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Hookah and vapor products together at Frankfurt Fair

| December 23, 2014

The International Hookah and Vapor Fair 2015 is due to be held at Frankfurt, Germany, on May 2-3.

HookahFair, a smoking-product event that was held for the second time this year, spawned VaporFair, a vaping-product event, and the two will be held together next year.

The organizers say that the hookah and vapour businesses have ‘several interfaces and thus can benefit from each other’.

A brochure of the Frankfurt Fair is at :

Tobacco tax rise in Indonesia set to reduce smoking

| December 22, 2014

The Indonesian government is due on January 1 to increase tobacco excise from 56 percent to 65 percent as part of moves to discourage smoking, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

Indonesia has more than 62 million smokers who make up about 25 per cent of its population.

The Post story said that smoking lowered life expectancy by 10 years on average and reduced in six out of 10 households the amount available for spending on other items.

It said that quitting would halve the risk of heart disease within one year, while the risk of stroke would decline to that of a non-smoker within 15 years.

Quitting would translate also into an 11.9 percent increase in the amount of household income available for health plans, education and nutrition.

The World Health Organization has recommended that a cigarette excise rate of 70 percent be imposed, which, in Indonesia, would raise prices to Rp18,000 per pack.

However, according to Abdillah Ahsan, senior researcher and vice-director at the Demographic Institute of the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, the ideal price for discouraging cigarette consumption would be Rp50,000 per pack, which would still be below the prices prevailing in Singapore or Australia.

UAE’s Young shifting to cruder forms of smoking

| December 22, 2014

With stricter checks in place on the use of traditional forms of tobacco, especially cigarettes, young people in the United Arab Emirates are ‘rapidly shifting to cruder and more dangerous forms of smoking such as dokha to get their daily buzz’, according to a story in the Khaleej Times citing a study published in Tobacco Control.

The Times said that dokha was an Arabic term meaning ‘dizzy’. It described the product as a blend of finely shredded tobacco mixed with other leaves, bark and herbs that was consumed in a pipe called a midwakh.

The study, carried out in the United Arab Emirates, said that many alternative tobacco products, such as hookahs, had grown in popularity and were used beyond the locale of their origin.

In the process, they had become a significant global public health concern.

This dissemination posed challenges to tobacco control efforts in the region, according to the study entitled, Midwakh/dokha tobacco use in the Middle East: much to learn.

“These products are cheap and easily available,” said Dr. Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the National Tobacco Control program at the UAE’s Ministry of Health. “The regulations are not as well enforced as we would like them to be,” she said.

Threat of legal action over e-cigarette risk claims

| December 22, 2014

The e-cigarette sales network, eSmokingWORLD, has said that it will take legal action against the French news agency AFP over a story headlined, E-cigarettes ten times more carcinogenic than ordinary cigarettes.

In a press note, eSmokingWORLD said that while describing the results of research conducted by Japanese scientists of the National Institute for Public Health, AFP had said: ‘Electronic cigarette vapours contain carcinogenic substances in quantities which are frequently much greater than in the case of tobacco smoke’.

‘The message of the agency has become a source of many publications on this subject, which rapidly appeared in the European media,’ said eSmokingWORLD.

Two questions, presumably based directly or indirectly on the AFP report have been asked in the European Parliament by Marlene Mizzi, a Maltese politician and Member of the EU Parliament.

In the preamble to her questions, Mizzi said that researchers had found that electronic cigarettes contained 10 times more cancer-causing chemicals than did regular cigarettes.

She asked:

1. Can the Commission clarify whether this estimate is correct?

2. If so, is the Commission considering banning e-cigarettes from the EU market?

eSmokingWORLD said it was afraid the story by AFP might have a negative impact on the opinions of governmental institutions, which were working on the implementation of the new Tobacco Products Directive.

Holograms to grow in 2015, says association

| December 19, 2014
Ian Lancaster

Ian Lancaster

The hologram industry is likely to see further growth as the pace at which anti-counterfeiting technologies combine to provide multi-layered solutions continues to quicken.

And while security applications remain the most valuable for the industry, 2015 is also expected to see substantial growth in the production of holographic optical elements (HOEs) for use in automotive displays and lighting, as well as for general lighting control.

Ian Lancaster, the general secretary of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), says his industry is meeting end-user needs due to the technology’s adaptability and capacity to push the boundaries of innovation and add value.

However, the key to future success will be the ability of holograms to become an intrinsic part of flexible, multi-functional security solutions. These will provide brand owners with the effective ‘weapons’ to battle the counterfeiters and criminal gangs producing hundreds of millions of fake products each year.

Holograms will gain increasing traction with other layered technologies in 2015 and beyond says Ian Lancaster, adding:

“Anti-counterfeiting technologies will grow as the criminal masterminds get more sophisticated every year, and the security printing industry needs to expand capabilities using multiple technologies to remain ahead.”

Product counterfeiting is a trillion dollar a year problem, which represents about 5 – 7% of all global transactions, so the long term outlook for anti-counterfeiting technologies is good.

“There will be growth in all markets but those countries with an emerging middle class will probably see the highest,” says Ian Lancaster. “This includes economies such as India where there’s continued expansion – and our industry in India will reflect this with growth of up to 20%.”

He also predicts that increasing collaboration between holograms and other security and traceability technologies is likely to lead to industry consolidation.

“We may see larger companies offering authentication solutions acquiring niche security and security printing hologram producers to offer customers single source authentication solutions.”

The use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated in ISO’s 12931 standard, on authentication solutions, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from the counterfeits coming out of China. Even those that carry a “fake” authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.

Turning to the very-different field of HOEs, which takes advantage of holograms’ ability to control light, the growth of LEDs is stimulating the adoption of holograms to provide better control of their emitted light. HOEs are being used to diffuse and “smooth” the light from arrays of LEDs as now being used in display and domestic environments, while they are also being used to focus and shape the light.

Similarly, with LEDs in use as vehicle rear lights and brake lights HOEs are also being used to enhance the emitted light. Meanwhile, HOEs also have an important role in vehicle instrumentation and improving the image on small and large format LCD and OLED displays.

US relaxes slightly embargo on Cuban cigar imports

| December 19, 2014

A new policy announced by President Barack Obama means that importing into the US Cuban tobacco products worth up to $100 will be legal, according to a story by Ben Geier for Fortune Magazine.

Under the new rules, US visitors to Cuba will be able to return with goods worth $400 including tobacco and alcohol worth up to $100.

Meanwhile, a Reuters News report made it clear that the new rules concerned personal consumption; not retail or commercial operations.

Writing for The Guardian, Dan Roberts, of Washington, and Rory Carroll, of Los Angeles, said that Obama and Cuba’s President, Raúl Castro, had spoken simultaneously on Wednesday ‘to confirm the surprise reversal of a long-running US policy of isolating Cuba, detailing a series of White House steps that will relax travel, commercial and diplomatic restrictions in exchange for the release of Americans and dissidents held in Havana’.

‘Though a formal end to the US trade embargo requires legislation in Congress, both Obama and Castro said they believed that such executive action was sufficient to significantly open up relations between the two countries and allow travellers and trade to flow relatively freely,’ Roberts and Carroll wrote.

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