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Flavored products to disappear in Bermuda wrangle

| August 17, 2015

Bermuda’s forthcoming anti-tobacco measures have been described as draconian and possibly the strictest in the world, according to a story by Jonathan Bell for The Royal Gazette.

Smoke Shop proprietor Michael Heslop was quoted as saying that no other country was banning as many products as Bermuda was planning to ban. He said that, under the provisions of the Tobacco Control Bill 2015, he would have to remove 161 products from his shelves.

Heslop’s main concern seems to be that whereas other countries are banning only flavored cigarettes, Bermuda is poised to ban all flavored tobacco products and related materials, including shisha, tobacco wraps, tobacco rolling papers, blunts, cigarillos and bidis.

Jeanne Atherden, the Minister of Health, is on record as saying that the new requirements contained in the bill are in line with World Health Organization protocols.

The new regulations are expected to come into force in December.

UAE plans introduction of new federal taxes

| August 17, 2015

The government of the United Arab Emirates has drawn up plans to introduce federal value-added tax (VAT) and corporation tax, according to a story in The National citing its Arabic-language sister paper, Al Ittihad.

This would make the UAE the first country in the Arabian Gulf to introduce such a tax on consumption.

Under the plans, VAT would be levied at a higher rate on tobacco, alcohol and luxury goods, while basic goods and essentials would be exempt.

The government did not specify what the VAT rate would be, but the IMF has previously recommended that the UAE set it at, or about, five percent.

It is not known when the government would introduce VAT, though it is understood that companies and consumers would be given up to two years to adjust to VAT.

The government plans also to introduce a corporation tax, but no details were provided. The UAE currently levies corporation tax on foreign banks’ operations in the country.

The Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for federal tax collection and government accounts, was quoted as saying that it had finished drafting laws providing for a federal tax system, in addition to legislation to introduce VAT and corporation tax.

It is likely, however, to be some time before the proposals become law. High-profile legislation has to be shuttled between all interested government departments, before it is scrutinised by the Federal National Council, approved by the Federal Supreme Council, and signed by President Sheikh Khalifa.

The move comes as Gulf states address a new era of low oil prices. Oil has fallen from about $115 per barrel in June last year to about $50 per barrel now, cutting government revenues by about 20 percent against 2013 levels.

JT’s domestic volume down in July

| August 17, 2015

Japan Tobacco Inc’s domestic cigarette sales volume during July, at 9.8 billion, was down by 2.7 percent on that of July 2014, 10.0 billion, according to preliminary figures issued by the company on Friday. The July 2014 figure was down by 4.4 percent on that of July 2013.

Volume during January-July, at 62.8 billion, was down by 3.5 percent on that of January-July 2014, 65.1 billion, which was down by 2.2 percent on that of January-July 2013.

JT’s market share stood at 59.7 percent during July, at 59.9 percent during January-July, and at 60.4 percent during January-December 2014.

JT’s domestic cigarette revenue during July, at ¥55.3 billion, was down by 2.9 percent from its July 2014 level, ¥56.9 billion, which was down by 1.2 percent on its revenue of July 2013.

Revenue during January-July, at ¥356.1 billion, was down by 2.0 percent on that of January-July 2014, ¥363.3 billion, which was down by 0.7 percent on its revenue of January-July 2013.

Imperial providing clean water for 2,400 in Chad

| August 17, 2015

Chad pictureImperial Tobacco’s Altadis Foundation has signed an agreement with Imperial’s subsidiary in Chad, Manufacture de Cigarettes du Tchad (MCT) to provide clean drinking water for rural communities.

In collaboration with MCT, the foundation is funding the construction of wells that will bring clean water to about 2,400 people in the rural communities of Aboudeïa, Ham and Kana1, according to a note posted on Imperial’s website.

At the same time, the foundation is setting up local committees to ensure that the new infrastructure is maintained.

Overall, the initiative is expected to reduce the risk of disease related to poor water quality.

“Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world and only about 55 percent of its population has access to clean drinking water, said Hervé Lambert-Moisan, general manager of MCT. “This rewarding project will improve lives and help to reduce poverty.”

Decline of Basmi production

| August 13, 2015

Bulgaria’s National Association of Tobacco Producers expects the output of Basmi tobacco to decline by about 3,000 metric tons to 10,000 mt in the 2015 season due to a reduction in acreage and a dry summer in the main cultivating areas of southern Bulgaria.

Health group views e-cig as cessation tool

| August 13, 2015

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has urged health chiefs across the U.K. to encourage smokers who have enrolled in the National Health Service’s stop-smoking services to use e-cigarettes as smoking-cessation devices, reports The Guardian.

It also argued for new “exclusion zones” outside schools, bars, pubs and parks, where smoking, but not vaping, should be prohibited.

If widely adopted by the government, the recommendation could represent the biggest shift in attitudes towards e-cigarettes in the decade since the devices entered the U.K. market.

The RSPH is an independent charity comprising more than 6,000 public health professionals,

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