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Nu Mark launches website for adult vapers

| April 8, 2015

Nu Mark, which as part of Altria develops innovative tobacco products, said yesterday that it had launched Vaper Rights (, ‘a website for adult vapers who are interested in information and advocacy on public policy issues related to e-vapor products’.

‘Nu Mark believes that it is important for adult vapers to make their voices heard on issues that affect them,’ according to a note posted on Altria’s website.

‘Vaper Rights offers adult vapers information, tools and resources to help them get informed, involved and active on e-vapor legislative and regulatory issues.’

Hong Kong cigarette warnings should be ‘scarier’

| April 8, 2015

The undersecretary of the Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau, Sophia Chan Siu-chee, has said that the bureau expects later this year to propose that cigarette health warnings, which are said currently to cover about 50 percent ‘of the pack’, should be increased in size and made ‘scarier’, according to a story in the South China Morning Post relayed by the TMA.

The proposal would be presented to the Legislative Council along with others; one of which would seek to expand no-tobacco-smoking areas.

Another proposal would look to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes.

Chan said the existing cigarette-pack health warnings had been in place since 2006 and that the government believed it was time to update them, though the story did not go into details about what had led the government to come to this belief.

The proposed revised health warning labels would include messages that specifically targeted women smokers, Chan said, because the number of women who smoked had risen by nearly 73 percent between 1990 and 2012: from 56,100 to 96,800.

The new health warning labels would highlight too the health risks that children faced from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and “third-hand” smoke.

A cigarette tax increase would be considered during the next fiscal year.

Electronic cigarettes part of the UK election debate

| April 8, 2015

Electronic cigarettes are having a small positive space created for them within the UK’s general election debate.

Recently, Totally Wicked announced that it had launched a number of General Election E-liquids ahead of the elections due to be held on May 7.

The promotion is said to allow voters to register their political preference by choosing their favourite party political e-liquid, of which there are five: one each for the Conservative, Labour, Liberal, UKIP and Green parties.

Now, Max Pemberton, writing in the online Telegraph, has said that he hopes that after the election Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, and Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberals, use whatever power they have to ensure that the electronic cigarette industry is not regulated out of existence.

‘The evidence is clear: tobacco kills, nicotine doesn’t,’ Pemberton wrote.

Pemberton mentioned Farage and Clegg because the former had started using electronic cigarettes as a way of cutting down on the number of traditional tobacco cigarettes he smoked, and the latter had made the switch to vaping completely.

India could apply for anti-tobacco fighting funds

| April 8, 2015

In the event that a decision by the Indian government to increase the size of tobacco-product health warnings leads to a challenge by tobacco companies, the government will be able to seek technical and financial help from a recently-established fund, according to a story in the Economic Times relayed by the TMA.

The government issued notification last year that it intended to require tobacco companies to increase the size of tobacco-product warnings from 40 percent to 85 percent, but implementation did not occur on schedule, on April 1.

India’s Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation recommended that the Ministry of Health defer the implementation of the notification until the government examined the economic impact of the measure on tobacco farmers.

Bloomberg Philanthropies (BPh) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) said on Wednesday they were creating a $4 million fund to help governments defend their tobacco control policies.

BPh and BMGF said countries with limited resources should not be bullied into making bad health policy choices.

If elections give you a fit of the vapors – try these

| April 7, 2015

Totally Wicked, which describes itself as Britain’s biggest independent e-cigarette and e-liquid company, has released a number of General Election E-liquids ahead of UK elections to be held on May 7.

The promotion is said to allow voters to register their political preference by choosing their favourite party political e-liquid.

“While everyone is following the official polls we thought we would launch a poll of our own to see how the UK’s 2.1 million vapers will vote,” said Totally Wicked MD Fraser Cropper.

“Our Election E-liquids put some fun into the election campaign and the e-liquid that achieves the highest sales will be elected as a permanent new flavour in our world famous Red Label range.

“We will be updating our poll daily so that everyone can see which political e-liquid is registering the most sales.”

There are e-liquids for the Conservative, Labour, Liberal, UKIP and Green parties.

For instance, the Labour Party’s e-liquid, [Ed] Miliband’s Rocky Road, is described as having a minty, fruity flavour, with a hint of pear drops that ‘will have you reminiscing about the Great British seaside and sand in places it shouldn’t go’.

Cigarette sales down sharply in New Zealand

| April 7, 2015

Sales of licit tobacco products in New Zealand fell by 23 percent between 2009 and 2013 according to a story in The New Zealand Herald quoting researchers from Action on Smoking and Health (Ash).

And while sales of illicit cigarettes increased during part of that period; they did so only modestly.

Again according to Ash, illicit tobacco products accounted for 0.7-2.0 percent of the New Zealand market in 2010, but 1.8-3.9 percent in 2013.

The government increased the excise tax on cigarettes by 10 percent and on fine-cut by 24 percent in 2010, and embarked on a series of annual increases of 10 percent on both that is due to run until next year.

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