Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 5

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10 tobaccoasia / Issue 5, 2016 November / December From the Associate Editor Publisher Glenn Anthony John Associate Editor Nattira Medvedeva Contributing Editor Thomas Schmid Assistant Editor Andrey Medvedev Correspondents Chris Bickers (US Leaf) Allen Liao (China) Eric Piras (Cigars) Art Director Somjet Thitasomboon Editorial Assistant Chai Thomson Translations Liao Tian Liang Office Assistant Aek Jekaram Subscriptions/Administration Malisa Kongkatitum Editorial/Circulation Offices Tobacco Asia c/o October Inter Co. Ltd. Interchange 21 Bldg., Room 3225, 32nd Fl. 399 Sukhumvit Road Bangkok, 10110, Thailand Tel +66 2 660 3789 Fax +66 2 660 3881 © 2016 October Multimedia Co Ltd., TOBACCO ASIA is published quinterly (five times a year) by October Multimedia Co Ltd in March, May, July, September, and November. Printing and distribu- tion of TOBACCO ASIA is overseen by October Inter Co. Ltd., Interchange 21 Bldg., Room 3225, 32nd Fl., 399 Sukhumvit Road, North Klong Toey, Wattana, Bangkok, 10110 THAILAND. Tel +66 2 660 3789. Fax +66 2 660 3881. E-mail: web: COVER: Cigarette making at KT International, images courtesy of KT International SA It's been a challenging year for the tobacco industry, what with all the new regulations coming into effect, more smok- ing bans and higher tobacco taxes announced, and the in- creased efforts of the anti-tobacconists to not only ban tra- ditional tobacco products but to extend that to e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Two of the most significant events that took place in 2016 were the EU's TPD2 and the FDA's final rule on tobacco products fully coming into effect. Plain packaging is being adopted by a growing number of countries, despite warnings from the industry and supporting evidence that doing so will inevitably lead to a larger counterfeit market, higher risks to public health, and lesser government revenue. E-cigarettes and vaporizers, an alternative option for those who want their nicotine fix with- out the hazardous substances in burnt tobacco cigarettes, are now well on their way to be painted with the same brush as the 'evil' cigarettes. While it's understandable that these regulations aim to protect public health, one cannot help but wonder if the policy-makers who delivered the regulations, with all their best intentions, have been rather ham-fisted in their approach. Volley after volley has been lobbed at the industry, but not only has it withstood them, it has shown its willingness to work with policy-makers and governments as well as its commitment in more r&d to develop products that answer consumers' adapting needs, health concerns, plus new and existing regulations. The tobacco industry has demonstrated that it is not the "Big, Bad Wolf" as it tends to be por- trayed, preying on innocent consumers without nary a thought to their health and wellbeing. In fact, it has shown that it is eager to be a participating partner in achieving a balance where legislation protecting public health is followed, the public is provided correct information from both the industry and the anti-tobacconists, and the individual consumer's right to make their own informed decisions choose whether and what they smoke or vape is protected. Perhaps it is time that policy-makers come down from their ivory towers and start working with cigarette manufacturers? Nattira Medvedeva Associate Editor

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