FEDUSA Supports World No Tobacco Day for a Healthy Working Class

1 June 2018

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) fully supports the global campaign to reduce the consumption of tobacco by people who are already habitual smokers and encourages young people to totally abstain from the harmful substance.

Notwithstanding the fact many workers are already heavy users of harmful tobacco products, FEDUSA believes it is never too late for them to quit the harmful habit as such action will have highly beneficial impact on their health and give them a huge sense of well being, cleanliness and self-confidence.

FEDUSA would like to see the state ban all forms of tobacco advertising and the strengthening of anti-tobacco by-laws that are already in place such the banning of smoking in public places and the warnings on cigarette packets and packaging.

The theme of this year “Tobacco and Heart Disease” correctly seeks to make the critical link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) including stroke, which combined, are the world’s leading causes of death and is a strong and appropriate conceptual platform upon which effective anti-tobacco awareness campaigns could be built in turn by the state and the trade union movement.

“Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Despite the known harms of tobacco to heart health, and the availability of solutions to reduce related death and disease, knowledge among large sections of the public that tobacco is one of the leading causes of CVD is low,” the World Health Organization warns in 2018 campaign statement.

“Cardiovascular diseases kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide, and tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to approximately 17% of all heart disease deaths. Tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure.

The global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest”.

Finally FEDUSA would like to encourage all workers in South Africa to embrace the principles encapsulated in World No Tobacco Day both for their own health and the health of their co-workers and families.

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FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research Officer

072 637 8096