Lift the ban on cigarette sales in South Africa

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Dear Mr. President,

As consumers and signatories to this petition, we have submitted over 500 000 signatures to you personally for the tobacco ban to be lifted as a matter of urgency. We have been advocating for the inclusion of tobacco at retail supermarkets and spaza shops for the duration of the lockdown.

We have been provided no scientific evidence to support a tobacco ban since the commencement of the lockdown. With legal tobacco product sales being banned, consumers are turning to the illegal market and paying high prices for mostly illicit cigarettes that don’t pay taxes to Government.

As we know and have seen for ourselves, this ban only increases movement and cigarette sharing, as demand has increased, and legal supply is banned.

We are in support of tobacco products being open for sale & distribution under level 3, including levels 4&5 which has always been our stance. With the latter, we hereby submit by signature that we are in support of this position and our common position be included for the decision making to open up the sale of tobacco without further delay.

Mr. President alluded to the consultation of all stakeholders, yet we can confirm that we have not been consulted, as we are yet to receive a response from His Excellency on the submissions we have made, even prior to the announcement of tobacco under level 4.

Yours in the fight against the tobacco ban,

Bev Maclean