The high court of South Africa has ruled that the sale of tobacco products remains banned under the governments’ lock down regulations. The decision of the course was mainly based on the fact that the decision of government was rational. The test of rationality was backed by evidence presented by experts on the link between smoking and severity of the COVID-19. Among the experts that supported government was Dr Catherine Egbe who leads Tobacco Control Research in SAMRC’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit and is a Research Associate at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University’s Africa Center for Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Policy Research. For more details on the judgement click HERE.
The Africa Centre for Tobacco Industry Monitoring and Policy Research (ATIM) has published the South Africa Tobacco Industry Monitoring report. This is the first of a series of reports on tobacco industry monitoring in Sub-Saharan Africa prompted by the need to provide a structured report of country experiences of tobacco industry interference in tobacco control. The aim is to garner concerted efforts at both the national and regional levels to counter tobacco industry activities in order to prevent the initiation of the use of tobacco and other nicotine products in this region.
The tobacco industry continues to apply similar interference tactics across various countries. There is a need for a whole-of-government or multi-sectoral approach to the implementation of Article 5.3 and related guidelines in the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). This report, compiled using evidence gathered from an extensive online search of the relevant literature, news reports, as well as personal communications between the author and tobacco control advocates in South Africa, provides an understanding of tobacco industry activities and what is being done to counter them in South Africa. It is a useful resource for tobacco control stakeholders. The full report can be accessed here.