Zambia has been described by the managing director of Japan Tobacco International Leaf Zambia as the best investment destination in Africa, based on the stability of the country’s economy during the past 10 years.
According to a Times of Zambia story, Robert Royle told a Zambia-Japan Trade and Investment Promotion event in Lusaka last week, that his company was investing K12 million on inputs and out-grower schemes for tobacco production during the current growing season, up from K11 million during 2013.
Royle said JTI was working with more than 15 commercial farmers in Eastern, Central and Western provinces of Zambia. It was providing inputs and financial support to farmers to ease the challenges of limited access to finance.
He said access to finance for farmers was limited because most banks were not giving loans to farmers – a situation that was impacting negatively on the growth of the agriculture industry in general.
At the same time, he urged the government to consider putting up a policy framework to reduce the challenge of land acquisition in the country.
But despite the challenges, he said Zambia stood out as the best investment destination in Africa, looking at the stability of the country’s economy during the past 10 years.
Tobacco is one of the focuses of a public-health action-plan being put forward by the Danish government, according to an Esmerk Danish News story.
The plan includes seven national targets for reducing smoking and drinking among Danes, but looks also at reducing obesity among children and encouraging more people to take exercise.
The government will earmark DKK120 million to so-called strategic partnerships between private companies and society at large, in the guise of, for instance, sports associations, housing associations and trade unions.
The money will be used ‘to help citizens opt for a healthier life style’, though the action plan is said to put strong emphasis on personal responsibility.
Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry has dedicated this year to building a society free of tobacco and alcohol, and a presidential task force is being set up to tackle the issues of smoking and drinking.
Addressing a World Cancer Day 2014 seminar at the Health Education Bureau, the Minister of Health, Maithreepala Sirisensaid, said a cabinet paper, approved by the President, had been submitted to the government asking it to implement countrywide tobacco and alcohol control programs.
The minister said that cancer could be controlled by controlling the use of tobacco and alcohol, and he said the media had a major role to play in the eradication of the use of these products.
World Cancer Day falls on February 4 and the theme of the event this year is ‘Debunk the myths’.
The UK’s deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has said he opposes as illiberal plans for a law banning smoking in cars when young people are present, according to a story in The Guardian.
He said smoking in such circumstances was irresponsible but he did not see how a law could be enforced.
Speaking on LBC’s Call Clegg program on Thursday, the deputy PM, who described himself as quite an old-fashioned liberal, said he didn’t think that legislation should be brought in unless it was believed that that legislation was going to make a difference.
He cast doubt on whether such legislation could be enforced properly.
New research shows that people given the lungs of smokers are just as likely to be alive up to three years after transplantation as those who receive organs from non-smokers, according to a story by Roger Dobson for The Independent newspaper. In some cases, they had improved survival rates.
“Donor lungs from even heavy smokers may provide a valuable avenue for increasing donor organ availability,” says André Simon, director of heart and lung transplantation and consultant cardiac surgeon at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS [National Health Service] Trust, UK.
“Our findings provide for the first time real world figures for the perceived risk of implantation of lungs from donors with even a heavy smoking history, and they show that such donor lungs may provide a much-needed lease on life to the critically ill patient whose chances of survival diminish with every day or week that passes by on the waiting list.
“I believe that candidates significantly decrease their chances of survival if they choose to decline organs from smokers.”
The full story is at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/smokers-lungs-used-in-half-of-transplants-9101647.html
Imperial Tobacco is due to hold its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday.
Presentation slides and transcript from the meeting will be available after the event on the company’s website, at http://www.imperial-tobacco.com.
Information about the meeting is at: http://www.imperial-tobacco.com/index.asp?page=516.