Best way to quit smoking is to go cold turkey: Doctor

A doctor of internal medicine at a prestigious cancer hospital has warned that Third World governments are not close at all to winning the fight against ‘big tobacco’.

He said there have been positive changes made during the past decade in the US and the UK such as increasing the cost of cigarettes, raising taxes on tobacco products, making it difficult for teens to buy cigarettes and stopping cigarette companies to sponsor sports events.



Dr Ahsan Azhar, consultant internist at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Pakistan, said unfortunately many governments in the Third World are still under the influence of big tobacco. But he said they are now realising what the impact of smoking means on their populations.

The doctor said the best way to quit smoking is to go ‘cold turkey’, that is to stop smoking one day.
“Most quitters say they suffer from [constipation] in the morning. Some local GPs advise the patients to smoke a cigarette or two in the morning. That is not the way,” he said.

Short-term effects

“There will be heart palpitations, strong nicotine cravings, lack of sleep and irritability, but all these are short-term effects,” he said.

The doctor said the physician will help get you through these rough patches. “It is a cheap addiction, but its effects are long-lasting, not only on you, but your children and family,” he said.

The internist said the best way to quit is to take away the temptations. “Remove the cigarettes from your car glove compartment or wherever you are hiding it,” he said. Ask help from your friends to help you quit, he advised.

The doctor warned there are no early signs of lung cancer. “Once you find out, it is then too late”, he said.
The doctor is in Dubai to raise funds for the cancer hospital built by Imran Khan, cricketer and politician, in memory of his mother.

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