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Qatar arrests Asian sweika sellers

| March 20, 2014

Qatar’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested nine “Asians” involved in the production, packing and sale of “sweika,” an illicit product based on chewable tobacco, according to a story in the Gulf Times.

About 6,000 packs of sweika were seized.

The arrests came after the department received a tip-off about activities at a house in the Wukair area.

The suspects were referred to the South Security Department for what was described as “further legal procedures.”

The CID has urged people to report any person suspected of producing and dealing with sweika, which was described as a threat to human health.

Illicit traders face fines and lecture

| March 20, 2014

Five shopkeepers in Malaysia were recently fined for selling illicit cigarettes, according to a story in The Star.

The fines seemed to be set at more than 10 times the “value” of the illicit cigarettes in their possession.

But these were not the Mr. or Mrs. Bigs of the illicit trade.

One of them admitted to having untaxed cigarettes worth just MYR73.76 (US$22.24) at her shop.

She was fined MYR1,000.

And, according to the news story, she, along with other offenders, had to “endure a lecture by magistrate Nik Habri Muhammad.”

‘Third-hand smoke’ is getting traction

| March 20, 2014

New research out of the U.S.’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is said to have found that the residue from smoking indoors—so-called “third-hand smoke”—has the potential to cause cancer, according to a Fox News story.

Bo Hang, of the Lawrence Berkeley laboratory, found that when nicotine in secondhand smoke reacted with nitrous acid in the air, it created new compounds called nitrosamines.

Hang is said to have discovered that these nitrosamines can bond to human DNA in a way that damages genes and gives rise to the potential for cells to become cancerous.

But at least one observer was being cautious about the findings.

“Knowing how much carcinogens stay in a room when someone has been smoking in it, I think it is possible that third-hand smoke may increase one’s risk of cancer,” Suzaynn Schick, an expert on the effects of tobacco, based at the University of California, San Francisco, told Fox News.

Missing buyers blamed for low prices

| March 20, 2014

At least four of the 20 Class A buyers licensed to buy Zimbabwe’s tobacco this year risk losing their licenses because they have not started buying four weeks after the season began, according to a story by Walter Muchinguri for the Zimbabwe Herald.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board Chief Executive Dr. Andrew Matibiri said the four had two weeks to get their acts together.

“We give our buyers at least six weeks, from the start of the selling season, to start operating before we withdraw their licenses,” he said. “We, however, make exceptions if the buyer or buyers have good reason.”

However, the absence of buyers at Harare’s auction floors has been singled out by stakeholders as the major reason for the slow start to the tobacco selling season, which has seen protests by farmers about low tobacco prices.

This year’s seasonal average price is so far 29.7 percent lower than last year.

NDC appoints customer care director

| March 20, 2014

NDC Infrared Engineering has appointed Karl Schmid as director of customer care for its sensors, systems and metals divisions within its EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

Schmid was previously manager of special services at Voith Paper and worldwide service and spares manager at Mahlo GmbH & Co. KG.

Forum will have nicotine on its mind

| March 19, 2014

A list of discussion topics has been announced by the organizers of The First Global Forum on Nicotine, which is due to take place at the Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, Poland, on June 27–28.

The forum, which will be staged by KAC, 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.

Specific topics will include:

  • The scientific understanding of nicotine dependence;
  • The appropriate national and international regulation of nicotine products;
  • A new science agenda for nicotine;
  • Who is using what kinds of non-combustible nicotine products?;
  • Consumer preferences, views and beliefs about different nicotine products;
  • Safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes;
  • Regulation in Europe in the context of the 2014 Tobacco Products Directive;
  • The future of nicotine and tobacco;
  • Acute and long-term toxicity of nicotine;
  • Future evolution of nicotine delivery devices;
  • Nicotine pharmacology and pharmacokinetics;
  • The impact of e-cigarettes and other noncombustible products on smoking;
  • The Scandinavian experience with noncombustible products;
  • Public, health care professionals’, and policymakers’ knowledge and attitudes toward nicotine.

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/.

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