BAT subsidiary lobbies Pakistan to allow export of cigarettes to Sudan

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A subsidiary of British American Tobacco is lobbying nan authorities of Pakistan to let it to export 10-packs of cigarettes to war-torn Sudan, prompting disapproval from a smoking run group.

Pakistan is among much than 80 countries that do not licence nan waste aliases manufacture of 10-packs of cigarettes, which nan World Health Organization has said make smoking much affordable for children.

But BAT’s subsidiary, Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC), has written to nan government’s wellness ministry to lobby for a alteration successful nan rule that would let it to make smaller packs there, for export to Sudan and different countries wherever they are not prohibited.

In a leaked missive seen by nan Guardian, PTC said it had “received a caller export bid to manufacture for Sudan, which includes packs of 10 cigarettes”.

PTC said that Sudan, which is successful nan grip of a civilian warfare that is estimated to person claimed arsenic galore arsenic 150,000 lives, does not prohibition nan waste of 10-packs.

The institution told nan Islamabad authorities that changing nan rule would “benefit Pakistan” because nan bid was worthy $20.5m and could beryllium repeated, bringing valuable dollar rate reserves into Pakistan.

It asked for nan rule to beryllium “amended” to let it to manufacture smaller cigaret packets for export.

Mark Hurley, vice-president astatine nan Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), said smaller packs were peculiarly apt to entreaty to under-18s.

“It is beyond shameful that British American Tobacco is seeking to change nan rule successful Pakistan truthful that it tin flood an African state successful situation pinch inexpensive cigarettes,” he said.

He said much than 80 countries astir nan world had enacted laws requiring a minimum of 20 cigarettes a battalion “because grounds shows these inexpensive packs are utilized to target kids and susceptible populations”.

“Exploiting not only this knowledge but a state facing a humanitarian situation is nan behaviour of a institution that will genuinely extremity astatine thing to waste and addict much group to cigarettes.”

More than 180 countries, including Pakistan and Sudan, are signatories to nan World Health Organization’s Framework Convention connected Tobacco Control (FCTC), which obliges them to prohibit nan waste of cigarettes individually aliases successful mini packets which summation nan affordability of specified products to minors.

While nan FCTC does not specify what constitutes a mini pack, astatine slightest 82 countries person enacted laws requiring a minimum of 20 sticks a pack.

London-based BAT, which makes brands including Lucky Strike and Rothmans, said nan export bid was intended to switch home manufacturing by its Sudanese subsidiary, Blue Nile Cigarette Company (BNCC).

The subsidiary’s mill is based successful Madani, which has been nan segment of dense fighting successful Sudan’s bloody civilian war.

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A BAT spokesperson said: “To guarantee nan continuity of products to meet user demands successful Sudan, which predominantly operates successful cigaret packs of 10, Pakistan was fixed nan export bid to proviso to BNCC.

“The clearance for nan export bid of cigaret packs of 10 from Pakistan to Sudan is pending regulatory support by nan authorities of Pakistan. The clearance complies pinch each section laws and regulations successful Sudan.

“For immoderate products manufactured by BAT, we abide by strict trading principles to forestall trading and income to underage [consumers]. These measures see salient 18+ property warnings connected packaging arsenic good arsenic our communications.”

A spokesperson for nan Pakistan authorities declined to comment.

In 2017, a Guardian investigation uncovered really BAT promoted income of its cigarettes successful immoderate of nan astir fragile, war-torn and unstable countries of Africa and nan Middle East.

At nan time, a spokesperson said: “We return our committedness to nan responsible trading of our products very seriously.

“We person strict, company-wide trading principles successful spot to guarantee that our products are marketed responsibly, successful summation to adhering to each applicable laws and regulations successful nan 200 markets wherever we operate.”

Source theguardian