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Health expert contests outdoor prison smoking ban

| July 2, 2015

Prisoners in jails in New South Wales, Australia, who currently smoke tobacco but who are facing a total smoking ban, have received support from what seems at first sight to be an unlikely source.

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Simon Chapman, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, said that while he believed it was incontestable that banning smoking within the enclosed spaces of prison buildings was the right thing to do, banning smoking in wide-open outdoor spaces opened up an entirely different set of ethical issues.

In a brave piece, Chapman, who admits to having had heated discussions with colleagues about this issue, said that some people thought it was OK to remove one of prisoners’ few freedoms: to smoke outdoors.

These people would be horrified if such a policy were extended to their neighbours or friends, but apparently it was OK with prisoners because they didn’t deserve to be treated like other citizens.

Chapman’s piece is at: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/prisoners-should-be-free-to-smoke-outside-20130930-2uo4f.html.

Opposition to Namibia tobacco project hits a hurdle

| July 2, 2015

Namibia’s Health Minister, Bernard Haufiku, who has been fighting to stop a planned Chinese tobacco project in the Zambezi region, has acknowledged that his efforts are hampered by a ‘loophole’ in the Tobacco Act, according to a story in The Namibian.

Haufiku said the act did not stop anyone from growing tobacco. This was a gap in the act that the Chinese company was ‘exploiting’ and that needed to be plugged.

The minister said he was reviewing the Act, and would submit suggested amendments to Cabinet soon. Thereafter the issue would be taken to parliament for debate and authorisation.

One amendment might be that no tobacco should be grown in Namibia, or that it should be grown only on one-ha pieces of land.

In March, the Ministry of Land Reform called for objections to Namibia Oriental Tobacco’s application for land at Liselo.

So far the project has received environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and an export processing zone status from the Trade Ministry. And the Mafwe Traditional Authority has given the land.

But the project still needs to receive from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry authorisation for the clearing of a state forest. And authorisation for water extraction has to be obtained from the department of water affairs in the same ministry.

Is tobacco not being bought or not being sold?

| July 2, 2015

During a meeting with representatives of tobacco traders and growers from Andhra Pradesh, India, on Tuesday, the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman directed tobacco companies to buy flue-cured in line with the agreements they had reached earlier with the Tobacco Board.

Tobacco sales have been slow in Andhra but tobacco traders say the low off-take of flue-cured tobacco from the market is down to the fact that growers are not presenting their tobacco for sale.

This might be part of the problem. Last month, Y.V. Subba Reddy, an Andhra member of parliament, said that there were no buyers for the low- to medium-grade flue-cured that accounted for more than 70 percent of production this year.

And while he promised to take up the plight of the growers during the monsoon session of parliament, he urged them not to make any ‘distress sales’ in the meantime.

Sitharaman will convene another meeting on July 4.

CORESTA documents available for download

| July 2, 2015

The CORESTA Secretariat said yesterday that the following documents had been published in June and could be downloaded from: www.coresta.org.

  • TSB SG CTR “Results of the 2014 CORESTA Part-Filter Method Ring Trial and Comparison with the 2012 Ring Trial”  (2015-06-11)
  • PTM SG CTR “2014 Collaborative Study for the Determination of Repeatability and Reproducibility of CRM 77″  (2015-06-16)
  • CRM No. 81 “Routine Analytical Machine for E-Cigarette Aerosol Generation and Collection – Definitions and Standard Conditions”  (2015-06-18)
  • CORESTA Monitor 8 (CM8) Use and Conditions (2015-06-29)
  • CORESTA Monitor Ignition Propensity 2 (CM IP 2) Use and Conditions (2015-06-29).

Imperial employees in Taiwan beach clean-up

| July 2, 2015
Eighty people took part in the clean-up.

Eighty people took part in the clean-up.

Eighty Imperial employees and their families gave up a weekend to remove litter from a beach near the company’s Jhunan factory in Taiwan.

The volunteers collected 120 kg of waste, which mainly comprised drinks cans and plastic bags.

The waste collection at Zhang Qing Zhi Sen was part of an environmental clean-up operation to tackle marine pollution and preserve coastal areas of natural beauty.

The Imperial team was co-ordinated by Wei-Chieh Lin, a packing machine operator at the Jhunan factory.

“It was great to see so many colleagues and their families give up their free-time to participate and it was very rewarding to see a clean beach after our efforts,” he said.

FDA seeks further information on liquid nicotine

| July 1, 2015

The US Food and Drug Administration is looking for further information to help it decide what action it might take in respect of nicotine exposure warnings and child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine and nicotine-containing e-liquids.

The FDA said that recent increases in calls and visits to both poison control centers and emergency rooms in the US involving liquid nicotine poisonings and exposures had increased the public health concerns of these exposure risks.

In an ‘advance notice of proposed rulemaking’ (ANPRM) issued today, the FDA said it was ‘…seeking comments, data, research results, or other information that may inform regulatory actions FDA might take with respect to nicotine exposure warnings and child-resistant packaging for liquid nicotine and nicotine-containing e-liquid(s) that are made or derived from tobacco and intended for human consumption, and potentially for other tobacco products including, but not limited to, novel tobacco products such as dissolvables, lotions, gels, and drinks’.

The FDA said it had evaluated data and science related to the risks, especially to infants and children, from accidental exposure to nicotine, including exposure to liquid nicotine and nicotine-containing e-liquids primarily used with electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as electronic cigarettes.

And it said that it was considering whether, based on the acute toxicity of nicotine (up to and including nicotine poisoning), it would be appropriate for the protection of the public health to warn the public about the dangers of nicotine exposure, especially due to inadvertent nicotine exposure in infants and children, and/or require that some tobacco products be sold in child-resistant packaging.

In its ANPRM, the FDA poses 16 questions under the heading, Nicotine exposure warnings; nine questions under the heading, Child-resistant packaging; and five under the heading Other actions and considerations.

The FDA’s ANPRM with details of how to respond is at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/UCM453226.pdf

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