Archive for March, 2013

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Anti-smoking bill a step nearer in Nigeria

| March 22, 2013

Nigeria’s House of Representatives yesterday unanimously passed the second reading of an anti-smoking bill that includes provisions to prohibit smoking in public places, according to a story in the Premium Times relayed by the TMA.

If passed, the bill would ban too the sale of tobacco products to minors and regulate tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorships.

The house speaker referred the measure to the committees on health and justice for further input.

Melbourne a smuggling hotspot

| March 22, 2013

Customs officials in Victoria, Australia, have said that Melbourne is becoming the new hot spot for the arrival of undeclared cigarettes and loose tobacco from Asia and Europe, according to a story in the Herald Sun relayed by the TMA.

Shipments to Melbourne were becoming more frequent and the shippers were using increasingly sophisticated techniques to hide the contraband, Graham Krishof, the regional director of customs for Victoria, was quoted as saying.

The story said that in 2012, A$64.8 million worth of illicit tobacco products were found in containers in Melbourne, though it was not clear on what basis this figure was calculated.

Illicit cigarettes are said to sell for ‘almost half the price’ of licit products.

Manila show under fire from WHO

| March 22, 2013

The World Health Organization has expressed concern that the Philippines could be encouraging smoking by hosting one of the ‘world’s biggest tobacco trade shows’, according to an Agence France Presse story quoting a health official.

The WHO had written to President Benigno Aquino citing the country’s treaty [Framework Convention on Tobacco Control] pledge to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, the WHO senior health adviser, Eigil Sorensen, was quoted as saying.

“If there is a government endorsement, it might be seen as a mixed signal,” he said.

The ProTobEx Asia industry event, which was not open to the public, started in Manila on Wednesday and ended today.

Worth a try?

| March 22, 2013

The editorial board of the New York Times said yesterday that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest tobacco control effort, to ban open displays of tobacco products in stores while still allowing their advertising, ‘is worth a try, though ‘[i]t is hard to know whether hiding the products would really work to discourage smoking’, according to a TMA relay of part of the editorial.

The editorial said Mayor Bloomberg’s hope was that keeping tobacco products out of sight would prevent young people from picking up tobacco use.

The ‘worth a try’ editorial stance, though seemingly admirable, seems to leave the paper vulnerable to supporting anybody professing a doctrine based on sufficiently plausible hokum.

TMA announces 2013 meeting

| March 21, 2013

The Tobacco Merchants Association will be hosting its 98th annual meeting and conference May 15–17, 2013, at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.

The conference will include opening remarks by Mitchell Zeller, the newly appointed director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). Other speakers include David Ashley, director of the CTP Office of Science, and Michael Siegel, of the Boston University School of Public Health.

This year also features a pre-conference workshop dedicated to laboratory testing and clinical research. Riccardo Polosa, of the University of Catania, in Italy, and Konstantinos Farsalinos of Athens University, in Greece, will cover e-cigarette research and clinical trials.

Top securities analysts will discuss the state of the industry, with detailed analysis of all of the product sectors.

For more information, visit

New device to map second-hand smoke

| March 21, 2013

Researchers in the US have invented the first tobacco smoke sensor capable of recording second-hand smoke data in real time, according to a story in Medical Xpress quoting the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal.

The sensor is said to be able to detect, too, ‘third-hand’ smoke, ‘or nicotine off-gassing from clothing, furniture, car seats and other material’.

The researchers, at Dartmouth   College, New Hampshire, expect soon to convert what is currently a prototype smaller than a cellphone into a wearable, affordable and reusable device.

The prototype is said to have proved successful in laboratory tests, while clinical studies will start in the summer.

‘The device would be more accurate and less expensive than current second-hand smoke sensors, which provide only an average exposure in a limited area over several days or weeks,’ the Medical Xpress story said.