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Talk to honor smoking behavior pioneer

| April 8, 2014

The first Michael Russell Oration is due to be given on June 27, during the opening session of the First Global Forum on Nicotine, which is to be held in Poland.

The oration has been established by Knowledge-Action-Change as an annual event, to be delivered to honor the work and memory of professor Michael Russell, one of the pioneers in the study of smoking behavior, clinical interventions and public policy action, who died in 2009.

Knowledge-Action-Change describes itself as an organization committed to the development and promotion of evidence-based policies and interventions in the field of substance use and related areas of public health and public policy.

Each year the oration will be given by a leading researcher, practitioner or commentator in the field of nicotine use.

The inaugural oration will be delivered by professor Peter Hajek, the director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary College, University of London.

The forum is due to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Warsaw on June 27–28.

It will be staged by KAC and is set to examine the current state of the debate about the use of nicotine across the globe; critically examine the science relating to the safety and use of nicotine; allow politicians, scientists, manufacturers, distributors and consumers to exchange views; and facilitate the development of links to enable ongoing dialogue between different sectors.

KAC stages public health and addictions conferences and runs the Nicotine Science and Policy website www.nicotinepolicy.net.

The forum’s website is at http://gfn.net.co/; the program is at: http://gfn.net.co/programme; and registration is available at: http://register.kachange.eu/gfn2014/.

Imperial award for people development

| April 8, 2014

Imperial Tobacco’s business in Norway has been recognized with a prestigious award as one of the best companies in the country for developing its employees.

Imperial was ranked in the overall top 10 companies to work for in the 2014 Best Workplaces in Norway awards.

Market manager Jörg Glasenapp collected the award on behalf of Imperial’s 49-strong Norwegian team at a ceremony held in Oslo.

“Our people are vitally important to us, and we’re hugely committed to their development to give us competitive advantage and ensure they remain motivated and satisfied at work,” he said.

“We’re delighted and very proud that our commitment to our employees has been recognized in this way.”

AOI and Ioto join forces in e-liquids

| April 7, 2014

Alliance One International and Ioto International have completed the formation of a joint venture, Ioto E-Liquids America. Located in Greenville, North Carolina, USA, Ioto-ELA will produce flavored liquids for electronic vapor products.

AOI’s strength in the global leaf market and Ioto’s worldwide market position in flavors establishes a solid base to grow the new company, according to Ioto founders Bianca Iodice and Gilson Torrens.

“Our [joint venture] with Ioto delivers enhanced value to our customers by leveraging both partners’ unique strengths and establishing a strong position in e-liquid flavor formulations, manufacturing processes and distribution,” says Anthony Dillon, AOI’s director of global strategic projects. “Our products are well received by the market, and we see significant growth potential for this business segment based on increasing industry opportunities and our strengthening competitive position.”

“Ioto is among world leaders in developing and producing unique proprietary flavorings and other specialty products,” says Pieter Sikkel, AOI’s president and CEO. “As such, we are very pleased to be partnering with them to produce e-liquids for our customers serving the e-vapor market.

“Aligned with our goals of measured growth in this industry segment, Ioto-ELA immediately strengthens the value we bring to customers by delivering dynamically innovative, high-quality, sustainably produced, compliant products that are manufactured to strict standards and should provide enhanced value to our stakeholders.”

 

Philip Morris to close Dutch cigarette factory

| April 7, 2014

Philip Morris International will shut down its manufacturing facility in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, in response do declining demand for cigarettes in Europe.

The closure of the plant in Bergen op Zoom, PMI’s largest production facility worldwide, would result in 1,230 job losses, about 90 percent of its total workforce there. Production will shift to other factories in Europe with spare capacity, it said.

PMI’s said sales volumes have plummeted 20 percent in the past four years and that a recovery is “highly unlikely.”

The company also blamed a new EU tobacco-control law that will ban flavored cigarettes and require bigger warning labels on packets.

Earlier, Philip Morris said it would stop making cigarettes in Australia by year-end, resulting in the loss of 180 jobs as the company shifts production to South Korea.

 

PM to close Bergen op Zoom cigarette plant with loss of about 1,230 jobs

| April 7, 2014

Philip Morris Holland (PMH) has said it intends to end cigarette production at its factory at Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, with the loss of about 1,230 jobs.

The announcement of the proposed closure, which is due to happen by October, follows hard on the heels of Philip Morris Limited’s decision to stop cigarette manufacturing in Australia by the end of this year with the loss of about 180 jobs at its factory at Moorabbin, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.

In a note posted on Philip Morris International’s website, PMH’s board was said to have started consultations with employee representatives. “Depending on the outcome of the consultation process, and pending approval of the PMH Supervisory Board, the proposal could affect approximately 1,230 out of the current 1,371 employees at PMH,” the note said.

“Today’s very difficult announcement has been subject to deep reflections and thorough evaluation of all available options,” said Petr Karla, general manager of the Bergen op Zoom facility. “We have long been a member of the Bergen op Zoom community, and are aware of the impact that our contemplated decision would have on our employees and their families, as well as on the local community. Our focus is and will be on supporting our people through this difficult phase. We will immediately engage in a dialogue with our employees and their representatives to develop a social plan that will support those potentially impacted by this proposal. We are totally committed to a collaborative and constructive process.”

PMI cited falling sales as a reason for the closure.

“Over the past four years, total tax-paid industry volume in the European Union declined sharply as a result of persistent macroeconomic weakness, consumer down-trading to cheaper alternative products such as fine cut, societal trends and the growing prevalence of illicit trade,” the note said. “In this context PMI experienced cigarette sales volume decline of approximately 20 percent. Furthermore, exports from EU factories also decreased during the period. Even if legal cigarette industry volume rates of decline in the EU moderate to historical levels, volume recovery is highly unlikely.”

“The severe decline in the tax-paid EU cigarette market has led to today’s regretful announcement in Bergen op Zoom,” said Drago Azinovic, president, European Union, PMI. “While the decline is partially driven by societal and economic factors, PMI has consistently expressed its concern over the negative impact of excessive fiscal and regulatory policies, which create a prolific environment for the criminal organizations involved in the illegal cigarette trade. Unfortunately, new regulations affecting the industry such as the recently agreed EU Tobacco Products Directive do nothing to address this growing problem. We want to acknowledge our employees in Bergen op Zoom whose loyalty and long-standing service to the company deserve our respect and support in these difficult circumstances.”

The PMI note said that, under the terms of the proposal, PMH would stop the production of cigarettes at Bergen op Zoom, while its expanded tobacco plants and its Flavor Processing Center would continue to operate. ‘The proposal is subject to consultation with the PMH Works Council and approval by the PMH Supervisory Board. Consultation with the European Works Council is also required. PMH will work with the Trade Unions in the development of a social plan to provide support to all potentially impacted employees.

“The consultation will start immediately.

“Subject to the final outcome of the consultations and fulfillment of certain other conditions, PMH would expect to implement the contemplated decision by October 2014.

“During the consultation period, the company will not be providing information on the financial implications of this proposal.”

Study findings could be used further to denormalize New Zealand’s smokers

| April 7, 2014

The visibility of smokers in city streets has for the first time anywhere been mapped, according to a Eurek Alert story quoting the findings of a new study by the University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

The study was published in the international journal BMC Public Health and was funded by the Cancer Society of New Zealand (Wellington branch).

The research found that up to 116 smokers outside bars and cafés could be seen from any one location in the outdoor public areas of downtown Wellington.

Of the 2,600 people observed in the outdoor areas of bars and cafés, 16 percent were said to be smoking, with a higher proportion than this occurring in the evenings.

There was no mention of whether it was known whether all of the people said to be smoking were consuming tobacco.

Data from observations across the downtown area were mapped by the researchers, producing a record of the street areas where the most smokers could be seen.

They used mapping methods previously used for landscape ecology and archeology.

Lead researcher Dr. Amber Pearson said, “The methods developed through this research will help policymakers demonstrate the visibility of smoking in different areas, and provide scientific evidence for local authorities to advance smoke-free outdoor policies.”

Another researcher, associate professor George Thomson, said the results showed the need for policies to reduce the normality of smoking:

“Smoke-free outdoor areas help smokers to quit, help those who have quit to stick with it, and reduce the normalization of smoking for children and youth,” he said. “They also reduce litter, water pollution and cleaning costs for local authorities and ratepayers.”

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