African News

May 31, 2020

South Africa’s government wants a 100% ban on smoking in public areas, with deputy health minister Joe Phaahla citing smoking as leading risk factor for death in the country.

The deputy minister said on Sunday (31 May), that the government is finalising a bill that will enforce a 100% prohibition of smoking in public areas.

The bill will also target the regulation of e-cigarettes and related products.

“Tobacco is a risk factor in...

May 26, 2020

The illicit trade in cigarettes in South Africa is now in full swing after the sale of tobacco was banned at the end of March as part of strict measures imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus, as the BBC's Pumza Fihlani reports.

Whereas once Michelle could go to her local shop in South Africa's commercial hub, Johannesburg, to buy cigarettes she is now having to do a secret deal.

The 29-year-old economist finds sellers throug...

May 25, 2020

Despite a French study suggesting smokers may have less risk of contracting the virus, the WHO said there is ‘currently insufficient information’ to confirm it.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening announced that tobacco sales will remain prohibited, while liquor sales will resume when the country enters lockdown Level 3 at the beginning of June.

This came despite strident calls for cigarette sales to be permitted, and th...

"...The College of Public Health Medicine is therefore in favour of the continued prohibition on the sale of tobacco products under the Level 4 lockdown."

In summary the evidence in the public health literature confirms that:

  1. a)  Tobacco products remain one of the biggest single risk factors for premature death and disability in South Africa;

  2. b)  Smoking is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 and probably increases risk f...

May 14, 2020

The tobacco ban has challenged many smokers since the beginning of lockdown.

Karen Griessel, a social worker at South African National Council on Alcoholism (Sanca) rehab centre in Wedge Gardens on Modderfontein Road recently spoke why smokers should consider quitting during this time.

“Smokers will have intense cravings, be irritated, may feel depressed and anxious and may even have slight flu symptoms, such as a headache, coug...

May 13, 2020

The decision to uphold the ban on the sale of cigarettes as the fight against COVID-19 continues, has many citizens fired up and wondering if government is not encroaching on civil liberties.

“People think that government is trying to force things down their throat,” says Dr Catherine Egbe, a specialist scientist of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit, at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).

Civil li...

May 11, 2020

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) will head to court on Tuesday 10 May to appeal the decision to extend the ban on the sale of cigarettes, however a report by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has found that the ban has reaped health benefits. 

British American Tobacco (BAT) might have backed out of a court showdown with the government, but Fita have every intention of fighting tooth and nail to see...

May 11, 2020

Everyone would have watched those funny Facebook videos by now of the aunties explaining how they're surviving the lockdown, from smoking their cigarettes down to the "stompie" or relying on the generosity of "friends" by buying a loose cigarette for R10. It's funny because it's true. 

If you're a smoker, you can relate. And by now if you're down to your last box, you're probably looking at those teabags in a different light. W...

May 10, 2020

U-turn was the result of consultations, co-operative governance minister says in court papers.

As the government faces an unprecedented level of legal challenges to its Covid-19 shutdown regulations, co-operative governance minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has strongly defended the state’s disputed decision to continue its cigarette ban and denied any suggestion that she and President Cyril Ramaphosa were “at odds” over it.

“Ther...

May 10, 2020

Durban - Smokers contracting Covid-19 are likely to to to a serious stage of the virus.

That was one of the findings presented by a panel of health experts during a virtual University of KwaZulu-­Natal Data Breakfast yesterday. 

And smokers were urged to give up the habit as the ban remains in place.

Professor Mosa Moshabela, an ex­pert in public health, said the ban was to protect smokers from Covid-19, with evidence showing the...

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