By: Rain Castro, InterAksyon.com
MANILA – The Japanese maker of Winston, Camel and Mevius cigarettes today said smuggling of tobacco products remains rampant in the Philippines.
In a statement, Japan Tobacco International Philippines Inc. (JTIP) president Manos Koukourakis said the rise in seizures of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes by Customs and police highlight the need for stricter penalties.
“Minors should not smoke and should not be able to obtain tobacco products from any source, legitimate or otherwise,” Koukourakis said.
“Preventing minors from having access is key in reducing youth smoking. We’re proud to be leading on this issue with our Youth Access Prevention program in collaboration with our partner stores and outlets. However, the criminals supplying very cheap illegal cigarettes, don’t care who they sell to. Illegal cigarettes undermine government health efforts and the good work of the law-abiding retailers,” he added.