Botswana is smoking

| June 1, 2018

Botswana has a higher incidence of tobacco smoking than other highly-populated African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, according to a Xinhua News Agency story quoting a senior official.

At an event marking World No Tobacco Day in Francistown, Botswana’s second largest city, the Permanent Secretary of Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ruth Maphorisa, said the incidence of tobacco use, at 17.6 percent, was ‘severe’.

It was the highest rate among all the African countries that were involved in the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) last year, which included Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.

Maphorisa was quoted as saying that, according to last year’s GATS survey, 82.2 percent of tobacco users in Botswana bought single cigarettes, which made them affordable and easily accessible.

At the same time, the average per-person monthly expenditure on tobacco was estimated to be US$79.50, an amount that was almost twice the country’s minimum wage – US$40.00.

Finally, Maphorisa said second-hand smoke was more dangerous than was active smoking.

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