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HMC Tobacco Control Center stresses link between smoking & heart disease

HMC Tobacco Control Center stresses 
link between smoking & heart disease

Tribune News Network
Doha
In recognition of the World Heart Day, which is marked annually on September 29, officials at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center are warning about the link between smoking and heart disease, urging smokers to take advantage of smoking cession services.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost two million people across the world die from tobacco-related heart disease each year. In addition to heart disease and high blood pressure, smokers are thought to be at risk for more severe COVID-19 illness due to the impact the virus has on the lungs.
Dr Ahmad Al Mulla, head of HMC’s Tobacco Control Center, said smoking increases the formation of plaque in blood vessels, adding that the chemicals in cigarette smoke cause the blood to thicken and form clots inside veins and arteries.
“Research has shown that smoking increases heart rate, tightens major arteries and can cause an irregular heart rhythm, all of which require the heart of a smoker to work harder than the heart of a non-smoker. In addition to damaging your heart and blood vessels, cigarette smoke can change one’s blood chemistry and cause plaque – a waxy substance comprised of cholesterol, scar tissue, calcium, fat and other material – to build up in the arteries,” said Dr Al Mulla.
“Smoking tobacco also increases carbon monoxide content in the blood and having high levels of carbon monoxide in your blood greatly increases your risk of heart and circulatory diseases. Smokers, including those under the age of 50 years, are at an increased risk for angina pectoris and myocardial infarction,” added Dr Al Mulla.
Dr Jamal Abdullah, smoking cessation specialist at HMC’s Tobacco Control Center, says the good news is that those who quit smoking early can reverse much of the damage caused by the dangerous habit. He says quitting has immediate and long-term health benefits, with heart rate and blood pressure dropping within 20 minutes and the carbon monoxide level in one’s blood dropping to normal within 12 hours.
“Those who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk of adverse health effects. Individuals who quit before the emergence of serious complications will have almost the same risk for certain diseases as non-smokers,” said Dr Abdullah.
Dr Abdullah says it is disheartening to see the high number of individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 years developing heart disease due to the use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, hookah, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes. He says individuals who seek support at HMC’s Tobacco Control Center receive one-on-one behavioural counselling and appropriate nicotine replacement or pharmaceutical support, depending on their level of addiction. He says laser therapy treatment can also be helpful.
On the occasion of the World Heart Day, Noor El Nakib, quality management coordinator at the Tobacco Control Center, has called on smokers to consider quitting and urged those interested in learning more about services available at HMC’s Tobacco Control Center to call 4025 4981 or 5080 0959.

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