'High-handed' approach to smoking ban turning people against lockdown: Fita
In its latest salvo against the government's continued ban on the sale of tobacco products, the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) said that the prohibition was turning people against the lockdown.
Responding in court documents to an affidavit from Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last week, Fita chair Sinenhlanhla Mnguni said: “The high-handed manner in which this ban is being meted out is concerning and results in citizens losing respect for the process and the wonderfully good intentions with which the lockdown process commenced.”
The affidavit is also critical of Dlamini-Zuma's stance that the ban would make people quit smoking.
“There has also been a particular disdain expressed by the second respondent [Dlamini-Zuma] towards the industry and smokers. The contention that smokers (who are admittedly addicted) will simply overcome the addiction and have alternative means available to assist in doing so is simply untenable. History has shown otherwise.
“In any event, it is not the second respondent's role nor prerogative to stop people smoking,” said Mnguni.
Dlamini-Zuma's “approach”, adds Mnguni, “is regrettable and has no place in an open, transparent and democratic SA”.
“On the second respondent's (far-fetched) contention that a large number of smokers have quit smoking following the ban, due to the absence of a supply, one would have expected then that there is no longer any need for the ban. The absence of logic is manifest,” he says.