Youth Forum runs campaign to pass new Tobacco Control Bill

The South African Tobacco-Free Youth Forum (SATFYF) is running a 3-month campaign from September to November to support the passing of the Tobacco Control (TC) Bill through its current legislative process.

The proposed legislation seeks to change where people can smoke and how cigarettes are packaged. If it becomes law, indoor smoking, even in the smoker’s home or car, in the presence of a child or a non-smoker, will be illegal. “SATFYF invasions to have a generation of youth who can confidently turn down any form of tobacco products. We have a vision of future youth that will not be the next generation addicted to tobacco products. We hope that all South Africans (especially youth) can sign our petition to demonstrate to the South African Parliament that we want the Bill to get passed into law,” Ingrid Bame from SATFYF.

Nyeleti maluleke : “I think it is a good idea, smokers should smoke in their private spaces. We know to smoke is unhealthy for our ecosystem, it damages the environment and it is bad for human health, specifically for children. So the Bill might reduce the high risk of people being diagnosed with lung cancer. Yes, I think it is a great idea that smoking in public becomes illegal.”

DITIRO MASUKU: “I am excited that it is happening. People who smoke these days no longer care about where they are smoking or who is watching. If there are laws that will regulate smoking it will improve other people’s health, especially nonsmokers, as they inhale the smoke from other people’s smoking. Teenage smoking might reduce, there are a lot of teenagers who smoke. They watch brothers and uncles smoke in front of them, and they see it as something cool.”

“Though smokers may think that these efforts are meant to restrict them from smoking, however, what we’re trying is to safeguard youth and non-smokers by means of regulating novel products and making it harder for youth to access tobacco products,” said Bame. She said that SATFYF is a network of youth members who are actively championing tobacco control in South Africa. “Our most important objective is to support our government’s call for promoting healthy lifestyles in South Africa by passing the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill of 2018.

The primary goal of the TC Bill is to protect youth from the tactics of tobacco and vape product companies and manufacturers. SATFYF calls on the president, and Members of Parliament to urgently pass the Tobacco Control Bill of 2018. The TC Bill is long overdue. It must be presented to Cabinet and then to Parliament. Passing and implementing the Bill will effectively change the lives of smokers and non-smokers alike,” said Bame. She said that this Bill has been in the pipeline since 2012, but it has still not been passed ten years later.

“This lack of action has cost lives. It is estimated that each year in South Africa as many as 44,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases. Consequently, passing the TC Bill will help ease the pressure on our health system, which is important for the execution of the National Health Insurance,” Bame explains.

“Through the campaign, South Africans are encouraged to make their voices heard by signing our petition and calling on policymakers to prioritise the passing of the TC Bill, namely Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr. Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, and the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Our campaign will be championing two specific call-to-actions occurring simultaneously throughout the duration of the campaign. We are collecting signatures in support of the TC Bill on the local community advocacy platform, Amandla.Mobi is a means to showcase how many South Africans want this bill passed. SATFYF will also be taking to the streets to collect handwritten signatures to further amplify youth voices,” she added.

Source: Herald