Kick the habit: free smoking cessation workshop

May is World no tobacco month and Mopani Pharmacy is supporting the campaign by hosting a free smoking cessation workshop on the 16th from 11am till 12pm at their Crossing store.

A training officer from the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer will be sharing information and tips on smoking cessation to help those wishing to quit smoking.

Although the dangers of smoking are well documented, millions of people still light up. It is however important to realize that the habit is also harmful to those near you. Non-smokers who breathe in second & third-hand tobacco smoke take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. Especially children suffer with short term exposure causing increased rates of respiratory infections, pneumonia, asthma, colic and invasive meningitis. Longer term exposure leads to decreased lung function, dental decay, increased rates of malignancies and metabolic syndrome. Parents who smoke should know that there is no safe level of exposure to second & third-hand tobacco smoke and restricting smoking to a designated location in the home results in only negligible decreases in second & third-hand smoke exposure.

According to a World Health Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic in 2009 more than 4000 chemicals have been identified in tobacco smoke. Of these at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 to cause cancer. Some chemicals contained in cigarettes include stearic acid (candle wax), methanol (rocket fuel), methane (sewer gas), carbon monoxide (exhaust gas), nicotine (insecticide), butane (lighters), acetic acid (vinegar) and ammonia (detergent).

The good news is that smoking cessation results in a substantial, if not complete, reversal of the health risks associated with tobacco smoke. Within eight hours of stopping nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half, oxygen levels return to normal and circulation improves. Within 24 hours all carbon monoxide and nicotine are eliminated from the body and within 48 hours the ability to taste and smell improves. Within one month skin loses its greyish pallor and becomes less wrinkled and within three to nine months coughing and wheezing declines. Within two years the risk of a heart attack reduces by half compared to that of a smoker and within 10 years the risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. Within 15 years the risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.

Enquiries: Vincent Morse on 013 755 5548.

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