China’s tobacco companies produced more cigarettes even as the number of tobacco farms decreased in the first half of 2014, reports Xinhua News Agency quoting figures from the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA).
In the January-June period, Chinese cigarette manufacturers produced 1.3 million sticks, 0.2 percent more than in the first half of 2013. Meanwhile, the area of farming land dedicated to tobacco fell by 170,000 hectares to 1.23 million hectares, according to the STMA.
The tobacco industry generated RMB579.54 billion ($94 billion) in revenue for the Chinese government over the first half of 2014. Tobacco taxes constituted about 7.8 percent of China’s fiscal revenues during that period, according to the Finance Ministry and the STMA.
There are more than 300 million smokers in China
In Australia, it is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to deliver nicotine, not because a bureaucrat has made a decision to ban them, but because no one has yet asked the right bureaucrat for permission, according to David Leyonhjelm, the Liberal Democrats’ senator for New South Wales, writing in The Australian Financial Review.
‘It seems everything is illegal in Australia unless a bureaucrat gives permission, Leyonhjelm said. ‘What’s worse, you have to go to the trouble and expense of asking for permission, because if bureaucrats were proactive they would run the risk of serving the public.’
Leyonhjelm’s piece is at: http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/cigarettes_at_mercy_of_bureaucrats_eEi8fov0QbFpWgjd136uWJ.
A medical professor at King Saud University (KSU) has called for a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes, at least in respect of those under the age of 18, according to a story in the Arab News.
Sultan Ayoub Meo, a professor at the KSU’s College of Medicine, said that electronic cigarette use should be regulated in the same way as traditional cigarette smoking is regulated.
“Retail outlets, including pharmacies, must not be allowed to sell it to children and adolescents,” he said.
Meo says he fears that “the huge rise in users could normalize smoking, and undo decades of anti-smoking education and campaigning”.
He pointed out that a number of countries had already banned electronic cigarette use and that some nations had restricted their sales.
France was preparing to place electronic cigarette use on the same legal footing as tobacco smoking was on.
South Africa aims to force cigarette manufacturers to sell their products in standardized packs by next year, according to a story by Wendell Roelf for Reuters, quoting the country’s Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is currently looking into complaints about the introduction of standardized packs in Australia, but Motsoaledi said he was “not even sure we can wait for that WTO decision”.
“We can start making preparations now,” he said.
“I want it as soon as possible but realistically and most probably it would be next year.”
Chinese cigarette production during the first half of this year, at 1,300,000 million, was increased by 0.2 per cent on that of the first half of last year, according to a Xinhua News Agency story published in the Global Post of Boston, US.
Tobacco taxes during the first half of this year, which raised about Yuan579.54 billion (US$94 billion), accounted for about 7.8 per cent of China’s fiscal revenues, the story said in quoting figures from the Finance Ministry and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA).
Also based on STMA figures and comparing the same periods, the amount of farming land dedicated to tobacco in China fell by 170,000 ha to 1.23 million ha.
China’s Yunnan Tobacco International (YTI) has said it will start buying leaf tobacco from Tanzania this season with a purchase of 10 million kg, according to a story in the Daily News.
The move follows the signing of a bilateral trade agreement during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tanzania in March last year.
The vice-president of YTI, Yang Xuemei, reportedly said that, depending on demand from China’s side and trade relations between the two countries, the volume of tobacco bought was expected to increase next year.