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Travel retail conference to be held in Shanghai

| December 18, 2014

The second TFWA China’s Century Conference (CCC) is due to be held at the Jing An Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai, on March 10-12. The first CCC event was held in 2013.

CCC events are designed to explore the commercial opportunities resulting from the rapid development of aviation and transport infrastructure within China, and to deepen delegates’ understanding of Chinese travellers and their evolving tastes and expectations.

Among the topics that the 2015 event will address are the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone and its implications for foreign investment; new aviation infrastructure developments such as the Beijing Daxing International Airport; the economic reforms being undertaken by the new Chinese leadership; and whether or not the slowdown in the luxury goods market will have a lasting impact on duty free and travel retail.

Online registration for the 2015 conference, which is being organized by TFWA in partnership with the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association, is now open.

Further details are at tfwa.com.

Foreign tobacco buyers may enter Mysuru district

| December 17, 2014

Foreign buyers may have an opportunity to participate in tobacco auctions beginning in 2015 in India’s Mysuru district, located in the southern part of the state of Karnataka. An assurance to this effect was given by Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Dec. 17, according to Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha.

A delegation led by Simha and Andhra Pradesh MPs met the minister in New Delhi on Dec. 17 on behalf of tobacco growers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, according to an article in the Business Standard. The team explained the problems faced by the cultivators, which included a fall in prices this year.

“The talks were fruitful,” a release from the MP said. The Union Minister had responded favorably to the appeal to permit foreign buyers to participate in the auctions so that the growers can get good prices. She agreed to set up the necessary facilities for foreign buyers to participate in tobacco auctions, he said.

The delegation took up their cause as hundreds of tobacco cultivators were worried about the fall in prices and ban on tobacco. The delegation included Tobacco Board Chairman K Gopal and Andhra MPs.

The minister responded favorably to their request that tobacco should not be banned until the farmers took up cultivation of alternative crops. Simha said tobacco cultivation would not be banned under any circumstances sacrificing the interests of growers. In order to secure fair prices, foreign buyers would be invited to make purchases by creating required facilities.

MPs from Karnataka and Andhra stated that foreign buyers would take part only from next year, Simha said.

Nova Scotia to consider ban on flavors

| December 17, 2014

Nova Scotia will hold consultations in January 2015 on whether certain flavors should be exempt from a ban on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette juice, according to CTVnews.

The provincial government plans to gather input through online submissions in January and focus groups will be held to collect feedback from youth. Meetings will also be held with e-cigarette vendors and small business organizations representing tobacco vendors.

The government passed a bill this fall that outlaws the use of water pipes such as hookahs and e-cigarettes in indoor public places as well as the sale of e-cigarettes to people under 19.

When the government introduced the legislation it also proposed to ban flavored tobacco, but it later backed down from that proposal and instead promised further consultation.

The law takes effect May 31 and Health Minister Leo Glavine says it’s his intention to have legislation regulating flavored tobacco come into effect at the same time.

New study: e-cigs help smokers quit or cut down

| December 17, 2014

A new study released online on Dec. 17, 2014 by Cochrane, an international independent think tank, concluded that using an e-cigarette containing nicotine increased the chances of stopping smoking long-term compared to a study using an e-cigarette without nicotine. The two studies, one using nicotine enhanced and the other non-nicotine e-cigarettes, involved 662 current smokers.

The authors of the studies, who are from the U.K. and New Zealand, state that using an e-cigarette with nicotine also helped more smokers reduce the amount they smoked by at least half compared to using an e-cigarette without nicotine.

“We could not determine if [an e-cigarette] was better than a nicotine patch in helping people stop smoking because the number of participants in the study was low. More studies are needed to evaluate this effect,” one of the authors stated. The trial researchers found that about 9 percent of smokers who used e-cigarettes were able to stop smoking for up to a year, and possibly longer.

There was no evidence of serious adverse effects among people using e-cigarettes. However, the Cochrane review authors cautioned that the results were limited by the small number of trials and the limited sample of participants.

The study can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1AbuW2G

Growers advised to quit tobacco as demand falls

| December 16, 2014

Sluggish demand for tobacco grown by farmers in the Kampong Cham province of Cambodia has led to grower prices falling below the levels of those of 2013, according to a story in The Phnom Penh Post.

Chhay Vy, president of the Tobacco Farmers Association (TFA), said reduced demand from local companies and Vietnamese buyers for Cambodia-grown tobacco had resulted in farmer prices falling from $1.80 per kg last year to $1.25 per kg this year. “2014 was not a good year for tobacco farmers,” Vy said.

This year’s prices were down on those of both 2011 and 2013 to levels at which farmers were said to have been unable to make a profit.

Government officials have responded to Vy’s concerns by saying that tobacco farmers should change to other crops.

Chheang Chay, director of the Kampong Cham Provincial Department of Commerce, said tobacco farmers in Vietnam were facing similar issues because smoking was becoming less popular.

“Tobacco is a sensitive product due to health issues,” Chay said. “We cannot promote it like other agricultural product[s].

“Farmers should plant other crops instead of tobacco because the smoking trend is becoming less popular and it is doubtful that it will again become popular.”

Certified organic e-liquids being launched by VTM

| December 16, 2014

Vapor Tobacco Manufacturing (VTM) is due to launch what it describes as the first certified organic e-liquids for the vapor industry: eTron 3T .

VTM’s organic products are made from three ingredients: organic tobacco, organic glycerine and water.

The products have been certified organic under the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program and will carry the USDA Organic Seal when they make their debut at the January Tobacco Plus Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The organic e-liquids will be offered with American-Blend and Virginia-Blend flavors, both in Red (full) and Gold (light) strengths, and with organic menthol (Green) flavor. Other, organic, ‘responsible, adult-friendly flavors’ are to follow.

VTM says its organic liquids will be sold in child resistant 15 ml glass bottles as well as in pre-filled eTron 3T disposable e-cigarettes.

“We are proud to launch the first certified organic e-liquid for the vapor market,” said VTM founder and inventor Tom O’Connell. “Vapor consumers have not had an organic choice until now.

“Moreover, our organic product offers the most natural tobacco flavor in the vapor industry. It tastes like tobacco because it is made from tobacco – certified organic tobacco.

“Having been in the vapor industry for years and before that in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, I know that flavors like caramel are substituted for real tobacco flavor in e-liquids. Vape shops often rotate smokers through a series of different flavors – simply because none of the available flavors actually fit the tobacco taste that the smoker is looking for.

“For adult smokers who are looking for tobacco satisfaction from vapor, our eTron 3T liquid is the answer. They’ll know the difference from the first puff.”

Meanwhile, Joseph Fuisz, co-founder, said that vapor innovation had focused on incremental device improvements while the actual e-liquid consumed had not materially changed except in respect of its provenance, which had seen a move from Chinese to US- and European-made liquids.

“Moreover, strong vapor category growth has masked the relatively low conversion rate for smokers who try vapour,” he said. “The vast majority of smokers do not stay with vapor and the principal reason is the poor acceptance of product taste. It is precisely this market – the adult smoker looking for vapor alternatives – that eTron® 3T(TM) organic e-liquids are geared to. Certified organic eTron® 3T(TM) e-liquid is a dramatic step forward for the vapor industry.”