oa Professional Nursing Today - Smoking cessation : evidence based practice : evidence based practice
Smoking is the leading worldwide cause of preventable morbidity and premature death. In South Africa (SA), tobacco smoking ranks third out of 17 mortality risk factors and this translates to approximately 15% of deaths within the population over the age of 35. Research has linked an alarmingly high number of diseases to smoking. These include, among others, cancers of the lung, cervix, pancreas and kidneys, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Furthermore, the dangers of maternal smoking to infants are clearly defined in literature; risks of premature birth, sudden infant death syndrome and low birth weight are all disproportionately higher in smoking versus non-smoking mothers. Of the numerous tobacco attributable illnesses, lung cancer accounts for the majority of deaths in developed countries, while, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis accounts for the most deaths in developing countries, including South Africa.
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