What is it about?

The piece describes how a small pack of cigarettes that has only two cigarettes was trialled in latter part of 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The two cigarettes contained in this pack, a John Player Gold Leaf and a John Player Navy Cut, are products of Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC), which is largely owned by the multinational British American Tobacco (BAT). CTC was under increasing pressure due to a preceding tobacco price hike resulting in lower sales volumes and an impending governmental ban on selling cigarettes as single sticks. It may be possible that the CTC wanted to trial a solution to their problems, a tiny pack, which is still affordable, but will be compatible with the single-stick sale ban.

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Why is it important?

The tiny pack with two cigarettes is illegal as it does not contain the details of the manufacturer and does not have the government health warnings. The length the tobacco industry would go to, to maximise their profits, is shocking.

Perspectives

CCT (cct.lk) is the Sri Lankan tobacco observatory set up under Article 5.3 of WHO FCTC. We officially report and index these findings on our online information portal, TobaccoUnmasked.lk. ADIC (adicsrilanka.org) is a partner organisation of CCT and joins together with CCT in many of our activities. This report is another attempt to disseminate one of the findings of CCT-ADIC joint tobacco industry activity surveillance.

Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya
University of Colombo

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This page is a summary of: Two-a-pack cigarette packet in Sri Lanka: an affordability experiment by the tobacco industry?, Tobacco Control, June 2019, BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2019-054981.
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