How new anti-tobacco laws could impact e-cigarettes.
This post was published on 16 Aug, 2018

You’ve managed to cut that pack-a-day smoking habit and feel pretty darn good about yourself. Only thing is, you’ve traded it for a vaping habit and now rely on an e-cigarette. That’s better right, especially when you need to get life cover quotes and life insurance

Before you get too excited about your “healthier” habit, make sure you know how government might regulate e-cigarettes if a new Bill gets passed.

What the Bill stipulates

Cabinet recently approved the draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, which has been published for public comment.

The Bill proposes a ban on smoking in all public buildings and within 10 metres of the outside of these buildings, plain packaging with pictorial health warning and a ban on smoking in private cars carrying passengers. It also extends the definition of smoking to include electronic delivery systems (e-cigarettes) and heat-not-burn tobacco products.

The public has until 9 August to comment on the Bill and comments can be emailed to Health Department Chief Director for Non-Communicable Diseases, Lynne Moeng-Mahlangu at

What it means for the public

But although government’s new anti-smoking Bill aims to regulate e-cigarettes, this does not mean that they will be treated 100% the same as regular cigarettes, said a department of health spokesperson.

If accepted, new regulations relating to different aspects such as smoking in public places, display of tobacco products, and packaging and labelling will be developed. He added: “Consideration of product variation and impact on public health will apply. When developing legal clauses, one is allowed to split it into sections. In some sections, some of the tobacco products will be clustered together, while they will be split in others. There may be slight variations here and there, or not. The Bill thus seeks to create a platform to regulate the e-cigarette on a variety of areas.”

Government has also rejected the vaping industry’s argument that e-cigarettes were aimed at helping smokers, stating that vaping is used by the industry to perpetuate nicotine addiction and the smoking habit.

Praise for the Bill

One body that has so far praised the Bill is the World Health Organization (WHO). Said Dr Rufaro Chatora, WHO’s South African representative: “South Africa is to be congratulated on a comprehensive tobacco control bill designed to effectively regulate existing tobacco products, as well as novel and emerging nicotine and tobacco products, which shows leadership in implementing global best practice to address the tobacco epidemic.”

Whatever the outcomes of the Bill might be, as law-abiding South Africans, users of devices such as e-cigarettes will have to abide by the new legislation – however lenient or strict.

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