What to expect from South Africa’s new smoking and e-cigarette laws

Tobacco company, Phillip Morris, has warned that the introduction of new smoking rules in South Africa may ultimately be harmful because of how they also legislate against e-cigarettes.

BusinessDay reports that the company aims to ultimately replace its all its cigarettes with new products that do not produce harmful smoke, including e-cigarettes and new iQOS devices that heat instead of burn tobacco.

However, the introduction of the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill will prevent the communication and marketing of all tobacco products.

This will effectively prevent Phillip Morris from presenting healthy alternatives to South African cigarette smokers, said Marcelo Nico, Philip Morris’s MD for Southern Africa.

“What we encourage government to do – and it’s in the submissions we made on the draft bill – is to separate the combustion burning of tobacco versus smokeless products like iQOS – they should be treated differently because this is part of the solution,” he said.

New smoking laws

The Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act aims to ban smoking in all public spaces, remove branding from cigarettes packs and control electronic cigarettes.

The proposals, first mooted in 2015, have garnered significant public interest as they propose a number of strict new smoking laws, including:

  • A zero-tolerance policy on in-door smoking in public places (including the removal of designated smoking areas in restaurants);
  • A ban on outdoor smoking in public places;
  • When smoking outside, smokers must be at least 10 metres away from public entrances;
  • The removal of all signage on cigarette packaging aside from the brand name and warning stickers;
  • Cigarettes may no longer be publicly displayed by retailers.

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What to expect from South Africa’s new smoking and e-cigarette laws