Muslim smokers in Birmingham are being offered support to help them quit during the holy month of Ramadan.
Throughout Ramadan (2014: 28 June to 27 July) most Muslims are required to refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. Smoking is also forbidden during the fast.
Advisors from Birmingham’s Stop Smoking Service have already visited a number of Mosques offering advice and signposting services.
And, during the month of Ramadan, help will be on hand for Friday Prayers at three of the city’s largest Mosques.
- Friday 27 June: Birmingham Jame Masjid (formerly Saddam Hussain Mosque) Birchfield Road, Perry Barr
- Friday 11 July: Ghamkol Sharif, Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath
- Friday 18 July: Birmingham Central Mosque,Belgrave Middle Way, Highgate
Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr John Cotton, said: “For some people New Year is the time to quit, others wait until Stoptober. We also know that a number of smokers across the city will attempt to quit during Ramadan and these sessions offer vital support to people who want to give up.
“Many Muslims see the holy month of Ramadan as an ideal opportunity to make healthy lifestyle choices and our Stop Smoking Service is on hand to support anyone who wants to quit smoking.
“Last year the service helped 135 smokers in Mosques across the city and hopefully many of those people went onto quit for good.”
For friendly advice and support on how to stop smoking, go to http://www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk/about-us/services-directory/adults-and-communities/citywide-services/stop-smoking/ call 0800 052 5855 free or text 'QUIT' to 80800.
Notes to editors
Smoking causes significant economic burden both in terms of increased health expenditure and cost to the Birmingham economy in the form of absenteeism, working days lost and premature retirement.
Premature deaths from smoking are estimated to cost the Birmingham economy £24m each year.
In the UK the majority of smokers start before the age of 18 and in Birmingham, around a third of 16-24 year olds are actively smoking.
In Birmingham around 1 in 5 adults smoke, equating to around 185,000 smokers.
Every year over 4,500 people die in Birmingham from a smoking related disease.
Smoking is directly linked with Birmingham's three biggest killers, and is directly attributable to:
- 1 in 4 of all cancers,
- 1 in 5 deaths from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke),
- 1 in 3 of all deaths from respiratory disease
About half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases. If you are a long-term smoker, on average, your life expectancy is about 10 years less than a non-smoker.
Put another way, in the UK about 8 in 10 non-smokers live past the age of 70, but only about half of long-term smokers live past 70. The younger you are when you start smoking, the more likely you are to smoke for longer and to die early from smoking.
Stop smoking in Birmingham
For friendly, expert advice and support on how to quit smoking, call the Birmingham stop smoking service on 0800 052 5855 free or text ‘QUIT’ to 80800.
For more information about Stop Smoking services in Birmingham, go to: http://www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk/about-us/services-directory/adults-and-communities/citywide-services/stop-smoking/