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Muslims in Tower Hamlets offered help to quit smoking for Ramadan

PUBLISHED: 15:45 28 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:31 28 May 2014

Dr Somen Banerjee (right) with public health advisers at last year's Bangladeshi Stop Tobacco Project

Dr Somen Banerjee (right) with public health advisers at last year's Bangladeshi Stop Tobacco Project

Archant

Muslims in Tower Hamlets are being offered help to quit smoking before Ramadan to avoid nicotine cravings while they fast.

Quit tobacco for Ramadan advice centres

Darul Ummah Mosque, E1 2ND

Session every Tuesday from 12.30 to 2.30pm

Brick Lane Mosque, E1 6QL

Session every Wednesday from 2pm to 3.30pm

East London Mosque, E1 1JX

Session every Thursday from 1pm to 3pm

Idea Store Watney Market, E1 2FB

One-off session on Wednesday, May 28

from 2pm to 4pm

East London Mosque, E1 1JX

One-off session on Friday, May 30

from 1.45pm to 2.30pm

Ford Square Mosque, E1 2HS

One-off session on Friday, May 30

from 12.30 to 2.30pm

Source: Tower Hamlets Council

The Quit Tobacco Before Ramadan campaign is run by the council in collaboration with stop smoking advisers, local Imams, health professionals and the Bangladeshi Stop Tobacco Project.

Advice centres will be set up at mosques and libraries across Tower Hamlets, which has among the highest levels of smoking and smokeless tobacco use through shisha pipes in London.

Dr Somen Banerjee, director of public health at Tower Hamlets Council, said: “Ramadan is an ideal time to start healthy habits.

“The health and financial benefits of quitting tobacco extend beyond a few weeks as you greatly reduce your risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.”

The launch of the local campaign comes ahead of the annual World No Tobacco Day on May 31, led by the World Health Organisation, that calls on countries to raise taxes on tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco is widely used by South Asians in Tower Hamlets, sometimes along with other products such as paan, betel nut or shisha pipes.

But the council says smoking rates are dropping in the borough, with 1,400 people having signed up to local quit smoking services since April.

Dr Sam Everington, chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, and a local GP, said: “I really encourage people of all ages to speak to your GP or pharmacy and take on the challenge of stopping smoking before and beyond Ramadan.”

For more information call 020 7882 8669 or visit towerhamlets.gov.uk/stopsmoking.

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