15 May 2018

Further government crackdowns on smoking

The Department of Health published the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill last week for public comment.

People will not be allowed to smoke in cars transporting children and restaurants will no longer be able to reserve space for smokers, according to a new Bill.

The long-promised Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill was finally published last week for public comment.

Health warnings on cigarette packs

The Bill outlaws smoking in all public “enclosed spaces” including corridors and stairways, smoking in private cars transporting children and homes the run crèches.

In addition, it proposes that cigarettes be sold in plain packaging and that the health warnings on packs contain pictures of what smoking can do to the human body, known as “graphic warning”.

The Bill also aims to control “electronic delivery systems” – including vapour-releasing electronic cigarettes and heat-not-burn devices that heat up tobacco. These were not covered by earlier legislation.

Savera Kalideen, executive director of the National Council Against Smoking, welcomed the Bill, saying it that was “a very strong public statement”.

Misconceptions about e-cigarettes

“There has been a slight increase in smoking and the Bill will help to stem this increase, particularly among young people and young women,” said Kalideen.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about e-cigarettes, which were not regulated by smoking laws because they don’t contain tobacco.”

Surveys estimate that between 18 and 22% of South Africans smoke – a significant decrease from 1992 when around 32% of people smoked.

The public has until 9 August to comment on the Bill and comments can be emailed to Health Department Director Lynne Moeng-Mahlangu at

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