Archive for September, 2013

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E-cigarettes seen as ‘dangerous tobacco products’ by American Thoracic Society

| September 24, 2013

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) has accused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of failing to take action on certain “dangerous tobacco products” such as “e-cigarettes and cigars.”

“The American Thoracic Society demands [the] FDA move forward to proposed rules to bring cigars, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products under FDA federal regulation,” the ATS said in a piece posted on its website’s newsroom.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released data showing that 1.78 million children have tried e-cigarettes. Like their traditional cigarette predecessors, e-cigarettes are addictive and have known adverse health effects. Also like their traditional cigarette predecessors, many e-cigarettes are being made with flavorings—such as grape, cherry and menthol—that are designed to appeal to children.

“Many cigar manufacturers are also making products intentionally designed to appeal to children. Candy-flavored cigars come in a wide range of flavors—chocolate, grape, apple, blueberry—and, priced at 99 cents per cigar or $1.99 for a pack of 3, are clearly within the price range of most kids.”

The ATS went on to say that “Big Tobacco” had escaped the candy-flavored cigarette ban by offering candy-flavored cigars.

“Big Tobacco has sought to escape smoking bans by creating smokeless e-cigarettes,” said the ATS.

“It is time for the FDA to use its authority.

“The ATS calls on the FDA to move quickly to issue public health-based regulations on cigars, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

“Further delay will mean more children getting hooked on these products and more tobacco-related death and disease.”

The full text is at

Time for US to embrace the electronic age

| September 23, 2013

It is time to seize the moment and encourage tobacco users to move down the risk “continuum” from the most harmful to less harmful products, according to Murray S. Kessler, chairman, president and CEO of Lorillard, the owner of Lorillard Tobacco and Blu Ecigs.

Kessler was commenting in USA Today in response to an editorial titled “E-cigarettes threaten to undo years of gains: Our view.”

In his reply, titled, “E-cigarettes could reduce harm: Opposing view,” Kessler said that regulatory actions, including tax policy, should be used to encourage cigarette smokers to switch.

“For too many years, tobacco policy has been mired in an all-or-nothing philosophy,” Kessler wrote. “Under this approach, smokers are presented with just one alternative: quit.

“This mindset has prevented the implementation of a comprehensive public health strategy designed to reduce tobacco-related disease.

“Public health experts have long considered harm reduction an effective approach to limiting risks caused by various behaviors. Applied to tobacco, harm-reduction policies will make great progress. We desperately need to give more flexibility to tobacco users who do not want to quit or find it difficult to do so.

“E-cigarettes might be the most significant harm-reduction option ever made available to smokers …”

Kessler’s piece is at

The editorial is at

But Europe mired in ancient battles

| September 23, 2013

Tobacco lobbyists were preparing to wage a major battle against the imposition in Ireland of standardized tobacco packaging, according to a Times of London story quoting Health Minister James Reilly.

Reilly was said to have plans to go to cabinet next month with a proposal to impose standardized tobacco packaging and a ban on “slim-line packs.”

“The battle at the moment is to get the legislation through here but also to get the EU directive [Tobacco Products Directive TPD] through the European parliament,” Reilly was quoted as saying.

“The tobacco industry has, as we’ve seen reported recently, 161 lobbyists working for them in the European parliament to cover 700 MEPs. They are coming at us strong, but they are going to meet fierce resistance from me and from the people in government who are interested in the well-being of our children, in particular.”

There was no suggestion that the tobacco lobbyists were acting improperly.

The European Parliament is due to vote on a new commission-proposed TPD next month.

The TPD does not include a call for the imposition of standardized tobacco packaging, though some of the proposed policies would add up to a de facto standardized packaging regime.

In fact, some observers believe that the TPD, as currently proposed, would have little impact on cigarette use—taking into account licit and illicit cigarettes—while sidelining the products—snus and electronic cigarettes, for instance—that seem to have the potential to wean people from cigarette smoking, generally regarded as the most risky form of tobacco use.

Dubai prepares for smoking bans

| September 23, 2013

The Dubai municipality has issued a comprehensive guide to help businesses to ensure they are in compliance with new anti-tobacco laws due to come into force on Jan. 21, according to a story in the Khaleej Times.

Under the new law, smoking will not be allowed in restaurants with floor areas under 1,000 square feet. The smoking areas within restaurants will not be allowed to exceed 50 percent of the dining area and should not be such that nonsmokers are obliged to cross them. The doors to smoking areas have to be automatic, and shisha preparing areas have to be separated from food preparation areas. Each smoker has to be provided with 20 square feet of space.

The working hours of cafés and shisha shops are stipulated at from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. And these businesses are banned from selling tobacco products to those under 18 years or delivering them to unauthorized places.

More generally, smoking is banned at the entrance to, and in, public buildings, including health facilities, entertainment or gaming areas, offices, cinema halls, meeting and conference halls, shopping centers, canteens and places of prayer.

Parkside CEO passes away

| September 20, 2013

Lawrence Dall, chairman CEO of Parkside Flexibles, died Sept. 18 after battling with cancer.

Dall joined Parkside in 2007 and brought about considerable change to the business.

“His passion and dedication was uncompromising,” Parkside wrote in press note. “With his outgoing personality and larger-than-life character he was well known and respected in the industry and will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues.”

Parkside is a flexographic printer and specialized laminating company that has been supplying high-quality, tailor-made packaging solutions to the tobacco industry for more than 40 years.


Radical research into e-cigarettes turns out to be more run-of-the-mill

| September 20, 2013

Research into electronic cigarettes initiated by Australia’s previous Labor government seems not to have had such a progressive aim as was reported earlier this week.

Writing for the Sun-Herald group of newspapers, Eamonn Duff reported that, with a federal government-funded trial about to test the viability of electronic cigarettes as a safer, permanent replacement for tobacco, Australia could become the first major nation to outlaw smoking completely. His story was reported here on Sept. 17.

Duff said that Dr. Coral Gartner was due shortly to lead a trial of 1,600 smokers at the University of Queensland’s (UoQ) center for clinical research.

Gartner was quoted as saying that electronic cigarettes had the potential to be beneficial to public health if they were used to replace completely traditional cigarettes.

But Gartner said in a note published on the UoQ’s website ( that the previous government had commissioned a regulatory impact statement, unconnected to the university’s research, to consider whether further regulation, such as bans on the sale and promotion of electronic cigarettes were necessary.

The UoQ research study was funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant. It was being conducted independently of government.

The purpose of the UoQ trial was to test the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation by comparing their effectiveness in helping smokers to quit with that of traditional cessation aids, such as nicotine gum and inhalators.