Established through the Tobacco Products Control Act 83 of 1993, South Africa has a ban on tobacco advertisments and smoking in public places. Amended in 2008, the act increased the age of sale from 16 to 18 years old and banned tobacco sales at health and educational establishments. Smokeless tobacco and heat-not-burn products are regulated as tobacco products, but e-cigarettes are not specifically prohibited by legislation and are subject to medical regulations. However, in practice, this is not strongly regulated, and vaping products are widely available.
Tobacco use has steadily declined, although the illegal sale of cigarettes remains prevalent as a means to fulfill consumer demand for cheaper products. South African media covers these issues and a growing consumer interest in vaping and other alternatives.
An increasing number of consumers have expressed interest in safer alternatives to cigarettes. This trend has been most noticeable among millennial smokers.