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Cigarette company could be in trouble over event sponsorship

Cigarette company could be in trouble over event sponsorship.
Cigarette company could be in trouble over event sponsorship.
Image: Katarzyna Białasiewicz/ 123RF

A Pietermaritzburg-based cigarette company could find itself in hot water for allegedly transgressing the tobacco control laws by sponsoring Saturday’s CK Aqua Fest at Ushaka Marine in Durban.

The Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act of 1999 outlawed the sponsorship, distribution of tobacco products and using cigarette brand names at events which the public attended or participated in.

However, the CK Aqua Fest, dubbed South Africa’s Number One Beach party, was seemingly directly linked with CK cigarettes produced by CK FMCG.

The events which started at 9am featured some of the biggest DJs in South Africa including 5FM's Kyle Cassim, Ryan The Dj and Vimo. It also included performances by Durban's Gqom group Distruction Boyz.

A manager at CK FMCG, only introduced himself as Mr Vally, told SowetanLIVE this week that the event was sponsored by the company’s other products which are bottled water, energy drinks and gum.

“The FMCG part is sponsoring this thing; our CK energy drink, water, CK bubblegum... that company is sponsoring the event. This has nothing to do with cigarettes,” Vally said telephonically.

When asked if it was evident and apparent that CK cigarette was not involved in sponsoring CK Aqua Fest, as he claimed, Vally said: “We do have a brand CK Cigarettes but it has nothing to do with the event.” He couldn't not elaborate further, only stating that their other brands were the one sponsoring the beach party.

This comes as the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, plans to introduce tougher laws which would restrict even e-smoking.

Motsoaledi would like to ban cigarette branding and outlaw smoking in all public spaces.

Health department spokesman Foster Mohale said they had notified the eThekwini Municipality to monitor the event and ensure that laws were not transgressed.

“We have referred the matter to the relevant municipality to dispatch the Environmental Health Practitioners to investigate and monitor the event to find out if there is any contravention of the legislation (Tobacco Control Act and regulations) and then enforce it,” Mohale said.


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