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“Quit Smoking” – City tells pupils marking world no tobacco day Print E-mail
31 May 2017

The City of Joburg’s Health Department has observed World No Tobacco Day by educating learners at the Destiny Charter School in the inner city, in Region F, about the dangers of smoking.

World No Tobacco Day is observed annually on 31 May, but the City commemorated this year’s event on Tuesday, 30 May. World No Tobacco Day was initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1987 and is used to focus efforts on creating awareness around the globe on health problems associated with tobacco use.

This year’s theme – “Tobacco: A Threat to Development” – sought to urge governments and the public to take drastic steps to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.

Region F Environmental Health Operations Manager Melinda Bisset said her office decided to mark the day at a school to discourage learners from smoking. “We hope that after our engagement with the learners they now know the dangers of using tobacco and won’t smoke,” said Bisset.

She said smoking and cancer claimed more than seven million lives every year worldwide. This, Bisset said called for drastic measures to be taken to create increased awareness on the dangers that the continuous use of tobacco could have on the body.

She said it was very difficult for smokers to break the habit but the City’s Environmental Health Department was always on hand to offer assistance to those who wanted to quit.

Environmental Health Practitioner Sibusiso Mchunu said cigarettes contained many dangerous chemicals. He told the learners that being around tobacco smoke was bad, “even if it’s someone else's smoke”.

"Although smoking is banned in many public places, many people are still exposed to secondary smoking, especially children who live with parents who smoke," said Mchunu.

He said children were particularly at risk of the effects of secondary smoking because their bodies were still tender and they breathed at a faster rate than adults. “You are our little champions and you should encourage people to quit smoking. Speak out when someone smokes in front of you because tobacco affects us all,” said Mchunu.

Destiny Charter School Principal Mhlanga said he believed the City’s visit would benefit his learners.

“I am glad that you chose to talk to these young people so they can continue to look after themselves,” said Mhlanga.
He said every time the school found out that there were learners experimenting with drugs it sent them to the South African National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (SANCA) for help.

“The learners were given a lot of information today. It is now up to them to make decisions that will be good for their lives,” concluded Mhlanga.

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Last Updated on 31 May 2017