Calling All Smokers: How Did You Manage During The Lockdown?


Cigarette sales have been banned since the start of South Africa’s lockdown on the 27th of March, as cigarettes are not regarded as “essential products or services”. The ban has been controversial, attracting praise from public health groups and serious criticism from the tobacco industry and some members of the public.

The Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP) at the University of Cape Town has studied the South African illicit cigarette market in detail in recent years. The group is independent of the tobacco industry, and any government institution, such as the SA Revenue Services or the SA Police Service. There have been many claims and anecdotes
that the ban on the sales of cigarettes has increased illicit trade. We want to
study people’s responses to the ban on the sales of cigarettes in a cientifically rigorous way.

We call on all smokers living in South Africa to assist us in this endeavor by completing the following survey available, in English at and in Afrikaans at

If you were a smoker in the week before the lockdown, we want to hear about your smoking behavior before and during the lockdown. This academic survey is voluntary, and all your answers will be treated as anonymous. It will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. This
survey has been approved by the Ethics in Research Committee of the Commerce Faculty at the University of Cape Town. All persons who complete the questionnaire will be eligible to win 1 of 10 Takealot vouchers valued at R500 each.

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