As Botswana continues to fight against the spread of COVID-19, any person who is found to be involved in the importation or sale of tobacco, or any related product, will be committing an offence. As COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, the government has decided to limit sales of tobacco, as it is understood that those who smoke are more at risk from the disease.
According to the report, the move was first called for by the Anti-Tobacco Network Botswana (ATN Botswana), who recognise that tobacco use is a threat to the control of the virus. Professor Bontle Mbongwe, ATN Botswana’s Executive Director, told Mmegi Online, “Our urgent call to ban the sale of tobacco and its products during this time of public emergency is informed by scientific evidence that smoking damages human lungs and other body organs. Smoking also destroys the immune system hence weakening the smoker’s responsiveness to infections.”