A study found that 95 percent of Muslim smokers say it is easier to quit smoking during Ramadan, said Director-General of Health Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman.
He said the 14-hour fasting indirectly help smokers quit smoking more easily as they could control the urge to smoke.
As such, the ministry annually intensify the anti-smoking campaign with the slogan ‘Ramadan the starting point towards quitting smoking.’
“Ramadan is an excellent time for smokers to quit the smoking habit,” he said at a ‘Fatwa-Merokok Adalah Haram’ seminar here recently.
Dr Hasan said it will indirectly help reduce government spending of RM3bil annually to treat heart ailements, lung cancer and chronic lung disease.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) report said that over 5mil people worldwide will die from smoking related diseases this year.
“This does not include 600,000 non-smokers including 150,000 children who will die from exposure to cigarette smoke,” he said.
By 2030, it is expected that 10mil people will die from smoking with 27,400 death daily or 2,280 deaths hourly or one death every three seconds.
Meanwhile, the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2006 found that 21.5 per cent adults or 3mil of the 28mil population are smokers.
“Teenagers aged 13-15 years made up 18.2 percent of smokers,” he said adding the ministry strives to help smokers quit via advice, guidance and counseling at health clinics and hospitals.