As the world celebrates World No Tobacco Day, South Africa is gearing up to instate new and harsher smoking laws that have left many smokers and rights organisations fuming. In March, South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, expressed his disdain for the tobacco industry, saying that all it caused was “mayhem”.
Since then, the draft for the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill has been published for public comment.
Some of the proposed amendments to South Africa’s smoking laws include: – A zero-tolerance policy on indoor 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;
Motsoaledi also proposed that cigarette packaging contain images of the effects of smoking on the human body as a way to deter smokers from continuing the habit.
The Free Market Foundation (FMF) released a statement yesterday which opposes the stricter proposed smoking laws, saying that these laws violates the freedom of choice of adults who smoke. “FMF agrees that it is right that government inform and educate citizens about the health dangers of smoking,” the organisation said.
“It is wrong, however, to pass laws to force adults to stop smoking that not only violate freedom of choice but damage small, especially township business.” Below is a series of Tweets from organsations that celebrate World No Tobacco Day, and oppose smoking:
Today is #WorldNoTobaccoDay.
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) May 31, 2018
— Times of India (@timesofindia) May 31, 2018
— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) May 31, 2018
Big shout out to all non smokers! You guys are amazing! Never start that habit! 🖖🖖🖖 #WorldNoTobaccoDay
— Chimaera (@dopamine_surge) May 31, 2018
— NewsBytes (@NewsBytesApp) May 31, 2018
— Geetika Swami (@SwamiGeetika) May 31, 2018