South Africa – COVID-19: Cigarettes, tobacco still banned on level 4 of the lockdown

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The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, welcomes government’s announcement that the ban on the sale of cigarettes, tobacco and related products will remain in place under Level 4 of the lockdown

Dr Dhlomo said: “We understood all the reasons mentioned and we agree that smoking is bordering on personal hygiene, and it is a collective responsibility for all of us not to spread the virus from one person to the other.”

He added: “One of the other aspects that we have noted from understanding the physiology of this illness is that it heavily affects the respiratory system, in particular, the lungs. We have observed that a significant number of people that have died of Covid-19 are those that had asthma and other respiratory conditions.”

Furthermore, Dr Dhlomo said, considering that tobacco and cigarettes have a predilection for lungs, this then means that if you have the Covid-19 infection and tobacco on the same respiratory organ, the lungs are simply overburdened.

“We note that the significant number of people that have died in the world as a result of the pandemic have comorbidities that affect the lungs, asthma, chronic obstructive airwaves diseases and cardiovascular diseases. This comes in as a relief not to allow cigarettes, tobacco and related products at this time,” stressed Dr Dhlomo.

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