SA’s draconian new tobacco laws are being viewed sceptically even by neutral interested parties. This is especially because, though they go so far as to ban smoking at home in the presence of domestic helpers, the legislation doesn’t even try to address the multibillion-rand tax shortfall in excise duties. SA’s existing attempts to control the sale of cigarettes are "a joke", says one independent source, and the attempt to clamp down further on smoking by diminishing branding and display will only play into the hands of the illicit trade, experts warn. The Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill is out for public comment, and industry groups have slated it, particularly because it seeks to classify "vaping" in the same category as cigarettes, even though the bill itself notes that the long-term health effects of "vaping" are unknown. The legislation also restricts the public display of cigarettes in shops and supermarkets — which, established players warn, is likely to enhance the p...

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