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Mighty gets behind tobacco dust sales

| January 13, 2014

The Philippine tobacco company Mighty Corp. has said it will promote the use of tobacco dust as an organic fertilizer and pesticide so as to help at least 3 million tobacco farmers and their families earn more money than they currently earn, according to a story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“We are going to help the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) promote the use of tobacco dust by our millions of fishermen all over the country,” said Oscar P. Barrientos, executive vice president of Mighty Corp., in a statement.

“This means an exponential increase in the purchase of tobacco dust.

“We are helping both tobacco farmers increase their yield and fishermen increase their catch.”

The NTA has for some time been promoting the use of tobacco dust as an organic fertilizer that acts too as a pesticide to control the increase in the population of snails and other predators in fish ponds.

Tobacco business levy to end in Scotland

| January 13, 2014

An extra business rate that has been levied on Scotland’s larger shops selling alcohol and tobacco will end in 2015, according to a BBC Online story quoting Scottish ministers.

The news was welcomed by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), which has opposed the tax.

The levy was aimed at larger retailers selling alcohol and tobacco, mainly supermarkets, to make them contribute to public health measures.

Retailers say that about 240 stores have had to pay a business rates bill 28 percent higher than the equivalent store in England.

The levy is expected to have raised about £95m during the three years that it will have been in place.

A Scottish government statement said it had made it clear the levy would last for one spending review period only and that 2014–2015 would be the final year.

“That has always been the position and is clearly set out in legislation,” it said.

PMI announces €500 million investment in potentially reduced-risk product plant

| January 10, 2014

Philip Morris International said today that it was investing up to €500 million in a manufacturing facility and associated pilot plant near Bologna, Italy, to produce its potentially reduced-risk tobacco products.

The combined annual production capacity of the factory and pilot plant is expected to reach 30 billion units by 2016.

“The development and commercialization of reduced-risk products represents a significant step toward achieving the public health objective of harm reduction, a potential paradigm shift for the industry, and an important growth opportunity for PMI,” said CEO André Calantzopoulos.

“This first factory investment is a milestone in our roadmap toward making these products available to adult smokers.

“This investment underscores our strong commitment to Italy and in particular to the Bologna region, which is not only home to our state-of-the-art filter factory, Intertaba, located in Zola Predosa, but also offers great infrastructure and, most importantly, access to exceptional human talent.”

Construction on the new facility is expected to begin immediately and take about two years.

Once fully operational it will employ up to 600 people.

The pilot plant, which is already near completion, will serve as the production facility for pilot and initial market launches.

“Importantly, the majority of the construction and manufacturing equipment will be procured from Italian companies and further benefit the country’s economy,” PMI said in a note posted on its website.

“PMI’s investment in the development and rigorous scientific assessment of products with the potential to reduce the risks of smoking spans more than a decade. It encompasses a wide range of tobacco and non-tobacco-containing product platforms. In November 2013 PMI announced its plans to accelerate commercialization of one of its potentially reduced-risk products in the second half of 2014 in selected cities, prior to a full market launch in 2015. Specific markets for product launches will be announced at a later date.

“Separately, PMI in December 2013 established a strategic framework with Altria Group Inc. under which Altria will make available its e-cigarette products exclusively to PMI for commercialization outside the United States. PMI plans to enter the e-cigarette market in the second half of 2014.”

Graphic warnings: Who heeds them?

| January 10, 2014

New graphic warnings on cigarette packs sold in Jordan are likely to be ineffectual, according to a straw poll conducted by The Jordan Times on Sunday.

Since the beginning of this year the Ministry of Health has required tobacco manufacturers to place bigger graphic warnings on cigarette packs as part of the country’s obligations under the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The images are said to be aimed at raising awareness among smokers about the diseases caused by tobacco smoking and smoking’s effect on the surrounding environment.

Although the piece in the Jordan Times might not have had the intellectual rigor of a scientific study, it provided graphic insights into the thinking of ordinary smokers.

Comments included: “Whatever they are going to place on the tobacco packs, I will not quit smoking unless I want to.”

Also: “These pictorials have no effect. I open the pack and smoke a cigarette without paying any attention to the images.”

And: “I don’t care what pictures they put on the cigarette packet. I started smoking when I was 18, and I haven’t stopped since then.”

This last quote was made by somebody who said that smoking for him was a pleasure.

The health ministry said the new graphic images were adopted after a study conducted by the King Hussein Cancer Centre’s cancer control office indicated that they would increase the motivation of about 25 percent of smokers to quit.

The full story is at http://jordantimes.com/article/anti-tobacco-pictorials-fail-to-sway-smokers.

Smoking and illness: is there a link?

| January 10, 2014

A new report indicates that one in 10 smokers in Victoria, Australia, do not connect tobacco smoking with certain illnesses usually associated with smoking.

According to a report by Amy Bainbridge for the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) has published its new research to mark the anniversary of the publication of the 1964 report by the U.S. surgeon general into smoking and health.

The survey of 4,500 Victorians was conducted by the charity and was said to have included a cross-section of smokers and nonsmokers.

CCV’s Todd Harper was quoted as saying that about a quarter of the smokers surveyed could not “spontaneously say that heart attacks were caused by smoking.”

He said also that the survey data showed that less than 10 percent of current smokers could connect smoking with “asthma, gangrene, eye problems or pregnancy problems.”

And only half of all smokers surveyed could “spontaneously link smoking with lung cancer.”

“Given that smoking still kills 15,000 people every year, given that smoking will kill one in two long-term users, I think it shows the importance and the urgency of keeping up the fight on tobacco,” said Harper.

“We can’t assume for a second that this job is done when we have 15,000 a year in Australia dying because of smoking.”

Tobacco shares fall on hint of China ban

| January 10, 2014

Shares in Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco fell earlier this week in London after traders said a story in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper had reported that health authorities in China aimed to roll out a nationwide smoking ban in enclosed public places by the end of this year, according to a story by Alistair Smout for Reuters.

“With China, there’s a lot of concern over smog and air pollution,” Alastair McCaig, an analyst at IG, was quoted as saying. “The doors have been flung open with regards to reform, and with that will come a change in standards with regards to health care.

“It will increasingly become the focus, and that’s a battle that tobacco are going to have to face in the coming years.”

Defensive stocks outperform in times of economic uncertainty and the tobacco sector gained strongly in the first half of 2013, climbing 15 percent, according to Smout.

However, since then, the sector has given away its gains as investors rotate into stocks more sensitive to growing economic optimism.

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