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Vietnam’s anti-smoking law to take effect May 1

| April 25, 2013

Vietnam’s law on the prevention and control of smoking takes effect on May 1, 2013, according to the Health Ministry, according to a story in VietnamPlus.

The law, with five chapters and 35 clauses, regulates measures aimed to reduce the demand for tobacco, control supply and prevent tobacco harm, said the ministry at a conference in Hanoi on April 23.

According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen, in the coming time, the implementation of the law will focus on enforcing the smoking ban in agencies, government offices, schools, hospitals and a number of public places.

Regulating cigarette advertisement, promotion and funding will be another focus, she added.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vietnam is one of 15 countries with the most smokers in the world. About half of all male adults (15 years old and above) in the country are smokers.

Earlier, on January 25, 2013, the Prime Minister approved the national strategy to combat tobacco’s negative impacts by 2020.

China: HongyunHonghe launches cigarette-processing unit in Africa

| April 25, 2013

HongyunHonghe Tobacco Group, in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, recently launched its cigarette-processing unit for Africa at the Walvis Bay port in Namibia.

The project is intended to produce HongyunHonghe’s Yunyan, Honghe, Honghe and Honghe brands for sale in Africa.

The annual production capacity of the unit could reach 1 billion cigarettes.

Lorillard’s 1Q profit up 47 pct on higher pricing, e-cig sales, lower costs

| April 25, 2013

Lorillard’s first-quarter profit jumped 47 percent as higher prices, e-cigarette sales and lower legal expenses from a longstanding legal settlement offset a decline in traditional cigarette sales.

The nation’s third-biggest tobacco company on Wednesday reported earnings of $328 million, or 86 cents per share, for the period ended March 31, up from $223 million, or 57 cents per share, a year ago, according to the Associated Press.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were 66 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations by 2 cents. That excludes a benefit of 23 cents per share in credits for disputed payments under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, in which some cigarette makers are paying states for smoking-related health care costs.

Revenue excluding excises taxes rose 6 percent to $1.12 billion, matching analyst expectations, according to FactSet.

Its shares rose $1.29, or about 3 percent, to $43.07 in morning trading.

Where there’s smoke, there’s still profit

| April 22, 2013

When the three major U.S. tobacco companies report their first-quarter results this week, investors can find comfort in two themes that have remained consistent for years: Cigarette volumes will fall, but profits will rise, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.

For the past three years, cigarette volumes have dropped around 3 percent to 4 percent annually, and analysts who follow the sector expect that trend to continue as more Americans quit smoking. But market leader Altria Group Inc. and smaller rivals Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. keep posting higher core profits.

Analysts expect both trends will continue as all three companies are projected to report modestly higher earnings for the first quarter, though volume could decline more steeply than historical trends, due to higher payroll taxes and still-high unemployment.

The tobacco industry’s ability to consistently raise list prices and aggressively buy back shares have been the greatest drivers to their profitability gains. Smokeless tobacco products, including snuff and snus, have seen higher demand to help offset declining demand for traditional cigarettes. Lorillard and Reynolds are also in the early stages of selling e-cigarettes, which both have said offer potential for long-term growth. Battery-powered e-cigarettes turn heated nicotine-laced liquid into a vapor mist, and come in several flavors.

Cigarette addiction saves lives

| April 22, 2013

David Henneberry, an avid boater and member of the Watertown Yacht Club, walked outside to smoke a cigarette just after Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick  lifted the curfew on Boston, MA, USA, residents at 6 p.m. Friday, April, 18.

Puffing away, Henneberry noticed the tarp that covered his rare, 22-foot  pleasure cruiser—a white Seahawk with blue trim and a fiberglass hull, reported  the New York Daily News—wasn’t on correctly, according to a story posted on on the talk radio station WBZT’s website.

“Then he saw that one of the straps was hanging loose,” his stepson Robert Duffy told the Daily News. “He picked it up and saw it had been cut. He  found it incredibly odd.”

Henneberry got a small ladder, climbed up to reach the boat deck, and flipped back his tarp “and saw a pool of blood,” Duffy added. “And then he saw what he thought was a body.”

Henneberry jumped off the ladder and ran inside, dialing 911 as he went. The “body” was the second Boston bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar  Tsarnaev — alive.

Within minutes, Duffy said, police arrived and moved his stepdad and mother to a neighbor’s house.

The entire city had been on lockdown all day as police embarked on a massive manhunt for Tsarnaev who’d escaped a shootout around 1 a.m. Friday and was nowhere to be found since.

Apparently shots were exchanged at some point when police moved in, Duffy  said.

Not in spots Henneberry apparently appreciated: “I just heard they wound up  shooting a couple of rounds through his boat,” Duffy told the Daily  News. “He’s not going to like that, he’s real anal about it.”

Boston’s JFK library fire caused by careless smoker, not terrorists

| April 19, 2013

The fire at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston Monday was caused by the careless disposal of smoking materials, city fire officials said.

Boston officials had initially feared that the fire at the library might have been connected to the bombings at the Boston Marathon, because it was ­reported just six minutes after the explosions went off in Copley Square, according to The Boston Globe.

“In light of what had just happened at the finish line — and the library is of course a high-profile place in Boston — it caused a lot of speculation,” Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said. “It took a while to get to the facts.”

The fire broke out in an HVAC system in a section of the complex that opened in 2011 and houses offices, a classroom, and some archival material, he said Monday. The building was evacuated. No injuries were reported.