SITCo condemns and distances itself from illegal cigarette candy
By Gary Hatigeva
THE Solomon Islands Tobacco Company (SITCO), has come out in strong support and joins the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), to condemn the promotion and selling of the recently revealed Candy Smoke.
On Thursday, the Ministry came out publicly on the product, stressing its legal status under Solomon Islands Laws particularly, under the Tobacco Control Act 2010, which was said to be illegal, and sent out strong warnings on those that are involved in selling, promoting and bringing them in.
Following a number of publication on the candy issue, the SITCO General Manager Shusendra Singh, responded to media reports on the products and expressed the company’s strong condemnation on its promotion and selling in the local market.
The General Manager said such products are misleading and do not meet the requirements of the Tobacco Control Act and Regulations.
Certain sections of both the Solomon Islands Tobacco Control Act and the Pure Food Regulation, have been used to confirm the status of the Candy Smoke, which made it illegal and should be banned in the country.
The product according to officials, has been used by some players in the industry, as a deceptive method of marketing and to promote smoking, disguising under the name of candy, with intentions to target the younger ones as any country’s future generations.
SITCo as one of the only two local tobacco manufacturers in the country however, detached itself from the highlighted issue and reiterated its stand to support the authorities in all their efforts to curb what has been described as, an illegal act.
“The candy type products mentioned in media are not SITCO’sr products. We fully support Ministry of Health’s efforts on enforcement and compliance,” Mr Singh told this paper.
Meanwhile, authority officials revealed that currently, they have no trace to where the products were originated from, but are certain they are not produced locally.
They however warned that a collaborative operation with police and customs will do a follow up and based on reports including whatever outcome from an intense investigation currently underway, those found connected to the importation and promotion of the product, will also face heavy penalties.