Tobacco association disappointed with govt decision

Alcohol can be sold for off-site consumption, but tobacco product sales remain prohibited. Let's get reaction on this from Sinenhlanhla Mnguni from the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) says the continuing ban on tobacco sales is irrational.

Fita chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says they are disappointed with government's decision.

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"We're quite disappointed, particularly because he cited health reasons. When you look at health, you have to look at the sugar products which have been sold throughout the lockdown. Approximately 4.5 million South Africans suffer from diabetes."

Mnguni says diabetes, hypertension and other diet-related issues have been reported as underlying factors in people who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

"We are concerned as to how this translates to banning smoking when there hasn't been any evidence showing smokers are predisposed to contracting the virus. We do not understand the reason for the ban and find it arbitrary and very irrational."

Tobacco will remain prohibited when the country transitions to Level 3 of the lockdown next month.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday, announcing that the limited sale of alcohol would be allowed under Level 3 conditions.

The sale of alcohol will be restricted to home consumption as well as other control measures that will be announced in the week, according to Ramaphosa.

READ: Level 3: Ramaphosa announces the limited sale of alcohol

Nearly a quarter of a million people have been charged for breaching the lockdown regulations.

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