Tougher smoking laws the way to go

The diseases caused by smoking cost this country billions of rands a year - money that could be spent on other things.


There is an old saying that cigarettes are the only product that, if taken as directed, will kill you.

So, we are behind Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi when he says he intends to make smoking restrictions even tougher.

We support him not because we are some “holier than thou” campaigners, but because the diseases caused by smoking cost this country billions of rands a year … money that could be spent on other things. And that is not even discussing the billions in lost productivity through smoke breaks…

And we reject the glib misdirection arguments from the pro-smoking lobby – as articulated by the Free Market Foundation at a conference in Cape Town this week – that attempts to restrict cigarette use in public spaces will turn smokers into “third-class citizens”. That ignores the inconvenient truth that almost a million people a year die across the globe from diseases cause by “passive smoking”.

What do you call citizens who have their right to health arbitrarily removed by people who can’t kick a habit?

Another claim often made is that smoking creates jobs. But, how can you build any kind of prosperity on the bones of others, though?

The health of our people should be our priority.

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