Crowded market

The Solomon Islands, population about 600,000, is perhaps going to see the establishment of a third tobacco company, according to a story in The Solomon Star.

The country’s two existing companies are the Solomon Islands Tobacco Company Ltd. and Solomon Sun Cigarette Company.

The director of Non-Communicable Diseases Dr. Geoff Kenilorea reportedly told the Star that a third tobacco company was eying the local market. “I heard from customs that an overseas tobacco firm has their building materials offloaded at the port’s wharf,” Kenilorea was quoted as saying.

“But we haven’t received an application from them as yet,” he said, before adding that the name of the company was not known.

“…the Tobacco Control Act 2010 does not restrict the number of tobacco companies operating here,” he said.

“So, if a new tobacco company submits its application and meets all the requirements under the Act, they can open their factory here.”

However, Kenilorea said the government was currently working on ways to control or limit the number of tobacco companies allowed to operate in the country, though it was up to the Ministry of Health to decide whether two was already more than enough.

“In actual fact, the best-case scenario would be if we did not have any company manufacturing locally at all.

“What we can do at this time now is to ensure that the Tobacco Control Act 2010 is fully implemented so that our people will be more productive, healthier and thus happier,” he said.