The Department of Health’s new bill on tobacco products proposes a complete ban on smoking in outdoor public places, prohibits vending machines and brings e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery devices into the regulatory fold for the first time. The Cabinet announced on Thursday that it had approved the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill — the government’s first significant reforms to tobacco control legislation in a decade. It is due to be gazetted for public comment this week. Lorato Mahura of the health department’s tobacco control unit said the government expected pushback from the tobacco industry. "Our motive is to protect public health. Their mandate is to protect profits. We are going to be tampering with their profit-making processes. Of course they are going to fight back," Mahura said. About 18% of adult South Africans were smokers in 2012, the national health and nutrition examination survey showed. Regulation of e-cigarettes ...

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