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Smokers could save up to R14 000 when quitting

In the 2021 National Budget Speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, announced that the government would increase sin tax resulting in smokers having to pay an additional R1.39 per pack of cigarettes1. Bearing in mind South Africa’s dire economic situation2, with an estimated 3 million people losing their jobs as a result of restrictions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic3, the financial benefits combined with the health benefits4 should encourage South Africans to stop smoking.

Taking into account that the average pack of cigarettes costs around R405, if one indulges in a pack of 20 cigarettes per day, the habit amounts to over R1200 per month and over R14 400 per year. ‘One could argue that given the current economic standpoint of many South Africans as a result of COVID-19, this additional expenditure could be put to better use4, such as for food, housing, or to invest in education and improve household financial situations,’ says Dr Bha Ndungane-Tlakula, Medical Director at Pfizer South Africa.

To visually showcase this and inspire South Africans to quit smoking, Pfizer South Africa has installed money vaults at various Dis-Chem stores in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

‘Our aim is to encourage South Africans to quit smoking and rather use the money to save for a rainy day,’ explains Dr Ndungane-Tlakula.

While there are different ways to quit smoking such as stopping abruptly6, there are cessation methods that have helped many people kick the habit7. Should you be looking to quit, speak to your healthcare professional about the solutions most appropriate for you. For more information, kindly visit

Pfizer is encouraging people to visit the below Dischem store in their region to see the money vaults which will be up for the month of March and share images on social media using the #PfizerCares hashtag. The money vaults can be found at the pharmacy counters at the following locations:


Sandton City Mall

Centurion Mall

Fourways Mall

Western Cape:

Century City

The Point Shopping Centre

Blue Route Mall


The Pavillion Mall

Ballito Junction Mall

Gateway Mall

  1.   Mokone T. Alcohol, cigarettes and petrol to cost more as taxes are hiked in 2021 budget [Internet]. TimesLIVE. [cited 2021 Mar 1]. Available from:
  2.   Zwane T. How SA’s dire economic situation can be fixed [Internet]. citypress. 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 15]. Available from:
  3.   Bloomberg. Business Maverick: In South Africa, Even Skilled Workers Seek Jobs on the Street [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 15]. Available from:
  4.   Devon Card-Crue Invest (Pty) Ltd. Stopped smoking? Here’s what you can save [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 15]. Available from:
  5.   Cigarettes are more expensive than before the lockdown ban – and it is about to get worse [Internet]. [cited 2021 Feb 15]. Available from:
  6.   Armand W. What’s the best way to quit smoking? [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2021 Feb 15]. Available from:
  7.   Robinson L. How to Quit Smoking – [cited 2021 Feb 15]; Available from:


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