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E-cigarettes enjoy massive growth

| May 9, 2014

E-cigarettes have enjoyed massive growth in the U.S. during the past two years, with sales increasing from $283 million in 2012 to $537 million in 2013, according to new research by Mintel.

In 2013, the market for e-cigarettes was on par with the market for smoking cessation gum, the largest segment of the smoking cessation market.

E-cigarette sales were in sharp contrast to those of the smoking cessation category, which went up by $95 million, or 10 percent, between 2008 and 2013. Between 2013 and 2018, Mintel forecasts growth of only $7 million.

“The sharp falloff in growth of the smoking cessation category between 2012 and 2013 and the forecasted decline over the next five years are largely due to the explosive popularity of e-cigarettes,” said Molly Maier, category manager, health, household, beauty and personal care, Mintel.

Researchers want cigarette filters banned

| May 9, 2014

Banning cigarette filters is one of a number of policies recently put forward by U.S.-based researchers as a way of reducing or eliminating the environmental problems caused by carelessly discarded butts.

Such a policy might seem extreme, but those proposing it describe filtered cigarettes as a “farce” in terms of consumer safety. And they cite as evidence a recent National Cancer Institute review that apparently showed filtered cigarettes were “not healthier or safer than nonfiltered ones.”

The policy suggestions are those of Thomas Novotny of San Diego State University and Elli Slaughter, an advocate seeking to curb the environmental harm caused by the large-scale littering of cigarette butts, packaging and matches. The suggestions appeared in a review article published in Springer’s journal, Current Environmental Health Reports.

Novotny and Slaughter also suggest that filters/butts might be the subject of a deposit/return scheme, that cigarette manufacturers might be held responsible for cleanups, and that warnings about the impact of carelessly discarded butts might be placed on packs.

Joint cartonboard congress in September

| May 9, 2014

ECMA, the European Carton Manufacturers’ Association, and Pro Carton, the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers, are due to hold their first joint congress Sept. 17–20 in Sorrento, Italy.

A note on the Pro Carton website said the congress would be open to the whole supply chain, with brand owners and other industry partners welcome to participate.

The congress will also be the venue for the presentation of the 2014 Pro Carton ECMA Awards for successful, innovative packaging solutions, and for the Pro Carton Young Design Awards for design students from across Europe, which are held every two years.

Further information and registration is available at www.ecmaprocartoncongress.com.

Reynolds American declares dividend

| May 9, 2014

Reynolds American Inc.’s board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend on the company’s common stock of $0.67 per share ($2.68 per share annualized).

The dividend will be payable on July 1 to shareholders of record on June 10.

RAI said that this was the 40th consecutive quarterly cash dividend since it had become a public company on July 30, 2004.

Details about RAI’s annual meeting yesterday are at http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/RAI/2985503107x0x753104/997efa50-b3e6-4e81-aa8d-2ab85f5e1da7/2014-08_RAI_issues_results_of_2014_shareholders_mtg_announces_qtrly_cash_div.pdf.

Ethiopia mulls bid for tobacco monopoly

| May 8, 2014

Ethiopia’s Public Enterprises Board is due to decide by tomorrow whether to accept Sheba Investment’s request to buy an additional 48 percent share in the state-owned National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE), according to an Addis Fortune story.

The Yemeni-based Sheba already owns a 22 percent share in NTE, which it acquired in 1999.

Sheba’s request followed a declaration by the Privatisation & Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA) that it was interested in selling a further stake in National. That stake was reported to be 27 percent, a figure that has not been confirmed by PPESA on the grounds that it is confidential.

Sheba’s proposal has been referred to PPESA’s board, according to the agency’s head of public relations, Wondafrash Assefa.

However, PPESA is expected to turn down the proposal because the agency apparently feels that Sheba is not actively taking part in the business of the NTE.

A month ago, a story in The Reporter had it that NTE was expected to be sold, either to Sheba, or, failing that, through some other form of sale.

Zambian growers unhappy with prices

| May 8, 2014

Tobacco growers in the Kaoma and Nkeyema districts of Western Province, Zambia, are complaining about what they see as the low prices being offered and the buying methods being used by Alliance One Zambia (AOZ), according to a Times of Zambia story.

The growers said they had been spending nights at the company’s sheds hoping that the price, now ranging between ZMW1 and ZMW7.50 per kg, would be increased.

Two growers were quoted as saying that AOZ was undervaluing their tobacco and rejecting some of it on the grounds that it amounted to “excess” production.

Another said that the prices being offered could not cover even the costs of production.

Meanwhile, AOZ manager Hillary Chanda was quoted as saying that his company was buying only from its sponsored growers and that it was limiting the amount of tobacco being bought from each farmer to 1,000 kg per ha, though with an additional allowance of up to 20 percent based on the crop estimates of individual growers.

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