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Cape Town could soon be smoke-free

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The City of Cape Town will aim for as many of its buildings as possible to be compliant with the new workplace smoking policy post-intervention.

Cape Town councillor Zahid Badroodien is pushing for an end to smoking in public in the city.

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town said it was working towards a “smoke-free environment” and public buildings could soon become smoke-free as part of its health department’s Bloomberg partnership for ‘Healthy Cities Tobacco Campaign’.

In a statement released on Monday, councillor Zahid Badroodien, a member of the mayoral committee for community services and health said the city was selected for phase two of the healthy cities partnership and have elected to focus on tobacco usage and second-hand smoke as the new National Tobacco Bill will be promulgated soon.

He said the partnership is a prestigious global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing non-communicable diseases and injuries.

The global network spans across 70 cities.

He said the city wants to set an example and promote a smoke-free lifestyle and workplace.

Badroodien says the new bill will promote a 100 percent smoke-free environment for all, which will include stricter rules on where an individual is allowed to smoke.

This includes e-cigarettes under tobacco products, banning of tobacco products advertising at checkout registers (tills), removing cigarette vending machines and the enforcement of plain packaging.

“In Phase two, we are using similar tactics to create a smoke-free city. According to the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey, 25 percent of women and 42.9 percent of men in the Western Cape smoke daily.

“The goal is to create a smoke-free city through stakeholder engagement, education campaigns and review of internal City policy. The City of Cape Town will aim for as many of its buildings as possible to be compliant with the new workplace smoking policy post-intervention,” Badroodien said.

He said cigarette smoking was linked to the four most common non-communicable diseases: heart disease, cancer, lung disease and diabetes.

Badroodien said tobacco often kills people at the peak of their wage-earning capacity, in turn, depriving families of breadwinners, robbing a nation of a healthy and productive workforce, contributing to the poverty cycle which exists in many countries and it threatens global development.

Along with multiple external and internal partners, the City has developed a three-pronged approach to tobacco use: police changes – this document is a framework to discourage smoking in the workplace, protect non-smokers; increased enforcement of the tobacco legislation, a creating tobacco awareness campaign internally and externally with the aim of advertising the city is going smoke-free and educating residents about the harm of second-hand smoke.

“Recent events have forced many people to stub out the habit, but many more are struggling to give up cigarettes as evidenced by the exorbitant prices they were willing to pay for cigarettes.

“We realise it’s not easy, but the City is doing as much as it can to assist employees and residents to stop smoking,” Badroodien said.

African News Agency