• May 19, 2024

Tougher smoking bill

 Tougher smoking bill

A bill that would toughen anti-smoking legislation in South Africa has been submitted to parliament, according to a story by Nomvelo Chalumbira for Reuters, quoting a health ministry spokesman.
The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill would restrict smoking in public places, require standardized tobacco packaging, ban point-of-sale advertising and displays, and scrap the sale of single cigarettes.
Health ministry spokesman Popo Maja was said to have told Reuters that the bill, submitted to parliament for review last week, sought to comply with standards set by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which South Africa signed in 2005.
“Everything has been taken into consideration,” he was quoted as saying. “What WHO and our country are saying is that it is important for us to make sure that we have a healthy workforce.”
As with previous changes to tobacco legislation in South Africa the bill is facing a backlash from businesses who may suffer from tougher smoking rules. Japan Tobacco International (JTI) was said to have paid for a radio advert aired this month that encouraged the public to protest against the proposals, which were published by the Department of Health in May. “What if your loved one got put in jail because they smoke? It is just one step of the bill controlling your lifestyle choices. Join us in saying #HandOffMyChoices,” said the JTI-funded radio advert broadcast by 702 Talk Radio.
JTI was said not to have respond to several requests for comment about the advert and the #HandOffMyChoices campaign.
The Tobacco Alcohol and Gambling Advisory Advocacy and Action Group (TAG), which campaigns for tobacco control, has said it will make a complaint to regulators about the radio advert, which it believes breaches laws on tobacco advertising.