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MEP seeks tobacco directive amendment in battle to save jobs at JTI factory

| December 23, 2013

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has said that he will continue to do everything possible to defend local jobs in Japan Tobacco International’s Gallaher plant at Ballymena, Northern Ireland, according to a story in the Antrim Times.

Nicholson’s comments come as representatives of the European Parliament, Council and European Commission agreed to a compromise in negotiations over the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive.

The new directive has still to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. And once the directive is adopted, member states will have two years to transpose the new rules into national law.

One aspect of the compromise would mean that the minimum size of roll-your-own tobacco packs would rise to 30 g, which would effectively render a making line at the JTI plant obsolete, with possible implications for about 200-300 jobs.

“Given the well-known health implications of smoking, the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive had the laudable intention of discouraging young people from taking up the habit,” said Nicholson.

“Nevertheless, I believe these important concerns have not been sufficiently balanced with the implications for local jobs.

“This week in Brussels negotiators have agreed to a minimum pack size of 30 g for pouches of RYO tobacco. Production of … [RYO] packs is a significant part of the business at the JTI/Gallaher plant in Ballymena. This decision has major implications for the Northern Ireland economy as it will effectively remove a production line from the factory and threaten hundreds of jobs when it is implemented.

“That is why I will now work to secure the 40 signatures needed to table an amendment to help safeguard the jobs and livelihoods of the employees in JTI/Gallaher’s Ballymena plant – this is an important issue for Northern Ireland.”

Imperial makes light work of savings

| December 23, 2013
Imperial employees see the light.

Imperial employees see the light.

Imperial Tobacco has installed at its Taiwan factory energy-efficient lighting that costs less to use and provides greater illumination.

Conventional lights using mercury vapour have been replaced at the Jhunan site with energy-efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

LEDs have a typical lifespan of about 30,000 hours, compared to just 750 hours for traditional light bulbs.

The initiative is aimed at helping Imperial reduce its energy consumption as part of a group-wide strategy to cut energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020.

“This is an excellent way to minimise our impact on the environment and cut back on our energy usage,” said Yip Hin Weng, engineering manager at Jhunan.

“The LEDs cost around 70 per cent less to run than mercury vapour lights whilst at the same time they boost lighting levels for our employees by 80 per cent.

“This investment will pay for itself within two and half years and eradicates the equivalent of around 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.”

Industry mourns Alan Rodgman

| December 22, 2013

Alan Rodgman, a prominent tobacco chemist, passed away on Dec. 16, 2013.

After joining R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s research department in 1954, Rodgman initiated the company’s research on cigarette smoke composition. He personally conducted and actively directed environmental tobacco smoke research until 1987.

Rodgman became director of research in 1976. During his career, he served on the editorial board of Tobacco Science, the Council for Tobacco Research, the Coresta Scientific Commission and several U.S. government tobacco-related committees.

He was a member of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the American Chemical Society for 60 years and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences for 40 years.

Rodgman published numerous scientific papers on tobacco smoke composition and served as a reviewer for tobacco-related manuscripts. In 2003 he was awarded the inaugural Tobacco Science Research Conference Lifetime Achievement Award for his tobacco-related research and activities. In late 2008 Rodgman co-authored The chemical components of tobacco and tobacco smoke, for which the authors jointly received the 2010 Coresta Award.

Originally from Wales, U.K., Rodgman held a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from the University of Toronto.

 

PMI and Altria to cooperate on e-cigs

| December 22, 2013

Philip Morris International and Altria Group have established a strategic framework to commercialize reduced-risk products and e-cigarettes. Under the terms of a set of licensing, supply and cooperation agreements, Altria will make available its e-cigarette products exclusively to PMI for commercialization outside the United States and PMI will make available two of its candidate reduced-risk tobacco products exclusively to Altria for commercialization in the United States.

The companies expect PMI’s products in the U.S. to be regulated as Modified Risk Tobacco Products. Any commercialization would be subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization.

The agreements also provide for cooperation on the scientific assessment and regulatory engagement and authorization related to these products with the FDA, and for a similar framework for e-cigarettes with the relevant regulatory authorities in international markets. In addition, the agreements provide for the sharing of improvements to the existing generation of products.

“PMI firmly believes that reduced-risk tobacco products, as well as e-cigarettes, represent an important step toward achieving the public health goal of harm reduction, a potential paradigm shift for the industry and a significant growth opportunity for the company,” said PMI CEO André Calantzopoulos.

“Further to our plans for international test market introduction of our candidate reduced-risk products as of the second-half of 2014, this agreement establishes a roadmap for commercialization in the U.S., subject to FDA authorization. At the same time, it provides us with a platform to accelerate our entry into international e-cigarette markets while we continue to develop future versions,”

 

PMI says EU failed to do homework on revision of tobacco products directive

| December 20, 2013

Philip Morris International says that proposed revisions to the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will be a gift to black market criminals but a blow to government revenues and to people working in the licit tobacco industry.

“The EU has ignored its own standards for proportionate, evidenced-based policymaking during the five years that the Tobacco Products Directive has been under consideration,” said PMI’s EU region president, Drago Azinovic.

He was commenting on an agreement reached between the European Commission, Parliament and Council on the proposed TPD revisions.

“Discussions in Council and the European Parliament might have marginally amended the original text, but the EU’s failure to do its homework will be a gift for the criminals profiting from the black market in tobacco, and a blow to the hundreds of thousands of people working in the legal industry and member state governments now faced with filling budget gaps,” said Azinovic.

“Instead of further harmonizing the internal market, a stated objective of the directive, measures in the TPD will further erode property rights that the EU Charter protects. This sends a worrying signal to other sectors of the economy that depend on legal certainty and a rigorous defense of intellectual property rights.”

The new directive has still to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, which will vote on it only after the legal-linguistic revision of the text has been finalised. And once the directive is adopted member states will have two years to transpose the new rules into national law.

Some of the key proposals for revision of the TPD were published here yesterday under the heading: EU to back ‘tobacco products that taste and smell like tobacco products’.

White Cloud starting recycling program for its e-cigarettes and batteries

| December 20, 2013

White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes has said that it is partnering with Big Green Box to offer a US recycling service for its products, including its batteries, according to a PRNewswire story.

Big Green Box is a federally-approved recycling company based in Anaheim, California.

The service will ensure that White Cloud meets the standards of electronic-waste disposal set by the US Department of Transportation and the United Nations.

It will provide customers with the opportunity to recycle their rechargeable electronic cigarette batteries and Fling disposable electronic cigarettes.

“Try to think about this for a moment: there are 20 to 50 million metric tons of electronic waste disposed off every year, worldwide,” said White Cloud’s managing director, Danielle Steingraber. “Right now, only 12.5 per cent of e-waste is currently recycled, but we can do our part to help change that.”

The PRNewswire story went on to say that while it might seem that a few electronic cigarette batteries in the trash could make any real environmental difference, as the number of electronic cigarette users continued to rise worldwide, it would quickly become critical that electronic cigarette users recycle.

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