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TDC launches online e-cigarette platform

| March 27, 2015

tdc-genesisTDC has launched a new online platform for its e-cigarette machinery portfolio: Customers and stakeholders now have direct access to all that the ITM Group has to offer in terms of e-cigarettes.

Among other things, the website contains information about TDC’s Genesis machinery and about the company’s view on next-generation e-cigarette machinery. A blog on e-cigarette news is available, as well.

As a bonus, TDC will start publishing a free, bi-monthly online magazine about the e-cigarette industry, E-Cig by TCD, which can also be accessed through



Australia’s plain packaging a failure, says Democracy Institute

| March 27, 2015
Patrick Basham

Patrick Basham

Scholarly, private, and government research data show that Australia’s plain packaging experiment has failed to reduce smoking, yet it has damaged small retailers, while simultaneously boosting the illicit tobacco trade. These are the findings of a new report released in Australia on March 26 by the Democracy Institute, a politically independent research organization based in Washington and London.

“There’s a clear policy lesson,” says the report’s author, Patrick Basham, who has written two books on plain packaging, The Plain Truth: Does Packaging Influence Smoking? (2012) and Erasing Intellectual Property: Plain Packaging of Consumer Products and the Implications for Trademark Rights (2011).

“On both public health and economic grounds, it would be unwise for other countries to climb aboard the plain-packaging bandwagon at the very moment that it’s headed for the evidentiary ditch,” concludes Basham.

The report’s key findings are:

  • The smoking rate has been unaffected by plain packaging. However, some national and specific state data show an increase in smoking prevalence since the introduction of plain packaging. T
  • Tobacco consumption has increased since late 2012, with industry sales volumes rising.
  • There has been a significant increase in the rate of under-age smoking.
  • There has been a noticeable rise in the demand for cheaper cigarettes.
  • Plain packaging is shifting smokers towards lower priced tobacco products rather than quitting their habit; consequently, the number of people quitting has dropped.
  • Plain packaging has stimulated the illicit tobacco trade, as it is becoming easier for counterfeit or illegal tobacco to enter the Australian market.
  • Plain packaging has placed a financial, administrative, and customer service burden upon small retailers.
  • Australia’s adoption of plain packaging is a catalyst for economically damaging trade disputes with some of her most important trading partners, such as Indonesia.

“The failure of plain packaging should not come as a surprise to Australian policymakers,” argues Basham in the report. He explains that, prior to the decision in 2011 to move ahead with plain packaging, “they were explicitly warned about the policy’s probable negative outcomes. Their leap of faith on plain packaging has damaged public health and cost the government billions in lost revenue.”

The report, An Australian lesson: the plain packaging experiment is a failure is available for download online at

Ration-card cigarettes to soothe the savage breast

| March 27, 2015

Egypt’s Cairo and Giza Tobacco Traders Association (CGTTA) has called on the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Khaled Hanafy, to include a monthly quota of 30 packs of cigarettes as part of the country’s ration card system that provides help for 40 million low-income citizens, according to a Daily News Egypt story relayed by the TMA.

Smokers who consume more than 30 packs a month should buy cigarettes at market prices, the association said.

The CGTTA believes that providing cigarettes through ration cards will help ‘stabilize national security because the commodity controls the Egyptian people’s mood’.

And it believes that such action would preserve the revenues of legitimate tobacco companies while reducing sales of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes.

At the same time, the CGTTA has called on the Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mehleb, to take steps to ensure that counterfeit cigarettes do not pass customs posts.

CDC gives vaping the anti treatment

| March 27, 2015

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is launching its latest round of graphic anti-smoking messages, and this time it is including vaping in the mix.

According to a story by John Tozzi for Bloomberg, the campaign expands on the CDC’s three-year-old ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ series, which enlists real people who’ve been ravaged by smoking.

Meanwhile, a story by Steven Reinberg for HealthDay quoted the CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden, as saying the messages would save lives and money.

Most US smokers wanted to quit, he said, and the new messages would help them do so.

But Frieden stressed that the use of electronic cigarettes was a problematic way to quit smoking.

“If an e-cigarette helps an individual to quit smoking for good, that’s a good thing,” he said.

“But many children are using e-cigarettes and getting hooked on nicotine, and that’s an addiction that can stay with you for life.

“Many adults who think they are going to get off cigarettes by using e-cigarettes are actually continuing to smoke, and that does more harm than good.”

Nationally, about three in four adult electronic cigarette users smoke cigarettes too, according to the CDC.

Draft standardized packaging bill rejected in Belgium

| March 27, 2015

The Belgian Public Health Commission on Wednesday rejected draft legislation that sought to impose standardized packaging on tobacco products, according to a story in Le Monde du Tabac relayed by the TMA.

The draft legislation was sponsored by opposition MP Catherine Fonck.

However, the health ministry has said it will conduct a review of the evidence on standardized packaging.

New COO elected at Universal Corporation

| March 27, 2015

Universal Corporation’s board of directors has elected Airton L. Hentschke as senior vice president and COO, effective April 1.

Hentschke is due to replace W. Keith Brewer, whose retirement as of March 31 was previously reported on July 9.

Hentschke has more than 24 years of experience in leaf operations with Universal, and has worked since 2013 as executive vice president of Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Incorporated. In this role, he supports Universal’s global tobacco operations.

Previously, Hentschke worked as regional director for the company’s operations in South America, and president of Universal Leaf Tabacos Limitada in Brazil, where he began his employment in 1991.

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