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Smokers to be ousted from Seoul’s riverside parks

| May 5, 2015

Eleven riverside parks along the Han River are due to be designated tobacco-smoke-free zones as early as July, according to a story in The Korea Times quoting a Seoul Metropolitan government announcement.

Smoking bans at the riverside parks became possible after the city council revised its ordinance last year.

The riverside parks, which cover more than 40 square km, have been a haven for smokers, so the new regulations are expected to meet with strong opposition.

But the government said the priority would be to make the transition as smooth as possible, and that it was considering all options.

One such option might be the installation of smoking booths.

One thing is certain, though: violators will be liable to a fine of WON100,000 (US$92), after a grace period of three to six months.

Imperial helps disabled women help themselves

| May 5, 2015

Imperial Tobacco says that it is helping to improve the livelihoods of disabled women in Laos by supporting a vocational training project near its factory in Vientiane.

According to a note posted on the Imperial website, The Lao Disabled Women Development Centre is set to receive funding from Imperial’s charitable organization, the Altadis Foundation, to run new training courses.

These courses will cater for up to 60 women from four rural provinces: Luangnamtha, Huaphan, Xiengkhuang and Bokeo.

The center teaches the women skills in a variety of areas including information technology, textile weaving, foreign languages, hygiene and small business management.

“It is gratifying and rewarding to see how training programs such as this can have a huge impact on the future well-being of those taking part,” said Ines Cassin, the Altadis Foundation’s general manager.

Pocketsize spittoon right on target with retailers

| May 5, 2015

The pocketsize spittoon maker FLASR, which is based at Alabama, Georgia, said yesterday that its product would, from next month, be made available in 400 stores across the US through Product and Service Distribution Technologies (PSDT).

According to a BusinessWire story relayed by the TMA, FLASR’s CEO, Everett Dickson, said PSDT would play an instrumental role in getting its product to thousands of retailers across the US.

Responses to the portable, pocketsize spittoons had been “overwhelmingly positive”, said PSDT product manager Tom Long.

Schneeberger named VP of business development

| May 4, 2015

The U.S. Tobacco Cooperative (USTP), based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has named Jim Schneeberger as the company’s vice president of global business development. Schneeberger, who will report directly to CEO Stuart Thompson, will work with Thompson and his management team to reposition USTC in the domestic and export markets as a respected supplier of high-quality U.S. flue-cured tobacco and to represent the interests of the company’s 900 member growers.

Schneeberger has more than 27 years of experience in the tobacco industry, having previously worked for Intabex, DIMON and Alliance One.

Menthol cigarettes to be banned in Nova Scotia

| May 1, 2015

The Canadian Lung Association said on Wednesday that it ‘salutes’ Nova Scotia for becoming the first jurisdiction in North America to ban menthol flavoured tobacco, according to a Marketwired story.

The day before, the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly had approved a ban on menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. The ban is due to come into effect on May 31.

“We commend the Nova Scotia Legislature for taking the lead and approving a ban on menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products,” said Debra Lynkowski, president and CEO of the Canadian Lung Association. “Menthol is the most popular flavour among Canadian youth. We urge other provinces and the federal government to follow Nova Scotia’s lead in protecting our youth.”

According to the Marketwired story; the most recent national Youth Smoking Survey had found that 32 per cent of smokers in high schools smoke menthols. ‘Menthol cigarettes have been directly linked to higher nicotine addiction among youth in Canada, according to a recent study from the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo,’ the story said.

‘Across Canada, other provinces are also taking action against menthol flavoured tobacco. In Ontario, the provincial legislature is also expected to pass new legislation shortly to ban menthol cigarettes and other flavoured tobacco products.

‘In Quebec, the provincial government has said that it will introduce legislation on flavoured tobacco, including menthol, this spring.’

Taipei’s littering fines prove hard to swallow

| May 1, 2015

Cigarette smokers who drop their butts on the ground in Taipei are risking fines that have been increased threefold and more from today, according to a story in the Taipei Times.

Previously, offenders faced a fine of NT$1,200, regardless of their record, but, as of today, a second-time offender faces a possible fine of NT$3,600, while those on their third offence or more will face having to pay NT$5,000.

The Times story explained that the increase in fines had followed a controversy early last month over cigarette butt litter in residential areas in Xinren borough near the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, which bans smoking.

At that time, Taipei Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Liou Ming-lone had said that his department was already working on new measures to target such littering.

The department said that cigarette butt littering accounted for more than half the fines it levied. It issued 17,452 fines for cigarette butt littering last year, of which 526 were handed out to repeat offenders and 120 to foreigners, department figures show.

Department agents often used covertly taken pictures as evidence, said Chiu Kuan-hou, head of the department section dealing with the issue, citing the example of a man who was fined even after swallowing the cigarette butt he had dropped.

And to prevent foreigners absconding without paying up, enforcement agents are empowered to accompany them to a nearby convenience store or post office, where the fine has to be paid directly.

To help smokers out, however, the city is increasing the number of ashtrays available to them.

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