The new Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, was first announced in May 2020 by Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla, and has been going through a review process.

The Bill would set in place stricter e-cig regulations, that include restrictions on the use, marketing, and sales of certain tobacco products.
The Bill would prohibit smoking in public spaces, and also set in place stricter e-cigarettes regulations, that include restrictions on the use, marketing, and sales of certain tobacco products. Moreover, it would set in place a provision allowing the government to implement a “100% public cigarette ban”.

The Vapour Products Association of South Africa’s (VPASA) has emphasized that contrary to what is generally assumed, the industry welcomes the introduction of sensible e-cig regulations. “VPASA’s second successful diginar in its Vaping Conversations series ended in consensus – that governments, including South Africa’s, should regulate vaping – and that these laws should be grounded in a risk-based approach which ensures users are both educated and informed. All decisions must be based on the latest available scientific data.”

However, tobacco giant Philip Morris highlights that this bill does not differentiate between cigarettes and safer alternatives. “On one side of the debate are those who would see less harmful nicotine products including e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and snus, regulated the same as the most harmful products, namely cigarettes,” said Rishaad Hajee, head of corporate communications at Philip Morris South Africa.

PMI strives to switch from selling cigarettes to safer alternatives

Of course such comments from a tobacco company are always met with scepticism. Like other tobacco companies across the globe, Philip Morris is striving to switch its business from running on cigarettes sales to one that is based on the sales of safer alternatives. “This approach doesn’t consider the growing body of scientific evidence which shows that not all nicotine-containing products are the same and turns a blind eye to the principle of tobacco harm reduction.”

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