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Tobacco ads lawful


PETER SMITH

Tobacco ads lawful

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I HAVE SEEN some articles recently in the newspaper about tobacco advertising and, more specifically, billboard advertising from Caribbean & Sea and note the Government’s intent to put laws in place to address tobacco advertising.

At the same time, I noticed an article last week which made mention of some statistic stating that “over the past five years, fewer tobacco-based cigarettes were imported into the island”.

In 2011, imports were valued at $13 103 418 but in 2015, the figure dropped to $9 055 274 – a decrease of $4 048 144.

Until such time, tobacco advertising is not against the law.

I do believe that cigarette companies should be mindful of the potential for advertisements to be seen by people under the age of 18 as, really, this product is a legal commodity made for adults who have decided to smoke.

As a smoker myself, I am well informed of the health risk as there are warnings on all packs.

More importantly, and given the state of our economy, I believe we should look at the bigger picture here and understand the reason behind this decline.

Is it that more illegal cigarettes are coming in and therefore fewer legal cigarettes are being sold? What does that mean for the revenue which the Government is not collecting? Are we being foolish to believe that banning tobacco advertising can help us collect our due taxes?

Think again!

– PETER SMITH

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