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‘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/.

Cigarette manufacturing plan for Zambia

| March 19, 2014

Roland Imperial Tobacco Company (RITCO) has said it plans to set up a US$20 million primary processing plant in Zambia’s Lusaka South Multi-facility Economic Zone (LS-MFEZ), according to a Times of Zambia story.

The company, which is wholly Zambian owned and is not connected to the U.K.-based Imperial Tobacco Group, is said to have signed a lease agreement with the LS-MFEZ management.

General manager of the manufacturing division, Aliport Ngoma, indicated the new plant would produce cut rag for its own secondary factory. The operation would greatly benefit from locally grown tobacco, which had “great flavor,” he added.

RITCO is said to have bought “ultra-modern secondary machinery” from Germany, France and Italy for the establishment of Zambia’s only cigarette manufacturing plant, which was being set up in the Makeni Industrial Park at a cost of US$8 million.

Ngoma explained that the Makeni Industrial Park was not able to accommodate both the secondary and primary plants.

Size matters when it comes to warnings

| March 19, 2014

British American Tobacco Philippines (BATP) is objecting to some aspects of a proposed measure that would require graphic warnings to be included on the country’s cigarette packs, according to a story in The Philippine Star.

General manager James Lafferty said that while the company backed the display of picture-based warnings on cigarette packs, the images should be limited to 50 percent of the pack instead of the proposed 60 percent.

Consumers would find it difficult to identify a particular cigarette brand if warnings took up more than half of the pack, he added.

Lafferty is seeking also a longer transition period for the introduction of the new packs than is foreseen in the proposal.

It took time to implement such measures, he was quoted as saying. And, in part, his concern seemed to focus on when the graphics would be made available.

The date on which the packs would have to be introduced should be at least 12 months from the time the implementing agency came up with the pictures, not 12 months after the signing of the law, Lafferty said.

Other concerns raised by the tobacco industry concerned provisions on minimum pack size and the removal of product descriptors.

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