Senior primary learners have created striking murals and artworks saying NO to tobacco through a Schools Mural Art Competition that forms part of the National Department of Health (DOH) ‘Sibo Manqoba!’ tobacco education initiative. The DOH joined forces with government departments, health and advocacy organisations to roll out the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of tobacco and e-cigarette harms, including harm to the environment, a key theme of World No Tobacco Day this year.
Teams of learners from Grade 5-7 in selected schools were asked to produce artwork in the form of murals or other creative pieces. The theme of each entry needed to focus on tobacco harm; why quitting tobacco makes you a winner; or how tobacco influences your school community and environment. Participating schools have each designated four student ambassadors and a lead educator for the project to represent the school as spokespeople and anti-tobacco youth advocates.
The winning finalists include Sharonlea Primary in Randburg, Park Primary School in Lenasia and Zimbambele Park Primary School in Soweto.
Protect Our Next
Tweets by National Council Against Smoking
Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death in the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that in South Africa (SA) alone, smoking results in more than half of lung cancer deaths, 37% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease deaths, and over 20% of cardiovascular deaths and tuberculosis (TB) deaths. Smoking-related TB deaths are especially prevalent in South Africa, due to a higher vulnerability of HIV-positive individuals to TB. Because it attacks the lungs, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke or vape.
The new Control of Tobacco and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill will make it easier for South Africans to choose smoke-free lives, regulate the danger of e-cigarettes and decrease the impact of second-hand smoke on the majority of the population, who are non-smokers. Why is taking time to implement? Tobacco industry profits are at the expense of addicted smokers, their families, and public health. Together, the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS), the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa are steadfast in campaigning for the new Bill to be passed. It’s time for our people and our government to show leadership in implementing global best practice to curb the onslaught of big tobacco.
Zanele Mthembu, Public Health Development and Policy Consultant
Savera Kalideen, Executive Director of the National Council Against Smoking
Sharon Nyatsanza, Project and Communications Manager, National Council Against Smoking
Lorraine Govender, National Advocacy Co-Ordinator, Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)
Professor Pamela Naidoo, CEO, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa
Dr Catherine Egbe, Specialist Scientist: Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council
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