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Research workshop scheduled for TFWA event

| August 21, 2015

The TFWA [Tax Free World Association] is due to host its first-ever dedicated research workshop at its World Exhibition & Conference in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Cannes, France, in October.

Key findings from the association’s most recent research studies will be presented during the one-hour workshop, which will start as the doors of the exhibition close at 18.00 on October 21.

Peter Mohn, owner and CEO, m1nd-set, and Alison Hughes, research director, Counter Intelligence Retail, will present highlights of the studies at the workshop, which will be moderated by TFWA conference research and corporate affairs director John Rimmer.

During the past year, the TFWA has commissioned two major series of reports: the TFWA Airport Series, conducted by m1nd-set, and the current series of TFWA Category Reports, focusing on individual product categories, in partnership with Counter Intelligence Retail.

A one-hour (08.00-09.00) workshop on October 20 will focus on South Korea, while an Inflight Focus Workshop will be held at 08.00-09.00 on October 21.

Registration for the exhibition and conference, which is scheduled for October 18-23, is at www.tfwa.com.

Malawi growers told rejection rate not ‘tolerable’

| August 21, 2015

Leaf tobacco sales resumed in Malawi on August 19 according to a Malawi24 story relayed by the TMA in abstract form.

The abstract said that leaf auctions had been suspended in June after growers protested against low prices.

Rejection rates were said to have stood at 60 percent ‘as of July’.

The Tobacco Control Commission CEO, Bruce Munthali, said the commission was holding talks with farmers to address the issue of rejections.

The rejection rate was described as being much higher than the ‘tolerable’ level of 20 percent, but there was no indication in the abstract as to who found rejection rates of 20 percent plus intolerable.

There was no indication, either, of how rejection rates would be brought down.

Seemingly, buyers would have to pay more or growers would have to accept previously unacceptable prices.

The TCC believes that the whole of the Malawi crop will be sold before the end of the selling season this month.

Chile steering toward 100 percent warnings

| August 20, 2015

BAT Chile will close its factory if draft anti-tobacco legislation is passed into law in its current form, according to a company spokesman quoted in an Agence France Presse story relayed by the TMA.

Among other provisions, the draft legislation calls for cigarette-pack health warnings to be increased from 50 percent to 100 percent ‘of the pack surface’.

And it seeks a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes.

Carlos Lopez, head of corporate affairs at BAT Chile, said the bill’s “disproportionate” and “often illegal” provisions on generic packaging and the “scientifically unfounded” menthol ban would boost illegal trade, which, he added’ had risen by 400 percent during the past five years.

Lopez said that if the bill were passed in its current form, “we’ll close our factory”. The bill has passed in the Senate and is currently before the lower house.

Hong Kong to press ahead with e-cigarette sales ban

| August 20, 2015

Authorities in Hong Kong are determined to press ahead with a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes despite a recent British study suggesting that vaping electronic cigarettes is about 95 percent less harmful than is smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, according to a story in the South China Morning Post.

The study, carried out on behalf of Public Health England, an agency of the Department of Health, concluded that electronic cigarettes should be promoted as a means to help smokers quit their habit.

The Asian Vape Association, formed by five major electronic cigarette companies operating in Hong Kong, heralded the British report as a major turning point.

It urged the government to consider regulating the ingredients of e-liquids instead of banning the products outright.

“The report proves that electronic cigarettes are indeed an effective tool for harm reduction,” said Nav Lalji, founder and chairman of the association.

“We urge the Hong Kong government to advocate e-cigarettes as a safer alternative instead of completely banning them.”

But Hong Kong’s Food and Health Bureau seems set to proceed with the proposed ban on electronic cigarette sales sometime this year.

Health officials are said to believe that electronic cigarette manufacturers target young people and market their products as trend-setting.

According to a 2010 study, Hong Kong’s smoking rate was 11.1 percent of people above the age of 15.

Tobacco does well in Indonesian brand evaluation

| August 20, 2015

Four tobacco brands have made it into the top 10 of Indonesia’s most valuable brands.

At number five, A Mild is the top tobacco brand with a value of US$5,882 million.

Surya, valued at US$1,939 million, is at number eight; Dji Sam Soe, valued at US$1,767 million, is at number nine; and Marlboro, valued in Indonesia at US1,669 million, is at number 10.

WPP, which describes itself as the world’s biggest communications services group, and Millard Brown, said to be a leading global research agency, yesterday released the first BrandZ ™ ranking of Indonesia’s top 50 most valuable brands.

The combined value of the Top 50 brands is $64.6 billion.

The strong performance of tobacco brands was one of the key findings of the evaluation, which combined financial data with the perceptions of consumers.

There are seven tobacco brands in the Top 50, accounting for a total value of $14.8 billion.

US leaf production set to fall by 18 percent

| August 20, 2015

Leaf tobacco production in the US this year is forecast to reach 717 million pounds, down by 18 percent on last year’s production, according to United States Department of Agriculture figures published by Christopher Bickers in his Tobacco Farmer Newsletter.

Flue-cured production is estimated to be down by 17 percent to 473 million pounds and Burley production is expected to be down by 26 percent to 157 million pounds.

Estimates of other-types production are: fire-cured, down by four percent to 56.6 million pounds; dark air-cured, down by five percent to 16.6 million pounds; cigar types, unchanged at nine million pounds; and Southern Maryland, down six percent to 4.4 million pounds.

The full story can be accessed by contacting Bickers at chrisbickers@gmail.com.