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Tobacco flood-damage being assessed in Malawi

| January 21, 2015

Malawi’s Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has started assessing the damage that has been caused to tobacco crops by the floods that have followed heavy rains in recent months.

CEO Bruce Munthali told the local press that the heavy rains and floods had caused leaching of fertilisers, and made it difficult for farmers to control weeds and cure their tobacco.

He said the heavy rains had led also to the outbreak of tobacco diseases that were affecting the production of the crop.

It will take the commission two weeks to come up with a detailed damage assessment report.

Most long-term users want to quit NRT products

| January 20, 2015

A study has found that 88 percent of long-term users of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products want to quit NRT because of the cost of the products, because they are tired of feeling addicted, and because of fears of adverse health consequences, according to a story on 7th Space Interactive citing a study published in Harm Reduction Journal.

The majority of these users were said to have had moderate to high nicotine dependence.

The study was conducted in Denmark where 92 long-term NRT users were recruited through advertisements in three national newspapers.

The subjects were asked to answer a short questionnaire about their basic characteristics, health status and satisfaction with using NRT.

A modified version of the Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI) questionnaire was applied to estimate nicotine dependence. Scoring on the modified HSI scale was 22.0 percent low dependence, 68.0 percent moderate and 9.3 percent high.

Of the respondents, 67.0 percent used NRT within 30 minutes after waking.

The study recommended the introduction of better counselling for chronically-dependent, long-term users on the benefits of using NRT rather than cigarettes.

It recommended, too, that support should be given to those long-term users wishing to quit NRT.

The story is at:

China’s tobacco revenue up steeply last year

| January 20, 2015

China’s tobacco industry generated Yuan1.05 trillion ($169.7 billion) in profits and taxes during 2014, up 10.02 percent year-on-year, according to a story in the Global Times citing data from the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration.

Last year also the industry provided the government with revenues of more than Yuan911.03 billion in profits, taxes and fees, a figure that was increased by 11.63 percent year on year.

In 2013, the industry handed over to the government Yuan816 billion, which accounted for 6.3 percent of the government’s revenue that year.

Electronic cigarette imports soar in South Korea

| January 20, 2015

Tobacco cigarette imports into South Korea fell between 2013 and 2014 but, at the same time, electronic-cigarette imports rose sharply as smokers tried to kick their habit before the imposition of a huge, tax-induced price increase on January 1, according to a story in The Korea Herald citing customs office figures.

The Korea Customs Service (KCS) said that the value of cigarette imports had dropped by 14.4 percent between 2013 and 2014, from US$18.57 million to $15.90 million.

Volume imports were down by 15.4 percent from 973 tons to 823 tons.

Singapore was the source for 33.2 percent of Korea’s cigarette imports and Germany was the source of 21 percent; while Lithuania, Switzerland and Malaysia made up the other countries in the list of the top five suppliers.

Meanwhile, the value of electronic-cigarette imports increased by 342 percent year on year to $10.14 million.

At the same time, the volume of electronic-cigarette imports increased by 348.2 percent to 138 tons.

The customs office said that of the electronic cigarettes imported last year, 75.4 percent were brought into the country during the fourth quarter, when the government’s taxation plans were made public.

Ninety six percent of the electronic cigarettes imported into Korea originated in China.

Universal to webcast results conference call

| January 20, 2015

Universal Corporation is due to webcast a conference call to be held on February 3 following the release of its results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015 after market close on that date.

The conference call, which will begin at 17.00 Eastern Time, will be hosted by Candace C. Formacek, vice president and treasurer.

A live webcast of the conference call will be available on a listen-only basis at

And a replay of the webcast conference call will be available at that site until May 5.  A taped replay of the call will be available from 20.30 Eastern Time on February 3 through February 17 at (855) 859-2056, using the telephone replay identification number 70319833.

Ban on smoking in films would be ‘really ridiculous’

| January 19, 2015

Some of the best-known Italian directors, producers and scriptwriters have put their names to a letter opposing a proposal to ban smoking from films and television, according to a Dpa story.

The group of 20 artists, including Oscar-winning directors Paolo Sorrentino and Gabriele Salvatores, wrote a letter to La Repubblica newspaper saying they felt they needed to express their ‘astonishment’ and ‘concern’ about the proposal.

They said any attempt to limit the possibility of representing people’s lives in film would be ‘really ridiculous’, and would amount to an interference with artistic freedom and liberal principles.

Last week, the ministry of health said it was considering regulating smoking scenes in films and national television series, as well as banning smoking in parks, stadiums and beaches, and in cars with children on board.

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