Continued tobacco ban could lead smokers to ‘contemplate attempting suicide’

Continued tobacco ban could lead smokers to ‘contemplate attempting suicide’ via @TheCitizen_News

2020-06-01 06:28:00 PM

Continued tobacco ban could lead smokers to ‘contemplate attempting suicide’ via TheCitizen_News

In a report commissioned by the Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association a psychiatrist has come out harshly against the continued ban on cigarettes, due to the effects going cold turkey can have on smokers.

The smoking ban may lead to more than just frustration. Picture: iStockOpposition to the ban on tobacco sales during the national lockdown is mounting, with a psychiatrist specialising in substance abuse saying it is “illogical and harmful” and “unlikely to have any meaningful effect on the prevalence of smoking”. Dr Michael West, of the Akeso Clinic in Milnerton, Cape Town, said in a report commissioned by the Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA): “Therefore any health-related benefits and/or relief of pressure on the healthcare system is likely to be minimal to none.” The report forms part of FITA’s urgent application to lift the ban – which is expected to be argued before...

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Opposition to the ban on tobacco sales during the national lockdown is mounting, with a psychiatrist specialising in substance abuse saying it is “illogical and harmful” and “unlikely to have any meaningful effect on the prevalence of smoking”.Dr Michael West, of the Akeso Clinic in Milnerton, Cape Town, said in a report commissioned by the Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA): “Therefore any health-related benefits and/or relief of pressure on the healthcare system is likely to be minimal to none.”

The report forms part of FITA’s urgent application to lift the ban – which is expected to be argued before a full bench next week – and was filed in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.In it, West pointed to the record of decision – including a cache of research and thousands of public submissions – government last week filed together with an affidavit penned by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, outlining the reasons for the ban.

He said that in his opinion, the ban was “based on low- to very low-quality evidence for which the data is not wholly available, does not consider short-term harms associated with voluntary and involuntary smoking cessation, does not consider WHO-recommended best practices in supporting smoking cessation to improve successful quit attempts, does not acknowledge the negative impact [the ban] is likely to have on vulnerable South Africans and does not reference any of the more recent literature that makes reference to the complex relationship between Covid-19 and smoking”.

West outlined the “numerous physical and psychological symptoms” of nicotine withdrawal and said certain people – including those with mental illnesses – were at higher risk of protracted withdrawal.“Some individuals are at an increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviours that may arise during the period of nicotine withdrawal,” he went on.

“The [withdrawal] syndrome can be so unpleasant for some people that they may contemplate attempting suicide. In some tragic cases, these suicide acts are completed. It is not possible to predict with certainty who will or will not have a complicated withdrawal.”

In the documents filed last week, Dlamini-Zuma cited evidence “that about 95% of smokers also quit on their own without any medication or formal help”. But West rubbished this claim as “outdated and inaccurate” and said it originated from a book published in 1990.

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“The statement provided by [Dlamini-Zuma] would be relevant if it were 1990. The simple fact is that over the last 30 years we have improved our knowledge of nicotine dependence and have several far more sophisticated strategies to assist smokers in successfully quitting,” West said.

“[Government] has essentially forced a population of approximately 8 million smokers into an unpleasant physical and psychological withdrawal syndrome without making any efforts to provide support, treatment or evidence-based behavioural interventions,” West went on – adding that “cold turkey” withdrawal only had a success rate of about 6%.

“This is seemingly informed by an incorrect belief that 95% of smokers quit without any sort of assistance. The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of smokers will be unable to successfully quit without some form of intervention.” Read more: The Citizen News »

fita_sa Cause it's WAY better to get people hooked on benzos to cope with severe anxiety than it is to simply lift a bullshit ban that was supposed to have been lifted weeks ago. Priorities. It seems paid Twitter is a collection of the nastiest people they can hire. As long as they take their own lives, remain their choices

I am 74 years old. For 60 years various governments have allowed me to smoke. Now suddenly this idiot government tells me to quit? They can go to hell. fita_sa 😂😂😂Wypipo ayi! As an old lady, almost 80, I am warning you, DZ, you are destroying more people mentally than what Covid is doing. Do you know anything about addiction?

DistressedCiti2 True! I have lost a friend due to this fact! fita_sa I am an ex-smoker and it was extremely difficult to stop 'cold turkey' You go through stages of anxiety, irritation,ANGER, and you cant stop fidgeting. I stopped when smokes reached R 20 a pack, it got too expensive. Unban the stuff ! Enough is enough now. Get it together. Illegal cigs have made enough, swallow your pride and let people be !!!!!!!!!

U guys should be ashamed of yourselves promoting cigarettes when WHO says cigarettes is dangerous for people infected with covid 19 mxm the ban is indirectly making you deal with your addiction head on. They will just blame covid19 It's time we all sue the shit out of them They banned cigarettes sales but allowed you guys to grow up weed for home use smoking what else do u want are you lazy to plant

fita_sa They are taking credibility for a million people who quit smoking, let them take accountability for every suicide to. lol suicide ha ha ha No suicide but murder is a option... Really? People would rather kill themselves than give up smoking? RamaphosaUp CyrilRamaphosa DlaminiZuma you have fresh blood on your hands,many smokers have taken their own lives due to your vicious,cruel & evil ban

No..it will turn into a 11million person riot. And she DlaminiZuma alonf with CyrilRamaphosa will be part of the smoke and ashes when its done. ANCMustFall fita_sa But its for our health? sarcasm LiftTheBan nevertrustacommie lockdownistan You are a bit too much now If people want to kill themselves you can't stop them but if they kill other people by smoking we can prevent that by banning the tobacco period

that's what the chief eugenicists want - depopulation Borchie_09129 Heard from an ex drug addict last night that the ANC's unconstitutional regulations has forced him to look for Smokes & he ended up with finding Smokes at drug dealers. The last place he should be finding smokes. But yeah, the ANC didn't quite think this through at all.

We don't have a problem when TOBACCO continues to be banned.The problem we have is why ALCOHOL was unbanned while the TWO are like two sides of the coin. They can't ban TOBACCO, and let loose of the DRINKERS.The two go together.The motive for relaxing ALCOHOL BAN is questionable 😂😂 Allow cigarettes to those who smoke and I bet you, you will have a much happier South Africa and stop making discussions that makes absolutely no sense. Think, plan, look at risks think of the nation then execute...CyrilRamaphosa MYANC

Hahahahahaha..... This is why lifting the ban is not enough and gov needs to be held to account for gross medical negligence and violation of human rights. It needs to be investigated and prosecuted. Just lift the ban and no smoking🚬 in public. That's reasonable. So first they were resorting to Crack cocaine and Nyaope and when that argument did not hold water now they are contemplating suicide.

At least 5 that I have read about. fita_sa True story SinenMnguni I know 3 people who have already, Ive been on the brink and last night was the closest I’ve been but pulled through Yt people are trying by all means to get cigarettes unbanned, they're going to claim genocide.🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 fita_sa Thank you FITA .... shame on the people out there that will never have human compassion

Exactly... I for one have Asperger Syndrome and a possible symptom of which is 'constant anxiety'.. some use self medication (is there beter methods, sure) like booze and smokes to manage that anxiety.. by not having access to our coping mechanisms can lead to more drastic steps. Just the tobacco ban? 🙄

SinenMnguni Especially with lockdown creating a fragile mental health state. People's emotions are all over the place and stress levels are soaring TeaLira12 Lion is donating these under wears to people who are suffering cause of not smoking cigarettes during the Lockdown period. Jeeze what a sick bunch of followers.

Some already did TeaLira12 Abafe... let them die...akufe ofayo😂😂😂 fita_sa They worry about smoking, what about all those doing drugs and contraband of any kind? The gov is confukculated and they think with their asses. What about the children that smokes who is now going to try out tik and whatever is available?

fita_sa So sad but true Our non smoking goverment seems to forget that depression is real n ppl use cigarretes to cope with depression. They dnt care about suicide cases all they care about is making their point. myDA this article is the only thing that needs to be investigated as this news agency is atering nonsence in the name of profit.

If they want to commit suicide it’s there choice let them go on PresidencyZA It may seem a feeble reason to some but this is very real. The anxiety caused by running out is so bad! If you care about smokers health please lift this ban. Exactly. When dumb fukcs take away other people’s freedoms to make a point or just because, what do the disinfranchised people have to live for?!

That's whites Some have already committed suicide, the anc are responsible for these deaths That will be good news 👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿

Group heads to Union Buildings to protest against tobacco banThey are demanding that the ban on tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products be lifted with immediate effect. Arrest them all and throw away the key. kele_Tebza If majority are Caucasian then Law Enforcement's wont attack them!

High court refuses government bid to delay tobacco ban hearingState attorney requested that case be heard late in June or in July as it is no longer urgent The state is losing this... The fact that the law imposes an age restriction on the sale of alcohol and tobacco suggests that the law recognizes the individuals right to act as a responsible adult. The court should not permit any potentially illegal actions to continue until there is clarity cigarettes Basic human rights are not up for political debate or at governments discretion or based on a percentage of the population that believe it will benefit them. The right to responsibility is a basic human right. lockdownSA cigarettes

POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: SA heads into level 3 — with some sticking pointsThe opening of some of the economy, while the ban on tobacco products remains in place has elicited much debate

Mkhize leads virtual meeting to mark World No Tobacco DayThe day comes as the South African government has been dragged to court by different companies in the tobacco industry for prohibiting the sale of cigarettes during the lockdown. So lockdown has been a disaster, the backlog getting close to 100 000 the lost all control on the spread of the virus we failed to flatten the curve but let's focus on smoking...? PresidencyZA I hope you had illicit tobacco trademarks s aare taking note of this. I also hope that the competition board takes note the the illicit tobacco trade inflated their prices under COVID19SouthAfrica BTW Anybody know who got the tender for the branded masks?

POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: SA heads into level 3 — with some sticking pointsThe opening of some of the economy, while the ban on tobacco products remains in place has elicited much debate

SA cannot shrug off smoking as a defence against Covid-19Scores of studies have found fewer smokers among hospital cases than in the general population Why so many articles on this irrelevant issue? We just shrug of murder and human rights violation surely policing cigarettes are top priority. lockdownSA