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S. Africa to introduce stricter anti-smoking measures


Cape Town –  South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Thursday announced plan to introduce a series of stricter anti-smoking measures in a bid to stamp out smoking.
According to the minister, one of the measures is to introduce plain-packaged tobacco products, which restrict the use of logos, colours and brand images.
Motsoaledi said the department of Health would completely abolish the 25 per cent of reserved smoking areas in public spaces and banned the display of cigarettes at supermarket kiosks and other counters.
He said other measures included removing cigarette vending machines that enable the sale of cigarettes to minors, establishing laws to regulate the use of cigarette substitutes such as hookah pipes and e-cigarettes.
He added that the measures also included tightening policies on the minimum distance smokers could smoke at public entrances such as airport terminals.
“It is against the law for parents to smoke in vehicles with minors, or for them to bring children into enclosed smoking areas.
“My department is moving forward with regulations to further reduce tobacco usage in South Africa.
The department is looking at a raft of new regulations that will make it tougher for smokers to buy cigarettes and smoke in public spaces’’, Motsoaledi said.
The minister said South Africa would follow Australia, Britain and France in introducing plain-packaged tobacco products, which restricts the use of logos, colours and brand images.
“South Africa is lagging behind, while other nations tighten tobacco regulations.
“There was a compromise by government. We left 25 per cent space for smokers in public areas, and now we are in the process of abolishing it. In other words, there should be no 25 per cent’’, he said.
He said tobacco products were still advertised subtly in outlets, adding that it must be in an enclosed place where nobody can see it.
“This will make it more difficult to buy cigarettes’’, the minister said. (Xinhua/NAN)

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