With the Portfolio Committee on Health set to resume its public hearings on the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill, Eastern Cape will be given a chance to have their say.
The hearings come after the December holiday recess and follow on from the public participation processes the committee has conducted on the Bill in North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the Free State and Gauteng.
According to the committee, supporters of the Bill have argued that the regulation of the tobacco industry was necessary to alleviate the burden of disease and the cost to the health department, which spent around R40 billion every year on treating patients with ailments induced by the consumption of tobacco products.
According to the South African Medical Research Council, the bill seeks to do five things:
– Institute a 100% smoke-free indoor and certain outdoor places.
– Ban the sale of cigarettes through vending machines.
– Ban the display of tobacco and electronic delivery systems at the point of sale.
– Regulate and control electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes).
– Change the current textual warnings on tobacco products packages to plain packages with graphic health warnings.
Those wanting to comment on the bill will be able to do so at:
- Butterworth Town Hall on Friday, January 26 from 10am - 3pm
- Thobi Kula Indoor Sports Complex (main hall) on Saturday, January 27 from 10am - 3pm
- East London City Hall on Sunday January 28 from 10am - 3pm