Global Tobacco News

July 7, 2020

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-...

July 6, 2020

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.


June 27, 2020

Fita attempted to have the order declaring the ban on sales changed. 

The North Gauteng High Court on Friday dismissed the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association’s (Fita) urgent challenge to the controversial ban on cigarette and tobacco product sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the ban did not have to be “the best nor the most suitable” approach.

“The discretion to choose suitable means is that of the repository of...

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 5, 2020

Early studies suggest that smokers who develop COVID-19 are 14 times more likely than nonsmokers to need intensive treatment. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

In 40 years of smoking, Katie Kennedy has tried four times to quit but always went back to cigarettes. Today, she is summoning a new mental image when a craving comes on: rows of Covid-19 patients hooked to ventilators.

Kennedy’s dad also smoked. He was on a ventilator before h...

April 9, 2020

Tobacco and marijuana products damage lungs, where the virus does its harm. Health officials are urging people to quit, and temporary sales bans are even being discussed.

“Clean air is what the lungs should be inhaling, especially during a global pandemic,” said one doctor.

Anxious times — like a pandemic — can lead to unhealthy but self-soothing habits, whether it’s reaching for a bag of potato chips, more chocolate or another...

April 7, 2020

As the COVID-19 caseload continues to rise, studies are starting show how smokers who contract the virus are more likely to suffer severe symptoms and even die. COVID-19 is the coronavirus outbreak that has crippled the globe, leading to more than 1.2 million cases and just under 70 000 deaths since December 2019. 

Africa remains the region with the lowest caseload, recording close to 5000 cases at the end of the first wee...

March 5, 2020

South Africans will soon pay more for “novel” tobacco and nicotine products. This follows last month’s budget speech in which the finance minister announced that: “In line with department of health policy, we will start taxing heated tobacco products (HTPs), for example, hubbly-bubbly. The rate will be set at 75% of the rate of cigarettes. Electronic-cigarettes, or so-called vapes, will be taxed from 2021.”

The Treasu...

During his SONA speech the president painted a bleak picture of an economy in distress. Public finances are under severe pressure, youth unemployment is unacceptably high and continues to rise - and SOEs like SAA and Eskom continue to be a drain on the public purse.

In October 2019 the Minister of Finance spoke of tax deficits, with Treasury collecting R53 billion less than it had projected. In his much anticipated Budget...

February 20, 2020

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) and a host of civil society groups have urged the Nigerian government to commence immediate enforcement of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Regulations 2019 following its gazette in January 2020.

At a press briefing jointly organised by the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA), the groups also recommended the implementation of the ban of sale of cigare...

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