NW Health MEC reminds the public of the risks associated with smoking
As the world 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 Organization (WHO) in 1987 designated May 31 as World No Tobacco Day. The day aims to raise awareness of the dangerous diseases that can be caused by smoking.
This year’s theme was “Commit to Stop”, which is of significant importance in the current era of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we commemorate World No Tobacco Day, I would like to take this opportunity to urge our communities to make a commitment to quit smoking, especially in the midst 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 the coronavirus,” Sambatha said.
The day, as the name suggests, aims to raise awareness of the harmful effects of smoking.
According to the Smoke-Free Foundation, smokers in South Africa smoke around 27 billion cigarettes per year, or an average of 3,771 cigarettes per smoker per year.
The department said the commemoration took place as the Northwest Province was experiencing a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.
The government urged communities to guard against “pandemic fatigue” and step up preventive measures to escape a third wave of severe infections, especially in the districts of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Ngaka Modiri Molema.
“All preventive measures must be used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why a decision to quit smoking is strongly recommended to reduce the number of serious health cases, which could lead to a rate of d high hospitalization and threaten the health system.
“Communities are invited to respond today to the international call to ‘Commit to Resign’,” said Sambatha.
(With contributions from the South African government press release)