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Some non-smokers take up habit during Ramadan

| June 25, 2015

Although the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is often seen as providing an opportunity for Muslims to quit tobacco smoking, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the month might be marked by an increase in smoking, according to an Indo-Asian News Agency story quoting the Khaleej Times and published in the Business Standard.

“We spend more time in the lively atmosphere of restaurants [during Ramadan],” said the UAE-based Indian doctor, Sunil Sheshadri, who works at Abu Dhabi’s NMC Healthcare. “As a result, a marked increase in tobacco consumption occurs due to shisha smoking.

“Non-smokers too admit to indulging in post-meal shishas as part of the tradition of gathering with friends and family until the early hours.”

But in warning of the ill-effects of smoking shisha, Joseph Kurian, head of cardiology at Abu Dhabi’s Lifeline Hospital, said one session of shisha was the equivalent of smoking about 20 cigarettes, and so should not be taken lightly.

“It has a drastic effect on health as it aggravates cardiac problems and worsens blood pressure,” Kurian added.

Smoking down but vaping up among US’ youngsters

| June 24, 2015

While the incidence of cigarette smoking among young people of middle- and high-school age has fallen in the US, the use of electronic cigarettes has more than doubled in three years, according to the results of a federal survey relayed by HealthDay.

The 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 25 percent of high school students had used a tobacco product [taken to include electronic cigarettes] during the month prior to the survey’s being undertaken. The survey found also that one in 13 young people of middle-school age had admitted to using a ‘tobacco product’ during the month.

Between 2011 and 2014, the proportion of young people smoking cigarettes fell from 16 percent to nine percent. During the same time hookah use among high school students doubled.

Of the 4.6 million young people who admitted using ‘tobacco’, 2.4 million used electronic cigarettes.

This was said to be the first time that electronic cigarette use had been found to have exceeded the use of every other ‘tobacco product’.

Two point two million young people said they had used more than one tobacco product during the past month.

‘One thing the study confirms for us is that the tobacco product landscape has changed dramatically,’ Benjamin Apelberg, branch chief of epidemiology at FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a press note.

‘Middle- and high-school kids are using novel products like e-cigarettes and hookahs in unprecedented numbers, and many are using more than one kind of tobacco product.’

Menthol cigarette gives rise to non-menthol versions

| June 24, 2015

Non-menthol versions of a previously exclusively menthol cigarette brand are due to go on sale in Japan next month.

Japan Tobacco Inc said today that it planned to launch Pianissimo Precia Temore 6 and Pianissimo Precia Temore One in the Tokyo, Aichi and Toyama prefectures in late July.

Pianissimo’s first non-menthol products are being presented under the tagline, Special cigarettes for special moments.

‘With a product line-up that offers flavors, aromas, functions and designs that satisfy a variety of tastes, Pianissimo is popular with a wide range of consumers, JT said in a note posted on its website. ‘Now, for it to be enjoyed by even more smokers, JT is launching the first non-menthol products under the brand.

‘Pianissimo Precia Temore 6 and Pianissimo Precia Temore One are super slim products, whose every detail, from aroma to packaging, has been given the utmost attention. A capsule is built into the filter, allowing consumers to enjoy two sensations with one cigarette. Before the capsule is crushed a smooth and full sensation can be enjoyed. Crushing the capsule brings out the rich, graceful aroma that spreads out over the palate. LSS [less smoke smell] technologies have also been incorporated to reduce the smoke smell.

‘The packages feature a warm base color that matches the flavors of the products and the gold accessories common to the Precia series. A number of other embellishments have been added, resulting in a distinctly elegant look. Moreover, these are easy-to-carry thin packages that are only possible with super-slim size cigarettes.’

Economist seeks tobacco tax changes in Bangladesh

| June 24, 2015

An economist has called on Bangladesh to introduce a tobacco taxation policy that would effectively control the use of tobacco products in the country, according to a story in The Financial Express citing a United News of Bangladesh report.

“Bangladesh is a signatory to the [World Health Organization’s] Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which asks its member states to cut tobacco use by raising tax on tobacco products,” Professor Abul Barkat told a press conference on Monday. “But it’s a matter of regret that Bangladesh is yet to announce a policy related to tobacco taxation.”

The post-budget press conference at the Jatiya Press Club was jointly organized by the Human Development Research Centre, Progga, the Anti Tobacco Media Alliance and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Barkat said that it was clear that if the prices of tobacco products declined, consumption went up, but if prices increased, consumption went down.

He went on to propose a number of changes to the tobacco tax regime specifically targeting cigarettes, bidis and smokeless tobacco.

Leaf buyers reminded of purchase commitments

| June 24, 2015

The Chief Minister of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, has warned tobacco companies that stringent action will be taken if they fail to purchase leaf tobacco as per the agreements they reached with the Tobacco Board of India, according to a story in the Indian Express relayed by the TMA.

The warning was issued at a June 19 meeting of board officials and representatives of tobacco farmers and companies.

At the same time, the chief minister directed the board “to take up the responsibility of solving their [growers’] problems”.

His intervention followed a petition filed by the Federation of Virginia Tobacco Farmers Associations urging the government to intervene following a decline in leaf prices.

The farmers complained that they were not receiving attractive prices for their crop because just one tobacco company had bought 90 percent of the crop so far.

Hines to retire from AOI board

| June 24, 2015

John M. Hines is to retire from the board of directors of Alliance One International on August 13, the date of the company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank John for his 23 years of outstanding service to the company and its shareholders, as an executive vice president of the company and a predecessor entity from 1992 through June 1996, and as a member of the board of directors since 1995,” said Mark Kehaya, chairman of the board. “The Company has benefitted tremendously from John’s sound and thoughtful guidance.”

Meanwhile, CEO and president Pieter Sikkel, said Hines’ experience and insights had helped shape Alliance One’s strategy and vision, and had played a key role in preparing the company to respond to the ever-changing economic and market conditions facing the industry. “We wish John all the best in the years to come,” he said.

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