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Despite deterrents Turkey still smoking

| July 23, 2015

In a new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that ranks countries based on their cigarette consumption, Turkey came out in eighth place, despite the government’s considerable efforts at curbing smoking, according to a story in the Zaman daily newspaper.

The newspaper reported that while tobacco consumption in the West seemed to be on the decline, the new research suggested that it was on the rise globally.

And according to the World Health Organization, of the world’s 1 billion smokers, almost 80 percent live in low or middle-income countries.

A total of 5.8 trillion cigarettes were reported to have been smoked last year, with China, Russia and the US having smoked the most.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the issue of smoking during his time as prime minister and an amendment to Law 4207 on the prevention and control of the hazards created by tobacco products was passed by parliament on January 3, 2008.

The amendment banned smoking in public places and set out the penalties for not complying.

Another amendment to the anti-smoking law, which banned indirect advertising of cigarette brands, was passed by parliament on July 4, 2012.

The newspaper said, however, that these amendments had proven to be ineffective deterrents; as had been indicated by the recent report.

Production hall cameras to ensure tax compliance

| July 22, 2015

The Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has said it will require all domestic tobacco companies to install closed-circuit television cameras in their manufacturing halls and warehouses so that the government can monitor their production and ensure the payment of the correct taxes, according to a story in The Philippine Inquirer.

BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said the move would apply to all cigarette manufacturers, including market leader Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation (PMFTC) and rival Mighty Corporation (MC).

The announcement by the BIR came in the wake of the seizure recently of a large quantity of cigarettes not bearing tax stamps.

The apparently untaxed cigarettes were discovered during raids on various distribution and retail outlets in Batangas City and Talavera, Nueva Ecija, by anti-tax fraud agents.

The fraud division is now trying to establish where the seized goods originated.

Henares said the rule requiring all tobacco firms to install CCTVs at their plants would be included in a revenue regulation she would issue soon.

The BIR previously installed CCTVs at the Bulacan factory of Mighty Corporation, but Henares said the equipment was very expensive and that cigarette companies should buy it at their own expense.

In a press note and print notifications issued two weeks ago, PMFTC reminded all cigarette wholesalers and retailers that it was illegal to purchase cigarettes without the required tax stamp. “We will do all we can to support the success of the tax stamp system to ensure 100 percent tax paid compliance by all manufacturers,” the press note said.

It has been a BIR requirement since April 1 that all cigarette packs sold in the Philippines, whether locally manufactured or imported, should bear tax stamps.

‘Tobacco’ bill lumps together different products

| July 22, 2015

Quebec’s latest ‘tobacco’ bill has been criticized for conflating very different products into a single category, giving draconian powers to governments and prohibiting individuals from freely choosing for themselves.

In an opinion piece in the Montreal Gazette, Ian Irvine, a professor of economics at Concordia University and an associate researcher with the Montreal Economic Institute, said that the arrival of electronic cigarettes had changed the market for nicotine consumption and related non-nicotine consumption dramatically.

But the central problem with Bill 44 was that it treated several distinct products as if they were identical, he said. The second paragraph of the bill stated that tobacco would now be defined to include ‘electronic cigarettes and any other devices of that nature that are put in one’s mouth to inhale any substance that may or may not contain nicotine, including their components and accessories’.

Irvine pointed out the enormous fines that, in theory, could, under the provisions of the bill, be imposed on those who sold e-liquids at a discount based on quantity.

‘Bill 44 also proposes to extend the prohibition on smoking in bars to outdoor terraces,’ Irvine said. ‘And since vaping is now as serious as inhaling conventional tobacco, vapers will be limited to inhaling the fumes from passing motor vehicles, without having the right to inhale peaches-and-cream or toffee-and-hazelnut e-liquid.’

Irvine proposed that venue operators could be allowed to permit or ban smoking and vaping on their terraces, and to advertise their facilities accordingly. ‘Customers could then gravitate to bars with terraces polluted only by automobiles, or bars with terraces where they could also produce and inhale smoke or vapour.

Such a flexible system might provide a model for further modifying tobacco control in such a way that the rights of all individuals in society are respected. ‘In contrast, Bill 44, with its misguided definition of what constitutes tobacco, combined with ruinous penalties, models a paternalistic lack of respect for individual rights,’ Irvine said.
The full piece is at: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/opinion-new-tobacco-control-bill-is-ill-conceived.

Russia’s market falls sharply, suffers down-trading

| July 22, 2015

Russia’s cigarette volume declined by 4.2 percent during the second quarter of this year, meaning that, during the first six months, volume was down by 6.5 percent, according to a story by Bob Bryan for Business Insider.

Bryan quoted Philip Morris International’s CFO, Jacek Olczak, as saying that his company now expected a full-year market decline toward the lower end of its 8-10 percent forecast range.

Russia has introduced some anti-tobacco measures in recent times but the fall in consumption is likely to have been boosted by the country’s economic woes.

This seems to be borne out by the fact that some consumers are down-trading to cheaper products.

“The economic environment remains fragile and we are witnessing some signs of down-tradings to the low price segment,” Olczak was quoted as saying. “I mean, the super low-price segments are losing, the low-price is gaining, and the premium is slightly losing. So yes you have a down-trading.”

New facilities will enhance Iggesund’s Asia service

| July 22, 2015

Iggesund Paperboard expects that its new sheeting and warehousing facilities in Taiwan will be operational by the end of this month.

The new facilities are aimed at enhancing Iggesund’s distribution service in Asia, with the main aim being to shorten lead times.

But the company said that it was not just establishing a distribution channel in Asia. ‘The company will also keep Invercote in stock and offer local sheeting from a service point in Taiwan in order to minimise lead times,’ it said in a press note.

Iggesund’s enhanced service in Asia is part of its efforts to become more global by strengthening its delivery service outside Europe. It says it is recruiting staff to reinforce its sales efforts and launching a broader service concept to inform its customers of the many resources and support functions available to them.
‘“Care by Iggesund” includes the quick and easy ordering of samples and inspirational material, the provision of product safety information and certificates, and access to the analytical services of Iggesund’s accredited Laboratory of Sensory and Chemical Analyses,’ the press note said. ‘Iggesund’s extensive environmental documentation is also part of the service offering, not least as a guarantee that customers will not encounter any unpleasant surprises due to the origin of the forest raw material used in their paperboard.’

Iggesund’s service offering also includes everything associated with the company’s products, Invercote and Incada: from technical support in local markets to Iggesund’s own paperboard expertise in the form of various reference works.

“We don’t just want our customers to buy our paperboard – we also want them to get the most out of it,” said Arvid Sundblad, vice president sales and marketing, in charge of global sales. “All our documentation, together with our team of technicians, who are out in the local markets and who have experience from projects and operations similar to those of our customers, exists to ensure this. Some of this support we have had for a long time but we haven’t been clear enough to our customers in general that all this service exists.”

10 countries discuss ‘a world without tobacco’

| July 21, 2015

The French Health Minister, Marisol Touraine, yesterday hosted in Paris ‘a world without tobacco’ conference attended by ministers from nine other countries, according to an Agence France Presse story relayed by the TMA.

Touraine and ministers from Australia, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and Uruguay issued a joint statement claiming the existence of ‘significant scientific proof’ that justified the imposition of standardized cigarette packaging.

They said standardized packaging had been shown to ‘reduce the attractiveness of the product for consumers, especially amongst women and young people’.

And they said such packaging increased the effectiveness of the health warnings printed on the packs.

Meanwhile, Touraine said that “the generation that is born today should be a generation without tobacco”.

Her goal, she said, was to prevent young people from starting to smoke, and “for these people the plain packaging has an impact”.

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