Since smoking is among the activities that faithful Muslims deny themselves from sunup to sundown during Ramadan, the holy month that began Thursday, Muslim doctors are suggesting that American Muslims build on that smoke-free time to quit the habit.
Dr. Tariq Cheema, executive director of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America, said Thursday that APPNA and its partners in the project do not plan to restrict the quit-smoking drive to the mosque.
"We're trying to capitalize on this, taking it to communities, faith-based schools, letting the children take it home to their mothers and fathers," Cheema said.
Ramadan, the ninth month on Islam's lunar calendar, is the holiest month because it was in Ramadan that God revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
APPNA and the Islamic Medical Association of North America are partnering in the project with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group. APPNA is based in Westmont, Ill., while IMANA is based in Lombard, Ill.
"One of the important benefits of the Ramadan fast is the sense of discipline that it instills in an individual," the council's chief operating officer, Tahra Goraya, said in a statement. "We can use that discipline to help eliminate a major threat to public health." (MORE)