Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking Among Ex-Mineworkers of Transkei, South Africa


  • B Meel



Prevalence, tobacco, smoking, ex-mineworker, bad effects, and education


Background: The smoking of tobacco is one of the most important confounding factors contributing to lung pathology. It is therefore essential to know the degree of prevalence of smoking in the community of former mineworkers of the Transkei, who constitute one of the groups in South Africa most affected by smoking. Objective: Prevalence study of smoking among former mineworkers of Transkei, South Africa Method: This is a record review study from the Benefit Examination Clinic, which was carried out once a week at the chest section of Mthatha Hospital in Transkei. Results: 466 ex-mineworkers were studied for their smoking habits. Non-smokers were lower in number at 97 (21%), the number of ex-smokers was 226 (48%) and smokers numbered 143 (31%). Little more than three-fifth were smokers - 89 (20%) - and ex-smokers - 142 (30%) - who were in their middle age (40-59yrs). Between 1% and 5% were observed to be in the extreme ends of their age groups (<40 &>60). It was observed that among the ex-miners who had worked in the mines for a period of 10 to 19 years, the ex-smokers constituted 26%, the smokers 17% and non-smokers 9%. The ex-smokers, smokers and non-smokers were in a proportion of about 5:3:2. The population of smokers peaked from 15% for those with a mining history of nine or fewer year’s underground to 42% for those who had been mining for 10 to 19 years and fell almost at the same rate from 42% to 22% in the group with 20 or more years of mining. Non-smokers among the sample increased from 5% (nine or fewer years) to 9% in the 10 to 19 years group, and ultimately settled at 7% when they had worked 20 years or more. Conclusion: The prevalence of smoking among ex-mineworkers is high (79%) in the Transkei region of South Africa.

Author Biography

B Meel

Professor MBBS, MD, DHSM (Natal), DOH (Wits), M.Phil. HIV/AIDS Management (Stellenbosch). Research
Associate, Faculty of Health Sciences, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth 6031 South Africa




How to Cite

B Meel. (2021). Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking Among Ex-Mineworkers of Transkei, South Africa. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, 16(1), 1525–1530.