Children who Breathe Secondhand Smoke Increase Risk of Getting Lung Cancer as Adults
Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill brings SA into line with new international conventions, strengthens tobacco control, and promotes health. The National Council Against Smoking applauds the publication today of the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill. The Bill contains many vital public health provisions. The Bill is important in helping to communicate accurate and understandable information to the public. Picture health warnings on packs will communicate the dangers of smoking in a realistic way. It will also end a consumer fraud perpetrated on the public by the industry. Many smokers mistakenly believe that low-tar cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes. The use of terms like light and mild deliberately perpetuate this myth. There is no scientific evidence that one type of cigarette is less toxic or less harmful than any other. The Bill also gives teeth to the current restrictions on smoking in public places. Restaurants and bars may have disregarded a puny R200 fine but will have to take a R20 000 fine more seriously. Part of the role of a fine is to deter and the new fines will deter law-breakers. Those who comply with the law have nothing to fear from the new fines. There can be no doubt that high penalties will be a deterrent an ensure still greater levels of compliance with the law. This is necessary particularly in the hospitality and entertainment industries where we see the lowest levels of compliance with the tobacco laws. This is a business sector where clients and staff need greater protection said Dr Yussuf Saloojee, executive director of the National Council Against Smoking. The tobacco industry has by-passed the prohibition on tobacco advertising and continued to glamourise cigarettes by sponsoring parties and social events for young students. This is a clear violation of the spirit and purpose of the 1999 Tobacco Act,added Saloojee The Bill will ensure that this practice ends and make it more difficult for the industry to addict the next generation. The tobacco and hospitality industry will raise the usual arguments about financialand job losses caused by the new Bill but in country-after-country these claims have proved to be spurioussaid Peter Ucko, director of the National Council Against Smoking. The New York Times on Wednesday, 15 October 2003 noted that despite the dire economic predictions that preceded it, the smoking ban in New York City does not appear to have drastically depressed business. From March to June, the city created 10 000 new restaurant and bar jobs, according to the Department of Labour. Tobacco control makes good health and economic sense. (Source: Peter Ucko: Director, National Council Against Smoking http://www.againstsmoking.org/>www.againstsmoking.org 17 October 2003). Link:http://www.polity.org.za/pol/bill/
Western Cape pre-teens are set to become guinea pigs in a project testing ways to stop young children from smoking. The Medical Research Council and research partners from the United States and Australia are to introduce two pilot programmes in 36 primary schools in the Western and Northern Cape after recent MRC studies found these two provinces to have the highest prevalence of smoking. The programme aims to try out different ways of influencing children not to smoke. One group will be put on a life skills course concentrating on the harmful effects of smoking. Another group will go on an Australian harm reduction programme emphasising that even if you've started, it's not too late to kick the habit. The control group will have no intervention. Set to run for two years - this year and next year - the test programme will be tried out on pupils in Grades 5 to 7. Eminent MRC tobacco researcher Priscilla Reddy, and colleague Ken Resnicow of the University of Michigan in the US will lead the investigation. The other part of the programme will be to strengthen research into the prevention of tobacco use and behavioural change at university level. Postgraduate courses and research will be funded at the University of Cape Town and the University of Natal. Funding for the project will come from the National Institute of Health.(Source: Jeanne van der Merwe: The Cape Argus, 7 April 2003)
The health department may ask the police to conduct blitzes of businesses ignoring the anti-smoking regulations, Parliament's health portfolio committee heard on 27/02.
South Africa's controversial and long-awaited tobacco law – the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act – comes into effect on October 1 this year, banning smoking in public places.
Health Systems Trust
There is no doubt that smoking and alcoholism are damaging to the health of the individual. The adverse physical effects of both are well established. But not only does the individual suffer from using these substances, society in general suffers also. The effects of smoking are primarily physical, whereas those of alcohol are also psychological and emotional (alcohol abuse has been linked to domestic and other violence, dependency, child abuse and neglect etc). However, there are many principles which apply to both, and so they will be considered together in this Update on Tobacco and Alcohol in South Africa.