November 18, 2013 Share this

Industry research shows that cheap cigarette brands are usually of low quality that pose serious additional health risks to consumers.

Usually, raw materials and blends are compromised to save on costs and enable the company to maintain a low price point.

In a recent statement, Trevor Lewis, the Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy in Manila, said that counterfeit and illicit cigarettes put the health of buyers at much greater risk. While smoking poses health risks, adults who exercise their right of choice to smoke should have access only to standard quality products from legit brands, he said.

Lewis was present during the inspection of P18 million worth of fake Marlboro cigarettes recently seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Manila port. The tobacco contraband originated from China and was reportedly bound for United Kingdom (UK).

He added With the proper brand, you have proper filters to prevent or offset some of the bad health effects (of smoking) with this one they don t have proper filters. They were produced as cheaply and as nastily as possible and sold as the real thing.

Industry sources also said low priced brands could also be produced under unhygienic conditions with poor adherence to quality standard, in stark contrast with the world class facilities used by legit global companies.

In Europe such as UK, governments are rolling out public awareness campaigns to warn the public, specifically smokers, of dodgy cigarettes or brands that are produced under dubious conditions, then smuggled and sold as genuine quality products.

In Malaysia, a public awareness campaign with graphic images was used to highlight the risks of smoking illicit and counterfeit cigarettes warning smokers of cheap brands which are often laced with dirt, rat droppings and dead insects. Likewise its government enacted a law on Minimum Cigarette Price (MCP) to also counter illicit trade.

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