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France unable to distinguish between electronic and tobacco cigarettes

| July 28, 2014

France is set to ban electronic cigarettes from public places and generally subject them to the same controls as tobacco cigarettes, according to a story in World Observer.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine was quoted as saying the electronic cigarette was not an ordinary product. However, she said also: “We need to apply the same measures as there are for tobacco”.

‘That means making sure it cannot be smoked in public places, that its sale is restricted to over 18s and that firms are not allowed to advertise the products.”

At present, electronic cigarettes may be used in France in bars, restaurants and other public places, from where traditional smoking has been banned for five years.

About 500,000 French people are thought to use electronic cigarettes.

A spokesman from the London-based market intelligence company Euromonitor International was quoted as saying that the electronic cigarette market was developing very rapidly in France.

“The two main advantages of e-cigarettes is that they’re seen as healthier than traditional cigarettes, and you can use them in settings like bars and restaurants, where traditional cigarettes aren’t allowed,” the spokesman said.

“A measure like a public ban would reduce the public perception of harmlessness and remove the practical benefit of smoking an e-cigarette in the first place. So it would be highly damaging to the industry.”

Smugglers find it difficult to stay afloat

| July 28, 2014

In an attempt to evade the authorities smugglers have been reduced to throwing contraband cigarettes into the waters around parts of Malaysia in the hope that they will be picked up by their local partners, according to a story in The Star.

Southern Region Two marine police assistant commander Paul Khiu Khon Chiang said his men had stumbled on the latest tactic when about RM181,400 worth of illicit cigarettes were found floating in Mersing waters.

Following this find, a special operation was launched that yielded more than 18,000 packs of illicit cigarettes from the waters between Pulau Rimau and Pulau Setindan.

The packs were wrapped in plastic sheet to keep them dry.

“We believe that syndicates are now finding it more difficult to smuggle items into Malaysia and are looking for new ways to avoid detection,” Khiu told reporters in Johor Baru on July 24.

“We believe that there is a demand for illicit cigarettes, especially among locals, because they are cheaper than the brands available here.”

Fewer English pupils smoking cigarettes

| July 28, 2014

Last year, 22 per cent of school pupils in England told researchers that they had smoked once, according to a survey carried out for the Health and Social Care Information Centre by NatCen Social Research and the National Foundation for Educational Research.

This was lowest level recorded since the survey began in 1982 and continued a decline that has been in progress since 2003, when 42 per cent of pupils had tried smoking.

The survey was designed to monitor smoking, drinking and drug use among secondary school pupils aged 11 to 15.

Information was obtained from 5,187 pupils in 174 schools throughout England in the autumn term of 2013.

Three per cent of pupils reported that they had smoked at least one cigarette a week, the survey definition of regular smoking.

This figure was also the lowest since 1982, and considerably below the nine per cent recorded in 2003.

The prevalence of smoking increased with age.

In 2013, less than 0.5 percent of 11 and 12 year olds said that they smoked at least one cigarette a week, compared with four per cent of 14 year olds and eight per cent of 15 year olds.

The report is at:

Tobacco growers receive co-op dividend

| July 28, 2014

The board of directors of the US Tobacco Cooperative on Friday declared a patronage dividend of $0.21 per pound of tobacco sold to the cooperative during Fiscal Year 2014.

‘Due to a high quality 2013 crop and record earnings, the Cooperative was able to authorize a cash payment of $0.11 cents per pound to be paid immediately and to allocate $0.10 per pound to each Grower’s account in Certificates of Interest, the cooperative said in a press note.

‘A total of 889 Growers shared in the $5,142,568 payout which is based on the patronage income from consolidated operations for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2014.’

CEO Stuart Thompson was quoted as saying that the cooperative was constantly looking for new markets so that it could buy more of its growers’ tobacco and maximize patronage dividends.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that the cooperative has paid a patronage dividend, paying out over $14.1 million to our members from patronage source income since 2010,” said Thompson.

At the same time the board authorized the co-operative to pass its Section 199 Domestic Production Activities Deduction of $0.14 per pound to its growers.

‘While the Cooperative is entitled to take this tax deduction on its Federal Income Taxes, it may choose instead to pass the deduction along to its Growers and allow the Growers to take advantage of this valuable tax deduction,’ the press note said.

The co-operative was previously known as the Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation, which used to administer the tobacco price support program of the US Federal Tobacco Program.

NewCo appoints financial manager

| July 28, 2014

Fred Van Hal has been appointed with immediate effect as financial manager at NewCo.

Van Hal, who previously held senior positions with global banks, is based in Antwerp, Belgium.

Joint US and British delegation to check on conditions on US tobacco farms

| July 25, 2014

US congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and British members of parliament Ian Lavery and James Sheridan are due tomorrow to participate in a fact-finding delegation to North Carolina tobacco fields that will examine human rights conditions in the supply chain of British and US tobacco manufacturers, according to a Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) press note.

The delegation will be joined by the executive vice president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Tefere Gebre, and the president of FLOC, Baldemar Velasquez.

FLOC, a union representing farm workers in the US South and Midwest and the organizer of the delegation, will highlight the efforts of farm workers to engage the companies in guaranteeing their right to negotiate collectively, without fear of retaliation.

The delegation will visit – at the height of the tobacco growing season – farms in the supply chain of various manufacturers, with particular attention to the supply chains of Reynolds American and British American Tobacco, to speak with farm workers about their living and working conditions.

Reynolds, the largest tobacco manufacturer in North Carolina, is a major supplier of BAT, which owns a major share of Reynolds.

Following the field visit, a community forum will be held to further the discussion on the experience of farm workers, while also broadening the conversation to understand the impact that tobacco company policies have had on public policy in the local community, including on immigration reform and child labor.

On July 27, the delegation will travel to Raleigh to meet with farm worker supporters and religious leaders before planned meetings in Washington, D.C, and London to publicize the findings.

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