Fita heads back to court to appeal against ruling that tobacco remains banned

“The court erred in not finding that the medical literature and research relied on by the [Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma] was not supportive of the ban on the sale of cigarettes and related tobacco products imposed by the regulations,” Fita said.

It said that in the absence of sufficient or credible evidence of a link between the sale of tobacco products and a cessation of smoking — which, it said, there was no satisfactory evidence of — and a further link between the sale of tobacco products and an increased strain on the country’s health-care facilities — again, Fita argued there was no such satisfactory evidence — there could be no valid or rational basis for the regulations imposing the ban.

The organisation said the court also erred by not answering whether the “ban, as the means adopted by the minister, [was] objectively rationally justifiable and necessary in achieving the stated objective”.

“The appeal is of public importance, has reasonable prospects of success and, accordingly, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal should be granted,” Fita said in its application.