American Samoa AG against tobacco ban

American Samoa's attorney general Talauega Eleasalo Ale has warned against a move to completely ban cigarettes and tobacco from being imported into the territory.

Health officials have continued a public awareness programme, focusing on the health risks involved in smoking and a reminders of laws banning smoking in public facilities, including schools and public transportation.

During a House of Representatives health committee hearing, lawmaker Vui Florence Saulo asked Talauega about banning the importation of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Talauega said the products shouldn't be banned, and there were other ways to reduce cigarette consumption like increasing the cost through excise tax.

He said banning cigarettes and tobacco could have negative results.

The Attorney-General said visitors, tourists and business people could be put off coming to the territory to visit, hold conferences or sporting events if a ban was put in place.

Vui said there's going to be a time when she will sponsor a bill promoting the ban but has not given a timeframe.


Photo: 123RF The cost for cigarettes in American Samoa is between $US12 to $US15 a pack