World No Tobacco Day in South Africa

  • 23 Jul 2013
  • About Tobacco Control (TOPIC)
  • Africa (REGION)

To mark the World No Tobacco Day, the Western Cape Department of Health (WCDoH) organised a week filled with events to highlight tobacco issues. Global Bridges partnered with WCDoH on the week-long program. Western Cape was a significant venue as this province holds one of the highest prevalence of tobacco use. The program ran from the 28th to the 31st of May 2013. On the 28th, the in-school youth at Mitchells’ Plain held a debate about the dangers of tobacco use and whether South Africa could have a 100% ban on tobacco. On the following day, discussions surrounding tobacco use continued among out-of-school youth. The discussion focused on the dangers of water-pipe smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke and the use of tobacco as a gateway to other drugs. The discussion was moderated by Prof. O.A. Ayo-Yusuf, director of Global Bridges in Africa, who also hosted a tobacco treatment training workshop on the following day. The workshop was attended by 72 participants who included the Western Cape director of health promotion, health promoters, community health workers, health officers and nurses.On World No Tobacco Day itself, Prof. O.A Ayo-Yusuf presented the plenary speech, giving an overview of tobacco globally and in Africa, and Dr. R. van Zyl-Smit from the University of Cape Town also gave a presentation on treating tobacco dependence. Dr. F. Senkubuge then presented preliminary findings from a study testing smokers’ reactions to the pictorial warnings. All in all it was a week well spent, highlighting the dangers of tobacco use and giving information on tobacco control, particularly emphasizing the importance of smoking cessation support.