• Ruan Vd Merwe

Smokers Beware – Tobacco and the Law

The South African law on tobacco is constantly tightening up on ways to stop smokers from lighting up.

Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act poses strict smoking laws, which include:

  • A zero-tolerance policy on in-door smoking in public places.

  • A ban on outdoor smoking in public places and at least 10 metres away from public entrances.

  • The removal of all signage on cigarette packaging aside from the brand name and warning stickers.

  • Shops and retailers are banned from any public displays of cigarettes.

Current Laws

In the meantime, make sure that you are obeying the current laws around smoking:

  • You can’t buy or sell tobacco products if you are under 18 years old.

  • You can’t smoke in a car if one of the passengers is a child under 12 years old.’

  • Smoking is illegal in partially enclosed public places, such as covered patios, verandas, balconies, walkways, or parking areas.

  • Smoking on premises used for commercial childcare activities or for schooling or tutoring is illegal. This includes private homes that are being used to run crèches.

  • No more than 25% of a public space can be a designated smoking area. A public space can be defined as a building or even a means of transport such as a train.

  • Any smoking area must be physically isolated and separated from the rest of the public space. This means it must be enclosed and the smoky air vented to the outside.

  • Sugar cigarettes in cute packaging sold to children as a sweet treat have now been banned.

  • No smoking is allowed in cinemas, on domestic flights in the country, or on public transport.

Punishment for Breaking these Laws

Be careful. Contravention of the Act can cost you:

  • If the owner of a restaurant/pub/workplace has broken the smoking laws, where smokers are smoking in a non-smoking area or under 18s present in the smoking area, they will be fined up to R50 000.

  • This fine also applies to people selling cigarettes to people under 18.

  • Any smoker found smoking in a non-smoking zone/area will be fined R500.

  • If someone is caught selling a ‘loose’ cigarette, they can be fined up to R100 000.

Need more information on the laws surrounding smoking?

Contact Marius Blom Inc at or 012 004 0244.

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