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Smoking clouds the battle against Tuberculosis<p>As we embark on Tuberculosis Awareness Month and World TB Day on 24 March 2020, the City’s Health Department reminds the public of the devastating link between smoking and TB.</p><p>South Africa continues to struggle with exceptionally high rates of TB infections.</p><p>And, while the World Health Organisation has reported that TB infection rates have started declining globally, the rate at which this is happening is slow and therefore requires ongoing intervention, education and awareness.</p><p>The City advocates for regular testing for TB and other diseases, and for affected persons to start treatment as soon as a positive diagnosis is made.</p><p>However, we also need to consider the various factors that amplify the risk of contracting TB.</p><p>Research shows that smokers are more susceptible to contracting TB, because the ability of their lung cells to fight infection is diminished.</p><p>Smoking while on treatment for TB also affects treatment completion, cure rates, and relapse rates in patients. Smokers are about twice as likely to contract TB, and die from TB, as non-smokers.</p><p>It is therefore no coincidence that areas or communities with high rates of smoking will also experience high rates of TB and other lung diseases.</p><p>South Africa already has very stringent tobacco legislation, and the National Department of Health is currently finalising the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill, which will further advance the quest for more smoke-free environments.</p><p>But ultimately the goal is to convince more people to quit the habit altogether.</p><p>In recent years, we have seen the proliferation of alternative smoking devices, or vaping. Currently, there is very little regulation around the use of these devices, and more and more people – including young people – have started using them.</p><p>There are many questions about the health impacts, and one can’t help but be concerned about how it will affect our fight against TB and other lung diseases in the future. </p><p>The reality is that any activity that impairs lung function can have far-reaching health consequences for the individual, but also those around them who are exposed to their second-hand smoke.</p><p>Smokers who want to quit, can turn to the following resources for more information:</p><p><strong>National Council Against Smoking Quitline: </strong><a><strong>011 720 3145</strong></a><strong> </strong><br><strong>CANSA Call Centre: </strong><a><strong>0800 22 66 22</strong></a><br><a href="" target="_blank"><strong></strong></a><br><strong>Patient resources: </strong><a href="" target="_blank"><strong></strong></a></p><p> <br> <strong>End</strong></p>2020-02-29T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#413548c2-a54f-46e4-b80d-76181c4aa8b8;L0|#0413548c2-a54f-46e4-b80d-76181c4aa8b8|TB;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#0f4c8d10-0390-4e6a-8b31-f8fc334ac91f;L0|#00f4c8d10-0390-4e6a-8b31-f8fc334ac91f|clinic;GP0|#0444969c-27e4-469c-a8d6-8a6eca5685bd;L0|#00444969c-27e4-469c-a8d6-8a6eca5685bd|testing1

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