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Anti-tobacco law implementation delayed

| July 4, 2014

Delays in finalizing the Rules associated with Bangladesh’s 2013 anti-smoking law are holding up full implementation of the law, according to a story in The Financial Express.

The Smoking and Use of Tobacco Product (Control) Rules were drafted by the Health Ministry in November last year but had to be amended following scrutiny by government lawyers.

The continuing delay seems to be associated with a demarcation dispute involving the ministries of health and law and concerning whether tobacco manufacturers should be given nine months (health ministry) or 18 months (law ministry) to incorporate graphic warnings on to their packs.

In the meantime it is not possible to implement fully the Smoking and Use of Tobacco Product (Control) (amendment) Act 2013 because of the absence of the Rules, which define certain of the provisions in the primary legislation, including technical matters to do with the graphic health warnings and the extent of public places.

E-liquid business potential “staggering”

| July 4, 2014

An e-liquid company in Ireland formed by ex-smokers has said it is creating 80 new jobs and that its head count could rise from 300 to 1,000 within a year, according to a story in the Irish Times.

The company, Healthier Smoker, says that 40 of the new jobs will be created in its 150 retail outlets and store concessions throughout the country, while another 40 will be in its 24,000 sq ft Waterford production facility, where €10 million is being invested in an expansion.

Healthier Smoker, which was formed two years ago, has gone from producing 1,000 bottles of e-liquid a week 18 months ago to producing 50,000 bottles per week.

It expects to be producing two million bottles per week by the autumn.

Spokesman, Stephen Ryan, said the company was “leading the way” in international best practice.

“Even the Chinese are buying from us in preference to their own manufacturers,” he said.

“The fact that we have a 95 per cent retention rate among people trialling the liquids speaks for itself and the response from customers certainly attests to it.”

The potential of the business was “staggering,” he added, with Ireland capable of becoming a “world-class center of excellence” for the production of e-liquids.

Indonesia to curb ‘surging demand’

| July 4, 2014

The Indonesian government is expected soon to issue regulations aimed at curbing the production and sale of locally-made alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, according to a story by Linda Yulisman for The Jakarta Post.

The move comes amid what is described as ‘surging demand from the domestic market’.

Panggah Susanto, director general of agriculture and chemical industries at the Industry Ministry, was quoted as saying his office would issue a regulation primarily aimed at controlling illegally produced liquor.

But another regulation would be issued to manage the production of cigarettes, including clove cigarettes, and show the country’s commitment to tobacco control.

Panggah was said not to have given details about his regulatory plans for cigarettes, and it seemed as though at least part of his proposal would be aimed at cutting production by reducing demand. Under the plans, increases in cigarette excise duties would be used to raise prices and put cigarettes beyond the financial reach of at least some smokers.

But the picture is not clear and the Industry Ministry is said to have asked the Finance Ministry to reduce the excise imposed on hand-rolled clove cigarettes to avert further factory shutdowns.

South Korea’s men still smoking strongly

| July 4, 2014

South Korea’s adult male smoking incidence, at 37.6 per cent, is second only to that of Greece, 43.7 per cent, among the 34 countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to a story in The Korea Economic Daily.

The average adult male smoking incidence among OECD countries is 24.9 per cent.

In the same story, the Daily reported that, according to OECD Health Data 2014 published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on July 2, Korea’s death rate from suicide as of 2012 was 29.1 persons per every 1,000, the highest rate among OECD members.

Leaf growers want say at FCTC meetings

| July 3, 2014

The International Tobacco Growers’ Association (ITGA) yesterday urged the World Health Organization to engage with growers when parties to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) developed polices impacting growers’ livelihoods, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.

ITGA President Francois van der Merwe said at the end of a two-day regional annual meeting in the Zimbabwean capital Harare that tobacco growers were concerned about their exclusion from FCTC meetings where crucial decisions were made about regulating the tobacco industry.

“We don’t know what they are going to propose,” Van der Merwe said in reference to the meeting of the FCTC’s Conference of the Parties scheduled for Moscow in October. “We are worried because we have not been involved.”

Van der Merwe said the ITGA had produced a seven-point declaration in which it called for reasonable, sensible and evidence-based proposals by the FCTC to regulate the sector.

More women smoking in Bahrain

| July 3, 2014

A recent report from Bahrain’s Health Ministry has indicated that smoking among women is on the rise, according to a story in the Gulf Daily News.

The incidence of smoking among women currently stands at 7 percent, up from 5.7 percent in 1991.

The News story attributed the rise to “various reasons,” but suggested that women were picking up the habit while still at school because of peer pressure.

Officially, cigarettes were not sold to minors, the paper said, and the idea of selling cigarettes to young women was considered taboo.

However, the paper added that, according to [unnamed] sources, schoolgirls were able to obtain cigarettes “very easily.”

The News story pointed out, too, that many of the country’s doctors, health officials and teachers were smokers.

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