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Tuesday, 05 October 2010

Comesa to petition UN on WHO tobacco ban

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern African is opposed to the World Health Organisation’s attempts to push through a ban of ingredients used in producing blended tobacco.These ingredients are laboratory produced compounds ranging from sweetners, sugars and flavours such as menthol, maltol and vanillin, used to improve the palatability of tobacco. Burnley — a popular tobacco type in British American Tobacco markets (especially the US) is the most common type grown in the Comesa region — mainly in eastern and southern African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique — and which requires blending. Scientists claim that smoke from burnley tobacco tends to have a harsh taste during curing, necessitating use of ingredients like glucose, menthol and ginger, or blending it with other types to tone down its character. A ban of the manufacture of the blending compounds would mean a loss of market for Comesa-grown tobacco, and a loss for farmers.

Source: The East African