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Pakistani Government must refuse tobacco industry ‘kiddie cigarettes’ export


The African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) a non-profit public health advocates has appealed to the Pakistani government not to allow the tobacco industry to export ‘kiddie cigarettes’ packs into the country.

It said these smaller packs, which contain 10 sticks of cigarettes, make it easier, cheaper, and more affordable for children and the vulnerable population to buy.

The global rule and standard are that packs containing 20 sticks of cigarettes can be sold.

A statement from the ATCA and copied to the Ghana News Agency said in Pakistan and many other countries, regulations do not allow smaller packs than those with 20 sticks of cigarettes.

It noted that in Pakistan the tobacco industry is pushing the government to change regulations so that it can manufacture 10-stick cigarette packs and export them to Sudan.

‘However, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in its Article 16 calls on Parties to prohibit the sale of cigarettes in small packets, which increases the affordability of such products to
minors.

‘Consequently, Pakistan as a party to the Convention should not allow manufacturing of 10-stick cigarette packs,’ the statement said.

It said the tobacco industry claimed that it would not sell the kiddie packs in only Pakistan, but the whole of Africa.

‘It is unconscionable that the industry thinks it is OK to change a law on one continent to target vulnerable populations on another. In Sudan, and other countries in Africa, people need food, medicine, and other lifesaving support.

‘What they do not need is kiddie packs of cigarettes that put them at increased risk of tobacco addiction, diseases, and death. And we know that once the tobacco industry gets kiddie packs into one country, they will make their way across Africa,’ it stated.

The statement said the industry claimed to care about protecting children in some parts of the world, yet in Africa, it was scheming to hook more people into its addictive products and to increase cigarette consumption.

‘If a product is too dangerous for one count
ry’s children, it is too dangerous for children anywhere. Putting other people’s children at risk of tobacco addition, disease and death is unacceptable.

‘We refuse for Pakistan to acquiesce to the tobacco industry’s will – Do not put African kids at risk by changing the strong tobacco control regulations in Pakistan,’ the ATCA stated.

It said; ‘We, public health advocates in countries across the African continent have worked tirelessly for years for the adoption and implementation of tobacco control laws and policies. Just like in Pakistan, these laws protect children, vulnerable populations, and the general public in Africa.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

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