Innovative laser therapy and comprehensive treatment plans drive success, while the centre’s director warns against the dangers of e-cigarettes and European chewing tobacco.
Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Centre has reported a 38% success rate in helping patients quit smoking at their Smoking Cessation Clinics, according to the centre’s director, Dr. Ahmed al-Mulla.
In a recent interview with the local Arabic daily ‘Arrayah’, Dr. al-Mulla revealed that even patients who have been unable to completely give up smoking have managed to reduce their daily smoking rates by almost a quarter. He affirmed that these success rates closely mirror those achieved by comparable clinics internationally.
He further explained that the centre’s treatment methods primarily rely on a combination of psychiatric guidance, behavioural therapy, and necessary medications, forming a comprehensive treatment plan.
The centre is constantly monitoring the latest advancements in treatment methods in order to implement the most effective strategies for its clients. This includes the innovative laser therapy for smoking cessation, which has shown significant promise in reducing cravings among smokers. According to Dr. al-Mulla, laser therapy has proven highly successful and typically requires three sessions spaced out at specific intervals.
Dr. al-Mulla highlighted that the centre’s services are accessible across the nation through various clinics. It receives patient referrals from all HMC facilities and different health centers within the Primary Health Care Corporations.
The centre aims to equip its clients with alternatives to combat nicotine addiction and mitigate withdrawal symptoms. In addition to that, it strives to provide the necessary support to help clients in their journey to quit smoking permanently.
However, Dr. al-Mulla issued a strong warning against the use of e-cigarettes as a quit-smoking aid, citing safety concerns and their ban in Qatar due to health risks. He also noted recent research indicating e-cigarette users are developing deadly diseases not typically seen in traditional cigarette smokers, which may be linked to banned flavourings used in e-cigarettes.
Furthermore, Dr. al-Mulla cautioned against the use of European chewing tobacco as a smoking alternative, citing significant health risks. The centre is committed to promoting safer, more effective methods of smoking cessation to protect the health of its clients.
While HMC’s success rate is impressive, more needs to be done to fully appeal to smokers in the county.
“I’ve been smoking for 11 years and have tried quitting before, but never through HMC’s services, because I honestly did not think they would be able to do anything more for me that I can’t do for myself,” Mohammed Zaid told Doha News.
Zaid says he may be interested in HMC’s smoking cessation services in the future, but believes that the medical corporation is not doing enough to raise awareness on its services and their effectiveness in a way that appeals to smokers.
“I also just think quitting smoking all goes back to the person themselves and their environment, its hard to leave it when everyone around you does it. I can quit smoking but I cant quit my friends and family,” he added.