The Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Control Bill

“To regulate smoking; to regulate the sale and advertising of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems; to regulate the packaging and appearance of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems and to make provision for the standardisation of their packaging; to provide for standards in respect of the manufacturing and export of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems; to prohibit the sale of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems to children; to prohibit the free distribution of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems; to prohibit the sale of tobacco products and electronic delivery systems by means of vending machines; and to provide for matters connected therewith.”

NB: Public Submission are now closed!


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“Smoke” refers to breathing, exhaling, holding, or otherwise being responsible for any emission produced by a relevant product or electronic non-nicotine delivery system.
The definition of smoking is flawed since it does not distinguish between smoking and vaping.
The South African government incorrectly does not recognise tobacco harm reduction as a health strategy, whereas the UK government, for example, has recently launched a “Swop to Stop” programme in which one million UK smokers will be encouraged to swap cigarettes for vapes in order to improve the nation’s health and reduce smoking rates.
Nicotine-containing products cause a range of harm. These range from extremely little harm (for example, nicotine patches and vapes) to extremely high harm (for example, cigarettes and cigars). Tobacco and nicotine products should be controlled differently depending on where they fall on the danger spectrum.

To correct misconceptions about nicotine’s safety, the public must be informed about the relative hazards of nicotine-containing products versus smoking.

Vaping will be prohibited in indoor public places and in select outdoor locations, i.e., designated indoor smoking areas, such as taverns, restaurants, lounges, clubs, bars, casinos, music events, sporting events, and other entertainment venues will be prohibited.
A person will have to stand somewhere outside to vape, away from the establishment’s entrance/s and ventilation inlet, which is not secure in South Africa, especially at night, due to high crime rates.
Vaping shall also be prohibited anywhere on the premises of a multi-unit house, such as a block of flats or townhouse complexes if the smoke interferes unreasonably with the pleasure of other lawfully present persons.  This can lead to unneeded confrontation in multi-unit dwellings since what one person considers unreasonable, another may not.

10 years in prison and/or fine if an employer fails to protect their employees against vapour in the workplace.
5 years in prison and/or fine for an owner or person in control of a public place who fails to ensure that a person does not vape where it is prohibited.
6 months in prison and/or a fine for the owner or person in charge of a public place who does not display the necessary vaping prohibition signs in a public place.
3 months in prison and/or a fine if a person is caught vaping in a public place.

The proposed legislation includes a provision that would make it illegal to vape inside of a private residence if the residence is used for any kind of paid childcare activity, such as a child stay, for educational purposes, private tutoring, domestic labour, or any other kind of workplace.
In accordance with the provisions of the Bill as it stands, any law enforcement officer, upon receiving a complaint, has the authority to enter premises either with or without a warrant in order to seize a vaper while they are in their own house.
Although it is best to be a courteous vaper, the question can be asked to what extent the government should be permitted to intrude on a person’s private space.

5 years in prison and/or a fine

Vaping is prohibited inside one’s own vehicle if there is either a non-smoker or a child present. Although it is best to be a courteous vaper, the question can be asked to what extent the government should be permitted to intrude on a person’s private space. This is despite the fact that it is best to be considerate of others.

6 months in prison and/or a fine

The Minister of Health will have the authority under this bill to prohibit all flavours used in vapes, with the exception of tobacco and nicotine flavours.
This indicates that the Minister will have the authority to prohibit a variety of products, including but not limited to the following: fruits, desserts, sweets, menthol and mint flavoured vape products.

A prohibition on flavours will not reduce the market for flavoured vapour products, and as a result, these goods will all be considered illegal.

A retailer or shop owner must pack their vape items out of sight of the public at the point of sale.  The shop owner or assistant will not be permitted to provide any information to an adult consumer about different or new vape items. The adult customer may only request a specific product from a list, and the shop owner or person assisting the consumer may only hand him/her the product after he/she has paid for it.

A shop owner might face a ten-year prison sentence for informing an adult buyer about a cigarette or vape product.

10 years in prison and/or a fine

It will not be allowed to advertise or promote vape products, nor will it be permitted to have any kind of print, online, or verbal communication with vape product users, such as on websites or platforms like Facebook and Instagram Live.
Many people who now smoke will not be able to access information or support on how to switch to a nicotine substitute that poses fewer health risks because there are no legal mechanisms to contact consumers and educate them about vape goods.

10 years in prison and/or a fine

The Minister has the authority to issue regulations governing the packaging and labelling of vaping products irrespective of the nicotine content, which may include standardised packaging.
The packaging for vaping products, including any non-nicotine substances or products used with these systems, and nicotine-containing substances or products sold separately, must include the following information:
The harmful health, social, economic, or other harmful effects of using the product. The benefits of stopping the use of the product or of not using the product.

Vape shops typically offer their products for purchase in-store as well as online (although an increasing number of them focus only on the latter), and they send their products to customers through couriers or the postal service. 
This bill will make it illegal to sell vaping items over the Internet and deliver them to customers via delivery services like the post office or a courier.
A prohibition on the use of courier services and online sales could put many enterprises out of business, particularly small businesses that do not have the volume of sales necessary or that would rather not own or rent a physical location from which to conduct their operations. 

15 years in prison and/or a fine

The Minister may issue regulations governing the manufacturing, testing, measuring, and processing standards for the relevant products and related products, including the component; design features; contents and emissions; ingredients, additives, colourants, and characterised flavourings; reduced ignition propensity; and type, shape, and size.
No one shall produce, process, or import a relevant or connected product unless it complies with the standards prescribed and has been tested in the prescribed way and using the prescribed procedures.
All relevant and connected products must be imported through the Republic’s designated or specified points of entry under the Customs and Excise Act.

20 years in prison and/or a fine

This Bill gives the Minister of Health the authority to regulate on any topic that he or she thinks necessary to protect the public. The Minister of Health will have the authority to select who can sell vape products, as well as where and when they can be sold. Given the unlawful tobacco and vape sales ban imposed during Covid-lockdown in 2020, this power granted to a single Minister appears excessive.
The Bill requires the Minister of Health to implement plain packaging for tobacco products and gives him or her the authority to explore implementing it for vaping goods as well.
Plain packaging eliminates any product branding and includes at least 65% visual health warnings on the pack. Displaying body parts on packets may be culturally upsetting to some in a society with varied cultures and beliefs. 

To view the entire proposed bill, which was presented and passed by the South African Cabinet, CLICK HERE

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