Cape Town creates more smoke-free city spaces

31 May 2022 in Where We Govern

On World No Tobacco Day, the City of Cape Town announces that many sites around the city will be going smoke free to create healthier environments and protect the planet. The announcement highlights the City’s commitment to reducing tobacco use as part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities, a prestigious global network of cities working to save lives by preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries (#cities4health).

Tobacco use causes 8,7 million deaths worldwide every year, with cigarette smoking linked to the onset of all four of the most common non-communicable diseases: cancer, heart and lung disease, and diabetes.

The City of Cape Town has launched its new smoking in the workplace framework:”#SmokeFreeCT” by amending its internal smoking policy to ensure fewer places to smoke or purchase cigarettes within City owned buildings.

In addition, City Health will continue enforcement of tobacco legislation, raise awareness through anti-smoking health promotion campaigns and assist staff and residents who are thinking of quitting by providing guidance on smoking cessation.

Annually, World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on 31 May under the supervision of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The theme this year is “Tobacco: Threat to our environment”.

According to the WHO:

  • Tobacco products are the most littered item on the planet.
  • A single cigarette leaches over 7,000 toxic chemicals into our environment.
  • Roughly 4,5 trillion cigarette filters pollute our oceans, rivers and soil including beaches, parks and city sidewalks every year.

It costs South Africa more than R2,3 billion to clean up discarded tobacco products every year.

The South Africa Demographic and Health Survey in 2016 found that 26% of women and 43% of men in the Western Cape smoke daily.

‘We have made some progress in getting the public to understand the risks associated with smoking, but many more are struggling to give up cigarettes as evidenced by the exorbitant prices they were willing to pay for cigarettes during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Quitting tobacco immediately improves your health. After just two weeks your circulation and lung function could start to increase.

‘As we mark World No Tobacco Day, I appeal to our residents who are struggling to kick the habit to reach out to their healthcare service provider for advice. Quitting will benefit your health, but also the health and well-being of your loved ones, and have a positive impact on the environment,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.


The benefits of quitting smoking:

World No Tobacco Day:

The Partnership for Healthy Cities, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies: