The National Council of Smoking (NCAS) welcomes the decision to tax e-cigarettes from 2021. The bold move announcing taxation will reduce youth use of e-cigarettes and prevent them from becoming addicted to nicotine and later switching to cigarettes. This will reduce disease and save lives. For more than a decade, e-cigarette usage has been unregulated and untaxed in the country. An estimated one million South Africans now use e-cigarettes, a worrying number that continues to grow. The health harm is clear: e-cigarettes are linked to severe health conditions including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, chest pains, ulcers in the mouth, asthma and a high risk of strokes. Taxing these pr

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni should announce a tax on e-cigarettes in Budget Speech

During his SONA speech the president painted a bleak picture of an economy in distress. Public finances are under severe pressure, youth unemployment is unacceptably high and continues to rise - and SOEs like SAA and Eskom continue to be a drain on the public purse. In October 2019 the Minister of Finance spoke of tax deficits, with Treasury collecting R53 billion less than it had projected. In his much anticipated Budget Speech, Tito Mboweni is expected to outline measures to begin to turn this around. In 2019, R717 billion was allocated to health care services, a figure that has increased each year since 1994. Whilst the prioritization of public health with the provision of treatment is to

Groups urge govt to enforce tobacco control regulations

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) and a host of civil society groups have urged the Nigerian government to commence immediate enforcement of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Regulations 2019 following its gazette in January 2020. At a press briefing jointly organised by the Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA), the groups also recommended the implementation of the ban of sale of cigarettes to minors, ban of sale in single sticks and Pictorial Health Warnings. Speaking at the event, ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, commended the Federal Ministries of Health and Justice for the strategic roles they played to ensure the gazetting

Philip Morris in breach of SA’s tobacco law with sponsored campaign

Business Day recently published an article sponsored by Philip Morris SA (PMSA), “Unsmoke SA: it’s time for a new conversation to reduce smoking rates” and BusinessTech also published a similar article. In both PMSA advertises and promotes the heat-not-burn tobacco product IQOS. Heat-not-burn products, including Philip Morris International’s (PMI’s) IQOS device, are tobacco products and should not be advertised or promoted in terms of the Tobacco Control Act of 1993. This act introduced a ban on all advertising, marketing and sponsorship of tobacco products. IQOS is a battery-operated device that heats tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper to produce an inhalable aerosol. IOQS is an electro

Implementing the Tobacco Bill will give the NHI extra muscle

Tobacco-related diseases kill 115 people in South Africa every day and the economic costs of tobacco to the country are R59bn a year. Tobacco adds to the economic and human resources costs of the National Health Insurance — costs that are subsidised by the taxpayer while the industry takes the profit. South Africans need no reminder that we are the most unequal country in the world, with our lived experiences telling the story of this inequality and a Gini coefficient of 0.63 confirming this statistically. With 84% of South Africans using the public health system, we commend the government for the steps it has taken towards implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI), as this will ensu

Brazil gives big tobacco companies 30 days notice in smoking lawsuit

7 February 2020, @SABCNewsOnline The lawsuit was heralded as historic by groups advocating for reduced tobacco consumption, such as the Alliance to Control Smoking (ACT), which said this week's ruling put the lawsuit back on track. The world’s largest cigarette makers, British American Tobacco Plc and Philip Morris International, will have until early March to defend themselves in a lawsuit in Brazil over compensation for tobacco-related diseases. Since last year, the companies have refused to receive subpoenas delivered to their local subsidiaries in the lawsuit brought the Brazilian solicitor general’s office. Souza Cruz Ltda, Philip Morris Brasil Industria e Comercio Ltda and Philip Morri

LETTER: Philip Morris’s reinvention as crusader for public health is disingenuous

What exactly is PMI recommending if products they deem ‘appropriate for the protection of the public health’ should be regulated differently to cigarettes? 05 February 2020 - 15:53 Picture: CHONESCHONES/123RF Although tobacco advertising has been banned in SA since 1999, the tobacco industry still finds ways to advertise its products. Philip Morris SA's (PMSA's) sponsored article heavily promoted its so called “smoke-free” products and stated that they want to “replace cigarettes as soon as possible” (“Unsmoke SA: it’s time for a new conversation to reduce smoking rates,” January 28). This call needs to be seen in context of Philip Morris’s actions. Why did Philip Morris International sue th