FDA to ban cigarette-shaped sweets

Cigarette-shaped candies. Photo: Flickr / Craig Pennington
Cigarette-shaped candies. Photo: Flickr / Craig Pennington

Sweets shaped like cigarettes will be banned under Myanmar’s tobacco legislation, especially in school shops, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced.

“The colorful sweets attract children and encourage them to smoke. Selling these kinds of sweets and toys should be outlawed under Section 13 of the Tobacco Law,” the FDA announced.

Section 13(e) of the law prohibits “production, distribution, or sale of toys, edibles or wares made in the form of cigar”. First-time violators will be fined between K10,000 and K30,000; second and subsequent offenses are punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine between K30,000 and K100,000.

The FDA, the Department of Health, police, and regional authorities have been asked to enforce the ruling by monitoring school shops. Enforcement will be tightened when the school season begins on June 1.

According to a study by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), Myanmar has the weakest tobacco control regulations in the region.

In 2015, a SEATCA survey put the male smoking rate in 2015 at 60.3 percent and the female smoking rate at 18 percent.

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