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Tobacco control study says smokeless seen as business insurance policy

| September 12, 2013

Transnational tobacco companies have taken a cynical approach to European investments in smokeless tobacco products, according to a ScienceDaily story on new research by Silvy Peeters and Anna Gilmore from the University of Bath, U.K., and the U.K. Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, published this week in PLOS Medicine.

ScienceDaily reported that the study had found that these companies’ European investments in smokeless tobacco, such as snus, had not been driven by a concern for the health impacts of smoking but “purely by business interests.”

The researchers analyzed internal tobacco industry documents that have been made available by litigation alongside contemporary industry documentation to examine the historical interests of transnational tobacco companies.

The authors concluded that by investing in snus and recently nicotine, transnational tobacco companies had eliminated competition between cigarettes and lower-risk products, thus helping to maintain the current market balance in favor of highly profitable cigarettes.

At the same time, these companies had ensured their long-term future should cigarette sales decline further and profit margins be eroded.

The ScienceDaily story is at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910205429.htm.

The PLOS Medicine piece is at http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001506.

World Heart Federation calls for all states to set tobacco-use end dates

| September 12, 2013

At the Tobacco End Game conference in New Delhi, India, the World Heart Federation (WHF) on Monday called for countries worldwide to follow the example set by nations such as Finland, New Zealand and Scotland in setting a target year for the ending of tobacco use among their populations, according to a Science Codex story.

“Ending” tobacco use in this sense, the WHF said,  meant reducing the prevalence of smoking to 5 percent or below, as well as implementing further measures included in the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

“Finland (2030), Scotland (2034), New Zealand (2025) and other nations, including a group of Pacific Island States (2025), have all publicly announced a ‘target year’ to bring their tobacco use down to below 5 percent,” the WHF said.

“Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and causes millions of premature deaths each year worldwide.

“Despite this, tobacco companies continue to market their deadly product and are particularly active in low-income and middle-income nations, where tobacco control measures are not as strong as in many high-income countries.”

The Science Codex story is at http://www.sciencecodex.com/world_heart_federation_calls_on_all_countries_to_follow_example_of_finland_new_zealand-119018.

Imperial appoints new finance director

| September 12, 2013

Imperial Tobacco said today that Oliver Tant, formerly vice chairman of KPMG and chairman of KPMG’s Client Council, would succeed Bob Dyrbus as finance director.

Tant will be appointed to the board on Oct. 1 and will be appointed finance director on Nov. 5, when Dyrbus will step down from the board ahead of retiring from the business on Dec. 31.

Tant has held a number of senior positions at KPMG during a career that has included being global managing director of the Private Equity Division and head of UK Audit. He was also a member of the U.K. board of KPMG.

“He has a wealth of international experience in change management, organisational restructuring, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions,” Imperial said in a note posted on its website.

“Over the years, his industry focus has included consumer and industrial markets, retail, audit, private equity and insurance.”

Andhra auctions end on a high note

| September 11, 2013

Flue-cured prices in some districts of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh soared during the just-concluded auctions there, according to the most recent issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

Prices went as high as INR200 a kg in West Godavari, while the statewide average for the season was INR145 a kg.

The Tobacco Board of India has set the Andhra crop target for the 2013–2014 season at 172 million kg, an increase of 2 million kg on that of 2012–2013.

The board is keen for growers to keep to their production quotas but is probably wary given some of the prices paid at the just-concluded sales.

Officials are likely to keep an eye on nurseries to try to limit unauthorized output.

Karnataka auctions off to flying start

| September 11, 2013

Flue-cured tobacco auctions in the Indian state of Karnataka got off to a record start this season, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

Prices were said to have touched INR150.20 per kg, a record for a first day and more than 7 percent above last season’s opening-day top-price, INR140 per kg.

Eight buying companies took part in the first day of sales, which were held across 11 platforms.

Karnataka is estimated to have produced about 120 million kg of flue-cured this year.

The Tobacco Board of India crop target had been set at 102 million kg, up from 98 million kg in 2012.

U.S. campaign adds 333,333 years of life

| September 11, 2013

An estimated 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit smoking because of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Tips From Former Smokers” national campaign, according to a CDC press note describing the results of the campaign.

“As a result of the 2012 campaign, more than 200,000 Americans had quit smoking immediately following the three-month campaign, of which researchers estimated that more than 100,000 will likely quit smoking permanently,” according to the press note issued through PRNewswire/USNewswire.

“These results exceed the campaign’s original goals of 500,000 quit attempts and 50,000 successful quits.”

The study was said to have surveyed thousands of adult smokers and nonsmokers before and after the campaign.

“Findings showed that, by quitting, former smokers added a total of about a third of a million years of life to the U.S. population,” the CDC said.

The Tips campaign, which aired from March 19 to June 10, 2012, was the first time a federal agency had developed and placed what it referred to as “paid advertisements for a national tobacco education campaign.”

“Ads featured emotionally powerful stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities,” the press note said.

“The campaign encouraged people to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or visit a quit-assistance website.”

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