The health department wants South Africa to introduce plain-packaging of tobacco products – a move already implemented in several other countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the rollout of standardised packaging, which restricts the use of logos, colours and brand images can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products.
It was first introduced in Australia in 2012, before France, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland followed suit.
The Health department’s Joe Maila says it’s hoped proposed amendments to existing legislation will land in Parliament next year.
“As the law stands right now, it is something that needs to be amended so that we can put this regulation in place. The year in Parliament was a little bit short because of local government elections that are coming. We believe that next year we will be able to get the ball rolling again.”
The WHO is pushing for plain-packaging products on World No Tobacco Day, today.