Last chance to comment on proposed smoking bill
If South Africans want to continue smoking indoors and inside cars with children under the age of 18, they have until Thursday to comment on the proposed Tobacco Control Bill.
The World Health Organisation's (WHO) convention insists on completely smoke-free public places to provide non-smokers with better protection. South Africa signed the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005.
The key areas targeted by the new bill are: A smoke-free public places policy; plain or standardised cigarette packaging; regulating e-cigarettes; points of sale marketing; and removing cigarette vending machines.
While the law at the moment bans smoking in public places, it does allow for designated smoking areas in places like bars, taverns and restaurants. This is allowed only if 25 percent of a venue is deemed a smoking area.
The new bill also bans the advertising of cigarettes and other products at tills or selling them in vending machines.
According to the South African Informal Traders Alliance, the bill will cripple their industry.