Breaking News

Police called in over false cigarette price list

| March 26, 2015

British American Tobacco Malaysia has urged the public not to spread further a false cigarette price list that has turned up on social media, according to a story in The Star.

In a statement, the company said the price list was false and that a police report had been lodged over the matter.

“We therefore urge members of the public not to spread this false price list,” said the statement. The price list is believed to have been circulated on social media since March 24.

No further details were given.

Another call for tobacco manufacturer levy in the UK

| March 25, 2015

The former UK health minister Paul Burstow has called on the government to impose a levy on tobacco manufacturers and use the funds raised on research aimed at cutting smoking rates in areas where tobacco sales are highest, according to a PoliticsHome story.

Burstow was quoted as saying that with the number of people quitting smoking through the National Health Service’s (NHS) stop smoking services down by 19 percent last year, it was clear that smokers needed more help to quit.

Burstow said that he was bringing before parliament a bill with cross party support calling for government research into a levy on the basis of tobacco sales, and into how the money raised could be used to cut smoking rates.

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last year had announced that a levy on tobacco manufacturers and importers would be considered, and the opposition Labour Party had supported the idea.

Burstow said that last week’s budget statement had confirmed that the consultation on this matter was continuing. But he said that his bill went further in calling for research into how best the funds could be used to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

Independent research has apparently indicated that £500 million could be raised from tobacco sales.

With the costs to society of smoking in England estimated at almost £13 billion a year, including a £2 billion annual cost to the NHS for treating diseases caused by smoking, it was time to get serious about tobacco companies’ responsibilities, Burstow said.

Drawing a levy on the enormously profitable sales of tobacco manufacturers was one way to work towards the ambitions of the NHS Five Year Forward View and would be a rallying cry to get serious about prevention.

It would put a significant dent in the funding gap facing the health service, and, critically, it would save lives.

Questions over practicalities of Tasmania end-game

| March 25, 2015

A parliamentary private member’s bill put forward in Tasmania, Australia, which would ban from 2018 the sale of tobacco products to people born after 2000, has been sent for scrutiny by a committee after doubts were raised about enforcement, according to an Examiner story relayed by the TMA.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson and Dr. Vanessa Goodwin, leader of the government in the Legislative Council, questioned the feasibility of enforcing the proposed regulations, which were the brainchild of independent MP Ivan Dean.

Goodwin said “we do not believe selective prohibition is the answer and maintain doubts about the efficacy of this particular proposal”.

And she was quoted as saying there were a number of concerns about practicality and enforcement that needed to be addressed if parliament were to proceed with passing the bill.

Dean said he was more than happy to send the bill for a short inquiry with tight terms of reference.

Competition fierce for US’ worst e-cigarette lie

| March 25, 2015

A US public health expert is aiming to identify the worst e-cigarette lie, and competition is fierce.

But while this exercise has about it an air of levity; the selection criteria indicate the seriousness behind it:

1)      the extent of the misinformation provided to the public about e-cigarettes and;

2) the amount of probably damage to the public’s health resulting from the misinformation.

The Worst E-Cigarette Lie Championship can be accessed on the Rest of the Story blog, which is written by Dr. Siegel is a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health:

AOI acting on stock-price non-compliance notice

| March 25, 2015

Alliance One International said yesterday that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday that its common stock was not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standard that requires a minimum average closing price of $1.00 per share over a period of 30 consecutive trading days.

‘In response, earlier today the Company notified the NYSE that it intends to cure such deficiency and submitted a plan outlining the actions it intends to complete to increase its share price, including pursuing a reverse split of its common stock on the terms it announced on March 11, 2015,’ Alliance said in a note posted on its website.

‘Under the NYSE’s rules, the Company has a period of six months from the date of the NYSE notice to bring its 30-day average share price back above $1.00. During this period, the Company’s common stock will continue to be traded on the NYSE, subject to the Company’s compliance with other NYSE listing requirements, but will be assigned a “.BC” indicator by the NYSE to signify that the Company is not currently in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards.

‘The Company’s business operations and United States Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements are not affected by the receipt of the NYSE’s notification.’

BAT appoints KPMG external auditors

| March 25, 2015

Following a competitive tender, British American Tobacco has appointed KPMG as its new external auditors for 2015 onwards.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which had been the company’s auditors since it listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 1998, resigned with effect from March 23.

Shareholder approval to confirm the appointment of KPMG is due to be sought at the company’s annual general meeting on April 29.

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