The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) has outlined their reasons for requesting that government lift the ban on the sale of cigarettes amid the national lockdown.

This after the Western Cape allowed the sale of cigarettes – on condition that they are bought with essential groceries. But, Police Minister Bheki Cele has slammed the provincial government decision.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde says they’re waiting for clarity on the lockdown regulations from National Government.

FITA Chairperson, Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, says the ban on the sale of cigarettes is allowing illicit trading to thrive.

“We believe the ban should be lifted for a number of reasons. The Illicit traders thrive during the times of the ban, and secondly, we are seeing an increase of criminal activity and people breaking into shops and storage facilities in order to source cigarettes. Thirdly, the argument which we have advanced to government, is that with the illicit trade thriving and people not stopping smoking, the ban is going against what government sought to prevent which is the movement of people.”

In the video below, the national regulations banning the sale of cigarettes could turn the country’s smokers into criminals: