Smoking will not decrease. The state, the merchant and the producer will lose

The Chamber of Deputies adopted on Tuesday banning flavored and mentholated cigarettes. The law now depends only on the signature of President Iohannis.

According to the normative act, we will find mentholated cigarettes in the store until 2019, instead the ones with flavors will officially disappear earlier, from May 20, 2017.

From the same date, the law also stipulates that cigarette packs will be sold with a tougher image, covering 65% of the surface, on both sides.

Although the intention is clear, discouraging smoking, a habit harmful to health, Gilda Lazar, director of Corporate Affairs Communications JTI Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria, argued for Ziare.com that these changes will not reduce the number of smokers.

Instead, “packaging will be easier to counterfeit, because brand identification elements will no longer be as visible”, says the representative of the cigarette company.

In plus, banned products will continue to be available on the black market.

“All market studies show that sales of tobacco products show a slight downward trend, which is not determined by restrictive measures such as increasing health warnings or banning certain categories of products.

The increased area of ​​health warnings of up to 65% will not reduce the incidence of smoking, but will packaging to be easier to counterfeit, because the brand identification elements will no longer be as visible. And banned products will continue to be available on the black market.

Regulators assume that smokers are not able to understand a message that occupies 40% of the area of ​​the package, which is why they increase it to 65%. E a form of disregard for consumer intelligence“, says the JTI representative.

In addition, Gilda Lazar accuses that it wants to weaken, “the collapse of this economic sector”, which “is the second largest contributor to the state budget”.

What happens to cigarettes that remain unsold

We wanted to know what will happen to flavored cigarettes that remain unsold until May 20, 2017. According to the JTI representative, they “will have to be withdrawn and destroyed at the expense of the producers.”

JTI accuses the process “of being a costly logistical exercise, from which the state, the trader and the producer will lose.”

The measures in the recently adopted law are meant to discourage smoking. Official statistics shows that one in three young people between the ages of 15 and 16, or 200,000 children, has smoked at least once in the past 30 days. Of these, a third smoke every week or even every day.

A recent report by the National Anti-Drug Agency reveals that among adolescents, there is a slight decrease in the number of smokers, compared to 2001. Even so, however, in recent years, the numbers have remained constant.

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