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Future of hand-rolled kreteks questioned

| June 4, 2014

Sales of hand-rolled clove cigarettes in Indonesia are losing their edge as consumers shift to machine-made products – a situation that could see further job losses in the industry, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

The market share of hand-rolled kreteks has fallen from 32.80 per cent in 2009 to 26.07 per cent at present, while the share of machine-made kreteks has risen from 59.24 per cent to 66.20 per cent.

This year, producers expect sales of hand-rolled products to increase by one per cent, below the four per cent estimated for sales of all types, according to the Association of Indonesian Cigarette Producers (GAPPRI), which represents clove-cigarette manufacturers.

Last year, sales of hand-rolled kreteks amounted to 90.09 billion, according to excise tax data submitted by the industry.

“This situation may ring an alarm bell for producers, leading them to wonder whether production of hand-rolled cigarettes can be sustained,” GAPPRI secretary-general Hasan Aoni Aziz was quoted as saying.

The question mark surrounding the survival of hand-rolled kreteks recently entered the spotlight when Indonesia’s largest cigarette maker, Sampoerna, decided to close its factories at Lumajang and Jember, East Java.

And Hasan added that more companies could close their operations unless there was a policy of maintaining different excise duties for hand-rolled and machine-made products.

Low-nicotine U.S. cigarette brand to be made in Poland, distributed within EU

| June 3, 2014

A company based in Clarence, New York, USA, has signed a deal under which its tobacco products will be made by a Polish cigarette manufacturer for distribution within the EU, according to a story by Tracey Drury for Business First of Buffalo.

Goodrich Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of 22nd Century Group, which makes low-nicotine cigarettes for the commercial market and for government sources for smoking cessation, has signed a letter of intent with Orion, a cigarette manufacturer based in Poland.

Under the agreement, Goodrich is due to export its tobacco to Orion, where the finished cigarettes will be made under Goodrich’s brand names, beginning with Gold Magic, a cigarette that, it is said, “contains 97 percent less nicotine than traditional light cigarettes.”

The deal follows a previously announced agreement between Goodrich and Wilshire Marketing for the distribution of Gold Magic brand in the Benelux region.

High level of tobacco smoking in Bulgaria

| June 3, 2014

About 30 percent of Bulgarians, comprising more than 2.1 million people, are daily tobacco smokers, according to a Focus English News story quoting the World Health Organization report Global Tobacco Epidemic, which was released on Saturday.

There is a smoking gender bias, with 40 percent of men and 19 percent of women being daily smokers.

And there is an age bias. Almost half of people aged 25–65 are smokers, while smokers make up 28 percent of the 15–24 age group but only 12 percent of the 65-plus age group.

Meanwhile, 50 percent of men and 70 percent of women are said to be “firm nonsmokers,” and 10 percent of men and 9 percent of women are described as “nonregular smokers.”

France facing a fit of the vapors

| June 3, 2014

France is preparing to place e-cigarette use on the same legal footing as tobacco smoking with draft legislation that aims to ban vaping in public places, according to a story by Paris-based Anne Penketh for the Guardian, quoting Le Figaro.

The health minister, Marisol Touraine, intends to table the bill on June 17.

The proposed bill comes at a time when e-cigarette stores have been springing up across France, which now has almost 1 million e-cigarette users.

The president of the French Tobacconists’ Confederation, Pascal Montredon, was said to have told the Guardian that Touraine was being unrealistic by modelling her reforms on “Anglo-Saxon” countries such as Australia and Britain, where the cigarette distribution network was completely different to that of France.

The confederation, he said, was pressing for e-cigarettes to be sold solely in tobacconists, but the proposed legislation failed to address this issue.

Touraine’s office apparently did not confirm the report in Le Figaro, but the ministry said that a “national smoking reduction plan” was under consideration.

Delhi thinking of selling tobacco short

| June 3, 2014

The Delhi government plans to introduce a scheme whereby no tobacco or related products would be sold on the last day of each month, according to a story in The Times of India.

The story said that the scheme was aimed at generating awareness about tobacco’s harmful effects and reducing tobacco use, but it was not clear whether the scheme was to be a voluntary one or one backed by regulation.

“This concept started in 2013 when we asked vendors not to sell tobacco and related products on the last day of every month as a voluntary effort,” Dr. N.V. Kamat, director, health services, was quoted as saying.

He added that he hoped Delhi would become a tobacco-free state.

Dog sniffs out illicit tobacco in Scotland

| June 3, 2014

Shops selling illicit tobacco in the Mearns, Scotland, are being hounded out of town by a new council recruit.

According to a story by Martin Dalziel, Dixie the sniffer dog was used by the Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards Office, supported by the police, in a two-day operation targeting businesses where police intelligence had indicated illicit tobacco products were being sold.

In the recent operation, Dixie was able to detect tobacco hidden behind a false wall at one business.

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