Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it

23 May , 2020


And here we are, Day 58 of lockdown in South Africa. To say that we are a bit tired of it would be a vast understatement.

Here the powers that be have opted for some fabricated five level system for our eventual release back into the world. What constitutes moving from one level to another is about as unclear as the rules of conduct that go with them. We are currently on Level 4, for what it’s worth – with a strong possibility of moving to Level 3 start of June.

Many (oh so many) of the rules do not sit well with me at all. I’m not an expert in infectious diseases though, so for the most part if I can sort of see a causal connection between the rule and what it attempts to avoid I just roll with it. However, the one that really gets my moer-meter in the red is the one on banning the sale of tobacco products. Why? No other country in the entire world has done this…and although I know you can get an “expert” to confirm more or less any point you’re trying to make, there are studies  internationally being conducted on the effect of smoking on your risk of contracting Covid-19. From what I’ve read it decreases your chances significantly actually.

Anyhoo, the majority of smokers have just found work arounds during Level 4 and 5. We buy illegal smokes. They come from all over and they are strange, but they are smokes. Some come from Dubai, via Mozambique, over Tannie Patricia’s washing line and to a China close to you. The more people you know, the cheaper you can find them (every person who handles them adds a fee for their risk and what not).

We have been salivating with anticipation for Level 3 and the lifting of the cigarette sale ban, only for these yahoos to now come out with err…maybe at Level 1. Not only that but apparently they can now search your car and person for smokes and if you are found with any you must produce a slip of when and where you purchased it, or go to jail. Excuse me? Go ahead and try that. Make sure I’ve switched my car off first or wear your running shoes.

The actual rule which was published in the Government Gazette states, “The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e- cigarettes and related products is prohibited.” (S27) Not the buying, not the possessing, not the smoking…the sale of. So unless you catch me selling them, you can go and swivel quite frankly.

Even if you don’t smoke, consider this: until a few weeks ago it was also illegal to sell underwear (please do try and explain to me a valid reason for this rule if you can…I’ll wait). Imagine if they were suddenly entitled to search your car and person for panties, and if you were caught wearing any you could either supply proof of purchase prior to lockdown or go to jail…and have your panties confiscated. I think you’d be a bit upset. If you still had your knickers, they might be in a complete and utter knot.

How is this different to that. You might say, but yeah…smoking is bad for you, it’s a temporary limitation, you should use this opportunity to quit. Ha! Well, here’s a whole list of people that reckon underwear is bad for your health too.

So I guess you’re feeling superior while going commando then? Yeah…I didn’t think so.



  1. Ai toggie …

  2. Shame sorry man. My husband is just as livid!!

    • He has all my sympathy. I see there’s a protest march in the making for either tomorrow or Friday (the fb event page says tomorrow, and the profile page says Friday). I am ITCHING to go…kind of concerned it might turn violent though.So I’m still thinking about it.

      • Protest march in the midst of social distancing… Eish. Sorry man, I feel your pain especially cos I know how much you are being “robbed”. It’s not as if it’s going to result in people stopping smoking.

      • They plan to protest at the Union Building, single file, 1.5m apart and masked all the way to the highway. Could be quite something to see if it works. Yeah, it’s nonsense the whole thing. My husband was pulled over in a roadblock and they saw a smoke in the car. When the officer asked him where he got it, Andy just said none of your business and drove off. No chase ensued thank goodness.

  3. I understand that it’s due to smoking being a respiratory function that it’s been extended.

    • That is what they’re saying it’s about, but then they have their own tobacco company whose rubbish smokes are still pretty freely available at 10-20 times the previous cost. Always follow the money…

  4. I have had to laugh at some of the rules over there, such as not wearing flip flops and shorts lol. There’s always a way to get tobacco and alcohol. We’re coming out of lockdown quicker than I expected, today in England all the none essential shops can open, I for one have no need to go anywhere near them

    • We’re also staying put as far as possible. The rules are very random and bizarre here. Some of the smaller towns are business as usual I believe. Strange times these…

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