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Tobacco disease set to rise in Asia

| September 19, 2014

Research has indicated that inadequate public awareness of the risks of tobacco smoking and aggressive tobacco marketing have left Asian nations with some of the highest smoking rates, according to a story by Giles Hewitt for Yahoo News.

Roughly 60 percent of the world’s population lived in Asia where tobacco control programs were less well-developed than they were in the US and Europe, which had lowered smoking rates with sustained anti-smoking campaigns, said a major regional study published in PLOS Medicine.

Such tobacco control programs were particularly unsophisticated in low- and middle-income countries such as China and India.

And even in developed countries such as Japan and South Korea, it was only recently that the authorities had made genuine moves to cut smoking rates that were once as high as 85 percent among adult males.

“Many Asian countries are in the early stages of the tobacco epidemic,” said the PLOS study.

“So it is likely that the burden of diseases caused by tobacco smoking will continue to rise over the next few decades, and much longer if the tobacco epidemic remains unchecked,” it said.

Trademark dispute e-liquids destroyed

| September 19, 2014

Japan Tobacco International has halted its legal proceedings against Healthier Smoker (HS) after HS’ liquidator agreed on Tuesday to destroy all products and materials within its control that infringe JTI’s property rights, according to a story by Tom Lyons for the Irish Times.

Darren Flanagan, an accountant with DMFN Chartered Accountants, was appointed liquidator of HS on August 29 shortly before JTI was due to begin legal proceedings seeking to stop HS allegedly breaching JTI’s trademarks.

JTI manufactures, among other brands, Silk Cut, Mayfair, Camel and Benson & Hedges cigarettes, while HS made liquids used in e-cigarettes under names including Purple Silk, Calm Desert Brand, Kamel Blend and Myfair E-juice.

In the High Court on Tuesday, HS’ liquidator said he had destroyed all offending stock in his possession and was working to reclaim and destroy stock in retail outlets.

Flanagan told The Irish Times he was in talks with a third party to sell it the assets of HS.

Reasons for stock activity unknown

| September 19, 2014

Universal Corporation said yesterday that it had noted the recent activity in its common stock during this week.

‘Subsequent to the release of our quarterly earnings last month, we have not issued any release, and we are not aware of any other such release that would have resulted in this week’s unusual activity in our common stock,’ it added.

Malawi growers paid 10 percent less for better crop at time of high inflation

| September 18, 2014

Tobacco growers in Malawi were paid 10 percent less for their tobacco during the selling season that recently closed than they were paid during the previous season, according to an APA News Agency story.

And this fall in prices occurred at a time of high inflation and in respect of a crop whose quality was improved.

In 2014, growers were paid an average of $1.90 per kg for the 188 million kg sold, whereas in 2013 they were paid $2.11 per kg for the 168 million kg sold.

According to Trading Economics citing Reserve Bank of Malawi figures, the inflation rate in the country averaged 14.09 percent from 2001 to 2014, and reached an all time high of 37.90 percent in February 2013. In August this year it stood at 24.50 percent.

The Tobacco Control Commission chief executive officer, Bruce Munthali, told APA that while growers brought good quality tobacco to market, buyers offered lower prices than they did last year when the leaf’s quality was lower. Munthali said the low prices offered by international buyers had not affected only Malawi but neighbouring countries also.

‘Alarming smoking prevalence in Austria’

| September 18, 2014

Austrians seem to be bucking the trend by smoking more than ever before, according to a story in The Local citing Zoltán Massay-Kosubek, the policy co-ordinator at the European Public Health Alliance.

No figures were given to support the claim that smoking was on the increase, but the rise was put down mainly to younger people entering the market.

And it was suggested that one reason why younger people were entering the market was that Austria’s minimum age for purchasing tobacco was 16.

But the report suggested too that while young people were entering the market, relatively few people were quitting. Austria was lagging behind the rest of Europe in getting smokers to quit their habit.

Massay-Kosubek was said to have told The Local that there were “two main causes of the alarming smoking prevalence in Austria: one the inappropriate enforcement of existing anti-tobacco legislation and two, the lack of ambition as regards regulating tobacco and smoking”.

The full story is at:

Tobacconists thrive on declining market

| September 18, 2014

In a story for Bloomberg Businessweek, Patrick Clark poses an interesting question: Why are specialist tobacconists thriving in the US when the market for their products is shrinking?

Smoking in the country has been declining for decades, Clark points out, but retailers specializing in tobacco sales are booming.

The number of tobacco shops in the US apparently doubled between 1998 and 2012, to more than 9,000, according to Census data.

That growth coincided with rising cigarette taxes, indoor smoking bans, and other policies aimed at reducing the habit.

The share of US smokers within the overall population fell from 23.5 percent in 1999 to 19 percent in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Interviews with industry experts and smoking researchers don’t lead to a single, clear answer to Clark’s question, but the full story includes some suggestions and insights:

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