The ANC Women’s League has praised government for banning the sale of cigarettes again.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last week announced that the sale of tobacco products would be allowed beyond April 30, when government starts easing the lockdown regulations to allow for activity, amid fears of economic collapse.
On Monday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was at pains explaining that he was against the sale of cigarettes for their contribution to ill-health, including cancer of the lungs.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said they received over 2000 submissions against the unbanning of cigarette sales since the opening of public comments.
“As you know, besides the effect of tobacco on the person’s lungs, the way tobacco is shared doesn’t allow for social distancing, it encourages the spread of the virus. The sale of tobacco, e-cigarettes and related products is not allowed. It hasn’t been allowed and still not allowed, just like alcohol,” she said.
The World Health Organisation has also warned against smoking, saying smokers were likely to be more vulnerable to infection.
ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said: “Indeed the government listens and remains the government of the people by the people; the health risk related to cigarettes are well documented.”