South Africa motions to ban all indoor smoking – including these private spaces


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The latest publishing of ‘The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill’ proposes significant changes to the country’s current legislation.

The updated bill is up for public comment until August 9, 2019, and is reportedly consistent with the country’s obligations under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

The 2019 update will allow for more effective regulation of new tobacco products, namely electronic nicotine, heated tobacco products and non-nicotine devices that produce emissions. These new products and devices not currently regulated under the country’s current legislation.

Related | Beverly Hills becomes the first U.S city to ban all tobacco sales and L.A. may be next

One of the main focuses is to enforce the full prohibition of smoking or even holding a cigarette, or any other tobacco or non-tobacco product that creates an emission in most public areas and even some private spaces. These include; all enclosed public spaces, public conveyances, enclosed spaces where children are present, workplaces, or private dwellings used for commercial activities or any outdoor spaces that may propose secondary health risks.

Photo by Antonin FELS on Unsplash

Additionally, the updated bill outlines that all smokers will need to smoke at least 10 metres away from all public entrances. It also suggests the removal of all signage on cigarette packaging, except for brand names and warning stickers, along with the ban of publicly displaying cigarettes in retail outlets.

Finally, the latest publishing of ‘The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill’ proposes to make smoking a criminal offence in private places, such as:

  • Enclosed common areas of multi-units residence such as flats and apartments
  • A private home or dwelling which is used for childcare, employment or schooling purposes
  • Any indoor space which is within “a reasonable distance” of a strict non-smoking premise
  • Any motor vehicle which is carrying a child aged 18 or under, or with more than one person in the car

The World Health Organization (WHO) reportedly supports the newly proposed laws. While electronic and heated products and devices pose a slightly smaller health risk than actual cigarettes, the emissions from these devices still contain nicotine and have also been found to contain toxicants, metals and other potentially harmful substances.

The bill will soon be finalized, so if you have an interest in how tobacco is managed in our country, make sure to have your say before August 9, 2019.

Read more on the latest local news right here.

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