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May 2024 - Tobacco Control Policy & Research Updates


As part of our ongoing dedication to sharing information and encouraging informed discussions within the tobacco control community, we are delighted to introduce policy updates that encompass tobacco control developments from both South Africa and around the globe.


SARS interdicted from installing CCTV in Tobacco Warehouses


The Pretoria High Court has ruled against the South African Revenue Service (SARS), preventing the installation of 24/7 camera surveillance in cigarette warehouses. The decision follows a case brought by smaller tobacco producers, including members of the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA), arguing that the new rule under the Customs and Excise Act violated their constitutional rights.


SARS introduced the rule in August 2022 to combat tax evasion in the tobacco industry, requiring constant CCTV surveillance in warehouses. Tobacco companies claim violations of privacy and property rights, and the lack of clear guidelines for implementation.


The High Court has interdicted SARS from implementing the rule, pending the review application on the rule. Rule 19.09 promulgated under the Customs and Excise Act requires registered licensees who manufacture or store tobacco products to allow SARS to install CCTV monitoring equipment at licensed customs and excise warehouses operated by tobacco manufacturers.



The Foundation for A Smoke Free World changes it name to Global Action to End Smoking 


As of May 13th, 2024, the Foundation for a Smoke Free World (FSFW) has rebranded itself as Global Action to End Smoking (GAES), yet the underlying agenda remains unchanged. It's crucial to recognize that this entity, now GAES, was conceived and is exclusively funded by Philip Morris International, receiving a substantial $140 million payment in late 2023.

 

Contrary to its public assertions of ending smoking, Philip Morris International persistently promotes cigarettes on a global scale, actively undermining genuine efforts to reduce smoking, evading regulatory oversight, and perpetuating the introduction of new products engineered to ensnare future generations in addiction.

 

Recent developments in South Africa underscore the insidious nature of Philip Morris' tactics. Sponsorship of CPD courses and opposition to the Tobacco Control Bill reveal a concerted effort to subvert public health initiatives for the sake of corporate profit. The rebranding to GAES does not absolve the entity of its complicity in obstructing effective tobacco control measures. It's imperative that we actively inform our networks about the name change.


Australia’s e-cigarette legislation introduced to Parliament.

 

In March 2024, the Therapeutic Goods and Other Legislation Amendment (Vaping Reforms) Bill 2024 was introduced to the Australian Parliament, it proposes the ban of the importation, manufacture, supply, and commercial possession of disposable single use and non-therapeutic vapes, while preserving legitimate patient access to therapeutic e-cigarettes through pharmacy settings for smoking cessation and the management of nicotine dependence, where clinically appropriate. 

 

To track the progress of this Bill read more below.


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