SA Smokers say Cigarette Ban a “Spectacular Failure”

"The continuation of the ban is illogical. Everyone is still smoking, just doing it illegally and at great cost while the government loses tax income and criminals make a fortune."

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man smoking portrait photo
man smoking portrait photo. Photo by Nguyen Linh on Unsplash

As part of South Africa’s lockdown regulations – including during level 4 – the sale of cigarettes is not allowed.

Smokers say the lockdown ban on cigarette sales has been a spectacular failure and should be lifted as soon as possible, according to a Sunday Times report.

In a study entitled Lighting up the illicit market, members of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT’s) research unit on the economics of excisable products said the ban had caused “hyperinflation” in which cigarette prices “skyrocketed” by 4.4% a day.

The ban has made a cigarette price war after the lockdown inevitable and will allow illegal cigarette traders to become more competitive.

“Respondents do not understand the economic or health rationale for the sales ban,” said Van Walbeek and his colleagues Samantha Filby and Kirsten van der Zee.

Also read: R140 for a Packet of Cigarettes in Soweto

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