New report destroys govt’s reasons for tobacco ban

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The report revealed that more smokers were sharing cigarettes than they were before the ban amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and said the ban should be lifted.

The percentage of smokers buying cigarettes from the illicit market increased by 2%, according to a report released by University of Cape Town .

Conducted by the UCT’s Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products, the report revealed that illicit cigarette traders were making a killing on sales after the average price of some brands increase by 457% during lockdown. “In our first report we argued that, although well-intentioned at the outset, the extension of the cigarette sales ban into lockdown Level 4 was an error.

Tax Justice SA, which raises awareness on the illicit market, argued that the ban could no longer be sustained due to the country losing money to those traders.

 

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