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'Making smokers go cold turkey is cruel, your immune system can be affected'

5 June 2020 11:19 AM

Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association's Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says the courts will hear its application on ban of tobacco soon.

The outrage around the banning of tobacco products in the country continues to rage on in South Africa.

The sale of tobacco remains prohibited under lockdown Level 3 which began on 1 June.

RELATED: 'There is zero evidence that smoking will increase transmission of COVID-19'

Eusebius McKaiser chats to Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni whose organisation has taken the government to court over the ban on the sale of cigarettes.

Currently the state filed its answering affidavit in relation to the supplementary affidavit that we filed on 29 May. The next step is for us to file our answering affidavit and the matter will be heard before a full bench on 9 June before a full bench in the Pretoria High Court.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association

He says the fundemental question that needs to be answered is whether the banning of the sale of cigarettes is rational.

Many other things can also lead to death, that is why there are health warnings on packets of cigarettes, you have the same warnings on alcoholic beverages and many other items.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association

He says there is no link between smoking and COVID-19.

We accept that there is harm suffered by one's lungs especially if they have been a long term smoker. But that cannot be undone by the cessation of smoking over a six-week period.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association

Studies have shown that there is no cause or link between smoking and COVID-19, he says.

Certain countries are now experimenting with whether smoking may provide some relief in relation to COVID-19.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association

He says the government has been advised that the lockdown is now a blunt instrument in terms of fighting the virus.

Making smokers go cold turkey is very cruel, and your immune system can be badly affected.

Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association

Listen below to the full conversation:


5 June 2020 11:19 AM

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