South Africa Actively Fights Smoking


In South Africa governemnt will continue to actively fight smoking, said this week Aaron Motsoaledi, the Health Minister. He said that there is no study that proves that tobacco usage is healthy, therefore tobacco usage should be limited as much as possible.

Motsoaledi made these declarations during his speech in Pretoria at the release of the SA National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

There was made a research called  SANHANES-1, during which it was revealed that government’s tobacco control plan had succeeded in halving the lower  number of smokers over the past 20 years. Though there was noted a reduction in number of smokers, but it was also noted that numbers of people exposed to tobacco smoke still is big.

SANHANES-1 recommends to totally ban tobacco. Motsoaledi said that in many countries of the world governments were tightening regulation dealing with the illegal cigarette markets.

Health Minister says it is important to create an efficient instrument to control tobacco market in South Africa in order to eliminate the possibility of illegal production to appear on it.

Another study was made by HSRC and it concerned foods. Its report concluded that price is the most important factor for most people from South Africa when they make shopping for food.
Professor Demetre Labadarios says that South Africans prefer to buy cheap grocery products and this resulted in consumption of more sugar and fats. For 65% of women who make grocery shopping, the price is most important factor when they want to buy something. It makes sense, but has negative consequences. Another important factor is the taste of food. The fact that the food they buy is delicious matters more to females than to males.

According to SANHANES-1 report, only 1 in 7 shoppers were interested in the health implications of the food they bought. Thus the prevaling disease among adults is anemia: 22% of women and 12.2 of men suffer from it.

As to weight issues, number of underweight people in South Africa was reduced. The survey revealed that more women were obese than men.

In comparison with demographic and health survey made in 2003, the study by SANHANES-1  showed the percentage of underweight people and people with normal body mass had decreased, while percentage of overweight people had increased.

The SANHANES-1 survey was supported by the health department and the UK’s department for international development. It was made by a research consortium comprising the HSRC and the Medical Research Council,

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