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Smoking a little is just as bad – Dr. Tapela

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The idea that occasional smoking does not do any harm is a dangerous myth, District Officer at Humana People to People Botswana (HPPB), Sam Rantsho has said, following the launch of a new project on the dangers of smoking in Botswana that the organisation is undertaking.

The African Capacity Building Foundation through, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, awarded the HPPB a grant for P1.2 million to implement the project in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Wellness. “Social smokers often don’t think of themselves as smokers, so they don’t believe the health warnings about smoking apply to them. But the bottom line is, every cigarette exposes your body to harmful chemicals.” Rantsho said. He believes that even if a person smokes only occasionally; they are still exposed to long-term risks. As well as lung cancer, there are at least 13 other cancers linked with smoking.

According to Rantsho, the year-long project, which will be implemented in Gaborone and Gantsi is aimed at raising awareness on the risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for smoke-free environments within public areas. Several activities are planned for awareness creation including sensitisation workshops, which will be held with hotel and restaurant owners, media, civil society organisations and community leaders.

Adding to Rantsho’s sentiments, the head of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Neo Tapela, said an occasional cigarette is also connected to a host of other illnesses including cataracts, reduced fertility, an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (where the pregnancy develops outside the uterus) and weak bones. However, the direct health effects of social smoking are only part of the problem.

Dr Tapela said because smoking is highly addictive, smoking “a little” can easily turn into smoking more. “Non-daily smokers who smoke over three packs a month are just as likely to still be smoking after 14 years as daily smokers,” she said. She noted that many social smokers binge smoke when they do smoke, rather than just having a cigarette or two. “At present we have no way of knowing how readily a person will become addicted to nicotine until after the event, when they have become addicted. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to mankind, so experimenting in that space is not smart,” she said, stressed that the only safe strategy is not to smoke at all.

There is some good news however, according to Dr Tapela, and that is, as soon as one stops smoking, the body starts to recover. Within 12 hours of your last cigarette, blood carbon monoxide levels are much lower and after a year, the risk of coronary heart disease will be half of what it once was as a smoker. For social smokers wanting to quit, she said it could help to ask friends to discourage you from smoking in social situations. “Cutting down on alcohol can also help some social smokers who tend to smoke more when they drink. And you might think about the people around you who have to breathe in the smoke you exhale,” she concluded.

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Church distances itself from Pastor who livestreamed his suicide

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Head Pastor at Metsimotlhabe Holiness Union Church France Koosimile has distanced his church from Phenyo Godfrey who committed suicide live on social media a week ago. Speaking to this publication this week, Koosimile said Godfrey was never a Pastor at Holiness church as assumed by many.

Godfrey, who goes by the name Bishop P Godfrey on social media, allegedly shot a video of himself committing suicide on Sunday evening. According to a few friends and those close to Godfrey, the deceased was from Molepolole and has been identified as a pastor at Holiness Union Church in Metsimotlhabe.

On the evening  of Sunday last week, he went live on Facebook and proceeded to put a rope around his neck. He was seen in the short video hanging by the neck until he took his last breath. TO READ THE FULL STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S (11 August 2021)  PRINT EDITION OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.

 

 

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Women challenged to step-up food production

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National Development Bank CEO, Lorato Morapedi has challenged women to take up more agribusiness ventures to cut down on the country’s food import bill.
With an annual P7 billion food import bill hanging over the country, Morapedi said women can significantly trim it down. “We need to get out of our comfort zones, let’s open our eyes and seize the opportunities,” said Morapedi, adding that women need to work in groups.
She emphasized that women should leverage on collective expertise found in clusters to grow the country’s food production sector.
“Grab the opportunities that exist with the food value chain,” she said, citing that women have been hard-hit by COVID-19 in their endeavors to put food on the table.
She further implored women not to shy away from finance development institutions (FDIs) to finance their projects. Morapedi bemoaned that a handful people are willing to go into food production despite the high import food bill that the country faces.
Very few people are doing food production; people are lazy to go into food production,” said Morapedi. She also highlighted that the country’s major supplier, South Africa is also not coping as COVID-19 challenges unravel.
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