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Country Fact Sheet

South Africa

Harm

Tobacco harms the health, the treasury, and the spirit of South Africa. Every year more than 31800 of it's people are killed by tobacco-caused disease, while more than 343000 children and more than 5692000 adults continue to use tobacco each day. Complacency in the face of the tobacco epidemic will ensure the tobacco industry continues to run roughshod over the lives of South Africa's citizens and ensure that tobacco's death toll will grow with each passing year. Tobacco control advocates must reach out to other communities to strengthen their efforts in this mortal fight.

Deaths

% caused by tobacco: 2010

7% of Men

Even though fewer men die on average in South Africa than other middle-income countries, still 366 men are being killed by tobacco every week, necessitating action from policymakers.

3.8% of Women

Even though fewer women die on average in South Africa than other middle-income countries, still 245 women are being killed by tobacco every week, necessitating action from policymakers.

Tobacco use also...

Harms Development

Buying tobacco robs families of the resources they need to rise out of poverty. A smoker in South Africa would have to spend 10.6% the of national median income to purchase 10 of the cheapest cigarettes to smoke each day!

Harms Environment

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 1.69 billion pounds of butts wind up as toxic trash, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of 177,895 endangered African elephants.

Harms Equality

To find more customers, the tobacco industry markets its products aggressively to women and children.

Harms NCDs

People living with mental illness are nearly twice as likely to smoke as other persons.

Industry

The combined revenues of the world's 6 largest tobacco companies in 2013 was USD342 Billion, equal to 90% of the Gross National Income of South Africa. The industry is a powerful force that does not fear the actions of smaller nation-states because their resources are often much larger. Larger economies have the opportunity to help the smaller allies face down this threat.

Market

Adult Smoking % using tobacco daily, 2013

22.2%of Men

Even though fewer men smoke on average in South Africa than on average in middle-income countries, still 3941000 men still smoke cigarettes each day, the sign of an ongoing and dire public health threat.

9%of Female

More women smoke in South Africa than on average in middle-income countries.

Children Smoking % using tobacco daily, 2013

17.9%of Boys

More boys smoke in South Africa than on average in middle-income countries.

10.6%of Girls

More girls smoke in South Africa than on average in middle-income countries.

Smokeless% currently using tobacco, 2013 or most recent

6.6%of Adults

Even though fewer people use smokless tobacco on average in South Africa than on average in middle-income countries, still 2383700 people currently use smokeless tobacco, the sign of an ongoing and dire public health threat.

Solutions

Tobacco control policy is an excellent investment in the health of a country's population. According to the WHO, for less than R1.6 per person per year South Africa will be able to pay for the four 'best buys' in tobacco control policy, raising tobacco excise taxes, enforcing a comprehensive national smoke-free law and a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, and mandating large graphic warning labels appear on tobacco product packaging. This small investment will reap enormous dividends in health and prosperity.

Current Policy in South Africa

Protect From Smoke

Smokefree HealthCare FacilitiesNo
Smokefree UniversitiesNo
Smokefree Government FacilitiesNo
Smokefree Indoor OfficesNo
Smokefree RestaurantsNo
Smokefree Pubs and BarsNo
Smokefree Public TransportNo
All Other Indoor Public Places SmokefreeN/A
Funds for Smokefree EnforcementNo

Offer Help

Quitting SolutionsNRT and/or some cessation services (neither cost-covered)
National QuitlineNo

Warn about the dangers to tobacco users on product packaging

Type of Warning Labels

Australia(best practice)

Graphic

South Africa

Text

Percent of Pack Covered

Australia(best practice)

82.5%

South Africa

20%

Graphic Warning Rounds

Australia(best practice)

2

South Africa

No Data

Has Plain/Standardized Packaging

Australia(best practice)

Yes

South Africa

No

Warn about the dangers to whole population in a media campaign

Ran a national anti-tobacco campaign during 2011 and 2012

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

No Data

Part Of A Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Pre-Tested With The Target Audience

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Target Audience Research Was Conducted

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Aired On Television And/Or Radio

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Utilized Media Planning

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Earned Media/Public Relations Were Used To Promote The Campaign

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Process Evaluation Was Used To Assess Implementation

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Outcome Evaluation Was Used To Assess Effectiveness

WHO Best Practice

Yes

South Africa

N/A

Enforce bans on advertising

Number of Bans on Forms of Direct Advertising4 of a possible 7 bans
Number of Bans on Forms of Indirect Advertising5 of a possible 7 bans
Ad Ban Compliance PercentModerate% self-rated compliance

Raise Taxes

Excise Tax as a % of Cigarette Price

WHO Benchmark

75% of Retail Price is Excise Tax

South Africa

40.12% of Retail Price is Excise Tax

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