#Budget2019: How this could have netted the country 17.1-billion — & saved lives

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has a tough job, and the nation will be reminded of this today as the minister makes his annual budget speech. Saving the country’s embattled state-owned enterprises such as the national airline carrier and Eskom may be at the top of his list. But in an era of tight budgets and rising disease rates, Mboweni’s speech should also focus on something else: tobacco taxes. Under apartheid, the government had a cosy relationship with the tobacco industryand tobacco control policies were nearly non-existent, the authors of a 2003 World Bank book argue. But since the advent of democracy, the government has consistently increased excise taxes, on tobacco goods each year.

Q&A: Everything you need to know about the plain packaging of cigarettes

What is plain packaging? When cigarettes boxes have plain packaging, it means that they do not have promotional, marketing and advertising features like branding and logos and only have large pictures showing the harm of smoking, which can serve as a health warnings. All cigarette boxes essentially look the same and are indistinguishable. Each pack will have the brand name, product name, the quantity and the manufacturer’s contact details on the packaging. But these will be done in a standard typeface along with the other mandatory information such as health warnings and tax stamps. Why should countries have plain packaging of cigarettes? Research shows that branding, colours and logos on

Budget 2019:  Well done on tackling illicit trade Minister Mboweni, it’s a pity you didn’t raise tob

Media release The National Council Against Smoking welcomes Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s bold measures to tackle South Africa’s problems with the illicit trade in cigarettes. Mboweni told South Africa that a new Revenue Service Commissioner would be appointed, the Illicit Economy Unit would be reintroduced, and the capacity and IT challenges at the revenue service would be addressed. These changes, along with the announced new Investigative Directorate in the National Prosecuting Authority, will be crucial in eliminating the illicit trade. However,we are disappointed by the minister’s insignificant increase of R1.14 in taxes on cigarettes. This increase is lower than last year’s increase

The dangers of second-hand smoke: what the research shows

One of the proposals in the Draft Tobacco Control Bill is to introduce 100% smoke-free public places. The National Council Against Smoking supports this proposal because there is evidence that this will protect the health of non-smokers and also encourages smokers to stop smoking. Tobacco smoke can move through air ducts, wall and floor cracks, elevator shafts, and along crawl spaces to contaminate units on other floors, even those that are far from the smoke. Second-hand smoke cannot be controlled with ventilation, air cleaning, or by separating smokers from non-smokers. The logic is that exposure to second-hand smoke as well as the pollution from tobacco smoke are key risk factors for non-

Bright eyed and bushy tailed ... NCAS helps first year university students #besmokefree

There was a hustle and a bustle on university campuses in Johannesburg this week as first year university students descended on campuses to start their journeys of their new lives. The National Council Against Smoking made sure it had a presence on the campuses and took the opportunity to launch their #besmokefree campaign. #besmokefree is a chance for students to tell their story:​ why they don't smoke, why they're trying to quit, why they're struggling to stop smoking, how they or their family members have been affected by smoking and what they're going to do to stay smoke-free in 2019. ​They were encouraged to join the #besmokefree movement and to sign the petition to show their support o