Draft smoking laws 'too restrictive'

2012-07-02 10:30

Johannesburg - The draft regulations on smoking in public places and certain outdoor public places are too restrictive, the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (Tisa) said on Monday.

"Although the tobacco sector supports the regulation of smoking in public places... (it) is excessively restrictive," Tisa CEO Francois van der Merwe said in a statement.

Tisa had submitted comments to the department of health highlighting certain concerns.

When the Tobacco Products Control Act 1993 was passed into law it made provision for the minister to prescribe regulations for designated indoor smoking areas, he said. Now the draft regulations prohibited smoking indoors.

"This, we believe, is not in line with the spirit and purpose of the act," said Van der Merwe.

He said banning indoor smoking areas would effectively make it illegal to have vending machines selling tobacco products. In terms of the act, vending machines were allowed to be placed only in designated indoor smoking areas.

Van der Merwe said Tisa also felt that Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi had acted beyond the powers given to him in the act.

"We could not find any provision in the act empowering the minister to prescribe that people cannot be served food, beverage(s), or be entertained or that 'smokers are to be discouraged from remaining in the area longer than is necessary to smoke a cigarette'," he said.

"We also believe that there are certain clauses in the draft regulations that are vague and uncertain."

One of these was the draft regulation prohibiting smoking on beaches "not less than 50 metres away from the closest person near the demarcated swimming area".

Van der Merwe said public smoking laws needed to be practical and enforceable, and fair to both smokers and non-smokers.

"We believe that the existing regulations on smoking in public places... work well and provide for both smokers and non-smokers.

"We believe that additional enforcement and not additional regulations will be more effective."


  • Byron - 2012-07-02 11:09

    enforcement... how do u enforce that when a smoker walks with his cigarette past a non smoker.... its impossible to enforce and is just going to be abused by selfish smokers anyway... ban it outright, only way possible...

      shawn.scannell.9 - 2012-07-02 11:17

      you're an ignorant chop! Non smokers have rights but so do smokers. Just catch a wake up!!

      singh.shalin - 2012-07-02 11:25

      Yeah because look how well it turned out for everything else that was banned - people who want it will find a way and dealers will kill for it. Don't be one of those holier than thou idiots, you're not the only one with rights.

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-02 11:44

      i will make a bloody fortune if its banned... singh.shalin is right, banning things opens the door to the underground, like drugs, demand will never end, therfore the market will never end either, where there is a will there is a way, and a fortune to be made

      louis.jordaan.1804 - 2012-07-02 12:51

      The problem is than the increase in prices have allowed black market traders and smugglers to coin it. The down side, govt are fighting a losing battle at a loss of +R40mil anually. I am a smoker and respect non-smokers, but for non-smokers to blame smoking for health issues are questionable given the rate of serious crimes committed by alcohol. Do not forget the toxic fumes from vehicles and industries that blacken our skies every morning. And the other danger from taxis with their load music that's trying to awaken their dear departed passengers and driver from the dead. There is a lot of other things to worry about that is more dangerous than smoking.

      gerald.king.589 - 2012-07-02 19:10

      @shawn. The constitution clearly states as long as it does not harm others. Which is the issue here. You have no idea the torture of talking a nicotine exhaust mouth at work. Or the sympathy knowing its pumping from the lungs, you just want to ask arent you killing yrself man...

  • gaby.hide.3 - 2012-07-02 11:14

    As an addicted smoker, I fully support these measures. I do not wish the same on my children. I would also like to see the sale of cigarettes and alcohol banned at family stores and supermarkets. These should be sold at bottle stores only. Why do they sell cigarettes at the counter right next to sweets etc?

      pisciotta - 2012-07-02 12:04

      Gaby - good for you to call yourself an Addict. You are. And so was I up until 1986. I was "burning" 3 packs a day at the time I quit. It was a b*tch to finally quit, but I did so by my own method. No medical assistance. I developed my own technique to quit and my method was later incorporated into the American Cancer Society's "Fresh Air" program back in the 1990's. I don't know if they still use my method. My profile is public. So if you are seriously interested in quitting smoking, write me. I'll share what I did and I'll help you - even from (at times) 18000km away - and FREE. I taught my method to 2000+ Americans over the course of 5 years. Success rate was 83% over 2 years (smokers who remained smoke free after 2 years). That was higher than the ACS had achieved prior.

      badballie - 2012-07-02 12:04

      Gaby as a 30 year smoker I fully agree with your dislike of cigarettes, however the law must represent everyone, even the smokers. The current information on second hand smoke is tenuous at best, current fuel exhaust smoke having a greater impact on city residence than second hand tobacco smoke.

      james.sleigh.1 - 2012-07-03 10:12

      I'm an addict as well, but nothing piss' me off more then being forced by a government to do something that is not my choice. They are prepared to make all these inhibiting restrictions but still want the tax money that comes from cigarettes. The last price increase brought in over R2bill into the coffers.Just the increase. If they were serious about health, then ban smoking altogether, sales and imports. Try herd me into a corner of a parking basement like an animal, but still have your hand out for your cut in the profits is downright immoral and unjust. As it is, I no longer support restaurants that do not cater for smokers. We eat out maybe three time a week, so that is revenue down the drain for some business, waiters and a parking guard. But then, what more can we expect from a government that will criminalise its citizens for not having a E-Tag.

  • Shirley Van Heerden - 2012-07-02 11:32

    OK! Nicotine handled. Now can we get to the root of all problems - alcohol? nobody crashes his car, or kills a pedestrian by one sigaret too many!!! Where the heck is the logic???

      talita.vandermerwe - 2012-07-02 11:45

      I also used this as one of my excues before I quit smoking.

      jenniferann.palmer - 2012-07-02 12:54

      You are right Shirley...I have never heard of smoking causing violence and breaking up families as alcahol does.

      delia.naude - 2012-07-02 14:51

      I agree Shirley....alcohol is the cause of so many more problems!!! Both smokers and non-smokers having one drink too many can cause car accidents killing innocent people instantly etc etc....but yet there are strict anti-smoking laws in place. What about alcohol??? Even though you cannot buy alcohol after certain times of the day or never on Sundays, you can still walk into any restaurant or bar and drink as much as you like!!

  • TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-07-02 11:38

    The only reason cigarettes exist is for the companies selling them to get richer at the expense of the consumers. Stop being fooled.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-02 12:12

      Tax the SHARE HOLDERS a lot more tax Without them the company will not grow. Now it is making a lot of money for the shareholders and all they want is for there shares to grow

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-02 12:14

      Tax the source and not the victoms of there greed

  • Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-07-02 11:41

    Yes, Shirley. alcohol has probably directly killed thousands more than cigarettes. I guess the people who want smoking banned are just a little ignorant!!!

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-07-02 11:57

      Like the article on rape.(6 boys and with a 16yr old girl) They were consuming alcohol. Wonder if they would have done it if they was only smoking cigarettes? If they want to implement heavy laws against smoking I suggest they do the same against alcohol.

      pisciotta - 2012-07-02 12:10

      This information is from Check it out, there is a ton of info that may help you, but it is from 2000. Tobacco was the leading cause of death that year: 435,000 Alcohol was the third: 85,000 Read more:

      pisciotta - 2012-07-02 12:11

      Dawn - do some research. Ok, who trusts the Internet. But its better than pulling a thought out of assumption.

      badballie - 2012-07-02 12:15

      no actually they know exactly what they are doing, its a case of a single non smoker walking into a room of smokers and declaring that they do not have the right to pollute his/her lungs. small minded attitudes from small minded people. WHO and the international anti smoking groups have spent years trying to prove second hand smoke effects, and even though the US supreme court has already declared their research to be "geared to support a predetermined outcome" and "the provable link between second hand cigarette smoke and cancer to be tenuous at best" with statistics showing that the occurrence of cancer in smokers to be 12.5 in a million against 10 in a million in non smokers giving a percentage that is to insignificant to be of any value. Of course these are the same "specialists" who neglect to say that vehicle exhaust fumes produce every single chemical mentioned in cigarette smoke, but in quantities hundred times more concentrated. The difference comes down to a certain sector of the population not wanting to be inconvenienced by smokers while at the same time ensuring their own profit lines do not get affected. Fact: cigarettes cause cancer in smokers and are responsible for ill health and a diminished value of life in later life, no argument here. Second hand smoke on the other hand, is what is being fought, even though there is no prima facia evidence of any person ever having contracted cancer from second hand smoke.

      pisciotta - 2012-07-02 12:16

      Here are some stats from the US in 2000 (I could not find more recent). But I consider one can extrapolate the findings into 2012. Consider SA is only 3x the size of Texas. So the numbers in the USA are a good statistical base to start from. This information is from Not out of my ASSumption: Tobacco was the leading cause of death that year: 435,000 Alcohol was the third: 85,000

      james.sleigh.1 - 2012-07-03 11:59

      @PJP, seriously? and how many were under the age of 75?, or 60 for that matter? What are the stats for second hand smoke deaths? Pity dieing of "old age" isn't a cause of death, it has to be ascribed to a something. Smoking is therefore the guilty party, even if you outlive the average expected lifespan of a region.

  • GavinPen - 2012-07-02 11:47

    Well Tisa, maybe you should look carefully at the product that you are peddling on our population. its a drug, its addictive and it kills people every day, I really don't care if you and all the other smokers out there kill yourselves using it. The only reason that it has not been banned around the world are the huge tax revenues that smoking generates for governments. I do care that your smoke, my passive smoke spoils decent meals that I eat in restaurants, forcing me to site inside because out side is contaminated by inconsiderate half-wits who smoke, I do care that children see you taking part in your sad habit and I do hope that these excessive measures are passed into law and smoking becomes a thing in history to be frowned upon by the civilized amongst us.

      Dawn Campbell Gibson - 2012-07-02 12:02

      Yea Gavin! I guess you dont drink either!!!! Hypocrites of the world unite!

      rontheogre - 2012-07-02 12:09

      I suppose that while you are in the restaurant you also imbibe in a bit of whine, I mean wine or beer in front of children, but do not talk to that half-wit regarding the evils of alcohol and the family tragedies attributed to it. Smoking is bad( I am one myself and I try to do so where I do not affect other people), but so is alcohol. Smoking affects individuals, but alcohol has destroyed the moral and social fabric of families and communities as well as destroyed businesses, never mind the lives of the people on the receiving end of drunk drivers and alcoholics. How often have you not experienced people buying booze before groceries, seen grown men act like idiots while drunk on alcohol while the rest of the family has no roof over their heads or food in their stomachs. I say, ban cigarettes and booze, over and done with.

      GavinPen - 2012-07-02 12:20

      Actually Dawn, you are quite right, I don't drink either, also a choice made some time back, mainly because I don't have to hide away behind an intoxicant to thoroughly enjoy my life. Ronald, I agree wholeheartedly ban them both but sadly the real world that we live in will not allow such massive tax revenue to just be wiped out through legislation. I am really amazed where the alcohol came from in your arguments though, just another one of the methods smokers use to justify their habit I suppose, two wrongs do not make a right people!! Its all down to choice at the end of the day, you choose to smoke or drink if you are addicted or not, and if you can't, well actually its a case of you won't. Just bang in another nail in the coffin, all I am asking is that it is your coffin and not mine or my children's!!!

      malcolm.dale - 2012-07-03 11:00

      I am with you Gavin on the banning of smoking and also with the other readers on the banning of alcohol - in totality. Now we get down to the nitty gritty of the other issues. Once all is banned and you happily sit outside the restuarant and have your meal al fresco don't cast a thought about the huge diesel powered bus that belches more carcinogens than 20 smokers or the heavy duty pantechnicon that idles outside doing just the same thing as smokers - only in far greater volumes. Enjoy your petroleum product filled meal - oh and when you're stuck in that traffic jam on the way to work or on the way home - open your windows and let it all in. I think everybody has just jumped over the horse on these issues.

  • andre.burrows.92 - 2012-07-02 11:53

    Why must all laws be enforced? All should abide by all laws.All drugs should be banned fullstop.

  • pisciotta - 2012-07-02 11:54

    One might say smokers have a right even if to harm themselves. However, the illnesses caused by smoking affect everyone by increasing the health care costs. I know smokers who I call ADDICTS will find every reason in the book to defend their ADDICTION. They will cite other health risks (food, polution, alcohol etc.). But the bottom line is when you argue with a smoker you are arguing with an ADDICT and they therefore are incapable of rational thought regarding thier ADDICTION. There is no law against mental illness is there? Even if it is self induced? If you think I'm wrong? Just look at the posts from the ADDICTS.

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-07-02 12:50

      Oh you dont smoke cigarettes, you must be a person of superior moral caliber

      natashia.veltmeijer - 2012-07-02 13:11

      You know what PJP, i think you should get a life and a job and stop sitting on news 24 the whole day trying to prove a point and win an argument. You wont be able to change anything anyways, there are people who smoke, drink, eat chocolates ect....all addicts, if you like drinking coke, same thing. Really get a life and stop posting stupid things, some of us actually want to read intelligent comments. You are not better than anyone else here so stop acting like it.

  • tebogo.makaneta - 2012-07-02 11:55

    Bad habit....Let them smoke in their own homes. I am tired of these walking chimneys. Going around smoking like you own the place.

      tebogo.makaneta - 2012-07-02 12:04

      I don't care who smokes or what they smoke, i'm only concerned when i have to breath what somebody has puffed out. Actually they should be arrested for polluting the air.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-02 12:15

      And you dont???????????

      malcolm.dale - 2012-07-03 11:04

      and what about those who use motor vehicles tebogo? What about the motor vehicles? Are you going to tell me that they do not contribute in any way to the problem? Oh for the record I do not smoke - I have a beer in the evening before dinner and a glass of red wine with my dinner. The latter having been advised by a medical professional that it would be good for my blood! Please all you holier than thou Joes - wind your necks in!!

  • johnathon.masters - 2012-07-02 12:24

    Actually comments on this article are superfluous. The smoker is against further restrictions, and the non smoker all in favour of more legislation. Question is so black and white, that all comments become meaningless.

  • marc.rabie - 2012-07-02 12:48

    I am sorry for TISA but the period for objecting has passed at midnight on 30 June 2012. Moreover, the Minister can easily argue the publication as final regulation in terms of section 6(4)(b) of the Act. I am a smoker as well and this is hugely restrictive on me, but our bad habits is fair game to regulators wishing to promote national health in this sense.May just motivate me to stop smoking.

  • Joshua - 2012-07-02 13:19

    I know this is a heated debate and it gets emotional. Regardless of what side you're on, here are the facts: Smoker's view: right to live life and make choices, enjoy smoking and choose not to stop [or addicted and can't stop]. Non-smoker's view: Do not want to expose themselves or children to risks (proven) of second hand smoke. The issue is a balancing of rights, the smoker's rights to smoke and non-smoker's rights to a clean environment (the argument of using a car may be valid, unfortunately, we cannot use a bike in South Africa - being a non-smoker I am unsure how much of a choice it is to smoke - it is addictive and isnt something that you can just stop. I may be wrong). I understand how smokers feel about their rights, however, it would be appreciated if the smoker's could stop and think of what smoking does to others. Simple example, went for lunch yesterday, it was warm outside, children we're playing and to my right was a table with a baby (couple months old) and to my left was a table of smokers. Not only did this ruin the taste of my food, it endangered my life by breathing the smoke in. This annoyed me and I got emotional, but what annoyed me more was that this table of smokers was endangering the life of this little baby. I agree smoker's rights will be affected, but can 1 smoker at least admit that the habit directly affects everyone else around them?

  • johnathon.masters - 2012-07-02 13:35

    Joshua, in my mind I am a thoughtful smoker, and will never smoke near anyone, smoker or non smoker. At home, parties and social gatherings, I move as far as possible away from people, so as not to expose them to my smoke. I have tried to give up at least 15 times, and once succeeded for a whole year, before just one puff got me going again. I would love to stop, and will one day, but they say smoking addiction is as difficult to stop as heroin addiction. Cigarette Companies actually add chemicals to cigarettes to increase their addictive effect. Almost every smoker would love to quit, but man, it just aint that easy.

  • jason.heineberg - 2012-07-02 14:02

    This is so stupid.... why are we trying to deal with first world problems when we have much bigger issues (crime, poverty, corruption, education etc) to deal with. We don't have a big smoking problem in SA, dunno why this is something that should be focused on at all. And to all the people who think they are being "poisoned" by second hand smoke from "selfish smokers", just move away from the smokers, no one is forcing you to be right next to them.....

      timvdwest - 2012-07-02 16:19

      This is flawed logic. Of course more pressing issues exist, but does mean that other issues shouldn't be addressed?

      LanfearM - 2012-08-16 09:48

      No timvdwest, but the smoking laws we have now are more than adequate. They can't even enforce the current laws, how the hell do you think they will enforce these new ones? Besides, what about freedom of choice? Will you be so happy if they suddenly ban your glass of alcohol? Or ban your fatty food? Or your cup of coffee in the mornings?

  • flysouth - 2012-07-02 16:15

    Anyone supporting such legislation is inevitably encouraging government to move on to the next ban - that could be your own 'vice', maybe booze, fast foods, pickled onions - who knows what ideas can be festering in the zealotry-addled minds of the mandarins of the ANC? BTW and for those who are unaware, they are already deep into enacting legislation which will, in the fullness of time, severely restrict or even ban booze entirely. This because a few people are unable to behave with a couple of shots inside them, and to protect a relatively small number of the unborn against FAS (Foetal Alchohol Syndrome). One would think that there are better ways to handle this latter - perhaps by treating the alcoholic mother instead of buggering everyone about?

      LanfearM - 2012-08-16 09:45

      Exactly flysouth! This legislation is NOT about smoking and public health, this is about restricting the right to choose and forcing people into a nanny state that will ban anything they deem wrong "for your own good". It takes away the right of an adult to make their own [informed] choice! Even some rabid non-smokers are against this legislation for that very reason. What will be next, eh? What about all the crime, the murder, torture, rape that is rife in this country? Oh its ok to kill someone, as long as you don't smoke...

  • brett.airey - 2012-07-02 18:45

    Why am I not surprised, you Tobacco companies have had it so good selling your death. Do something useful and shutdown or shut up.

      LanfearM - 2012-08-16 09:42

      Ag crap man! Stop being so over-dramatic. "Selling your death". It is free choice to take that first drag of a cigarette, and free choice to continue smoking.

  • robqb - 2012-07-03 17:19

    BORING!!! I'm an ex smoker AND drinker, so I think I have experience in both! You anti-smokers give me the shiRts! As I said in many an argument about this subject. Get rid of the bigger killer, alcohol, then concentrate on the smoke. I stopped drinking 17 odd years back after about 39 years of drinking, yes I am an alcoholic as opposed to being a drunk. My breakfast was half a bottle of scotch! I packed in the cigs 3+ years ago because I didn't know if I could afford to smoke on my meager pension. As you can see I am well versed in both. So, please, get rid of the booze first!

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