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Archive for June, 2013

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JTI recognized as great place to work

| June 28, 2013

Japan Tobacco International has been selected by the Great Place to Work Institute as one of the 100 Best Workplaces in Europe for 2013, according to a note posted on JTI’s website.

“Four JTI markets have been qualified in the 25 Best Multinational Workplaces category: Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Turkey,” the note said. ‘This milestone was celebrated on Thursday, June 27, in Dublin at the 11th annual European Best Companies awards ceremony.”

“JTI strives to hire and retain the best talent in a culturally diverse work environment,” said Ilona Alonso, human resources vice president for JTI’s Western Europe Region.

“Our culture encourages our employees’ development on many levels. We value their suggestions and reward their efforts. We do this because we care for the long-term interests of our people, and in turn they care for ours. This achievement, along with other awards JTI entities have received over the years, is a further testament to the positive results we saw in our recent Employee Engagement Survey.”

JTI said that the Great Place to Work Institute launched the first Best Companies to Work For list in conjunction with Fortune magazine in the U.S. and Exame in Brazil more than 20 years ago. The Great Place to Work Institute now recognizes workplaces in nearly 50 countries. For the 2013 Best Workplaces in Europe lists, the Great Place to Work Institute analyzed data provided by more than 2,100 companies that represented more than 1 million employees.

“Companies in this year’s ranking are developing organizational cultures dedicated to building trust and camaraderie among their employees,” said Robert Levering, co-founder and global CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute. “Inclusion on this list reflects companies’ commitment to continuously improving the quality of life of employees and setting new standards for organizations in the future.”

Indonesia maps road to FCTC ratification

| June 27, 2013

An anti-tobacco network has launched a ‘road map’ it hopes will accelerate Indonesia’s ratification of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

The chairman of the Indonesia Tobacco Control Network (ITCN), Kartono Mohamad, said on Monday that Indonesia was one of 10 countries that had not ratified the FCTC.

Kartono said that cigarette consumption in Indonesia was increasing every year and that the country now had the third-highest number of smokers worldwide.

The chairman of the road map working group, Sudibyo Markus, said the road map had been produced after an in-depth analysis of the current situation, which was characterized by slow government action, weak law enforcement, high numbers of smokers and a public hazard.

He said the road map had been divided into five main topics related to public and legal policies, the economy, health, education and socio-cultural issues.

Meanwhile, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, the director general of the Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Environmental Health department, said the ministry applauded the network for launching the road map. “This represents real action and commitment to controlling tobacco in Indonesia,” Tjandra said.

Road map to substantial pitfalls

| June 27, 2013

In the wake of its issuing its first six judgments on proposed new but ‘substantially equivalent’ tobacco products, the US Food and Drug Administration has issued a ‘brief summary’ on why such applications might fail.

Under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, new cigarettes cannot be introduced on the US market without an order from the FDA, and there are two routes to obtaining such an order. One route, for completely new tobacco products, requires a highly detailed review, while a second route provides for products that are ‘substantially equivalent’ to those already on the market.

The FDA, which is said to have thousands of substantially equivalent applications to deal with, issued six judgments earlier this week, two positive and four negative.

The FDA said that it might find a new tobacco product to be not substantially equivalent (NSE) because there was inadequate information submitted, or because it found that the new product had different characteristics from the product it was supposed to be equivalent to and information demonstrated that the new product raised different questions of public health.

‘Four new tobacco products were found to be not substantially equivalent to specific predicate products due to factors such as inadequate evidence that the proposed predicate products were valid predicates and lack of complete information on the characteristics of the new products and the predicate products,’ it said. ‘After considering all the evidence, the agency determined that there were differences in characteristics between the new products and the predicate products, and there was not an adequate showing that the new products do not raise different questions of public health requiring a premarket tobacco product application.’

The types of deficiencies FDA found in one or more of these applications are summarized below.

‘Predicate: Insufficient information for FDA to determine whether or not the tobacco product that was referenced as a predicate was predicate-eligible. Specifically, adequate evidence was not provided to demonstrate that the predicate product was commercially marketed in the United States as of February 15, 2007.

‘Design Features: Inadequate information on design features such as ventilation and filter efficiency. This information is needed to understand if any changes in these characteristics are present and, if they are, whether the new product raises different questions of public health.

‘Tobacco Type: Inadequate information on the type of tobacco used in the cigarette. This is a significant deficiency because the type of tobacco can alter the levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents. This information is needed to understand if any changes in these characteristics are present and, if they are, whether the new product raises different questions of public health.

‘Added Chemicals: Where information was provided about the levels of specific ingredients showing they were present at higher levels than in the predicate product, there was not adequate evidence that the changes did not result in the new product not raising different questions of public health. Moreover, some of these ingredients have been shown scientifically to cause both toxicological and dependence concerns. For example, some of these ingredients are listed in the Hazardous Substances Data Bank and have known toxicities.

‘Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents: Inadequate information regarding “Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents” (HPHCs) in new and/or predicate tobacco products and tobacco smoke. Lacking this information, FDA was not able to determine whether the new product raised different questions of public health.’

Jordan has high level of smoking doctors

| June 27, 2013

About 34 per cent of Jordanian doctors are smokers, according to a story in the Jordan Times quoting a report released on Monday.

The report, entitled ‘The reality of tobacco control in Jordan’, was said to have been based on several past local and global studies.

It will make uncomfortable reading given that it puts the prevalence of smoking among those aged 11 to 12 at 20 per cent.

Feras Hawari, director of the King Hussein Cancer Centre’s cancer control office, said that cigarettes, which are consumed by about 93 per cent of smokers, were easy to access and affordable for most people.

Top class design at Iggesund.com

| June 27, 2013

Iggesund Paperboard’s website has been found to be unique in both attracting its target group of designers and creating within that group a high level of appreciation.

This was the verdict of Ulf Smedberg, senior consultant with the Swedish website evaluation firm, E-space Communication. “When we compare Iggesund’s performance with the results from our database of industrial manufacturers, Iggesund is top of its class for this measurement period and is definitely one of the top sites we’ve encountered in the years we’ve been doing these studies,” Smedberg said.

E-space has 15 years’ experience of assessing websites, during which time it has collected data from more than seven million respondents commenting on more than 1,000 businesses spanning all business sectors.

“The measurements we do are fairly revealing,” Smedberg said. “Companies that believe they are targeting their customers are disappointed when they find that 70 per cent of the traffic to their site is actually generated by young job seekers.”

E-space was commissioned to assess the websites of the Holmen Group, to which Iggesund belongs. Iggesund Paperboard is a materials manufacturer that produces paperboard for advanced packaging and graphical applications.

There is a long chain of intermediaries between Iggesund and companies that want to package or print something. Communications are further complicated because Iggesund’s customers are printers or packaging manufacturers, but the decisions about what material will be used are made by the brand owners or designers employed by them; so Iggesund is keen to use its website, iggesund.com, to learn more about those wielding the influence, and to communicate with them.

“We began back in the 1990s to publish a magazine, Inspire, which is an important channel to these target groups – designers, brand owners and design students,” explains Marie Westh, who is in charge of Iggesund’s online presence. “We’ve gradually developed our website along the same lines.

“Because Holmen has a group website that takes care of investor relations, recruitment and much more, we have been able to have a tighter focus and keep our own website very target oriented rather than having to provide a hard-to-navigate smorgasbord,” she said.

Iggesund.com is right on target.

Iggesund.com is right on target.

FDA’s logjam of new tobacco product authorizations substantially broken

| June 26, 2013

Lorillard has become the first company in the US to receive authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for marketing products ‘substantially equivalent’ to products already on the market.

Under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, new cigarettes cannot be introduced on the US market without an order from the FDA, and there are two routes to obtaining such an order. One route, for completely new tobacco products, requires a highly detailed review, while a second route provides for products that are ‘substantially equivalent’ to those already on the market.

In March, a story by Jacob Grier for the Atlantic Monthly quoting a report by Michael Felberbaum for Associated Press said the FDA had till then issued no rulings on the approximately 3,500 tobacco-product substantial equivalence reports it had received, despite having 115 employees reviewing them.

Lorillard said yesterday that it had received notification from the FDA that its Newport Non-Menthol Gold Box and Box 100 products had been found to be substantially equivalent to tobacco products previously commercially marketed in interstate commerce in the US.

The FDA’s finding permits Lorillard to begin marketing the new products, consistent with all existing requirements of regulated tobacco products.

“We are very pleased that the FDA has found that Lorillard’s Newport Non-Menthol Gold products are substantially equivalent to existing tobacco products currently marketed,” said chairman, president and CEO, Murray Kessler.

“As such, we are proud to be the first company in the industry to receive authorization to begin marketing these new products in the US through the FDA’s substantial equivalence pathway.

“We are encouraged by the Agency’s fulfillment of its obligation prescribed in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 and believe that the FDA has carried out is evaluation process in a deliberate manner reflecting sound science. We look forward to continuing productive engagement with the Agency moving forward.”

Meanwhile, Bonnie Herzog, managing director, Beverage, Tobacco and Consumer Research at Wells Fargo Securities described the FDA authorizations as a very positive development for Lorillard and the tobacco sector as a whole.

She said that the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller, had indicated that the first decisions, which included four rejections, were just the first of many product review decisions to be issued.