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Haia cracks down on smokers in Saudi Arabia

| October 5, 2015

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) is cracking down on people smoking shisha in public places, according to a story in the Arab News.

Arab News recently visited a public park in Wadi Namir, Dariyah region, and found numerous people smoking shisha. This irritated many people who were at the park with their families and feared the shisha they were being exposed to was harmful to their health.

After authorities received numerous complaints about shisha smoking in the park, members of Haia visited the park to prevent people from smoking. The organization confiscated shisha pipes and required smokers to sign written statements saying they would not smoke shisha in public.

According to reports, it costs an estimated SR80,000 to SR250,000 to treat a person with cancer caused by smoking, and treating tobacco-related diseases has cost the Kingdom SR10 billion over the past 25 years.

Sixteen percent of Finns smoke, one percent vape

| October 5, 2015

bout 16 percent of Finns aged 15-64 smoke daily, a figure that comprises 17 percent men and 14 percent women, according to an Esmerk story citing Finland’s National Institute of Health and Welfare.

Eleven percent of 16-year-olds smoke.

Less than one percent of the country’s working-age population vape electronic cigarettes daily, though seven percent of women aged 15-24 vape occasionally.

Meanwhile, according to Customs department tax statistics, 4,317 million cigarettes and 117 million cigars were consumed in Finland last year.

Cigarette consumption during 2014 was said to have been down from that of 2013, but the story did not say by how much.

Four hundred and seventy million duty-free cigarettes were imported by private individuals during 2014.

‘Educational’ approach to car smoke ban

| October 5, 2015

Motorists who break a new law that bans tobacco smoking in cars while children are inside are unlikely to be prosecuted or fined, according to a story in The Daily Telegraph.

Since the beginning of this month, any driver caught smoking in a vehicle carrying someone under the age of 18 has been liable to a fine of £50.

But while the police will now have the power to stop drivers and issue on the spot fines, chief officers have indicated that they will focus on taking a ‘non-confrontational’ approach.

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said drivers would be “educated” rather than prosecuted.

“As the existing smoke-free law extends to vehicles, police forces will be following guidance from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health by taking an educational, advisory and non-confrontational approach when enforcing the new legislation,” the spokesman said.

RAI to consolidate Vuse manufacturing

| October 1, 2015

circuitReynolds American is consolidating the manufacturing operations for its Vuse digital vapor cigarette. Currently, production is split between R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s factory in Tobaccoville, North Carolina, USA, and a contractor in Kansas.

Going forward, all production of Vuse will occur at Tobaccoville, pursuant to a services agreement between R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and RJR Vapor Co.

“Vuse is currently the top-selling electronic cigarette in the convenience store channel, and we are very pleased with its success to date,” said Susan M. Cameron, president and CEO of Reynolds American. “As the vapor category continues to develop, we need to make sure our manufacturing operations are efficient and cost-effective in meeting anticipated demand.”

In May of last year, Reynolds American announced a multimillion dollar investment for higher-speed, more efficient e-cigarette manufacturing equipment at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco’s Tobaccoville manufacturing center. The new equipment is now online, enabling the company to consolidate Vuse manufacturing, reducing its manufacturing footprint and generating cost efficiencies.

As a result of the consolidation, in the third quarter Reynolds expects to take asset impairment and exit charges of approximately $100 million on a pretax basis.

India to impose 85 percent warnings on April 1

| September 30, 2015

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry of India said on Monday that tobacco-pack health warnings would be increased in size from April 1, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

The warnings, which were said currently to take up 40 percent of the pack surface, are due to be increased to 85 percent, of which 60 percent will comprise graphic images and 25 percent textural messages.

The government decided in 2014 to increase the size of tobacco-pack warnings by April 2015, but in March it deferred implementation of the regulation because a parliamentary panel said it was still reviewing how the industry would be impacted by the requirement for bigger health warnings.

However, the High Court of Rajasthan, hearing a Public Interest Litigation petition, in July directed the federal government to implement the new regulations by September 29.

VAT increase seen as endangering jobs in Indonesia

| September 30, 2015

Indonesia’s Industry Minister has asked the Finance Ministry to review its decision to raise VAT on cigarettes, arguing that the increase would put pressure on cigarette manufacturers to cut jobs, according to a story in The Jakarta Globe.

The Finance Minister said yesterday that VAT on cigarettes would be increased from 8.4 percent to 8.7 percent starting on January 1, as part of efforts to increase state revenue.

“We have received feedback from the tobacco sector and company executives feel that [the increase] is too high,” Industry Minister Saleh Husin said on Tuesday. “Of course, the higher VAT will only add more troubles, especially for small businesses.”

Indonesia’s tobacco industry is dominated by big companies such as Sampoerna and Gudang Garam, with hundreds of small-scale producers catering to niche markets in the regions.

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