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Tobacco Sales Amount New Record

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

cheapest chesterfield cigarettesDespite this year’s poor tobacco prices that have contributed to the country’s worsening economic woes, the market season has registered the largest tobacco volumes sold than ever, the Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has said.

As of last week, the market had sold just over 235 million kilogrammes of both burley and flu-cured tobacco, beating the 2009 record of 232 million at the end of that year’s market season.

“We have sold more tobacco than ever but our objective is to match the leaf sales with proceeds because you can note that despite selling more tobacco we have had very poor prices,” said TCC Chief Executive Officer Bruce Munthali in an interview.

A presidential directive was issued last month that all tobacco brought to the auction floors this year should be bought either by the buyers or the government.

About US$291 million has been realised from the sales of tobacco and chesterfield through the auction floors this year, compared to US$410 million realised from sales of the leaf last year.

Tama president Robert Maigwa was quoted on ZBS bemoaning this year’s sales which he said are the worst in recent years and have affected farmers’ incomes considerably.

He said the country should expect low tobacco volumes next year as most of the disappointed farmers have kept away from planting tobacco this growing season.

Cigarettes Stores Pass the Test on Tobacco Sales

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

cheap dunhill cigarettesGladwin County should be proud: Of stores that were checked for compliance with state tobacco laws recently, none sold cigarettes to minors. In 2011, there were two rounds of undercover “stings.” These “stings” are when a trained underage youth, under adult supervision, tries to buy Dunhill cigarettes from local stores.

This effort is done in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Office of Drug Control Policy Prevention Section, and the state substance abuse prevention office in Michigan.

Michigan is under a federal mandate, the Synar amendment, which requires each state to demonstrate that their Youth Tobacco Laws are being enforced to reduce access of tobacco products to minors.

Altria Loses Tender for End of U.S. Tobacco Sales

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

hot karelia cigarettes onlineTobacco companies including Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA unit lost a bid to dismiss the federal government’s 1999 racketeering case. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington ruled today that her authority over the case wasn’t ended by a 2009 law that empowered the U.S.

Food and Drug Administration to monitor the industry and establish restrictions on the sale Karelia, promotion and distribution of tobacco products.

The defendants, which also include Reynolds American Inc.’s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard Inc.’s Lorillard Tobacco, argued that the FDA’s new role meant court oversight of the industry is no longer needed.

Kessler said the cigarette makers continue to challenge the law that created the FDA’s regulation of the industry and if they prevail, “it will be all the more necessary for them to be restrained by this court from any future violations” of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

In 2006, Kessler found that the companies violated the law by conspiring to hide the dangers of cigarettes. She ordered the companies to stop marketing cigarettes as “light” and “low- tar” and to make statements about the health effects of smoking in newspapers and magazines and on cigarette packages.

British American Tobacco Plc, Europe’s largest cigarette maker, was dropped from the lawsuit in March after Kessler said a 2010 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a securities case restricts the U.S. from finding liability in “what is essentially foreign activity.”

Government ‘Pleased’

“At first blush, we’re pleased,” Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, said of the ruling.

“We continue to believe that the FDA is the appropriate agency to regulate tobacco products and are considering our appellate options,” said Steven Callahan, a spokesman for Altria.

Greg Perry, a spokesman for Lorillard, declined to comment immediately. Representatives at Reynolds American’s public relations department didn’t immediately reply to a phone message seeking comment.

Proposed Tobacco Tax Up in Smoke

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

discount monte carlo cigarettesBusinesses in Atascadero will not have to pay a license fee to sell tobacco after the City Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to kill the idea for now because they thought it would be a burden on retailers. They made the decision despite an enforcement procedure that an alarmingly high 32 percent of stores illegally sold tobacco to decoys in August, according to the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.

Community outreach late last year that helped bring illegal sales down to 0 percent in February played a role in the decision, officials said.

The council decided to continue the voluntary efforts at curbing illegal tobacco sales instead of developing a tobacco retail-licensing ordinance in order to spare local tobacco retailers the burden of added fees.

“I think we have a responsibility to businesses … not to charge them on every little thing,” Mayor Pro Tem Bob Kelley said, echoing the opinions of other council members. But the council also said it would consider adopting an ordinance in the future if businesses continued to sell tobacco to minors.

After the council became concerned about the August sales rate, it directed the city to conduct two tobacco stings starting in late 2010 to see whether various local and national retailers would sell to underage decoys.

It also asked for community outreach efforts to supplement the work, which included workshops with groups such as the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce that were directed at local tobacco-selling businesses.

In December, only 8 percent of Atascadero’s stores illegally sold tobacco to decoys under the new program. In February that went down to 0 percent. The city and community attribute that to the stings and community outreach efforts.

While all were pleased with the perfect compliance rate of Atascadero’s 26 tobacco retailers, some members of the public hoped for a more sustainable approach.

The county’s Tobacco Control Program specialist Christina Lefevre, an Atascadero resident, lobbied for the ordinance. She said that because a tobacco retailer pays for a license under a city ordinance, those monies could fund the police stings and outreach programs.

Police stings cost the city about eight hours of one officer’s time, Atascadero acting Police Chief Steve Gesell said. Local ordinances are designed to back state law against selling tobacco to those age 17 and younger. As it stands now, a clerk caught selling tobacco to a minor is cited for a misdemeanor with fines ranging from about $200 to $2,000, but the retailer itself goes unscathed.

With a city ordinance, a tobacco retailer license can also be suspended or revoked if a store is caught selling to minors.

“It’s the two items together that makes it work — the consistent enforcement and the threat of monetary penalties,” Lefevre said before the meeting.

Now the county will be less able to assist with administering stings as it has in the past due to state budget shortfalls, so it’s up to the cities to ensure tobacco enforcement continues on their own. The county will continue to pursue local policy change and outreach.

Morro Bay, Paso Robles and Pismo Beach are the only cities in the county besides Atascadero without a tobacco ordinance.

Smoking Laws Regulate Tobacco Sales

Monday, March 28th, 2011

cigarettes salesBy-laws which could regulate the sale of Lucky Strike cigarettes in shops near schools, ban smoking in some indoor areas and decide which shisha cafes are licensed, are to be voted on by the Health Council early next month.

The laws, which should have come into effect by the end of last year, will clarify the enforcement of federal anti-tobacco law No 15, issued in early 2009 by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE.

Dr. Wedad al Maidoor, the head of the National Tobacco Control Committee, said the by-laws were pending official approval because further steps had to be taken before smoking bans take effect in coming months.

The delay in drafting the by-laws was unavoidable, said Dr al Maidoor. “We have been in continuous meetings with all the concerned authorities and all the partners who must be included in drafting the by-laws, trying to find the best solutions,” she said. “We are almost done and in the final phase.”

Government departments involved in submitting proposals on what rules and regulations the law should address include the Ministry of Health, the various health authorities, Civil Defence, the municipalities and the Ministry of Economy.

Dr al Maidoor did not expect concerns or complaints about the by-laws to be lodged. That had already been dealt with, she said.

“The Health Council has to approve all laws. If the by-laws do not meet with opposition, the by-laws continue on to the Federal National Council. Within a few months, we can finalise this and start enforcing the laws,” she said.

Salem bin Mesmar, the assistant director general for the environment, health and safety control sector at Dubai Municipality, said smoking was a global crisis that needed immediate action.

Drafting the by-laws, he said, “was not an easy task”. “The Ministry of Health wants smoking all over UAE to be regulated and this law needs an appendix which explains the law in more detail and highlights the technical requirements.”

The details that had to be ironed out related to smoking, tobacco and packaging, he said.

“All over the world there is an increase of smokers, especially in the Third World and the Middle East – even in young people – and one reason for this is because companies invest heavily on advertisements,” Mr Mesmar said.

This month, Britain announced plans to enforce strict laws banning the display of cigarette packages behind cash counters from April 2012 in large shops and by 2015 for all others. The UK government aims to change social behaviour by considering a push for unbranded, plain packages.

Mr Mesmar said similar laws could come into force in the UAE. “The new rule on box advertising is coming here and we will deal with it on a GCC level,” he said.

“We would like to see the advertising on the box drop down to zero.”

In 2007, the Dubai Government approached the municipality to regulate smoking in shopping malls. Following discussions with the Shopping Mall Council, Dubai Festival City became the first smoke-free mall in the city.

“For phase two, we regulated smoking in hotels while working with the Dubai Tourism Authority. In phase three, we concentrated on cafes and restaurants, where we started with shisha, because the Government did not like it expanding,” said Mr Mesmar.

Business owners were given one year to follow the rules, but due to the financial crisis, cases were sometimes reviewed separately under special circumstances.

“Some smokers use the excuse for continuing the habit that there is too much pressure in the world and they believe it offers stress relief. Believe me, nobody who truly understands its effects will smoke.”

Dr al Maidoor said a large part of the drafted by-laws were concerned with enforcement, so that the burden was divided equally between government and private departments.

“Really, the law as it stands is quite clear and everyone should be enforcing it already. They definitely will once it is official – printed in the official gazette.”

The World Health Organisation reports that in addition to the five million people who die annually from smoking – six every second – at least 600,000 more die from second-hand, passive smoking

UK and Spain Stopped Tobacco Sales for Imperial

Friday, March 25th, 2011

gauloises cigarettesTough markets in the UK and Spain put a drag on cigarette sales in the last three months at Imperial Tobacco, which makes Lambert & Butler, West and Gauloises. The company’s global cigarette volumes fell 1 per cent in the six months to the end of March, against a 1.2 per cent rise in the first quarter, as trade buying before last September’s price rise shifted spending to the second half.

Imperial, which makes more than 300 billion cigarettes a year, said Spain stayed tough due to a December tax rise, a public smoking ban this year and economic woe hitting sales of top brands.

The group said it had increased volumes of global brands Davidoff, Gauloises Blondes and West, with good results in emerging markets. The company, which forecast full year results in the year to September 30 in line with hopes, said it expected first half tobacco revenues to rise about 2 per cent.

“We have continued to deliver strong growth in fine-cut tobacco volumes,” Imperial said.

However Investec Securities said: “The news from the two key markets of the UK and Spain is a material negative in our view.”

Tobacco Farmers Call for More Selling Points

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

buy marlboro cigsTobacco farmers have called on Government to establish more tobacco selling points to redu-ce pressure during the marketing season. This season, the Tobacco Sales Floor is the only auction floor which is functional as the Zimbabwe Industry and Tobacco Auction Centre’s licence was cancelled. Boka Tobacco Auction Floor is undergoing some renovations.

Tobacco Association of Zimbabwe secretary-general, Mr Stan Kasukuwere said farmers were living like destitutes due to the pressure at the floors.

“TSF alone can not cater for the whole of Zimbabwe. The number of tobacco growers is increasing each year and Government should ensure farmers have access to several markets to reduce pressure,” he said.

Mr Kasukuwere called for more buyers so that there is efficiency at the floors. “Contractors should also be allowed to buy from farmers at the auction to increase competition and also reduce the time spent by farmers selling their crop.”

Some farmers said they were being forced to cancel other plans as they spend more time at the floors. They said they were losing money at the floors as they buy expensive food at the floors.

A long winding queue of vehicles intending to drop off bales of tobacco has formed at the auction floors. Farmers who had managed to book on Friday were abandoned by transporters and could only sell their crop tomorrow.

“We are now being forced to use carts and wheelbarrows to get our crop into the floors,” a farmer from Mhangura said. Another farmer said: “We came on Thursday and were booked for Tuesday so the transporter can not wait for us to sell our tobacco next week.

“Of course there is accommodation but there are too many of us for the accommodation.

“Besides we can’t leave our bales in the queue and go to sleep inside the building otherwise we lose all the bales,” said Mr John Donhorere from Rusape.

Farmers who are delivering their crop without having made prior booking arrangements are also increasing the congestion at the floors. TSF and the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board have repeatedly called for farmers to book first before they travel to the floors. However, some farmers have ignored the call leading to the chaos.

Stakeholders in the tobacco industry had proposed to decentralise tobacco floors to provinces. No proposals from operators have been made for such a move.

This season, TIMB de-centralised its operations by opening regional offices at Chinhoyi for Mashonaland West, Mvurwi for Mashonaland Central, Marondera (Mashonaland East) and Rusape for Manicaland province. These regional offices are offering grower registration services, sales booking services and tobacco extension services.

Some farmers have suggested that the booking and registration facilities be decentralised to ward level. To ease pressure on the floors, TSF has increased selling teams to four and opened three booking places at the floors. About 150 to 200 million kilogrammes of tobacco are expected to be sold this season.

So far 15,9 million kilogrammes of tobacco worth US$48,2 million have been sold. The tobacco has been sold at an average price of US$3,03 per kilogramme.