About 125 of the 23% of South Africans who smoke die from the habit every day, the National Council Against Smoking said. This means a total of 44,400 deaths a year, said the council in a statement.
Reducing the prevalence of smoking from the 23% to 5% in the next three decades was possible. "But it will require an intensification of the tobacco control campaign. "In particular, the government will have to look at its tobacco taxation policies which are in urgent need of revision."
This would assist in the fight to reduce deaths from chronic diseases such as strokes, heart attacks and cancer.