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E-cigarettes to come in from the cold

| May 6, 2014

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry plans to push through legislation to drag e-cigarettes under existing laws controlling the sale of tobacco cigarettes, according to a story in The Nation.

The move seems to be a step forward for e-cigarettes, which have been banned in Thailand for about five years but, nevertheless, have been growing in popularity.

Dr. Nopporn Cheunklin, deputy chief of the Public Health Ministry’s Disease Control Department, said that since e-cigarettes were popular despite being prohibited, the ministry had decided to draft a law and put them under the same controls as were applied to traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The draft of the new law is due to be sent to parliament for consideration “soon.”

TPD compliance could cost €200 million

| May 6, 2014

British American Tobacco expects compliance with the new European Commission’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) to cost it between €100 million and €200 million during the next two years as it alters machinery to meet new packaging rules, according to a Reuters story.

The TPD—directive 2014/40/EU of April 3, 2014—which governs the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member states concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on April 29. It repeals Directive 2001/37/EC.

The new directive is due to enter into force on May 20, and member states are required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the directive by May 20, 2016.

However, member states may allow tobacco products, which are not in compliance with the new directive but which are manufactured in accordance with the previous directive and distributed before May 20, 2016, to be placed on the market until May 20, 2017.

Imperial to release results tomorrow

| May 6, 2014

Imperial Tobacco is due tomorrow to host a live webcast of the release of its first-half results.

The live webcast and the slides of a presentation to analysts and investors will be made available at http://www.imperial-tobacco.com from 8:50 a.m. U.K. time on May 7.

The presentation transcript will be available on the same site from 10 a.m.

Health alert: Fast food takes up smoking

| May 6, 2014

Municipal Police in Prague have apparently fined a man dressed as a slice of pizza for smoking a cigarette in a public transportation station, according to a Prague Post story.

Smoking is forbidden at metro and tram stops, as well as on all public transportation. Photographer and local resident Stefan Berec posted a picture of the incident on Facebook and it has been making the rounds.

Details were said to be sketchy, but it seems that the person, know only as “the slice,” was employed to hand out menus for a local restaurant.

He was apparently spotted by the police while taking a break in an out-of-the-way area of the station.

According to the Post, the photographer said that the police had “held the slice for a while, as the pizza was being uncooperative.”

Cracking down on cigarette smuggling

| May 2, 2014

China’s customs and tobacco authorities destroyed 375,890 cartons of smuggled cigarettes said to be “worth” CNY22 million (US$3.6 million) in Zhanjiang City, Guangdong, on Tuesday, according to a China Radio International report.

The cigarettes were said to have included more than 30 brands, including Marlboro, 555 and Double Happiness.

They were shredded and then burned at a local power plant.

Unnamed officials were quoted as saying the destruction of the cigarettes illustrated China’s firm stance in abiding by the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

It also showed the country’s achievements in cracking down on the illegal trade in tobacco, they said.

Meanwhile, the vice minister of the General Administration of Customs, Lv Bin, said China had stepped up its fight against tobacco smuggling. Nationwide last year, 34 cases of smuggling involving 1.84 billion cigarettes “worth” CNY2.33 billion had been cracked.

He warned that cigarette smuggling would continue because it offered high levels of profit, but said that Chinese authorities would continue their crackdown on the trade.

After the beast comes the reckoning

| May 2, 2014

The EU’s new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which was published on April 29, has come in for some criticism, and could come in for more.

Ewald Stadler, an Austrian member of the European Parliament, has asked the European Commission for information about what were the costs incurred by the TPD trilogue negotiations.

In a preamble to four questions, Stadler said that the TPD had been debated and amended in seven committees in the European Parliament during 2013. The parliament had adopted its position in October last year and had then embarked on the trilogue negotiations—informal meetings convened between a select number of representatives from the European Council, the parliament and the commission.

Stadler went on to ask:

1.    “What was the total amount of human and material resources required during the trilogue negotiations?

2.    “What were the costs for translation?

3.    “What were the costs for meeting rooms?

4.    “What were the costs for the staff present and services provided by technicians and third parties, such as drinks during the negotiations?”

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