No tabacco

2018-05-16 06:00
A lit up cigarette in the hands of a young man.PHOTO: Samkelisiwe gumede

A lit up cigarette in the hands of a young man.PHOTO: Samkelisiwe gumede

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SMOKERS are more likely to have a heart attack than those who have never smoked and on average a smoker dies 13 to 14-years earlier than none smokers, according to the British Heart Foundation.

World No Tabacco Day 2018 will be observed on May 31 with the focus on the impact tobacco has on cardiovascular health. The day coincides with a range of global initiatives and opportunities aimed at addressing the tobacco epidemic and its impact on public health.

Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) said: “Smoking triples the risk of having a heart attack and doubles the risk of having a stroke.” Community members are urged to be mindful of tobacco and the effects they carry.

A doctor at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital Dr Nondumiso Khumalo said: “Throughout my years of practice I have seen so many cases of heart failure and lung-related diseases caused by excessive smoking. Some people do not understand the dangers of smoking and also secondary smoking.” Khumalo added that it could be the lack of education that people use tobacco excessively but she argues that the packaging of the cigarettes have in bold that smoking kills and causes cancer.

Winston Park resident Alex Reed said he hates cigarettes and the environmental as well as health damages it causes. “Driving through the area I constantly see smokers who throw their cigarette butts on the ground, and it makes streets look filthy. It also a gateway addictive substance that could lead to more dangerous addictions.

“I hope that someday cigarettes will become illegal.” Another elderly resident, Jerry Chetty said he is always upset when he sees the ‘younger generation’ smoking.

“These children are just out of school, and the legal age limit to smoke is only 18. If they start out so young in life it can turn to an addiction. “We need to protect our youth from heading down such destructive paths,” added Chetty.


Smoking damages the lining of your arteries. This leads to a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) and the artery narrows, which can cause chest pain, a heart attack or a stroke


Research shows that exposure to second hand tobacco smoke – also known as passive smoking – can lead to heart disease in non-smokers. This means that even you are not a smoker, your heart may be at risk if you are exposed to second-hand smoke from those around you who do smoke.


While the argument for giving up smoking is really strong, quitting an addictive habit like smoking can be tough. Maybe you’ve tried before and failed? Never give up giving up! Many people try to quit smoking several times before they kick the habit for good.


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