NEWS

‘Tibi’ Peddlers Do Brisk Illegal Business

Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqanibete says this is illegal and is driven by the consumer de­mand.
17 May 2019 13:09
‘Tibi’ Peddlers Do Brisk Illegal Business
Youths selling cigarette rolls at the Suva Bus Stand and market area, which is a no-smoking zone. Photo: Ronald Kumar

They stand around populated areas signal­ling to the passer-by, tibi selling loose ciga­rettes or rolls.

It is $1 for a roll and these men do this as a busi­ness.

Minister for Health Dr Ifereimi Waqanibete says this is illegal and is driven by the consumer de­mand.

A common business springing up in urban areas around the Suva Nausori corridor is the sale of loose cigarettes or rolls.

This time around it is not being done by shops, but by individuals who stand in areas with pedes­trian traffic.

This practice is a violation of the Tobacco Con­trol Act, which bans the sale single cigarettes.

Dr Waqanibete said the Tobacco Control Unit fined some offenders and was waiting to pros­ecute them.

“Smoking is a habit and this habit is creating a demand for such unscrupulous things to happen. If people follow the law then this will not hap­pen,” he said.

“People have to realise that the sale of loose cigarettes or rolls is driven by the consumer. The Tobacco Control Unit is doing what it can to curb this, however, the public has its part to play.

“The unit has sufficient manpower, but what is needed is awareness.”

The cigarette pirates can be seen on a daily ba­sis around the kiosks at Suva Bus Stand, in Lami Town, in Nabua, Nakasi and even in Nausori.

Dr Waqanibete said laws could only be effective if everybody observed it.

According to the Suva City Council, their en­forcement officers cannot do much because they are not authorised by Ministry of Health to do so.

Under the Tobacco Control Act, people can be fined up to $1000 if found selling loose cigarettes and up to $5000 if prosecuted in court.

A packet of 10 cigarettes cost around $7.50 and with the sale of loose cigarettes, the seller is mak­ing a profit of $2.50 on a packet.

Dr Waqanibete said stopping the sale of loose cigarettes was also a way to stop teenagers from smoking.

He said smoking remained one of the key rea­sons for many non-communicable diseases in the country.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: