South Africa's national Health Department said this week that it is working to get more stringent anti-smoking laws passed, reports Eyewitness News.
EWN writes that the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill was still being processed and some are calling for the matter to be concluded as speedily as possible. The SA Medical Association's Angelique Coetzee supported most of the measures proposed in the Bill such as 100% smoke-free spaces, plain packaging and regulated advertising.
‘We urge the government to speedily finalise and implement the Bill. The damage to our society is worsening during this legislative hiatus we are seeing,’ Coetzee said. ‘The Bill is not a mere box-ticking exercise, it actually saves lives, it actually serves our health, and it is needed to actually help smokers to quit,’ said National Council Against Smoking's Sharon Nyatsanza.
The Health Department's Lynn Moeng said they were working on the draft law and are moving as fast as they can. ‘We are now finalising the process and once we have done that before it even gets to Cabinet, it needs to be approved by a few technical committees. We are in the process where we'll now be able to submit to the various committees,’ said Moeng.