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BAT to fuse ‘game changer’ on to risk continuum

| November 20, 2015

British American Tobacco is due next week to test a hybrid product that uses tobacco and e-cigarette technology, according to a Reuters News story.

The product, called iFuse, will be sold in a European market where Kent cigarettes are popular.

Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s managing director of next generation products was quoted as referring to the new product as a “game-changer”.

Jakarta to remove cigarette billboards

| November 19, 2015

Officers from the public order agency of Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov. 18 removed several cigarette billboards in the Mampang Prapatan district in South Jakarta whose permits had expired.

The billboard removal operation was lead by district head Asril Rizal, who said the removal preceded the final banning of all cigarette billboards in December as decreed by Gubernatorial Regulation No. 1/2015.

“In December, all tobacco billboards will be removed because the gubernatorial regulation will come into effect as of January next year,” Asril said as quoted by, on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Gamal Sinurat, assistant to the city secretary for city development, said the city would issue a gubernatorial regulation on the placement of billboards, according to a story in The Jakarta Post. Sinurat said the administration had disseminated the planned regulation to all property owners.

“We will reregister and redefine the locations that are totally free from billboards and the places that have strict or light controls on the placement of billboards,” he added.

Health inequalities in Canada have widened

| November 19, 2015

A report entitled ‘Trends in Income-Related Health Inequalities in Canada’ says that the gap between the health of richer and poorer Canadians has widened during the past 10 years, according to a Postmedia News report relayed by the TMA.

The report was issued by the Canadian Institute for Health Information yesterday.

Smoking prevalence is said to be twice as high among people in the lowest income group than it is among those in the highest income group, while the hospitalization rate for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is more than three times as high for those in the lowest income group than it is among people in the highest income group.

These health inequalities are starker than they were 10 years ago when the smoking rate was 1.5 times higher and the COPD hospitalization rate was 2.6 times higher.

And these inequalities are said to be associated with significant costs both to individuals and society through direct health care costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity.

Geoff Hynes, manager of the institute’s population health initiative, said closing the persistent smoking and COPD rate gaps between rich and poor, which would save $21 million in acute care costs, might require more sophisticated health policy measures than were currently in use.

The report is at:

Tobacco growing falling out of favour in Kenya

| November 19, 2015

Tobacco growing in Kenya seems to be losing its appeal because of erratic weather and low returns, and a growing awareness among farmers about tobacco-related diseases, according to a Kenya Broadcasting Corporation report.

Some tobacco growers are said to be switching to other crops, including maize and sugarcane.

Partly this switch might be down to labor and, therefore, cost issues. Tobacco requires about 1,200 labour hours per acre, whereas maize requires only about 107 hours per acre.

But it might have been caused also by the increase that is said to have occurred in tobacco-related diseases and the heightened anti-tobacco campaigns that this increase has engendered in the country.

Senior appointments at Scandinavian Tobacco Group

| November 18, 2015
Craig Reynolds

Craig Reynolds

Craig Reynolds has been named executive vice president of Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s global handmade cigar businesses, which includes General Cigar, its international business and Cigars International, a leading online retailer in the U.S. Reynolds will continue as president for Cigars International.

Regis Broersma has been appointed president of General Cigar Co. He succeeds Dan Carr who will leave the firm.

Born in the Netherlands, Broersma has a comprehensive, international background in sales, marketing and general management. He has worked in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the U.K. and the U.S. Currently, he is managing director of STG Germany. Broersma has worked in the cigar industry since 2002 and has a great passion for cigars.

“I am happy to announce Regis Broersma being new president of General Cigar. Regis has the experience and the innovative approach needed to continue the impressive development of General Cigar together with its management team,” says Niels Frederiksen, CEO of STG.

“Our handmade cigar business accounts for 25 percent of our net sales and is a growth engine of our business. We want to reinforce this development by adding executive management capacity for the entire handmade business globally.”

General Cigar holds a leading market position in the U.S. for handmade and premium cigars. Cigars International has built a leading position as an online retailer and a direct marketer in the premium cigars and pipe tobacco segment.

General Cigar and Cigars International will continue to be run as separate, stand-alone businesses.


Smoking rates fall among South Korea’s teenagers

| November 18, 2015

South Korea’s teenage smoking rate has fallen to its lowest level since this type of data was first collected in 2005, according to a story in The Korea Times citing figures from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDCP).

The government said on Monday that the fall was partly due to a rise in tobacco prices earlier this year.

During the first fortnight of this year, the price of many cigarettes jumped from WON2,500 ($2.30) to WON4,500 ($4.15) a pack.

The huge increase was particularly disruptive because it was brought in against a backdrop in which there had been no price increases for about 10 years. According to the KCDCP, 7.8 percent of about 68,000 middle and high school students surveyed nationwide said they had smoked on at least one day during the past 30 days, down 1.4 percentage points from last year’s figure.

The highest rate recorded was 13.3 percent in 2007.

The smoking rate of male students was 11.9 percent, down from 14.0 percent last year, while the rate for female students dropped from 4.0 percent to 3.2 percent.

About 15 percent of the students surveyed said they had quit smoking because of the cost.

A KCDC official was quoted as saying that his organization suspected that the fall in the smoking rate was down to the increase in cigarette prices and to “intensified education against smoking”.

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