Regulations governing tobacco products
Hundreds of thousands of farmers grow tobacco, and the tobacco industry provides millions of jobs. Tobacco products are the consumables that are taxed most heavily, thus representing a significant source of income for all countries. Despite the widespread awareness of the health risks it poses, there are around a billion people in the world today who smoke.
Based on the considerations above, although the production and sale of tobacco products is a source of serious concern among a large slice of the public, the idea of it being banned appears unrealistic.
An objective approach to the issue is required. Our opinion is that tobacco manufacturers must conduct their business responsibly, while governments must work towards the adoption of a balanced regulatory framework able to take account of the needs of all the stakeholders involved: the health authorities, ministries of the economy, farmers, tobacco manufacturers, consumers, non-smokers. A policy is required to prevent and discourage smoking, with carefully targeted campaigns aimed at primary school children upwards, support therapy for those trying to give up smoking, and more detailed, transparent information on the products on the market. It is equally important, however, to take due account of the potential repercussions of overly restrictive regulations, which might contribute to the growth of the black market and the sale of counterfeit or illegally imported tobacco products. The risks associated with a growing illegal market would be significant in terms not only of the loss of tax revenue, but above all of the risks posed to consumers’ safety by a slackening of the tight controls imposed on their products by companies operating on the legal market.
International Tobacco PLC - London