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Direct tobacco marketing linked to teen and adult smoking

By Shereen Jegtvig NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Direct to consumer marketing of tobacco products is reaching significant numbers of teens, as well as young adults, according to a new study. Young people who have seen the promotions are also more likely to take up smoking, the researchers found.

Weibo shares jump in market debut

(Reuters) - Shares of Weibo Corp <WB.O>, the owner of a Chinese Twitter-like messaging service, rose more than 11 percent in their U.S. debut, overcoming worries about the outlook for tech sector and concerns that censorship in China was affecting its user growth. Weibo's shares had been priced at the bottom end of the target range of $17-19, and the size of the offering had been cut to 16.8 million American Depositary Shares from 20 million.

Sina Weibo shares jump more than 25% after IPO

Shares of Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, jumped more than 25 percent in initial trade Thursday, after a disappointing initial public offering on the US Nasdaq exchange. The offering on Wednesday was undersubscribed as Weibo's parent, the Chinese Internet giant Sina Corp, ran into a market jittery over both tech and Chinese company shares.

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain. Vials of the drug had been stolen from Italian hospitals in several incidents since last December, and some were tampered with before being resold to wholesalers, said the European Medicines Agency.

Iraq policeman dies shielding recruits, attacks kill 21

An Iraqi policeman sacrificed himself to shield army recruits from a suicide bomber northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, as attacks mainly targeting security personnel killed 21 people nationwide, officials said. The violence comes as Iraq suffers a protracted surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 2,650 people this year despite wide-ranging security operations against militants. In Baladruz, northeast of Baghdad, policeman Raad Kadhim Hattab threw his arms around a suicide bomber who was trying to target an army recruitment centre, the interior ministry said.

Berlusconi 'pleased' to do community service with needy

Italy's former premier and billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday he was happy to do his community service in a centre for disabled and elderly people and would do his best to be helpful. "The court has obliged me to dedicate part of my time to people in need. I'm actually pleased because in my life I have always helped people," Berlusconi told journalists at a press conference in Rome to launch his centre-right party's EU election campaign.

UnitedHealth's 1st-quarter profit tumbles 8 per cent, insurer cites overhaul costs

UnitedHealth Group's first-quarter net income slid 8 per cent as funding cuts to a key product and costs imposed by the health care overhaul dented the health insurer's performance. The Minnetonka, Minn., company said Thursday the overhaul and government budget cuts added about 35 cents per share in costs during the quarter. The federal law aims to provide coverage for millions of uninsured people, but it also trims funding for Medicare Advantage plans, changes how insurers can write their coverage and adds an industry-wide tax, which is not deductible.

Robert Lautner on writing, endings and guns

By Nicholas P. Brown NEW YORK (Reuters) - Novelist Robert Lautner chronicles the adventures of a young boy and the impact of the invention of Samuel Colt's revolving handgun in "Road to Reckoning," a coming-of-age tale set during the great depression of the 1830s. Lautner's story follows 12-year-old Thomas Walker as he tries to make it home to New York after losing his father on a sales trip to market the first line of Colt Paterson revolvers.

Philip Morris Int'l 1Q profit down 12 pct on lower cigarette sales, unfavourable exchange rates

RICHMOND, Va. - Philip Morris International's first-quarter profit dropped nearly 12 per cent as cigarette sales fell in the overseas markets that it serves and it was hurt by foreign exchange rates for the U.S. dollar. While adjusted earnings topped Wall Street expectations, shares fell almost 3 per cent in early trading. The seller of Marlboro and other cigarette brands outside the United States earned $1.88 billion, or $1.18 per share, in the January-March quarter, down from $2.13 billion, or $1.28 per share, a year ago.

GSK, facing bribery claims, battles to build new sales model

By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline - hit by bribery claims in five countries - is to employ hundreds more doctors as members of staff as it seeks to build a new sales model designed to eliminate sharp marketing practices. Following a decision to cut commercial ties with outside doctors, GSK expects to increase its in-house team of physicians by 10-20 percent over the next year or so from around 1,500 at present, Chief Medical Officer James Shannon told Reuters.
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