Disclosure of cigarette ingredients mandatory for tobacco companies


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and the Ministry of Commerce have made it mandatory for tobacco companies to disclose ingredients of cigarettes before and after their packaging.

It also sought to furnish details such as source of tobacco material for cigarettes, rolling papers and filters used, place of manufacture and packaging before exporting to the Kingdom, in addition to emission components and clarifications with regard to the reasons for changing the flavor.

SFDA and the ministry also made it obligatory for the companies to conduct taste tests and disclose them to all consumers. They have set the middle of the next week as the deadline for disclosure, as well as to answer consumer inquiries that were being monitored after receiving tip offs or through the social media.

The authority and the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the new directive was issued following the recently circulated reports about some tobacco products that had variations in their components after introduction of the new ordinary packaging, in addition to change in flavor observed by some consumers.

SFDA had sent samples from seven types of tobacco found in the local market to an international laboratory (eurofins.com) to carry out a study about its quality and flavor, and whether there was any change in the quality and flavor of tobacco used during the past two years, the authority said adding that the results will be announced immediately after receiving them.

SFDA and the ministry stressed that all the concerned parties monitor with great interest the observations, inquiries and complaints lodged by consumers about tobacco products including cigarettes after the introduction of the new packaging.

They warned that stringent punitive measures shall be taken in the event of any manipulations were proven with regard to the approved components or flavor and quality of tobacco products.