Al Ain: The first puff of smoke immediately after ending the fast is capable of killing a person, doctors said while urging Muslim smokers to use the opportunity to quit the habit this Ramadan.
Smoking can be dangerous for a fasting person whose body is trying to recoup after abstaining from water and food for so long. Smokers must consider themselves lucky if they do not contract serious cardiovascular problem, experts said.
“Smoking is the worst thing a person can do to his body, especially at iftar in Ramadan,” said Dr Riaz Ahmad Minhas, an expert in internal medicine at the Emirates Clinic and Medical Centre in Al Ain.
At this time, he said, the body is in greater need of liquids, glucose, and oxygen and smoking could lead to the contraction of blood vessels, preventing the required flow of oxygen. Smoking at such a critical time can also cause the blood to thicken.
This can lead to the blockage of arteries, increase blood pressure, spasms (congestion of arteries), disturb regular heartbeat, and increase cholesterol. “It could be lethal and smokers must be aware of that it,” said Dr Minhas.
Dr Ali Jaffar, a physician in Al Ain, said inhalation of tobacco at the ending of a fast is highly injurious to the human body. People do not know how hard it is for their bodies to withstand such a blow at such a time. “If they knew they wouldn’t be so cruel to their own bodies,” he added.
A majority of smokers reach for a cigarette immediately after ending the fast. They like to have a cigarette after eating a date or a glass of water. As soon as they eat something their body starts demanding nicotine. “People with weaker willpower must seek medical assistance to control the nicotine withdrawal, he said.
Dr Jaffar also advised smokers to at least refrain from smoking at iftar until their bodies return to normal. A smoker must take light but nutritious food and proper rest. He said Ramadan is a golden opportunity for smokers to quit the habit.
The doctors said nicotine and tar are the most damaging substances in a cigarette. “It’s extremely harsh for the human stomach to tolerate them after a day-long emptiness,” they said.
Research all over the world has proved without doubt that smoking is responsible for an endless list of health problems and ailments such as weakness of the body, shortness of breath and impotency. Smokers often suffer from pain in their legs while walking or cycling as smoking gradually narrows their blood vessels. “This is the time. If a person can refrain from smoking for a whole day during Ramadan, he can quit the habit for good,” said Dr Minhas.