World no tobacco day: smokers challenged to abstain for 24 hours

2011-05-31 00:00

TODAY is World No Tobacco Day, as declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The annual event is meant to encourage 24 hours of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the world to draw attention to the negative health effects of smoking.

The Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) says tobacco products cause around six million deaths worldwide every year.

In South Africa 144 000 people die from tobacco-related diseases every year.

Smoking causes lung cancer and is the single greatest cause of heart disease.

The WHO estimates that by 2020 smoking will have caused more deaths than HIV, TB, maternal mortality, car accidents, suicide and murder combined.

This year’s No Tobacco Day has as its theme the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The treaty has been signed by 170 countries, including South Africa, and obliges countries to protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke, ensure that cautionary labelling is displayed on tobacco packaging and to make use of price and tax measures to act as disincentives to smokers.

The focus of Cansa’s No Tobacco campaign 2011 is to create growing awareness about people’s right to live in a smoke-free world.

Cansa is selling stickers at a cost of R5 each, and is appealing to all schools, businesses and individuals to support the No Smoking Campaign.

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