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Rival tobacco body 'just crybabies', FITA hits back in fresh industry spat

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The state argued that the tobacco trade ban was necessary because, in its view, smokers were more likely to get severe Covid-19.
The state argued that the tobacco trade ban was necessary because, in its view, smokers were more likely to get severe Covid-19.
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Deep divisions in South Africa's tobacco sector have surfaced again with two industry bodies hurling accusations at each other regarding a High Court case in which the government's ban on trading in tobacco products during last year's hard lockdown was ruled to have been unnecessary.

The state had argued the ban on the buying and selling of tobacco and cigarettes during the first five months of the lockdown was necessary because, in its view, smokers were more likely to get severe Covid-19 infections than non-smokers. This, it said, would put undue strain on South Africa's health system. 

In August last year, before the ban was lifted, British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA), the country's largest cigarette manufacturer, and a few other industry players challenged the ban in the Western Cape High Court.

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