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TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015 hailed as success

| October 26, 2015

The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015, which was held from Oct. 18-23 in Cannes, France, concluded with high levels of exhibitor and visitor satisfaction, despite a 2 percent drop in visitors, according to the Tax Free World Association (TFWA).

“The slight reduction in the total number of visitors compared with last year’s record figure bears witness to the difficult economic and geopolitical climate in the world today,” said TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortenson. “However, I am delighted to report that our key visitor category – landlords, duty free & travel retail operators – was extremely well represented with a 2 percent increase in delegates and 4 percent rise in the number of companies over 2014. Agents and distributors also arrived in greater numbers than last year, which is very pleasing.”

A total of 6,558 visitors from 3,026 companies attended this year’s conference, compared with 6,701 visitors from 3,105 companies last year. Of the total, 2,183 people were key buyers—duty free and travel retail operators and landlords of airports, airlines, ferry, cruise, border and downtown concerns. Adding the 2,401 agents and distributors (1,145 companies) to this figure produces a total of 4,584 (1,788 companies) of the most influential trade executives in the industry who were present at this year’s event, according to the TFWA.

On the 21,500-square-meter trade floor were 482 exhibitors (up from 475 exhibitors in 2014), who showcased thousands of products, including fragrances and cosmetics, wines and spirits, fashion and accessories, jewelry and watches, confectionery and fine food, gifts and electronics, and tobacco categories.

The TFWA conference attracted 1,504 delegates, who received thought-provoking analysis of the current business environment from the three speakers: Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor; Peter Long, CEO of TUI Group; and Juul-Mortensen. Stephen Sackur, of BBC HARDtalk, served as moderator.

The six-day conference also included the first-ever TFWA Research Workshop as well as a charity run, golf tournament, welcoming cocktail party at the Carlton Hotel, a Cucina Pop dinner prepared by award-winning chef Davide Oldani and an acrobatic display by the Cirque Eloize from Montreal.

At the closing press conference, Juul-Mortensen, on behalf of TFWA Care, presented to M. Christophe Visentin, founding director, and M. Bernard Brochand, deputy and honorary president of SAMU SOCIAL, funds which will be used to purchase a service vehicle. The van will replace one originally purchased by TFWA 10 years ago which was destroyed in the recent flooding.

Juul-Mortensen concluded, “TFWA is pleased to report that the 31st TFWA World Exhibition & Conference has been completed successfully. Initial feedback from visitors and exhibitors has been very positive, and we will endeavor to rectify any issues which have come to light in time for next year. We look forward to meeting colleagues at our next industry event, the MEADFA Conference in Jordan, on 23 and 24 November.”

Fewer tobacco growers register in Zimbabwe

| October 26, 2015

Tobacco production in Zimbabwe is likely to be scaled back during the 2015-16 season, according to a story in The Zimbabwe Daily citing Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) data.

TIMB figures indicate that 56,000 growers have registered to produce tobacco during 2015-16, down from 72,000 by the same time last year.

Tobacco Research Board (TRB) figures, meanwhile, indicate that seed sales too are down, to 685,000 g, though there was no indication as to how much seed had been sold by this time last year.

TRB general manager Dr. Dahlia Garwe said the irrigated tobacco had already been planted and the dry land crop was “being established”.

Garwe said that farmers were concerned about the rainfall patterns and the predicted El Nino effect. They were being cautious in the way they were approaching the season.

She said that while 685,000 g translated to about 314,000 ha, not all the seeds bought were grown. It was likely that perhaps 65 to 80 percent of that amount would be planted.

“Certainly, from what we have, activity in the 2015 to 2016 season is lower,” she added.

EU Commission asked to clarify heat-not-burn status

| October 26, 2015

The EU Commission has been asked to clarify into which ‘category of manufactured tobacco’ heat-not-burn products are to be included.

Nesa Childers, an Irish member of the European Parliament, asked also how existing EU laws would apply to this product.

She had earlier asked whether the Commission was aware of these products and whether it had received any representations about them from the tobacco industry.

Childers’ questions are due to be answered by the Commission in writing.

Genetic link to nicotine dependence identified

| October 23, 2015

A smoker’s chances of developing nicotine dependence might be determined by genetics, according to a story by Miranda Escobar for citing a recent study published in the journal Translational Psychology.

The study, the largest to date investigating the genetics of nicotine dependence and co-authored by Yale School of Medicine psychiatry professor Joel Gelernter, determined that nicotine dependence can be associated with variants in a particular gene: CHRNA4.

The study authors and experts on nicotine dependence say that by identifying the genetic cause of nicotine dependence, the research findings have the potential to assist in the development of smoking-cessation treatment.

“This study, for the first time, was able to … provide very strong statistical evidence that indeed the variants of [CHRNA4] are associated with nicotine dependence,” said Dana Hancock, study author and genetic epidemiologist at Research Triangle Institute International.

The full story is at:

Views sought on outdoor public-places vaping ban

| October 23, 2015

A council in Wales is facing criticism for asking in a public consultation whether the use of electronic cigarettes should be banned in outdoor public places, according to a story by Oli Gross for the Morning Advertiser.

The assembly member for South Wales, Peter Black, has questioned Swansea Council’s inclusion of vaping in a smoking ban consultation, saying that the two activities should not be equated.

The Welsh Government’s Public Health Bill allows Welsh ministers to outlaw smoking in public places.

Swansea Council said it hasn’t made a decision about smoking or vaping in public places but wants to encourage debate about voluntary smoke-free areas in public places that go beyond current legislation.

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government said that from 2017 the use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed public places would be banned.

That decision met with fierce opposition from the pub industry.

The full story is at:

One in three cigarettes in Macau is illegal, study finds

| October 21, 2015

More than one-third of all cigarettes consumed is either illegally produced in Macau or smuggled into the city, giving Macau has the second-­highest incident rate of illegal cigarette consumption in Asia, according to a regional study.

A report titled “Asia-16: Illicit Tobacco Indicator 2014” was commissioned to better understand the use of cigarettes in Macau and how many of these are being sourced illegally, according to a story in the Macau Daily Times. In 2014 approximately 34.5 percent of all cigarettes consumed within the territory were illegal, and more than two-thirds of cigarettes coming into the city from overseas were illegal, the study found.

“It hurts the government financially, effectively wiping out the tax revenues that could have covered this year’s cash payout to more than 20,000 citizens,” Adrian Cooper, CEO of Oxford Economics, reported on the economic effects of the illegal cigarette trade at a press conference. According to Cooper, the estimated revenue loss to the government is MOP185 million.

“Another way to look at this is that it’s equal to 0.7 percent of the total non-gaming revenues,” said Cooper.

The most popular cigarette brand is sold at MOP30 locally, compared with only MOP9 for the most popular brand in China, making cigarettes more than three times as expensive in Macau as they are in the mainland of China.

“The difference in price creates an incentive for cross-border trade in cigarettes,” said Cooper, “which is facilitated by [significant] cross-border traffic in Macau.” Cooper stated that there is also a “lack of rigorous custom enforcement at the border.”

According the report, 0.4 billion of the 1.1 billion cigarettes consumed in the city last year were illegal. Approximately 141 million cigarettes originated in mainland China, and 117 million were from Hong Kong; however, only 10 million were counterfeits produced within Macau.

To combat the issue of illicit cigarettes, Cooper stated that a three-pronged approach would be required, according to the Times.

“The government should consider introducing a balanced excise policy with regular but moderate tax increases to keep excise tax at pace with inflation,” he said. “It is also essential to step up law enforcement efforts and, at the same time, raise public awareness on the serious consequences of selling and buying illegal cigarettes.”

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