Written by Umamah Bakharia
The Department of Health has officially announced the key results of a Global Adult Tobacco Survey as part of World No Tobacco Day.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey is a global standard for systematically monitoring adult tobacco use – both smoking and smokeless – and tracking key tobacco control indicators.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Chief Director for Health Promotion at the National Health Lynn Moeng-Mahlangu says a new light needs to be shed on the harm of tobacco.
“Those conditions that are caused by smoking are actually costing the health system and the economy at large because sick people cant contribute to the economy and sick people are burdening the health system,” says Moeng-Mahlangu.
This comes after the global tobacco survey found that there is an increase in both male and female smokers. It also found that more women are making use of smokeless tobacco and that people are becoming more exposed to second-hand smoking in shebeens and their homes which in turn forms habits.
From 1998 to 2000, the country experienced a gradual decrease in smoking rates. Moeng-Mahlangu says the department had put regulations in place to curb smoking.
“We were unable to implement other regulations because our current act did not allow our minister to regulate some of those areas,” she says.
The department will also be submitting a bill to the cabinet that will address what has been identified in the previous act.