South Africa’s 11 million smokers howled in outrage after government declared it illegal to buy entjies under lockdown Level 4.
But an expert warns against smoking rooibos tea leaves as it contains tar and carbon dioxide, reports eNCA.
Professor Keertan Dheda, Head of Pulmonology at UCT, explained that inhaling these pollutants could lead to your teeth being stained brown, respiratory inflammation and long-term damage.
“I would not advise smoking rooibos tea on a regular basis because when you smoke any type of tea, you inhale many different things,” she was quoted as saying.
“The issue is you would inhale tar and carbon dioxide.”
“Whenever you inhale particulate matter, it corrupts the defence mechanism of the lung.”
A recent study by UCT has found that most smokers have been able to get their hands on a pack of 20s, even though it’s costing them a lot.
The study was conducted online between April and May this year with 16 000 participants.
Forty-one percent said they tried to quit during the lockdown and 39% of these were successful, which equates to about 1 million people.
More than 90% of participants said they bought entjies during the lockdown, despite the ban on tobacco sales.
Researchers advised a lift on the ban on cigarette sales, saying the current situation is feeding an illicit market that will be increasingly difficult to eradicate.