Thu, Mar 19, 2015 - Page 3 News List

I-Mei to stop tobacco sales at its stores starting April

Staff writer, with CNA

I-Mei Food Co, one of the nation’s largest food producers, last night said it would stop selling tobacco in its stores starting next month.

The announcement came just two hours after the company initially dismissed a report that it plans to stop selling tobacco.

The company’s initial statement followed a front-page story in yesterday’s Chinese-language United Evening News, which said I-Mei would halt tobacco product sales at its 88 stores nationwide on April 2.

“This is a premature thought,” I-Mei general manager Kao Chih-ming (高志明) said earlier in the day, adding that the company would not discuss the matter until a decision has been reached.

Acknowledging that the subject has been discussed, Kao said the company is making an effort to improve its image.

It confirmed the decision late last night, saying it was stopping tobacco sales next month.

The company cited the nation’s poor air quality, parents’ reaction to smoking and actor-turned-activist Sun Yue’s (孫越) anti-smoking efforts as reasons behind its decision.

Meanwhile, the nation’s four major convenience store operators are apparently taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the idea of ending tobacco sales.

President Chain Store Corp’s 7-Eleven, the nation’s largest convenience store chain, said it was still trying to understand the issue.

Family Mart said it has not discussed the issue, while Hi-Life and OK Mart said they have no plans to stop selling cigarettes.

OK Mart said its stores have a policy of not promoting tobacco products, although they sell such goods.

Major hypermarket operators Carrefour, RT-Mart and Amart, and Pxmart supermarket chain, said they were maintaining their tobacco sales policies.

However, Costco said it would stop selling tobacco in its local outlets once its existing stocks are sold out.

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