South African Tobacco Ban Back in Court

Photo: Michal Kalasek |

The North Gauteng High Court heard an appeal by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) against the ban on tobacco products.

The court previously dismissed a case by FITA that argued the ban of cigarette sales was “irrational.” The government’s argument was that smoking could lead to more coronavirus cases and potentially death, but FITA argued the issue was not limited to cigarettes.

Appeal proceedings began Wednesday morning via Zoom. Arnold Subel argued on behalf of FITA, stating that banning tobacco products is based on “low-quality evidence” and that the ban would not have a significant effect on smoking in South Africa.

FITA is hopeful that the court will rule in its favor. “The judgment will be delivered by the course of next week, and we are hoping to have the judgment by next Friday,” said Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, FITA chairperson. “At this point in time, it’s a question of waiting a week or so.”