Protect the world’s children: Do not allow British American Tobacco to export kiddie packs of cigarettes to Sudan (Africa)

60 public health advocates representing 54 organizations from 25 African countries appeal to the government of Pakistan

For immediate release

Lomé, July 3, 2024

We, public health advocates in countries across the African continent have worked tirelessly for years for the adoption and implementation of tobacco control laws and policies. Just like in Pakistan, these laws protect children, vulnerable populations and the general public in Africa.

In Pakistan and many other countries, regulations don’t allow packs smaller than 20 cigarettes to be sold. These smaller packs of cigarettes, known as “kiddie” packs, make it easier, cheaper, and more likely those children will buy them. The 20-cigarette rule is a global standard.
In Pakistan, British American Tobacco (BAT) is pushing you to change regulations so that it can manufacture 10-stick cigarette packs and export them to Sudan. However, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in its Article 16 calls Parties to prohibit the sale of cigarettes in small packets, which increase the affordability of such products to minors. Consequently, Pakistan as a party to the Convention should not allow manufacturing of 10-stick cigarette packs.

British American Tobacco’s claim is that it will not sell kiddie packs in Pakistan, but only in Africa. It is unconscionable that British American Tobacco (BAT) thinks it is ok to change a law on one continent in order to target vulnerable populations on another. In Sudan, and other countries in Africa, people need food, medicine and other lifesaving supports. What they do not need is kiddie packs of cigarettes that put them at increased risk of tobacco addiction, diseases and death. And we know that once BAT gets kiddie packs into one country, they will make their way across Africa.

British American Tobacco claims to care about protecting children in some parts of the world, yet in Africa, it is scheming to hook more people into its addictive products and to increase cigarette consumption.

If a product is too dangerous for one country’s children, it is too dangerous for children anywhere. Putting other people’s children at risk of tobacco addition, disease and death is unacceptable.

We refuse for Pakistan to acquiesce to BAT’s will – Do not put African kids at risk by changing the strong tobacco control regulations in Pakistan.

Access the petition

For media inquiries, please contact: