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Alcohol next in line for plain packaging

| May 14, 2014

Scotch whisky could be dragged into a tit-for-tat trade war because of plans to introduce standardized packaging for cigarettes in Scotland and, possibly, the rest of the U.K., according to a story by David Maddox for The Scotsman, reflecting the fears of some MPs.

The Indonesian government has proposed forcing Australian wine to be sold in standardized packaging in retaliation for Australia introducing standardized packs for tobacco products in December 2012.

Indonesia is expected to impose the same restrictions on New Zealand when that country introduces standardized packs for tobacco products.

And Indonesia has called on other major tobacco-producing countries to follow its lead.

Legislation for standardized cigarette packaging in Scotland is due to be introduced to the Scottish parliament before the end of the current session.

And Prime Minister David Cameron has hinted strongly that a proposal for the introduction of such a measure in England will be included in the Queen’s Speech next month.

These proposals have led to speculation by MPs that whisky could be consigned to standardized packaging in some countries.

Indonesia was identified in 2012 by Paul Walsh, the chief executive of Diageo, among whose brands is Johnnie Walker, as one of the new target growth markets in Asia for Scotch whisky.

Zimbabwe’s leaf prices down 14 percent

| May 14, 2014

Zimbabwe has sold 124 million kg of flue-cured for US$398 million so far during the current sales season, which began in the middle of February, according to a story by Oliver Kazunga for the Chronicle, quoting figures from the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.

By the same stage of the previous sales season, 98 million kg had been sold for US$370 million.

By day 52 of the current sales, the daily average price stood at $3.20 per kg, down by about 14 percent on that prevailing at the same stage of the previous season, $3.72.

The reduction in prices was put down to the poor quality of the offerings and stiff competition from other producers.

About 88 million kg of the tobacco sold was the subject of contracts, while the remainder had been sold over one of three licensed auction floors.

Major issues to address at nicotine forum

| May 14, 2014

One of the main topics for discussion at the first Global Forum on Nicotine, which will be held in Poland next month, will be the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deeming regulations for e-cigarettes.

But also high on the list will be the new EU Tobacco Products Directive, the World Health Organization’s position on e-cigarettes, and the upcoming meeting of the parties to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (COP6), where proposals are due to be made about including e-cigarettes in the FCTC.

The forum, at the Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, June 27–28, is being organized by KAC, which stages public health and addictions conferences and runs the Nicotine Science and Policy website www.nicotinepolicy.net.

The forum’s website is at http://gfn.net.co/; registration is available at http://gfn.net.co/registration.

Andhra tobacco sales set brisk pace

| May 14, 2014

About 64 percent more flue-cured was sold during the first 60 days of the current auction season in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh than was sold during the same period of the previous season, according to a story in the latest edition of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

This season, 62.89 million kg was sold, against 38.34 million kg last season.

Nearly 60 percent of the leaf sold so far this season has comprised bright grade varieties.

Universal to webcast results conference

| May 14, 2014

Universal Corporation is due to webcast a conference call following the release of its results for fiscal year 2014 after market close on May 20.

The conference call, which will begin at 5 p.m. Eastern Time, will be hosted by Vice President and Treasurer Candace C. Formacek.

A live webcast of the conference call will be available online on a listen-only basis at www.universalcorp.com, where a replay of the conference call will be available until Aug. 19.

A taped replay of the call will be available from 8:30 p.m. EDT on May 20 until June 3 at (855) 859-2056; telephone replay identification number 32770854.

Opposing flavored e-cigarettes but not tobacco cigarettes with menthol

| May 13, 2014

A leading U.S. health expert has said that calls for bans on flavored e-cigarettes are disingenuous in the mouths of those who don’t oppose the addition of menthol to tobacco cigarettes.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, last week challenged the position of a group of U.S. senators pushing for a ban on flavored electronic cigarettes.

While the senators said they were concerned about the potential for flavored products to addict young people to nicotine, they had supported an exemption for menthol from the tobacco cigarette flavoring ban, Siegel said. And they were taking no action to remove this exemption or to demand that the Food and Drug Administration ban the addition of menthol to cigarettes.

Later in the week, Siegel pointed to an opinion piece in The New York Times by the president of the American Lung Association, Harold Wimmer, who had argued that e-cigarettes were addicting young people and serving as a gateway to tobacco addiction. Based on that alleged “fact,” said Siegel, Wimmer had argued that e-cigarette flavorings should be banned.

Again, Siegel pointed out that the association had opposed an amendment that would have eliminated the menthol exemption in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

And, he said, the association was not calling also for a ban on flavors in cigarettes that attracted young people—menthol.

Siegel’s blog is at http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/american-lung-association-is-also.html.

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