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Tobacco Control Bill Public Hearings reach Gauteng

Publish Date:

November 23, 2023

The public consultation process on the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill is coming to Gauteng this week-end – 24-26 Oct.
These hearings present a vital opportunity for citizens to air their views and also to learn more about the Bill and what it means for public health and sustainable development in their communities. It’s important to show support for the Bill so that we can get this legislation passed!

It’s YOUR community, it’s YOUR voice. 
Say Yes! to the Tobacco Control Bill. 


Lesedi Local Municipality in Heidelberg, Heidelberg Town Hall – 24 November 14:30 – 19:30

West Rand Region, Westonaria Banquet Hall – 25 November, 10:00 – 15:00

Tshwane Region, Tshwane House Council Chamber (Pretoria Central) – 26 November, 10:00 – 15:00

North West Province, Limpopo, Mpumulanga and Free State are complete, with Gauteng, KZN and
the Cape provinces

See schedule here:


South Africa has reached a midway point in the national Public Consultation process on the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill hosted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health. Hearings conducted to date have reflected strong support for the proposed new tobacco control legislation, in the face of ongoing tobacco industry manipulation.  At the same time, the South Africa Tobacco Interference Index has just been published. It shows a worrying increase in tobacco industry influence, with South Africa’s score dropping by three points since 2021.

The first Global Adult Tobacco Survey conducted in South Africa (GATS-SA) conducted by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) in 2021 shows high levels of tobacco use (29.4%) and second hand smoke exposure in South Africa.  The research further shows strong public support for regulations, with nine out of ten adults supporting a ban on smoking in indoor workplaces and public places. Survey lead investigator and specialist scientist within the SAMRC’s Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit, Dr Catherine Egbe says, “A sick nation is a poor nation. Our communities want freedom from tobacco and the damage it causes to our health, our environment and our economy. The Bill includes carefully designed measures to achieve this and we need it to be urgently passed into law so we can move towards a tobacco-free, healthy nation.”

The Bill prohibits smoking and the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public areas, such as restaurants, and will make certain outdoor public places 100% smoke-free too, ensuring South Africans are free from exposure to second-hand smoke. It will remove smoking areas on public conveyances and apply the 100% smoking ban to common areas of multi-unit residences. It further prohibits smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes in private dwellings used for commercial child care or education, and in cars carrying children under 18, rather than under 12 as is currently the case.

“Freedom from tobacco use means so many things – freedom to breathe, to be healthy, to live longer lives.  It frees our loved ones and communities from toxic second-hand smoke. It also gives hungry communities the freedom to spend more money on food, rather than tobacco,” says Sanele Zulu, Convenor of the South African Tobacco-Free Youth Forum (SATFYF). “Our young people need to make the right choices, but they also deserve better protection from the targeted marketing of tobacco and e-cigarette companies. The new Bill provides this protection.”

The Bill introduces uniform plain packaging for all brands and pictorial warnings on all packages. Advertising of tobacco products, heated tobacco and electronic cigarettes at points of sale (tills) and the sale of cigarettes through vending machines will be prohibited. 

Electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems will also be regulated through the Bill. “Through implementing the cost-effective, proven measures in the Bill, which apply to both tobacco products and e-cigarettes, we can help free our youth from addiction to nicotine,” says Zulu.

For those who already smoke or use e-cigarettes, Nyatsanza recommends accessing support to quit. “If you need to free yourself from tobacco and nicotine addiction, now is a great time to start!” says Nyatsanza. “Research shows if you can make it to 28 days without smoking, you’re five times more likely to quit for good.” NCAS offers  a 30-day support system delivered through WhatsApp 072 766 4812.  Quitters can also call the National Quitline on 011 720 3145, which is printed on every cigarette package.

Lorraine Govender, National Manager of Health Promotion for the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), says the new Bill will help free South Africa from the burden of non-communicable diseases caused by tobacco, including cancer. “We have long campaigned for better measures that can free South Africa from the crippling impact of non-communicable diseases, which are currently responsible for the deaths of 50,9% of South Africans. Tobacco use is a major risk factor and is currently estimated to cost South Africa R42-billion per year in treating illnesses and loss of productivity. We must take action to free our economy from further strain and we look forward to stronger legislation that will better protect our rights to freedom and health.”

Show your support for a tobacco-free and nicotine-free South Africa by attending a public hearing near you and visiting to pledging your support for the Bill.

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