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India moving to cut off tobacco-company goodwill

| December 1, 2014

The Indian government is considering a raft of new anti-tobacco measures; one of which would ‘discourage’ tobacco manufacturers from earning goodwill through their corporate social responsibility activities, according to a story by Ritika Chopra for The Economic Times.

At the same time, the new measures, amendments to the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), would extend the ban on tobacco promotion to media platforms such as mobile phones and the Internet.

And they would disallow restaurants, hotels and domestic airports from creating designated smoking areas.

The new measures were said to include a clause to reduce interference by tobacco companies in the conception and implementation of anti-tobacco policies, a provision to create special courts to try offences under COTPA, and a plan to set up a new monitoring authority called the National Tobacco Control Organization.

The ministry wants, also, to introduce a new section empowering the government to suspend or cancel the licenses of tobacco manufacturers, importers, suppliers, distributers or sellers for violating COTPA provisions relating to the sale of cigarettes to minors or to those concerning bans on advertisements and the inclusion of health warnings on cigarette packs.

The government said the health ministry had accepted most of the recommendations made by an expert panel on curbing tobacco consumption, and that the ministry was preparing a cabinet note on the final amendments to COTPA, which was due to go before the cabinet in four or five weeks.

Indonesia minister sees no need to ratify FCTC

| November 26, 2014

Despite calls by health advocates for the Indonesian government to ratify the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Industry Minister Saleh Husin said on Nov. 19 that the government “does not need to adopt and ratify [the FCTC], ” according to a report Antara. Husin said existing regulations are adequate to monitor and control the national cigarette industry.

Husin said his ministry is currently formulating a roadmap for the tobacco industry to estimate cigarette production in 2015-2019. He expressed hope that the roadmap would “serve as a reference for related ministries, such as the ministry of agriculture for the formulation of a strategy for tobacco and clove production, the finance ministry for excise, and the ministry of health for matters related to public health”


China dominates e-vapor patents

| November 26, 2014

The number of vapor-related patents has skyrocketed in recent years and the field is dominated by China, according to Thomson Reuters. Of more than 2,000 vapor inventions tracked by the company, 64 percent originated in China, 14 percent in the United States and 9 percent in South Korea.

China’s domination of the e-vapor patent market is said to reflect its huge number of smokers, at more than 300 million, and a wider drive by the Chinese government to forge a knowledge economy

In 2005, only eight e-cigarette inventions were described in published patents. The figure jumped to 220 in 2012, to 500 in 2013, and to 650 so far in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters’ IP & Science business.

The original e-cigarette technology is usually credited to Hon Lik, a Chinese researcher.  Imperial Tobacco last year bought the patents owned by the company Hon co-founded.


ECIG revenue up 41 percent

| November 26, 2014

Electronic Cigarettes International Group (ECIG) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, announced third-quarter revenue of $15.9 million, up 41 percent over the prior-year quarter’s result. The company reported growth in all its brands, including FIN in the U.S. and VIP in the U.K.

Gross profit, however, declined to $2.3 million from $6.9 million. Cost of goods sold was $13.6 million in compared with $4.4 million in the previous quarter, driven by increased sales activity and the one-time $5.6 million charge for aging inventory of “early generation products” purchased as part of the FIN company acquisition, ECIG said.

“ECIG performed well during the third quarter and executed against its key initiatives and operational drivers across the Group,” said CEO Brent Willis.



‘U.S. won’t discriminate against Indonesian cigars’

| November 26, 2014

The U.S. will refrain from “arbitrarily or unjustifiably” discriminating against Indonesian cigars and cigarillos in light of the FDA’s proposed deeming regulations for currently unregulated tobacco products, according to a memorandum releaed by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, reports Bloomberg News.

The promises follow an agreement between the two countries that allows the U.S. to maintain its ban on clove cigarettes in exchange for resolving certain trade issues. The memorandum also includes steps to be taken by both countries to resolve disputes related to vehicle wiring harnesses, mineral ore exports and intellectual property protection.

China mulls tougher tobacco controls

| November 26, 2014

China is considering a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, according to a draft regulation published on the website of the State Council’s legislative affairs office.

Pending public consultation, the draft also includes plans to ban certain smoking scenes in films and TV shows.

The draft bans smoking in kindergartens, schools, colleges, women and children’s hospitals as well as in fitness venues. Outdoor smoking is only allowed in designated areas.

The proposal prohibits selling cigarettes to minors through vending machines.

As the world’s largest tobacco maker and consumer, China has more than 300 million smokers. Despite signing the World Health Organization’s Framework on Tobacco Control, smoking in public remains widely tolerated.

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