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Council: No reason to bring back 'kiddie' cig packs

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC) has dismissed claims that smaller “kiddie” cigarette packs would help curb the sales of illicit cigarettes.
In a statement on Wednesday, the MCTC said that the reasons given in reports for the proposal of bringing back “kiddie” packs were unfounded.
These reasons, the MCTC said, included that larger cigarette packs encouraged people to smoke more and that the increase in cigarette retail prices have not shown a significant decrease in the number of smokers.
“The proposal mooted by lobbyists on grounds that current pricing and packaging in Malaysia have resulted in the increase in the consumption of illicit cigarettes is baseless,” said the council.
It said that the fact that there was no significant increase in the prevalence of smoking in Malaysia showed that the current policy banning smaller packs worked.
The MCTC said this was consistent with international research findings and recommendations by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
“Any attempts by any organisation to reintroduce the kiddie pack will be regressive and undermines the national policy on tobacco control,” said the council.
With regards to combating the sales of illicit cigarettes, the council said that this was the responsibility of the Customs Department and every Malaysian citizen.
The MCTC recommended that the government implement more comprehensive tobacco control legislation and impose more severe penalties on smuggling of tobacco products, including confiscation of personal properties of those convicted.
It also proposed there to be a ban on the sale of all tobacco products at all food premises.
It was reported that the government was considering the proposal to bring back “kiddie” packs which are smaller packs of cigarettes.
The Control of Tobacco Product Regulations (of the Food Act 1983) was introduced in 2004 and two years later the Health Ministry ordered cigarette companies to take packs of seven and 10 sticks off the shelves.
In 2010, the 14-stick pack was also removed, allowing only 20-stick packs to be sold.

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