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CSR provision would legitimize tobacco firms, says Indian control forum

| November 21, 2013

Part of the tobacco control community in India is objecting to companies operating within the tobacco industry being required, along with other companies, to invest in CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities, according to a Merinews story.

The Tamil Nadu People’s Forum for Tobacco Control (TNPFTC) believes that CSR activities legitimize and popularize tobacco companies’ activities and brand names in people’s minds.

It wants tobacco companies to be required to pay a health levy equivalent to what they would have had to spend on CSR.

The issue has arisen because the Companies Act, which is due to come into effect in the 2014–2015 financial year, would require companies of a certain size or with a certain turnover or profit in any financial year to be involved in CSR activities.

The TNPFTC says that the CSR requirement of the Companies Act would be in conflict with provisions of India’s Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, and the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Hong Kong push for 100 percent tax

| November 20, 2013

Anti-smoking lobbyists in Hong Kong are urging the government to increase its tobacco tax to at least 75 percent immediately and to 100 percent by the next fiscal year, according to a story by Qi Luo for the Hong Kong Standard.

The Council on Smoking and Health said the current tobacco tax accounted for between 65 and 68 percent of the retail price, which was below the 70 percent recommended by the World Health Organization.

The council estimates that the prevalence of smoking would drop from 10.7 percent to single digits within two years of the 100 percent tax taking effect.

“The tobacco tax was hiked by 50 percent and 41.5 percent in 2009 and 2011 respectively,” said Executive Director Vienna Lai Wai-yin.

“As a result, the incidence of smoking dropped from 12 percent in 2009 to 10.7 percent in 2012.

“A high tobacco tax will push smokers to quit or reduce tobacco consumption, as well as prevent those who plan to start smoking, especially youngsters.”

Fighting smoking on Ireland’s beaches

| November 20, 2013

James Reilly wants to ban smoking on beaches, in cars with young people and in public parks, according to a story by Sarah Bardon for the Irish Daily Mirror.

The new bans would be part of Reilly’s war on the tobacco industry and smoking, which he claims is not a war on smokers.

He wants Ireland to be tobacco-free by 2025.

Reilly said that nobody could believe it was right to see a child strapped into a child seat in the back of car while someone smokes in the front. “They have no say in the matter; we have a duty of care,” he said. “That legislation is very important to me.

“We are pursuing areas like beaches and parks, [but] if local authorities can do this without me producing legislation that is far preferable to me.

“The whole point about that is normalizing smoking. … What monkey sees, monkey does. If they see adults smoking in these places, they are going to be curious and look to do it themselves.”

Canada to host tobacco control forum

| November 20, 2013

Tobacco control professionals from across Canada and around the world are due to gather in Ottawa next week for the 8th National Conference on Tobacco or Health.

According to a press note issued by the National Conference on Tobacco or Health, delegates to the conference will share knowledge and experiences, and discuss the future of tobacco control in Canada.

The conference will be staged on Nov. 26–27.

Revised tobacco directive threatens jobs

| November 20, 2013

Should EU proposals for “minimum pack sizes and plain packaging for cigarettes” come to fruition on Dec. 10, JTI Gallaher would have to confirm more than 300 job losses overnight, according to a story in the Ballymena Times quoting Northern Ireland’s North Antrim MP, Ian Paisley.

Paisley made the claim when he and East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson met with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury on Monday to discuss the proposal to revise the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive.

The Northern Ireland MPs requested the meeting to express their serious concerns that the proposals would cause significant job losses, a boost to the illicit trade in tobacco products and, overall, a severe negative impact on the local economy.

“JTI Gallaher have a large factory in North Antrim, with almost 1,000 employees currently based on the site,” said Paisley.

“Should the proposals of minimum pack sizes and plain packaging come to fruition on Dec. 10, then the factory, based in Ballymena, would have to confirm over 300 job losses quite literally overnight.

“To put this in to context, 300 job losses in the town of Ballymena is the equivalent of almost 13,000 job losses in Birmingham.”

Meanwhile, MP Priti Patel raised concerns about the damaging effect the proposals would have on independent and small retailers, who, she said, were already operating on very thin profit margins.

E-cigarette users making Logic choice

| November 20, 2013

Logic Technology says that it has secured the number-two spot for e-cigarettes in convenience stores nationwide across the U.S.

The e-cigarette manufacturer was quoting the results of the latest unit share report from Nielsen’s C-Track Database and Wells Fargo Securities.

It said that it had seen a steady increase in sales in recent months and was now the top ranking independent e-cigarette company.

“Logic now commands 19.8 percent of the category, as one of three key players within the industry,” the company said in a press note. “This news follows a recent report issued by the Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research Division stating that the market appears to be consolidating relatively quickly into three e-cig brands, including Logic, and that retailers have embraced the electronic cigarette category, seeing double-digit to triple-digit sales growth.”

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