A reported 71% of Moroccan cigarettes contain 14 mg of tar, defying the legal standard for cigarettes.
Rabat – A reported 71% of cigarettes sold in Morocco contain 14 mg of tar, defying the legal standard for cigarettes.
The government is facing obstacles regulating standards for cigarettes, which specify that there should be only 10 mg of tar, 1 mg of nicotine, and 10 mg of carbon monoxide in each single. In all, 96% of cigarettes sold are “out of the ordinary.”
However, 71% of Moroccan cigarettes actually contain 14 mg of tar. The cigarettes mainly come from two operators: the Marquise brand from the Moroccan Tobacco Company and Winston from Japan Tobacco International, according to Moroccan French language newspaper L’Economiste.
The company behind Chesterfield isn’t a major brand on the market as it has less than 2% market share.
If the Moroccan government were to ensure that the tar content was at 10 mg, tobacco sales could decline and along with it the tax revenue. The reason is that smokers are less likely to buy cigarettes with a lower amount of tar.
International importers are not willing to align with the standards due to the pressures of competition, despite Japan Tobacco international boasting that it is a leading company in “Reduced-Risk Products brands.”
The Moroccan Tobacco Company, on the other hand, is taking a “reasonable time to adjust its production tool, review its processes, invest in R & D.” Other companies are also giving excuses as to why they have not met the cigarette standards, arguing that they buy tobacco well in advance to make the products for trade. However, the standards were set seven years ago, in 2012.
Because the standard should apply to locally manufactured tobacco as well as imported, and enforcing it appears to be a challenge, there are some who push to annul the cigarette standards altogether.