Tobacco ban violates smokers' right to dignity, court hears

Tobacco ban violates smokers' right to dignity, court hears

British American Tobacco South Africa believes the ban on the sale of tobacco products not only violates the right to dignity of smokers but the right to trade.

cigarette, smoking, tobacco use

The tobacco giant's application to have the ban lifted was heard in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

The company is representing consumers, retailers, and farmers.

"Constitutional rights of consumers have been violated, the rights of people who consume tobacco and vaping products. We say that Regulation 45 violates at least three rights on the part of the consumers of these products," said Batsa's legal representative, Advocate Alfred Cockrell.

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"Number 1, it violates the right to dignity. The constitutional court's  jurisprudence on dignity says the right to dignity means people are treated with respect in order to make their own decisions about what is in their best interest.

"They may sometimes make the wrong decisions but that right means adults are given that right to make that decision themselves."

Cockrell told the court that the argument by Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosana Dlamini-Zuma cannot be proven.

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