MEC Madoda Sambatha cautions against dangers of smoking ahead of “World No Tobacco Day”

The MEC for the Department of Health in the North West Province, Madoda Sambatha calls on communities to take heed of the health risks associated with smoking tobacco products.

This is as the world gears itself to commemorate “World No Tobacco Day” on Tuesday, 31 May 2022 which was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1897 to sensitise people about the perilous diseases that may be caused by smoking.

“As we commemorate the World No Tobacco Day today, I could like take this opportunity to urge our communities to commit themselves towards quitting smoking especially in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific evidence has pointed out that smokers are at a higher risk of developing serious health complications when contracting the Coronavirus” said MEC Sambatha.

This commemoration comes at the time where the North West province is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

“Government appeals to communities especially the unvaccinated and vulnerable groups to guard against the creeping “pandemic fatigue”. We call on them to strengthen preventative measures which have been communicated to them to evade the pandemic”, the MEC urged.

The province has to date administered just over 2.2 million vaccines and we continue to encourage our people to register and get vaccinated” MEC Sambatha continued.

The commemorations will be observed under the theme ‘Protect the environment’, which assumes significant importance in the present times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Foundation for Free Smoke World, approximately 7 million people aged 15 years and older smoked in 2020. Smokers in South Africa smoke approximately 27 billion cigarettes per year or an average of 3,771 cigarettes per smoker annually.

Source: Government of South Africa