Skip to main content

SATTA supports regulation that is reasonable, proportionate, based on robust evidence and delivers on the intended policy aims, while recognising its unintended consequences. 

It is critical that the Government avoids any regulation which boosts – even unintentionally – the profits of criminal illicit operators in the tobacco market, especially at the expense of genuine local businesses.

This is why we are opposed to the intention in the current version of the Tobacco Control Bill to ban, among other things, retail displays at point of sale. 


of all cigarettes are sold in the informal sector.

A ban on displaying tobacco products in retail stores will give criminals easy access to infiltrate legitimate trade channels with their illicit products, which can simply be hidden by moving tobacco under the counter.

A display ban, like the one suggested in the new Tobacco Control Bill, also does not recognise the fact that more than 80% of all cigarettes sold in SA are sold in the informal sector, by mostly small businesses, where the cornerstone of their business model is the display of all products they sell on a daily basis. 


Illicit cigarettes are cheap and unregulated, and are easily accessible to underage people and disadvantaged people.

We believe more emphasis should be placed on education about the harmful effects of tobacco use.

Youth anti-smoking programmes as well as “age of sale” signage at all points of sale are far more effective and efficient measures for dealing with youth smoking.


The introduction of plain packaging and excessively large health warnings for tobacco products is also counterproductive. With little to no enforcement, plain packaging will only be complied with by the legal industry, while illicit tobacco operators will simply further profit from non-compliance.

This will not reduce consumption, as the draft Tobacco Control Bill intends, but will have a negative impact on the legal sector.

Illegal cigarettes will be more affordable and appealing to consumers, negatively impacting not only the local farming revenue but also the duty collected by the government.