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Raw deal for do-it-yourself tobacco manufacturers

| April 13, 2015

Estonia’s Tax and Customs Authority is banning the retailing of ‘raw tobacco’, according to an Esmerk story.

The raw tobacco has reportedly been sold online, in kiosks and at markets in 1 kg packages not carrying health warnings.

The ban, which will be effective as of May 1, is said to be aimed at reducing the risk of excise duty evasion.

Campaigners claim tobacco promoted illegally

| April 13, 2015

Tobacco companies are advertising at shops across Bangladesh even though it is a punishable offence to do so, according to a story in the Daily Star quoting anti-tobacco campaigners speaking at a seminar yesterday.

In addition, tobacco companies were awarding complimentary prizes to customers, holding job fairs and debating competitions on university premises, and sponsoring concerts to attract young people, said Hasan Shahriar, co-ordinator of Progga, which was one of the organizers of the seminar at Dhaka’s Jatiya Press Club.

The Star reported that, according to the Smoking and Tobacco Products Usage (Control) Act, the undertaking of any activities aimed at increasing tobacco use was punishable by up to three months in prison, a fine of Tk100,000 or both.

Reportedly, the tobacco companies are not suffering any sanctions.

RAI to host results webcast and conference call

| April 13, 2015

Reynolds American Inc. is due to host a conference call and webcast following the release of its first-quarter 2015 financial results before the market opens on April 17.

The conference call and webcast, which will start at 09.00 Eastern Time, will be presented by president and CEO, Susan M. Cameron, CFO, Andrew D. Gilchrist, and vice president of investor relations, Morris L. Moore.

The RAI conference call will be available online on a listen-only basis at www.reynoldsamerican.com, where registration is available and where a replay will be made available.

The call-in numbers are: (877) 390-5533 (toll-free) or 678 894-3969 (international).

Malawi’s growers asked to stay calm on 25¢ per kg

| April 10, 2015

Malawi’s President, Peter Mutharika, has assured the country’s tobacco growers that his government will closely monitor the minimum prices set for the 2015 tobacco marketing season.

The president made his promise on Wednesday during the official opening of the 2015 tobacco marketing season at Lilongwe auction floors.

He said the minimum prices, which had been set by the government, might go higher than expected.

But he urged tobacco growers to remain calm as the market season started.

This season’s minimum prices for dark fired tobacco, flue-cured and Burley have been set at US$0.25 per kg, US$0.35 per kg and US$0.85 per kg respectively.

Cambodia moves closer to 2003 tobacco control law

| April 10, 2015

Cambodia’s National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a draft law on tobacco control that, among other provisions, will require manufacturers to include on cigarette packs graphic warnings occupying at least 50 percent of the surface area.

According to a story in The Phnom Penh Post, the draft law still has to be passed by the Senate and signed off by King Norodom Sihamoni.

Once enacted, the law would ban tobacco product sales to those under 18 years of age and to pregnant women.

It would outlaw sales at education facilities, sport clubs, children’s parks, religious and historical sites, museums and gas stations.

And it would expand restrictions on tobacco product advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

The law was first drafted in 2003.

In a separate move, the government has said also that it will begin subsidising farmers to stop growing tobacco and switch to other crops.

Ireland’s plain packaging hearing to start April 13

| April 10, 2015

The Commercial Court in Ireland is due on April 13 to begin hearing arguments in JTI Ireland’s lawsuit against the State, Attorney General Máire Whelan and Health Minister Leo Varadkar, seeking to halt the implementation of the country’s standardized tobacco packaging law.

As things stand, the law is scheduled to take effect in 2017, according to a story in the Irish Independent relayed by the TMA.

JTI Ireland is expected to argue that the state has no right to enact the legislation, which it says supersedes the provisions of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

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