Tobacco New Benefit, Tobacco Dust

Tobacco is not only for smoking but this versatile crop has other beneficial uses and industrial products which could generate employment and livelihood. According to Administrator Edgardo Zaragoza of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), the environment-friendly tobacco dust was proven to be an effective “molluscicide” against snails and other fishpond pests without any residue in fish harvests.

“This organic pesticide will not harm the environment but it will boost the aquaculture program of the government,” Zaragoza stressed. Also, the tobacco dust will enhance the growth of the “lablab,” a pond fishfood.

Based on the findings of the NTA Research Center in Batac City, the tobacco virgin pulp from tobacco stalks is needed for the manufacture of handmade and commercial paper, he said.

Even during the term of former NTA Administrator Carlitos Encarnacion, the agency’s researchers have formulated tobacco extract concentrates that are helpful against sucking insects that damage vegetables and mango fruits.

Rex Antonio Teoxon, deputy administrator for operations of NTA, bared that the organic concentrate is effective against pests found in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, eggplants, okra, sitao, watermelon, and ornamentals.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is batting for the application of organic farming to improve farm profitability as well as protect the environment because vegetables harvested in many areas in the country have high pesticide residue level due to wide spread use of toxic chemical pesticides.

The Deputy Administrator also reported that another discovery from the crop is ethanol, the alcohol extracted from tobacco which was found to have up to 92 percent purity for biofuel especially now that the uncontrolled oil price adjustments are triggering grave impact on the power, water, and telecommunications sectors.

The NTA researchers discovered that the ethanol content holds great promise for the country’s biofuel requirements, Teoxon added.

The NTA, in coordination with the Cottage Industry Technology Center, also identified cottage industry items from tobacco like paper/gift bags, baskets, belts, floor tiles, lampshades, and particle and panel boards.

Tobacco’s Petone Factory Offers Jobs

Big Tobacco is getting even bigger in Lower Hutt as Imperial Tobacco’s Petone factory gears up to send 4 billion cigarettes a year to Australia. The long-established factory in Richmond St will be quadrupling its exports across the ditch and introducing 50 new jobs, with a two-year, $45-million upgrade nearing completion. Six new production lines feature German machinery capable of spitting out 8000 tax free Winston cigarettes each minute – nearly half a million per hour. Manufacturing staff numbers are increasing from 70 to 120.

Most of Imperial’s cigarettes for Australia are made in Sydney by British American Tobacco, but that agreement runs out in June, with Petone set to benefit. Packets of up to 40 cigarettes in brands including JPS, Horizon and Davidoff will be manufactured in Lower Hutt and exported to Australia.

Factory manager Michael McInnarney, who has worked there for more than a decade, said staff had worked hard to convince the British parent company that it was worthy of a major investment, which could have otherwise gone to somewhere in Asia.

“A variety of other sites were looked at, but it was decided logistically and for transport costs that it made very good sense to have it in New Zealand,” Mr McInnarney said.

“And to be blunt, a lot of staff here have been working their arses off to get ourselves to the point where we are seen by the group as capable of taking on the additional production.”

The number of cigarettes smoked in New Zealand each year has fallen from more than 6 billion in the early 1980s, to just over 2 billion in 2011, according to Statistics NZ figures.

Regulation has progressively increased taxes as well as restricting sales and advertising.

Smuggled Tobacco Products into Egypt

Cigarettes smuggled into Egypt include chemicals that can further heighten the risk of cancer for smokers, claims a new study by the National Research Centre (NRC). Egypt’s largest cigarette-maker, Eastern Company, commissioned the Cairo-based NRC to examine the components of smuggled cigarettes which typically retail for less than half the price of licenced brands.

Made outside the country then brought in illegally, bypassing tax and health regulations, such cigarettes are estimated to make up 20 per cent of Egypt’s market, British American Tobacco said recently.

NRC’s study include 10 smuggled brands, including ‘Malimbo’, ‘MJ’ and ‘Roseman’.

The centre subsequently issued a letter to “whom it may concern” indicating that one particular component they found could “lead to irregularities in cell split which increases the possibility of developing malignancy”.

Another component causing “harmful effects to the neurosystem” was also identified by Egypt’s largest governmental research body. Consumers interviewed by Ahram Online, however, were dismissive of such findings.

Mahmoud El-Shazli, in his early 40s, had since his teenage years smoked Cleopatras, Egypt’s most popular cigarette, made bythe state-owned Eastern Company.

Nine months ago he shifted to Malimbo. He rejected claims about the “extra-harmful” side-effects of his new choice.

“They keep on saying it causes all sorts of bad stuff but that’s not true,” the public worker insisted, brandishing the butt of a Malimbo. “This cigarette tastes better and it’s much cheaper.”

Malimbo typically sells at LE4 per pack while Cleopatra retails for LE7.

Cigarette smuggling has surged since the outbreak of Egypt’s uprising in January 2011 and the partial collapse of former president Hosni Mubarak’s security forces.

Only three companies are licenced to make and sell cigarettes in Egypt; the current market leader Eastern Company, British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International.

In a move to combat cigarette smuggling, Egypt’s government said last week that all local cigarettemanufacturerswould be obliged to stamp their products by the beginning of June.

Company officials, however, say such efforts will do little to solve the problem that has cost them precious market share.

No More Smoking in Evansville Bars

Evansville’s smoking ban has officially taken effect, and that means no more lighting up inside Evansville bars, taverns, and private clubs. Many local businesses are calling it a transitional phase and say they expect it will take time for everyone to get used to the change, but they want to make sure they can accommodate as much as possible.

For some bartenders changing over to a smoke-free environment is something they’ve been preparing for since it passed back in February.

“We started right away, actually we just finished yesterday. We went around and got all the ashtrays, and cleaned them and boxed them up,” said Jerry Blake with VFW Post 1114.

For others, they waited to make the change until it was officially April 1st.

“We just took up all the ashtrays at midnight,” said Lamasco’s Bar and Grill bartender, Mallory Cook.

Blake says he expects it will take a month to really get through the transition. He says he’s hung signs around the building, namely in areas where smoking used to be allowed.

“People like to sit outside anyway,” said Cook

Cook says the time of year is helpful for transitioning to smoke-free. She says they have done some work with their outdoor patio, with ash trays and receptacles. She says she thinks the smoking ban will not hurt their business.

“Our customers are a friendly group, it’s like ‘Cheers’, everybody knows your name, so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue,” said Cook.

Blake isn’t so sure. He says he’s already heard about members threatening to leave.

“The bingo players have been pretty dedicated to us, but we’ve had a lot of them say that if we do go smoke free, they’re going to go to Henderson because in Henderson you can smoke,” said Blake.

But he says even though he certainly doesn’t like it, he’s ready to help enforce the law.

The penalty for lighting up inside any of these establishments is an initial fine of $50 with higher fines for additional violations.