Thursday marks World No Tobacco Day , and the Heart and Stroke Foundation and AfriForum have called on smokers to quit the dirty habit.
Julius Kleynhans, AfriForum’s Head of Environmental Affairs, said the day was an opportunity for people to stop smoking or to make environmentally responsible changes.“Smoking is very bad for your health, as is indicated on the packaging of all tobacco products, and causes about 5.4 million deaths worldwide every year,” said Kleynhans.
Kleynhans said that what the packaging of tobacco products did not indicate was that smoking was also harmful to the environment.“Cigarette butts that are thrown out of car windows, for example, pose a great risk to the environment, as they can cause veld fires,” he added.
AfriForum is concerned about the negative impact that tobacco products and their users, through their behaviour, have on the environment.“Tobacco products pollute various natural resources such as rivers. Sewage plants are under severe pressure and cigarette butts add to this problem by causing blockages in sewage water systems,” said Kleynhans.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation questioned why, “despite years of anti-tobacco lobbying… there remains an ‘awareness gap’ when it comes to the link between smoking and heart disease?”
The foundation noted that a new report showed that in most parts of the world, large proportions of the population did not know that second-hand smoke caused heart disease. The damage done by second-hand smoke is a significant danger, killing more than 400 000 adults every year, with 87 percent of these deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease, the report found.
But Dr Vash Mungal-Singh, the chief executive of the foundation, called for a dual approach in this case: further legislation to severely restrict smoking in public places and continued awareness-raising campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke.
“We are delighted that the new regulations tackle this issue and commend our minister of health, Dr Motsoaledi, for his proactive and visionary stance,” said Mungal-Singh. “These regulations show significant improvements in relation to the comprehensiveness of the embedded elements and pertinent definitions.”
This World No Tobacco Day, Smokefree electronic cigarettes urges tobacco users all over the world to switch to e-cigarettes, the healthier alternative. SMOKEFREE is India’s First Electronic Cigarette Brand, established in 2011. Our purpose is to provide an healthier alternative to harmful tobacco cigarettes.