- The Eastern Cape government has warned that lifting the cigarette ban will be a disaster
- A senior official warned that the healthcare system will not be able to cope if the ban is lifted
- The cigarette ban has been very controversial and is being challenged in court
A senior official in the Eastern Cape government has warned that lifting the cigarette ban will have severe consequences for the healthcare system in the province and negatively impact its ability to tackle Covid-19.
Breifly.co.za learned that since the country went into lockdown, cigarette sales have been illegal. This has provided extremely controversial with numerous individuals and organisations threatening to take legal action against the government.
Head of the Eastern Cape Department of Health, Dr Thobile Mbengashe agrees with upholding the ban.
“The banning of tobacco in restaurants, many people have stopped smoking. Our worry is that winter is coming. Flu is gonna come and tobacco is going to irritate chests. Your chest and COVID-19 on top of that can make things worse than they are. It’s going to crowd the system,” says Mbengashe, as quoted by SABC.
The South African reported that there are conflicting reports surrounding the link between Covid-19 and smoking.
“There are conflicting medical reports – as stated by the responses and our own experts – as studies have shown that there is no casual link between COVID-19 and smoking and certain countries are now experimenting at whether nicotine can be used as a solution,” he told Radio 702. “But again there is nothing conclusive.”
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance is adamant that President Cyril Ramaphosa's evidence to support the tobacco ban has gone up in smoke.
In a statement released by Dean Macpherson DA Shadow Minister of Trade, the party commented that:
"In an incredible turn of events, President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that he has no empirical evidence to support the continued ban of cigarettes and other tobacco products under the current level 3 lockdown regulations."
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