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US FDA deeming regulations inch forward

| October 21, 2015

The US Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) on Monday received from the Food and Drug Administration proposed regulations on tobacco and related products that the agency does not already regulate, according to a notification relayed by the TMA.

In April last year, the FDA, which already regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and smokeless tobacco, said it was issuing proposed deeming regulations covering products such as cigars, pipe tobacco, hookahs, nicotine gels, electronic cigarettes and certain dissolvable products that are not regarded as smokeless tobacco.

OIRA reviews agency draft regulations before publication.

There was no indication of when the regulations would be published.


Study logs heated-products sidestream emissions

| October 20, 2015

Imperial Tobacco says that it has tested the heated-tobacco product, iQOS, and found that ‘a large number of different chemical compounds were released into the airspace around the … product during consumer use, indicating the generation of sidestream emissions,’ according to a EurekAlert story relayed by the TMA.

The study was published on October 19 in the Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry.

Imperial tested the commercially-available iQOS [manufactured by Philip Morris International] to assess whether the product generated sidestream chemical emissions when activated, and the company’s head of scientific regulatory engagement, Dr. Steve Stotesbury, said the results had shown that further research on heated tobacco products was needed.

Stotesbury suggested that heated-tobacco devices should fall under the same regulation as regular cigarettes in respect of indoor use and smoke-free legislation.

He said that a number of tobacco manufacturers were promoting products that heated tobacco rather than burned it, with the claim that these devices produced mainstream emissions but not sidestream emissions.

However, the Imperial study had found that the heated tobacco products, when activated, produced “a large number of different chemical compounds”.

Since the public health community said there was no safe level of exposure to ‘tobacco-containing product emissions,’ Imperial’s finding warranted further investigation.

Stotesbury made the point that though heated tobacco devices were sometimes confused with electronic cigarettes, the heated devices contained blended or processed tobacco as was found in conventional tobacco products.

And he said that an Imperial study of sidestream emissions from a Nicorette inhalator and an electronic cigarette had shown the two devices had similar chemical characteristics.

Launch of report on outdoor tobacco smoking bans

| October 20, 2015

The UK’s Manifesto Club and Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Tobacco) are due to launch tomorrow a new report, Smoked out: The hyper-regulation of smoking in outdoor public places.

Dolan Cummings, the author of the report, will speak at the event; as will the director of the Manifesto Club, Josie Appleton, and the director of Forest, Simon Clark.

The report’s launch and a panel discussion are to be held at the Institute of Economic Affairs, London, from 18.30 until 20.15.

Billboards with cigarette ads to be dismantled in Indonesia

| October 19, 2015

Billboards that advertise cigarettes and are displayed around schools in North Jakarta, Indonesia, will be dismantled in the near future, according to a story in the daily Tempo.

Mustafa Kemal, head of North Jakarta Education Sub-Department Regional I, stated that the existence of such billboards is unethical and could potentially influence students to smoke.

“If there are students caught smoking, either inside or outside of schools during school hours, they will be sanctioned,” he said.

Such sanctions would include summoning a child’s parents and revoking their Jakarta Smart Card.

Graphic warnings on cigarette packs due in the Philippines

| October 19, 2015

Health groups in the Philippines have reminded the government and the public that graphic images and warning texts should be printed on the labels of all tobacco products by Nov. 5, in compliance with the Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) Law, according to a story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Sections 6 and 15 of the GHW Law, or Republic Act (RA) No. 10643, give tobacco manufacturers no more than one year from the issuance of the initial set of templates to comply with the printing requirements, according to a statement issued jointly by HealthJustice, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance and New Vois Association of the Philippines. Irene Reyes, managing director of HealthJustice, said the department of health published the templates in November 2014.

“The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which the Philippines is a party, mandates governments, within three years of entry into the agreement, to pass and implement a law requiring tobacco products to carry effective health warnings,” Reyes said.

Under RA 10643, which was signed into law by President Aquino last year, all tobacco products in the Philippines must display a photographic warning accompanied by text printed on 50 percent of principal display surfaces, such as the front and back of cigarette packs. The law also prohibits the use of “misleading” terms such as “light,” “mild,” “low tar” or other words that suggest a particular variant is less harmful.

The deadline for the Philippines to implement graphic warnings and text was September 2008, making the country seven years late in fulfilling its obligation.

Smoking among women set to rise in South Korea

| October 19, 2015

Although the smoking prevalence among South Korean woman is low compared to the smoking rates among women of other developed nations, there are fears that the Korean rate is going to increase, according to a story in The Korea Herald citing the results of a government study.

About 10 percent of South Korean women in their 20s are smokers, and women in this age group account for the largest portion of female smokers in South Korea; so the smoking prevalence among women of all ages is likely to rise if young females continue to smoke as they become older.

As of 2014, 4.3 percent of all Korean women aged 15 or older smoked, which was a lower rate than the average smoking prevalence for women in countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which stood at 15.7 percent. The rate in France was 20.2 percent, while that of Japan was 8.2 percent.

However, the smoking prevalence rate for Korean female teenagers, which stood at 5.7 percent, was higher than those for all age groups except those comprising women in their 20s and 30s.

Overseas studies have shown that women’s empowerment is associated with increasing women’s smoking prevalence rates, especially among young women.

The World Health Organization’s 2010 report found that in countries where women have higher empowerment, women’s smoking rates were higher than men’s, independent of the level of economic development and of the level of income inequality.

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