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Opposing flavored e-cigarettes but not tobacco cigarettes with menthol

| May 13, 2014

A leading U.S. health expert has said that calls for bans on flavored e-cigarettes are disingenuous in the mouths of those who don’t oppose the addition of menthol to tobacco cigarettes.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, last week challenged the position of a group of U.S. senators pushing for a ban on flavored electronic cigarettes.

While the senators said they were concerned about the potential for flavored products to addict young people to nicotine, they had supported an exemption for menthol from the tobacco cigarette flavoring ban, Siegel said. And they were taking no action to remove this exemption or to demand that the Food and Drug Administration ban the addition of menthol to cigarettes.

Later in the week, Siegel pointed to an opinion piece in The New York Times by the president of the American Lung Association, Harold Wimmer, who had argued that e-cigarettes were addicting young people and serving as a gateway to tobacco addiction. Based on that alleged “fact,” said Siegel, Wimmer had argued that e-cigarette flavorings should be banned.

Again, Siegel pointed out that the association had opposed an amendment that would have eliminated the menthol exemption in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

And, he said, the association was not calling also for a ban on flavors in cigarettes that attracted young people—menthol.

Siegel’s blog is at

BAT thought to be in acquisitive mood

| May 13, 2014

British American Tobacco has asked Deutsche Bank to work with UBS on possible financial deals in the U.S., according to a story by Erika Janowicz for, quoting a report in The Times of London on Monday.

The article said that BAT had hired the banker to advise the company on possible acquisitions and deals.

The newspaper listed possible opportunities as involving Reynolds American and Lorillard.

Stories have previously suggested that Lorillard, despite its cigarette portfolio being hugely dominated by menthol products, might be an acquisition target for Reynolds, in which BAT has a stake of about 42 percent.

The full story is at

Smile when you smoke in Bangalore—your image might end up on Facebook

| May 13, 2014

Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar has appealed to the public to upload to the Bangalore city police Facebook page photographs showing people smoking tobacco in public places where such activity is banned, according to a story by Chaitanya Swamy for the Bangalore Mirror.

The public is able to inform on smokers also by calling 100.

These measures are said to be part of an intensified drive against smoking in public places, which is banned under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade of commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003.

Focus on preventing illicit tobacco trade

| May 13, 2014

The prevention of cigarette smuggling is one of five key tasks for Vietnam’s Market Management Agency this year, according to a VietnamNet story quoting Do Thanh Lam, deputy director of the agency.

Lam said that about 600 million–700 million packs of cigarettes were smuggled into Vietnam each year, “causing losses of nearly $190 million to the state treasury.”

During the first four months of the year, the agency seized 400,000 packs of cigarettes and collected VND2 billion (US$100,000) in fines.

According to Lam, the main reason for an increase that has occurred in respect of cigarette smuggling has to do with the tastes of Vietnamese smokers, who preferred foreign products.

Graphic warnings reduced in size

| May 13, 2014

A Sri Lankan court yesterday dismissed a challenge filed by the country’s leading tobacco products manufacturer against the government’s requirement for the inclusion of graphic warnings on cigarette packs, according to a story on Colombo Page.

However, the court reduced the size of the warnings from 80 percent to 50–60 percent.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the petition filed by Ceylon Tobacco Company challenging the government’s special gazette notification of Aug. 8, 2012, requiring the warnings.

Report calls for immediate action against threat posed by tobacco use in Africa

| May 12, 2014

A report by the Network of African Science Academies has called for immediate action to prevent what it says is the growing threat posed by tobacco use in Africa, according to a story.

The report, Preventing a Tobacco Epidemic in Africa: A Call for Effective Action to Support Health, Social, and Economic Development, assesses the health, economic, social and environmental effects of tobacco production and use in Africa.

And it reviews current tobacco-control efforts and examines tobacco industry tactics to undermine those efforts.

Among the key conclusions of the report is that smoking prevalence in Africa will increase by nearly 39 percent by 2030: from 15.8 percent in 2010 to 21.9 percent.

Africa is expected to experience the largest regional increase during that period.

The report said that the tobacco industry targeted women disproportionally but that young people represented the largest potential market for tobacco.

“Tobacco-related death and disease are certain to increase in the absence of strong action to prevent tobacco use,” the report said. “The increase in death and disease caused by tobacco could have devastating effects on public health, development efforts, and economic growth in African countries.”

The full story is at

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