Following the outbreak of listeriosis, Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has set his sights on clamping down on a bigger health issue in South Africa: smoking.
According to Health24, Motsoaledi, speaking at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health, declared his hatred for the tobacco industry, saying that it "only causes mayhem". He promised to clamp down on the industry through further legislation restricting smokers.
Regulations are planned to ban smoking in all public spaces, remove branding from cigarettes packets and control electronic cigarettes, which are set to be published in the next two weeks.
Motsoaledi pledged to take stronger action against smokers. Here is what to expect:
1. No smoking in public buildings at all
Motsoaledi plans to change legislation currently allowing public places to reserve 25 percent of their floor area as a sealed, separately air-conditioned smoking space. Restaurants and bars will not be allowed to have designated smoking areas any longer.
2. Clampdown on smoking near building entrances
The legislation already exists banning smoking within 10 metres of building entrances. However, the minister intends to enforce this more rigorously, saying: "We also need to stop this behaviour of just getting out of a building and smoking right there."
3. Getting rid of cigarettes vending machines
All vending machines that sell cigarettes, regardless of their location, will be done away with.
4. Removal of all branding on cigarette packaging
Aside from the brand name and warning stickers, legislation will enforce plain packaging on cigarettes.
Motsoaledi also has plans to promulgate regulations restricting the use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine-dispensing gadgets.