The South African Medical Research Council says it supports the passing of the Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill into law.
The public has until the coming Friday, to offer comment, and make submissions to the portfolio committee on health.
The committee said that the bill sought to protect the health of all South Africans.
The South African Informal Traders Alliance has, however, raised concerns over the bill, saying that the government is trying to railroad legislation through parliament.
Specialist scientist at the council, Dr Catherine Egbe, says, “This current law will now remove that 25% provision for smoking areas, so that all indoor public places can be smoke free. The essence of this is to protect non-smokers, who we have known, we have seen from research, that they are as well affected by tobacco smoke if they’re exposed to tobacco smoke of other people who are smoking. About seven million people die of tobacco-related diseases, but about a million plus of these people do not even smoke. So, they’re exposed to other people’s smoke. So, that’s what this law is going to do.”
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