On 9 May 2018, the draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill of 2018 was released by the Department of Health for public comment.
The Bill repeals the Tobacco Products Control Act, 1993 (Act 83 of 1993) so as to promote public health and to align the South African tobacco control law with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Bill addresses numerous issues relating to public areas designated for indoor smoking, the display of tobacco products at point of sale, use of electronic devices and the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco products.
The Bill aims to provide for control over smoking and the smoking industry by implementing various regulations. These include regulations regarding the sale, advertising, packaging and appearance of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems. The draft Bill states that tobacco packaging must have a “uniform plain colour and texture”.
Further, the Bill caters for the regulation of the manufacturing and export of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems as well as prohibits the sale of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems to and by persons under the age of 18 years. Additionally, amongst other prohibitions, the Bill proposes the prohibition of the sale of tobacco products by means of vending machines and the smoking of tobacco in vehicles with passengers, and specifically passengers who are children under the age of 18.
Members of the public have until 9 August 2018 to comment on the draft Bill before it is submitted to the National Assembly for adoption.