Dubai’s health authorities have sent a clear message to smokers who believe that shisha is safer than cigarettes, warning that it is 200 times worse than a cigarette.
The Smart Clinic in the emirate’s health authority said most smokers mistakenly believe that shisha is less harmful than smoking cigarettes and that many of them resort to shisha after quitting cigarettes.
Two senior doctors in the clinic also said that stopping smoking altogether would reduce risks of a heart attack within just one day after giving up and those persons who continue quitting would be less vulnerable to strokes, cancer and other diseases.
“Smoking shisha for just one hour amounts to smoking 200 cigarettes…there is a general belief by the public that shisha is safer than cigarettes…this is wrong,” the doctors said in paper during discussions on smoking this week.
The two doctors are Dr Hanan Obaid, a family medicine consultant and head of the chronic diseases section, and Dr Nisreen Qaoud, primary health and family care specialist at the Dubai’s Health Authority.
The two doctors warned that smoking is one of the main causes of impotence, weakness and death, adding that tobacco contains more than 4,000 chemical substances, including at least 250 toxic and 50 cancerous substances.
In their paper, they urged smokers to seriously consider giving up to avert serious diseases associated with the heart and other body organs.
“Stopping smoking reduces risks of a heart attack within just 24 hours…it improves the blood circulation by nearly 30 per cent within two weeks to three months,” they said.
Quitting smoking also reduces coughing, nasal blockages and fatigue while it improves the respiratory system and the body’s general ability within one to nine months.
“Within one year of quitting smoking, the risk of coronary heart illness declines by nearly 50 per cent while the risk of a stroke declines to normal levels within five years…quitting smoking also slashes rates of death associated with lung cancer by 50 per cent and largely reduces the risk of mouth, throat, kidney, bladder and pancreas cancer within 10 years….it also lowers the risk of coronary heart disease to the level enjoyed by non-smokers during that period of time.”