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Grim preliminary analysis of e-cigarettes

| August 24, 2015

A senior medical consultant in Malaysia has said that the major concern over electronic cigarettes is that many people misuse the device by adding drugs such as marijuana and heroin, according to a story in The New Strait Times.

A study on electronic cigarette addiction conducted by the Institute of Respiratory Medicine (IPR) since 2013 is expected to be completed early next year.

IPR’s senior medical consultant, Professor Datuk Dr Abdul Razak Abdul Muttalif, described the issues surrounding electronic cigarettes as controversial: there were pros and cons.

He said the IPR had gone through a number of papers on electronic cigarettes published by different bodies around the world.

Some of them agreed that electronic cigarettes should be banned while others concluded that they should be controlled.

Abdul Razak said electronic cigarette vapers were likely to experience an acute or short term effect such as coughing and tiredness.

“The chronic or long term effect of it is cancer, heart disease and many other chronic diseases,” he said.

“The major concern now is that many people misuse the device by adding drugs such as marijuana and heroin, which will do more harm to the body, and this will be very difficult for the authorised bodies to control.”

Altria raises dividend

| August 24, 2015

The Altria Group’s board of directors on Friday declared the company’s regular quarterly dividend at $0.565 per common share, up 8.7 percent on the previous dividend of $0.52 per common share.

The quarterly dividend is payable on October 9 to shareholders of record as of September 15. The ex-dividend date is September 11.

In making the announcement on its website, Altria said that the new annualized dividend rate was $2.26 per common share, which represented a yield of 4.1 percent based on Altria’s closing stock price of $54.73 on August 20.

‘Today’s dividend increase reflects Altria’s intention to return a large amount of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and is consistent with Altria’s dividend payout ratio target of approximately 80 percent of its adjusted diluted earnings per share,’ the company said on its website.

‘Altria has increased its dividend 49 times in the past 46 years.’

E-cigarette report ‘an incredibly important milestone’

| August 21, 2015

British American Tobacco has welcomed a report issued this week by Public Health England that, in part, says vaping electronic cigarettes is about 95 percent less harmful than is smoking tobacco.

“This report by Public Health England, which concludes that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than cigarettes, is an incredibly important milestone for the e-cigarette industry and its consumers, said BAT’s chief scientific officer, Chris Proctor, in a note posted on the company’s website.

“The review helps to de-bunk the myths around e-cigarettes and equip adult smokers with the facts they need to make informed choices.

“There are many misconceptions around this new product category and this review has provided adult smokers with greater clarity around the relative safety of e-cigarettes which should give them greater confidence to use them rather than cigarettes.

“We’re confident that by making research on the relative safety of e-cigarettes available to consumers, and by ensuring proper product quality and safety, this important product category with the potential to have a positive impact on public health can prosper.”

The report entitled ‘E-cigarettes: an evidence update’, concludes that:

  • Vaping electronic cigarettes is about 95percent less harmful than is smoking tobacco;
  • Nearly half the UK population doesn’t realize that vaping electronic cigarettes is much less harmful than is tobacco smoking;
  • There is no evidence so far that electronic cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers;
  • Almost all of the 2.6 million adults using electronic cigarettes in Great Britain are current or ex-smokers; and
  • Electronic cigarettes have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.

In its note, BAT said that it was committed to offering adult smokers a range of quality reduced risk products that provided them with greater choice and assurances regarding product quality.

Fontem to partner Swiss institute in aerosol studies

| August 21, 2015

Imperial Tobacco’s Fontem Ventures, whose brands include blu, Puritane and Jai, has announced a partnership for the study of ‘exhaled e-cig aerosols’, according to a EurekAlert story relayed by the TMA.

The study will look at, among other things, the chemical characteristics and dynamics of exhaled aerosols under different environmental conditions, and comparisons with ‘emissions produced by other consumer products’.

Fontem is to partner with the Institute of Environmental Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Fontem’s lead scientist Grant O’Connell said the partnership demonstrated Fontem’s “ongoing commitment to advancing scientific understanding of electronic vaping products, including the benefits they offer to current smokers and their overall role in public health”.

The research aimed to define scientifically “the vast chemical differentiations between exhaled e-cigarettes vapours and exhaled tobacco smoke,” O’Connell added.

Research workshop scheduled for TFWA event

| August 21, 2015

The TFWA [Tax Free World Association] is due to host its first-ever dedicated research workshop at its World Exhibition & Conference in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Cannes, France, in October.

Key findings from the association’s most recent research studies will be presented during the one-hour workshop, which will start as the doors of the exhibition close at 18.00 on October 21.

Peter Mohn, owner and CEO, m1nd-set, and Alison Hughes, research director, Counter Intelligence Retail, will present highlights of the studies at the workshop, which will be moderated by TFWA conference research and corporate affairs director John Rimmer.

During the past year, the TFWA has commissioned two major series of reports: the TFWA Airport Series, conducted by m1nd-set, and the current series of TFWA Category Reports, focusing on individual product categories, in partnership with Counter Intelligence Retail.

A one-hour (08.00-09.00) workshop on October 20 will focus on South Korea, while an Inflight Focus Workshop will be held at 08.00-09.00 on October 21.

Registration for the exhibition and conference, which is scheduled for October 18-23, is at

Malawi growers told rejection rate not ‘tolerable’

| August 21, 2015

Leaf tobacco sales resumed in Malawi on August 19 according to a Malawi24 story relayed by the TMA in abstract form.

The abstract said that leaf auctions had been suspended in June after growers protested against low prices.

Rejection rates were said to have stood at 60 percent ‘as of July’.

The Tobacco Control Commission CEO, Bruce Munthali, said the commission was holding talks with farmers to address the issue of rejections.

The rejection rate was described as being much higher than the ‘tolerable’ level of 20 percent, but there was no indication in the abstract as to who found rejection rates of 20 percent plus intolerable.

There was no indication, either, of how rejection rates would be brought down.

Seemingly, buyers would have to pay more or growers would have to accept previously unacceptable prices.

The TCC believes that the whole of the Malawi crop will be sold before the end of the selling season this month.

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