Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Big Tobacco Asks FDA to Ban Tanks and Mods to Protect Public Health

Big Tobacco Asks FDA to Ban Tanks and Mods to Protect Public Health

If you didn’t think Big Tobacco companies could stoop any lower, get ready for a wake up call. This week we witnessed the ultimate hypocrisy as cigarette giant Reynolds American sent a 119-page document to the FDA, urging regulators to ban open-system electronic cigarettes. The reason? They are a threat to public health.
While Reynolds American reported $1.2 million in gross profits from their tobacco products last quarter, they are now suddenly concerned about America’s health. This newfound worry for health is more than a little strange considering that the tobacco giant directly contributes to 5 million smoking-related deathseach year. Even so, Reynolds American isn’t too concerned about people smoking their Camel cigarettes, but they insist that vaping mods are simply too risky.
Spokesman David Howard candidly spoke about the tobacco company’s petition to the FDA. “We believe the FDA should not allow such products to be sold or marketed,” he said. “We believe open system vapor products create unique public health risks.” At the same time, Howard failed to mention how the company’s own products are contributing to numerous fatalities.
“These (ecig) systems are highly subject to adulteration and tampering, they are manufactured largely overseas in facilities that would, as proposed, fall outside regulatory inspection and oversight, and many nicotine liquids are sold in non-child-resistant packaging in flavors that may be appealing to youth,” Howard said.
Anyone with knowledge of the tobacco industry has to wonder how the executives of Reynolds American can sleep at night after making such remarks. How many of their cigarette packs are made with child-resistant packaging? How often does their notable mascot “Joe the Camel” appeal to youth?
In reality, Reynolds is more concerned with the risk to their bottom line than the actual health of Americans. Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, summed it up quite nicely: “RJ Reynolds calls for the FDA to ban the majority of e-cigarette products should be seen fro what it really is – an admission that it simply cannot compete in the current e-cigarette market,” he said. “Recent market reports show that while sales of open-system e-cigarette products and e-liquid are booming, sales of closed-system cigarette lookalikes – the kind that Reynolds sells – have stagnated.”
There is no denying that Reynolds is looking closely at the ecig market with the recent gradual launch of its own ecig called Vuse. Reynolds executive Susan Cameron said Vuse would be a “game changer” for the ecig industry. She claimed that many smokers weren’t satisfied with today’s standard cig-a-like models and that is why many turn to tank style devices.
“The growth of those is driven by the consumer’s desire to get satisfaction. If you’re not getting satisfaction out of the e-cigarette format because you’re not getting the nicotine that you want, then if you go to those tanks, you can figure out how much nicotine you want, right. You fill it yourself,” Cameron explained.
She went on to say that even as tanks are growing in popularity among former smokers, they are “really not appropriate”. She claimed that allowing consumers to fill their own tanks opened the door for a lot of potentially illegal activity. “People are putting a lot of things other than nicotine into these pipes,” she alleged. Cameron said some e-liquids even contain cannabis.
“Second of all, if you really load a lot of nicotine into a pipe, and there is nothing to stop a kid from picking it up, this is not good,” she said. “So we believe that closed systems are the way that regulators should evolve.”
Since when is big tobacco so concerned with keeping nicotine away from children? Since when is big tobacco concerned about public health whatsoever?

Friday, July 12, 2013

The History of Electronic Cigarettes

The History of Electronic Cigarettes

A Timeline 

2003: The electronic cigarette is first developed in Beijing, China by Hon Lik, a 52 year old pharmacist, inventor and smoker. He invents the device after his father, also a heavy smoker, dies of lung cancer. The company Lik worked for, Golden Dragon Holdings, developed the device and changed their name to Ruyan, which means "like smoke."

April 2006: Electronic cigarettes introduced to Europe
2006-2007: Electronic cigarettes introduced to the U.S.
September 2008: The World Health Organization proclaims that it does not consider the electronic cigarette to be a legitimate smoking cessation aid, and demand that marketers immediately remove from their materials any suggestions that the WHO considers electronic cigarettes safe and effective

October 2008: In a study funded by Ruyan, Health New Zealand conducts a detailed quantitative analysis and concludes that carcinogens and toxicants are present only below harmful levels. Overall, the product tested was deemed a "safe alternative to smoking." http://www.healthnz.co.nz/DublinEcigBenchtopHandout.pdf

January 2009: Australia bans the possession and sale of electronic cigarettes which contain nicotine, citing that "every form of nicotine except for replacement therapies and cigarettes are classified as a form of poison."

March 2009: FDA adds electronic cigarettes to Import Alert 66-41 and directed the USCBP to reject the entry of electronic cigarettes into the United States.
March 2009: Canada bans the sale, advertising and import of electronic cigarettes and Health Canada advises Canadians not to purchase or use them, claiming they contain a "known irritant" (Propylene Glycol) March 2009: FDA notifies Smoking Everywhere that their shipments have been refused entry into the U.S. TheFDA purports that electronic cigarettes "appears to be a combination drug-device product that requires preapproval, registration and listing with the FDA.

May 2009: Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) files a petition to the FDA, calling for FDA regulation of electronic cigarettes ecigpetition
April 2009: Smoking Everywhere files a federal complaint seeking an injunction against the FDA with respect to the FDA's attempts to ban the import of Electronic Cigarettes. Smoking Everywhere contends that the FDA has no authority over electronic cigarettes, as they are a "tobacco product" and the FDA's attempt to regulate them infringes on Congress's intent to withhold FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products. They contend that electronic cigarettes are not "drugs," "drug delivery systems," or "drug device combinations" under 21 U.S.C 321(g). Smoking Everywhere Verified Complaint

May 2009: Njoy joins Smoking Everywhere lawsuit against FDA
May 2009: The Electronic Cigarette Association is formed. The ECA is a trade association made up of electronic cigarette producers, distributors and retailers, whose aim is to speak on behalf of the electronic cigarette industry, especially in response to health concerns, and to help institute industry standards. The group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Its president and spokesman is former United States congressman Matt Salmon.

 May 2009: FDA tests 2 brands of electronic cigarettes, Njoy & Smoking Everywhere. 18 catridges are tested. Tests reveal trace amounts of cancer-causing nitrosamines. One cartridge contains 1% diethylene glycol, a toxic substance. Cartridges labeled as 0mg nicotine are shown to contain nicotine. Evaluation e Cigarettes
June 2009: President Obama signs into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act 18, giving the FDA the power to regulate the tobacco industry. Although nicotine and cigarettes as a whole cannot be banned outright, flavoring such as fruit or mint can. Additionally, new tobacco products seeking to enter the market will be required to meet FDA pre-market standards, which could affect electronic cigarette regulation.
June 2009: Panama bans the importation, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes.
July 2009: FDA files a supplimental brief, in the Smoking Everywhere lawsuit, referencing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The FDA contends that it still has authority over electronic cigarettes and they stand behind the decision to label it a drug-device combination and that the "FDA found, after examining the product, the claims made in the product labeling, and information SE submitted to FDA, that SE’s product met the definition of both a drug and device under the FDCA." http://www.fda.gov/downloads/NewsEve.../UCM173191.pdf
July 2009: Two months after testing, the FDA issues a press release discouraging the use of electronic cigarettes and repeating previously stated concerns that electronic cigarettes may be marketed to young people, lack appropriate health warnings and that they contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. Electronic Cigarettes
July 2009: FDA's May 2009 study is reviewed by scientific consulting firm Exponent, Inc., in a report commissioned by Njoy. Some of the criticisms in Exponent's report are poor standards of documentation and analysis and failure to perform relevant comparisons to FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products, which Exponent claims contain TSNA levels comparable to those of electronic cigarettes. The study concludes that the FDA's claims of potential adverse health effects were not supported by the study. http://www.njoythefreedom.com/contac...%20Summary.pdf

August 2008: The State of Oregon files two settlements that prevent two national travel store chains, Pilot Travel Centers and TA Operating, from selling Njoy electronic cigarettes. In addition, the company must give the Attorney General advance notice that they intend to sell electronic cigarettes in Oregon, provide copies of all electronic cigarette advertising, and provide copies of the scientific studies they maintain substantiates their claims. Njoy voluntarily stops all sales in Oregon. http://www.doj.state.or.us/releases/...el073009.shtml
 August 2008: Oregon Attorney General John Kroger files a lawsuit against Smoking Everywhere, alleging that the Florida-based “electronic cigarette” company made false health claims about its nicotine delivery device and targeted children with sweet flavors. Smoking everywhere refuses to settle.

September 2009: California passes a bill to ban the sales of electronic cigarettes in the state. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoes the bill stating, "If adults want to purchase and consume these products with an understanding of the associated health risks, they should be able to do so unless and until federal law changes the legal status of these tobacco products."

 October 2009: Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association forms and board members elected. The organization is made up of both consumers and retailers, with the mission to ensure the availability of effective, affordable and reduced harm alternatives to smoking by increasing public awareness and education; to encourage the testing and development of products to achieve acceptable safety standards and reasonable regulation; and to promote the benefits of reduced harm alternatives. CASAA | The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association

October 2009: UK ASH recognizes that products should be made available that deliver nicotine in a safe way, without the harmful components found in tobacco, but those attempting to quit should use conventional NRTs. http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_715.pdf

December 2009: New Jersey State legislators pass a bill including electronic cigarettes in the state's public smoking ban.
December 2009: Njoy announces it is discontinuing, in the U.S., the availability of all flavors except its traditional tobacco flavor and menthol. The move aligns the flavors offered by NJOY with those allowed for combustible tobacco cigarettes under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Hon Lik is the man that started it all. Over 65 percent of Chinese men smoke (according 2002 research), and he and his father were no different. Hon Lik was inspired to create e-cigarettes after a dream he had in 2000. His throat was clogged; he coughed and wheezed, feeling as though he was drowning. The water he found himself immersed in suddenly vaporized into a fog. He filed the patent in 2003, giving one of the first electronic cigarette prototypes to his dying father. Sadly, it was too late for him, but Hon was able to make the switch and hopefully spare himself the same fate. None of this would be possible without Hon Lik.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Proton Saga SV

The Saga SV, the acronym standing for Super Value, becomes the cheapest Proton currently available. A Proton spokesman said it is not meant as a replacement for the FLX Standard variant, which from RM38,361 (manual, solid), comes with additional minor kit such as first aid kit, safety triangle, tinted windows, luggage tray, door visor and trunk lid cover. Incidentally, the more eagle-eyed will notice that the car features both FLX and SV badging on the tailgate. The car is part of the Saga FLX model range, but will simply be known as the Saga SV. To those curious as to the whereabouts of the “FLX+” that was part of the ASEAN NCAP phase one testing programme, it’s likely an internal code to designate the improvements made to the range, of which the Saga SV is part of. The car is ASEAN NCAP three-star rated, and features a number of safety improvements. It now features two airbags, and both front and rear impact aspects have been upped – the front features a new bumper beam and additional reinforcement, while the rear bumper gets packed with foam. Also on, a reinforcement “V” bar in the rear bulkhead that separates the boot from the cabin. The front door also features side impact reinforcement bars, while the centre pillar has also been strengthened. All these safety improvements have been implemented across the entire Saga FLX range, with some being quietly introduced some months back. The rear centre lap seatbelt has been replaced with a three-point seatbelt, and the front seatbelts now have pre-tensioners. The Saga SV also features a child restraint anchorage for the rear seats. No mechanical changes to the powertrain – the car is equipped with the same 94 hp and 120 Nm 1.3 litre CamPro IAFM mill as found on the rest of the FLX range. Equipment on the Saga SV includes a single-DIN CD player, reverse sensor and 13-inch steel wheels. On the exterior, the SV goes the same route as the FLX Standard, with unpainted door handles and side mirror covers and no fog lamps. The rear garnish is now unpainted while the tail pipe finisher has been removed. With that, let’s get to the pricing – the Proton Saga SV is available in both manual and CVT versions; the manual goes for RM33,438 (solid) and RM33,888 (metallic), while the CVT is priced at RM36,438 (solid) and RM36,888 (metallic), all on-the-road with insurance. That’s almost RM5,000 cheaper than the FLX Standard 1.3, the previous entry-level Saga. At the launch, the company took great pains to reiterate the point made by Proton deputy CEO Datuk Lukman Ibrahim earlier in the week, which was that the Saga SV’s low price was achieved through value analysis and engineering, with no cut in safety, quality and comfort. Proton said that the new price is not a margin cutting exercise, nor is it a promotion, discount or a rebate. Six colours are available for the car, these being Solid White, Elegant Brown, Tranquility Black, Fire Red (previously exclusive to the Saga 1.6 SE), Genetic Silver and Blue Rock. The Proton Saga SV comes with a three-year/100,000 km warranty.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A South African court has blocked the government from buying 11 million female condoms from China, saying they are too small.

The finance ministry had awarded a contract to a firm called Siqamba Medical, which planned to buy the Phoenurse condoms from China, reports AFP, quoting the Beeld newspaper.

A rival firm, Sekunjalo Investments Corporation, turned to the High Court in Pretoria after losing the bid, arguing that their condoms were 20 per cent larger than the Chinese ones.

Judge Sulet Potterill blocked the deal with Siqamba, ruling that the condoms were too small, made from the wrong material, and were not approved by the World Health Organisation, the paper said.

Source: Agencies

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Firefly to blink from budget to full-service under tie-up

News for today... no more tambang murah hehehhe..

Firefly to blink from budget to full-service under tie-up
By Lee Wei Lian
August 09, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Travellers hoping for continued fare wars between Firefly and AirAsia will likely be disappointed after today’s announcement that the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) subsidiary will be redesigned as a full service regional carrier.
This was one of the outcomes of the strategic collaboration inked today between the government’s investment holding company Khazanah which controls MAS and unlisted Tune Air which controls AirAsia.

“Firefly’s resources would be refocused to launch a new regional full service airline operation,” said MAS chairman Tan Sri Mohd Nor Yusof.

The move renders AirAsia as Malaysia’s only major airline operating in the budget or value segment.

MAS had since last year used Firefly to compete against AirAsia, launching competitively priced flights from KL to East Malaysia and adopting the same low cost model such as charging for meals on board.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Curtin University Sarawak Campus is an off-shore campus of Curtin University, a university based in Perth, Western Australia. It provides local and international students with the opportunity to receive higher education in Sarawak, Malaysia.
Curtin's Sarawak campus is located in Miri, Sarawak. It is the first offshore campus of Curtin University of Technology and the first offshore campus set up in East Malaysia

The Sarawak State Government's invited Curtin to establish an international university in Sarawak. Curtin Sarawak's operations in Miri commenced in February 1999. In 2002, the new campus was built.
In November 1999, Curtin Sarawak was awarded the Multimedia Super Corridor status and was renewed in 2006.
The schools and divisions are:
School of Business
Department of Media, Culture & Communication
School of Engineering
Pre-university programs at Curtin's Sarawak campus have been designed to prepare students for university study. It can be divided into two parts which is the commerce and engineering courses.
School of Business
The School offers internationally recognized qualifications, accredited by international as well as national professional associations and governmental agencies.
Department of Media, Culture & Communication
The Department of Media, Culture & Communication was set up in 2009 and took over all teaching and research that was previously under the Department of Mass Communication. Mass Communication was originally set up in 2003, as part of the School of Business, and officially became a Department in 2006.
School of Engineering
The School of Engineering and Science at Curtin Sarawak was established in 2000. It offers a wide range of Engineering and Science courses. These include the four-year courses leading to a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree in Chemical Engineering, Civil and Construction Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering. The School also conducts three-year Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, Life Sciences, Applied Geology and Geophysics, and a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Systems and Networking. The school now offers doctoral and masters programs.
The School draws upon the experience and the knowledge of many local and foreign engineers and professionals to teach its students, so that the courses offered remain practice-oriented and relevant. Academics from the School are active in many areas of research and in consultancy activities through Curtin Consultancy Services.

Australian affiliation

Curtin Sarawak offers identical degrees to those at the Curtin University main campus in Western Australia. Examinations for the degree programmes are set and moderated at Curtin's main campus in Perth to ensure that they meet and fulfill the academic standards. Academics from Perth visit the Curtin Sarawak campus on a regular basis for quality audit and for consultations on various issues ranging from assignments, projects, tasks and other assessments.

Long house of Sarawak

One of the most memorable experiences Sarawak has to offer is a visit to a longhouse, where you can observe a unique way of life and enjoy legendary Dayak hospitality. These thriving communities, whole villages under one roof, are not relics from the days of tribal warfare - they are the preferred way of life for a large percentage of Sarawak's rural people, particularly the Iban, the Bidayuh and the Orang Ulu.
Nowadays most longhouse dwellers are hard working farmers, and wear practical modern clothing for work and leisure. However, if you visit as part of an organized tour
group, they will take great pride in wearing their traditional costumes and regalia and performing elaborate dances and welcoming rituals for their visitors.
The long covered gallery that runs the length of an Iban longhouse is called the ruai, and this is where you will be greeted. A miring ceremony is frequently conducted to welcome visitors, where offerings of food and drink are presented to the local deities to ensure their good will. After the miring, guests will be invited to sample a glass of tuak, a potent local rice wine, and drink to everybody's good health.

Visitors are then entertained with traditional music, dances and games. After the locals have had their turn, the guests are expected to join in the fun. Anyone who refuses will soon find themselves dragged to their feet by the young ladies of the longhouse and forced to take part in the dancing.

After the entertainment is finished there are a number of options, depending on how adventurous you are. Some tour operators arrange for visitors to eat a traditional longhouse dinner with their host family and sleep on mattresses in the ruai, according to Iban tradition. Others may put their guests up in a simple guesthouse nearby, with more familiar cuisine prepared by the tour guide, who is always an accomplished cook. For lovers of luxury, a few 'longhouse resorts' are now operating, managed by professional hoteliers and serving international cuisine in resort style comfort.

Visitors who stay more than one night can get to see Iban culture at first hand, visiting the rice fields and pepper gardens, and learning how the Iban make use of the rainforest for all of their everyday needs. Some tours can last a week or more, with visits to a number of longhouses and a fair amount of jungle trekking. Second and subsequent evenings are more low-key, with visitors sitting in the ruai, drinking tuak or coffee and chatting with their hosts. The Iban are very sociable people, and many can speak English, so some fascinating conversations are guaranteed.
The journey to and from the longhouse is a very interesting and enjoyable experience. After a ride in an air-conditioned bus, a short trip in a traditional longboat introduces you to the pleasures of upriver travel. These narrow wooden craft are safe and very sturdy, and the Iban are expert boatman.

There are four main areas for visiting Iban longhouses - the Skrang River, the Lemanak River, Batang Ai, and the middle Rejang River. Most tour groups will generally visit the first three, which are half a day away from Kuching, whilst independent travellers usually opt for the Rejang area around the town of Kapit, a half day's travel from Sibu.

A few specialist operators also visit Orang Ulu longhouses deep in Sarawak's interior, where visitors are seldom seen, although these trips require quite a lot of time.

Another interesting possibility is a trek through the beautiful Bario Highlands, staying overnight in remote Kelabit longhouses. Visitors with little time to spare can visit a Bidayuh longhouse on a day trip from Kuching, or an Iban longhouse from Sibu or Miri. However, overnight stays are strongly recommended, to get the most from your visit.