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Increasing concern that government may reinstate tobacco ban

The government took issue with many conclusions reached by the Western Cape High Court when it found its decision to ban the sale of tobacco products unconstitutional. It is seeking relief to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal to contest, among others, that the evidence it relied on was not valid.

© koloj/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - As government moves to appeal the Western Cape High Court decision which found against Regulation 45 of the laws governing the State of Disaster Management Act, there is increasing concern that it plans to reinstate the ban on the sale of tobacco products.

This also comes as the National Coronavirus Command Council convenes its regular meeting to assess the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government took issue with many conclusions reached by the court when it found its decision to ban the sale of tobacco products unconstitutional.

It seeks relief to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal to contest, among others, that the evidence it relied on was not valid.

The crux of government’s reasoning for the ban was that the country’s ailing health system would be overwhelmed even further should smokers contract the virus.

It relied on research which suggested smokers were vulnerable to the harsher effects of the respiratory illness and would likely be in need of ventilation and high care if hospitalised.

Meanwhile, the tobacco industry is concerned that the appeal of the ruling alone gives way for government to effect the sales ban once more as it suspends the court judgment.

Government wants to be granted leave to appeal the whole judgment at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

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