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Public Reminded of the Risks Associated with Smoking

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As the globe commemorated World No Tobacco Day on Monday, North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha reminded the public of the risks associated with smoking.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1987 designated 31 May as World No Tobacco Day. The day aims to sensitise people about the hazardous diseases that can be caused by smoking.

The theme this year was ‘Commit to Quit’, which assumes significant importance in the present times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we commemorate World No Tobacco Day, I would like to take this opportunity to urge our communities to commit themselves towards quitting smoking, especially in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As scientific evidence has pointed out, smokers are at a higher risk of developing serious health complications when they contract Coronavirus,” said Sambatha.

The day, as the name suggests, is meant to raise awareness about the adverse effects of smoking.

According to the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, smokers in South Africa smoke approximately 27 billion cigarettes per year, or an average of 3 771 cigarettes per smoker annually.

The department said the commemoration came at the time when the North West province is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

Government has urged communities to guard against “pandemic fatigue” and strengthen preventative measures to evade a severe third wave of infections, especially in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Ngaka Modiri Molema districts.

“All preventative measures must be used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore a decision to stop smoking is highly recommended to reduce the number of serious health cases, which might lead to a high hospitalisation rate and threaten the healthcare system.

“Communities are urged to heed the international call to ‘Commit to Quit’ today,” said Sambatha. – SAnews

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