Long-awaited legislation to bring e-cigarettes and new-generation tobacco products into the regulatory net for the first time, is expected to be presented to the Cabinet by the end of 2020. A Business Day report says the Health Department hopes to soon present the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, intended to restrict the use, marketing and sales of these products, to the Cabinet, according to a senior official.
The draft Bill was released for public comment in mid-2018 and elicited more than 21,000 submissions, most of which were industry-driven, according the department’s Lynn Moeng. “I am aware some people feel we have not moved at a fast enough pace, but there have been some advantages. We have been able to identify new measures industry is using (to promote its products),” she said.
Officials had collated the comments received in response to the draft Bill, but had yet to complete consultations with other government departments. And they had not yet briefed Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and department DG Sandile Buthelezi, she said.
The Tobacco, Alcohol and Gambling Advisory Advocacy and Action Group’s Peter Ucko said that the Health Minister did not need to wait until the Bill had been brought into effect to tighten some aspects of tobacco control. He said the Minister had the power to amend the regulations to the Tobacco Products Control Act and could, for example, move to ban indoor smoking.
Full Business Day report