I write to you in my private capacity as a citizen of South Africa, just in case the media read it wrong, again. I watched your NCCC briefing today. I decided at the outset to give you the respect due to you - as an elder. Without the usual judgement that we’re all prone to, I listened not to get angry or find fault, but with an open mind...

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What is individual freedom and can governments legislate for this? Is the prohibition of cigarettes infringing on the freedoms of not only individual rights, but the rights of legal tobacco traders who make way for illegal smugglers? Outside of the estimated R200 million cost to the tax coffers, what are the societal effects of cutting smokers off from cigarettes with no warning or alternative? Can there be freedom if the government doesn't engage its citizens and business stakeholders before implementing policy?

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