- Minister Jackson Mthembu says that the ban on tobacco products will likely be lifted at Level 2
- The Minister in the Presidency says that he cannot see the ban continuing past this point
- This comes as the government faces intense criticism over the prohibition in the first place
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Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has indicated that the tobacco ban seems set to lift at Level 2 of the lockdown.
The Citizen reports that Mthembu does not see the ban continuing past Level 3, commenting that:
“The ban on cigarettes, it’s just at this level we are in. We don’t know how many weeks we will be at this level. I can assure you after we’ve been out of Level 3, I don’t see the ban on the sale of cigarettes continuing."
READ ALSO: Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma going to court over cigarette ban
The state, according to the minister, will be consulting with members of the public on this controversial issue and many others:
“Those representations will not apply for Level 3 because indeed the president has given us all marching orders as it relates to Level 2."
Briefly.co.za reported that the decision to ban cigarettes has seen numerous organisations taking on the government in court, including AfriForum, which recently announced its decision to challenge the regulation.
An expert revealed that there is no evidence to support the claim that smoking helps to spread the virus, saying that the number of smokers hospitalised with Covid-19 is relatively low.
This comes despite the government's insistence that a number of studies had proven otherwise. Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has indicated that the ban may encourage many smokers to quit for good.
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