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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.

BAT thought to be in acquisitive mood

| May 13, 2014

British American Tobacco has asked Deutsche Bank to work with UBS on possible financial deals in the U.S., according to a story by Erika Janowicz for Benzinga.com, quoting a report in The Times of London on Monday.

The article said that BAT had hired the banker to advise the company on possible acquisitions and deals.

The newspaper listed possible opportunities as involving Reynolds American and Lorillard.

Stories have previously suggested that Lorillard, despite its cigarette portfolio being hugely dominated by menthol products, might be an acquisition target for Reynolds, in which BAT has a stake of about 42 percent.

The full story is at http://www.benzinga.com/analyst-ratings/analyst-color/14/05/4547297/british-american-tobacco-looks-at-possible-m-a-deals-wit.

Smile when you smoke in Bangalore—your image might end up on Facebook

| May 13, 2014

Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar has appealed to the public to upload to the Bangalore city police Facebook page photographs showing people smoking tobacco in public places where such activity is banned, according to a story by Chaitanya Swamy for the Bangalore Mirror.

The public is able to inform on smokers also by calling 100.

These measures are said to be part of an intensified drive against smoking in public places, which is banned under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade of commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, 2003.

Focus on preventing illicit tobacco trade

| May 13, 2014

The prevention of cigarette smuggling is one of five key tasks for Vietnam’s Market Management Agency this year, according to a VietnamNet story quoting Do Thanh Lam, deputy director of the agency.

Lam said that about 600 million–700 million packs of cigarettes were smuggled into Vietnam each year, “causing losses of nearly $190 million to the state treasury.”

During the first four months of the year, the agency seized 400,000 packs of cigarettes and collected VND2 billion (US$100,000) in fines.

According to Lam, the main reason for an increase that has occurred in respect of cigarette smuggling has to do with the tastes of Vietnamese smokers, who preferred foreign products.

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