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Category: Breaking News

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‘Smoker riots’ possible as cigarette prices rise again

| November 19, 2014

The Moscow Times has said that trouble could be brewing over the price of cigarettes in Russia.

A story by Alexey Eremenko said the government was struggling to explain the economic downturn as the country ambled toward recession.

So far, the authorities had been inclined to blame external factors, an approach that was clearly working since President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings were ‘comfortably above 80 percent’.

But as the economy nosedived, the public mood threatened to plunge right alongside it. And some of the Kremlin’s more questionable economic moves might come back to haunt the people who had made them happen.

At the end of his piece, which was largely devoted to matters other than tobacco, Eremenko said that the State Duma last week had approved a new increase in tobacco excise tax, the second in two years.

Quoting a Kommersant newspaper story, he said that cigarettes consumed by 80 percent of smokers in Russia would become about 10 rubles ($0.20) more expensive per pack.

‘While modest, the hike may prove to be the final straw as far as public patience is concerned,’ Eremenko said.

‘In a country where the average salary is 22,000 rubles ($460) and half of the male population is smoking, “smoker riots” are undesirable but possible.’

Could ‘vapo’ catch on in Australia? – give us a break

| November 19, 2014

Vape is Oxford Dictionaries’ international word of the year for 2014, according to a story by Julian Drape for The Age newspaper.

Software that scours the Internet indicated that the use of the word vape doubled between 2013 and 2014.

“That’s a steady and sizeable growth,” senior editor Fiona McPherson was said to have told the Australian Associated Press.

“But it’s nothing like ‘selfie’ – that was so ridiculously phenomenal.” Selfie was the 2013 word of the year.

Drape’s story tells how the earliest known use of the word vape was made in a 1983 UK magazine article on smoking in which Rob Stepney described a hypothetical device as: “an inhaler or ‘non-combustible’ cigarette, looking much like the real thing, but delivering a metered dose of nicotine vapour. (The new habit, if it catches on, would be known as vaping.)”

And since Drape’s story was written for an Australian newspaper, it almost inevitably starts with speculation about whether or not the word ‘vapo’ will supplant ‘smoko’ as a term for a break in the working day.

But perhaps that’s unlikely since it’s illegal in Australia to sell electronic cigarettes with nicotine.

Drape’s story is at: http://www.theage.com.au/world/vape-oxford-dictionarys-international-word-of-the-year-for-2014-20141118-11pbve.html.

JT adds E-Lites to innovative-product portfolio

| November 19, 2014

The JT Group has completed the acquisition of Zandera Ltd, which is known for the E-Lites brand of electronic cigarettes.

Japan Tobacco Inc, which announced on June 11 that it had concluded an agreement to buy Zandera, said today that the investment in Zandera provided the JT Group with an excellent entry-point into the fast-growing electronic cigarette category.

‘With E-Lites’ well-established brand and product portfolio, the Group is able to offer adult consumers another important extension to its growing range of emerging and innovative products,’ JT said in a note posted on its website.

‘In the international tobacco business, the Group remains committed to strengthening Japan Tobacco International’s … business foundations with an overall strategy to foster growth.’

JT said the acquisition was expected to have a minor effect on the Group’s consolidated performance and cash flows for the fiscal year 2014.

Lorillard declares quarterly dividend

| November 19, 2014

Lorillard yesterday declared a quarterly dividend on its common stock of $0.615 per share.

The dividend is payable on December 10 to stockholders of record as of December 1.

Call for e-cigarette charger fire warnings

| November 18, 2014

Electronic cigarette users in the UK have been advised not to use cheap, unbranded chargers, and not to leave electronic cigarettes unattended while they are being charged – especially over night.

A BBC Online story quoted Emma Apter, of the charity Electrical Safety First, as saying that her organization was becoming increasingly concerned about the number of incidents involving electronic cigarettes.

“Recent events have shown that the simple act of charging one of these items can be deadly, so steps do need to be taken in order to make consumers more aware of the dangers,” she said.

Meanwhile, following a rise in incidents linked to electronic cigarettes, fire service bosses are said to have called for safety messages to be displayed on them.

Data obtained by the Press Association from 43 fire services across the UK shows they were called out to eight incidents involving electronic cigarettes in 2012; a figure that rose to 43 in 2013 and that stands at 62 so far this year.

A number of incidents have been attributed to the use of incompatible chargers.

The BBC Online story is at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30064154.

Reynolds has another go at heat-not-burn cigarette

| November 18, 2014

Reynolds American Inc. is hoping to capitalize on the growing appetite in the US for alternatives to traditional cigarettes by launching a cigarette that heats rather than burns tobacco, according to a story by Michael Felberbaum for Associated Press.

Revo has a carbon tip that is lit and that heats the tobacco using technology first unveiled by Reynolds with Premier cigarettes and later taken up in Eclipse cigarettes, which are still in limited distribution in the US and which, according Felberbaum, comprise one of the top-selling brands in the cafeteria at Reynolds’ headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Revo is described by Reynolds as a ‘repositioning’ of Eclipse.

Even though Eclipse left no lingering odor and didn’t produce ash, they had only minimal success, partly because they tasted different to traditional cigarettes and were more difficult to use.

“Heat-not-burn technology was 20 years ahead of when consumers were ready for it,” J. Brice O’Brien, head of consumer marketing, was quoted as saying.

“It needed the mass presence of vapor products to open up an experience-base that smokers understood.

“The smoker could only compare heat-not-burn to a combustible and it lost every time. That’s no longer the case.”