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Affinity Health on Anti-tobacco Campaign Month

Affinity Health aims to light up awareness about the impact of smoking on all aspects of society and life and the many dangers associated with cigarettes.


What are the dangers of smoking?

May is Anti-Tobacco Campaign month and the perfect time to nip smoking in the butt!


Smoking is known as a “dirty habit”, and there are many reasons why.


Did you know that about 44,000 South Africans die from tobacco-related diseases annually?


It’s no secret: Everyone is aware of the damaging impact smoking has on our health. Research shows that cigarettes will kill half of those who smoke. CDC says, “For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.”


Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It also increases the risk for TB, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Smoking impacts negatively on other areas, too:

  • It costs the South African economy enormously due to increased healthcare costs and decreased productivity.
  • It reduces family budgets – taking money away from essential items.
  • Worldwide, tobacco farming results in global deforestation of two to four percent each year.
  • Cigarette manufacturing produces over 2 million tons of solid waste each year.
  • Smoking causes premature ageing, stained teeth, and makes you smell like a used ashtray.
  • Smoking dulls your sense of smell and taste.
  • Smoking affects your life insurance and medical aid premiums. If you’re a smoker, you’re deemed a “high-risk client”, and are therefore charged more.
  • Smoking can affect your fertility, according to org


If you think having just one cigarette a day won’t do any harm, you’re wrong. Researchers say lighting up just once a day can increase risks of heart disease and stroke.


What is a cigarette made of?

The Cancer Society Helpline states that cigarettes contain almost 600 ingredients and additives that generate more than 7 000 chemicals when they burn. Many of those chemicals are poisonous, and at least 69 of them are linked to cancer.


Cancer Research UK explains that some of these ingredients include:

  • Acetone (found in nail polish remover)
  • Acetic acid (an ingredient in hair dye)
  • Ammonia (a common household cleaner)
  • Arsenic (used in rat poison)
  • Nicotine (used as an insecticide)
  • Tar (material for paving roads)
  • Toluene (used to manufacture paint)
  • Benzene (found in rubber cement)
  • Butane (used in lighter fluid)
  • Cadmium (active component in battery acid)
  • Carbon monoxide (released in car exhaust fumes)
  • Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
  • Hexamine (found in lighter fluid)
  • Lead (used in batteries)
  • Naphthalene (an ingredient in mothballs)
  • and even Methanol (a main component in rocket fuel)


Why quitters are winners

Ask anyone who has successfully stopped smoking, and they’ll tell you that although quitting smoking is difficult, it is so worth it.


“Quitting smoking means breaking the cycle of addiction and essentially rewiring the brain to stop craving nicotine. To be successful, smokers who want to quit need to have a plan to beat cravings and triggers,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“With so many options available to help you on your journey to good health from non-prescription and prescription medications, you can successfully stop cigarettes and go on to live a longer and happier life. The sooner a smoker quits, the faster they will reduce their risk of cancer, heart and lung disease, and other conditions related to smoking.”

Read more on How Your Lungs Work

A healthy lifestyle is paramount to keeping your organs healthy. Smoking is particularly damaging to the lungs.

Many exercises can also increase lung capacity. Your lung capacity is the total amount of air that your lungs can hold. It turns out that people’s lung capacity and lung function typically decrease as we age.


Healthline suggests diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale through your nose for two seconds, feeling the air move into your abdomen and feeling your stomach move out. Your stomach should move more than your chest does.


Breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips while pressing on your abdomen.




Having health insurance helps you stay healthy and gives you the option of getting medical care, at any time. This is why Affinity Health aims to make affordable healthcare available to all South Africans with healthcare plans designed to suit people’s health and financial needs.

Affinity Health is passionate about quality healthcare. Using special expertise to create a range of options, including Day-to-Day and Hospital plans. Health insurance, if anything, offers you peace of mind.


About Affinity Health

Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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