Australia's highest court upheld the world's toughest law on cigarette promotion today, prohibiting tobacco company logos on cigarette packs that will instead show cancer-riddled mouths, blinded eyeballs and sickly children.
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It has been the dream of health campaigners and nicotine addicts for 50 years: a "safe" cigarette that satisfies the cravings of smokers without the lethal side-effects. Now, falling sales and government crackdowns in the West (if not in the developing world) are tempting the world's tobacco giants to invest in discovering a non-cancerous alternative. British American Tobacco (BAT) is joining forces with Sir Terry Leahy, the recently departed former Tesco chief executive, who is investing a chunk of his own £48m fortune in a new product which promises to revolutionise the market for "smokeless cigarettes". Sir Terry has invested an undisclosed sum in the start-up company Kind Consumer, which is developing a non-tobacco, aerosol-loaded, nicotine inhalation device that keeps the "psychological rituals and routines" of smoking.
Shares in the chip-maker ARM Holdings have been much in demand in recent weeks after rumours of a potential takeover resurfaced. That chat, along with a good contract win with Samsung, almost sent the Cambridge-based company's shares to an eight-year high in September.
Australia is poised to introduce the world's harshest anti-smoking laws, with tobacco companies forced to sell cigarettes in plain packets resembling prescription drug packs.
New Liverpool chairman may be on the fans' side but until he somehow shifts the power from cash-conscious US owners, nothing can change
Nicotine is largely harmless but cigarettes are lethal . Now, the search is on for ways to deliver the pleasure without the risks. Jeremy Laurance reports