NATIONAL Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) has launched its first Quit Smoking clinic at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
This is with the aim of becoming society’s stepping stone towards reducing the impact of tobacco use and tobacco related deaths in Malaysia.
NCSM president and medical director Dr Saunthari Somasun-daram said the clinic aimed to end Malaysians’ addiction to cigarettes and tobacco and in turn minimise their risk of developing cancer.
“In Malaysia, more than 19,100 citizens are killed by tobacco-related diseases every year while more than 126,000 children and 4.7 million adults continue to use tobacco every day,” said Dr Saunthari.
She added that a study by the Health Ministry showed that tobacco use accounted for 35% of in-hospital deaths in Malaysia, mainly from cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Dr Saunthari said non-smokers could also help their friends and families who smoke to wean off the habit.
“When I ask non-smokers, why don’t we do something to help smokers, many of them say it is a Malaysian culture. I find that absolutely ridiculous as there is no such culture where tobacco is an integral part of it. Those are just excuses we give ourselves to stand still and do nothing,” she said.
The ministry’s Tobacco Control & Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) senior principal assistant director Dr Noraryana Hassan was present to officially launch the clinic.
“Smoking is a burden in Malaysia and affects not just smokers but their families and the public at large. We can minimise tobacco dependency with a unified and supportive approach. I encourage those wanting to quit to take advantage of this facility offered by NCSM as I am sure it will be life changing,” she said.
Services offered at the Quit Smoking clinic include a combination of counselling and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – which provides low doses of nicotine to minimise cigarette cravings.
NRT has been proven to aid smoking cessation in at least 50% of people trying to quit.
These techniques will be used at the NCSM Quit Smoking clinic, which will be led by smoking cessation specialist Sister Swinder Jit Jag Singh, who has 20 years of experience and success in treating people who want to quit smoking.
The clinic will be open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8.30am to 3.30pm and a dedicated NCSM workshop titled “Quit like a Champ” is scheduled on Feb 27, from 9am to 2pm.
NCSM is also running education programmes in communities, companies and schools to warn people of the perils of smoking and to promote its quit smoking services.
For details on workshops and programmes, or to seek advice on how to stop smoking, call NCSM at 03-2698 7300.
World Cancer Day is celebrated on Feb 4 yearly, to raise collective voices and improve general knowledge on cancer and dismiss misconceptions about the disease.
Taking place under the tagline “We can, I can”, World Cancer Day 2016-2018 is a three-year strategy which explores how everyone in the world can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.