Home Lifestyle Health Kiddie Packs Cigarettes—African’s New Products.

Kiddie Packs Cigarettes—African’s New Products.

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Kiddie Packs Cigarettes—African’s New Products.

Katherine Abayomi

An alarm has been raised by The African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) as concerns regarding an initiative by British American Tobacco (BAT) to export small packs of cigarettes, commonly referred to as “kiddie” packs, from Pakistan to various African countries, including Nigeria.

This has prompted ATCA to urge Nigerian authorities to take immediate action to prevent the potential influx of these products, which could pose significant public health risks.

In a statement backed by sixty (60) public health advocates representing 54 organizations from 25 African countries, ATCA appealed to the government of Pakistan to protect the world’s children. “Do not allow British American Tobacco to export kiddie packs of cigarettes to Sudan (Africa).”

ATCA noted that if not stopped, British American Tobacco (BAT’s) plan would see BAT subsidiary Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) manufacture and export 10-stick cigarette packs to war-torn Sudan.

The 20-cigarette-per-pack rule is the global standard for protecting children. Kiddie packs have fewer than 20 cigarettes, which makes it easier, cheaper, and more likely that children will buy them.

More than 180 countries, including Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sudan, are signatories to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which requires them to prohibit the sale of cigarettes individually or in small packets that increase the affordability of such products to minors. No fewer than 82 countries have also enacted laws requiring a minimum of 20 sticks a pack.

“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.

“In Pakistan and many other countries, regulations do not allow packs smaller than 20 cigarettes to be sold. These smaller packs of cigarettes, known as “kiddie” packs, make it easier, cheaper, and more likely for those children to buy them. The 20-cigarette rule is a global standard.

“In Pakistan, British American Tobacco (BAT) is pushing you to change regulations so that it can manufacture 10-stick cigarette packs and export them to Sudan. However, the 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 condemned BAT’s explanation that the kiddie packs will only be sold in Sudan, noting that other African countries would be next if the tobacco giant is allowed to succeed with this plan in Sudan.

“British American Tobacco claims that it will not sell kiddie packs in Pakistan, but only in Africa. It is unconscionable that British American Tobacco (BAT) thinks it is ok to change a law on one continent to target vulnerable populations on another.

“In Sudan and other African countries, people need food, medicine, and other 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 they will cross Africa once BAT gets kiddie packs into one country.

“British American Tobacco claims to care about protecting children in some parts of the world, yet in Africa, it is scheming to hook more people into its addictive products and to increase cigarette consumption.

“If a product is too dangerous for one country’s children, it is too hazardous for children anywhere. Putting other people’s children at risk of tobacco addiction, disease, and death is unacceptable.

“We refuse for Pakistan to acquiesce to BAT’s will – Do not put African kids at risk by changing the strong tobacco control regulations in Pakistan.”

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