Residents Scoff at Smoking Ban

The implementation of the Tobacco Products Control Act (TPCA) that came into effect on April 1 prohibiting people from smoking in public is being scorned in Tsumeb.

Many smokers regard the TPCA as nothing more than an April fool’s joke. The smokers claim they know of the dangers of smoking but will not quit because of the new prohibition.

Marcus Seibeb a community member says he has no regard for the TPCA. “The only way to control smokers is to stop the sale of cigarettes altogether. Since this will never happen the Act will not be a success. Therefore such a law is a waste of time,” he reasons. Seibeb said people’s stubbornness is another factor that will render the Act ineffective. “It is impossible to control human behaviour especially when it comes to bad habits. Look at the Liquor Act, many people are found drinking in public everyday but not once have I seen anyone get dragged to prison for it. I will admit that on many occasions I have seen police officers make people pour out their liquor when found drinking in public. Will the same happen with cigarettes?” he said.

Said another Tsumeb resident Israel Hauwangah: “Police are not always there to control things, look at people urinating and drinking in public, almost every other day you see a man answering nature’s call, theyare rarely charged. The only way the TPCA will be effective is if there is less talking and more action. If it ends with talking or a warning then it will be a losing battle – perhaps with stricter laws but in my opinion it will never work. ” Smoker Twazza Gauseb also feels the TPCA will not work because law enforcement has already failed to stop drinking and people relieving themselves in public.

“If police cannot stop people drinking and urinating in public why should we believe that they would stop smokers? The TPCA is going to be just like the Liquor Act – all talk and little action, the worst thing I am expecting is to be told to put out my cigarette,” he said defiantly.

Gerson Uirab, Andrew Haneb and Elvin Uirab were all in agreement, saying the law against smoking in public is ridiculous and a waste of time.

“Nowadays everyone smokes, even the police lawyers and judges that are expected to impeach us all smoke, no one will follow this Act,” said a smiling Haneb.

Another resident KB Xurub told New Era that because people smoke all around the world no country can truly say they have it under control.

“Unlike drinkers, people who smoke do not disturb the peace, at least not directly. One cannot stop the sale of cigarettes to minors because smokes are sold almost everywhere – like recharge vouchers they can be found on every street corner. If businesses are selling alcohol to minors what will stop them from selling them cigarettes? “What happens when a minor is found smoking, will they too be hauled off to jail even though they are under age?” queried Xurub.

Source : New Era