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‘No evidence for tobacco’s plain packaging position’

| December 4, 2014

Researchers from the University of Bath, in the United Kingdom, found no independent evidence supporting the tobacco industry’s arguments against plain packaging, reports the Jersey Evening Post.

In a study released on Dec. 3, the researcher reviewed 74 pieces of evidence cited by tobacco companies to argue that plain packaging would have negative effects on the economy and fuel illicit trade.

The researchers found that there were no independent, peer-reviewed reports supporting the industry position and that 47 percent of the pieces of evidence reviewed came from reports commissioned by the industry itself or from third parties with financial connections to the industry.

More than two-thirds of the evidence supplied by tobacco companies was just opinion, according to the researchers. It was provided by business or retail organizations with tobacco company members, trade unions with tobacco company employees, and 51 MPs opposed to plain packaging, seven of whom have allegedly accepted industry hospitality.

 

 

E-liquids not medicine, says German court

| December 4, 2014

A German court has ruled that the liquids contained in e-cigarettes aren’t medicinal products and can be sold freely, reports the Associated Press

The Federal Administrative Court delivered its verdict Thursday in a case involving a woman who ran an e-cigarette shop in Wuppertal.

City authorities barred her in 2012 from selling liquids containing nicotine in various strengths on the ground that they were pharmaceutical products that weren’t licensed as such and therefore couldn’t be marketed. A lower court ruling went against the plaintiff.

PMI invests in Philippine leaf

| December 3, 2014

philippines-farmPhilip Morris Fortune Tobacco Co. (PMFTC), a subsidiary of Philip Morris International, will invest more than 50 million in Virginia tobacco production on Mindanao, Philippines, over the next five to six years, according to local press reports.

“We’re starting up a whole new operation down there because it’s quite a unique project that we got, it’s only the second place in the world where we grow tobacco twice a year,” PMFTC president Paul Riley said.

Riley said the investment reflects PMFTC’s long-term commitment to the Philippines.

“We’re not going away so we have to invest in the future,” he said.

 

Neotechnik moves

| December 3, 2014

After 95 years in Bielefeld, Germany, Neotechnik is moving to Telgte-Westbevern.

As of Jan. 1, 2015, the company’s contact details will be:

Lengericher Str. 22
48291 Telgte-Westbevern
Germany
Telephone +49 (0)2504/9800-600
Fax: +49 (0)2504/9800-601

Looking for swift resolution of plain packs dispute

| December 2, 2014

The Dominican Republic is hoping that its dispute with Australia over standardized tobacco-products packaging will be resolved by the World Trade Organization (WTO) before such policies spread to other countries.

Since December 1, 2012, Australia has required that all tobacco products be sold in packaging designed on behalf of the previous Labor government to be as ugly as is possible. Packs are hugely dominated by graphic health warnings, are otherwise a standard olive color, have no logos or other design features, and have brand and variant names in a standardized font and position.

‘By stripping our brands and trademarks from packaging, the policy precludes our tobacco producers from differentiating their premium products from competitors in the marketplace, which has been extremely detrimental to our industry,’ said Dr. Katrina Naut, the Dominican Republic’s director general of foreign trade in a press statement issued through GlobeNewswire. ‘It is our hope that this case will be swiftly resolved at the WTO before other countries consider similar policies that have no impact on public health goals while at the same time putting the livelihood of our economy at risk.’

According to information published by the Tobacco Institute of the Dominican Republic, tobacco export revenues represent 7.5 percent of the Dominican Republic’s total exports. The country’s tobacco production chain generates around 110,000 direct jobs and supports about 350,000 people. The Dominican Republic is the biggest exporter of cigars.

‘By preventing tobacco products from using their trademarks and geographical indications, these measures have driven the Australian tobacco market towards commoditization and illicit trade,’ the press statement said. ‘Moreover, they have failed to contribute to reducing smoking in Australia.’

The statement went on to describe how Dominican producers had made enormous investments – including in intellectual property – to turn the Dominican Republic from a simple tobacco leaf exporter into one of the world’s leading premium tobacco products exporters. ‘This is a significant achievement for a small developing economy and has contributed to its economic growth,’ it said.

‘With plain packaging, this great development success is put at risk as our producers can no longer signal their premium quality to tobacco consumers.’

The statement said that Ukraine, Honduras, Indonesia and Cuba were challenging the Australian policy. And it said that because of the impact that the outcome of these disputes would have on intellectual property protection for a wide range of consumer goods, a record number of WTO members (35 countries and the EU) were observers of the disputes.

Move to oust smokers from Sydney’s ‘premier’ space

| December 2, 2014

The council of the City of Sydney, Australia, is due to vote on a proposal to make Martin Place – described as the city’s ‘premier civic open space’ – smoke-free for a 12-month trial starting early next year.

And, according to a story by Jim O’Rourke for The Daily Telegraph, further restrictions could follow. “If it is successful I would look at a motion to expand the ban to Pitt St Mall,” councillor Christine Forster, who put forward the Martin Place proposal, was quoted as saying.

Smoke-free outdoor areas already exist in Martin Place under state law. People cannot smoke within 4 m of an entrance to a public building.

And from July such a restriction will apply to hotels, clubs, restaurants and cafés.

If the council accepts the Martin Place proposal it will allocate a full-time ‘ranger’ to police the rule.

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