World No Tobacco Day 31 May 2016 | Western Cape Government

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2016
Associated GC: 
(Western Cape Government)

World No Tobacco Day 31 May 2016

31 May 2016

“The choice to quit smoking can have a positive effect on your health and lifestyle, including reducing the risk of cancer and respiratory diseases, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, breathing better and being able to walk without shortness of breath and having more physical energy,” said Western Cape Minister of Health Nomafrench Mbombo.

To encourage people to actively start changing their lifestyle habits, the Western Cape Government continues to spread healthy lifestyle messages through the Western Cape on Wellness (WOW) program which was launched last year. Smoking contributes to an unhealthy lifestyle and increases the risk of cancer of the lungs, oesophagus, mouth, bladder, pancreas, kidney, stomach, cervix and breast. Smoking during pregnancy and exposure to second-hand smoke are both linked to miscarriages, low birth weights and stillbirths. Babies who breathe in second-hand smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Therefore through the WOW initiative, the Western Cape Government is determined to build a healthy resilient and wellness conscious society.

In a bid to continue promoting a healthy society, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling on countries to get ready for plain (standardised) packaging of tobacco products. World No Tobacco Day, which is celebrated annually on the 31 May, is focussing on the theme “Get ready for plain packaging,” which refers to “measures to restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on the packaging of tobacco products. 

To commemorate World No Tobacco Day, the Western Cape Department of Health has highlighted key messages to raise awareness about tobacco use:  

“The choice to quit smoking can have a positive effect on your health and lifestyle, including reducing the risk of cancer and respiratory diseases, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, breathing better and being able to walk without shortness of breath and having more physical energy,” said Western Cape Minister of Health Nomafrench Mbombo.

To encourage people to actively start changing their lifestyle habits, the Western Cape Government continues to spread healthy lifestyle messages through the Western Cape on Wellness (WOW) program which was launched last year. Smoking contributes to an unhealthy lifestyle and increases the risk of cancer of the lungs, oesophagus, mouth, bladder, pancreas, kidney, stomach, cervix and breast. Smoking during pregnancy and exposure to second-hand smoke are both linked to miscarriages, low birth weights and stillbirths. Babies who breathe in second-hand smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Therefore through the WOW initiative, the Western Cape Government is determined to build a healthy resilient and wellness conscious society.

In a bid to continue promoting a healthy society, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling on countries to get ready for plain (standardised) packaging of tobacco products. World No Tobacco Day, which is celebrated annually on the 31 May, is focussing on the theme “Get ready for plain packaging,” which refers to “measures to restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on the packaging of tobacco products. 

To commemorate World No Tobacco Day, the Western Cape Department of Health has highlighted key messages to raise awareness about tobacco use:  

  • Bans on tobacco advertising lower tobacco use.
  • Tobacco is the leading cause of death and illness. 
  • Tobacco is a killer. 
  • Second-hand smoke poses a greater health hazard to non-smokers. 
  • Tobacco users need help to quit. 
  • Health warnings and pictures work. 
  • Taxes discourage tobacco use. 

Health Benefits if you stop smoking:

  • Within 20 minutes your heart rate and blood pressure will drop, and in 12 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. 
  • Your circulation improves and your lung function increases within two to 12 weeks. 
  • Coughing and shortness of breath decreases within one to nine months, and your risk of coronary heart disease decreases. 
  • Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker within five to 15 years. 
  • Your risk of lung cancer and cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas decreases within 10 years. 
  • Decreases the excess risk of many diseases related to second-hand smoke in children, such as respiratory diseases (asthma) and ear infections. 
  • Healthy, full-term pregnancies and increased fertility.
Media Enquiries: 


Monique Johnstone 
Communications Officer: 
Southern/Western and Mitchells Plain/Klipfontein substructures
Western Cape Government Health
Landline:    021 202 0929
Mobile:        079 908 4856
Email:        monique.johnstone@westerncape.gov.za