Just in: Sale of cigarettes still banned during Level 4 lockdown Having said that the sale of cigarettes would be permitted in Level 4, government have decided to maintain the ban. The co-use of substances, especially by persons in vulnerable groups, could increase the risk of developing complications from COVID-19 if infected. Dear Editor, South Africa (SA) imposed a 21-day lockdown from 26 March to 16 April 2020, through the disaster management Act (57/2002) and amended regulations [Section 27(2)]1, to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country. In late March, in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the South African government banned the sale of tobacco and alcohol as part of a broad … Never before have smokers had this kind of opportunity to quit. Such strategies will counter the tobacco industry’s strategies to negate government tobacco control efforts. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has finally explained in detail why the sale of tobacco products was banned during the lockdown. Tobacco Induced Diseases. Circulation. A survey done in South Africa of how smokers are coping with the ban on cigarette sales during lockdown confirms how difficult it is for smokers once they are caught in addiction. The capital of Greenland, Nuuk, has banned the sales of alcohol, in an attempt to reduce violence against children, which authorities feared may increase during the lockdown. Smart BTH, Broadbent A. The WHO advises governments to support users wanting to quit. Tobacco use and nicotine dependence among people living with HIV who drink heavily in South Africa: a cross-sectional baseline study. For Botswana the day is particularly poignant. Dear Editor, South Africa (SA) imposed a 21-day lockdown from 26 March to 16 April 2020, through the disaster management Act (57/2002) and amended regulations [Section 27(2)] 1, to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.During the lockdown only essential goods have been allowed on sale 2.Tobacco and nicotine products were designated as non-essential goods and their sales prohibited. A country by country guide explaining who is allowed into each EU country and what they can do when they get there–many EU countries are imposing internal travel restrictions for residents. In more than 28 countries, tobacco and e-cigarette companies have used social media and other marketing tactics to launch pandemic-themed promotions, undermine minimum age purchase restrictions meant to protect youth and make unproven and illegal health claims. PloS One. During the lockdown only essential goods have been allowed on sale2. The imminent easing of lockdown rules in South Africa may bring no respite for smokers who’ve been contending with a tobacco sales ban for almost two months. When the government relaxed the lockdown slightly in … The country has banned imports and sales of tobacco or tobacco-related products along with other emergency regulations during the country’s declared six-month state of public emergency. South African Government. S Afr Med J. COVID-19 does not stop good practice in smoking cessation: Safe use of CO analyzer for smokers in the Covid era, Boosting the Tobacco Control Vaccine: recognizing the role of the retail environment in addressing tobacco use and disparities, Tobacco and e-cigarette shops awarded ‘essential business’ The company questions the government’s reasoning behind the tobacco ban based on their observations that countries such as the UK, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy, to name a few, have allowed the sale of tobacco products during lockdown. On Saturday, 21 March, it took the measure further by closing its airports to all international travel for one month. Pretoria, South Africa, The impact of COVID-19 on the WHO FCTC, cessation, and This is a list of smoking bans by country.Smoking bans are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, which prohibit tobacco smoking in workplaces and/or other public spaces.Legislation may also, in some cases, restrict the carrying or possessing of any lit tobacco … To the best of my knowledge Botswana and neighbouring South Africa are the only countries to have done so. 2015;10(7). Covid-19. Countries should take their lead from the global health body. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132401. The motivation to ban the sales of tobacco and tobacco related products in Botswana was informed by scientific evidence that smoking damages human lungs and other body organs. According to the estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa is one of two regions – along with the Eastern Mediterranean region – where smoking rates are on the rise. This is similar to South Africa, where the national smoking prevalence is about 18%: 29% of males and 6.8% of females. In addition, resources to help tobacco users quit, or assist them to cope with withdrawals, should be made available and accessible. BMC Public Health. The prohibition and the response have attracted global headlines. The double-edged relationship between COVID-19 stress and COVID-19 lockdown and the tobacco product ban in South South Africa (SA) imposed a 21-day lockdown from 26 March to 16 April 2020, through the disaster management Act (57/2002) and amended regulations [Section 27(2)]1, to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country. The association argued that Dlamini Zuma is not legally permitted to ban the sale of cigarettes during Level 4 of the lockdown. As of 8 April 2020, SA had conducted 63776 COVID-19 tests, had 1845 confirmed cases and 18 resulting deaths6. South Africa Demographic and Health Survey 2016. 1. Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed. Some of these are to help reduce violence against children, while South Africa has also banned smoking. It is understandable that tobacco and nicotine product users will be dealing with the mental stress of restricted movements in addition to giving up their addictions, but of more importance is that they become aware that the lockdown ban provides a good opportunity to quit tobacco use. Reuters Photo. COVID-19 lockdown and the tobacco product ban in South Africa. Bhutan and Turkmenistan (I don’t know either, refer to Google Maps) have had a go, but the nearest to a total smoking ban in any major country in the twentieth century was one we all know. Last month, Saudi Arabia banned smokingin government spaces and several public places, including supermarkets, coffee shops and restaurants and prohibits selling tobacco to … implications, The Social and Environmental Implications of the Novel Coronavirus on Institutional and Community Corrections in South Africa, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Tob Induc Dis. Barnoya J, Glantz SA. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 118,600 academics and researchers from 3,811 institutions. Cardiovascular Effects of Secondhand Smoke. The country has banned imports and sales of tobacco or tobacco-related products along with other emergency regulations during the … For Botswana the day is particularly poignant. The Democratic Alliance says the ban of tobacco doesn't make sense during level three of the lockdown. Along with the measures to ban tobacco imports and sales, governments have the opportunity to provide smokers with treatments to help them. Drug Research Unit, South Health Sciences University, Governments should recognise this and accept that smokers need help to quit. Githahu M. Coronavirus: Economists say SA economy is in for a rough ride. The National Council Against Smoking’s quitline (011 720 3145), online materials (https://www.againstsmoking.co.za/) and the Cancer Association of South Africa’s online quit tobacco program (https://www.ekickbutt.org.za/) are some good resources accessible to tobacco users to help them quit. Some of these are to help reduce violence against children, while South Africa have also banned smoking. These actions disregard existing law prohibiting the advertising and promotion of tobacco products in Botswana. Coronavirus: Which countries have banned alcohol during lockdown? At a time when COVID-19 is gripping the world, the pandemic should encourage countries to kickstart programmes and policies that encourage smokers to quit. But it has been eroded and has now dissolved. "Indications are that the ban on the sale of tobacco products will be extended beyond Level 4 of lockdown and into Level 1," he warned. African Medical Research Amid the coronavirus outbreak, countries across the world have relied on complete or partial lockdowns as a mitigative step to control the spread of infection. BusinessTech. labels in France during COVID-19, The future of sustainability in the context of COVID-19, Tobacco and COVID-19: Understanding the science and policy The ban on the sale of tobacco products and any calls by governments for smokers to quit during the COVID-19 pandemic need to be accompanied by initiatives that aid smokers in this course of action. This should includes counselling and nicotine replacement therapies. 2019;19(1):1684. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-8047-8. 2020; Nkonki L, Fonn S. Decisive and strong leadership and intersectoral action from South Africa in response to the COVID-19 virus. On account of the devastating impact of smoking on COVID-19, the WHO has put out a scientific brief based on a review of 32 studies. These figures are higher than the rest of the continent, where about 14% of men and 2% of women smoke. Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported. The COVID-19 pandemic could particularly be problematic for SA given the high prevalence of diabetes, tuberculosis and HIV in the country, compounded by substance use problem even among vulnerable populations7. Section 13 of the act bans the advertisement of tobacco products by the tobacco industry. The 2020 World No Tobacco Day is unique and historic as it comes at the time when countries across the world are on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. National Department of Health (NDoH), Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), ICF. For many, the COVID-19 lockdown has been a good push to quit smoking. Africa. Tobacco and nicotine products were designated as non-essential goods and their sales prohibited. A second reason to support the ban on the sale of tobacco products is related to the health impact of Covid-19 and the disease progression and impact on treatment seen in smokers in other countries. Letter to the ditor. Another motivation has been the actions of tobacco companies. In recent months, the industry has stooped to new lows to target youth by exploiting the pandemic to sell more products. Cigarette smoking affects both smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS)8. The WHO’s recommendation based on the review is that given the well-established harm associated with tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, “tobacco users stop using tobacco”. The ban on cigarette sales, which came in on 27 March, has been lifted South Africa has announced an easing of some lockdown restrictions beginning next month, citing economic concerns. Interventions it recommends include toll-free quit lines, mobile text-messaging cessation programmes, nicotine replacement therapies and other approved medications. What countries have banned alcohol during lockdown? Almost all countries that have implemented social lockdowns to reduce the spread of the virus have permitted the sale of tobacco products, including … There was no source of funding for this research. It notes that. Health, Sefako Makgatho Experts have predicted that the South African economy is in for a bumpy ride and may shrink as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic9 and the associated measures that have been taken to protect citizens during this time. As COVID-19 is primarily a disease affecting the respiratory system, smokers are therefore more vulnerable. Banning alcohol during lockdown has happened in some places across the globe including the capital of Greenland, Nuuk, Aisne in France and even South Africa. On World No Tobacco Day, they tell us how the past couple of months have made a difference India and Botswana have also banned the sale of tobacco products, and several other countries are considering following suit, according to the … Pretoria, South Africa, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: NDoH, Stats SA, SAMRC, and ICF; 2019. “It is surprising that South Africa has taken a different stance with an ailing economy,” Mshibe says. The government must facilitate quitting by providing smoking cessation programmes. Recently there has been an upsurge in advertisements, especially banners posted by tobacco companies or individuals that boldly advertise and promote tobacco products in the face of COVID-19. "We need that money for the health system. Tobacco association fired-up over cigarette ban Wednesday 22 April 2020 - 2:37pm A tobacco association is planning to go to court to challenge the ban on cigarette sales during … Additionally, and in line with the ideals of the 2020 World No Tobacco Day, the government of Botswana must strictly enforce the provisions of its Control of Smoking Act. The ban… The money is going directly into the pocket of criminals," a South Africa anti-crime campaigner says. About 22% of South Africans aged ≥15 years use various tobacco products3. South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown: cigarettes and outdoor exercise could ease the tension. tobacco policy. Council, Pretoria, South Africa, Department of Public Catherine O. Egbe1,2, Senamile P. Ngobese1. Botswana has a very high smoking rate of 18% – 27% of males and 9% of females currently use tobacco. Associate Professor, University of Botswana. SA has one of the highest prevalence of tobacco product use in Africa5 and presently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the continent, putting the country at risk of being hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic if nothing is done to curb the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable citizens. A systematic review of five Chinese studies published in Tobacco Induced Diseases, found that the odds of a COVID-19 case becoming more severe and leading to death are higher among people with a history of smoking4. Egbe CO, Londani M, Parry CD, et al. Disaster Management Act: Regulations to address, prevent and combat the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19: Amendment. South Africa’s lockdown began March 27, and the country banned the sale of cigarettes and cooked food. 2020;18(March). Vardavas CI, Nikitara K. COVID-19 and smoking: A systematic review of the evidence. Smoking and COVID-19: Did we overlook representativeness? 2005;111(20):2684-2698. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.104.492215. During the lockdown ban, family members and neighbors in apartment complexes who share the same space with tobacco users will also be protected from exposure to SHS since people are not expected to go outside their building to smoke during the lockdown. There are also concerns about the implications on mental health when people are forced to give up their addictions during the lockdown10. The justifications behind the bans should be used in other countries to encourage smokers to quit. Botswana needs to jump on to this opportunity. South Africa’s lockdown rules started with high legitimacy. The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for The government has received criticism from some pro-tobacco advocates and academics for the sales ban on tobacco products and alcohol during the lockdown10, but this move is heroic and should be viewed as taking a double shot at protecting citizens from COVID-19, given the vulnerability of many South Africans to the disease. 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