Although many smokers have turned to the illegal markets to get their cigarettes, others have tried to improvise with what they’ve already got. But Professor Keertan Dheda, a senior pulmonology expert, has been forced to warn South Africans against smoking rooibos tea following a spike in this bizarre activity.

Here’s why you shouldn’t smoke rooibos tea

The distinctive, indigenous product is world-famous for its ability to produce a quality brew. But once you start using rooibos for activities beyond making a good cuppa, then you start to endanger your health. As Dheda revealed, getting these particles into your lungs has the potential to cause long term damage.

“However, smoking tea will result in the inhalation of several substances, including caffeine and particulate matter, which is likely to be harmful in the long run. Inhaling any unfamiliar particles into the lungs – rooibos, tobacco, or otherwise – have the potential to damage your lung functions.”

“Smoking Rooibos means you are breathing in tar and traces of carbon dioxide, which reduces your oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood. Inhaling this matter can really compromise the immune system, too. Inhaling any particulate matter hurts your lungs’ defence mechanisms.”

Professor Keertan Dheda

Tobacco substitute panned

Incredibly, the expert has also revealed that some people have been trying to shred nicotine patches and smoke them, whereas others have fused their rooibos with cannabis. Again, as explained by the professor, these items will cause structural damage to your organs when inhaled.

South Africans are genuinely struggling to behave themselves during the cigarette ban, but honestly, what can you expect? Millions of smokers aren’t just going to give up their addictions overnight, and the government’s oversight on a booming illicit market was described as a ‘total failure’ this weekend.

Even when Minister Dlamini-Zuma warned us all against ‘a zol’, we didn’t take it seriously. We instead had a DJ make a remix of the statement and reach the top of the charts. Perhaps Max Hurrell could take on the rooibos smokers next? Surely, he has to go for a slant on a Dr Dre classic; “Nuthin’ But A Tea Thang“.

This content was originally published here.

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