An average of 90% of smokers are still getting their hands on a packet of cigarettes, despite the ban on the sale of tobacco products.
That’s according to an online study from the University of Cape Town (UCT).
The survey collected data from more than 16,000 participants in a bid to understand smokers’ behaviour during the lockdown period.
Director of the Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products at UCT Corne’ van Walbeek says people are still getting their cigarettes from a myriad of places.
“People have indicated they get them from a variety of places – from spaza shops, WhatsApp groups, illicit drug trade from street vendors. So, the whole system has become informal, it’s now become a bit of a wild west situation.”
Walbeek said they used three platforms for this survey, their own social media, a petition on Change.Org and another online platform called ‘Moya’.
“Our results indicate that 91% of males and 88% of females were able to access cigarettes, so an approximate average of 90%. And this is consistent across all race groups, across all income groups – its pretty representative of the country.”