Experts and policy makers have actively raised awareness about how smokers and vapers should quit outright as a precautionary/ preventive measure during the pandemic. Some governments have temporarily banned or restricted sales of tobacco, vaping products, and waterpipes, or categorized these as non-essential products; and this effectively, in a pragmatic way, rolls practically all the global tobacco treaty’s demand-reduction-measures into one. The public health community urges smokers to quit to prevent exacerbating COVID risks but the tobacco and vaping industry, aggressively promotes and even incentivizes stocking up on its products; lobbies against any restrictions to the extent of reportedly endangering the lives its own workers.

 

      Date

Title

Status

Type

       Bangladesh  

      May 5, 2020

Should tobacco products be banned during the coronavirus crisis?

20 anti-tobacco organizations  demanded a temporary ban on the production, distribution, and sales of tobacco during the Covid-19 crisis

tobacco products

      April 08, 2020

Ban cigarette sale during pandemic

 

20 anti-tobacco organizations demand ban on tobacco goods manufacturing, sale

Lobbied for temporary ban on tobacco manufacturing and sale

tobacco products

          Botswana

      April 09, 2020

‘No Alcohol For 6 Months’ – Botswana Sets Out Tough Regulations For Lockdown

Banned sales for 6 months

cigarettes

      April 06, 2020

Botswana: ATN Advocates For Tobacco Ban

Lobbied to stop sales of tobacco products

tobacco products

          Canada

      March 30, 2020

Two COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Kahnawake, tobacco sales halted

Prohibited tobacco sales until further notice

tobacco products

           India

September 27, 2020

Sale of loose cigarettes, bidis banned in state

The State Health Department has issued a notification

Loose bidis and cigarettes

      May 22, 2020

Voluntary groups in Rajasthan seek complete ban on tobacco products

demand for a complete ban on sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and tobacco products

tobacco products

      April 15, 2020

Lockdown 2.0: Govt bans sale of booze and tobacco

Banned sales

tobacco and gutka (chew tobacco)

      March 25, 2020

Yogi govt mulls ban on paan masala, gutkha

Yogi Adityanath government is mulling a ban

paan masala and gutkha (chew tobacco)

          Kuwait

      May 3, 2020

Officially … the municipality prohibits “hookah” in cafes until further notice … in implementation of the “health” decision

prevent the use of “hookah” in cafes

Waterpipe (Hookah)

          Mexico

      April 24, 2020

Congress prohibits use and sale of electronic cigarettes in Coahuila

Prohibited use and sale of e-cigarettes

electronic cigarettes

          Philippines

      April 27, 2020

Ban on sin products to stay despite negative tax impact: DOF

Against lifting the ban on alcoholic and tobacco products during the enhanced community quarantine

tobacco products

      April 21, 2020

Cigarette smuggling up despite lockdown

Restrictions on the movement of cigarettes under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) might be lifted 

cigarette products

      March 29, 2020

Quezon town temporarily bans cigarettes amid COVID-19 threat

Temporary ban

cigarettes products

           Russia

      April 03, 2020

Russian smokers facing COLD TURKEY withdrawal as tobacco deemed non-essential item in Covid-19 crisis

Designation of tobacco as a non-essential product; shortage of supply

tobacco products

          Saudi Arabia

      March 01, 2020

Coronavirus: Lead tobacco is banned in cafes and restaurants

Banned in cafes and restaurants

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

          South Africa

August 7, 2020

Coronavirus morning update: ‘Not yet safe to lift cigarette ban’, and extra R6bn for Covid grants

The Government is monitoring the situation closely and will lift the ban as soon as it is safe to do so and (when it) would not impact the health care system.

Cigarettes

August 5, 2020

Tobacco giant challenges government’s Covid-19 strategy

A Court ruling under the Disaster Management Act bans the sale of tobacco during Covid-19 lockdown

Cigarettes

      July 5, 2020

Sifiso Skenjana | The 100-day cigarette ban: A story of Trojans, bone collectors and chances

“100 days since the lockdown and the effective banning of the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products in South Africa”

tobacco products

      July 2, 2020

Ban gives tobacco illegal drug status in South Africa

“ban remains even after South Africa eased most of its strict lockdown restrictions”

tobacco products

      July 1, 2020

Controversy swirls around Western Cape JP over tobacco challenge

“The decision to ban tobacco products was, as explained by the Minister, taken with reference to the South Africa context and its preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 virus,” Mlambo stated. 

 tobacco products

      June 29, 2020

Challenge to Cigarette Ban Dismissed

“The fact that a substance is addictive does not render it essential,” it stated. “We therefore find no basis on which to interpret the level 5 regulations as permitting the sale of tobacco products.”

tobacco products

      June 28, 2020

Covid-19 SA cases rise, world hits 10m; NDZ wins tobacco ban case; Zimbabwe; Steinhoff “The government has won a legal battle challenging a ban on tobacco sales in the country” tobacco products

      June 26, 2020

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association v President of the Republic of South Africa and Another (21688/2020) [2020] ZAGPPHC 246 (26 June 2020) “The application by Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association is dismissed with costs, such costs to include the costs of three counsel.” tobacco products

      June 26, 2020

South Africa tobacco ban greeted with cigarette smuggling boom “South Africa and Zimbabwe have stepped up border patrols in a bid to stop cigarette smuggling” tobacco products

      June 26, 2020

Court orders tobacco ban to stay in place: ‘Cigarettes are not essential’ “sale of tobacco products would remain banned under the government’s lockdown regulations” tobacco products

      June 23, 2020

Illegal cigarette trade may reduce economic harm of tobacco ban – govt in court papers

“retaining the temporary ban is that emerging research supports the view that smoking leads to more severe cases of Covid-19, and that the ban is necessary as a precautionary measure to safeguard South Africa’s healthcare system. “

tobacco products

      April 29, 2020

Lockdown | Cigarettes, liquor still won’t be for sale on Level 4

Cigarettes will still not be allowed to be sold at level four of lockdown

tobacco products

      April 27, 2020

Why the cigarette ban during lockdown? Five medical experts weigh in

Continued ban on cigarette sales during lockdown

tobacco products

      March 26, 2020

Why you can’t have cigarettes and alcohol during lockdown

Tobacco deemed “non-essential” during the 21-day lockdown period

tobacco products

      March 26, 2020

Coronavirus in SA: Sale of cigarettes prohibited during 21-day lockdown

Prohibited tobacco sale

tobacco products

          Syria

      March 13, 2020

Syria bans shisha, closes schools over virus fears

Banned in cafes and restaurants

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

          United Arab Emirates

      March 12, 2020

Coronavirus: Dubai bans shisha pipes with immediate effect

Banned in cafes

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

      March 12, 2020

Shisha banned in the UAE over coronavirus fears

Banned in cafes restaurants, and hotels

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

      March 11, 2020

Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi hotels banned from serving shisha

Banned in hotels

waterpipe tobacco (sisha)

          USA

      March 31, 20202

Office of the Governor | State of Wisconsin: Safer at Home FAQs

Vape, smoking, and cigar shops listed as non-essential business and must close (and cannot provide delivery)

vape, cigarette, and cigar

      March 27, 2020

Docs Group Asks For Smoking, Vaping Ban

New York State Academy of Family Physicians lobbied to ban the sale of all tobacco and vaping products

tobacco and vape products

      March 26, 2020

Vape Advocate Calls for Temporary Ban of Cigarette Sales

Demand Vape lobbied to temporary ban the sale of cigarette

cigarette products

 

Opposed the bans/regulations

Date

Title

Status

Type

Industry Link

        Australia

      April 09, 2020

Expenditure on COVID-19 highlights the government’s disregard for smokers

Government not supporting vaping 

vape products

Australian Harm Reduction Association (ATHRA)

        Bangladesh

      May 20, 2020

Industries Ministry rejects tobacco ban proposal

The Ministry of Industries has turned down a call from the Health and Family Welfare Ministry seeking a ban of tobacco products in the country

tobacco products

British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh

        Canada

      March 21, 2020

CVA Calls on Canadian Governments to Follow Italy’s Example and Ensure Adult Access Vape Shops Are Considered an Essential Service

Lobbied to open vape shops and consider as essential service 

vape products

Canadian Vaping Association

                     European Union

      March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Some EU Countries Allow Vape Shops to Remain Open

Opened vape shops

vape products

UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA)

          Italy

      March 17, 2020

A Scientist Persuaded Italy to Exempt Vape Shops from COVID-19 Lockdown

Lobbied to open vape shops during lockdown  

vape products

Riccardo Polosa

          Jordan

      March 25, 2020

A cigarette in the time of Corona, “Saud” calls for the release of the compliant “clemency of smokers” and Batinah statement raises an uproar within the government

Demand for “clemency of smokers” 

cigarettes

 

          New Zealand

      April 01, 2020

New Zealand Initiative Criticises Government For Rushing New Vaping Legislation During Lockdown

Protest on Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendments Bill  

vape products and snus

 

          South Africa

      July 04, 2020

Fita determined to go ahead with fight against tobacco ban

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) hasn’t given up on its fight to have the ban on the sale of cigarettes lifted.

tobacco  products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

      July 02, 2020

Virus ban gives tobacco illegal drug status in South Africa

Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association,  challenged the ban in court and lost

tobacco  products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

      July 01, 2020

Why BAT SA’s cigarette ban challenge is not the same as Fita’s failed bid

“Mike Evans, the lawyer representing BAT SA and others who have joined the action headed for a full bench of the Cape High Court, said there are different arguments at stake.”

tobacco products

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA)

      June 27, 2020

Scientist says there are more merits in banning alcohol than tobacco

“Isn’t much merit in preventing the sale of cigarettes but allowing people to buy alcohol”

tobacco  products

 

      June 26, 2020

Govt lawyers in sudden about-turn, get court to delay cigarette case until August

“BATSA immediately wrote a letter of protest against the postponement”

tobacco products

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA)

      June 26, 2020

South Africa’s cigarette sales ban case is ‘inexplicably’ being pushed back to August: British American Tobacco

“Postponing a case that has been agreed, by both sides, to be urgent is something that we believe is unprecedented and is very worrying.”

tobacco products

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA)

      June 25, 2020

SA’s biggest cigarette maker is now accepting orders – and some stores hope for 1 July delivery

“British American Tobacco, has started accepting “holding orders” from its customers”

tobacco products

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA)

      June 25, 2020

New cigarette ban petition takes aim at judges in Fita case

“To force people to go ‘cold turkey’ is an act of cruelty,” Arnold Subel SC, for Fita

tobacco products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA)

Japan Tobacco International

      May 07, 2020

Japan Tobacco International urges SA government to reconsider tobacco ban during lockdown level 4

Demand to reconsider tobacco ban during lockdown level 4

tobacco  products

Japan Tobacco International

      May 06, 2020

BAT drops plan to sue over cigarette-sales ban

“British American Tobacco Plc will begin negotiations with the South African government instead of taking legal action”

tobacco  products

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA)

      May 02, 2020

Tobacco big guns on fire over cigarette ban

Tobacco industry have threatened legal action after the government’s  Level 4 national lockdown  

tobacco  products

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA)

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

      April 25, 2020

Tobacco industry welcomes end to cigarette sales ban

Lift ban on the sale of cigarettes that will come into effect on May 1

tobacco  products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

      April 21, 2020

Tobacco group wants state to explain cigarette ban, or face the courts

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) said ban was based on ministerial comments and not on regulations  

tobacco  products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

      April 18, 2020

Covid-19: Tobacco association plans to challenge cigarette ban

FITA approached the courts for relief on the cigarette ban  

tobacco  products

Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA)

      April 03, 2020

Alan Winde: We’re not defying government on cigarettes … the rules are ‘vague’

Lobbied on cigarettes not included in the list of basic goods  

tobacco products

 

          USA

      March 23, 2020

States must scrap online e-cigarette bans during coronavirus pandemic

Calling to remove online e-cigarette bans  

electronic cigarettes

 

Do you have information on tobacco industry’s tactics during COVID-19? Let us know. Send us any information at ggtc@ggtc.world or submit here.