The Tobacco Control Center of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), which has been officially designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the first WHO Collaborating Centre in Qatar and the GCC Region, recently opened a dedicated smoking cessation clinic in Al Wakra Hospital.
This is the first Smoking Cessation Clinic to open outside Doha. It will operate at Al Wakra Hospital on Mondays, with plans to expand clinic hours to cope with future demands. There are also plans to open similar clinics at all HMC hospitals across Qatar.
Available to all residents of Qatar, appointments with the clinic can be booked through the HMC Nesma’ak Customer Service line – 16060 – or by referral from any Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCC). Appointments can also be made through referral from Al Wakra Hospital or in person at the hospital’s reception desk.
As part of its services, the new clinic will provide consultations by specialist physicians for people who want to quit as well as offer a range of tests including carbon monoxide levels and lung function, free of charge.
Dr Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center, said their mission is to provide the public with health and medical advice on the dangers of tobacco use in addition to behavioural support and counselling to help smokers kick the habit.
Staff at the centre offer smokers alternatives to nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, and help them overcome withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation.
He said that quitting smoking improves blood circulation and glucose levels which regulates insulin, especially in diabetic patients, and reduces bad cholesterol as well as preventing many ailments and conditions. Smokers who quit the habit also regain their sense of smell and taste as well as reduce their bad breath. Tobacco contains more than 45 harmful chemicals that cause cancer.
Experts believe that the most effective way to quit smoking is for smokers to adopt lifestyle changes that would help them resist smoking temptations. Ex-smokers are also advised to avoid second hand smoking areas like cafes where cigarette and shisha smoke is present.
Other methods to help people quit include increasing exercise, drinking lots of water and minimising socialising with active smokers.
Dr Al Mulla also thanked HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari for her continued support for the Centre’s activities and programmes.
According to Dr Sabah Al Qadhi, Medical Director of Al Wakra Hospital, the new clinic is an important addition to services and programmes targeting residents in the southern region of Qatar. He said that it was important to continue to increase awareness of the harmful effects of smoking in the community to ensure a healthy population.
For more information, call the HMC Tobacco Control Center at 4025 4857 or 5080 0959.