New tobacco laws proposed for South Africa

Posted on 29 July 2019

The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Draft Bill is aiming to ban smoking in all public areas, have branding removed from cigarette packs and control electronic cigarettes, reports Business Tech.

The Draft Bill, supported by the Word Health Organisation (WHO), was first raised in 2015 and has seen an increase in public interest. The new laws are fairly strict and include:

– A zero-tolerance policy on in-door smoking in public places (including the removal of designated smoking areas in restaurants);

– A ban on outdoor smoking in public places;

– When smoking outside, smokers must be at least 10 metres away from public entrances;

– The removal of all signage on cigarette packaging aside from the brand name and warning stickers;

– Cigarettes may no longer be publicly displayed by retailers.

The WHO said an official statement that the Bill ‘brings South Africa back to the forefront of international tobacco control best practice’.

The statement continued, ‘The Bill updates existing tobacco control laws to keep pace with global tobacco control recommendations and allows the effective regulation of new tobacco products, in particular electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS/ENNDS) and heated tobacco products (HTPs).

‘These and other novel and emerging tobacco products are not adequately covered under South Africa’s current tobacco control legislation which was drafted to regulate cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products.’

Tobacco companies have a different opinion and believe government should be focusing on other concerns first.

Speaking to Business Tech, Bongani Mshibe, Japan Tobacco International (JTI)’s corporate affairs and communications director for South, East & Central Africa said, ‘As the sale of illegal tobacco spirals out of control in SA, authorities continue to insist on further restricting the legal industry that complies with current tobacco regulations.

‘Rather, they should focus their efforts on enforcing the existing and already sufficient regulations, working with the tobacco sector as a whole to combat illegal trade, and concentrate on introducing ‘youth-centred’ tobacco prevention programmes.’


Image: Unsplash 

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