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HMC: Quit smoking to boost your immunity against viral infections

HMC: Quit smoking to
boost your immunity 
against viral infections

QNA
Doha
Specialists at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center are advising smokers to quit the harmful habit, stressing that all forms of smoking can reduce the ability of the respiratory system to fight viral and bacterial infections.
Dr Ahmad al Mulla, Head of HMC’s Tobacco Control Center, said the centre will continue to offer assistance by offering telephone-based consultations and treatment to those who wish to quit smoking.
Dr al Mulla said residents who need help in quitting smoking can call at 40254981 or 50800959 to book an appointment. Patients will be referred to one of the medical centres that will conduct an assessment to determine the level of nicotine dependence of patients. The doctors will accordingly develop a treatment plan and may prescribe medication that can be collected from one of HMC’s pharmacies using the automated medication dispensing system.
Dr al Mulla said the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most people to change their daily routines by affecting their ability to go to work, schools, mosque, and even how they welcome each other.
He said that while it may be a stressful time for many people, it’s also an opportunity to quit the harmful habit of smoking that can negatively affect a person’s health, both in the short and long terms.
Dr Jamal Abdullah, Smoking Cessation Specialist at the HMC’s Tobacco Control Center, said all forms of smoking weaken the respiratory system’s natural defense mechanism and make smokers more vulnerable to viral infections. Smoking, he noted, can also lead to a slower recovery from these infections.
He added that smoking is also considered a risk factor for many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
It has been observed in China that a large number of reported deaths related to COVID-19 were in people with these chronic diseases.
Dr. Abdullah urged smokers to quit the unsafe habit and experience the benefits of smoking cessation and to strengthen their immunity from viral infections.

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