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EU urged to go beyond TPD in fight against tobacco

| May 19, 2015

An Irish member of the European Parliament has urged the EU to do more to fight the “scourge” of tobacco.

Writing in the Parliament Magazine, Brian Hayes said the passing of the EU Tobacco Products Directive did not mark the end of the scourge of tobacco use in Europe. More needed to be done.

And some member states were exceeding their obligations, he said. Ireland, despite strong objections from the tobacco industry, was the first member state to pass legislation to introduce standardized packaging, and now other countries, including the UK and France, were following suit.

Hayes said also that another strategy could involve increasing tobacco product prices. Studies had shown that high prices comprised a deterring factor for smokers. In Ireland, the largest single annual decline in smoking rates was nine percent between June 2009 and June 2010. The origins of this could be traced back to the preceding year’s budget in which €0.50 was added to the excise duty on a pack of cigarettes.

‘Arguments will be made that we are over-regulating the tobacco industry,’ Hayes wrote, ‘but if we sit back and do nothing the 700,000 Europeans that die in 2015 from smoking could be a significantly higher figure in 10 years’ time.’

Hayes’ piece is at: https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/opinion/more-must-be-done-stub-out-scourge-tobacco-use-europe

E-cigarettes recalled, e-liquids subject of warning

| May 19, 2015

The South Korean government has ordered a recall of some electronic cigarettes and issued a warning over others, according to a Yonhap News Agency story.

It ordered the recall of 10 electronic cigarettes over concerns expressed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy that their power cord plugs could cause fires or electric shocks if they were exposed to an alternating current of more than 3,000 volts.

The 10 products in question were said to have been manufactured in China.

At the same time, the government has warned of the dangers posed by some e-liquid containers.

In a joint study with the Korea Consumer Agency, the government had apparently found that four e-liquids out of 25 reviewed contained at least 11 percent more nicotine than they were supposed to contain.

The Yonhap report said this meant that those who used them might ‘unknowingly intake more nicotine than they wish to or can’.

The study found also that most e-liquid containers lacked warnings, while 15 of them did not have childproof bottle caps.

The government said it would move to require the use of childproof bottle caps on all products, and intensify its management of products ‘containing nicotine and other harmful substances’.

Global nicotine forum program finalized

| May 19, 2015

The organizers of the Global Forum on Nicotine have announced that the final program for the event is now available at: http://gfn.net.co/2015-programme.

The Forum is due to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, Poland, on June 5 and 6, though an awards ceremony is scheduled to take place during the Forum’s Pre-conference Vape Meet and Party, which will be held in the Marriott Complex’s Wook Restaurant, starting at 19.30 on June 4.

Registration is available at http://gfn.net.co/2015-registration.

Benefits of growing tobacco in Fiji “immense”

| May 18, 2015

Leaf tobacco production has increased slowly but steadily in Fiji, according to a story in The Fiji Times.

The newspaper gave no production figures but said that about 500 Western Division farmers were involved in tobacco farming.

And British American Tobacco Fiji leaf growing manager, Khondoker Abdul Matin, was quoted as saying that, overall, the number of its contract growers, about 60 percent of who were based at Sigatoka and 40 percent at Nadi, had increased.

“We have a high tech greenhouse in Nadi that grows all of the seedlings, which are then delivered to the farmers,” he said.

“Before they even start planting we give them technical advice and give them seedlings, fertilisers and equipment that they need to plant and grow the leaves…

“Each farmer is taken on a contract basis and, according to their performance, their contracts are renewed.”

The Times reported BAT Fiji farmer of the year Taina Waqa, who harvested 3,969 kg per ha, as saying that the benefits of being involved in tobacco farming were immense.

“I am very grateful for the help I have received so far and the success I have experienced in this farming; it has really helped me support my family,” she said.

CORESTA extends deadlines for paper abstracts

| May 18, 2015

The deadline for the submission of presentation abstracts for CORESTA’s 2015 study group meetings has been extended to May 22.

The Smoke Science and Product Technology (SSPT) meeting is due to be held at Jeju, South Korea, on October 4-8; while the Agronomy & Leaf Integrity and Phytopathology & Genetics (AP) meeting is due to be held at Izmir, Turkey, on October 25-29.

The call for papers is accessible from the following websites: www.coresta.org;    www.sspt2015.org; and www.coresta-ap2015.org.

In a press note, CORESTA said that authors would receive an immediate e-mail receipt to confirm successful submission of their abstracts, and would be informed of the CORESTA reading committee’s selection towards the end of June.

Industry accused of meddling in public health

| May 18, 2015

Three medical experts have said there is ‘troubling evidence’ that the tobacco industry is bringing its influence to bear on some Asian governments and thereby undermining public health, according to a story in the Hindustan Times citing a paper in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal.

Indeed, British experts Nicholas S Hopkinson and Martin McKee, and K Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India, reportedly said that some governments in Asia were complicit in protecting the interests of the tobacco industry.

The paper entitled, ‘Tobacco industry lobbying undermines public health in Asia’, identifies India, Pakistan and Laos as countries where the tobacco industry has targeted control policies.

‘The implementation of tobacco control measures is a political choice,’ the paper said.

‘Although tobacco control will improve the wellbeing of the populations that governments serve, the industry spares no attempt to deter, dilute, or delay effective measures for tobacco control, be it taxation or prominent pictorial health warnings.

‘There is troubling evidence that the tobacco industry is exerting undue influence in several Asian countries, in some cases with the complicity of governments, to thwart public health measures.’

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