Quit smoking for Ramadan (and for good), Hackney Council tell Muslims

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Save money and become healthier by quitting smoking, Hackney Council urges. Pic: Picaby

Muslim smokers are being encouraged to use the holy month of Ramadan as an opportunity to stop smoking for good.

Hackney Council’s Stop Smoking Service advisors have teamed up with local mosques and will be on hand to provide free, confidential support, information and advice around prayer times.

Ramadan began on June 7. During the holy month, Muslims must not eat, drink or use any kind of tobacco during daylight hours.

Hackney Council said this provides fasting Muslims an ideal time to beat cravings and stop smoking.

In 2014, 20 per cent of adults in Hackney reported themselves as current smokers, higher than the London average of 17 per cent and the national average of 19 per cent.

Hackney Council released a statement saying there are several significant financial and health benefits from giving up smoking and pointed out: “having a smoke-free environment is better for a family”.

“By quitting smoking, a substantial amount of money can also be saved with the average pack of 20 cigarettes now costing almost £10.”, they said.

Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Councillor Jonathan McShane, said: “Smoking remains one of the most important risk factors for disease, disability and premature mortality in Hackney.

“Ramadan provides an excellent opportunity for smokers to quit for good and the best and most effective way to do that is to sign up to Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service.”

The North London Muslim Community Centre’s Mohammed Amejee encouraged Muslims to use this Ramadan to quit smoking.

“Ramadan is a month for purification, in which Muslims around the world give up eating and drinking during the day so that among other things, they can truly appreciate the favours, gifts and opportunities that Allah has given to them.

He spoke of Ramadan as a month where Muslims will try to give up their bad habits and how doing so can help them afterwards.

“… use this Ramadan to quit smoking. By doing this you will purify yourself and those that you love from all of the harms of smoking, and also take a huge step towards quitting this habit permanently”, Amejee said.

Hackney’s specialist stop smoking advisors speak a range of different languages and offer one to one support in Azizye Mosque, Stoke Newington and Markazul-Uloom London, Dalston.

A leaflet has been produced detailing the support available during Ramadan in a number of different languages including Bengali, Turkish and Arabic.

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