ASH Daily News for 11 January 2017



  • Big Tobacco’s technology battle heats up
  • Plymouth man fined for flicking lit cigarette out of his car window
  • Turkmenistan accused of using anti-smoking laws to crack down on the media
  • Nigeria: Environmental groups call for 150% special levy on tobacco products
  • Poorer countries fail to act on smoking due to big tobacco threats, says WHO
  • Big Tobacco’s technology battle heats up

Big Tobacco’s technology battle heats up

The FT reviews the latest developments by the major tobacco companies to find new less hazardous tobacco products. To date, PMI has invested $3bn-plus on its “reduced risk products” and BAT more than £500m.

According to the CEO of PMI, Andre Calantzopoulos, “If you have a product, and you can offer a better product to consumers, you have to do it.” He added that it makes business sense. Referring to the IQOS, heat-not-burn product he said: “Both short and long term, I believe there will be a lesser tax burden on this product,” and predicted that reduced risk products will add “$700m-$1.2bn to the company’s bottom line by 2020.”

Source: FT – 10 January 2017
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Plymouth man fined for flicking lit cigarette out of his car window

A man who threw his cigarette out his car window has been fined £220 by magistrates.

Councillor Dave Downie, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities said: “Littering is an ongoing problem in Plymouth and we want people to realise that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable. People should not be throwing cigarettes and food wrappers from their cars. I hope today’s fine sends out a strong message that we simply will not tolerate this sort of selfish behaviour.”

Source: The Herald – 10 January 2017
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Turkmenistan accused of using anti-smoking laws to crack down on the media

This time last year, Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov banned the sale of all tobacco products, a move that was widely praised by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, since then it has been reported that the government is using this law to clamp down on dissidents and silence the media. The article cites the case of a journalist who was arrested for possession of chewing tobacco and now faces up to 7 years in prison. Lobby group Reporters Without Borders has called for the man’s immediate release, stating that he was being persecuted for his journalistic activities.

Source: Opendemocracy.net – 10 January 2017
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Nigeria: Environmental groups call for 150% special levy on tobacco products

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), has urged the federal government to immediately impose a minimum of 150 per cent special levies on all tobacco products.

The group said it was a means of raising revenue, while also reducing the consumption and health impacts of tobacco use on Nigerians.

A statement by ERA/FOEN Head, Media and Campaigns, Mr. Philip Jakpor, said they were reacting to the newly announced import duties on tobacco products.

Source: This Day – 11 January 2017
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Poorer countries fail to act on smoking due to big tobacco threats, says WHO

Many low- and middle-income countries are too scared by the threats and misinformation of the tobacco industry to raise the price of cigarettes, even though it would hugely benefit both health and the economy, the WHO/US NCI report published on Tuesday has found.

The most effective measure to help people stop smoking is to impose high taxes on cigarettes. But even though smoking costs the world economy $3trn (£2.5trn) a year, poorer countries are afraid to tackle it in the most effective ways, the report says.

“They are afraid of being taken to court if they increase tobacco taxes,” said Jeramiah Paul of the WHO . “They [the industry] will scare you that tobacco taxes are anti-poor, that government revenue will go down.” But there is no evidence to support any of these claims, he said.

See Also:
– Emerging economies buck trend for decline in smoking, FT
– Monograph 21: The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control, National Cancer Institute

Source: ExecReview – 10 January 2017
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