South Africa considering stricter anti-smoking laws including possible jail time

South Africa considering stricter anti-smoking laws including possible jail time

If you're a cigarette smoker, e-cig user or love to vape, you need to read this. 

Cigarette ban

Who could forget the notorious Lockdown level 5 restrictions where cigarettes were banned?!

Currently, smokers are allowed to buy cigarettes and smoke pretty much anywhere. The Health Department wants to change this - they have announced that stricter anti-tobacco laws are close to being approved and implemented.

The 'blanket ban' will affect tobacco product advertisements, influence sales as well as public smoking.

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

The proposed Bill,  the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, has been on the table since 2018.

Here are just a few of the ways the government is hoping to regulate the tobacco industry in the future:

  1. Stricter regulations for e-cigarettes and vaping accessories 
  2. A 100% public cigarette ban
  3. Limited use and sale of certain tobacco products in SA, including marketing

Tobacco companies have expressed their dissatisfaction with the changes and the damage this could cause to the industry.

Ntando Shadrack Sibisi who is the South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA) chairman, says that there has been very clear opposition from the public with more than 21,000 comments being made after the first Tobacco Bill was published.

Sibisi also lamented the fact that the tobacco industry has suffered immense losses during the COVID-19 level 5 lockdown. 

The other part of the bill focuses on changing public smoking laws.

The government is looking to ban smoking in the following areas:

  • Enclosed common areas of multi-unit residence such as flats or apartments
  • Motor vehicles carrying a child aged 18 or under
  • Motor vehicles with more than one person in the car
  • Any indoor space that is within 'a reasonable distance' of premises with strict non-smoking regulations
  • Any private home/dwelling used for schooling purposes, childcare or employment

Breaking any of these laws would be considered a criminal offence.

Image Credit: iStock

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