Proposed new tobacco laws predicted to 'go up in smoke'

Proposed new tobacco laws predicted to 'go up in smoke'

Government is mooting new laws to ban smoking in public places. 

cigarette ashtray

The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, which is open for public comment, aims to reduce smoking by prohibiting point-of-sale advertising.


Retailers will not be allowed to display tobacco products.


The prosed legislation will introduce the plain packaging of cigarette products with graphic health warnings.


But the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (TISA), which is one of the biggest stakeholders in the industry, says it has not been able to study the bill.


TISA chairman Francois van der Merwe says from what they have been able to glean the proposed legislation contains some extreme measures and will not reduce the consumption of tobacco products.


Van der Merwe believes the banning the display of cigarettes will have a massive impact on small retailers.


"How do you ban the display of a legal product so small businesses who do their jobs on tabletops, little shops, even in big retailers? It is impractical."


Van der Merwe says research shows the introduction of plain packaging leads to an increase in illicit cigarettes.


"Our market flood with cheap cigarettes which stimulate consumption."


Van der Merwe says only criminal syndicates will benefit from the bill.


Listen below:

The Free Market Foundation's (FMF) Leon Louw says the health ministry's proposals will destroy the rights of people who enjoy smoking.


Leon says the FMF believes the proposed laws are probably unconstitutional.


"Within the constitution, there's the right for people to control their own bodies and lifestyles."


Leon says the laws are also racist and anti-transformative. 


"Black people live almost exclusively in places where they cannot escape being in public space because the government owns their land and cannot go outside.


"If you live in Alex, Ivory Park, Yoevile or Hillbrow it will be actually impossible for you to find a lawful place to smoke. You will have to drive a long distance to find a rich person to allow you to smoke on their property."


Louw says should the bill become law it will simply be ignored by most South Africans. 


Listen below:

Read the bill below:

Control of Tobacco Products by Jacaranda FM News on Scribd

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