According to the City, smoking is one of the primary causes of preventable illness and death, responsible for over six million deaths per year, and associated with cancer, including lung, throat and bladder cancer.
“Not only does smoking harm the smoker itself, placing pressure on an already overburdened health system, their actions can also affect the health of their families, especially children. Exposure to cigarette smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks and respiratory infections as well as an increase in the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Health, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli.
Children are protected by the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act, which says that:
- No person may smoke in any motor vehicle when a child under the age of 12 years is in that vehicle (maximum fine of R500)
- No one may smoke any tobacco product in a private dwelling that is used for a commercial childcare activity, or for schooling or tutoring (maximum fine of R500 for the smoker and R50 000 for the owner of the crèche)
- Children under 18 years are not allowed in designated smoking areas (maximum fine of R50 000)
- No person shall sell or supply any tobacco product to anyone under the age of 18 years (maximum fine of R100 000)
However, it’s not only children who are at risk. According to the Centre for Disease Control, non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30%. Even brief exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke can damage cells in such a way that sets the cancer process in motion.
“The City would like to again remind residents of their responsibilities as outlined in the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act. The Act prohibits any person from smoking tobacco products in an indoor, enclosed, or partially enclosed area that is open to the public, including a workplace or public conveyance. It also states that the owner, person in control of a public place, or employer in respect of a workplace shall ensure that no person smokes in that place or area. An employer, owner, licensee, lessee or person in control of a public place may designate a portion of a public place as a smoking area subject to certain requirements, however, those under the age of 18 should not be present,” said Councillor Mamkeli.