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Threat to tobacco retailers in Turkey

| August 1, 2014

More than 22,000 Turkish retailers risk losing their licenses to sell cigarettes under an anti-tobacco law being drafted by the government, according to a story in the Hurriyet Daily News.
If passed, the proposed law would ban cigarette retailers within 100 meters of schools, a regulation that the cigarette industry says would affect about one-sixth of the country’s 150,000 tobacco retailers.
The industry claimed that strict enforcement of the law could mean that some towns in Turkey would be without a cigarette retailer.
And it said the law might boost the illicit trade, which would rob the state of tax revenue.
Meanwhile, the health minister, Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, said the government would continue its efforts against tobacco use, including a requirement for cigarettes to be sold in black packages.
“Currently, Turkey’s tobacco watchdog is preparing the regulations,” Müezzinoğlu said.
“We need to give the perception that smoking is not fascinating, but wrong.
“In the new packages, the visuals will not be fascinating; they will reflect the ugliness, the negativity [of smoking].
“For the smoker, the package might not be important, but sometimes the pack is put on the table. Then he will not be ‘cooler’ for doing it. On the contrary, there will be a negativity associated with smoking.”
The minister said that the law had been prepared and could go into effect after receiving approval from the prime minister. “I expect it to be out in September or October, but also 2015 at the latest,” he added.

U.K. doctors split on e-cigarettes

| August 1, 2014

Forty percent of U.K. doctors believe that e-cigarettes should be available only from pharmacies, according to a WalesOnline story quoting a recent poll.
Thirteen percent of doctors believe the devices should be prescription-only, 16 percent think they should not be on the market at all, and 31 percent believe they should be freely available.
These were the findings of a poll of 525 doctors conducted by Doctors.net.uk, an online network for U.K. doctors.
“I think e-cigarettes need to be regulated like a medicine and then be available as a pharmacy-only product,” said Dr. James Quekett, a practising GP and director of educational services for Doctors.net.uk.
“This would bring them into line with nicotine replacement products.
“Since e-cigarettes are not currently regulated as medicines, we do not know exactly what is in them apart from nicotine. Therefore, while it might be assumed that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes because they do not contain all the toxic elements of cigarette smoke, we do not know that for a fact, and we cannot advise patients on any long-term health implications.”
Dr. Michael Blackmore, a retired GP, added, “E-cigarettes are undoubtedly safer than tobacco in terms of the cancer risk as there are no benzo(a)pyrenes in the vapor. However, I am less sure about the cardiovascular risk, which may be more closely related to nicotine.”
A survey last year of general practitioners (GPs) in the U.K. and Sweden revealed that many incorrectly identify nicotine as one of the most harmful components of cigarette smoke.
The survey findings showed that 40 percent of GPs believe nicotine to be the first or second riskiest component of cigarettes, incorrectly identifying it as more harmful than smoke. Many (44 percent in the U.K. and 56 percent in Sweden) also wrongly believed that nicotine in tobacco products was associated with cancer, while 15 percent in the U.K. and 22 percent in Sweden believed the same for pharmaceutical nicotine.
The results of last year’s survey, which was commissioned by British American Tobacco, were published in a Harm Reduction special issue of Drugs & Alcohol Today, 2013, 13 (issue 2): http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1745-9265&volume=13&issue=2

Smoking rate continues long-term decline

| August 1, 2014

Japan’s smoking incidence fell below 20 percent in May, according to the Japan Smoking Rate Survey that has been conducted annually by Japan Tobacco Inc. since 1965.
The overall incidence of smoking stands at 19.7 percent, down from 20.9 percent last year, with the rate of smoking among men down from 32.2 percent to 30.3 percent and that among women down from 10.5 percent to 9.8 percent.
Given these figures and population data provided by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan’s smoking population was calculated to be 20.59 million, down from 21.95 million last year. The number of male smokers stands at 15.26 million, down from 16.23 million; while the number of female smokers stands at 5.33 million, down from 5.72 million.
JT said that the smoking rate in Japan had been on a declining trend because of various factors, including the country’s aging population, growing awareness about the health risks associated with smoking, the tightening of smoking-related regulations and a tax and price hike earlier this year.

Minister goes on the offensive

| August 1, 2014

The Indian minister of health and family welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has written to Arun Jaitley, the minister of finance and the minister of defense, urging that the armed forces stop selling tobacco products at their canteens.
And Vardhan has asked the minister to review the policy whereby tobacco products are made available at discount prices to members of the armed services.
Furthermore, he wants all defense establishments, including ships, to be declared no-smoking zones.

New dual filter offers capsule plus …

| August 1, 2014

Essentra picEssentra Filter Products has launched Dual Sensation, a filter that enables a capsule segment to be combined within a multisegment filter.
In a press note announcing the new filter, Essentra said that it provided cigarette manufacturers with the flexibility to design products that delivered to their consumers flavor on demand and the benefits of either carbon or a distinctive look.
“With the global appetite for customization of cigarettes currently on the rise, Dual Sensation enables cigarette manufacturers to widen their product portfolio and satisfy this ever growing market segment,” said Divisional Innovations Director Patrick Meredith.
Dual Sensation had been specifically designed by Essentra to provide consumers with unique taste, smell and visual differentiation possibilities, the press note said.
When Dual Sensation was combined with a carbon segment, it could be used effectively to deliver flavor and smell on demand, while offering the taste enhancement properties of carbon without compromising filtration properties or menthol yields. It also contributed to enhancing the overall smoking performance by preventing carbon from deactivating prior to reaching the end user. In addition, the carbon segment of the filter contributed to reducing vapor-phase and semi-volatile components in mainstream smoke.
Alternatively, Dual Sensation enabled cigarette manufacturers to achieve differentiation by combining a capsule with visually distinctive segments such as Essentra’s Combined Performance Superior filter. In addition, Dual Sensation could be personalized further by loading it with a variety of different capsule flavors and colors.
“Manufactured with Essentra’s state-of-the-art speciality capsule insertion machinery and featuring online inspection equipment, Dual Sensation helps to ensure capsule integrity and presence,” the press note said.
Further information about Dual Sensation is at www.essentrafilters.com/dualsensation.

BAT reports robust first-half volumes

| July 31, 2014

British American Tobacco’s cigarette volume during the six months to the end of June, at 331 billion, was down slightly on that of the six months to the end of June 2013, 332 billion.
Volume was increased in the company’s Asia Pacific region by 4 percent to 104 billion, and increased in its EEMEA (Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region from 111 billion to 112 billion. But it was down in the Americas from 64 billion to 63 billion, and down in Western Europe by 8.8 percent to 52 billion.
At the same time, the company’s global drive brand volume was increased by 5.7 percent, while the combined market share of these brands were said to have grown strongly in the group’s key markets. Dunhill’s volume increased by 4.9 percent, with growth in Indonesia, Brazil, Romania and South Africa partially offset by an industry decline in Malaysia. Kent’s volume was down by 2.9 percent, mainly due to industry declines in Russia and Romania, partially offset by good growth Japan, Ukraine and the Middle East.
Lucky Strike’s volume was down by 1.9 percent, mainly driven by lower volume in Chile, Poland and Germany, partially offset by higher volumes in Russia, Mexico, Spain and France. Pall Mall’s volume rose by 7.6 percent, with strong growth in Pakistan, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and Chile partially offset by lower volumes in Russia, the U.K., Italy and Turkey. And Rothmans’ (an addition to the company’s GDBs) volume grew by 32.8 percent, with strong performances in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, the U.K. and South Africa.
Total tobacco volume, which includes other tobacco products converted as cigarette equivalents, was down slightly from 346 billion in the six months to the end of June 2013 to 344 billion during the six moths to the end of June 2014. And within that total, fine-cut volume was down by 1.3 percent to 8.7 billion cigarette equivalents due to market declines in Western Europe, mainly in Spain, Italy and France.
BAT’s revenue during the six months to the end of June, at £6,798 million, was down by 10 percent on that of the six months to the end of June 2013.
Adjusted profit from operations was down by 9 percent to £2,665 million; profit from operations was down by 12 percent to £2,458 million; adjusted diluted earnings per share were down by 7 percent to 101.8 p; and basic earnings per share were down by 12 percent to 93.3 p.
“British American Tobacco performed well during the first half of the year but, as expected, results were affected by the strength of sterling,” CEO, Nicandro Durante, said in reviewing the results.
“We are consistently increasing our market share, driven by the strong growth of our global drive brands.
“Tight control of costs resulted in an improved operating margin.
“We remain confident of high single-digit earnings growth at constant rates of exchange, which we have said we will recognize with an increase in the dividend.”

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