Changes in Smoking Laws Will Have Big Impact
If you are part of the 22% of adult South Africans that continue to smoke, or run a venue where smoking is allowed, best you be aware that a couple of new elements of the Tobacco Act were signed into law yesterday, and become effective immediately.
First off, the Act now makes it illegal for adults to smoke in a car where there is a child under 12. That’s a huge one!
From a manufacturers point, the way for picture warnings such as diseased lungs on cigarette packs is now open, although this element will probably only filter down to markets towards the end of the year.
Fines for smoking, or for allowing smoking in a non-smoking area, are also increased with immediate effect. The fine for the owner of a restaurant, pub, bar or workplace that breaches any aspect of the smoking laws was now a maximum of R50 000, and for the individual smoker R500.
Smoking is now also illegal in "any partially enclosed" public places (areas like covered patios, verandas, balconies in apartment buildings, covered walkways and parking lots.)
Another big one – because I know of a number of educator types that smoke at work in designated "smoking areas" – is that no smoking is allowed on premises (including private homes!) that are used for commercial childcare activities, or for schooling or tutoring – I;m not entirely certain how this one may affect universities, private colleges and the like though.
Finally, not yet finalised, but definitely in the pipeline for the near future are further extensions to the laws to keep smoking away from entrances to buildings (ain’t that gonna suck for many!), and to restrict it in sports stadiums, on railway platforms, at bus stops and in fully outdoor areas where food is served.
The anti-smoking lobby is obviously going to be well pleased with themselves.