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Call for e-cigarette ban in Saudi Arabia

| July 29, 2014

A medical professor at King Saud University (KSU) has called for a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes, at least in respect of those under the age of 18, according to a story in the Arab News.

Sultan Ayoub Meo, a professor at the KSU’s College of Medicine, said that electronic cigarette use should be regulated in the same way as traditional cigarette smoking is regulated.

“Retail outlets, including pharmacies, must not be allowed to sell it to children and adolescents,” he said.

Meo says he fears that “the huge rise in users could normalize smoking, and undo decades of anti-smoking education and campaigning”.

He pointed out that a number of countries had already banned electronic cigarette use and that some nations had restricted their sales.

France was preparing to place electronic cigarette use on the same legal footing as tobacco smoking was on.

SA looking at plain packs by next year

| July 29, 2014

South   Africa aims to force cigarette manufacturers to sell their products in standardized packs by next year, according to a story by Wendell Roelf for Reuters, quoting the country’s Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is currently looking into complaints about the introduction of standardized packs in Australia, but Motsoaledi said he was “not even sure we can wait for that WTO decision”.

“We can start making preparations now,” he said.

“I want it as soon as possible but realistically and most probably it would be next year.”

Cigarette production increased slightly

| July 29, 2014

Chinese cigarette production during the first half of this year, at 1,300,000 million, was increased by 0.2 per cent on that of the first half of last year, according to a Xinhua News Agency story published in the Global Post of Boston, US.

Tobacco taxes during the first half of this year, which raised about Yuan579.54 billion (US$94 billion), accounted for about 7.8 per cent of China’s fiscal revenues, the story said in quoting figures from the Finance Ministry and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA).

Also based on STMA figures and comparing the same periods, the amount of farming land dedicated to tobacco in China fell by 170,000 ha to 1.23 million ha.

Tanzanian leaf tobacco bound for China

| July 29, 2014

China’s Yunnan Tobacco International (YTI) has said it will start buying leaf tobacco from Tanzania this season with a purchase of 10 million kg, according to a story in the Daily News.

The move follows the signing of a bilateral trade agreement during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tanzania in March last year.

The vice-president of YTI, Yang Xuemei, reportedly said that, depending on demand from China’s side and trade relations between the two countries, the volume of tobacco bought was expected to increase next year.

Diversion outweighs smuggling in Korea

| July 29, 2014

A large quantity of Korean tax-exempt cigarettes earmarked for export are being diverted onto the domestic market, according to a story in The Korea Times quoting the Korea Customs Service (KCS).

The KCS reportedly said the value of the diverted cigarettes had reached about WON100 billion (US$97.5 million) this year, up from WON 3 billion in 2012 and WON40 billion in 2013.

This level of diversion indicates that the value of untaxed Korean cigarettes on the domestic market is greater than the value of cigarettes smuggled into the country from China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, the US and Indonesia combined.

Prosecutors in Incheon are currently conducting an investigation into how these cigarettes, which are believed to be sold to bars and karaoke rooms, are distributed.

New Orleans testing butts recycling

| July 29, 2014

The US City of New Orleans and the city’s Downtown Development District (DDD) are launching a pilot program to collect and recycle cigarette butts using an extension of TerraCycle’s Cigarette Waste Brigade – a nationwide, mail-in recycling program that is sponsored by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co, according to a NACS (Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing) story.

New Orleans is the first city in the US to implement a city-wide collection system, which launched last week with the installation of 50 new cigarette-recycling receptacles on several blocks in the city’s Downtown District.

Cigarette butts collected through the nationwide program are recycled into a variety of industrial products, such as plastic pallets. Any remaining tobacco is subjected to tobacco-specific composting methods.

The entire program is free to the city and its tax-payers, as TerraCycle supplies the receptacles and Santa Fe, through the Cigarette Waste Brigade, covers the ongoing program costs.

Additionally, for every pound of cigarette waste collected, $4 is to be donated to the DDD to help fund green jobs throughout the city.

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