The way we consider smoking (and the laws around it) have changed a lot. Gone are the days when you see signs like: “Don’t smoke in lifts – you could burn people’s clothes.” This is how we can all get along: smokers and non-smokers alike.
Lighting up 🔥
First things first, South Africa has some pretty strict laws around smoking in public (and there could be more on the way). Did you know what you can’t smoke in your own car if there’s a child under 12 with you? Apart from the obvious places, like inside restaurants and buildings, semi-enclosed public areas are off limits – that includes underground parking lots. (Sorry smokers.)
The next puff 🚬
Draft legislation has been proposed that will make it illegal for restaurants to have smoking areas and will impose hefty fines for people who transgress – even if they were responsible for putting up the no smoking sign and then didn’t do it. (Or if it fell down – you gotta check these things.) Cigarettes won’t come in enticing packaging anymore. This will all apply to electronic cigarettes too.
Be cool 😎
So let’s say you’re sitting outside at a restaurant and someone is smoking in the parking lot and it’s bugging you. How can you get them to stop? Do your mom proud and ask politely. A simple, “Excuse me, could you please stop smoking, it’s disturbing my meal” gets you much further than, “Hey idiot!” Don’t go all Clint Eastwood; be cool.
And if you’re a smoker and a person approaches you politely, even in a smoking area, be a decent person.
“But, but, but,” you say, “I’m a new-school smoker! Why should this apply to me?” E-cigarettes are a bit of a grey area. Vapes aren’t covered in our existing smoking legislation, but if the draft passes as is, they will be. Consider that vapour from e-cigarettes does affect the air quality of those around you, so if you’re asked (politely) to stop, remember the above.
What do you think about smoking e-cigarettes in public? Let us know on our Facebook page.