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What does the Law Say

The following laws are included in Act 23 of 2007 and Act 63 of 2008 with regards to smoking legislation in South Africa.

  1. No person may smoke any tobacco product in any indoor, enclosed or partially enclosed areas such as covered patios, verandas, balconies, walkways, parking areas, etc. which is open to the public, and includes a workplace and public conveyance.
  • Fines: Owner of a restaurant, pub, bar & employer in respect of a workplace: R50,000.00 maximum
  • Individual smoker: R500.00
  1. The owner of or person in control of a public place or employer in respect of a workplace, shall display the prescribed signs and shall make the prescribed public announcements in order to inform any person who enters or who is in or on such place or area of any prohibition on smoking.
  • Fine: Owner of a restaurant, pub, bar and employer in respect of a workplace: R50,000.00 maximum
  1. No person may smoke in any motor vehicle car when a child under the age of 12 years is present in that vehicle.
  • Fine: maximum of R500.00
  1. No person may smoke any tobacco product in a private dwelling if that private dwelling is used for any commercial childcare activity, or for schooling or tutoring.
  • Fine: Maximum of R500.00
  1. An employer must ensure that:
    1. Employees may object to smoking in the workplace in contravention of this Act without retaliation of any kind
    2. Employees who do not want to be exposed to tobacco smoke in the workplace are not so exposed
    3. It is not a condition of employment, expressly or implied, that any employee is required to work in any portion of the workplace where smoking is permitted; and
    4. Employees are not required to sign any indemnity for working in any portion of the workplace where smoking is permitted
  • Fine: Not exceeding R100,000.00
  1. The minister of Health may prohibit the smoking of any tobacco product in any prescribed outdoor public place, or such portion of an outdoor public place as may be prescribed, where persons are likely to congregate within close proximity of one another or where smoking may pose a fire or other hazard.
  2. No person shall advertise or promote, or cause any other person to advertise or promote, a tobacco product through any direct or indirect means, including through sponsorship of any organization, event, service, physical establishment, programme, project, bursary, scholarship or any other method. The tobacco industry can no longer hold ‘parties’ or use ‘viral’ marketing to target young people.
  • Fine not exceeding R1,000,000.00
  1. No person shall sell or supply any tobacco product to any person under the age of 18 years
  • Fine not exceeding R100,000.00
  1. The owner or person in charge of any business shall ensure that no person under the age of 18 years in his or her employ or under his or her control, as the case may be, shall sell or offer to sell any tobacco product on the business premises.
  • Fine not exceeding R100,000.00

Further changes in the law that were to come into effect later:

  1. Pollution from tobacco smoke will be further reduced by restricting smoking in certain outdoor areas. Smoking will be moved away from entrances to buildings and smoking will be restricted in sports stadiums, railway platforms, bus stops, al fresco dining areas, etc.
  2. The introduction of cigarettes which self-extinguish, thereby reducing the risk of fires. Cigarettes cause about 5% of all fires in South Africa.
  3. The terms ‘low-tar’, ‘light’ and ‘mild’ will be prohibited. Such labels suggest that ‘light’ cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes, when they are not.
  4. Regulate the chemicals that can be added to tobacco products and require tobacco manufacturers to disclose the harmful additives used in the manufacturing process.