Monthly Archives: May 2014

Enhanced taxes can reduce number of tobacco users

Journalists and development activists at a participatory discussion here today demanded enhancement of taxes on tobacco products for the sake of saving many people from various non-contagious diseases caused by tobacco consumption.

They viewed more than 45.9 million people use tobacco products, both smoke and smokeless, and 1.2 million of them are infected with various diseases like lung cancer, brain haemorrhage, heart and respiratory tract infections and around 57,000 of the infected patients die every year. Moreover, around Taka 51 billion are being spent for treatment purposes of the infected patients yearly.

Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) and Tobacco Control Coalition jointly organised the ATMA’s regional meeting at the conference hall of Association for Community Development (ACD) demanding enhanced taxes on all tobacco products including bidi and cigarettes.

Ehsanul Amin Emon, Project Coordinator of ACD, who spoke on the occasion as focal person, said proper execution of the tobacco control law has become an urgent need to protect many non-smokers from passive smoking. He said Bangladesh is one of the highest tobacco using countries that has now become a matter of grave concern.

Social movement is also needed to ensure hundred percent smoke-free public places and transports for freeing millions of second hand and passive smocking from various harmful effects, he added.

He defined that the frequent and indiscriminate smoking in the public places and transports affected the non-smokers more than direct smokers.

In conditions when state imposes high taxes on cigarettes, best way to buy them is via internet Access and buy cigarettes online at lowest prices.

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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Tobacco News


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EU States to Export 1,600 Tons of Cigarettes to Serbia Each Year

As of July 1, EU member-states will be able to export 1,600 tons of cigarettes to Serbia annually, at a reduced customs rate of 15%, which has resulted from the months-long Belgrade-Brussels talks following Croatia’s admission to the EU and the agreed quota equals the quantity of annual exports of Croatian cigarettes to Serbia. Although local tobacco industry representatives support Serbia’s EU course, they are concerned about the influence of that agreement on their own business.

The Serbian Parliament’s EU Integrations Committee has adopted a report on the supplementary protocol to the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, which enables privileged import of cigarettes at a reduced customs rate. That means that as of July 1, EU member-states will be able to export 1,600 tons of cigarettes to Serbia annually, at a reduced customs rate of 15%. For higher quotas, the rate shall amount to 53.6%, as it is now.

The protocol has resulted from the months-long Belgrade-Brussels talks following Croatia’s admission to the EU. Croatia wanted to retain a privileged position for export of cigarettes to the Serbian market, which it acquired as a CEFTA region member-state. Upon admission to the EU, Croatia received the same treatment as other member-states, which implies higher customs rate for exports to Serbia. As it is official Brussels that represents Croatia’s interests, the talks commenced and the proposed quota equalled the quantity of exports of Croatian cigarettes to Serbia at the time.

Belgrade entered the negotiations with the position that, should it accept the request, Serbia should be approved aditional quantities for export of other products to the EU market. Serbia has obtained increased quotas, so it will be able to export by 4,300 more hectoliters of wine, while fish export quotas have been increased by 26 tons and sugar export quotas by 1,000 tons.

According to the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Željko Sertić, the reached agreemetn forms part of Serbia’s EU and common market accession process. He said that the state should apply some benefits to help the local tobacco industry and reduced negative effects on its business activities. Serbia has three large cigarette manufactures, which have invested more than one billion euros in the tobacco industry. Those are multinational companies „Philip Morris“, „British American Tobacco“ and „Japan Tobacco International“, which are interested in continuing their business in Serbia.

In 2013, they produced a total of seven thousand tons of cheapest cigarettes and tripled their exports, especially to the Asian market, above all, to Japan and China. They also contribute to the Serbian budget by paying tax, contributions and excise tax. What interestd them most is on the basis of which criteria the quota is to be distributed. They are interested in taking part in the privileged export of cigarettes to Serbia from their European affiliates.

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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Tobacco Articles


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Smoking in a public place? Your pic may appear on FB

Police commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar has appealed to the public to upload photos of smokers on the Bangalore city police Facebook page for immediate action. The public can also call 100 and inform them about smokers in public places, so that the nearest patrol police can reach the spot and nab them. The identity of the informant would be kept confidential.

The measures are part of an intensified drive against smoking in public places under the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade of commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003.

Auradkar told Bangalore Mirror, “We have started looking for those who smoke cheapest cigarettes in public places and booking cases against such smokers under the COPTA Act.”

Smoking in public places like bus stands, railway station, metro, malls and eateries causes inconvenience to the public, he pointed out. “It leads to passive smoking. Young girls and women will suffer because of the smokers. Sometimes women have to walk away from those places because of these mischievous smokers,” he contended.

A senior officer said, the plan of appealing to people to upload the photos in Facebook will work because many youths smoke without the knowledge of their parents, family members and relatives.

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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Tobacco Articles


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Ian Paisley against plain packing for cigarettes

Democratic Unionist Party MP Ian Paisley jnr lobbied the Government against its plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, claiming it would make it easier for tobacco smugglers on both sides of the Border. The letters were sent in March and are the latest in a series of correspondence received by the Government expressing opposition to Minister for Health James Reilly’s proposals.

The Bill on plain packaging is expected to go to Cabinet in the coming weeks, and Government sources said it is being strengthened in the Attorney General’s office in anticipation of challenges in the Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice and at the World Trade Organisation. Others to have lobbied on the issue include United States congressmen and governors, as well as some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, such as Philip Morris Ltd, the British arm of Philip Morris International, which is responsible for brands such as Marlboro.

Mr Paisley has campaigned against plain packaging in the UK, and initiated an open letter signed by 52 MPs two years ago which said “there is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will have any public health benefit”.

Plain packaging
Earlier this year, he also delivered a letter signed by 73 MPs to the British health secretary expressing opposition to plain packaging.

Japan Tobacco International, the maker of Glamour and LD cigarettes, is based in Ballymena in Mr Paisley’s constituency, and he says it employs 1,000 people and “makes a significant contribution to the local economy”.

The letters sent to Irish Ministers and civil servants include his House of Commons and constituency addresses and Mr Paisley warns of the “many negative consequences to plain packaging that need to be taken into consideration” before plain packaging is introduced, even though he “supports the Government’s objectives to reduce and prevent youth smoking”.

Mr Paisley sent the letters to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, as well as Martin Fraser, the secretary general of Department of the Taoiseach and David Cooney, the secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Reilly has said he intends on making the Republic “tobacco free by 2025” and claimed “no amount of lobbying will divert us from our goal”.

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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Tobacco News


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