Strict new laws for smoking in South Africa will soon be tabled before the National assembly, where the Department of Health wants to tighten its control on where it is permissible for smokers to smoke, and better regulate the emerging vaping sector.
The draft laws have a huge target as they intend to prohibit smokers from smoking in public areas and indoor settings where there are children in the house. They are also planning on tightening control over the packaging and marketing of the tobacco products.
One key area where questions have been raised is around the extension of the department’s oversight to vaping and electronic cigarette products. This is part of a concerted effort by the government to regulate the sector, which is currently operating in a grey area.
Speaking to 702, Dr Lynn Moeng Mahlanga, said that the bill, when enacted, will enable government to impose stricter smoking regulations in South Africa, with a particular focus on the ‘new generation’ smokers.
Moeng-Mahlangu said that the bill itself does not detail how the vaping industry will be regulated exactly, as these will be determined by the health minister Dr Joe Phaahla in separate regulation in time.
“The bill is an enabler so that the minister can create relevant regulations on the various aspects. Obviously, the new generations of products will be regulated, but in terms of the exact details, they will be covered in the regulations, not the act,” she said.
She raised a growing concern over where vape shops are located-close to call, shot and youth centres- and said government wants to address this issue before South Africa ends up like many other countries where many young people are hooked on vaping.
“It’s not a stop. We are not banning the products- we are regulating them. They have to be marketed safely. There is evidence these products cause harm,” she added.
Source: Business Tech, BBC News, image from Twitter: @phil_w888