A step towards a healthier South Africa
A bid to introduce stricter smoking laws by the Department of Health, according to Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, is due to the way the tobacco industry always manage to find a way to bypass new laws.
Should the bill receive parliamentary approval, drastic changes to South African smoking laws could soon become a reality. The proposed new laws could see ‘smoking areas’ inside pubs and restaurants become non-existent, and includes a rule that forbids smoking anywhere within 10-metres of a public building.
Speaking to news channel eNCA on Thursday, which happened to be World No Tobacco Day, where he further elaborated on the battle between his department and the tobacco industry.
“Every year you pass a law, industry tries to find a way to side-step it. For instance, when the anti-smoking legislation was passed, there were no e-cigarettes. Now they came up with e-cigarettes, which are supposed to be, according to them, not delivering nicotine but we know most of them do,” Dr Motsoaledi said.
According to Dr Motsoaledi, the Department of Health discovered that young people start smoking through e-cigarettes and as part of the new legislation, they will be including e-cigarette as a cigarette. “We discovered a gap where – on cigarette packets, it’s written not to be sold to under 18s. But there are vending machines all over that don’t recognise age just money so we are going to ban vending machines all over.”
Here are some potential changes to South African smoking laws:
You must be at least 10-metres away from any public building
Soon, standing outside your office block with a cigarette in hand could become an illegal practice. The proposal allows smokers to be a sizeable distance away from all public buildings.
Displaying of all tobacco products will be prohibited
If you a smoker, be prepared to see your favourite brand of cigarettes have it’s packaging made completely plain. Stores will also be asked to stop displaying packs of cigarettes in view of all customers.
No more public indoor smoking
It is not a rare thing to have restaurants where smoking, eating and drinking is allowed all in the same place. Well, that could be history in the near future. All selected indoor smoking areas would be banned under the Control of Tobacco and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill.
No more cigarette vending machines
The bill clearly states that all vending machines, exclusively selling tobacco products, will be completely banned and removed. This would be a thorn in the side of smokers who consider picking cigarettes up on the go.
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