Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 22, 2008

Manufacturers: Ban 14-stick pack

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:38 am

NST: PUTRAJAYA: Tobacco industry players are asking the government to ban the sale of the 14-stick cigarette pack if a minimum price is on the cards.
Smaller manufacturers, especially those producing non-premium brands, said it was pointless to have the same minimum price for a 14-stick pack and a 20-stick pack.
The government has proposed RM5.20 as the minimum price for a pack of 20 sticks, and wants this to apply to 14-stick packs as well.
The reason, according to Health Ministry sources, is that 14-stick packs are banned under the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004.
Though the law exists, 14-stick packs are still being sold because of a cabinet directive in 2005 to continue their sale until 2010 to help the industry.
“If we want to enforce the law and ban the sale of 14-stick packs, we’ll have to table a proposal to revoke the cabinet directive.
“That will be up to the minister,” a ministry official said.
The law already bans the sale of individual cigarette sticks and seven-stick packs.
Non-premium brand producers, whose cigarettes take up about eight per cent of market consumption, appear to be the ones who stand to lose the most from the government’s move to impose a minimum price on cigarettes.
“The big firms are already selling their brands at above RM5.20.
“For the small firms, a minimum price that is higher than what they’re selling at could mean lower sales volume,” a tobacco company representative said.
Overall, larger manufacturers are willing to comply with the minimum pricing, packaging and labeling requirements to help the government meet its health objectives.
“We know we are a controversial industry selling a controversial product, so we expect some regulation,” an industry representative said.

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