Govt decision to ban sale of cigarettes irrational, Fita tells court

Hearings in the matter are under way before a full bench of the Pretoria High Court.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

PRETORIA - Lawyers for the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) have told the Pretoria High Court that government’s decision to ban the sale of tobacco products was based on a single rationale that’s not backed up by evidence.

Hearings in the matter are under way before a full bench of the court.

Arnold Subel, who is representing Fita, has described the sales ban as "dramatic" and "ill-considered”.

He said the one explanation provided by government, that smokers would increase the burden on the health system during the COVID-19 pandemic, was not factual and it was not supported by any evidence.

The national COVID-19 command council banned the sale of tobacco products in March, prompting legal challenges and drawing outrage from smokers who've had to get their fix on the black market.

WATCH LIVE: The High Court in Pretoria hears case on the lockdown tobacco sales ban

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