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Indonesia fights over warnings deadline

| March 3, 2014

Four months before the planned implementation in Indonesia of a regulation requiring pictorial warnings on cigarette packs, efforts to comply with the rules seem to be at a standstill, according to a story in The Jakarta Post quoting a health expert.

Widyastuti Soerojo, of the University of Indonesia’s School of Public Health, said the slow progress proved the government had a lack of commitment to solving the country’s tobacco problem.

“The deadline is approaching and yet there are no pictorial health warnings,” she said. “There is no strong commitment from the government to protect its citizens.”

Widyastuti said the government might have bowed to demands from the tobacco industry, but she nevertheless called on cigarette manufacturers to make a start on the new packaging; not only to meet the deadline but also to support the campaign on the dangers of smoking.

“We are hoping the tobacco industry understands that it has a moral obligation to provide customers information on products that they consume,” she said.

The new regulations require cigarette manufacturers to include warnings taking up at least 40 percent of the front and back of packs and showing images of diseased lungs, mouths, throats or larynxes.

The deputy health minister, Ali Ghufron Mukti, said the government continued to push and promote the regulation to cigarette manufacturers.

Ghufron said that the ministry was now working with the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency to step up the campaign to boost compliance among cigarette makers.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Cigarette Manufacturers Association secretary-general, Hasan Aoni, said cigarette manufacturers would comply with the new regulation, though he acknowledged that it would be difficult for them to meet the June deadline because of a lack of clear guidelines.

There was conflicting information, he said, from relevant agencies, including the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission, which had stated recently that images of cancerous mouths or lungs might be too grotesque for some. (While the new regulations include also restrictions on advertising, they allow television advertisements between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.)

“We want clarification from the government so we can implement the regulation,” said Hasan. “They have to understand it is not easy to prepare the new packaging.”

EU tobacco directive moving ahead

| March 3, 2014

The European Commission’s Tobacco Products Regulatory Committee is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the new Tobacco Products Directive, which was adopted by the European Parliament on Feb. 26.

One of the items on the draft agenda is the presentation and discussion of new health warning images.

Under the new TPD, health warnings will have to cover 65 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs.

The meeting will include too a session on the organization of future work under the new TPD, including “ongoing studies/service contracts; secondary legislation; and future organization of the regulatory committee.”

Classic case of cigarette contraband

| March 3, 2014

Seizures within the EU of Classic cigarettes fell from 181,112,416 in 2011 to 142,209,532 in 2012, according to the European Commission responding to a question from the member of the European Parliament for Flanders, Bart Staes.

Staes had asked:

1.         “How many ‘Classic’ cigarettes were seized in the EU in 2011 and 2012?

2.         “What is the origin (factory and country) of the illicit ‘Classic’ cigarettes seized in the EU?

3.         “Did the seizure of ‘Classic’ cigarettes lead to seizure payments paid by international tobacco companies in 2011 and 2012? If so, what was the amount of the payment and the quantity of cigarettes involved?”

In answering the first question, the commission produced the figures mentioned above and said the seizures had included counterfeit and genuine Classic cigarettes with names that included Classic Gold, Classic Red and Classic Light.

It was not mentioned in the reply but the seizure of genuine cigarettes would normally lead to a seizure payment from the brand owner.

Meanwhile, the commission said that, according to available data, the seized cigarettes had come mostly from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, the Russian Federation and Germany.

The commission did not answer the third question because of rules governing the treatment of confidential information between the parliament and the commission.

NDC appoints global operations VP

| March 3, 2014

NDC Infrared Engineering has appointed Mahesh Havildar vice president of global operations for its sensors, systems and metals divisions.

In his new position, Havildar is responsible for overall manufacturing operations, including production, quality, supply chain, material planning, project management, shipping logistics, radiation safety and product engineering.

Havildar, who lives in Irvine, California,USA, has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, operations and product engineering in the aerospace and automotive industries.

He holds a master’s degree in engineering from Lamar University, Texas, and an MBA from the University of Michigan, USA.

Indonesia closer to ratifying FCTC

| February 28, 2014

Indonesia’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has agreed to ratify the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), according to a story on quoting a statement by Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi.

Nafsiah said there was now an understanding between ministries about the importance of ratification, which meant the government had only to formulate several policies that would be implemented after ratification: policies such as that aimed at protecting tobacco farmers and cigarette industry workers.

Nafsiah said the president had supported ratification of the treaty from the beginning, and she denied suggestions that the cigarette industry had lobbied to prevent the president from agreeing to ratification.

In expressing the hope that ratification would proceed without problems, Nafsiah stated her belief that no one would be disadvantaged by it.

“This ratification will instead protect a lot of people’s interests,” she added.

Molins hints at acquisition in reporting increased sales and profits for 2013

| February 28, 2014

Molins’ sales during the year to the end of December, at £105.2 million, were up by 13.2 percent on those of 2012, £93.0 million.

Its underlying profit before tax was up by 10.2 percent to £5.4 million, and its underlying earnings per share were increased by 9.6 percent to 23.9 p.

Tobacco Machinery sales were increased by 11 percent to £34.4 million, and the division’s operating profit was up 31.8 percent £2.9 million.

Sales within the group’s scientific services division, which comprises Arista Laboratories and Cerulean, increased by 14.7 percent to £26.5 million, but operating profit, before non-underlying items, was down slightly from £1.2 million to £1.1 million.

Packaging machinery sales increased by 14.2 percent to £44.3 million, while operating profit, before non-underlying items, was unchanged at £1.5 million.

“I am pleased to report a strong performance for the group over the year, with sales growth achieved across all three of our divisions, leading to an increase in profits,” said Chief Executive Dick Hunter.

“Our ability to provide products and services that meet the specific needs of our customers, across a range of markets, has helped to consolidate Molins’ established position.

“We remain mindful of the uncertain economic and regulatory environment, but are confident the group will continue to demonstrate progress on its various growth initiatives, and through acquisition.”

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