No updates on factory opening

By Ilia L Likou ,

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AT A STANDSTILL: The Tobacco Factory at Falelauniu.

AT A STANDSTILL: The Tobacco Factory at Falelauniu. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Plans to open the new tobacco factory at Falelauniu are still on hold.

The owner, Tu’itu’ioaiga Teeking Weng didn’t want to comment further on the matter when he was asked for an update.

On the telephone all Tu’itu’ioaiga would say was, ‘it’s not yet’ and he would not go further into details.

An attempt to get a comment from Minister Lautafi Purcell was also unsuccessful.

The new cigarette factory is owned by Tuituioaiga who is also the owner of the Coin Save chain of stores.

Last year, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi defended the government’s decision to grant the license. 

He said there are no are no laws to prohibit the establishment of a new cigarette factory.

“If there was legislation to stop the production of cigarettes and the importation of cigarettes, then that topic would be important,” he said. 

“We cannot stop people who have already made the decision to smoke cigarettes.”

Tuilaepa said there are more important issues to talk about. 

He added that the new tobacco factory would not mean cheaper cigarettes and easier access to cigarettes for members of the public.

“The prices (of cigarettes) will continue to increase,” he said. 

 “The government is trying to stop it (smoking) by increasing the prices and from that the government gets more money for its development.” 

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