As a responsible company, we endorse balanced tobacco regulation that helps to reduce the impact of tobacco on public health, while ensuring that adult consumers can continue to make informed choices about a legal product.
The controversy surrounding tobacco products means that there is constant pressure for increased regulation of tobacco. One-sided, emotional and untested proposals are often put forward and the concerns of those who will be regulated are in many instances ignored. Tobacco regulation also needs to take into account the reality that some tobacco products, such as Swedish-style smokeless snus, have an important role to play in reducing the harm associated with tobacco consumption. We believe that balanced regulation is necessary to ensure that the country has a legal and visible tobacco industry, rather than an illegal and invisible one.
During the processing of the latest tobacco control legislation, we engaged with various government stakeholders to ensure that the proposed amendments were sensible, practical and enforceable.
Download the following PDF files to read the submissions that we submitted to the Portfolio Committee on Health (PCH) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act 23 of 2007 and Act 63 of 2008.
- Submission on the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act (B24-2006) to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health: 13 October 2006 (145 kb)
- Submission on the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill (B 7B - 2008) to the Western Cape Provincial Legislature: 13 August 2008 (54 kb)
- Submission on the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill (B - 2008) to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health: 11 April 2008 (62 kb)
Responding to the latest developments
On 21 August 2009, the two Tobacco Products Control Amendment Acts became effective and enforceable. British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa reiterates its support for sensible regulation and remains committed to open and constructive dialogue around tobacco control in order to ensure that regulation is practical, workable and, above all, enforceable.
We support government’s efforts to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco and agree with some of the amendments, such as the raising of the minimum age from 16 to 18, something we have advocated for a long time. Given the wide ranging impact of the Acts, as well as a lack of clarity on certain definitions, we are sure that many stakeholders will find it difficult to understand or immediately comply with some of the requirements.
As a responsible company, BAT South Africa is committed to complying with regulation. We will continue to follow due process to raise our concerns around over regulation of the tobacco industry and continue to seek dialogue opportunities with Government to discuss workable solutions to the public health concerns around tobacco. The company will also be engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that these regulations are reasonable and enforceable.