Friday, 31 May 2013 marks World No Tobacco Day where the spotlight is focused on the dangers of using tobacco, as well as what people around the world can do to protect their health – all with the aim of encouraging the adoption of healthy habits for now and for future generations.
If you are a smoker you may turn a blind eye against all the health warnings and lectures about smoking – but that doesn’t change the fact that there are 69 different chemicals in cigarette smoke 1that cause cancer, all of which you are exposed to every time you light up. Added to this is the fact that 44 000 South Africans die from smoking related illnesses every year.
These are scary facts. Smoking is also detrimental to those around you – loved ones included. Research 2shows that non-smokers who breathe second hand smoke are also at risk of developing heart and lung disease because second hand smoke actually contains more carbon monoxide and nicotine than first-hand smoke.
With all of this in mind it is understandable why life insurers charge smokers a higher premium than they would for non-smokers. While it is never as easy to stop, research finds that if you can refrain from smoking for two years, chances are that you will not start again – surely that is worth listening to3.
So this World No Tobacco Day, make a positive change for you and your loved ones. It’s never too late to stop and within just eight hours of your last cigarette, blood oxygen and carbon monoxide levels in the body normalise and, within 24 hours, the risk of a heart attack or stroke already starts to decrease.2
Give yourself a gift on this day, the gift of your health.