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Tax speculation blowing in the wind

| September 23, 2014

A ‘novel windfall tax’ on the profits of UK tobacco companies would be used by a future Labour government to part fund its plans for reinvigorating the nation’s National Health Service, according to a story by political editor, Patrick Wintour, for The Guardian.

Wintour said that in his final Labour party conference speech before next year’s general election, the opposition leader, Ed Miliband, would tell sceptical voters today that ‘he can bring the country back together and offer six ambitious goals, including changes to the NHS, designed to overcome “the greatest challenges of our age and transform the ethics of how Britain is run” over the next decade’.

However, a BBC News report said that the shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, had declined to comment on reports in The Guardian and The Times that Labour was planning a one-off tax on the profits of tobacco companies, saying he was “not aware” of any plans for a windfall tax of any sort.

Ban on loose cigarette sales proposed

| September 23, 2014

A task force set up to consider ways of strengthening India’s tobacco regulations is recommending a ban on sales of loose cigarettes, which make up 70-75 percent of the industry’s volume, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

The task force is recommending also:

  • Increasing the size of cigarette pack graphic warnings from 40 percent to 80 percent;
  • Increasing the minimum age for smoking from 18 to 25;
  • And increasing the penalty for smoking in public places from Rs200 to Rs20,000.

The Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan, said that the proposed amendments to the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act were likely to be placed before the Cabinet during the winter session of parliament.

India’s prices up on those of last year

| September 23, 2014

Flue-cured tobacco auctions in Andhra Pradesh, India, are nearing completion with about 213.21 million kg sold for an average price of Rs116.29 per kg, according to a story in the most recent issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

Prices last year averaged Rs113.80 per kg.

This year, bright leaf grades accounted for 47.6 percent of total sales, with 100.50 million kg fetching an average of Rs124.83 per kg.

Medium grades, at 35.90 percent of the total, earned an average of Rs119.93 per kg, while low grades fetched an average of Rs87.44 per kg.

Growers this year produced more than 40 million kg in excess of the Tobacco Board’s authorized crop size of 172 million kg.

Meanwhile, flue-cured auctions got off to a good start in Karnataka earlier this month with growers confident of earning more than they earned last year.

Growers are said to have harvested a good-quality crop despite a dry spell followed by prolonged rain.

The opening day’s prices reached Rs151.00 per kg, higher than the opening Rs150.20 per kg of last year and setting a first-day record.

Karnataka, which was authorized to grow 104 million kg, is thought to have produced 100-105 million kg.

Purilum opens e-liquid facility

| September 22, 2014

Purilum officially opened its new e-liquid development, manufacturing and fulfillment center on Sept. 17. The state-of-the-art facility, located Greenville, North Carolina, USA, includes multiple ISO 8 class 100,000 clean-room environments, segregated nicotine and non-nicotine mixing rooms, and fully-automated bottle filling and assembly and cartomizer/clearomizer filling and assembly.

“The company was founded on the principles of using the purest ingredients and the latest technological advancements to deliver premium e-liquids and a consistent and reliable consumer experience,” says Purilum President Bianca Iodice. “This new facility will allow us to achieve these core principles as well as meet the capacity demands of this growing industry.”

In the flavor development lab, Purilum’s flavorists leverage their 60 years of combined experience and technical knowledge to ensure the highest standards of quality and taste. Flavorists work hands-on with each formulation, developing and refining e-liquids that deliver unique tastes, rich vapors, and satisfying aromas. In addition to creating original flavors for customers, Purilum can consistently reproduce proprietary blends that match brand requirements.

All ingredients are reviewed for suitability for inclusion by an independent toxicologist. Incoming raw materials enter a segregated quarantine room and are tested for purity. Once the purity testing is complete, flavorings, nicotine, and USP-grade propylene glycol and vegetable glycol are delivered to their respective clean storage rooms where they are kept until needed for flavor development and mixing. E-liquid mixing and batching take place in segregated nicotine and non-nicotine clean-room environment mixing rooms. These separate ISO 8 class 100,000 clean rooms prevent cross-contamination, maintaining the company’s commitment to purity throughout the production process.

Purilum is particularly proud of its fully-automated e-liquid bottling and cartomizer/clearomizer filling machines. Bottles are filled using precision-metering pumps, and are then capped, labeled and safety-shrink wrapped. Cartomizers or clearomizers are precision filled, assembled and then resistance tested for smooth operation prior to exiting the machines. All products are laser printed with a unique production code, identifying the batch and lot number of each product to ensure full traceability from finished product back to all ingredients used. This process allows for a level of consistency and reliability in the customer experience that the next generation of e-liquid customers demand.

 

Cambodia to get tough on tobacco firms

| September 22, 2014

Phnom Penh’s City Hall warned tobacco companies at a meeting last week to stop flouting a sub-decree that is supposed to prohibit all forms of tobacco advertising, or else face fines or closure, according to a story in The Phnom Penh Post.

The municipality said some companies were skirting the 2011 sub-decree by using creative ways to sell their products.

While the companies had stopped using overt forms of advertising, such as those on television, radio and billboards, a municipal investigation had revealed that some companies were still advertising using restaurants, female promoters, tuk-tuks and lucky draws, said Chan Sokun Thea, director of the Inter-Sector office of the Phnom Penh Municipality.

Meanwhile, according to Dr. Yel Daravuth, a national officer with the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative, the companies continued violating the order because no fine was imposed on them if they did so.

But Daravuth said an upcoming law to curb smoking in Cambodia was under discussion at the ministerial level, and might be passed as soon as next year.

The law would prohibit all tobacco advertisements across the nation, and ban smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants.

“I think this time it will be better – this time it’s not a sub-decree, it’s a law,” said Daravuth.

Peruvians smoking fewer cigarettes

| September 22, 2014

Volume sales of cigarettes in Peru declined moderately last year, according to a story by the Andina news agency quoting Euromonitor International.

No figures were given but the report attributed the decline to the usual factors: rising prices, smoking bans in public-places and a rising awareness of the health impacts associated with tobacco smoking.

The story suggested, too, that a growing demand for more-expensive, innovative products, such as those with flavour capsules, meant that the value of cigarette sales was increasing.

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