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Displaying Tobacco Products in Wholesale and Retail Outlets: Draft Regulations Gazetted

August 27, 2012

Department of Health

Comment has been invited on draft regulations affecting the display of tobacco products in wholesale and retail outlets.

The draft regulations can be found in notice R634 of Government Gazette 35603 dated 24 August 2012, with the deadline for written submissions set at three months from the publication date.

Amongst other things, they propose that “no tobacco product should be exposed for sale within one meter of another displayed product … designed or marketed for use by children, or of confectionery”.

The draft regulations also propose specifications for health warning signs to be displayed on the required sales unit, for which separate specifications are recommended.

A sales unit is defined as “a cabinet, tray, shelf or any other thing from which tobacco products are dispensed when sold”.

Other proposals in the draft regulations include that:

• a display of tobacco products and/or their prices should not include any reference to discounted prices;
• information on a price ticket should be limited and should comply with strict specifications affecting content, size, shape, colour and other features; and that
• certain practices aimed at enhancing or drawing attention to a tobacco product display should be prohibited (inter alia, reference is made to mirrors, digital screens, moveable settings and colour coding).

Once promulgated, the regulations will repeal those published on 29 September 2000 in notice R976 of Government Gazette 21610.

In his 2010 budget vote speech, health minister Aaron Motsoaledi vowed to “fight … with bared knuckles” to ban tobacco advertising.

During a September 2011 address in the United Nations assembly on the prevention and cure of non-communicable diseases, he said that government would continue to strengthen legislation aimed at reducing the impact of tobacco use on human health.