On average, 27 people die every week in the UAE due to smoking

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has launched a Smoking Cessation Program to help people trying to quit the deadly habit following World No Tobacco Day on 31 May.  

According to the fifth World Tobacco Atlas, an average of 27 people in the UAE die each week due to tobacco-related diseases and the current rate of smoking is 24.3 percent among males and 0.8 percent among women. While cigarettes are the highest profile threat to public health, medwakh and shisha, which continue to be popular in the UAE, also pose a significant risk.

In introducing the program, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi hopes to make a significant contribution to reducing smoking levels in Abu Dhabi, and support its wider public health goal of helping people enjoy healthier lifestyles to avoid the need for treatment later in life.  The program is listed as one of Abu Dhabi’s certified smoking cessation centers by the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

Iyaad Hasan, DNP, CNP, a certified tobacco treatment specialist who leads the program, explained: “There are numerous benefits to quitting smoking. Apart from helping you live longer, it also improves your quality of life, making you feel and even look better. After you stop smoking, your sense of taste and smell also benefit, and you save money by not smoking.”

“Beyond the immediate benefits that can be felt within hours of stopping, there are numerous long-term health benefits. Just one year after quitting, your risk of a heart attack drops sharply. After two-to-five years, your risk of stroke drops to the same level as a nonsmoker. Our program is based on a proven method developed at Cleveland Clinic in the US, which has achieved a success rate around 20 percent, which is double the USA’s national average,” he added.

Consisting of four main steps, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Smoking Cessation Program follows smokers from their decision to quit through to life after smoking, creating a customized program for each individual.

“It’s never too late to quit smoking,” stresses Hassan. “We develop a tailored program for every person, designing a plan that best fits their personal situation to help them become nonsmokers.”

The program takes participants beyond their ‘quit date’, helping them to avoid a relapse by offering diet and lifestyle tips, as well as information on how to avoid smoking triggers to prevent a relapse. Part of CCAD’s Respiratory & Critical Care Institute, the program provides smokers with all the tools and support they need to make a clean break.

Dr. Jeffrey Chapman, MD, Chief of the Respiratory & Critical Care Institute, said: “The launch of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Smoking Cessation Program reflects our strong commitment to preventative healthcare beyond the confines of the hospital. Smoking is a major public health challenge and we are happy to play a greater part in reducing its prevalence, and enabling patients to take back control over their lives.”