Quit Smoking For A Healthier You

World No Tobacco Day, on the 31[i]

Allison Vienings, Executive Director of the Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa (SMASA), says the danger of tobacco is in the way it works. “Because there is a gradual decline in health over several years between the start of tobacco use and the physical sign of disease and illness, tobacco becomes an inconspicuous killer.” 

Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century and if current trends continue, it may cause one billion deaths in the 21st century.[ii] An approximate six million people worldwide die due to tobacco use annually, of which 600 000 are non-smokers dying from second hand-smoke.

In South Africa, an estimated 7.7 million adults use tobacco, with a staggering 29.5 billion cigarettes being consumed annually.[iii] Tobacco-related diseases kill over 44 000 South Africans annually, according to the World Health Organisation[iv].

“Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly becomes a wasted effort if you continue to smoke. Cigarettes contain more than 4 000 chemical compounds and at least 400 toxic substances, and include products such as tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide,” explains Vienings.[v]

If the ingredients contained in cigarettes do not leave a bad taste in your mouth, spare a thought for those around you. The health of non-smokers is compromised through exposure to second-hand smoke. Inhaling second-hand smoke increases a non-smoker’s risk of developing lung cancer or heart disease by about 25 percent.[vi]

Some of the diseases associated with second-hand smoke include heart disease, lung cancer and irritation of the eyes and nose in adults, and increased occurrences and worsening of asthma, coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and pneumonia in children and infants.[vii]

Smoking – The benefits of quitting:

The benefits of quitting can include a lower risk of diabetes, blood vessels function better, and helps the heart and lungs. “It’s never too late to start taking better care of your overall health and wellbeing and leading a healthier lifestyle,’’ says Vienings.

Though it’s best to quit while you’re younger, quitting at any age allows you to put a brake on the effects of smoking and to take back the life and health that would be lost through continued smoking. See SMASA’s infographic for more on the benefits of quitting.

“Regular exercise and substituting cigarettes with the disease-fighting nutrients of fruits and vegetables are some of the healthy options to fight cravings when trying to quit,[viii]’’ says Vienings. 

SMASA urges every South African to start taking better care of themselves through healthy eating, exercise and avoid lifestyle choices such as smoking that can lead to numerous health complications and disease.  

– ends –

DISTRIBUTED BY:  Lesley Gikas, Refresh Connect | + 27 21 887 4495 | lesley@refreshconnect.co.za

ON BEHALF OF: Allison Vienings| SMASA | + 27 82 416 3916 | smasa.cc@gmail.com

Note to the Editor:


  • The Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa (SMASA) was formed in 1999 to represent the interests of the manufacturers of non-prescription medicines.
  • It is dedicated to communicating the value of making healthy lifestyle choices and promoting responsible self-medication in South Africa to health professionals, health authorities and the public.
  • SMASA’s key objectives are to play a role in the promotion and support of health legislative matters, and interact with government, provincial administration, local authorities, other associations and statutory councils, in a bid to reduce and ultimately reverse the burden of long-term healthcare costs on consumers, funders and government. www.smasa.cc | www.selfcare247.co.za


Author: PR Officer

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