The National Department of Health has officially released its Draft Tobacco Bill for public comment.
The Draft Bill proposes that smoking be banned in certain public spaces, and will also significantly clamp down on advertising which promotes tobacco products.
Some of these changes include the following:
– The removal of designated smoking areas in restaurants
– A ban on outdoor smoking at certain public spaces
– The removal of all signage on cigarette packaging aside from the brand name and warning stickers
– Cigarettes may also no longer be cubically displayed by retailers
While a number of these proposed changes have been well documented in the media, the official publication of the regulations have also revealed a number of much more controversial changes.
According to an American Cancer Society (ACS) report released earlier this year, more than 55 000 children between the ages of 10-14 years old and 6 321 000 adults aged older than 15 year of age use tobacco in South Africa on a daily basis.
A large portion of the population is likely to be affected by the regulations, and an even larger number of second-hand smokers may rejoice at the reduction of second-hand smoke the regulations may bring.
The other changes to the Bill include:
– A ban on smoking in any motor vehicle while a child who is under the age of 18 years is present in said vehicle
– A ban on smoking in the enclosed areas of a multi-unit residence
– Depending on the comments received, smoking at any outdoor public space or work place may be banned
– The depiction of tobacco-related products may also be banned. This includes a ban on any confectionary or toy that resembles or is intended to resemble a tobacco product
Comments must be submitted by 8 July 2018, and can be submitted to [email protected]