Welcome to the #ProtectourNext Press Office.

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This Saturday, 30 October, the Mamelodi community will march from Stanza Bopape Sports Complex to Matimba Library Hall as they pledge to #Switchofftobacco in Mams. Local community leaders, school principals and teams from the Department of Environmental Health (DoEH) are joining forces with Protect our Next, a partnership of South Africa’s health organisations, to collect tobacco litter en route, which local learners will use to create larger than life tobacco education murals at their schools. 

The march will be followed by an event featuring community members, school principals, Protect our Next ambassadors, youth advocacy groups Youth with Passion, Ikamva Youth and the South African Tobacco Free Youth Forum (SATFYF), Pastor Pieter from the Royal Eagles Ministry at Silverton.  Successful quitter Nicholas Mokena will share his quit story. The programme incorporates dance, music and theatre featuring local company 6N9 Production. 

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Here’s your chance to ask all your questions live as we chat with the wonderful oncologist Dr Sithembile Ngidi to wrap up Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Learn about reducing your risk of cancer, how and why smoking causes cancer, signs to watch out for and how to screen for cancer.  Lorraine Govender from CANSA will join the chat to share information on where to go for help and support, and to discuss how the new Tobacco Control Bill will better protect our health. 

See you on Sunday 31st October at 3pm on Facebook Live @protectournext. 

Click here for more and please share with your networks.    

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A new initiative to #SwitchoffTobacco in Mamelodi launches this week. A dynamic team of Protect our Next ambassadors will be educating the Mamelodi community about the dangers of tobacco and e-cigarettes and explaining how the new Tobacco Control Bill will better protect communities.  Community media and social channels will carry #SwitchoffTobacco discussions, while the ambassadors visit local schools, churches, taxi ranks, malls, traders and community hotspots over the next month with an engaging edutainment programme that encourages the whole community to pledge to be tobacco free. 

 

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Tobacco control advocates and health organisations are reacting strongly to the damning report on BAT activities in Africa, British American Tobacco in South Africa: Any Means Necessary, published by global tobacco industry watchdog STOP. BAT activities are further exposed in an investigation by BBC Panorama: Dirty Secrets of the Cigarette Business.   BAT, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, appears to have crossed the line of ethics and legality to keep people addicted to its products, stifling attempts to reduce tobacco use.  According to the reports, BAT used potentially questionable payments to try to influence tobacco control policies and undermine competitors. The company allegedly paid varying amounts to politicians, journalists, competitors’ staff and more. Analysis of leaked industry documents and court affidavits suggests BAT was engaged in possibly illegal informant networks, state capture and the potential smuggling of its own products in Africa. As is to be expected, BAT has denied the charges. 

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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

   
Tamaryn Brown
Connect Media for Cart Agency
+27 (0) 84 3510560
tamaryn@connectmedia.co.za
tamaryn@cart.agency

Nirvana Kishoon 
Cart Agency
+27 (0) 82 823 3167
nirvana@cart.agency

 

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