The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) is taking back the fight against the ban of cigarettes amid the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa to the High Court in Pretoria.

FITA wants to appeal the court’s ruling, which dismissed its earlier bid to have the ban lifted.

The court ruled that FITA’s argument that cigarettes should be regarded as essential because tobacco is addictive, had no merit.

FITA’s application loses bid to have ban on cigarette sales lifted:

But the lobby group isn’t giving up and believes that the opening up of more sectors has boosted its case.

The sale of cigarettes was banned in late March as part of the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected over 13 million people worldwide.

FITA believes that the court made a mistake in its interpretation of the Disaster Management Act. It also argues that the ban of cigarette sales has increased the illicit trade of the products and says a prolonged ban will result in massive job losses.

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) is also challenging the government on the same issue. The case will  be heard in the Western Cape High Court on August 5.

Government has defended its decision to ban the sale of tobacco products, saying it is aimed at protecting the health of South Africans.