British American Tobacco argues in court why cigarette sale ban must be scrapped

CAPE TOWN – British American Tobacco SA is arguing its case in the Western Cape High Court as to why the ban on tobacco products sales should be scrapped.The gist of its argument is: the ban is sinking the country’s entire tobacco industry, which means jobs are at risk and tax revenue is being dealt a blow.The bid to have the ban overturned is being spearheaded by the company, which is also representing the interests of tobacco farmers, vendors and consumers.Government explains the ban has taken the strain off the health system during the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.Earlier, attorney for the tobacco industry, Webber Wentzel’s Mike Evans said the costs to the nation, as a whole, outweigh the benefits said.“So, what the minister has done is say she is saving 16 beds but the downside of that is this huge boost to illicit trade, the destruction of the industry that is being deprived of R4 billion as a result of the ban and non-selling of cigarettes because the excise duty is not being paid. And consumers have been deprived of their right to smoke and vape. Now those are all the consequences of the ban for an absolutely minimal gain.”Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.Source: EWN

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