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More women smoking in Shanghai

| March 24, 2014

The proportion of smokers among women living in Shanghai, China, has risen significantly in recent years, according to a story on Ecns.cn.

Delegates at the Shanghai International Lung Cancer Forum were told on the weekend that while 3.7 percent of women in Shanghai smoked in 2011, now the figure has risen to 4.8 percent.

The daily stress of work, a desire for thrills and excitement, and peer group pressure were all cited by delegates as reasons for more women taking up smoking.

U.S. cigarette sales in a (low-tax) state

| March 21, 2014

Fifty-seven percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S. are smuggled from states with lower tobacco taxes than the state in which they are sold, according to a story by Mary Beth Griggs for the Smithsonian Magazine quoting a new study by the Tax Foundation.

This need not be surprising. In New York, smokers might pay $14.50 for a pack of cigarettes, while in Kentucky the retail price might be less than $5.

“As a result, smugglers buy huge numbers of cigarettes in states with lower taxes and resell them in states with higher taxes …,” wrote Griggs. “Whether or not state taxes on cigarettes are too high, the difference between states’ prices does create an incentive to smuggle them across state lines.

“Profits can be huge, and often that money goes towards more dangerous enterprises, like organized crime and drug rings.”

Griggs described the Tax Foundation as a conservative think tank that supported “pro-growth tax reform,” which, she added, usually meant lower taxes.

Griggs’ story, which touches on the international illicit trade and on the situation in Iran in particular, is at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/cigarette-smuggling-united-states-and-iran-180950201/?no-ist.

Leaf trading in full swing in Philippines

| March 21, 2014

Tobacco trading centers have begun buying tobacco from farmers in the Virginia-growing areas of the Philippines’ Ilocos provinces, according to a story by the Philippine Information Agency quoting the National Tobacco Administration (NTA).

And because the trading season for burley and native tobacco opened officially in the first week of March, growers from across the country may now sell their tobacco directly to accredited trading centers.

Tobacco growers are expected to earn higher net income this season than they did last season because the floor prices across all grades for Virginia have been increased by PHP6 per kg, while the prices of burley and native tobacco have been increased by up to PHP10 per kg.

The NTA said the price of the highest grade of flue-cured Virginia (AA) was now PHP78 per kg, while the prices of the highest grades of burley and native tobacco were PHP61 per kg and PHP66 per kg, respectively.

U.K. visa revoked over cigarette haul

| March 21, 2014

A businessman from Jiangsu Province, China, has been deported from the U.K. after trying to take 35 undeclared cartons of cigarettes into the country, according to a Global Times story quoting a press note put out by the Shanghai Airport Frontier Inspection Station.

The U.K. authorities were said to have seized the cigarettes and revoked the businessman’s two-year business visa.

The businessman, identified only by his surname, Wu, is a commercial representative who often traveled to the U.K.

He said he had intended to give the cigarettes as gifts to clients because of the high taxes they had to pay for tobacco in the U.K.

Before departing for the U.K. from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Wu was said to have ignored airline staff who warned him that he wasn’t supposed to take so many cigarettes into the U.K.

Because of his deportation, Wu, who arrived back in Shanghai on Wednesday, would be expected to have trouble getting another visa to the U.K.

Colorado rejects smoking-age increase

| March 21, 2014

Lawmakers in Colorado, USA, have overturned a proposal that would have raised the age at which people could buy tobacco from 18 to 21, according to a CBS4 report. Colorado is the third state this year to consider but reject the higher age.

The House Finance Committee rejected the proposal on a 7-6 vote, a breakdown that wasn’t along partisan lines.

The Democrat who cast the deciding vote against the measure said that 18-year-olds were adults who should be persuaded not to smoke, not banned from smoking.

Altadis signs up to diversity charter

| March 21, 2014

Imperial Tobacco’s business in Spain has put its name to a charter that is in line with Imperial’s commitment to supporting diversity.

Altadis is amongst a number of leading Spanish companies to have signed up to the Charter de la Diversidad 2014.

The charter sets out a code of practice that guarantees a commitment to promote equality in the workplace and the wider community.

A ceremony recognizing Altadis as a signatory took place at the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality in Madrid.

“It’s very important for us to demonstrate our respect for a code of practice that promotes responsibility in terms of equality,” said Ángel Morales, who is HR operations manager in Spain and who attended the event.

“This helps to reaffirm our reputation as a good company to work for in Spain, and I was delighted to sign this charter on behalf of Altadis.”

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