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Health Board members quit their ‘anti-tobacco habit’

| November 21, 2014

A Health Board that had proposed a tobacco-products sales ban in a small US town has voted down the proposal, according to a story by O’Ryan Johnson for the Boston Herald.
If the proposal had been accepted, Westminster (population 7,277 in 2010 according to Wikipedia), in Worcester County, Massachusetts, would become the first community in the US to ban all tobacco sales.
The list of banned items would have included cigarettes, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
A meeting called earlier this month to discuss a proposal was ended prematurely after shouting broke out over a no-clapping rule.
Now, Johnson has reported, Westminster Health Board members, faced with a fuming citizenry, have decided to quit their ‘anti-tobacco habit’.
Opponents of the ban – bent on preserving American freedoms – were cheered when board members Ed Simoncini and Peter Munro voted to stop the ban. “The town is not in favor of the proposal, and therefore I am not in favor of the proposal,” Simoncini declared.
Although voting down the ban was seen as preserving American freedoms in general rather than the right to buy tobacco in particular; it was a big win for small businesses, which had argued that customers who stopped in to buy cigarettes left also with bread and milk; so that tobacco was critical to the businesses bottom line.

December 1 cigar auction set to break records

| November 21, 2014

C.Gars says that its winter 2014 cigar auction looks set to break records at Boisdale Belgravia, London, UK, on December 1.
“There is huge interest from cigar aficionados around the world, many of whom will be attending, and we anticipate total bids of over £300,000 for the first time,” said managing director, Mitchell Orchant.
“No other auction on the planet has such a large and wide variety of rare, vintage and aged cigars. Currently there are 350 lots and bids are expected to range from £40 to £30,000 – the latter the highest bid at any of our auctions.
“The global market for collectible cigars has grown steadily since we first started auctioning them in 2009. Some of the cigars that went under the hammer five years ago have since doubled in value.”
Lot 317, described as a Cubatabaco 1492 humidor containing 50 cigars is expected to fetch between £24,000 and £30,000.
The winter auction catalogue is at:

Change to RAI’s board as BAT nominee retires

| November 21, 2014

Neil R. Withington is due to retire from Reynolds American Inc’s board of directors, effective immediately after its meeting on December 4, according to a note posted on the company’s website yesterday.
It was announced yesterday that Withington would retire, effective April 30, from British American Tobacco’s management board and leave the group, where he has been director, legal and security, and group general counsel since August 2000.
Withington, has been a member of the RAI board since July 2004, serving as one of the five board members designated by Brown & Williamson Holdings, a subsidiary of BAT, under the terms of the 2004 governance agreement between RAI, B&W and BAT.
BAT, through its B&W subsidiary, is RAI’s largest shareholder, with an ownership interest of about 42 percent.
B&W has designated Ricardo Oberlander, a management board director of BAT, Americas Region, as the nominee to succeed Withington on RAI’s board.

Mystic introduces cigalike vaporizer

| November 20, 2014

Mistic today unveiled its Mistic Bridge with Haus technology, the latest generation of the company’s cigalike rechargeable line that combines the flexibility of an open-tank system with the convenience of a cigarette-like configuration.

Available at brick-and-mortar retailers and online at starting Nov. 28, the Mistic Bridge will be sold as starter packs and individual refillable replacement tanks. An aggressive nationwide manufacturer coupon initiative will accompany the rollout of the Mistic Bridge giving consumers an added incentive to purchase Haus e-liquids to use with their new device.

“We believe the Mistic Bridge fulfills a deep need among cigalike users looking for more choices and flexibility in their vaping experiences they don’t necessarily get with existing closed-cartridge systems,” says John Wiesehan Jr., CEO of Mistic. “All of the data from our focus groups confirm that this product is game changing, ‘bridging the gap’ between personal vaporizers and cigalikes.”

Users of the Mistic Bridge can vape their own e-juices or have their choice of 12 made-in-the-USA Haus distinct blends, including American Blend, Apple, Berry, Cool Ice, Grape, Java, Mango, Ocean Mist, Pineapple, Vanilla, Watermelon and Washington Red.  Each Haus e-liquid is individually shrink-wrapped and available in 10mL tamper- and child-proof, slow-drip bottles.

Low risk regulation sought for electronic cigarettes

| November 20, 2014

Members of the Scottish parliament have been told that electronic cigarettes offer a ‘huge potential public health prize’, according to a Press Association story.

And they have been urged to be cautious in regulating the sale of these products so that the potential benefits to smokers are maximized while the potential harm is minimized.

The government is consulting on whether to ban electronic sales to under-18s, make it illegal for an adult to buy electronic cigarettes for someone under age, restrict advertising of these products and introduce other regulatory changes.

Speaking to the parliament’s Health Committee, John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, said electronic cigarettes offered a huge potential benefit to public health by helping smokers to shift to an alternative source of nicotine.

“If all smokers in Britain were to do that we would be talking of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of premature deaths avoided,” he said.

When legislating to control the inevitable abuses of the market that would come with electronic cigarettes and the inherent risks posed by these products, about which little was known, it was important to manage those risks, he added, but not in a way that eliminated the benefits in the process.

There was a huge potential public health prize in these products.

The full story is at:

Identified: drivers of student smoking in Qatar

| November 20, 2014

Lack of parental care and supervision, bad company and easy access to cash are some of the factors responsible for the rising number of smokers among Qatar’s school students, according to a story in The Peninsula quoting an Al Raya report.

A recent survey is said to have shown that 15.7 percent of preparatory- and secondary-school students smoke.

A former supervisor of religious studies at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Rashid Al Oda Al Fadli, was said to have told Al Raya that bad company was mainly to blame for students’ addiction to tobacco.

“I would say that a student’s easy access to money and lack of parental supervision could also make him vulnerable to the vice,” he said.

Other factors included the smoking habits and attitudes of the drivers who ferried students to and from school, the willingness of shops to break the rules and sell cigarettes to those less than 18 years of age, and the influence exerted on students by fathers and teachers who smoked.

Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Nasser Saleh, Associate Professor of Social Work, Qatar University, told Al Raya that students could be influenced by television programs, particularly films and serials.

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