Public place smoking ban a disaster for black-owned township businesses [South Africa]

From: Business Report | Opinion

Government’s proposal to ban all indoor smoking, to remove closed off indoor smoking sections, and to introduce outdoor smoking restrictions was designed without any recognition of the reality of township life, says the writer.

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Health has proposed a new law, which will ban all indoor smoking, the removal of closed off indoor smoking sections, and the introduction of outdoor smoking restrictions. Quite simply, these provisions will be a disaster for thousands of black-owned taverns and related small businesses in townships. In essence, the proposed law is well intentioned but it fails to take account of township realities.


A matter of greater concern to the government should be that the trade in illicit cigarettes is rife all across our country. Cheap illicit cigarettes make the product more accessible to young people, and at the same time, the Government loses out in billions of cigarette taxes which could be used to fix the hospitals and clinics across South Africa. We have all experienced the disaster that is our public healthcare system. We believe that Government should fix the illicit trade first before even considering further extreme legislation, which will exacerbate the illicit trade and have no success in reducing consumption of tobacco.

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