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Thu, Jun 15, 2000 - Page 2 News List

NGO takes another swipe at TTWB's`520' cigarettes


The John Tung Foundation (董氏基金會) blasted the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Board (TTWB, 菸酒公賣局) for selling its newly developed "520 light" cigarette in Hong Kong after they were banned from the Taiwan market, according to Hong Kong media reports.

The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting smoking.

The foundation also said the TTWB's move may jeopardize Taiwan's previous efforts to join the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, currently in the process of being drafted.

In addition, the foundation is to call for a boycott by other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

According to media reports, the "520 light" developed by the TTWB is to officially be launched on the market in China, Hong Kong, and Macau as early as the end of July.

The "520 light" -- pronounced similarly to the words "I love you" in Mandarin -- was originally going to be launched in Taiwan on May 20 last year to mark the third anniversary of former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) inauguration as Taiwan's first popularly elected president.

However, in light of harsh criticism from social and legislative groups the TTWB was forced to announce on May 13 last year that it had suspended production of the new cigarette.

The cigarette was designed by the TTWB to compete with foreign brands which have in recent years been gaining market share on the island.

With a fruity aroma and heart signs on the filter, the "520" cigarettes were reportedly targeted at young people, indicating it was "cool" to smoke the brand.

The John Tung Foundation lashed out at the TTWB for attempting to lure youngsters into a life of smoking.

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