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.
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.
Imperial Tobacco is helping to provide accommodation for the homeless and employment opportunities for the jobless in Rosario, home to its factory in the Philippines.
The foundation stone of a number of buildings that will house up to 10 homeless families was laid by Carlos Saez-Diez (pictured, far right), factory manager of the Philippine Bobbin Corporation.
The community will benefit also from a social enterprise program designed to support the garment industry with the help of volunteers from the factory.
Both schemes are being run by a local partnership with the Gawad Kalinga charitable organisation and provided with financial support from the Altadis Foundation.
“I feel proud our workers have generously agreed to help support this work by volunteering in their own time to give something back to the local community,” said Saez-Diez.
“The project is aimed at helping people to lift themselves out of poverty in the Rosario area and build a better community for the future.”
ITC is due to host a live webcast of the speech by chairman Y. C. Deveshwar to the company’s 103rd annual general meeting in Kolkata, India.
The speech, at www.itcportal.com, will be webcast from10.00 hours local time on July 30.
France is set to ban electronic cigarettes from public places and generally subject them to the same controls as tobacco cigarettes, according to a story in World Observer.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine was quoted as saying the electronic cigarette was not an ordinary product. However, she said also: “We need to apply the same measures as there are for tobacco”.
‘That means making sure it cannot be smoked in public places, that its sale is restricted to over 18s and that firms are not allowed to advertise the products.”
At present, electronic cigarettes may be used in France in bars, restaurants and other public places, from where traditional smoking has been banned for five years.
About 500,000 French people are thought to use electronic cigarettes.
A spokesman from the London-based market intelligence company Euromonitor International was quoted as saying that the electronic cigarette market was developing very rapidly in France.
“The two main advantages of e-cigarettes is that they’re seen as healthier than traditional cigarettes, and you can use them in settings like bars and restaurants, where traditional cigarettes aren’t allowed,” the spokesman said.
“A measure like a public ban would reduce the public perception of harmlessness and remove the practical benefit of smoking an e-cigarette in the first place. So it would be highly damaging to the industry.”
In an attempt to evade the authorities smugglers have been reduced to throwing contraband cigarettes into the waters around parts of Malaysia in the hope that they will be picked up by their local partners, according to a story in The Star.
Southern Region Two marine police assistant commander Paul Khiu Khon Chiang said his men had stumbled on the latest tactic when about RM181,400 worth of illicit cigarettes were found floating in Mersing waters.
Following this find, a special operation was launched that yielded more than 18,000 packs of illicit cigarettes from the waters between Pulau Rimau and Pulau Setindan.
The packs were wrapped in plastic sheet to keep them dry.
“We believe that syndicates are now finding it more difficult to smuggle items into Malaysia and are looking for new ways to avoid detection,” Khiu told reporters in Johor Baru on July 24.
“We believe that there is a demand for illicit cigarettes, especially among locals, because they are cheaper than the brands available here.”