In a move to more strictly regulate tobacco products and electric cigarettes for health reasons, a number of concerned groups in South Africa are calling for the Control of Tobacco and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill to be instated as soon as possible.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) , the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) among others are calling for the bill to be introduced following the lifting of the ban on tobacco products at midnight on Monday, August 17.

With the bill in place, health groups believe South Africans may find the choice to quit smoking easier. Main objectives of the bill include better e-cigarette regulation and reducing second-hand smoke impact on the majority of the population who do not smoke.

The new bill is also expected to aid in implementing a National Health Insurance offering across the country due to its health benefits.

The bill is currently in the final stages of preparation before being instated and may allow for smoking to be banned in public areas.

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) is also behind the move to instate the new bill and hopes it will help more people kick the dangerous habit.

According to Deputy health minister Joe Phaahla, smoking kills 20 000 people in South Africa every year and a recent increase in smokers means more deaths could be on the card in future if the country doesn’t change its ways.

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