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'Illegal cigarettes are worse than legal ones. Nobody will disagree'

12 May 2020 1:51 PM
Tags:
Smoking
Johann van Loggerenberg
Illegal cigarettes
Tobacco
Coronavirus
Lockdown
COVID-19
cigarette smoking
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
cigarette ban
ban on cigarette sales
cigarette sale ban
tobacco wars
Foundation for a Smoke-Free World
Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade

All sorts of criminals are stepping in with substandard products, providing to a huge market, says the author of "Tobacco Wars".

South Africans are still puffing away like before, according to a survey by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

The black market for cigarettes is booming, despite illegality and price gouging.

According to the Foundation, about a quarter of South African smokers panic-bought before the lockdown.

Yesterday somebody showed me a R130 packet of what’s supposed to be a well-known brand of cigarettes. It clearly was fake! The cigarettes weren’t even the same length! People are going through drastic measures to get their fix!

Lester Kiewit, presenter - CapeTalk

Lester Kiewit interviewed Johann Van Loggerenberg, a former group executive at South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Van Loggerenberg is the author of “Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade”.

They spoke about the behaviour of South African smokers during the ban on the sale of cigarettes.

They also discussed the skyrocketing prices of illegal cigarettes, and the increased harm posed by them (in comparison to legal ones).

There’s a shortage of supply… creating an opportunity for all sorts of criminals to step into the void and provide a fix to this massive market…

Johann Van Loggerenberg, author - Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade

… an influx of counterfeit, substandard quality products… You see ordinary, law-abiding smokers now becoming less concerned with sticking to the lockdown rules.

Johann Van Loggerenberg, author - Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade

[Are illegal cigarettes worse than legal ones?] Yes.

Johann Van Loggerenberg, author - Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade

It stimulates organised crime… and criminalises ordinary folk…

Johann Van Loggerenberg, author - Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade

Communication with smokers… they must understand the reasons for the ban, and the relationship between the ban and Covid-19…

Johann Van Loggerenberg, author - Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


12 May 2020 1:51 PM
Tags:
Smoking
Johann van Loggerenberg
Illegal cigarettes
Tobacco
Coronavirus
Lockdown
COVID-19
cigarette smoking
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
cigarette ban
ban on cigarette sales
cigarette sale ban
tobacco wars
Foundation for a Smoke-Free World
Tobacco Wars: Inside the spy games and dirty tricks of southern Africa’s cigarette trade

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