- Berry Heart says she regrets lighting up in the presence of non-smokers
- Secondhand smoke increases risk of stroke by 20% to 30%
Local celebrities Keotshepile “Berry Heart” Motseonageng and media personality Loungo Andre Pitse have joined the bandwagon of activists who endorse the Tobacco Control Bill that has recently passed committee stages of Parliament and now awaits the President’s assent.
“It is disturbing to see non-smokers suffering from passive smoking and the conditions that it comes with,” said Berry Heart in an interview.
“The best thing that can happen is to have regulations that permit smokers to smoke only in designated areas. One thing that people should understand is that the Tobacco Control Bill is meant to regulate the use and sale of tobacco, not to phase it out or stop people from smoking.”
Research shows that secondhand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 20 percent to 30 percent and causes more than 8,000 deaths from stroke annually. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to experience frequent coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and/or other breathing problems.
Speaking as a former smoker, Berry Heart said she regrets lighting up in the presence of other people and giving them secondhand smoke. Because of that, she wants smokers to be considerate of non-smokers and their well-being and is urging the President to sign the Tobacco Control Bill into law as a bold step for the nation’s health.
Berry Heart has been vocal about the Tobacco Control Bill through her various digital platforms. She has also been part of a dialogue that comprised medical practitioners and former substance users who are in support of the Bill. The artist recently joined the Tobacco Control Bill campaign alongside other celebrities such as Loungo Andre Pitse.
The “Di Palametse” singer and poet urged her fellow artists to join in the anti-smoking campaign because they carry an influential voice that can encourage youngsters to abstain from use and abuse of tobacco.