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Bad science goes up in smoke: Why smokers were never protected from COVID

Early pandemic research pointed to smokers not being at risk of severe COVID-19. This turned out to be false. Here’s why the slow pace of science means it’s easy for people to latch onto extraordinary claims despite a lack of strong evidence.

[WATCH] Did South Africa’s COVID-19 tobacco ban work?

South Africa’s tobacco users are smoking fewer daily cigarettes these days, but it came at a cost. Spoilers – it wasn’t worth it.
Adrian Ephraim decided to go cold turkey

How to end tobacco use for good: What SA’s COVID tobacco ban has taught...

Local tobacco companies’ market share quadrupled during the country’s temporary sales ban in 2020, overtaking Big Tobacco’s pre-ban monopoly on South Africa’s tobacco industry.
Most South Africans have the TB germ - so why aren't they sick?

Has our COVID fight crippled our efforts to fight HIV and TB?

During the HIV pandemic, doctors were traumatised by the government’s indifference towards patients’ lack of access to treatment. In the case of COVID-19, some physicians say, they have to cope with the devastating consequences of most of the country’s health resources having been allocated to one disease.

Folly and fortitude: What sets good and bad leaders apart in the COVID-19 era?

A country's coronavirus response is only as good as its president, writes Lawrence Hamilton. So how does South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa measure up?

Government said no to alcohol sales during lockdown but said yes to the industry’s...

Industry influence and government spats stalled regulations that could have curbed harmful alcohol use in South Africa nearly a decade ago.

#Coronavirus: Do you need a mask? Spoilers, the answer is no

South Africa confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus on 5 March. But experts say the public still does not need to purchase medical masks.
vaping young people

Seven things you need to know about e-cigarettes. No. 5 may shock you

Are e-cigarettes dangerous? Are they safer for you than smoking? The World Health Organisation lays out what you need to know about your favourite vapes.

Smoking vs vaping: Which one is worse?

Is vaping really safer than smoking? Take a look at what we really know about the recent craze some say could help you quit smoking — and what’s behind the recent spate of vaping deaths abroad.

Dancing with the devil: UCT stubs out tobacco-funded unit

Can Tobacco money ever be washed clean? Most researchers at the University of Cape Town say no.
Young girls pose with boxes of Marlboro cigarettes.

New smoke signals: Is Big Tobacco using influencers to illegally punt new products?

Could companies’ wooing of social media influencers be just a clever ploy to get around the country’s tobacco advertising ban?
Northern Africa

North Africa

Countries Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia Population size Estimate 245 724 100 Main health concerns North Africa has a different set of health challenges than the rest of Africa. According...
A rare group of patients across the globe is ageing at an astonishing rate. The secret to why is in their genes — and understanding it could shape the way we age.

Ageing and the secrets of our genes

A rare condition has caused this man’s body to age at super speed. Why?
A woman brings in a bucket of fish in Gunjur village

China’s overfishing of Africa: The lure and the lies

Scientists and campaigners warn that factories in coastal villages are wreaking environmental and economic havoc.
Lung health experts are concerned about the long term affects of vaping. Should you be too?

Smoke, spies and lies: Should you throw away your e-cigarette?

South Africa’s top public health experts sat down to discuss the safety of e-cigarettes. The verdict? Stay away.
An 8% above-inflation hike could mean South Africans would smoke 22-million fewer cigarette packs over a four-year period.

#Budget2019: How this could have netted the country 17.1-billion — & saved lives

Find out why Mboweni's R1.14 hike won't be enough to cut smoking, save lives or bring in much-needed cash.