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If the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill is passed by the new government, South Africa is set to embrace new smoking laws.

According to Jeanette Hunter, the Department of Health’s Deputy Director of General Primary Healthcare, there’s been an increase in the use of hookah, e-cigarettes, and vapes especially among young people.

“Studies have highlighted health risks associated with the use of e-cigarettes and hookah pipes, hubbly bubbly or shisha, even though they are aggressively marketed as healthier tobacco alternatives.”

Based on the department’s research, it was found that the highest prevalence of tobacco users is found in the Northern Cape. The province with the second highest prevalence is the Western Cape while Limpopo has the lowest.

Other data shared by the department and based on the 2021 Global Adult Tobacco Survey South Africa report shows that, on average, daily smokers in South Africa smoke 8.5 cigarettes a day.

The data also shows that, in South Africa, there 41.7% of the men in South Africa currently use tobacco compared to only 17.9% of women.

The illegal cigarette trade has increased in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service has estimated that the South African government has lost R119 billion in excise and VAT between 2002 and 2022.

Image credit: University of California

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