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22nd Century Group is new MSA member

| September 3, 2014

22nd Century Group said yesterday that it had become a member of the US tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) through the acquisition of NASCO Products, a federally licensed tobacco product manufacturer and participating member of the MSA since 2005.

In a story for Benzinga.com, Eddie Staley said that with 22nd Century’s super-premium priced brands RED SUN® and MAGIC® having become MSA products, the company would ramp up production within the next 30 days and would launch sales and distribution efforts across the US.

Since the introduction of 22nd Century’s brands in early 2011, sales have been intentionally curtailed by the company in order to limit the complexity and costs associated with becoming a signatory of the MSA.

“We are very pleased to have been approved by the Settling States as a participating manufacturer of the MSA so that we can now sell our brands under the MSA, which will assist in producing sustainable revenue for the company,” said Joseph Pandolfino, founder and CEO of the 22nd Century Group.

BAT Uganda to quit lowly leaf business

| September 2, 2014

British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU) is to discontinue its leaf growing and export business after 86 years with the loss of 147 jobs, according to a story in New Vision.

BATU’s managing director, Jonathan D’souza, was said to have told reporters that the decision to quit was reached after the company’s biggest client, British American Tobacco Global Leaf Pool Ltd, had decided instead to use Alliance One International.

“We will now focus on importing and distributing cigarettes and growing our brand equity,” he said.

Tobacco was an agricultural crop, and like any agricultural crop it was affected by many risks, especially weather changes, said D’souza. It was also a low-return business.

“I do not think the shareholders should be disappointed,” he was quoted as saying.

Shisha ban ups Jeddah’s rental flat prices

| September 2, 2014

A shisha ban in Jeddah cafés has contributed to a rise in the rental prices for small flats, which are now in demand by Saudis wishing to smoke with their friends, according to an Arab News story.

“There is no place in Jeddah for Saudi youth to meet with their friends,” a young Saudi man told the News.

“Most of the Jeddah cafés have been closed by municipal authorities. Therefore, I have rented a small flat with my friend to smoke shisha and have tea to spend our leisure time,” said Abdul Aziz Mubark.

Meanwhile, a former member of the Real-Estate Committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abdullah Al-Gharbawi, told Arab News that there were now a lot of young Saudis willing to rent small flats.

“This has contributed to a rise in rents by up to 30 percent,” he said.

Relatively low incidence of tobacco use among Africa’s pregnant women

| September 2, 2014

Africa has the lowest incidence of tobacco use among pregnant women, according to a Ghana News Agency report citing a study of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) published in the September edition of the Lancet Global Health Journal.

The study, which was said to be the largest to provide contemporary evidence on tobacco use during pregnancy, uses nationally representative samples from 54 LMICs. It was conducted during 2001-2012.

According to the study, about one in every 30 pregnant women in LMICs uses tobacco, but there are wide variations in prevalence within and between regions.

Southeast Asia, for instance, has the highest regional prevalence of tobacco use among pregnant women. In 21 of the 54 countries researched, smokeless tobacco was the primary form of tobacco use among pregnant women.

Passengers to be compensated because of “extremely dangerous” smoking stunt

| September 2, 2014

An airline passenger in China has been filmed throwing a lighted cigarette on to the apron and stepping on it while standing by the steps of the aircraft on which he had arrived, according to an ECNS.cn story.

China United Airlines yesterday agreed to offer an apology and compensation to some of the passengers on the flight because of incidents in which six people were said to have been caught smoking on or just outside a plane.

‘The passengers evaded airport security checks and brought matches and cigarettes onto the plane,’ the airline said in a statement. Matches are banned on aircraft but are difficult to detect in airport security checks.

A male passenger was found smoking in one of the plane’s toilets an hour after the aircraft took off from Chengdu, at which time the flight attendant asked him surrender the matches and cigarette.

Two hours later, after the plane was diverted to Taiyuan City in Shanxi Province because of bad weather in Beijing, five passengers were seen smoking on the stairs while the aircraft was parked on the apron, according to a passenger whose name was given as Bai.

“It was extremely dangerous,” said Bai, who took a short video of the incident. The fuel tank was beside the smokers.

And though the flight attendants stopped them, one of the smokers threw his butt on the ground and stepped on it.

Danish army has arboreal smoking zone

| September 2, 2014

If Danish army recruits smoke a cigarette, their commanders try to humiliate them while they do so, according to a story by Lucie Rychla for the Copenhagen Post citing Metroexpress.

Some soldiers have been told to climb trees or stand on one leg, while others have been forced to stand in a puddle or lie down with their knees over their head. A spokesperson for Danish Defence has called the practice “unacceptable”.

“During our last inspection, we discovered a number of incidents in several barracks where smokers were mistreated,” said Andreas Søndergaard Holt from Danish Defence.

According to Rychla, the rituals ‘contravene an anti-mobbing law introduced 10 years ago after several ludicrous initiations were reported involving vomit and urine’.

‘Some of them made their way onto video thanks to troops at the Grønnedal barracks in Greenland,’ she added.

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