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.
Learners across the country are hard at work creating striking mural artworks on winning by not smoking through a national tobacco education initiative that forms part of the National Department of Health ‘Sibo Manqoba!’ campaign. The DOH has joined forces with government departments and leading health NGOs to roll out the Sibo Manqoba! campaign, which aims to raise awareness of tobacco and e-cigarette harms, encourage tobacco users to quit and prevent non-users from starting. “Sibo Manqoba means ‘we are winners’. We’re calling on South Africans to conquer tobacco and win the battle against the debilitating health impact tobacco has on our nation,” says Dr Tshimi Lynn Moeng-Mahlangu, Chief Director: Health Promotion, Nutrition, Oral Health in the Department of Health.
With a strong focus on the youth, Sibo Manqoba has launched with a national tobacco education mural competition, schools pledge and education days delivered in partnership with the Department of Environmental Health (DoEH) and Protect our Next organisations – the NCAS, the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HFSA) and the South African Tobacco Free Youth Forum (SATFYF).
South Africa - Sibo Manqoba! Mzansi commits to quit smoking
With the Covid-19 pandemic further highlighting the critical importance of quitting tobacco, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health organisations continue to encourage countries to assist tobacco users to quit. Following on from 2021 ‘Commit to quit’ campaigns, the WHO has announced the 2022 global campaign for World No Tobacco Day - “Tobacco: Threat to our environment." The campaign aims to raise awareness of the environmental impact of tobacco – from cultivation, to production, distribution and waste. It gives tobacco users yet another reason to quit.
In continued support of quit initiatives into 2022, the National Department of Health (DOH) is working closely with the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) and leading NGOs active in South Africa to communicate the importance of quitting smoking and the resources available to help people quit through a new campaign titled ‘Sibo Manqoba!’.
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.
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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