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Archive for December, 2013

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De Labouchere’s JTI departure unsung

| December 24, 2013

Pierre de Labouchere last week resigned with immediate effect as president and CEO of Japan Tobacco International, according to a story by Mark Kleinman for Sky News.

Kleinman quoted a statement issued on Friday by a JTI spokesman as saying that de Labouchere had decided to resign as of December 18.

The statement said that de Labouchere had been replaced by Thomas A. McCoy.

‘JTI declined to comment on the reasons behind Mr de Labouchere’s sudden departure but insiders said that another senior executive responsible for the company’s mergers and acquisitions activity had also quit in recent days, suggesting some kind of strategic disagreement,’ said Kleinman.

Ploom sales kick off on Japanese website

| December 24, 2013

Japan Tobacco Inc. has announced that on-line sales of Ploom vaporizers started today through the Ploom Online Shop operated by JT Creative Service.

Originally, the start date for on-line sales had been set as December 12, but it was delayed at the last minute because of technical difficulties.

The Ploom vaporizer is a pocket-sized smoking alternative device that heats tobacco contained in pods to a constant temperature, vaporizing nicotine and flavors without burning the materials or producing smoke.

In December 2011, Japan Tobacco International and the San Francisco-based Ploom announced that they had entered into an exclusive, long-term co-operation agreement under which JTI would commercialize Ploom’s new generation of ‘smoking alternative products’ outside the US.

Ploom was launched – outside the US – in Austria in May, since when JTI has introduced it also in Korea and Italy.

Start date set for Andhra leaf auctions

| December 24, 2013

Flue-cured tobacco auctions in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are expected to start on February 15, according to a story in the latest edition of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

The chairman of the Tobacco Board, Koothati Gopal, was quoted as saying that the sales were due to start simultaneously on all auction floors.

Andhra growers are thought to have produced a little over 170 million kg this season, all of which will be sold under the recently-introduced e-auction system.

Sin tax system nearly doubles cigarette excise revenues in the Philippines

| December 24, 2013

Cigarette excise payments in the Philippines during the first nine months of this year, at P61.6 billion, were almost double what they were during the first nine months of 2012, according to a story in The Philippine Star.

In a briefing given on Friday, revenue commissioner Kim Henares said excise tax payments by alcohol and cigarette manufacturers had amounted to P91.6 billion during the first nine months of 2013, a figure that was already ahead of the government’s full year target of P85.56 billion.

During the first nine months of 2012, payments by alcohol and cigarette manufacturers had amounted to P50.4 billion.

“This goes to show that we were right all along … that the sin tax law will generate ample revenues for the government,” Henares said.

The so-called sin tax law (Republic Act 10351) was introduced in January 2013.
Under the sin tax law, the Star reported, there would be a gradual shift to unitary taxation by 2017 to prevent downshifting to low price brands and to discourage the consumption of sin products.

The new law is said also to have removed a significant source of ‘leakages’ in cigarette tax revenues.
According to the Action for Economic Reforms (AER), the implementation of the sin tax law has been a success in terms of revenue collections.

And AER said that while it was still premature to determine the public health impact of the sin tax law, the measure had significantly boosted tax collections, which would translate to higher funding for health programs.

Tobacco lobby not barred from giving evidence on standardized packaging

| December 23, 2013

Advisers to Ireland’s Joint Committee on Health and Children have said there is no legal impediment to tobacco industry representatives giving evidence at hearings on proposed standard-packaging legislation, according to a story in the Irish Independent.

Hearings, which are scheduled for the New Year, will be crucial to the progress of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill.

Anti-smoking groups had complained that allowing the tobacco lobby to give evidence would violate the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which restricts governments from interacting with the industry on health issues.

But legal advisers said the treaty did not preclude the industry from making oral representations to the committee.

Tax stamp revamp for Eastern in Egypt

| December 23, 2013

Eastern Tobacco, Egypt’s monopoly cigarette producer, says that a new tax stamp that is being introduced is aimed only at reducing the black market in cigarettes and will not lead to a price increase, according to an Al-Ahram story.

Local cigarette prices have risen significantly during the past few years as taxes have been increased sharply.

Several brands of Chinese cigarettes are sold illegally on the Egyptian market and, during the three months to the end of September, Eastern’s revenue fell by 4.9 per cent to E£1.17 billion.

Eastern is said to have started introducing the new banderole on 50 per cent of its cigarette packs.