Avatar photo

By Marizka Coetzer


Tobacco Bill: New proposal focuses on 100% smoke-free indoor areas

'The new Bill will further help decrease the impact of second-hand smoke on those not smoking and discourage youth from starting to smoke.'

There are hard times ahead for smokers as South Africans prepare for a new smoking law, with the proposed Tobacco Bill in the pipeline.

Cansa national manager of health promotion Lorraine Govender said tobacco killed over eight million people every year worldwide.

“It also destroys our environment and adds unnecessary pressure to our planet’s already scarce resources,” she said.

Govender said Cansa supported the new Bill that will be presented to parliament to amend the existing Tobacco Control Law.

The proposal focused on 100% smoke-free indoor areas, plain packaging and pictorial health warnings, banning of adverts at tills in retail outlets, banning the sale of tobacco and related products in vending machines and the regulation of e-cigarettes.

“The new Bill will further help decrease the impact of second-hand smoke on those not smoking and discourage youth from starting to smoke,” she said.

Vaping Saved My Life spokesperson Kurt Yeo said amidst these staggering health and economic benefits, it was difficult to understand why more people were not taking up the opportunity to vape rather than smoke tobacco-based products.

“Studies have found that nicotine vaping is likely to be at least 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes since most of the chemicals found in cigarettes are absent,” he said.

Yeo said according to available research, nicotine did not cause cancer. “Although e-cigarettes contain nicotine, it is significantly safer than smoking.

The e-cigarettes are a viable option for smokers looking to quit cigarettes,” he said. Free Market Foundation’s Riaan Salie said vaping could stop tobacco-related deaths.

“About eight percent of all deaths in South Africa are attributed to smoking cigarettes. Tobacco kills because it has over 7 000 chemicals which cause an increased risk of deaths from tuberculosis, lung cancer and heart disease,” he said.

Salie said without the consumption of cigarettes, the death rate from lung cancer would have been avoided by 58%, tuberculosis by 20%, and heart disease by 23%.

“Since cigarettes are addictive, a sin tax is an ineffective tool to curb consumption, given that tobacco users’ behaviour is unaffected by price increases,” he said.

ALSO READ: Ban on indoor public smoking among changes as tobacco plan nears law

– marizkac@citizen.co.za

Read more on these topics


Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits