Smokers encouraged to quit for good this Ramadan – Make Smoking History

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Smokers encouraged to quit for good this Ramadan

Ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership is calling on smokers to stop smoking for good.

Mosque with sun rising behind it.

As Muslims observe Ramadan and fast during daylight hours, people also refrain from smoking – which is why health experts are encouraging smokers to take advantage of this time and quit for good.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things a smoker can do to improve their health and reduce the risk of serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

Ramadan is a time for self-improvement and self-reflection, and quitting smoking can be a powerful way to improve your health, wealth and well-being as well as protecting loved ones from the harms of secondhand smoke.

Going for this length of time without a cigarette is an achievement in itself, so don’t be tempted to open your fast with a cigarette.

Shayful Islam, Senior Health and Wellbeing Worker at Be Well Tameside, said: “Ramadan is a challenging but rewarding month, and is the perfect opportunity to try to quit smoking as it is about breaking your normal routines and adopting new positive habits.

“You’re fasting for between 12 -15 hours during the day, so you’re eating and drinking at different times than you’re used to. You’re also not smoking and even after this length of time the benefits from not smoking are already starting to happen to your body. Going for this length of time without a cigarette is an achievement in itself, so don’t be tempted to open your fast with a cigarette. Why not stop for good?

“Even if you’ve tried to quit before, don’t be put off trying again. It can often take a few times before you’ll succeed and make sure you get support to quit from your local stop smoking service.”

Dr Murugesan Raja is a local GP, Associate Medical Director for the NHS in Manchester and the clinical lead for respiratory medicine, said: “Ramadan provides a unique opportunity for smokers to challenge themselves and quit smoking for good.

“From the moment you quit, your body begins to repair from the damage caused by smoking. After just eight hours, your oxygen levels are recovering, and the amount of carbon monoxide in your blood will have halved. If you’ve made it this far, the best thing you can do is to keep going. Don’t undo all of your hard work.

“But you’re not alone in this. Research shows that using personalised support from a dedicated Stop Smoking Service makes you three times as likely to quit successfully than with willpower alone. So make sure you access as much support as you need to – from nicotine patches to meeting a stop smoking advisor each week.”

For help to stop smoking, speak to your Local Stop Smoking Service, GP or pharmacist, or call the NHS Stop Smoking helpline free on 0300 123 1044. Greater Manchester residents can also get six months’ free access to the Smoke Free app – usually worth £60 – by signing up online at (T&Cs apply).