The Friday Message - Issue No: 281 - The dangers of smoking

altSalamun alaykum,

This week, in the United Kingdom, on 8th March,2017 the National No Smoking Day was observed. This year the theme chosen was ‘Kick the habit and feel like a winner’. This annual health awareness day, set on the second Wednesday in March, is intended to inspire hundreds of thousands of people to kick the habit and feel like a winner.

Sacred puff:

Smoking remains the biggest cause of premature and preventable death in England. It accounts for over 80,000 deaths in the UK each year, with one in two long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking disease.

When one adds up the health risks, cost, stinking smell and endless hours spent shivering outside (despite being in one’s own home!) to have that ‘sacred puff’, it's a wonder people start smoking at all. But they do.

In addition to cigarette smoking other means of obtaining the ‘sacred puff’ are smoking hookah and the e-cigs. 


Some people have taken up ‘VAPING’ in order to get the traditional sacred puff of smoking. Vaping involves using an electronic device that heats up e-juice (a liquid containing nicotine, other liquids and flavourings) that then gets vaporized in a small battery powered atomizer, simulating the experience of smoking. The vapour created is inhaled and exhaled much like cigarette smoke hence the term “VAPING” as opposed to “SMOKING”. These electronic cigarettes are shaped like the real cigarettes.

Cool in town:

The habit of Vaping is now considered to be cool in town and is being promoted as a lifestyle. In confirming to peer or social pressures youths seem to be attracted to e-cigs just like cigarettes or shisha smoking. Most youths would start vapping or shisha smoking just to conform. They get a feeling of being "grown up."

Danger to Your Health:

Vaping is not proven 100% safe. The New England Journal of Medicine published research which said e-cigs could be more dangerous than smoking. Branding the e-cig devices as ‘safety illusive’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that the chemicals they contain are often not disclosed and have not yet been properly tested. In addition the British Medical Association (BMA) has also warned it is worried by the lack of peer-reviewed studies on e-cigarette safety. Public health officials have expressed concerns including about the purity of the products' ingredients and the precise dose of nicotine delivered by different devices and liquids.

A severe problem with e-cigs is that they contain nicotine which is a very addictive drug; apparently it is more addictive than heroin. Thus a habit is manifested.

Break the habit:

Most smokers of tobacco cigarettes, shisha and e-cigs would really like to stop, but find it hard to do so. These addictive habits are difficult to break. Through the National No Smoking Day, it is intended to inspire hundreds of thousands of people to kick the habit and feel like a winner.

This effort of kicking the harmful habit is Divinely rewarded as elucidated by Imam Ali bin Abi Talib a.s. who stated, “The best of worship is to abandon the (harmful) habits.” 

Is it not time to kick these harmful habits and feel like a winner?

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah

With salaams and duas

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat


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