Solutions 4 Health, said: “Although many of the Nicotine Replacement Aids are things you put in your mouth – gum, sprays, and tablets for example – we have other means available which can be used by people who are observing the fast. It is acceptable to use patches, for example. And used with the one-to-one support of a Solutions4Health advisor, you are more than four times more likely to succeed in your quit attempt.”

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK and it increases your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.

Dr Eunan O’Neill, Consultant in Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health and that’s why the council invests in a service designed to support smokers who want to stop. Working together we want to find every way possible of encouraging smokers to quit for good and we are delighted the Imam is lending his voice to the cause this Ramadan.”

Smokefreelife Oxfordshire sessions will be available at Oxford Central Mosque on as well as Abingdon Mosque… You can also get help to stop through your GP practice and the local pharmacy.

For more information visit www.smokefreelifeoxfordshire.co.uk