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Snus use can protect against smoking

| February 19, 2014

A Norwegian researcher says that snus seems to protect against smoking if the snus-taking debut does not happen too early during adolescence, according to a Reuters story.

Ingeborg Lund, a researcher with the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research – SIRUS, in Oslo, said it was particularly important to keep teenagers tobacco-free until they were at least 16 years old.

Lund and her colleague, Janne Scheffels, published their study in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

They analyzed surveys of Norwegian teenagers and adults conducted from 2005 to 2011. Out of 8,313 people who took part in the surveys, 409 were long-term snus users who had started using snus before cigarettes or who had never used cigarettes.

Lund and Scheffels found that about 23 percent of early snus users were current smokers at the time of the survey, compared to only 6 percent of people who started using snus when they were older.

The Reuters story is at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/17/us-kids-snus-idUSBREA1G16T20140217.

Sales up, profit down at Swedish Match

| February 19, 2014

Swedish Match’s sales for the year to the end of December, at SEK12,610 million, were up by 1 percent on those of 2012.

And sales during the fourth quarter of 2013, at SEK3,178 million, were up by 1 percent on those of the fourth quarter of 2012.

Calculated in local currencies, sales for the full year and fourth quarter each increased by 3 percent.

Operating profit from product areas (excluding net profit from SM’s share in the Scandinavian Tobacco Group [STG] and larger one-off items) for the full year was down by 8 percent to SEK3,375 million, while fourth-quarter operating profit from product areas fell by 5 percent to SEK835 million.

In local currencies, operating profit from product areas for the full year dropped by 6 percent and fell by 5 percent during the fourth quarter.

Operating profit (including net profit from SM’s share in STG and larger one-off items) was down by 5 percent to SEK3,855 million for the full year 2013, and down by 5 percent to SEK932 in the fourth quarter.

Basic earnings per share fell during the full year by 5 percent to SEK13.63 and for the fourth quarter by 13 percent to SEK3.43.

Vaping privately in public view

| February 19, 2014

White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes has launched Invisi-Vapor cartridges, which are said to produce 95 percent less vapor than is produced by its ClearDraw cartridges.

“For times when customers do not want to draw unwanted attention to themselves, Invisi-Vapor is the solution,” the company said in a press note issued through PRNewswire.

“White Cloud’s ultra-low vapor formula allows customers to use their e-cigarette in places where being discreet is important, whilst still delivering the same amount of nicotine and flavor as using a standard ClearDraw cartridge.

“When customers use the Invisi-Vapor cartridge, the sensation upon inhaling is identical to that of normal vapor-producing ClearDraw cartridges; the vapor only becomes invisible upon exhaling …”

Invisi-Vapor cartridges are available in regular and menthol flavors.

High hopes as Zimbabwe’s market opens

| February 19, 2014

Zimbabwe’s 2014 flue-cured tobacco marketing season was due to open today, with expectations high for both volume sales and earnings, according to a story in New Zimbabwe.

The 91,000 growers—mostly small-scale farmers—who registered to grow the 2013–2014 crop are thought to have produced about 175 million–185 million kg, up from the 167 million kg produced in 2012–2013 by 65,500 registered growers.

Earnings this season are expected to be higher than the $616 million of last season.

BAT Nigeria provides farmer support

| February 19, 2014

The more than 800 members of the Nigeria Independent Tobacco Association in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State are to benefit from NGN282 million in interest-free loans from British American Tobacco Iseyin Agronomy (BATIA), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco Nigeria, according to a Business Day story.

The loans, which are to be distributed as this year’s planting season gets underway, are  in addition to the provision by BATIA of seedlings, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers and technical support.

Thomas Omotoye, head of leaf at BATIA, said his company would provide also environment management and give farmers seedlings so they could plant food crops after harvesting their tobacco.

The company is targeting the recovery of 96 percent of the loans it makes to farmers this year.

Newly emboldened health officials predicting US smoking endgame

| February 18, 2014

Health officials have begun to predict the end of cigarette smoking in the U.S., according to an Associated Press story.

They have long wished for a cigarette-free country but previously have shied away from predicting that smoking rates would fall to near zero by any particular year.

But because of what AP referred to as “a confluence of changes,” they now talk about the adult smoking rate dropping to 10 percent during the next decade and to 5 percent or lower by 2050.

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak last month released a 980-page report on smoking that pushed for stepped-up tobacco-control measures.

His news conference was apparently an unusually animated showing of anti-smoking bravado, with Lushniak nearly yelling, repeatedly, “Enough is enough!”

“I can’t accept that we’re just allowing these numbers to trickle down,” he said, in a recent interview with AP. “We believe we have the public health tools to get us to the zero level.”

The full story, including details of the changes that have taken place since 1984 when then Surgeon General C. Everett Koop called for a smoke-free society by 2000, is at http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/10/experts-predict-end-smoking-in-america/.

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