Archive for September, 2012

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Plain ugly packaging – coming soon to a product close to your heart

| September 27, 2012

A tobacco company is warning that alcohol and other products could soon be subjected to the same advertising and packaging restrictions currently in force or pending in respect of tobacco products inAustralia, according to a Scoop story.

Imperial Tobacco New Zealand says reports fromAustraliaindicate that it is already seeing the flow-on effects of passing its tobacco-products plain packaging legislation.

The company’s market manager, Paul Warham, says theNew South Walesparliament is now debating a bill that would ban alcohol advertising.

This, along with a push by Australian health advocates for plain labelling on wine bottles and a ban on snack food advertising, should be troubling Kiwi trade mark owners.

“The writing is on the wall for many non-tobacco products if regulation continues to escalate,” Warham said. “We may well see alcohol and other products – such as snack foods – treated like tobacco on both sides of the Tasman.

“The situation with alcohol regulation now is reminiscent of what started happening to the tobacco industry inNew Zealand andAustralia 30 years ago – only now with alcohol, things are actually moving faster than they did with tobacco products.

“First there are concerns flagged about the impact the product has on society, which we’re already seeing inNew Zealand. Then come calls for restrictions of some kind to be imposed, and we’re seeing that here too. And then comes legislation that enforces increasingly punitive controls, including advertising restrictions and increased taxes and, eventually, proposals for plain packaging.”

Warham said tobacco-products retail display bans and the proposed imposition of plain packaging inNew Zealandwere the thin end of a wedge that would increasingly affect other consumer products. Now that the regulation floodgates were open, many products currently enjoyed by many people would be at risk.

“If the recent history of the tobacco industry is anything to go by, it’s just a matter of time before consumers see more and more restrictions in place on products they use every day,” he added. “It would very naïve of people to believe that the current push for over-regulation and restrictions on smokers’ freedoms will only impact tobacco products in the future.”

FCTC guidelines thought to threaten tobacco grower livelihoods

| September 27, 2012

Korean tobacco growers joined with protestors from other countries on Tuesday in Manila, the Philippines, to voice their opposition to measures that are expected to be announced at a tobacco control conference at Seoul, Korea, in November, according to a story in The Korea Herald.

Titled ‘Save Our Farms’ and led by the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA), the protest was said to reflect the views of millions of Asian tobacco growers who fear having their livelihoods destroyed upon the implementation of a series of ‘radical guidelines’, the Korea Tobacco Growers’ Organization (KTGO) said yesterday.

According to the KTGO, the guidelines were drafted in advance of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)’s Conference of the Parties hosted in Seoul in November, where they will be presented.

The ITGA says that these regulations mandate shortened cultivating seasons; the abolishment of all governmental and private subsidies for tobacco farmers; and reductions in both the area planted to tobacco and tobacco production.

“The restriction will cause serious damage to farmers from Korea and other countries that adopt the FCTC,” KTGO chairman Lee Hae-kwon said. “Instead, countries like the US, Argentina, Indonesia and Malawi will take advantage of these

Physician, heal thyself

| September 27, 2012

Doctors in certain regions of China have been found to smoke tobacco at rates similar to or even exceeding those seen within the general population, according to a 7th Space Interactive story quoting the results of a study.

The study sought in part to investigate through an anonymous questionnaire the smoking habits of doctors at a teaching hospital inShandongprovince.

The overall smoking prevalence of doctors in the study was found to be 36.3 per cent: 46.7 per cent among male doctors and 5.3 per cent among female doctors.

The study concluded that smoking rates among doctors in Shandong province were higher than those among doctors in many other countries, a finding that was consistent with previous research conducted in some other Chinese provinces.

Eight anti-smoking/anti-vaping groups financially supported by Big Pharma

| September 26, 2012

Eight US anti-smoking organizations that have called for electronic cigarettes to be removed from the market between them received $2.8 million from Pfizer alone during 2011 and the first half of this year, according to Professor Michael Siegel, of Boston University’s School of Public Health, quoting the drug maker’s financial contribution reports.

And these organizations, which insisted that smokers use drug therapy to quit smoking, had repeatedly failed to disclose their financial interests in Big Pharma, which stood to lose enormously if electronic cigarettes became increasingly popular.

When the anti-smoking groups submitted an amicus brief urging the DC District Court to allow the Food and Drug Administration to ban electronic cigarettes, they did not disclose their financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, Siegel said.

And the groups had not disclosed their financial conflicts of interest in public statements or on websites opposing electronic cigarette use.

The anti-smoking groups are: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Medical Association, the American Legacy Foundation, and Action on Smoking and Health.

Siegel’s comments, which are at, were relayed by the TMA.

Trade association for smoke-free alternatives to attend NACS show

| September 26, 2012

The recently-chartered Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is due to make its first public appearance when it attends a trade show in Las Vegas on October 8, according to a PRWeb story.

SFATA aims to use the Association of Convenience and Fuel Retailing Conference (NACS) to promote electronic cigarette self-regulation and attract new members.

SFATA says it is the only association in the smoke free alternatives industry that represents all stakeholders, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers and end users.

It says that it aims to address a wide variety of consumer matters including tobacco regulation and its possible extension to vaporizing devices.

Smaller, good-quality crop in Bulgaria

| September 26, 2012

Bulgarian tobacco producers and traders are predicting that this season’s leaf prices will be 10 to 20 per cent higher than those of last season because a smaller, good-quality crop has been produced this year.

According to a Sofia Globe story, tobacco yields in Bulgaria this year will be lower than those of last year because of a drought that affected tobacco-growing areas.

A tobacco trading company representative, Krassimira Nedeva, told Bulgarian National Radio that there were no concerns about a tobacco shortage this year despite the lower yields.