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Trends South Africa Big Tobacco Sues Government Over Tobacco Ban

Japan Tobacco International (JPI) and British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA), together with The South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA) are being called hypocritical, for suing the South African government on grounds that the current lockdown related tobacco ban is infringing citizensrights.

The bans on tobacco products and alcohol sales announced in March, sadly included safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes and snus. Naturally, this had angered many public health experts and vaping advocates. Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) chief executive Asanda Gcoyi, reiterated that treating cigarettes and safer alternatives in the same manner poses a significant problem.

On top of this, in line with arguments by international health experts, Gcoyi had added that another concern is vapers going back to smoking or purchasing vape products on the black market. My other concern is the illicit market. People are buying vape juice from shops we know nothing about, we hear its available at spaza shops, stories that people are mixing juices at home, which is extremely dangerous, because they are just mixing things and the environment is not right.

The tobacco ban is driving South Africans to the black market

the University of Cape Town, had proven these predictions to be right. Economic scholars Corné van Walbeek, Samantha Filby and Kirsten van der Zee, surveyed over 16,000 people on how they were being affected by the tobacco ban.

Our findings suggest that the ban on cigarette sales is failing in what it was supposed to do,reported the researchers. While the original intention of the ban was to support public health, the current disadvantages of the ban may well outweigh the advantages. Smokers are buying cigarettes in large quantities, despite the lockdown, and unusual brands are becoming prevalent.

More restrictions set in place

Despite these findings, last week on Sunday July 12th, over a dozen new pieces of legislation were thrust upon SA, as part of the new Disaster Management Act regulations. These include Regulation 45, which dictates that the ban on tobacco and vaping products remains in place.

In response to this, JPI, BATSA and SATTA are suing the government on grounds that the ban infringes citizensrights and that prohibition will ultimately just lead to a reduction in vital tax revenues and a rise in the illicit trade of tobacco products. On the the other hand, no one is falling for Big Tobaccos tactics and they are being called hypocritical.

Vapesourcing Opinion:

This ban is wrong. Vaping is not smoking, that is two different things. Both atomization and cigarettes contain nicotine, but nicotine is not a lethal agent in smoking,but people will die from tar. 

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