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Electronic cigarettes coming out of the cold

| August 26, 2015

Electronic cigarette use among adults in Alaska is on the rise as tobacco use is falling, according to a story by Suzanna Caldwell for Anchorage Daily News citing state Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) data.

An Alaska Division of Epidemiology bulletin released last week said that electronic cigarette use among Alaska’s adults had risen from one percent in 2014 to four percent in 2013.

That increase came as the percentage of adult tobacco smokers fell from 24 percent in 1996 to 21.9 percent in 2013.

These figures are part of the data gleaned from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a continuing survey of Alaska’s adults.

Andrea Fenaughty, deputy section chief for chronic disease prevention and health promotion under the DHSS, said the increase in electronic cigarette use might seem small, but that it represented a significant increase over a short period of time.

The survey found, among other things, that five percent of women and three percent of men use electronic cigarettes, and that seven percent of people aged 18 to 29 were vapers.

Eighty five percent of electronic cigarette users reported being current cigarette smokers, while 72 percent of them reported using electronic cigarettes in place of combustible cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool or when cigarette smoking was not allowed.

Fontem to axe 55 e-cigarette jobs in Scotland

| August 26, 2015

Fifty five jobs are expected to be axed as Imperial Tobacco’s non-tobacco product subsidiary, Fontem Ventures, implements its plan to close its electronic cigarette warehouse and office in Edinburgh, Scotland, according to a Herald Scotland story relayed by the TMA.

The closure is to be carried out from September 30 to December 30, basically during the company’s first quarter.

The Edinburgh operations are to be transferred to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Charlotte, North Carolina, the US.

Imperial said that the 55 employees facing the axe would be offered assistance to find new employment.

“We deeply regret that this strategic restructuring will result in redundancies among our 55 employees in Edinburgh [and] appreciate the commitment, achievements and contribution of all our employees” in the city, Bart Maas, general manager of Fontem, was quoted as saying.

Fontem Ventures, set up in 2013 to develop non-tobacco ventures for Imperial, used the Edinburgh site as a base to distribute electronic cigarettes.

The Herald reported that, in November 2013, Fontem acquired vapor technologies and patents from Dragonite International.

It acquired the blu e-cig brand in July 2015 and owns the e-cig brands Jai and Puritane.

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.

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