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Workshop will hear assessment of deal linking tobacco industry and EU

| January 21, 2014

A workshop on cigarette smuggling is due to be held at the European Parliament tomorrow.

It has been organized by the Policy Department D on Budgetary Affairs and will be staged at the Altiero Spinelli Building from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

A draft program indicated that one of the sessions would see Hana Ross and Michal Stokłosa, “respectively the managing director and economist at the International Tobacco Control Research/American Cancer Society,” give an assessment of the co-operation agreement between the EU and the tobacco industry, an assessment of member states’ activities against cigarette smuggling in relation to the funds received from the agreement, and an assessment of a new EU strategy against cigarette smuggling.

Display ban has little effect in Finland

| January 21, 2014

The Finnish Grocery Trade Association believes that the recent falls in the domestic consumption of cigarettes and cigars are not down to the introduction of retail display bans in the country, according to an Esmerk Finnish News story.

Rather, it believes the falls are merely part of a long-term downward trend in tobacco use.

And the Finnish retail chain S Group agrees up to a point.

It has said that the introduction of display bans in the country has not affected the level of cigarette sales but has reduced cigar sales.

It believes that cigar sales have been affected because they are often the result of impulse purchases, and because consumers want to look at these products before buying them.

Tobacco tax revenues fall in Italy

| January 21, 2014

Lower tobacco product sales last year cost the Italian government €730 million in reduced taxes, according to a story in La Stampa quoting figures from the Federazione Italiana Tabaccai.

In the past 10 years, tobacco sales have shrunk by about 21 million kg; 10 million kg in the period 2011–2013 alone.

New Davidoff subsidiary for Spain

| January 21, 2014

The Switzerland-based Oettinger Davidoff Group has created a new wholly owned subsidiary for the Spanish market—Davidoff of Geneve Iberia, according to a story in Expansion.

The setting-up of the new subsidiary followed the ending of a collaboration agreement with the Spanish distributor Proein.

The new unit will absorb Proein’s staff.

Tobacco penalties from today in UAE

| January 21, 2014

People breaking the UAE’s new anti-tobacco law face the risk of being fined from today, according to a Khaleej Times story.

Enforcement agencies across the emirates are expected to target people smoking in cars containing young people, people selling cigarettes to minors and people operating shisha joints in restricted areas.

Anyone caught smoking in a car with children present is liable to be fined AED500. A repeat offence will attract a fine of AED1,000.

Fines ranging from AED100,000 to AED1 million will be imposed on violators of tobacco prohibitions in commercial establishments.

However, the UAE’s anti-tobacco crusader believes most of the government bodies assigned to implement the regulations are only partly ready to get tough on violators.

The head of the National Tobacco Control Committee at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Wedad Al Maidoor, said the authorities might not be fully ready for enforcement of the tobacco bylaws today.

“I also don’t expect the enforcement to be strict initially,” she said.

Korea’s health-cost claims could reach court sooner than had been expected

| January 17, 2014

South Korea’s National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) said yesterday that it would decide the details of its compensation suit against KT&G and other tobacco manufacturers at a board meeting on Jan. 24, according to a story in The Korea Times.

“The board will decide when to file the suit and how much it will seek in damages,” an NHIS official was quoted as saying. “If details are approved, the filing can take place as early as a day after the meeting.”

Given this, the NHIS’s legal action against local and foreign tobacco manufacturers is expected to take place earlier than had previously been expected.

Last month, NHIS President Kim Jong-dae said the NHIS would file a suit against tobacco companies to recover medical costs which it had incurred due to smoking-related diseases.

“Tobacco makers should be responsible for health insurance payments for smoke-related diseases, which stood at 1.69 trillion won in 2009,” he said.

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