50 signatures reached
To: Dr. Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health
Tell the new Minister of Health to make anti-smoking laws a priority
We are so close to having the long overdue Draft Tobacco Control Bill submitted to Parliament, but the tobacco and e-cigarette companies are fighting against us. But we have an opportunity with a new Health Minister, to give Dr Mkhize a strong public mandate to stand up to industry.
Why is this important?
Last year thousands of amandla .mobi members came together and sent the Department of Health submissions in support of the Draft Tobacco Control Bill to ban public smoking, regulate e-cigarettes and other tobacco control regulations. The Department of Health is finished reading our submissions and the process has slowed down once again. But, with the appointment of a new Minister of Health, we have an opportunity now to put pressure on the department. We can make sure one of the first decisions the new Health Minister makes is prioritising the bill.
Let’s get Minister Mkhize’s attention. If enough of us come together and send him welcome messages, it could get the new Minister to help make these overdue anti-smoking laws a reality. Sign the petition to send Minister Mkhize a message. It only takes a minute to send the pre-written message but if you could add a personal message, our welcome will be even more powerful.
Each year South Africa spends more than R59 billion to address tobacco related illnesses like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis . At the same time the country only collects between R11 billion and R13 billion from tobacco taxes . This means the South African taxpayer is paying for the healthcare bill of tobacco-related harm while the tobacco industry collects the profits.
Our queues at clinics and hospitals keep getting longer and government keeps cutting the healthcare budget while cigarette companies make billions. But, the new Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, has a history of doing important life-saving work on HIV in KZN. He could be an important ally in our fight against big cigarette companies.
Sign the petition to send Minister Mkhize a welcome message and make sure he joins us in our fight to keep South Africans safe from second-hand smoke. If we flood his mailbox with welcome messages, he’ll have no choice but to support and prioritise the new anti-smoking laws.
We’ve taken the Draft Tobacco Control Bill from sitting on a shelf collecting dust, to nearly being implemented by the Department of Health. The people power we’ve built has brought us this far but it’s important we keep up the pressure until the bill is signed.
 The Tobacco Atlas - South Africa
 BAT revenue rises but profit and market share fall, Robert Laing for Bizcommunity July 2017