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Call for e-cigarette charger fire warnings

| November 18, 2014

Electronic cigarette users in the UK have been advised not to use cheap, unbranded chargers, and not to leave electronic cigarettes unattended while they are being charged – especially over night.

A BBC Online story quoted Emma Apter, of the charity Electrical Safety First, as saying that her organization was becoming increasingly concerned about the number of incidents involving electronic cigarettes.

“Recent events have shown that the simple act of charging one of these items can be deadly, so steps do need to be taken in order to make consumers more aware of the dangers,” she said.

Meanwhile, following a rise in incidents linked to electronic cigarettes, fire service bosses are said to have called for safety messages to be displayed on them.

Data obtained by the Press Association from 43 fire services across the UK shows they were called out to eight incidents involving electronic cigarettes in 2012; a figure that rose to 43 in 2013 and that stands at 62 so far this year.

A number of incidents have been attributed to the use of incompatible chargers.

The BBC Online story is at:

Reynolds has another go at heat-not-burn cigarette

| November 18, 2014

Reynolds American Inc. is hoping to capitalize on the growing appetite in the US for alternatives to traditional cigarettes by launching a cigarette that heats rather than burns tobacco, according to a story by Michael Felberbaum for Associated Press.

Revo has a carbon tip that is lit and that heats the tobacco using technology first unveiled by Reynolds with Premier cigarettes and later taken up in Eclipse cigarettes, which are still in limited distribution in the US and which, according Felberbaum, comprise one of the top-selling brands in the cafeteria at Reynolds’ headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Revo is described by Reynolds as a ‘repositioning’ of Eclipse.

Even though Eclipse left no lingering odor and didn’t produce ash, they had only minimal success, partly because they tasted different to traditional cigarettes and were more difficult to use.

“Heat-not-burn technology was 20 years ahead of when consumers were ready for it,” J. Brice O’Brien, head of consumer marketing, was quoted as saying.

“It needed the mass presence of vapor products to open up an experience-base that smokers understood.

“The smoker could only compare heat-not-burn to a combustible and it lost every time. That’s no longer the case.”

Ceylon Tobacco ready for health warnings

| November 18, 2014

All cigarette packs manufactured by Ceylon Tobacco Co (CTC) are scheduled from the beginning of January to include pictorial health warnings covering 60 percent of their front and back surfaces, according to a story in the Sunday Times quoting company sources.

CTC said the move was in line with a Supreme Court ruling.

According to the deadlines set by the court, all cigarette packs manufactured and issued before January 1 must be sold before February 1.

Financial dependence linked to tobacco use

| November 18, 2014

Young adults in the US who are financially dependent on their parents are between about three and seven times more likely to be tobacco users than are their financially independent counterparts.

Those financially dependent are also 63-86 percent less likely to have quit tobacco than are those financially independent.

These are the key findings of a study by Legacy that was published in the American Journal of Health Behavior.

In releasing the study yesterday, Legacy said there were ‘growing concerns about how the Great Recession of 2007 has impacted the Millennial Generation and their health’.

‘Legacy’s study provides further evidence that more research is needed in order to conclude how financial dependence on someone else affects young adults’ well-being,’ the organization said.

‘The study points to the high rates of tobacco use and unique financial challenges of Millennials, and asserts that it is important to re-examine how lifestyle changes have impacted tobacco consumption among those born between 1977 and 1994 in order to identify new and emerging at-risk populations.’

BAT to appeal against oversupply fine

| November 17, 2014

British American Tobacco is to appeal against a fine imposed by the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for allegedly oversupplying the Belgium market with hand-rolling tobacco that then found its way to the UK.

In a statement issued to the media, BAT described the fine as unjustified.

The £650,000 fine came to light through a story by Jamie Doward for the Observer Sunday newspaper.

Doward said that HRMC had refused to identify the company, citing ‘taxpayer confidentiality’, but that in response to questions from the Observer BAT had confirmed it was the firm recently fined for oversupplying hand-rolling tobacco to Belgium.

This was said to have been the first time HMRC had acted against a tobacco company in this way.

However, an HMRC spokesman was quoted as saying that it was now looking closely at the other major UK tobacco companies to check whether they were acting illegally.

In its response, BAT said that it was devoting considerable resources to stem the illegal supply of overseas product to UK consumers but that it was impossible to be 100 percent effective given that it was not a law enforcement agency and UK consumers were perfectly entitled to shop for cheaper products outside the UK in the EU single market.

‘The UK is caught in a perfect storm of high domestic tobacco taxes, which encourage consumers to either buy illegal tobacco or to shop for cheaper products outside the UK, combined with EU single market laws allowing the free movement of goods for consumers,’ BAT said in a press note.

‘There are two types of people bringing tobacco products into the UK from overseas: smugglers who want to make illegal profits; and genuine consumers exercising their right as EU citizens to buy any product for personal use in EU countries where the prices are cheaper than the UK. It is impossible for tobacco companies, who sell through retailers, to identify which shoppers are legitimate and which are intending to smuggle. After all, we are a business not a law enforcement agency.

‘We make every effort to control our supply chain and have collaborated and co-operated with … HMRC for many years in this area. However, we are not a law enforcement agency and cannot be expected to effectively police smuggling throughout Europe.

‘In addition, we cannot stop UK consumers exercising their right to buy products from other EU countries. In this respect, we are providing a perfectly legal supply to a legitimate demand.

‘We have an in-house team dedicated to addressing the smuggling issue and we go well beyond our legal obligations, investing significant resources over many years to tackle tobacco smuggling.

‘We also co-operate with HMRC wherever we can providing useful information regarding intelligence we have gathered on the illicit trade in tobacco. We believe this … collaboration is important in fighting the battle against criminal activity.

‘We are very surprised and disappointed to have received an unjustified and inappropriate fine given we have been in constant contact with HMRC regarding this matter and have informed them of progress made at every step of the way.

‘We will defend ourselves vigorously against the penalty and, as such, we are appealing what we believe to be an unjustified fine.

‘We believe we all need to come together to fight tobacco smuggling and British American Tobacco remains committed to working with governments, law enforcement and customs agencies to combat all forms of this crime.’

Alberta exempts menthol from flavor ban

| November 17, 2014

Alberta has made a menthol U-turn by exempting it from its law banning flavored tobacco products, according to a story by John Cotter for The Globe and Mail.

Health Minister Stephen Mandel said the law, which is due to be phased in, would still protect young people from the dangers of other flavored tobacco.

After studying the situation during the year since the law was passed, the government had decided that banning menthol would not be well accepted by adults who enjoyed menthol products, Mandel said.

“You need to deal with the realities of the world and we made an effort to deal with flavored tobaccos and I think that we are quite restrictive in that area,” he said.

“The decision was made that menthol would be one we leave out at this point in time.”

Cotter reported that health, medical and anti-smoking groups had said that exempting menthol was a mistake, because menthol was the most popular flavour with young people.

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