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September, 2008

“Fire-safe” cigarettes for Europe by 2011

Brussels - According to the European Union Commission for Standardization, all cigarettes sold throughout the European Union will be self-extinguishing, “fire-safe” brands by 2011.

In 2007, the EU approved a proposal that would require the tobacco industry to use fire-retardant paper in all cigarettes to cut down on the number of fires caused by dropped cigarettes each year.

Cigarettes of similar design (going out if not smoked for 60 seconds) are currently on sale in parts of the US, Canada, and Australia.

“Shock campaign” to curb smoking
Manama - In addition to a caption reading “Smoking Kills,” Bahrain and the GCC’s tobacco products will feature pictures of corpses, dead babies, rotting teeth, and cancerous lungs.

This is the result of so-called shock tactics taken by the GCC Anti-Smoking Committee. Dr. Kadhem Al Halwachi, Health Ministry tobacco control unit coordinator, said that “The current warning is being ignored and the new warning would help the cause better…All tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, shisha, and chewing tobacco pouches will display various negative messages and pictures on the effects of smoking.”

16,000 pounds of illegal tobacco seized
Ontario - Ontario Provincial Police officers seized 16,000 pounds of untaxed tobacco from a truck at a spot check north of Morrisburg. Glengarry OPP Constable Pete Robertson said that the tobacco was packaged in clear bags, all of it fine-cut tobacco.

BSJ developing cigarette warning labels
Kingston - The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) is developing warning labels for cigarettes. These labels are to be adopted as the standard for the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Wayne Stewart, Chairman of the Labelling Technical Committee, said “Jamaica has been given the challenge of taking the lead on regulating cigarette labelling initially and tobacco in general…We are hoping to get it out of our hands and back to CROSQ (Caricom Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality) for their final review and we believe that they will likely send it out for further comment. We will be looking at the comments. We will be assessing them as they come back to us.”

The Jamaica Cigarette Labelling Standard was amended in 2006 to reflect the standards set out in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Currently, cigarette cartons display warnings about the effects of smoking. If the new standard is approved, the warnings will also include graphic images.

Liquor and tobacco valuations reviewed
Bangkok - As a new measure for calculating taxes related to liquor and cigarettes, prices are expected to rise. The Thai government cabinet approved the drafts of four amendments relating to the clarification of taxes: the Liquor Act, Excise Tax Act, Excise Tariff Act, and Tobacco Act.

Taxes on tobacco, currently at 80%, would be raised to 90% if the new legislation takes effect.

United States
Cheap cigars facing ban
Baltimore - The Mayor of Baltimore has proposed a citywide ban on the individual sale of small and flavored cigars.

Brands like Black & Mild and White Owl would be affected by the ban, and these cigars would only be able to be sold in packs of five or more, with the aim of cost dissuading youths from smoking. In addition, wholesalers would be prohibited from selling cigars in bins or boxes of singles. Smokeshops and tobacconists, however, would be exempt from this ban.

Tobacco International - September, 2008

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