Tobacco Bill: Public fears another tick boxing exercise 

Issued by Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health
21 Aug 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attach soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

The first round of public participation hearings regarding the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill was held this weekend in North West.

The Bill aims to regulate the tobacco and vaping industries by regulating the sale, advertising, and packaging of products, as well as setting manufacturing standards. The DA has a number of concerns with the Tobacco Bill, many of which were shared by the North West communities and stakeholders that partook in the hearings.

Participants highlighted the fear that the Bill might impact job security, as many in the province are employed by the tobacco industry. There were also fears that the Bill might increase the illicit trade of tobacco products, negatively impacting the local economy, as well as the increased health concerns associated with unregulated products.

Concerns about the extent of the Minister of Health’s regulatory powers were also raised, as well as the lack of differentiation between traditional tobacco products and those from the vaping industry.

What was repeatedly raised was the fear that the public participation hearings were merely a tick-boxing exercise and that the Tobacco Bill’s process would take the same route as that of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill which ignored all input from experts, professionals, stakeholders, communities and opposition parties.

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