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Lung groups criticized over position statement on e-cigarettes

| July 15, 2014

A position statement on e-cigarettes issued last week by a group of international lung health organizations has been strongly criticized by a leading U.S. health expert.

“Experts from the world’s leading lung organizations have released a position statement on electronic cigarettes, focusing on their potential adverse effects on human health and calling on governments to ban or restrict their use until their health impacts are better known,” according to a press note from the American College of Chest Physicians.

The position statement was issued by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies.

On his blog site, The rest of the story: Tobacco news analysis and commentary, Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, said that in contrast to their position on e-cigarettes, the organizations did not express any problem with tobacco cigarettes remaining on the market. This was despite the fact that tobacco cigarettes each year killed millions of people worldwide, while e-cigarettes were not known to have killed a single person ever.

Siegel said the position statement had to be one of the most disgraceful moves of the year by any medical or public health group.

“Even the multinational tobacco companies do not have the gall to promote a ban on electronic cigarettes so that their deadly tobacco cigarettes will not be threatened by this potentially substantial competition,” he wrote on Friday. “In fact, the position of these supposed lung health groups is far more extreme than any Big Tobacco position, as the tobacco companies have entered the e-cigarette business and are not using their lobbying power to try to remove these products from the market.”

The full blog is at http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/disgrace-of-year-leading-lung-health.html.

Denmark referred to court over failure to ban less risky tobacco product

| July 15, 2014

The European Commission on Thursday referred Denmark to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) for not banning all forms of snus.

With the exception of Sweden, the sale of snus is prohibited throughout the EU.

The commission said that it was referring Denmark to the CJEU for failure to amend its national legislation so as to ban all forms of snus.

It said it had asked Denmark on Oct. 25, 2012, to take all necessary steps to comply with the relevant directive (2001/37/EC) and to inform it about the adopted national legislation within two months.

“Until now, Denmark has not notified any such measures to the commission and continues to be in breach of EU law,” the commission said.

The commission is acting on this infringement despite the fact that many people believe the use of snus is hugely less risky than smoking and despite the fact that it remains legal to sell cigarettes throughout the EU.

In Sweden, the only EU member state where it is legal to sell snus, the incidence of smoking among men and the level of tobacco-related cancers have dropped significantly as snus use has increased.

Cigarette sales plummet during Ramadan

| July 15, 2014

With the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan midway over, shops in Oman’s capital, Muscat, are experiencing a drop in cigarette sales of up to 45 percent, according to a story in the Oman Observer.

And the pattern of sales is different, with few sales being made during the day but a rush occurring after iftar, the breaking of the fast.

Smoking in public during the day is a punishable offence in the country, but it is generally only the sale of cigarettes that is reduced.

Sales of premium cigars, which are consumed mostly by Europeans, are not affected.

And the café shisha business is little affected because most customers visit these venues at night.

New longer-lasting e-cigarette on offer

| July 15, 2014

FirstUnion says it has used new battery materials and a different internal structure to develop a more economical, longer-lasting, disposable e-cigarette that yields high puff counts, “immense vapor” and a fresher taste using a safer battery.

The new design is said also to allow for a longer shelf-life.

The new battery materials were said by FirstUnion in a press note issued through PRNewswire to have been developed with its suppliers.

And the battery is such that it can deliver “ultra-thick” vapor even under conditions of low voltage.

FirstUnion Group, which describes itself as the largest solutions provider for e-cigarettes in the world and is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, says that it has applied for patents on its leak-proof design.

“There is an unprecedented and new high-tech comprehensive thermal structure solution hidden under a regular appearance,” the company said of its product.

“We can proudly announce to the world that this new technology can change the world,” it added.

Lorillard acquisition talks confirmed

| July 14, 2014

Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard have confirmed that they are in discussions about a possible acquisition of Lorillard by RAI.

The confirmations followed a statement by Imperial Tobacco—in response to U.K. disclosure obligations—that it had been part of the discussions as a possible purchaser of certain RAI and Lorillard brands and assets should the acquisition go through.

In a statement posted on its website, RAI said the acquisition discussions were consistent with its strategy of considering a variety of options to enhance shareholder value.

“British American Tobacco (BAT), RAI’s largest shareholder, is participating in these discussions,” said the RAI note. “If the transaction proceeds, BAT expects to support the transaction by subscribing for additional shares in RAI and would maintain its existing 42 percent equity position in RAI.

“Imperial is also involved in these negotiations as a possible purchaser of brands and other assets from Lorillard and RAI.”

Lorillard issued a similar statement, and BAT, in response to the statements by Imperial, RAI and Lorillard, confirmed that if the acquisition were to proceed it would expect to support the transaction by subscribing for additional shares in RAI, with the aim of maintaining its existing 42 percent equity position in that company.

BAT, RAI and Lorillard each said there was no guarantee that any deal would take place, and they added that, unless circumstances dictated otherwise, they did not intend to make additional comments regarding this matter.

Dalli seeking €1.9 million in damages

| July 14, 2014

The former EU health commissioner, John Dalli, is seeking €1.9 million in material damages from the EU after what he alleges was his forced resignation from the European Commission in October 2012, according to a story in the Times of Malta.

Up until his resignation, Dalli was responsible for the new Tobacco Products Directive, which governs the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member states concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. The new TPD entered into force on May 20 and member states are required to bring into force by May 20, 2016, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the directive.

The €1.9 million figure emerged from a report by the rapporteur for the judges’ panel, which is hearing a claim for unfair dismissal filed by Dalli at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

It had been reported previously that Dalli was seeking only symbolic damages of €1. The report to the Panel of Judges did not explain how Dalli had reached the €1.9 million figure.

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