Familiar Face in Tobacco Retires
After three decades of serving the tobacco industry as both a tobacco specialist assisting Kentucky and Tennessee growers and soil scientist for the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University, Paul Denton, Extension burley tobacco specialist, will retire at the end of May.
“The most enjoyable part of my job has always been the time I get to spend in the field with growers and agents looking directly at tobacco practices and solving problems,” said Denton.
He has high hopes for the next five years of tobacco farming. “The near future looks relatively good. There’s pretty good demand for the American-style tobacco we’re growing. But beyond that, there are a lot of uncertainties that are difficult to predict,” he said.
A search committee is actively seeking Denton’s replacement, but an announcement is not expected until late 2013 or early 2014. “The plan is to hire someone who will continue to work for the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee. The only difference that is planned is the new position will have an official research component, as well as Extension,” he said.
China Considers Reducing Area of Planted Tobacco
According to the state-run news agency China Daily, the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco is considering its first national tobacco-control legislation. The proposal could reduce the area of planted tobacco, as well as have wide implications for the marketing of tobacco products in China. Of the 1.3 billion Chinese, more than 350 million are smokers, says the Chinese government.
The Beijing Health Bureau has gone a step further, announcing its plan to make all public spaces in the nation’s capital smoke-free by 2015. The bureau has already begun a campaign that aims to significantly reduce the proportion of men who smoke. While the cigarettes consumed by the majority of Chinese smokers are low-quality and domestically produced, city-dwelling, middle-class smokers are more likely to purchase premium, imported brands. If the legislation under consideration achieved even a small percentage change in consumption, the effects on the global market could be widespread.
Supreme Court Upholds Graphic Cigarette Warnings Requirement
On April 22, the Supreme Court allowed the FDA to move forward with the development of new graphic cigarette warnings that cover the top half of the front and back of cigarette packs and 20 percent of cigarette ads.
The ruling found that the required warnings “are reasonably related to the government’s interest in preventing consumer deception and are therefore constitutional.” Additionally, the warnings “do not impose any restriction on Plaintiff’s dissemination of speech, nor do they touch on Plaintiffs’ core speech.”