Tobacco control alliance urges govts to resist moves by tobacco firm, BAT, to introduce ‘Kiddie Packs’ in Africa


The African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) has petitioned African governments, including Zambia, to prevent British American Tobacco (BAT) from selling small packs of cigarettes, known as “kiddie packs,” in their countries.

BAT is reportedly pressuring Pakistan to change regulations, allowing it to manufacture 10-stick cigarette packs for export to Sudan and eventually other African countries.

The Alliance highlighted in its petition that these smaller packs make it easier, cheaper and more likely for children to buy cigarettes.

It also appealed to the Pakistani government not to endanger African children by altering their strong tobacco control regulations.

“Pakistan, as a party to the Convention, should not allow the manufacturing of 10-stick cigarette packs,” the Alliance advised.

BAT claims it would not sell kiddie packs in Pakistan but only in Africa.

The Alliance condemned this, arguing it was unethical for BAT to change laws on one continent to exploit vulnerable populations on another.

The Alliance stressed that in Zambia, Sudan and other African countries, people need essentials like food and medicine, not smaller packs of cigarettes that increase the risk of tobacco addiction, disease and death.

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“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 BAT gets kiddie packs into one country, they will make their way across Africa,” the statement read.

The Alliance criticized BAT for its double standards, noting that while the company claimed to protect children in some parts of the world, it is scheming to hook more people in Africa on its addictive products, thereby increasing cigarette consumption.

The Alliance concluded by stating that if a product was too dangerous for children in one country, it was too dangerous for children everywhere and putting other people’s children at risk of tobacco addiction, disease and death was unacceptable.

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