Cigarette butts stink – and are a major cause of plastic pollution

Around 15 billion cigarette butts are tossed on the ground by South Africans every year, and each one of them is not only a toxic chemical bomb, it is also yet another piece of non-biodegradable single-use plastic. The Covid-19 crisis has served as a stern reminder that the world cannot leave well-known threats unattended. Understandably health and economic concerns have taken priority but, it would be a grave error to ignore the looming environmental disasters, plastic pollution included. Various actors around the world and in South Africa have called for a “green” recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic to create a more sustainable economy and to prevent one crisis from leading to another. It

WHO statement on heated tobacco products and the US FDA decision regarding IQOS

WHO takes this opportunity to remind Member States that are Parties to the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) of their obligations under the Convention. Heated tobacco products are tobacco products, meaning that the WHO FCTC fully applies to these products. (Decision FCTC/COP8(22)) Specifically, Article 13.4(a) obliges Parties, to prohibit "all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship that promote a tobacco product by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions." WHO reiterates that reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in Heated Tobacco Products (

There’s nothing harmless about e-cigarettes, hookah pipes

Cape Town - The use of tobacco was diffused widely before its health effects were well understood and over decades scientists have made known to the world its devastating effects on health. While stronger policies are being implemented to curb the tobacco epidemic; the tobacco industry, desperate to maintain its market, continues to introduce new ways of consuming tobacco and nicotine. “Safer” cigarettes did not start today, “light” and “low-tar” cigarettes were marketed as having lower health risks, and these descriptors have since been prohibited in South Africa and all over the world, after it was shown that these were not “safer”. Menthol cigarettes have also been marketed as fresh, refr

1 in 3 young adults may be vulnerable to severe Covid-19, US study finds. Smoking could be to blame

One in three young adults have at least one risk factor that could result in severe COVID-19 infections, a new study found. The researchers determined that smoking was the most prevalent risk factor for people in their late teens and 20s. Other factors like underlying diseases or genetic differences could also put young people at risk of severe infection. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. It's become almost common knowledge that young people are less vulnerable to severe coronavirus infections. US adults from 18 to 49 made up around 25% of hospitalised coronavirus patients in March, whereas those 65 and older represented around 43%, according to the US Centers for Disease C

The tobacco industry’s hypocrisy on illicit trade

The tobacco industry has used the illicit tobacco trade – a problem it has itself fuelled – as an argument to rally against South Africa’s tobacco ban. This is a clear example of the industry’s deceitfulness and focus on profit at any cost to health. South Africa’s lockdown period in response to the Covid-19 pandemic included a temporary ban on the sale of tobacco and alcohol products. South Africa was one of a handful of countries to take such measures. The tobacco industry has been highly critical of the ban, with large companies like British American Tobacco South Africa (Batsa), Phillip Morris South Africa (PMSA), and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) as well as smaller local tobacco com

Latest on smoking and Covid-19: E-cigarettes, hookahs or tobacco - it may increase your risk

The first comparative study of the effects of three forms of smoking shows that it may increase the risk of being infected with Covid-19. Smoking in all its forms may increase your risk of contracting Covid-19. This comparative research is the first in the world to investigate three methods of smoking. Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases associated with smoking are comorbidities which can lead to severe Covid-19. As the ban on the sale of tobacco products in South Africa continues, there is some debate on whether cigarette smoking directly affects your risk of getting Covid-19. There have been investigations into the risk of smoking e-cigarettes vs traditional cigarettes, but there are f

Challenge to the tobacco ban goes up in smoke: High Court declares the prohibition of the sale of to

In order to curb the spread of COVD-19, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (“the Minister”) issued regulations prohibiting the sale of tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products (“the tobacco prohibition”). This prohibition has been subject to widespread criticism and controversy surrounding the thriving trade of illicit tobacco products as a result of the ban as well as much political heat. As a result of the tobacco prohibition, the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (“FITA”) lodged an application against the President of South Africa and the Minister seeking an order declaring that: cigarettes and tobacco products are essential goods in terms of th

Bad habits go up in smoke under lockdown

She smoked for more than half her life, and while she often considered quitting, a Nelson Mandela Bay woman could never quite muster the willpower to stomp out the bad habit. However, today she has been left with little choice as the ban on cigarette sales presses on and the price on the illicit market continues to soar. Perhaps it was the only positive thing to have emerged from the coronavirus pandemic, but not only has quitting been an added health benefit, it has also saved many households hundreds to thousands of rand each month.However, today she has been left with little choice as the ban on cigarette sales presses on and the price on the illicit market continues to soar. For another