Philip Morris International is prepared to sue the UK government should it implement a law requiring cigarettes to be sold in standardized packs, according to a Reuters story.
Last week the government completed its second public consultation on standardized packaging; the first having been conducted during 2012.
Reuters said that in its response to the consultation, PMI had told the UK government, in part, that it was ‘prepared to protect its rights in the courts and to seek fair compensation for the value of its property’.
‘”Standardized packaging” is a euphemism for government-mandated destruction of property,’ PMI was quoted as saying. ‘It is unlawful, disproportionate, and at odds with the most basic requirements of the rule of law.’
The government said in April it wanted to implement standardized packaging after a review found it could reduce the incidence of children taking up smoking. It published draft regulations in June and launched a six-week consultation that ended on Thursday.
Meanwhile, it was reported last week that three EU countries had lodged objections to Ireland’s standardized tobacco packaging proposals.
Portugal, Bulgaria and Slovakia are said to have objected in recent weeks on the basis that the proposals are incompatible with EU rules on the free movement of goods and services, among other issues.
And in July it was reported that Ireland might have to pay ‘hundreds of millions’ in compensation to tobacco manufacturers if standardized tobacco packaging were introduced there.
The international research and equities firm, Exane BNP Paribas, which is backed by France’s biggest bank BNP Paribas, said it believed the tobacco industry had a robust case against standardized packaging – a case that would allow it to claim billions in compensation in Europe.
A report by health officials in Toronto, Canada, will recommend that Ontario should ban electronic cigarette use wherever tobacco smoking is currently banned, according to a story by Don Peat for the Toronto Sun.
The report is due to be presented to the Board of Health on Monday.
The health officials want to ban also the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes, electronic cigarette displays in retail stores and the sale of electronic cigarettes to those under the age of 19.
The report says that if the province refuses to regulate electronic cigarettes within six months, the city and Dr. David McKeown, the chief medical officer of health, should develop municipal regulations to ban electronic cigarette use in Toronto wherever tobacco smoking is banned.
At the same time, the board of health is being asked to urge federal health officials to crack down on electronic cigarettes.
Kate Ackerman, of the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada, which is in favor of restricting sales of electronic cigarettes to minors, warned there would be a “backlash” to the Toronto Public Health proposals.
Ackerman called the proposed policy a prohibition based on fear.
The EU is calling on Spain and Gibraltar to crack down on tobacco smuggling across their common border, citing concerns about the involvement of organized crime, according to a story by Ashifa Kassam for The Guardian.
Cigarette imports into Gibraltar are said to have tripled between 2006 and 2011, and one Spanish government official was said to have told the El País newspaper that current imports – 117 million packs last year – suggested that each of the approximately 30,000 residents of Gibraltar, including nursing children, must be smoking nine packs of cigarettes each day.
Wrapping up a one-year investigation, the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) said in a statement that it had ‘raised a number of concerns’ with UK and Spanish officials regarding its investigation into the increase of cigarette smuggling across the frontier. While the report was not made public, Olaf noted ‘a significant increase in the size of the Gibraltar market for cigarettes over the past four years’ and ‘indications of the involvement of organized crime’.
Consultants at a hospital in Scotland have said they will refuse to accept general practitioner (GP) referrals of patients who smoke, according to a story by Christina Kenny for Pulse.
The hospital, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (ERI), which is part of NHS (National Health Service) Lothian, says that medical intervention for vascular disease could be avoided altogether if patients stopped smoking and adopted healthier lifestyles.
Zahid Reza, a consultant vascular surgeon at ERI, was quoted as saying that his clinic was refusing to accept GP referrals of patients who continued to smoke, unless it was an emergency.
“Evidence shows that they would not do well with the treatment,” he was quoted as telling the Scotsman newspaper. “In around 80 percent of cases, a smoker’s condition will improve just simply by stopping smoking and making other lifestyle changes.
“Some patients have written to their MP demanding to see a consultant. I have written back to the MP to explain our position.”
NHS Lothian has apparently denied the existence of a ‘blanket ban’ on refusing referrals, saying that each patient was treated on a case-by-case basis.
Nevertheless, patient groups are said to have attacked the decision, describing it as ‘shocking’.
Dr Jean Turner, a former GP who heads the Scotland Patients Association, said that she was “extremely disappointed”.
“You should not refuse to see anybody and certainly not penalize patients who are smoking,” she said. “It is very God-like and highly unfair to refuse to see people referred from general practitioners.
“If I was a GP I would be very angry. It’s not for a doctor to make a judgment. Doctors are there to see if they can help and relieve symptoms.”
The full story and comments are at: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissioning/commissioning-topics/referrals/consultants-refuse-to-accept-gp-referrals-for-smokers/20007532.article
The US-based electronic cigarette company LOGIC Technology said yesterday that it was expanding into the Canadian market through a partnership with Hilary’s Salesmaster.
Under the partnership agreement, LOGIC’s electronic cigarettes will be made available at more than 30,000 accounts operated by the distributor nationwide in Canada.
LOGIC’s products include both disposable and rechargeable versions and are available in traditional and menthol flavors.
The company is ranked number two in the US in respect of its dollar sales and its market share.
“We are excited to expand LOGIC’s distribution in Canada and are thrilled to be working with Hilary’s Salesmaster, a company with a vast footprint within the Canadian market,” said Miguel Martin, president of LOGIC. “We offer a premium product for adult consumers, as well as high margins for our retail and trade partners, and we are eager to meet the demand of consumers in Canada with our products.”
Since 1951, Hilary’s Salesmaster has developed a strong national presence in the Canadian retail market that currently reaches thousands of food, drug, mass, convenience, gas, food-service and hardware retailers.
“Hilary’s is excited to bring LOGIC to the Canadian marketplace,” said Stewart Ingles, president of Hilary’s Salesmaster.
“We have an extensive marketing campaign aimed at making LOGIC the number one brand in Canada.
“With our distribution and marketing skills, combined with the support of LOGIC Technology, we will strive to build LOGIC as the preeminent e-cig brand in Canada.”
Saudi Arabia’s tobacco products imports have increased consistently during each of the past four years, according to an Arab News story citing local media reports based on ‘recent data’.
The country was said to have imported tobacco products worth SR2.6 billion during 2010, a figure that rose by 15 per cent to SR3.0 billion during 2011, by 17 per cent to SR3.5 billion during 2012 and by nine percent to SR3.8 billion during 2013.
Although Saudi Arabia imports cigarettes from more than 17 countries, 91 percent of its tobacco products imports last year came from just three countries, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey.
Germany accounted for about 57 percent of the imports, while Switzerland and Turkey each accounted for about 17 per cent.