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British American Tobacco’s cigarette sale ban bid to be heard in court

The bid to have the ban overturned is spearheaded by industry giant British American Tobacco and represents the interests of tobacco farmers, vendors and consumers.

Picture: Pixabay.com.

CAPE TOWN - The latest challenge to government's ban on the sale of tobacco reaches the courts on Wednesday.

The bid to have the ban overturned is spearheaded by industry giant British American Tobacco and represents the interests of tobacco farmers, vendors and consumers.

It comes in the wake of the failed Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) challenge earlier this year.
The second major court challenge to the tobacco ban is finally coming to the courts after a major delay.

The case was meant to be argued in June, but with just days to go, the Western Cape High Court decided to roll it over to the next court term.

In the meantime, Fita fought and lost its case in the North Gauteng High Court.

But it has been granted leave to appeal the matter at the supreme court of appeal.

But lawyer Mike Evans said the case they are bringing was very different to Fita's case.

“They didn’t raise any constitutional challenges to the ban and we raise a series of constitutional challenges saying that the ban infringes on a whole number of constitutional rights.”

These rights include the rights of the industry to trade freely and the rights of smokers themselves.

“They have rights to privacy, to dignity, to bodily and psychological integrity,” Evans added.

The tobacco industry is also expected to argue that the costs to the economy as a whole and to individual rights far outweighs the benefits of banning tobacco during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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