Archive for September, 2012

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Small particles are big problem for Beijing’s restaurants and bars

| September 24, 2012

A study conducted by an environmental group has found that second-hand smoke is the single biggest source of indoor air pollution in certain public buildings in Beijing, according to a China Daily story relayed by Tobacco China Online.

The Daerwen Nature Quest Agency is said to have surveyed 43 restaurants, bars and Internet cafés in Beijing during the past six months and to have found that the concentration of small particles in the air was significantly higher than the World Health Organization’s maximum recommended levels.

Small particles from tobacco smoke made up 90 per cent of the pollutants measured during the survey, said Wang Qiuxia, the group’s project manager.

Li Qiang, a researcher with the National Office of Tobacco Control, said the airborne fine particles were very harmful to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

Tobacco tax revenue fall probably down to anti-smoking measures

| September 24, 2012

Australia’s tobacco tax revenue during the financial year to the end of June, at A$5.45 billion, was down by 5.9 per cent on the A$5.79 billion that the treasury had estimated in the May budget, according to an Australian Associated Press story relayed by the TMA.

Finance Minister, Penny Wong, said the federal government’s anti-smoking measures were likely to have caused the revenue decline.

“The government’s campaign is the right thing to do and it may well be having an effect,” Wong added.

The government increased cigarette tax by 25 percent in April 2010.

Expanding capacity by 20 per cent at BAT Romania’s Ploiesti plant

| September 24, 2012

British American TobaccoRomaniaannounced on Thursday that it will spend about €40 million on expanding its manufacturing facility atPloiesti, according to an Economic Daily story relayed by the TMA.

The company says that the changes will boost the plant’s production capacity by 20 per cent.

BATRomaniawill spend €25 million on construction, which is expected to be finished in February, and €15 million on new equipment.

The story said that of the total equipment spend, €4 million would be used to buy machinery to produce cigarette packs in a special format for the Greek and Cypriot export markets.

Tax hike hits TTM sales

| September 21, 2012

Cigarette sales of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) have declined significantly as Thai smokers started rolling more of their own cigarettes in the wake of last month’s tax hike, reports The Bangkok Post.

The state-owned tobacco manufacturer expects sales will gradually improve and return to normal in the coming months.

Managing Director Torsak Chotimongkol said the cigarette sales volume fell by 70 percent in the first week after the tobacco tax hike was announced on 21 Aug. But the situation improved the following week, with sales rebounding to half of normal levels and then to 70 percent this week.

The RYO cigarette market has been showing signs of significant growth and now exceeds the TTM’s market share.

Despite the challenges, the TTM forecasts improved full-year results supported mainly by better cost management and higher prices as a result of the excise tax increase.

It booked revenue of THB70 billion ($2.27 billion) for a net profit of THB5 billion last year and expects the bottom line will increase to 5.5 to 6 billion this year.

The TTM is building two new factories, in the Rojana Industrial Estate and Chiang Mai province.

They are intended to boost quality rather than capacity, which the TTM will keep at 3.2 billion cigarettes a year.


Alarm over possible oriental tobacco ban not justified – currently

| September 21, 2012

Concerns expressed inBulgariaearlier this week about a proposal to ban the production of oriental tobacco within the EU have proved to be unfounded, according to a Novinite story.

The misunderstanding arose apparently because oriental tobacco is an aromatic tobacco and the European Commission is known to be considering proposing revisions to the EU’s tobacco products directive that would see a ban on the addition of certain aromatic ingredients – basically flavors.

The Bulgarian MEP, Maria Gabriel, who is a member of the Agriculture Committee, said the alarm in Bulgaria was caused by worries that oriental tobacco would included in the group of the so-called aroma ingredients, such as menthol and cherry, which would most likely be banned as part of the tobacco directive revisions.

It is to be seen, however, whether these concerns will disappear. Yesterday, Bulgarian National Radio quoted Frederic Vincent, spokesperson for the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, as saying that ‘currently’ the Commission was not planning to examine the ‘issue’ of oriental tobacco.

Cambodia’s tax increase proposals based on ‘confidential’ figures

| September 21, 2012

Government data show that significant amounts of tobacco are being smuggled out of Cambodiaeach year, according to a story in The Phnom Penh Post quoting health and economics experts.

A national tobacco survey from 2011 showed that more tobacco was produced in Cambodia than was consumed there, and much of the difference came from smuggling rather than legal exports, said the World Health Organization’s tobacco economics unit head, Dr. Ayda Yurekli, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday.

The data from the tobacco survey was not made available at the conference because it is said to be confidential.

Yurekli and representatives of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance called on Cambodiaand its low-tobacco-tax neighbours, including Laos, to increase tobacco taxes by more than 10 per cent so as to have a significant impact on public health.

“As the taxes increase, there may be incentive not to smuggle tobacco out,” Yurekli said.