UAE | Health

Thinking of my lungs makes me scared, says one nicotine addict

Gulf News' Stub it! campaign provides medical help to five would-be non smokers

  • By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter, Gulf News
  • Published: 22:00 November 8, 2011
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • The World Health Organisation (Who) believes tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world today. Smoking causes 80 per cent of all lung cancer deaths. Gulf News' Stub it! campaign has kicked off to help its readers quit smoking and lead a better quality of life
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Dubai: Gulf News' Stub it! campaign has kicked off to help its readers quit smoking and lead a better quality of life.

Five readers are presently undergoing counselling and are being given professional medical help to put them back on the road to better health.

Gulf News' partner in this campaign is DM Healthcare Group. The Group has offered Dh100,000 free health insurance cover for a year to each of the readers in their fight against nicotine addiction.

We will be following the five readers over the next six months to a year and detailing their efforts to lead a smoke-free life. As everyone knows smoking is the leading cause of cancers and cardiovascular disease.

Second-hand smole

Dr Sanjiv Malek, executive director of the Group, notes that 600,000 non-smokers die every year just by inhaling second-hand smoke. He points out that every six seconds someone around the globe dies due to tobacco-related diseases.

"Smoking not only affects you but affects the society around you," said Dr Sreekumar Sreedharan, specialist physician at Aster Clinic who has counselled the readers.

Interactive: What smoking does to your body

Agha Nima, a 35-year-old Iranian, who is among the first five readers to be given professional help, said he wishes to quit smoking because he wants to breathe again.

The expatriate bachelor who smokes between 15 to 20 cigarettes every day said he has tried to quit over the years but never succeeded. "I need someone responsible to watch over me," he said.

The expatriate wishes to lead an active life and wants to go diving and horse riding, but cannot because of his shortness of breath. "Thinking of my lungs makes me scared," he said.

Marvyn Roni Gomes, a 25-year-old, said his motivation to quit is that he loves to play football. "Smoking is affecting my game, my lifestyle," he said. The specialist doctor said more people are now aware about the dangers of smoking and are motivated to quit. He said some smokers wish to quit because of pressure from their children.

Immense benefits

"More than their wives it is their children who are helping them quit,' he said.

The specialist said that once a person quits smoking, the benefits are immense. "Over a period of time the damage to the lung and the heart can be reversed," he said.

The doctor said most people cannot give up the addiction themselves, they need professional help. Dr Malek said you need about six to eight months to kick the habit. But he warned there is usually a relapse and the smoker will need support from friends or family members to overcome the initial hurdles.

Gulf News believes its brief is not only to educate and entertain readers but also be a driver in changing people's lives for the better.

Join in

The following people are on the road to good health, as part of the Gulf News initiative: Agha Nima, Farhan Sattar, Marvyn Roni Gomes, Mohammad Ayoub Khan and Suhail Mirza.

As these five readers get on the road to health, five more readers will embark on their Stub It! journey soon. If you wish to join in this campaign please contact with your details and a line on why you wish to quit smoking.

Comments (14)

  1. Added 17:00 November 9, 2011

    Dear All In my opinion NON SMOKING is a way of life like NON VIOLENCE (AHINSA). it is not just having a wish to have a cigerrette but you desire it , you searched it and found it. Thereafter you made it daily habit. Some people start their day from tea. Without they feel uncomfortable.. It is more mental or psychological problem than a real need. Like if you have attitude of telling a lie , then you will tell and feel happy. But you will never feel what you have lost. When you realize , it is very late. It is very much subjective thinking. Thanks Dilip Singh

    Dilip Singh, Abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:53 November 9, 2011

    I've smoked for almost 30 years but i quit since 2009, i did it for my family and for my health. It's good to feel your body is free from this deadly nicotine. Also, my father died because of smoking also that's why i quit the habit

    Laurence Rendal Lazala, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:45 November 9, 2011

    Still i cant believe myself that i quit smoking. 8th October 2011 was my last day i smoked. The reason why i stopped smoking, i was sick and consulted doctor he advised me to quit smoke or else my life was at stake. So from that day i quit smoke and feeling very good. Now my health is very good after i quit smoking. I request all smokers to take initiative to avoid cigrattes. Ultimately LIFE IS PRECIOUS.

    Mir, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:40 November 9, 2011

    I was regular smoker before 2 n half years now, it took me at least 6 months to quit completely, i have followed few steps to stop myself. i never had any counselling. and followed my own steps to stop it.

    Razeen, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:52 November 9, 2011

    I am one of the candidates selected for this campaign, and i hope this is successful. This was not a matter of choice, over time it becomes a devious addiction that cannot be suppressed without professional help. I have been smoking for the past 10 to 11 years and have tried all tricks in the book (gums, menthols, going cold turkey etc) without any luck. Im confident I will be able to overcome this habbit this time.

    Farhan S, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 12:24 November 9, 2011

    My father was a chain smoker for more than 20 years. He made lot of money from his profession, given good educations to his kids. He was enjoying a happy retired life from last 10 years with good health. He left his smoking habit too. One morning we identified that he is having cancer in lunges with more spreading. Now from last 2 years he is struggling with the disease. The money can play only a little role in this disease. The people who are smocking should at least visit the cancer treatment centre to identify the difficulties of that deadly disease treatment. So please quit smoking as soon as possible and be save yourself and your family.

    sudheer, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 12:07 November 9, 2011

    i am a 12 years 1 pack a day smoker...Tried Nicotine gum, lasted only 37 days. went back smoking. tried reducing it from 20 to 15 to 10, went back to 20 again. Tried throwing lighters everyday, bought lighters everyday also. Tried Cold Turkey! announced it to all people. I am now in my 131 day of not smoking! Thank God! I can jog 7 km without stopping. saved a lot of money and beginning to have six pack abs!

    Ruben Montillano, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:39 November 9, 2011

    I had given up smoking 10 months back. It not about reducing. I had reduced a couple of time and it did not work. The best way is to give up Completely. First few days are difficult and then it becomes easier and easier. All depends on your will power. If you want you can do anything.

    Faisal, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 11:37 November 9, 2011

    I totally agree with Mr. Riaz. I have seen many irresponsible people throwing butts on the road which creates lot of sparks of burning tobacco when they hit road. I am also very much scared of these sparks.

    Suresh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 11:23 November 9, 2011

    To quit smoking is not an easy task as it is to start. I was a smoker for 16 years. I never tried to quit it seriously every time I look for new occasions and new time. However when I went through an article which mentioned that it is Haram(prohibited to smoke), Alhamdulilla! three days post to that I quit it. Its by the grace of Almighty Allah that I quit and it is unbeliveable that after I stopped smoking I feel much better, much fresher & healthy. I reliased what I had lost. I request all smokers to quit it & see the changes in youself. The first thing will be the bad smell which used to there always will vanish, it will save you between Dh100 to Dh250 per month and bring freshness to you & the environment.

    Vaseem, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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