In the event that a decision by the Indian government to increase the size of tobacco-product health warnings leads to a challenge by tobacco companies, the government will be able to seek technical and financial help from a recently-established fund, according to a story in the Economic Times relayed by the TMA.
The government issued notification last year that it intended to require tobacco companies to increase the size of tobacco-product warnings from 40 percent to 85 percent, but implementation did not occur on schedule, on April 1.
India’s Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation recommended that the Ministry of Health defer the implementation of the notification until the government examined the economic impact of the measure on tobacco farmers.
Bloomberg Philanthropies (BPh) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) said on Wednesday they were creating a $4 million fund to help governments defend their tobacco control policies.
BPh and BMGF said countries with limited resources should not be bullied into making bad health policy choices.
Totally Wicked, which describes itself as Britain’s biggest independent e-cigarette and e-liquid company, has released a number of General Election E-liquids ahead of UK elections to be held on May 7.
The promotion is said to allow voters to register their political preference by choosing their favourite party political e-liquid.
“While everyone is following the official polls we thought we would launch a poll of our own to see how the UK’s 2.1 million vapers will vote,” said Totally Wicked MD Fraser Cropper.
“Our Election E-liquids put some fun into the election campaign and the e-liquid that achieves the highest sales will be elected as a permanent new flavour in our world famous Red Label range.
“We will be updating our poll daily so that everyone can see which political e-liquid is registering the most sales.”
There are e-liquids for the Conservative, Labour, Liberal, UKIP and Green parties.
For instance, the Labour Party’s e-liquid, [Ed] Miliband’s Rocky Road, is described as having a minty, fruity flavour, with a hint of pear drops that ‘will have you reminiscing about the Great British seaside and sand in places it shouldn’t go’.
Sales of licit tobacco products in New Zealand fell by 23 percent between 2009 and 2013 according to a story in The New Zealand Herald quoting researchers from Action on Smoking and Health (Ash).
And while sales of illicit cigarettes increased during part of that period; they did so only modestly.
Again according to Ash, illicit tobacco products accounted for 0.7-2.0 percent of the New Zealand market in 2010, but 1.8-3.9 percent in 2013.
The government increased the excise tax on cigarettes by 10 percent and on fine-cut by 24 percent in 2010, and embarked on a series of annual increases of 10 percent on both that is due to run until next year.
The French National Assembly on April 3 passed the first reading of draft legislation to require cigarette manufacturers to sell their products in standardized packaging, according to a Radio France Internationale story relayed by the TMA.
The vote came after a heated debate during which some MPs claimed that the measure would encourage smuggling and accused the government of “assaulting” tobacconists.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine defended the proposal by saying that Australia, which introduced the world’s first standardized packaging law, had seen “encouraging results,” with the number of smokers in that country reportedly falling by three percent annually.
MPs passed too other anti-smoking proposals; one of which would ban smoking in cars carrying anyone aged below 18, a higher limit than the below-12 limit proposed in the original draft.
They voted in favor of prohibiting tobacconists from opening shops near schools; imposing an extra tax on cigarette manufacturers if their sales revenue increases or fails to fall by less than three percent in any year; requiring more transparency on industry lobbying; and imposing tighter limits on industry sponsorship activities.
Health authorities in South Korea have concluded that vaping electronic cigarettes is not safe, according to a story in The Korea Times.
The National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency, which is under the wing of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said Monday that electronic cigarettes contained carcinogenic substances, though it conceded that the amounts of those substances might be lower than those in traditional cigarettes.
‘Some studies also show e-cigarettes can contain harmful materials that do not exist in ordinary cigarettes, such as phthalate,’ it said.
‘Also, when the users control the amount of nicotine solution, it is difficult to predict how much nicotine the people consume. So we can’t say that e-cigarettes are safe from nicotine exposure.’
The agency said it had received help from 11 ‘experts’ who took part in an agency discussion in February.
The agency further said that there were not enough medical grounds to claim that electronic cigarettes were able to help people to quit smoking, and that it was ‘improper’ to advertise the devices as quit-smoking aids.
There was a call for more discussions so as to prepare regulations on electronic cigarettes: such as on the level of a nicotine solution’s concentration and on the kinds of permitted additives.
“The nation needs more studies about the reality of e-cigarette use, its safety and effect in quitting or reducing smoking,’ the agency reportedly said.
“But such studies will have to exclude commercially interested parties.”
Alliance One International said on Thursday that it had received notice on April 1 from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that it had regained compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards.
AOI had come back into compliance because the average closing share price of its common stock for the 30 trading days ended March 31 and the closing price of its common stock on March 31 had exceeded $1.00.
AOI said it would continue to monitor its ongoing compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards.