Smoking ban

2008-11-19 00:00

Thanks to poor decisions by previous health ministers, health care in post-apartheid South Africa leaves much to be desired. Those same ministers must be given credit for our anti-smoking legislation, however. Among other things, this involves prohibitions on advertising, the inclusion of warnings on cigarette packets, and a strict ban on smoking in public places — a fine thing for the health of smokers and non-smoking passive inhalers alike.

So was it cynicism or stupidity that gave rise to the suggestion that this ban be relaxed during the 2010 Soccer World Cup? Did someone honestly think attendances would be boosted by the prospect of being able to smoke in the stands? Did no one consider that many might stay away because of it? Fortunately a tobacco conference being held in Durban this week has called for the ban to be upheld during the tournament. Quite right.

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