Smokers challenged to quit for 24 hours

The 31st of May is World No Tobacco Day and the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) is challenging all smokers to quit smoking for a 24-hour period on this day.


May is Anti-Tobacco month, which culminates with World No Tobacco Day when the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on smokers to say no to tobacco.


ICPA, through its Pharmacists Against Tobacco campaign, is joining the WHO in urging smokers to quit this deadly habit – starting with just 24 hours on World No Tobacco Day.

Jackie Maimin, acting CEO of the ICPA, says that this 24-hour challenge is a way for smokers to take that first achievable step towards quitting without feeling overwhelmed at the thought of never smoking again.

“Going smoke-free for 24 hours is an achievement and often gives the smoker the confidence to continue for another 24 hours – by taking it one day at a time the ultimate goal of becoming an ex-smoker becomes achievable.  Smokers can visit their local community pharmacies to get advice and help to get them through those first few hours, days or weeks,” says Maimin.

The ICPA advises that community pharmacies across South Africa have committed their support to the World Health Organizations’ anti-tobacco initiative through the Pharmacists Against Tobacco campaign and aim to alert smokers to the benefits of stopping smoking and to help them take the needed action to eliminate tobacco use from their lives.

“Pharmacists are ideally placed to advise people on how to stop smoking as they are easily accessible in pharmacies across South Africa, many of which are open for extended trading hours.  Pharmacists are also experts on medicines and are experienced in patient counseling and support.”

We hope to encourage as many smokers as possible to go completely smoke-free for 24 hours on 31st May.

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 and currently there is no cure for COPD.
  • 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 factor- accounting for approximately 44 000 deaths every year in South Africa.
  • Smoking has been found to harm nearly every bodily organ and organ system in the body and diminishes a person’s overall health.
  • Being exposed to second hand smoke slows the growth of children’s lungs and can cause them to cough, wheeze, and feel breathless.
  • Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

“Whether you are looking for a detailed plan to help you quit smoking, seeking some advice on nicotine patches or anything in between, talk to your local community pharmacist.  Stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you.”

For more information on how to Stop Smoking visit your local pharmacy or visit the Facebook page:

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