Court bid to have cigarette ban overturned dismissed with costs

JOHANNEBBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 11: A general view of people allegedly buying and selling cigarettes illegally during lockdown level 4 on May 11, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Papi Morake)

The High Court in Pretoria has dismissed with costs an application by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association to have government's ban on the sale of tobacco products overturned.

FITA argued that cigarettes should be viewed as essential on the basis that tobacco is addictive, among other things.

However, the court was unconvinced.

“FITA’s argument that cigarettes ought to have been considered ‘essential’ because they are additive has no merit. The fact that a substance is addictive does not render it essential. We therefore find no basis on which to interpret the level five regulations as permitting the sale of tobacco products,” reads the judgment.

The application by Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association was dismissed with costs, including the costs of three counsel.

On Friday morning, the court date for a separate legal battle between government and British American Tobacco SA was moved to August.  Fin24/DM


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