Pakistan urged to allow small pack exports – Tobacco Reporter

Pakistan Tobacco Co. (PTC), a subsidiary of BAT, is lobbying the Pakistani government to allow the export of 10-packs of cigarettes to Sudan, reports The Guardian. Pakistan is one of more than 80 countries that ban the sale or manufacture of 10-packs of cigarettes. Sudan, on the other hand, allows these types of backpacks.

In a letter to the government, PTC said it “received a new export order to manufacture for Sudan, which includes 10-packs of cigarettes.”

PTC told the government that exempting export orders from the ban on 10-packs of cigarettes would benefit Pakistan as the order is worth $20.5 million and could be repeated.

Health activists urged the government to reject the request. “It is beyond shameful that British American Tobacco is trying to bend the law in Pakistan so it can flood an African country in crisis with cheap cigarettes,” said Mark Hurley, vice-president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Sudan is currently in the middle of a civil war.

According to Hurley, more than 80 countries have banned the sale of small packs, which require at least 20 cigarettes per pack, “because evidence shows that these cheap packs are used to target children and vulnerable populations.”

“Exploiting not only this knowledge but also a country facing a humanitarian crisis is the behavior of a company that will truly stop at nothing to sell and get more people addicted to cigarettes,” he said.

BAT responded that the export order was aimed at replacing domestic manufacturing by its Sudanese subsidiary Blue Nile Cigarettes Co. (BNCC), which is based in Madani, where there has been heavy fighting in the civil war.

“To ensure continuity of products to meet consumer demands in Sudan, which predominantly operates in cigarette packs of 10, Pakistan has received the export order to supply to the BNCC,” a BAT spokesperson said. “The authorization for the order to export 10-packs of cigarettes from Pakistan to Sudan is pending regulatory approval by the government of Pakistan. The authorization complies with all local laws and regulations in Sudan.

“For any product manufactured by BAT, we comply with strict marketing principles to prevent marketing and sale to underage (consumers). These measures include prominent warnings for those over 18 on packaging and in our communications.”