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Tobacco Consumption

  • 16.8 percent of adults (age 15+) in South Africa smoke cigarettes.1
  • Rates are much higher among men than among women: 29.4 percent of men and 8.2 percent of women smoke cigarettes.1
  • 5.0 percent of adults (age 16+) use smokeless tobacco (women 8.4 percent and men 1.4 percent).2
  • Among youth (ages 13-15), 21.5 percent use tobacco products (boys 24.3 percent and girls 19 percent):
    • 12.7 percent smoke cigarettes (boys 15 percent and girls 10.8 percent), and 13.5 percent use other tobacco products (boys 14.4 percent and girls 12.6 percent).3

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

  • Among youth (ages 13-15), 39.3 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places and 29 percent are exposed at home.3

Health Consequences

  • Every year nearly 53,000 South Africans die from smoking related causes.4
  • Every week approximately, 653 men and 363 women die from smoking.4

Tobacco Industry

British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa dominates the cigarette market at over 74 percent of retail volume. Philip Morris International (PMI) follows with 7.7 percent of market share.5

FCTC Status

South Africa ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on April 19, 2005. The treaty went into effect on July 18, 2005.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

For information regarding smoke-free places, advertising and promotion, and packaging and labeling, visit the Tobacco Control Laws website.

1 The South Africa National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES-1), 2012.
2 South African Social Attitude Survey, 2007; National.
3 Global Youth Tobacco Survey, 2011; National.
4 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2015. Seattle, WA: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, 2017
5 Euromonitor International, 2017

Last updated Aug. 31, 2017