Thys Visser, the late CEO of investment holding firm Remgro, is credited with having said something to this effect: "There are more serious problems than smoking a cigarette." Of course, Visser had to say that — he made a living from manufacturing cigarettes. No doubt he was reacting to the trend of regulating the trading and smoking of cigarettes that has squeezed the industry across the world. In an effort to limit smoking — due to its harmful effects on public health — SA outlawed the advertising of tobacco products about 20 years ago. Evidently that was not enough to achieve the desired effect. Government said this week that it would gazette for public comment the Control of Tobacco Products & Electronic Delivery Systems Bill. If passed, the new law would ban smoking in outdoor public places. It would also prohibit cigarette vending machines and, for the first time, seek to regulate e-cigarettes and other nicotine-delivery devices. While the good intentions of the bill are indis...

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