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Trade ministry pokes holes in Tobacco Bill

The Ministry Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has called for a balance between health and economic interests within the proposed Tobacco Control Bill 2014 before it is passed into law. The ministry noted that the tobacco industry greatly contributes to the economy with approximately Shs56 billion going directly to farmers’ pockets annually.

Mr Oule Epyanu, the senior commercial officer at theministry, said the Bill is biased on the consumption of tobacco and its health risks and does not provide any guidelines for the financial implications on the tobacco industry, thus calling for a total ban on the industry.

“Certainly, there is a need for control and regulation of the sector. It should, however, be done in a way which strikes consensus between health and trade concerns”, Mr Epyanu said, while addressing a focus group meeting organised by Uganda Human Rights Commission in Kampala last week.

He emphasised the need to respect the Tobacco (Control and Marketing) Act 1967, which was enacted to regulate tobacco production and marketing because the crop is unique in relation to other crops.

Two weeks ago, a group of 50 tobacco farmers, under the Uganda Tobacco Growers Association, petitioned Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over the Bill.

The farmers cited Clause 49 as their main concern in the Bill, saying it will leave them vulnerable to exploitation from the tobacco companies once the Bill is passed in its current form.

At the same meeting, Terego County Member of Parliament Kassiano Wadri asked the government to provide alternative crops for tobacco farmers to enable them to transit from the crop.

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Posted by on June 24, 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 Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Increases Risk of Lung Cancer

Smokers of Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Are at Greater Risk for Lung and Oral Cancer Than Smokers of Regular and King-Size Cigarettes, According to Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Global Tobacco Control

“We found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes have higher concentrations of tobacco specific carcinogens in their urine than smokers of regular or king size cigarettes,” said Constantine Vardavas, MD, senior research scientist, Harvard School of Public Health.

Vardavas and colleagues compared urine tests among 3,699 smokers of regular, king-sized and long or ultralong cigarettes using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 2007-2010. Smokers of king-sized cigarettes accounted for 53% of total smokers, smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes constituted 31.5%, and smokers of regular-sized cigarettes made up the remaining 15.4% of the smoker population. They found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes had significantly higher levels of NNAL — an indicator of tobacco-specific carcinogen — in their urine. In addition, researchers found that older smokers, non-Hispanic blacks, and females had a greater tendency to smoke long or ultralong cigarettes.

“While the significant risks of smoking are well known and accepted, very little information exists on the health risks of different sizes of cigarettes,” said Darcy Marciniuk, MD, FCCP and President of the ACCP. “This study indicates that there is an added risk to those smoking long and ultralong cigarettes.”

CHEST 2013 is the 79th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 26-31 in Chicago, Illinois. The ACCP is the global leader in clinical chest medicine, representing 18,700 members who provide patient care in the areas of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of the ACCP is to promote the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. For information about the ACCP, visit the ACCP website or follow the ACCP on Facebook and Twitter and the meeting hashtag, #CHEST2013.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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Tobacco prices up 39 percent

Tobacco prices up 39 percent

THE average price of tobacco went up by 39 percent from an average of US$2,69 per kg in May 2011 to US$3,74 per kg in May 2012, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said.

Tobacco Auctions

Tobacco auction floor

According to the banks’ June Zimbabwe economic review released this week, AfDB said the 2012 tobacco-selling season had continued on a positive note, a development that had benefited the farmers.

“The average price of tobacco went up by 39 percent from an average of US$2,69 per kg in May 2011 to US$3,74 per kg in May 2012,” said AfDB.

The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) on Wednesday said tobacco worth US$465 million had been sold at the country’s three tobacco auction floors compared to US$321 million sold during the same period last year.

In 2011, a total of 125 million kgs of tobacco had gone under the hammer over the same time. The sales volume translate into a 6,32 percent increase from the 118 million kg sold last year.

TIMB statistics show that the daily average price was US$3,52 compared to US$3,13 per kg last year.

Premier Tobacco Floors auctioned 9 million kg worth US$32,7 million at an average price of US$3,63 per kg.

Boka Tobacco Auction Floors handled 14,5 million kg worth US$51,2 million at an average price of US3,53 per kg.

Millennium Tobacco Floors auctioned 8,5 million kg valued at US$30,5 million at an average price of US$3,61 per kg.

Contract sales amounted to 76,6 million kg worth US$290,6 million at an average price of US$3,79 per kg.
 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Tobacco News

 

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Uganda becomes key tobacco producer

Uganda is becoming a key tobacco growing country six years after British America Tobacco Uganda (BATU) decided to concentrate on growing the leaf and leaving the production of cigarettes to its Kenyan operations.

Uganda Tobacco Field
A farmer at a tobacco field

British American Tobacco has already made Uganda the key location for its leaf operations. The company relocated its regional headquarters for Leaf Operations in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA), from South Africa to Uganda.

From just one country with only 30,000 farmers, Uganda will now oversee 11 countries, three continents, 1,038 employees and 100,000 farmers. According to Alain Schacher, BATU’s Managing Director, who is also EEMEA Regional Leaf Supply Manager, the choice was between Uganda and Zimbabwe, another key source.

But Uganda emerged favourite because of its potential for growth, with more opportunities for expansion in terms of the farmers’ base, availability of land and political stability.

“For BAT, Uganda is a key source for tobacco for the group. To improve synergy between the global strategy and the local implementation, we felt Uganda was the best location,” Schacher says.

Last year, BATU farmers produced 18,000 tons of tobacco leaves higher than 12,000 tons produced in 2010. The move by BATU to close its cigarette factory in Jinja in 2006 and shift its equipment to Kenya raised debate over the company’s future in Uganda.

Some people argued then that some investors were finding Uganda hostile, and Kenya offered better opportunities. But BATU has proved all those sceptics wrong.

“For BAT, Uganda is a key source for tobacco for the group. To improve synergy between the global strategy and the local implementation, we felt Uganda was the best location,” Schacher says.

“We want to grow our farmers bigger, not necessarily to commercialize but a farmer with half an acre can move on to an acre so that we have effective means of dealing with them,” he adds.

This year, the company looks forward to consolidating last year’s produce. “By the office being here, farmers are assured of transformation. You get prime knowledge, prime technology and resources. They are at the heart of the business,” Schacher notes.

BATU intends to spend about $5m in its Uganda operations over the next two to three years. According to Schacher, with tobacco leaf growing, the company’s benefits trickle down to more people as opposed to the factory in Jinja which by the time it closed, it employed only 35 people.

Schacher further notes that it was hard for the country to achieve a lot with the cigarettes. He says 25,000 tons, for example, produce 30 billion sticks of cigarettes. Uganda consumes a total of two billion sticks annually.

“We are a supplier of tobacco, not a supplier of cigarettes,” he says.

BATU exports tobacco leaves to more than 20 countries in the world. The announcement of the new office comes on the heels of several milestones that BAT Uganda has registered this year including a total dividend payment of 11.2 billion to shareholders at Shs 228 per share as well as a 7% increase in profits in the first half of 2011.

The company is listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange, where the counter has turned around after years of its share performing poorly. BAT Uganda also launched a 3.3 billion project to expand the Central Purchasing Point in Hoima to boost its operations in Bunyoro region where it works with 15,000 farmers of its 30,000 contracted farmers.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Tobacco Articles

 

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What’s in a cigarette?

Modern cigarette manufacturing is a sophisticated, complex industry in which manufacturers compete to satisfy the demands and preferences of consumers. As cigarette use spread, the cultivation of tobacco gained in popularity. At first, all cigarettes were rolled manually, whether by the individual smoker or by shop workers, who rolled and glued cigarettes before they were packaged.

Cigarette Structure
Cigarette applications

TOBACCO

Only a portion of the tobacco inside a cigarette comes from the leaf of a tobacco plant. A significant amount of the shredded brown innards of most modern cigarettes is a paper product called “reconstituted tobacco” or “homogenized sheet tobacco,” which is made from a pulp of mashed tobacco stems and other parts of the tobacco leaf that would otherwise go to waste.

In addition to reconstituted tobacco, cigarette companies pack cigarettes with so-called puffed tobacco (also called “expanded tobacco”), which allows them to produce more cigarettes per pound of tobacco grown with lower levels of tar particles in the smoke.

PAPER WRAP

Though seemingly innocuous, cigarette paper is largely responsible for the rate at which a cigarette burns and the amount and density of the smoke it produces. The paper displays a pattern of concentric circle striations called “burn rings.” The burn rings correspond to two different thicknesses in the paper, which serve to precisely control the speed at which the cigarette burns, slowing it automatically when the smoker is not inhaling in order to prolong the cigarette’s consumption and speeding it up as the smoker takes a drag so as to maximize smoke intake.

FILTER

The filter cigarette was a specialty item until 1954, when manufacturers introduced it broadly following a spate of speculative announcements from doctors and researchers concerning a possible link between lung diseases and smoking. Reacting to smokers’ voiced fears and sudden reduced cigarette consumption, cigarette companies, by altering the filter’s structure and materials, began making competing claims about how low their brands’ tar and nicotine levels were.

Some cigarettes today boast the inclusion of a “charcoal filter” in addition to the more common dense, synthetic fiber filters seen in almost all filter cigarettes. Manufacturers claim that charcoal filters in cigarettes, which contain bits of charcoal embedded within the fiber filters, reduce certain toxins in the smoke.

Most filter cigarettes also bear ventilation holes punched around the circumference of the filter tip. (Regular cigarettes might feature one ring of ventilation holes, while light and ultra-light cigarettes of the same brand might have two or more rings.) These tiny holes, which you can see by holding the unrolled paper up to a bright light, can allow enough fresh air into the smoke that such cigarettes can test quite low in tar and nicotine levels when smoked by machines, which do not cover the holes. However, smokers’ fingers or lips often cover some of these holes as they puff, giving them much higher doses of tar and nicotine than advertised. According to critics of the tobacco industry, the holes create a flexible dosing system that allows addicted smokers to maintain the tar and nicotine levels they crave while believing they are receiving lower, safer doses.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Tobacco Facts

 

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Daniel Radcliffe gets tobacco delivery

Daniel Radcliffe gets tobacco sent to him from England.

The 22-year-old actor Daniel Radcliffe is currently living in New York and though he knows smoking is bad for him, he can’t resist his favourite hand-rolled cigarettes, but has Golden Virginia tobacco sent out to him because he hates the US products.

Harry Potter star
“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe

He said: ‘I have to ship this in from home because you can’t get good rolling tobacco here. It’s all dry and c–py like you’ve emptied out a cigarette.

‘I shouldn’t really smoke. It’s not great when you have to sing, obviously. At least with roll-ups you can keep tabs on what you put in, so I don’t have to have a big fat cigarette every time. But that’s just the way addicts rationalise – ‘Oh this is much better for me.’ ‘

Tobacco isn’t the only thing about America which Daniel dislikes; he also took a swipe at the ‘pretentious’ pronunciation used in the US.

He complained to Britain’s Esquire magazine: ‘They pronounce things like the French. They say, ‘filet’ instead of ‘fillet’. What’s that about? And ‘erb – they leave off the h. If it was one person saying it, it would be pretentious, but when it’s the whole f—ing nation…’

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Tobacco News

 

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