• July 24, 2024

South Africa Urged to Beef Up Tobacco Laws

 South Africa Urged to Beef Up Tobacco Laws
Photo: poco_bw

Nearly one third of South Africans smoke, according to the 2021 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) South Africa report, which was released by the Department of Health on June 13, 2024.

The study found that 21.2 percent of adults in South Africa smoke daily, while 4.6 percent smoke occasionally. Daily smokers light up an average of 8.5 cigarettes per day.

The data also revealed that a higher percentage of men (41.7 percent) are currently using tobacco compared to women (17.9 percent).

Meanwhile, 2.2 percent of survey respondents said they were currently using e-cigarettes, of which 3.8 percent are men and 0.7 percent are women.

 Of those using e-cigarettes, 70.3 percent cited enjoyment, 67.5 percent cited flavor, 45.1 percent perceived it as less harmful than tobacco, while 43.5 percent said their use was influenced by friends or family members who use e-cigarettes.

The study also found that 3.1 percent of adults reported smoking hookah pipe.

Data also shows that 74.4 percent of adults who visited public places were exposed to second-hand smoke.

The Department of Health’s Deputy Director of General Primary Healthcare, Jeanette Hunter urged the government to adopt new measures to discourage tobacco use, including stronger tobacco taxes, smoke-free laws, graphic health warnings and bans on advertising.

“Effective strategies to reduce tobacco use, including putting in place more comprehensive laws that are compliant with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, should be implemented to protect more people from exposure to SHS, and provide cessation services to help more people who smoke to quit,” Egbe was quoted as saying by the South African Government News Agency.