Proposed smoking laws — feasible?

LEPHALALE — In a recent survey on Mogol Post’s Facebook Page, readers were asked whether they agree or disagree with the recent proposed smoking laws – Do you agree/disagree with the new proposed smoking laws?

South African Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, has indicated that the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act will be submitted to cabinet for approval early next year and the Draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill has been published for comment.

The legislation plans to implement a number of changes to South African smoking laws, including the following, among others:

  • A zero-tolerance policy on in-door 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;
  • Cigarettes may no longer be publicly displayed by retailers.

Readers’ response was overwhelmingly negative, and most said the government cannot even currently regulate law enforcement, how do they want to police these laws?

More responses were that there are so many serious crimes that need to be attended to, that the new proposed smoking laws are a joke.

Stompie Geldenhuys said: “Ek rook nie maar ek dink dit is simpel hoe gaan hulle al die rokers kan keer. Pleks hulle meer konsentreer op die dinge wat belangrik is soos die geweld …”

Others sought the positive and Tshegofatso Kgare said: “Aaron Motsoaledi is trying his best as Minister of Health since … wish all the minsters can have the same concept of how to deal with crime and corruption”.

Thursday 31 May is World No Tobacco Day with the theme: “Tobacco breaks hearts.”

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