South Africa: The Tobacco Industry's Hypocrisy On Illicit Trade

South African flag.

The tobacco industry has used the illicit tobacco trade - a problem it has itself fuelled - as an argument to rally against South Africa's tobacco ban. This is a clear example of the industry's deceitfulness and focus on profit at any cost to health.

South Africa's lockdown period in response to the Covid-19 pandemic included a temporary ban on the sale of tobacco and alcohol products. South Africa was one of a handful of countries to take such measures. The tobacco industry has been highly critical of the ban, with large companies like British American Tobacco South Africa (Batsa), Phillip Morris South Africa (PMSA), and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) as well as smaller local tobacco companies urging the government to reverse the ban while instituting legal actions against it.

In addition to claiming that the ban would force consumers to defy the lockdown, and damage the state budget, Batsa, JTI, PMSA and The South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance (of which Batsa is a member), have argued that the ban will increase South Africa's illicit tobacco trade. The illicit tobacco trade can be defined as any practice prohibited by law which relates to the production, shipment, receipt, possession or distribution,...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.