Government wants 100% smoking ban in public areas

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 coronary heart disease leading to what is commonly known as heart attacks. It causes several types of cancers, among them, lung cancer,” Phaahla said. He said that the government is moving to identify areas that need strengthening in terms of legislation. “We’re fin

New study finds vaping may increase the risk of oral disease, cancer

New US research has found that individuals who use e-cigarettes could be at risk of developing oral diseases in the future, which could range from gum disease to cancer. Carried out by researchers at The Ohio State University, the new study looked at a group of 123 people with no signs of oral disease. The group included 25 smokers, 25 non-smokers, 20 e-cigarette users, 25 former tobacco smokers who used e-cigarettes and 28 people who smoked both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The team collected plaque samples taken from under the gums of the participants to analyse the bacteria in this part of the mouth; bacteria here is the last line of defense against disease as it is the least like

World NO –Tobacco Day Press Release

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2020 is “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing nicotine and tobacco addiction in youth.” This is especially relevant to South Africa which has a youth population that uses a range of tobacco and nicotine products. Tobacco use is responsible for 42100 deaths in South Africa annually, and an estimated 80% of adult smokers begin smoking in their teenage years. Most smokers also report that they would like to stop smoking, but struggle to do so. Nicotine in e-cigarettes and tobacco products is a highly addictive drug and can damage children’s brain development, with exposure during this stage in their lives potentially causing lasting sever

Smoking and Covid-19: This is what the science says

There has been much debate about government's continued ban on the sale of vaping and tobacco products. Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosana Dlamini Zuma, a qualified medical practitioner, has been vilified for her insistence that the decision was based on scientific evidence. IOL asked an expert to explain the science linking smoking to increased health risks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is Professor Elvis Irusen's response: The science is unequivocally clear: A smoker has a greater than 10 x chance of getting Covid 19 pneumonia, being hospitalised, deteriorating to the point of needing intensive care and death. They now become a danger to others and put hea

Coronavirus in South Africa: Smokers fume at cigarette ban

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 through contacts in WhatsApp groups and arranges a covert meeting in order to get her nicotine fix. "Once you've found a seller you can trust, a meeting point or pick-up point is arranged," she said. 'No chance to stock up' Michelle, which is not her real name, is not the o

What the WHO says about smoking during Covid-19

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 that the ban contributes to a growing tobacco black market in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service (Sars) in April estimated that the country had lost just under R300 million in tax due to the ban. In his televised address, Ramaphosa said the sale of tobacco

South Africa’s ban on the sale of cigarettes could continue under level 3 lockdown

The imminent easing of lockdown rules in South Africa may bring no respite for smokers who’ve been contending with a tobacco sales ban for almost two months. Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whose department plays a key role in determining the lockdown rules, argued in favour of extending the ban when restrictions are next relaxed, according to three people who listened to an online presentation she gave to lawmakers this week. The stoppage is one of several coronavirus containment measures that have sparked public ire. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on April 23 that tobacco sales could resume from May 1, when the country moved from the top

College of Public Health Medicine statement on the prohibition of the sale of tobacco products under

"...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: a) Tobacco products remain one of the biggest single risk factors for premature death and disability in South Africa; b) Smoking is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 and probably increases risk for COVID- 19 infection; c) There is currently no credible evidence in support of the speculative hypothesis that nicotine might be protective; d) Public Health practitioners would be concerned about the misrepresentation of science regarding any protective effects of nicotin

The nudge you need to stop smoking

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, cough, sore throat and even nausea,” said Karen. Due to the ban, people have been forced to buy on the black market. These cigarettes are of poor quality and can be over four times more expensive, according to Karen. “We all know smoking cigarettes is bad for your health

South Africa Defends Ban On Cigarettes To Fight COVID-19

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 liberties, which form part of our daily lives, are hardly given a second thought in most circumstances. However, the arrival of COVID-19 has most people wondering if their lives will ever return to a version of “normal”. Among the civil liberties that some may be feelin

7 practical tips to help you quit smoking

While quitting smoking during lockdown hasn’t necessarily been a willing choice for Mzansi's smokers, it’s a reality that many are having to come to grips with since the government's U-turn on allowing the sale of cigarettes in level 4. If you find yourself in short supply, or have already run out of smokes completely, here are some practical tips from the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) and the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) to help you cope as you kick the habit: 1. Decide on a date to quit Unfortunately the decision to quit has been made for you, thanks to the cigarette ban — but if you are to succeed, it’s a decision you will have to embrace. If you have a few cigaret

Confused about heat-not-burn tobacco products and e-cigarettes? Learn more about the differences.

Tobacco companies have introduced new products (e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco), in a bid to transform tobacco and ‘unsmoke’ the world. While the unsubstantiated ‘95% safer’ claim for e-cigarettes has been invalidated by many scientists, the same claim cannot be directly transposed to heat-not-burn products. Both heat-not-burn and e-cigarettes are electronic devices and produce an inhalable aerosol but they are very different. E-cigarettes heat a flavored liquid which can contain nicotine to produce an aerosol. Growing evidence disproves claims that these products are less harmful. Showing that use of e-cigarettes carries high risk of strokes, cancers, respiratory and cardiovascular

HSRC question boom in illicit cigarette sales ahead of court battle

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 the ban lifted. Fita said that it does not deny the health risks of tobacco but says the ban has not stopped people from smoking, with the illicit trade of cigarettes being fuelled by an “illogical” ban. However, a report by the HSRC found that only 12% of smokers had

Trying to quit smoking during lockdown? Just Kick the Butt

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. Whatever you do, don't smoke the tea leaves. Maybe you should consider just kicking the habit for once and for all. With the government's ban on the sale of cigarettes under lockdown, there's no telling when it will end. But you don't have to go at it alone. The Cancer A

HSRC question boom in illicit cigarette sales ahead of court battle The HSRC have found that only 12

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 the ban lifted. MAJORITY OF PEOPLE UNABLE TO BUY SMOKES Fita said that it does not deny the health risks of tobacco but says the ban has not stopped people from smoking, with the illicit trade of cigarettes being fuelled by an “illogical” ban. However, a report by the

There was nothing sinister in tobacco ban decision, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says

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. “There is nothing sinister in a change of position following a consultative process ... in fact the very nature of consultation is that change may result,” Dlamini-Zuma stated in court papers filed late on Friday, in response to the urgent challenge to the tobacco ban by t

Smoking can worsen the virus effects

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 they were more likely than non-smokers to progress to a critical stage of the illness. He said the ban would help reduce the number of cases. Dr Ronel Sewpaul, a statistician from the Human Sciences Research Council, said two surveys indicated the majority of smokers who

Cigarette ban will ease pressure on health system, help social distancing, say experts

The ban on cigarettes sales has slowed the spread of Covid-19 and will ease pressure on the health system, a panel of experts found. A study conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) found that while illicit cigarettes continued to be sold, a majority of smokers had no access to them, leading to a number of gains against the pandemic. Results of the study were presented at a webinar hosted on Friday by the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Professor Mosa Moshabela, which looked at the national debate around smoking and Covid-19 and whether there was evidence to support the ban. "The majority of smokers, 88%, were not able to buy cigarettes during lockdown, suggestin

Government gets ally in cigarette ban case as lawyer body applies to join in

The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) will join the government in opposing the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) court challenge to the ban on sales of tobacco and related products. In a statement, Nadel said it would join the case as a friend of the court when Fita goes head-to-head with President Cyril Ramaphosa and co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Fita has filed an urgent application in the Pretoria high court. “Nadel has considered this application and the evidence of its experts [and] is of the view that it is in the best interest of society that cigarettes and tobacco product sales remain prohibited during t

WHO and scientists back SA’s ban on tobacco sales

Kicking the smoking habit shortly before Covid-19 infection is still a benefit, says the WHO’s representative in SA, Owen Kalua The World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as several research and civil society organisations have thrown their weight behind the government’s continued ban on tobacco sales as it begins to relax the lockdown, saying the prohibition would reduce the number of severe cases of Covid-19 and lessen the load on the health system. SA is among a tiny minority of countries that have imposed a ban on tobacco sales as part of its efforts to manage its Covid-19 epidemic, which has affected at least 6,000 people and killed more than 100. India and Botswana have also banned th