smoking laws in South Africa

Pixabay / realhardwork

Department of Health reveal plans to ban smoking in all public places

Smokers are about to get burned by these new proposals…

smoking laws in South Africa

Pixabay / realhardwork

You may not light up at the bar. You may not light up near your car. And you can’t start smoking on designated floors… You cannot even smoke indoors.

These are effectively the proposals being set out by the Department of Health. But they have been less ‘Dr Seuss’ about it than us. Their draft legislation aims to prohibit smoking in all public areas, whether that’s indoors our outside.

Draft legislation plans to ban smoking in all public places

Designated smoking areas would be consigned to the history books, should this bill become ratified in Parliament. It’s all part of the government’s wider war on cigarettes, which also features plans to ban the display of smokes at retailers, and to remove all recognisable branding from cigarette packs.

Yes, we all know cigarettes are bad for our health. But they aren’t bad for business, and that’s where the biggest issues are coming up. Fanny Mokoena is the chairperson of the Gauteng Liquor Forum.

The GLF are 10,000-strong collection of tavern owners in the province. Mokoena blasted the department, accusing them of failing to ‘get their priorities right’:

“With the ban, what happens to the investments establishments and businesses have made to accommodate smokers?”

“People that sell cigarettes are running businesses and are responsible. The minister should rather be educating their customers to not sell cigarettes to small children for example. They need to educate people more.”

Hypocrites of the state?

If the government are planning to clampdown on cigarette use, perhaps they should get their own affairs in order first? The spicy revelations from Jacques Pauw’s The President’s Keepers showed the whole Zuma family have ties to tobacco lobbyists and for Edward Zuma, smugglers too.

This is an issue that will split South Africa down the middle. In these situations, we turn to you. What’s your opinion on a proposed blanket smoking ban? Is it for the greater good, or just for the do-gooders? Share your opinion on our Facebook page.

You can hear the Department of Health’s right to reply here.