Textbook urges smoking

Our government likes to give the impression that it cares about public smoking and easy access to cigarettes. But public smokers and dealers who sell cigarettes to minors are not arrested.

Our government likes to give the impression that it cares about public smoking and easy access to cigarettes. But public smokers and dealers who sell cigarettes to minors are not arrested.

Last month a Sunday newspaper reported that it wanted the US and UK to account for and responsibility for forgetting to get rid of a billboard on some Godforsaken station in Johannesburg.

I am surprised at the recklessness of the government about the practice of its laws.

Grade 12 history pupils do not have to go out to learn to smoke. It is in the prescribed textbook, Looking Into The Past by Peter Delius, Claire Dyer, Logan Naidoo, Jimmy Nisbet and Christopher Saunders. On page 351 in the South African history section, there is a Consulate cigarette ad staring at pupils who might not even be 17 years old.

One wonders how that got through the bureaucracy of prescribed school material? How can a school textbook carry such an advert for under 18s? How can the government prescribe a book that carries advertisements for cigarettes?

The departments of health and education must provide answers for this recklessness. The authors must explain. The government must withdraw the books before matric history pupils start smoking.

Goodenough Mashego, Johannesburg

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