• July 15, 2024

South African Tobacco Laws Put Jobs at Risk

 South African Tobacco Laws Put Jobs at Risk
Image: Tobacco Reporter archive

Many South African tobacconists fear the country’s new tobacco laws will put small businesses and jobs at risk, according to a new survey, reports BusinessTech.

The new Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill is open for public comment. It was tabled before Parliament in mid-December 2022, and it has undergone extensive review and consultations. The bill outlines new regulations and prohibitions for tobacco smoking and electronic cigarettes.

A survey of specialist tobacconists in South Africa showed overwhelming opposition to the bill, which includes a complete ban on the display of all tobacco and related products across all retail channels, including specialist stores.

“While the tobacco bill creates significant trouble for all tobacco products retailers, it is clear from the research into specialist tobacconists that proposing a total ban on displaying the only products they sell in their stores is an existential risk to their businesses. These are legal products that are only sold, by law, to those over the age of 18,” said Alex Jacovides, Clippa Sales director.

With these regulations, the bill would likely cause many specialty stores to go out of business, costing many their jobs.

The bill also implements a penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine for displaying a single pack of cigarettes on the counter—even mistakenly. Almost all of the survey respondents said the penalty is extreme, inappropriate and severely damaging to small businesses.