Lilongwe, July 18, Mana: Tobacco Commission (TC) has bemoaned negative publicity on the tobacco industry saying it has negatively affected the country’s production and sales.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for TC, Dr Joseph Chidanti Malunga, made the remarks Saturday during a media interface meeting with Media Network on Tobacco at Kanengo in Lilongwe.
He said some of the negative publicity are being orchestrated by some organizations that are deliberately misleading people that tobacco industry was dying.
“We want the media to know that some of the things that they are getting from such organizations are not correct. We want to affirm that tobacco industry is alive,” Malunga said.
The CEO said media was very important in disseminating different messages to the public hence such messages should be correct.
He admitted that rules of the game in the tobacco industry have changed and countries are encouraged to adhere to Environmental, Social and Government (ESG) standards when growing tobacco.
Malunga noted that calling for diversification was not a bad thing but the issues should not be raised as a result of what was happening to the tobacco industry.
He said the information that tobacco industry was dying has affected participation of growers hence the need to sensitize them on the misinformation being paraded.
President of Media Network on Tobacco, Alfred Chauwa said the Network should be made aware of the value chain of the tobacco industry.
He said any misinformation about the industry disturbs its performance right from production to sales.
Media Network on Tobacco was established in 2016 and over 40 journalists have been trained in reporting tobacco issues in the country.