Time to stub out that butt

2018-05-22 15:40
Photo: Stock Image

Photo: Stock Image

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May is Anti-Tobacco Campaign Month, culminating in World No Tobacco Day on Thursday 31 May, and the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) is urging South Africans to quit this deadly habit.

Besides damaging your lungs, smoking causes heart disease – smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as non-smokers, and tobacco use is the second biggest cause of heart disease after high blood pressure. 

“A person’s risk of heart disease and heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he/she smokes. Smokers increase their risk the longer they smoke,” says Jackie Maimin, CEO of ICPA.

“Smoking has been found to harm nearly every bodily organ and organ system in the body and the chance that a lifelong smoker will die prematurely from a complication of smoking is about 50%. In South Africa, tobacco smoking ranks third highest as a mortality risk factor, accounting for approximately 15% of deaths over the age of 35,” she says.

Community pharmacies across South Africa have committed their support to helping South Africans quit, says Maimin. 

“Pharmacists are medication experts who are active in patient counselling, medicine therapy management, adverse event monitoring plus identifying and solving medicine-related problems. They are ideally placed to advise and support people who wish to stop smoking,” she says.

ICPA is campaigning consumers to stop smoking, and community pharmacists are geared to help you by providing advice, says Maimin.

“Your pharmacist can help assess your level of nicotine dependence and give you recommendations on how best to approach quitting. They can give you detailed information on the various products available to help you quit smoking, many of which are available without a prescription,” advises Maimin.

 “Research shows that more than 75% of smokers would like to quit smoking and over one third of them go on to make a quit attempt each year. Unfortunately, only a small proportion, less than 5%, quit successfully. Quitting smoking is not easy and most smokers will make several attempts to quit before they are successful. Evidence also indicates that the most successful way to stop smoking is to plan, set a quit date, ask for support and use smoking cessation medicines to manage nicotine withdrawal. The community pharmacies are available to provide support and to increase your chance of successfully quitting smoking.” 

For more information on how to stop smoking, visit your local pharmacy or the “Love You to Stop” Facebook page.

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