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Malawi exploring tobacco options

| September 19, 2014

Malawi’s Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) says its tobacco industry is set for a major boost following the visit of a group of 16 Egyptian tobacco investors, according to a Ventures Africa story

Speaking before the visit, TCC CEO, Bruce Munthali, said the delegation would hold discussions with “the private sector as well as government officials and other sector stakeholders”.

“As a primary producer of tobacco, it is high time we started adding value to our tobacco,” he said. “The areas of investment to be explored include primary processing, removal of stems from the tobacco leaf as well as manufacturing of cigarettes,” he added.

As was reported here yesterday, tobacco growers in Malawi were paid 10 percent less for their tobacco during the 2014 selling season than they were paid during the 2013 season.

And this fall in prices occurred at a time of high inflation and in respect of a crop whose quality was improved.

Little e-cigarette use among UK’s young

| September 19, 2014

New data from the UK’s Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) indicates that while electronic cigarette use by young people increased between 2013 and 2014, only 1.8 percent of children are regular users.

And it shows that 90 percent of regular or occasional users are young people who were already smokers or ex-smokers.

Meanwhile, 91 percent of young people have not tried an electronic cigarette, and this is despite the fact that more than 80 percent of young people are aware of electronic cigarettes (up from under 70 percent in 2013)

The ASH Smokefree Youth survey, which was conducted by YouGov, analysed by Public Health England and presented at a Public Health England Conference on Wednesday, questioned more than 2,000 11-18 year olds in 2013 and a further 2,000 in 2014 about their smoking and vaping behaviour.

It found also that 98 percent of young people who had never smoked had never tried an electronic cigarette.

The full story is at:

Tobacco disease set to rise in Asia

| September 19, 2014

Research has indicated that inadequate public awareness of the risks of tobacco smoking and aggressive tobacco marketing have left Asian nations with some of the highest smoking rates, according to a story by Giles Hewitt for Yahoo News.

Roughly 60 percent of the world’s population lived in Asia where tobacco control programs were less well-developed than they were in the US and Europe, which had lowered smoking rates with sustained anti-smoking campaigns, said a major regional study published in PLOS Medicine.

Such tobacco control programs were particularly unsophisticated in low- and middle-income countries such as China and India.

And even in developed countries such as Japan and South Korea, it was only recently that the authorities had made genuine moves to cut smoking rates that were once as high as 85 percent among adult males.

“Many Asian countries are in the early stages of the tobacco epidemic,” said the PLOS study.

“So it is likely that the burden of diseases caused by tobacco smoking will continue to rise over the next few decades, and much longer if the tobacco epidemic remains unchecked,” it said.

Trademark dispute e-liquids destroyed

| September 19, 2014

Japan Tobacco International has halted its legal proceedings against Healthier Smoker (HS) after HS’ liquidator agreed on Tuesday to destroy all products and materials within its control that infringe JTI’s property rights, according to a story by Tom Lyons for the Irish Times.

Darren Flanagan, an accountant with DMFN Chartered Accountants, was appointed liquidator of HS on August 29 shortly before JTI was due to begin legal proceedings seeking to stop HS allegedly breaching JTI’s trademarks.

JTI manufactures, among other brands, Silk Cut, Mayfair, Camel and Benson & Hedges cigarettes, while HS made liquids used in e-cigarettes under names including Purple Silk, Calm Desert Brand, Kamel Blend and Myfair E-juice.

In the High Court on Tuesday, HS’ liquidator said he had destroyed all offending stock in his possession and was working to reclaim and destroy stock in retail outlets.

Flanagan told The Irish Times he was in talks with a third party to sell it the assets of HS.

Reasons for stock activity unknown

| September 19, 2014

Universal Corporation said yesterday that it had noted the recent activity in its common stock during this week.

‘Subsequent to the release of our quarterly earnings last month, we have not issued any release, and we are not aware of any other such release that would have resulted in this week’s unusual activity in our common stock,’ it added.

Malawi growers paid 10 percent less for better crop at time of high inflation

| September 18, 2014

Tobacco growers in Malawi were paid 10 percent less for their tobacco during the selling season that recently closed than they were paid during the previous season, according to an APA News Agency story.

And this fall in prices occurred at a time of high inflation and in respect of a crop whose quality was improved.

In 2014, growers were paid an average of $1.90 per kg for the 188 million kg sold, whereas in 2013 they were paid $2.11 per kg for the 168 million kg sold.

According to Trading Economics citing Reserve Bank of Malawi figures, the inflation rate in the country averaged 14.09 percent from 2001 to 2014, and reached an all time high of 37.90 percent in February 2013. In August this year it stood at 24.50 percent.

The Tobacco Control Commission chief executive officer, Bruce Munthali, told APA that while growers brought good quality tobacco to market, buyers offered lower prices than they did last year when the leaf’s quality was lower. Munthali said the low prices offered by international buyers had not affected only Malawi but neighbouring countries also.

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