The tobacco industry, media owners and the Freedom of Commercial Speech Trust have all opposed the tobacco bill, arguing that it violated the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression. Plans were in motion to challenge it in the constitutional court.
Mr. Mandela's advisers, however, had reservations not about the intention to ban tobacco advertising but about certain "overly broad" clauses, such as one which would prohibit "organized activities" financed with tobacco money. It was felt this would infringe the freedom of association. A clause which would allow prohibition of smoking in private homes was also considered too broad.
Though the rejection will delay implementation of the bill until possibly the second half of this year, the proposed ban on tobacco advertising still seems likely eventually to become law.
Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.