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Quebec commits to tackling illicit trade

| November 22, 2013

The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) has commended the government of Quebec for contributing $4 million to the city of Montreal to fight the contraband tobacco trade.

At the same time it has contrasted Quebec’s action to the apparent lack of action by the government of Ontario.

“Illegal cigarettes are a serious problem in Quebec and Ontario, and this action taken by [Quebec’s] government is an important step in the right direction in the fight against contraband,” said Gary Grant, NCACT spokesperson and 39-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service.

“The illegal cigarette trade in Quebec remains extremely volatile. By committing additional funds, Quebec’s government recognized that more remains to be done to control the negative impact the illegal cigarette trade continues to have across the province.”

Later, Grant said the Quebec government was giving the issue the serious attention it deserved. “Ontario must do the same,” he said. “The province has committed to tough new anti-contraband measures in the last two provincial budgets. It is important the government follow through on these commitments.

“There is more contraband tobacco in Ontario than [in] any other province, and the problem won’t improve unless that government takes concrete and meaningful action to address this problem.

“Commitments are meaningless without action,” concluded Grant. “Ontario must take action.”

Health insurer unlikely to win proposed tobacco damages suit in Korea

| November 22, 2013

Questions have been raised about what a proposed damage suit filed by Korea’s National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) against cigarette companies would accomplish, according to a story in The Korea Times.

The state-run NHIS has claimed since August that tobacco manufacturers operating in Korea are responsible for the medical costs of patients suffering from smoking-related diseases.

The amount of damages requested in the suit is expected to be up to WON1 trillion, but some experts believe the NHIS would have little chance of winning, given how similar cases have fared around the world.

And they say that any money tobacco companies were forced to pay out would result ultimately in an increase in cigarette prices, putting an additional financial burden on smokers.

One suggestion made is that the NHIS should use the fees it collects from the sales of cigarettes exclusively for smokers, instead of for patients in general.

The amount collected was WON1.54 trillion in 2010, close to the NHIS’s estimate of medical costs related to smoking in 2011: WON1.69 trillion.

Taiwan’s parks full of tobacco smoke

| November 22, 2013

The Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Health Promotion Administration has defended an upcoming ban on tobacco smoking in national parks by saying that subjecting people to second-hand smoke was a violation of their basic human rights, according to a story in the Taipei Times.

The administration was responding to a pro-smoking group’s accusation that restricting smokers from lighting up in national parks was unconstitutional.

Chen Shao-ting, chairman of the organizing committee of the Taiwan Smoker Rights Promotion Association, said the health ministry had overstepped its legal authority by banning smoking in national parks as of April 1 next year.

But Feng Tsung-yi, a section chief at the agency, said it was a matter of public interest for people to have the right to breathe fresh air, and ensuring that they could was part of the government’s duty.

“If you expose the majority of the people to an environment full of second-hand smoke, that would be a violation of their basic human rights,” he said.

Other administration officials said the government had been trying to extend no-smoking zones to pedestrian crossings, where smokers often lit up while waiting for traffic lights to change.

Essentra research on FDA-cited PAHs

| November 22, 2013
Part of the Essentra Scientific Services laboratories at Newcastle, UK.

Part of the Essentra Scientific Services laboratories at Newcastle, UK.

Essentra Scientific Services (ESS) has published its latest research into the quantitative analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in cigarettes.

In the study, which was conducted by Dr. William Guthery and Dr. Mike Taylor, the yields of 16 PAHs cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as potentially harmful compounds were tested and examined.

“PAHs were first isolated in the 1930s,” ESS, part of the Filter Products division of Essentra PLC, said in a press note. “One of the first PAHs to be identified was benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), which is included among the 44 constituents contained on the ‘Hoffmann analytes’ list of harmful compounds found in tobacco smoke.

“In Brazil and Canada it is currently mandatory to test tobacco products against the Hoffmann list. In recent years, the U.S. FDA has sought to expand on this with the identification of 93 harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHC), including 16 PAH compounds. In the United   States, the testing of an abbreviated list containing 20 HPHC compounds including B[a]P was made compulsory in 2012. Before this latest study, published data for the 16 PAHs on the full FDA list had been limited, which led Essentra Scientific Services to conduct its research.”

The yields of the 16 PAHs were determined from cigarette mainstream smoke condensate extracts using gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in a method validated for both ISO and Health Canada Intense (HCI) smoking protocols.

The research paper presents the comparative results obtained for five branded cigarettes and three reference cigarettes.

“This work demonstrates that the 16 PAHs listed by the FDA can be measured in smoke condensate using the methods outlined in our latest research paper,” said Taylor.

“The method provides the flexibility to be able to determine B[a]P and other PAHs if required, and triple quadruple MS provides a reliable means to analyze these components without employing complex clean-up procedures.”

The research paper can be downloaded free of charge at http://www.essentrafilters.com/PAH.

PMI speeds-up reduced-risk schedules

| November 21, 2013

Philip Morris International is accelerating its launch plans for reduced-risk products, which, it believes, represent its greatest growth opportunity.

It intends to start what it describes as several commercial pilot city tests during the second half of next year; while the first national launch of its Platform 1 product is now scheduled for 2015, well ahead of the previous target of 2016–2017.

The accelerated launch schedules formed part of a presentation given by CEO André Calantzopoulos when he addressed investors yesterday at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer Conference in New York.

“In support of its accelerated schedule for reduced-risk product launches, PMI will increase its reduced-risk product-related expenditures in R&D, operations and the commercial organization by more than $100 million in 2014,” according to a presentation-highlights note posted on the company’s website.

Next year is viewed by the company as an investment year, which will see raised expenditures in markets where its share performance has trailed expectations and potential, and investment in its reduced-risk products.

Calantzopoulos said, too, that PMI would enter the e-cigarette sector during the second half of next year.

Meanwhile, PMI forecasts that total international tobacco cigarette industry volume will, by the end of this year, have declined by about 3 percent in 2013.

Next year, it forecasts, volume will decrease by about 2–3 percent overall, with falls of 7–8 percent in the EU and of 9–11 percent in Russia.

Total volumes are unlikely to recover until 2015, it says.

Cigarette sales increased in China

| November 21, 2013

China’s cigarette sales volume during the first nine months of this year, at 1,975 billion, was increased by about 1.1 percent on that of the first nine months of 2012, 1,954 billion, according to a Tobacco China magazine story.

At the same time, key-brand volume was said to have risen by 7 percent to 1,550 billion.

Meanwhile, the value of total cigarette sales during the first nine months of this year, at CNY998 billion, was increased by 8.7 percent on that of the first nine months of 2012.

The value of key-brand sales increased, during the same period, by 11.2 percent to CNY913 billion.

Twenty seven key brands account for about 78 percent of total volume sales and for 91 percent of the value of total sales.

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