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March 15th, 2010:

The Empire Writes Back

Darth Vader

A couple of days ago James Middleton, Clear The Air’s Head of Anti-Tobacco and Legal Committee wrote a letter questioning the potential conflict of interest in having a Director of Imperial Tobacco Canada appointed as Chair of the International Development Research Center.

Well, that letter has been replied. The full response is after the jump.

N Korea draws on tobacco to generate hard cash

north korean smoker

Last updated: March 9, 2010

Source: Financial Times

By Tom Mitchell in Hong Kong and Pan Kwan Yuk in London

A North Korea desperate for foreign exchange has been generating hard currency by re-exporting British cigarettes, despite renewed efforts by the international community to apply tougher sanctions on the impoverished state.

North Korean and other Asian trading entities started re-exporting State Express 555 cigarettes, manufactured by British American Tobacco,

in February last year, just months before North Korea’s second nuclear test in four years prompted the United Nations to impose tougher sanctions on Pyongyang.

BAT sold the so-called “NK 555s”, made and packaged in Singapore for the North Korean market, to a Singaporean distributor for shipment to Nampo, a port near Pyongyang.

However, at least 15,000 cases worth $6.3m (€4.6m, £4.2m) rebounded out of Nampo to ports in Vietnam and the Philippines, according to documents seen by the Financial Times, to go to other markets where they commanded a higher price.


New Zealand: Call for tobacco to be dealt with the same way as meth

just say noFirst published: March 10, 2010

Source: New Zealand Herald

The prospect of a black market springing up to fill the void of legal tobacco sales if the product is banned has been dismissed at a parliamentary inquiry.

Many people and organisations have asked the Maori affairs select committee’s inquiry into tobacco to support an eventual prohibition on tobacco.

Most have not specified how this might be done, but Tairawhiti District Health Board member Brian Wilson suggested at the inquiry’s first public hearing, in Rotorua yesterday, that it could be achieved by classifying tobacco under the Misuse of Drugs Act, like methamphetamine.