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Court Rejects Pleas To Lift Cigarette Ban


Pretoria's High Court has rejected the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association's application to have the cigarette ban lifted and has also delayed the court application from British American Tobacco, citing cigarettes to not be essential. Both organisations are however not willing to give up. 

The Fair Trade Independent Association (FITA) has had their application to have the cigarette ban lifted and have cigarettes be listen as essential rejected by the High Court in Pretoria. 

The Court has said their decision to not lift the ban comes from "medical material and other reports considered by Cooperative Governance". They have also reported that Covid-19 has likely seen a higher progression with smokers than it did with non-smoker. 

Pretoria's High Court has said that a product being labelled as essential should not be because of it's addictive qualities and that there is no  proper basis to unban sales of tobacco products. These products are not seen as "life-sustaining or necessary for basic functionality". 

FITA now plans to study the judgement given by the Court. The association has said that Government is not considering the negative impact the ban has had on economy, employment, livelihoods as well as health and safety and has said that this ruling was irrrational. 

FITA's application said that the ban could have, "serious physical and emotional adverse consequences" and that there is a possibility of "users resorting to illicit non-regulated products that pose a significant health hazard". 

FITA will be appealing the Court's judgement.  

British American Tobacco (BATSA) has also appealed to the Court to have the cigarette ban lifted but has had their court challenge delayed until 5 August, which was originally supposed to take place 30 June. BATSA has said that the delay is worrying and will see South Africans lose thousands of jobs and more than R1,4 billion.

Tax Justice SA, a Civil rights' organisation, has joined BATSA in their battle.



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