What the Tobacco Bill Means for Smokers

If the law is passed, smoking indoors, including in designated smoking areas and even in the home or in a car, in the presence of a non-smoker or a child, will be illegal.

Bongani Bingwa spoke with Dr Catherine Egbe, a specialist scientist at the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).

The new Tobacco Bill is expected to bring major changes for smokers and smokers in South Africa.

The Cabinet gave the green light to the Tobacco Products Control and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill for submission to Parliament in September.

Office spaces, restaurants, clubs and other public outlets have designated smoking areas for smokers.

I think it is long overdue as the bill has been in the works for quite some time since 2018.

Dr Catherine Egbe, Specialist Scientist – South African Medical Research Council

She said non-smokers continue to suffer from tobacco-related illnesses after inhaling wandering smoke from a cigarette.

Egbe added that the goal was to stop and protect children from smoking e-cigarettes at a young age.

A lot is happening in the space where there is no e-cigarette regulation and a lot of our young people are being targeted and if we really want to protect the lives of our fellow citizens, this is the way to do it.

Dr Catherine Egbe, Specialist Scientist – South African Medical Research Council

The current bill will remove designated smoking areas so more people can be protected. Non-smokers around the world are dying of tobacco-related diseases and we know that many people are exposed to second-hand smoke from the Adult Smoking Survey.

Dr Catherine Egbe, Specialist Scientist – South African Medical Research Council

Scroll up to listen to the full interview.


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