Month: February 2014

Lancet Book Review: Our Changing Attitudes to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

" Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana I was surprised that Virginia Berridge didn't mention the above quote in her impressive book, Demons, because it succinctly covers the key message. Berridge explores the history of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, particularly opioids but she also covers to some extent

Update on the 10th PHASA conference

The theme of the PHASA 2014 conference in Polokwane is ‘Dignity, rights and quality: Towards a health care revolution’.

Interesting Blog: What Will A Tobacco History Timeline Show Fifty Years from Now?

A tobacco history timeline published showcases a decrease in smoking among adults, from 42.2 percent in 1965 to about 18 percent today.

Understanding nicotine dependence

We briefly unpack Scott Leischow‘s tobacco workshop presentation at the 2013 PHASA conference on pharmacodynamics and nicotine dependence.

The use of roll-your-own cigarettes in South Africa

Between 1993 and 2003, smoking prevalence decreased from 34% to 21.4% in South Africa through the implementation of its various anti-tobacco policies and legislation that have resulted in a ban of all tobacco advertisements, the enforcement of health warnings on cigarette packages, and an increase in excise taxes among a plethora of other interventions. A predictable consequence of cigarette price increases is that some people will switch to cheaper substitutes, like roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco. This may negate the effect of taxation and increases the negative consequences for their health.

mHealth Alliance positions in South Africa

As part of the mHealth Alliance moving to South Africa, there are two jobs available: Executive Director and Senior Manager.

CTCA: A resource centre for advancing tobacco control in Africa

The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) was established to build and sustain institutional capacity of African governments in tobacco control. This is done through the provision technical and financial resources to create comprehensive and strong tobacco control bills, policies and regulations. Additionally, the Centre has provided a platform for dialogue among the tobacco control actors including parliamentarians, civil society organizations (CSOs), academia and media fraternity. Furthermore, CTCA has built capacity of African governments and CSOs through training, developing and availing toolkits and orientation of key stakeholders in several countries.

Hopeful evidence – smoking cessation medication

When a smoker with limited funds approached the public health care system for help to quit smoking, Motivational Interviewing (MI) was the only treatment available to them. This despite the fact that there were recommended non-prescription medications on the market (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) as well as prescription medications (Nicotine Receptor Agonists) and antidepressants. Furthermore, costly curative care would be provided in the public health care system when smokers got illnesses and diseases linked to smoking. Megan Harker investigates the intricacies of smoking cessation medication.

Director: Health Impact Assessment

To lead the HIA Directorate to establish systems and processes to measure the impact of interventions on the BoD and establish policies and processes for quality improvement of health services.

Director: Professional Support Services

To give direction to and co-ordinate the development and consistent application of policy with respect to e.g. Security Services, Medico-legal Services, Laboratory and Blood Transfusion Products and Services.


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