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Industry mourns Alan Rodgman

| December 22, 2013

Alan Rodgman, a prominent tobacco chemist, passed away on Dec. 16, 2013.

After joining R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s research department in 1954, Rodgman initiated the company’s research on cigarette smoke composition. He personally conducted and actively directed environmental tobacco smoke research until 1987.

Rodgman became director of research in 1976. During his career, he served on the editorial board of Tobacco Science, the Council for Tobacco Research, the Coresta Scientific Commission and several U.S. government tobacco-related committees.

He was a member of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the American Chemical Society for 60 years and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences for 40 years.

Rodgman published numerous scientific papers on tobacco smoke composition and served as a reviewer for tobacco-related manuscripts. In 2003 he was awarded the inaugural Tobacco Science Research Conference Lifetime Achievement Award for his tobacco-related research and activities. In late 2008 Rodgman co-authored The chemical components of tobacco and tobacco smoke, for which the authors jointly received the 2010 Coresta Award.

Originally from Wales, U.K., Rodgman held a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from the University of Toronto.

 

PMI and Altria to cooperate on e-cigs

| December 22, 2013

Philip Morris International and Altria Group have established a strategic framework to commercialize reduced-risk products and e-cigarettes. Under the terms of a set of licensing, supply and cooperation agreements, Altria will make available its e-cigarette products exclusively to PMI for commercialization outside the United States and PMI will make available two of its candidate reduced-risk tobacco products exclusively to Altria for commercialization in the United States.

The companies expect PMI’s products in the U.S. to be regulated as Modified Risk Tobacco Products. Any commercialization would be subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization.

The agreements also provide for cooperation on the scientific assessment and regulatory engagement and authorization related to these products with the FDA, and for a similar framework for e-cigarettes with the relevant regulatory authorities in international markets. In addition, the agreements provide for the sharing of improvements to the existing generation of products.

“PMI firmly believes that reduced-risk tobacco products, as well as e-cigarettes, represent an important step toward achieving the public health goal of harm reduction, a potential paradigm shift for the industry and a significant growth opportunity for the company,” said PMI CEO André Calantzopoulos.

“Further to our plans for international test market introduction of our candidate reduced-risk products as of the second-half of 2014, this agreement establishes a roadmap for commercialization in the U.S., subject to FDA authorization. At the same time, it provides us with a platform to accelerate our entry into international e-cigarette markets while we continue to develop future versions,”

 

PMI says EU failed to do homework on revision of tobacco products directive

| December 20, 2013

Philip Morris International says that proposed revisions to the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will be a gift to black market criminals but a blow to government revenues and to people working in the licit tobacco industry.

“The EU has ignored its own standards for proportionate, evidenced-based policymaking during the five years that the Tobacco Products Directive has been under consideration,” said PMI’s EU region president, Drago Azinovic.

He was commenting on an agreement reached between the European Commission, Parliament and Council on the proposed TPD revisions.

“Discussions in Council and the European Parliament might have marginally amended the original text, but the EU’s failure to do its homework will be a gift for the criminals profiting from the black market in tobacco, and a blow to the hundreds of thousands of people working in the legal industry and member state governments now faced with filling budget gaps,” said Azinovic.

“Instead of further harmonizing the internal market, a stated objective of the directive, measures in the TPD will further erode property rights that the EU Charter protects. This sends a worrying signal to other sectors of the economy that depend on legal certainty and a rigorous defense of intellectual property rights.”

The new directive has still to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, which will vote on it only after the legal-linguistic revision of the text has been finalised. And once the directive is adopted member states will have two years to transpose the new rules into national law.

Some of the key proposals for revision of the TPD were published here yesterday under the heading: EU to back ‘tobacco products that taste and smell like tobacco products’.

White Cloud starting recycling program for its e-cigarettes and batteries

| December 20, 2013

White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes has said that it is partnering with Big Green Box to offer a US recycling service for its products, including its batteries, according to a PRNewswire story.

Big Green Box is a federally-approved recycling company based in Anaheim, California.

The service will ensure that White Cloud meets the standards of electronic-waste disposal set by the US Department of Transportation and the United Nations.

It will provide customers with the opportunity to recycle their rechargeable electronic cigarette batteries and Fling disposable electronic cigarettes.

“Try to think about this for a moment: there are 20 to 50 million metric tons of electronic waste disposed off every year, worldwide,” said White Cloud’s managing director, Danielle Steingraber. “Right now, only 12.5 per cent of e-waste is currently recycled, but we can do our part to help change that.”

The PRNewswire story went on to say that while it might seem that a few electronic cigarette batteries in the trash could make any real environmental difference, as the number of electronic cigarette users continued to rise worldwide, it would quickly become critical that electronic cigarette users recycle.

Canadian court refuses to hear appeal by foreign-entity tobacco companies

| December 20, 2013

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal by foreign tobacco companies trying to extricate themselves from a lawsuit over health-related costs, according to a Canadian Press story.

The Ontario government is seeking billions of dollars in health-care costs that it alleges are attributable to tobacco-related illnesses.

The companies argued they were foreign entities and the Ontario courts did not have jurisdiction to determine claims against them.

The companies were listed as: British American Tobacco (Investment) Ltd., B.A.T. Industries PLC, British American Tobacco PLC, Carreras Rothmans Ltd., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco International Inc.

Ontario’s lawsuit stems from a 2009 law that gave the province a statutory right to sue manufacturers over tobacco-related health costs.

The Supreme Court, as is usual, gave no reasons for refusing to hear the appeal.

Tobacco firms faced with compensation claim by national health insurance body

| December 20, 2013

South Korea’s National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) said on Wednesday that it will file a suit against cigarette manufacturers ‘as early as next year’, according to a story in The Korea Times.

“The NHIS will file a suit against tobacco companies to recover medical costs which it has incurred due to smoking-related diseases,” NHIS president Kim Jong-dae wrote in a blog post.

And an unnamed official at the NHIS confirmed the plan. “This is the official stance of the NHIS,” she said. “We plan to file a suit against tobacco makers as early as in the first half of next year.”

The defendants are expected to include both local and foreign tobacco manufacturers. “The NHIS will sue these companies before a decision is reached in a compensation suit filed by an individual which is pending before the Supreme Court,” Kim said, before adding that the Supreme Court had acknowledged that smoking could cause lung cancer.

If the NHIS sought compensation for the money spent on the treatment of tobacco-related diseases over a number of years, he added, the amount sought in a litigation settlement could climb into the “trillion-won level.”

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