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NewsWrap: Smoking advertising remains a concern

todayMarch 25, 2024 207

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Big Tobacco continues to find ways to promote their products despite bans on tobacco ads in many countries, often through partnerships with high-profile events like Formula 1. South Africa is attempting to tighten regulations with its new tobacco bill, but concerns remain about its effectiveness, especially regarding events like Formula 1 where tobacco branding persists. While the bill aims to address advertising loopholes, challenges in enforcement continues, particularly with emerging products like e-cigarettes.

In the Eastern Cape, the Portfolio Committee on Health recently held public hearings on the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill, sparking varied opinions. Strong opposition came from the tobacco industry, citing concerns about economic impacts on small-scale traders and debates over harm reduction strategies. Despite differing views, there was consensus on the challenges of enforcing the proposed regulations, with concerns about law enforcement capacity and compliance monitoring.

Meanwhile, in Gauteng, residents are divided over the proposed Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill. Public hearings conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Health revealed mixed sentiments, with businesses expressing concerns about its potential negative effects on the township economy. While some residents support aspects like graphic health warnings, others, like the Gauteng Liquor Traders Association, argue against it, citing potential harm to small businesses and the illicit tobacco market.

And finally internationally, recent research published in the journal Addiction highlights the dangers of smoking and its impact on abdominal fat. Contrary to common beliefs, smoking doesn’t keep people thin; instead, it can lead to an unhealthy accumulation of visceral fat, increasing the risk of various serious health issues. The study underscores the importance of quitting smoking for overall health, despite the potential for weight gain due to changes in metabolism.

Written by: Keenan Williams

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