West Indian Tobacco (WITCO), local manufacturer and sole regional distributor of/for tobacco products within CARICOM, will be introducing new packaging for all of its products, in keeping with the Ministry of Health’s mandate.
In a statement, the company said while all packaging currently contains written health warnings as required by law, the Government in 2021 effected further regulations via the Tobacco Control (Amendment) Regulations for Graphic or pictorial Health Warnings (GHW) to be included on all packaging.
WITCO’s current brands include Dunhill, Lucky Strike/ Du Maurier, Lucky Strike/ Broadway and Rothmans.
WITCO’s Managing Director Laurent Meffre confirmed that there has been no change in the price, taste, or flavour of the products. He further indicated that the Company was pleased to partner with the Tobacco Control Unit (TCU) to implement these changes.
The new packaging in the industry, Meffre noted, will assist in the identification of suspected illicit product in the trade.
“For far too long, the market has been used as a transhipment point for illicitly traded goods, chief among these, being cigarettes. We remain confident that the Government has placed focus and resources behind a number of initiatives to support the eradication of illicit trade. The implementation of GHW’s within our industry is an example of one such development. Over the past year, the Illicit Trade task force established by the Ministry of Trade has yielded positive results and we look forward to future successes.”
The company currently employs approximately 200 members of staff at its Champs Fleur location, and recently invested TT$85 million to enhance its plant and machinery and in upskilling its workforce.
WITCO said it continues to ensure that local and regional consumers are supplied with best-in-class products.