Cigarette ban in numbers: These six stats highlight government ‘failures’

An explosive report into the apparent 'failures' of the cigarette ban has drawn a lot of attention this weekend - here are the six biggest revelations.

Cigarette ban in numbers: These six stats highlight government ‘failures’

If you were baffled by the cigarette ban before, then this will go a long way towards compounding your confusion. Researchers at the University of Cape Town have compiled a report into the effect of prohibition on smoking, and the numbers don’t look good for the government and its war on tobacco.

In numbers: How the cigarette ban has failed South Africa

The report, titled Lighting Up The Illicit Market, reveals some damning findings: The ban has sparked a price war between illegal and legal sales of cigarettes – and it can’t be reversed when restrictions are lifted.

There’s also confusion about what SARS must now do. Their success in tackling the billion-rand tax hole created by illegal smokes seems to have been crushed within a few weeks. The numbers are grim…

  • It’s estimated that 50% of all smokers have switched brands, now ‘going local’ so they can get access to illegal cigarettes.
  • Cigarette prices are going up by 4.4% a day.
  • Smokers are paying an average of 90% more for cigarettes.
  • Around 67% of smokers are heading to spaza shops to pick up their illicit goods.
  • About 4% of people admitted to buying cigarettes through ‘drug dealers’, ‘cigarette smugglers’, or ‘black market traders’.
  • More than one in four (26%) cigarette consumers have turned to street vendors for their fix.

Mental well-being harmed by smoking laws

As well as the clear and obvious damage being inflicted upon the economy, the cigarette ban is allegedly igniting a mental health crisis across the country. UCT’s research unit head professor, Corné van Walbeek, has been scathing in his criticism of the tobacco crackdown, labelling it as ‘an error’ to continue with its implementation.

“Respondents do not understand the economic or health rationale for the sales ban. While most understand that smoking is bad for their health, they felt that the sudden imposition of the sales ban, without any cessation support, caused them mental health problems because they were unable to smoke.”

“It was an error to continue with [the ban] into Level 4 lockdown. The government should lift it as soon as possible. Half of the brands that are in the top 10 during the lockdown did not feature for the pre-lockdown period. These brands – Sharp, Caesar, JFK, and Remington Gold – are all produced by local companies.”

Corné van Walbeek
Source : The South African More   

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Unemployed? Let social media help you to find a job

South Africa's unemployment rate of 29% is set to rise. Use social media to help you find a job.

Unemployed? Let social media help you to find a job

With unemployment set to increase over the next few months, use whatever tools you can to help get yourself back to work.

The advantages of social media

Social media gives recruiters a more holistic view of job seekers’ capabilities and interests. It also allows candidates to stand out early on in the recruitment process.

Research is of paramount importance to your job search and can mean the difference between success and failure. It allows you to target companies the right way. It will definitely impress and show that you can add value to the company. A social strategy will help you target the most suitable people in the most appropriate way. Creating and nurturing genuine relationships is at the heart of using social media when job hunting on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Facebook

Before using Facebook, you need to make sure it’s not hurting your image. It’s important to delete or untag yourself from any questionable posts or pictures. You should only post appropriate content once your page is scrubbed clean.

Connecting and becoming engaged with Facebook groups is an asset. These groups can assist you and propel you in developing yourself professionally and connecting you with other people in your field.

LinkedIn

The most crucial social media job search site for any job seeker is LinkedIn. It is a powerful networking tool. LinkedIn can help you research companies you’ve had your eye on and assist you determine the best people to contact at those companies.

Many opportunities can be found through sending out invitations and keeping your profile up to date. Companies and recruitment agencies sometimes use LinkedIn to find applicants before they post a job opening.

Twitter

Twitter can be used to identify leaders in a company you are targeting. You can get their attention by following them and retweeting their tweets. The fact that you are responding to their tweets and showing your value can give you an advantage over other candidates that are not communicating. It’s also important to be careful with the type of content you post.

Companies post relevant articles and other information related to any changes happening within the company. This knowledge can help a job seeker not only understand if this is a company they want to be a part of, but also give them an advantage in an interview setting.

It’s vital to keep your profile up to date while job hunting. Our digital footprint is likely to be spread across several different places on the internet. A good strategy is to google yourself and see what surfaces. You need to ensure that your social presence matches the professional image you want seen by prospective employers.

Maintain a positive motivated outlook throughout your job hunting. Your personality and attitude will also come under scrutiny in the interview process.
Smiling is a powerful tool that will make you memorable during an interview, networking or on the phone. It will most definitely increase your chances of passing the interview hurdle which could lead you to being hired.

This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.

If you are a freelancer looking to contribute to The South African, read more here.

Source : The South African More   

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