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ITM technology for new EU tax stamp requirements

| August 25, 2015

ITM has developed a piece of equipment that will help tobacco companies comply with the requirements of the revised EU tobacco directive (TDP2) relating to the position of the tax stamp.

Within several months new European legislation will mandate health warnings covering 65 percent of the front and back panels of the pack. Although the EU has granted a three-year grace period to relocate the stamp position, manufacturers will not be allowed to use the space above the health warnings for branding or other advertisements. By May 2019, the tax stamp must be relocated on both hard-boxes and soft packs.

ITM’s Ceres enables users to swap back and forth between the traditional tax stamp position and the one mandated by the TPD2. Ceres can be quickly integrated into existing production lines. It conveniently features one technology for multiple packing platforms.

ITM will demonstrate Ceres in September and October at its head office in Kampen, Netherlands. For reservations and more information contact

Call for ban on 75 percent of cigarette sales in India

| August 25, 2015

Researchers at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease have called on the government of India to ban the sale of single cigarettes, according to an Indo-Asian News Service story relayed by the TMA.

A study conducted by the researchers found that sales of single cigarettes accounted for almost 75 percent of total cigarette volume sales in India and for about 30 percent of the value of those total sales, Rs350 billion (US$5.3 billion).

The researchers recommended that the government ban the sale of single cigarettes, saying that such sales undermined graphic health warnings and taxation, and made the products more accessible and affordable to minors.

The sale of loose cigarettes was said to be an important factor for early experimentation, initiation and persistence of tobacco use.

Study researcher Ravinder Kumar, who is a consultant with the World Health Organization’s tuberculosis program, described the sale of loose cigarettes as a “win-win” game for the tobacco industry.

The study, which was published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, estimated the sale of cigarettes in packs and sticks, and by brands and price over a full business day in the Indian cities of Agartala, Baroda, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Jorhat, Patna and Shimla.

Malaysia making renewed efforts to table tobacco bill

| August 25, 2015

Malaysia’s Health Ministry is drafting a tobacco bill that would, among other things, increase the minimum age at which people could buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 and ban smoking in vehicles carrying young people, according to a story in The New Straits Times.

Currently, tobacco products are regulated under the Food Act 1983. The Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004, which is part of that Act, requires a smoke-free environment and regulates tobacco advertising, promotion, sponsorship, packaging and labelling.

A ministry official said that in an effort further to regulate tobacco use among Malaysians, especially young people, tougher measures would be proposed in the bill.

“The ministry has, in fact, been lobbying for a tobacco act since 2005, when Malaysia became a party to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control on December 15, 2005,” the official was quoted as saying.

A draft of the tobacco act had been prepared since 2009, the official added, but it had not been tabled in parliament.

Now, the ministry had renewed its efforts to table the bill.

The official said smoking among young people was a growing concern with most people starting to smoke before the age of 21; so raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes could curb the habit considerably.

The National Health and Morbidity Survey conducted on Malaysians aged 18 and below revealed that the prevalence of smoking among male and female youths in 1996 was 16.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, figures that had increased to 30.7 percent and 4.8 percent by 2006.

Tobacco sector working steadily at afforestation

| August 25, 2015

Zimbabwe’s Sustainable Afforestation Association said recently that it had planted 600 ha of eucalyptus in its first year of operation and 3,340 ha in 2014-15, according to a story in the Herald, relayed by the TMA.

The association, which was formed in October 2013 to curb the deforestation caused by the use of wood fuel for curing leaf tobacco, has a long-term target of planting 4,000-5,000 ha per year.

Its operations director, Andy Mills, said that in the meantime the association would expand the range of tree species planted as their growth performances were evaluated.

Curing a kg of tobacco requires nine kg of wood fuel, according to Dr. Dahlia Garwe of the Tobacco Research Board, which means that about 15 percent of the deforestation suffered in Zimbabwe occurs because of the activities of the tobacco sector.

The Forestry Commission estimates that 49,500 ha of native forests are lost to tobacco production every year.

The association, which is funded by a 1.5 percent levy on the value of the leaf purchases of 15 tobacco merchants, spent US$3.7 million in its first two years of operations.

No interest from smaller firms in anti-fraud deals

| August 24, 2015

While the four multinational tobacco companies operating within the EU have signed agreements aimed at reducing the illegal trade in tobacco products, no other tobacco company has expressed an interest in signing such agreements, according to the European Commission.

The Commission was responding to two questions from the Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovčić.

In a preamble to his questions, Jakovčić said that he had spoken about such agreements at the plenary session of the European Parliament on May 18.

‘Since during the debate I suggested that other, smaller tobacco and cigarette manufacturers should also join negotiations on the agreement, I ask the Commission if it has undertaken something in that direction,’ he said.

‘Does the Commission consider that the number of manufacturers joining the agreement should be increased, especially since some are major national or regional producers of tobacco and cigarettes?’

In answer, the Commission said the EU and member states had concluded anti-fraud agreements with the four major tobacco manufacturers in Europe, and it said it had signalled its readiness to discuss similar arrangements with other relevant manufacturers in the sector in order to fight the illegal tobacco trade.

‘However, so far no manufacturer has expressed interest in doing so,’ it said.

Meanwhile, the Commission said it had not yet taken a position regarding the possible prolongation of any of the existing agreements. ‘As such, the Commission is not currently in negotiations with any tobacco producer,’ it added.

Seized Jin Ling cigarettes sent for analysis in Ireland

| August 24, 2015

Ireland’s gardaí has sent for analysis a number of seized Jin Ling cigarettes amid fears they may contain asbestos, according to a story by Fiona Magennis for the Drogheda Independent and Irish Independent.

About 20,000 cigarettes were seized at Drogheda market during an operation by Drogheda gardaí following a tip off. Thousands of counterfeit CDs and DVDs also were seized during the raid.

The gardaí has sent the cigarettes for analysis because batches of Jin Ling cigarettes seized previously in Great Britain were found to contain industrial chemicals and asbestos.

Speaking on LMFM radio, Benny Gilsenan, from the organization Retailers Against Smuggling, said his organization welcomed the seizure and the news that the confiscated cigarettes were being analyzed to assess what they contained.

Gilsenan said he understood the lure of cheap cigarettes for those who were compelled to smoke, but he urged consumers not to risk their health by purchasing these dangerous products.

In 2007, 258 million Jin Ling cigarettes were seized by authorities in EU countries.

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