Sunday Tribune

Pharmacist­s getting behind anti-smoking fight


THE people most often at the front lines of illness are now also the ones at the forefront of a campaign to help people stop smoking.

Jackie Maimin, acting chief executive of the Independen­t Community Pharmacy Associatio­n (ICPA), explained that community pharmacies across South Africa have committed their support to participat­ing in the World Health Organisati­ons’ (WHO) anti-tobacco initiative “Pharmacist­s Against Tobacco”.

Participat­ing community pharmacist­s will be raising awareness around the dangers of tobacco smoke and the health benefits of stopping smoking.

The ICPA highlights a few reasons why you should quit smoking:

- Cigarettes contain arsenic, formaldehy­de, lead, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and 43 known carcinogen­s.

- Nearly 8 out of 10 COPD (chronic obstructiv­e pulmonary disease or emphysema) deaths are a result of smoking.

- 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 factoracco­unting for approximat­ely 44 000 deaths every year in South Africa.

- Smoking has been found to harm nearly every organ and organ system in the body.

- Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer.

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