Cigarettes are not returning to shelves this week, says Fita

17 June 2020 - 12:40 By Unathi Nkanjeni
The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) has debunked messages claiming that cigarettes will be sold from Wednesday.
The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) has debunked messages claiming that cigarettes will be sold from Wednesday.
Image: 123rf.com/marcbruxelle

No, tobacco products, including cigarettes, will not be returning to shelves this week, says the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita).

Fita debunked a WhatsApp message doing the rounds on social media claiming that the tobacco ban would be lifted and that cigarettes would be sold again from Wednesday.

Fita said it was  aware of a number of communications claiming that the Pretoria high court had made a ruling on the matter.

"This is not correct and is misleading,” said Fita.

The association's case over the ban on cigarettes under levels 4 and 3 of the lockdown was heard on Wednesday and a judgment will be made in the afternoon.

“We will make the necessary announcement once we are in receipt of the judgment from the Pretoria high court,” said Fita.

When ciggies could be back

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, it is only a matter of time before smokers can get their fix the legal way.

Last month he said: “We are not permanently going to be on level 3. We are going to migrate to another level. Even those who are hankering for tobacco, they must know that it is only a matter of time before their hankering is assuaged or addressed.” 

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu also said that the ban on tobacco would likely be lifted at level 2 of the lockdown.

“The ban on cigarettes, it’s just at this level we are in. We don’t know how many weeks we will be at this level. I can assure you after we’ve been out of level 3, I don’t see the ban on the sale of cigarettes continuing,” said Mthembu.


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