E-cigarettes are proving to be more dangerous than they were first thought to be

When e-cigarettes were first introduced, they were mooted as a tool that could help people stop smoking. The industry pushed them as a product that could replace cigarettes and other tobacco products because they were supposed to be less harmful. But as more research into the effects of these new devices becomes available globally, there is increasing evidence that shows that these devices are actually more detrimental than they were first thought to be. E-cigarettes – or electronic cigarettes -- are battery-operated devices. It heats a fluid so that a dose of vaporised nicotine is emitted which the user inhales. Unlike with cigarettes, smoke does not go into the lungs. And many proponents

Smoke, spies and lies: Should you throw away your e-cigarette?

South Africa’s top public health experts sat down to discuss the safety of e-cigarettes. The verdict? Stay away. The woman picks up her black leather briefcase, and with her head high, marches out of the conference room of the postgraduate club house at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She’s dressed in a sleek, black skirt and polo neck. From the back of the room, a man in a light blue shirt gets up and follows his colleague out. The room is packed to capacity with public health researchers, scientists and activists. They look on in shocked silence until the door slams shut behind them. A few moments earlier, the modish woman and her associate made the error of identifyin

E-cigarettes: mounting evidence shows the dangers of these new devices

South Africa’s public health community has been gathering evidence that shows e-cigarettes are more dangerous than first thought and that their use may have widespread effects. E-cigarettes – or electronic cigarettes -- are battery-operated devices that emit doses of vaporised nicotine, or non-nicotine solutions for the users to inhale. Speaking at a scientific evidence sharing round table, a panel of researchers, doctors and professors explained why the current promotion of e-cigarettes by tobacco manufacturers is extremely dangerous and problematic in South Africa. The round table was organised by the National Council Against Smoking in conjunction with the University of Cape Town, the Uni

Most political parties snub draft tobacco control bill survey

Only two out of eight popular South African political parties responded to a survey to test their stance on the draft tobacco control bill. According to executive director for the National Council Against Smoking, Savera Kalideen, eight political parties including the ANC, DA and Azapo had been requested to share their views on whether they support the bill ahead of the election. Kalideen, who spoke during a briefing, said they were disappointed when only two parties - Good and the ACDP - responded positively to the online survey despite numerous appeals. She said the survey was meant to drive awareness about the importance of the bill while also informing members on how political parties in

Priority is your vote, but not your health

THE manifesto period has already begun. The ANC kicked it off on Jan- uary 8 with their manifesto launch. They spoke about all the improve- ments they’ve brought since the advent of democracy 25 years ago, and provided an extensive list of “if-we- win” promises. Next up was the EFF on February 2, again with grand declarations of what they will do post-elections if they win. And the DA took to the stage to launch theirs on February 23. Even Patricia De Lille’s new kid on the block, Good, took a seat at the table to engage ordi- nary citizens, as did the UDM. Their manifestos have all been peppered with promises – and key in these long lists were how they would improve health care in South Afr