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Pax Labs expands vaporizer line to U.K., Germany

| September 15, 2015

Pax Labs, leaders in vaporization technology, announced Sept. 15 that the company’s Pax vaporizers are now available in the U.K. and Germany. The devices are available at and local retailers.

Since introducing its portable, loose-leaf Pax vaporizer three years ago, sales have grown by 200 percent. In March, Pax Labs introduced Pax 2, an enhanced version of the original Pax vaporizer that offers a more intelligent, high-performance smoking experience. The release of Pax vaporizers in the U.K. and Germany follows the company’s recent $46.7 million Series C funding round and is part of Pax Labs’ aggressive global expansion plan to bring its best-selling vaporizers to customers around the world.

“With the growing demand in the vaporization category, consumers have high interest in innovative products,” says James Monsees, CEO and co-founder of Pax Labs. “The timing is perfect for us to introduce Pax in the UK and Germany.”

According to Pax Labs CMO Richard Mumby, “Both London and Berlin are cultural hubs for technology innovation, cutting-edge fashion, global contemporary art and music. With our Silicon Valley approach to innovation, best-in-class technology and thoughtful design, we’re confident consumers across Europe will receive the product as favorably as we’ve experienced in the United States and Canada. Our connection with the fashion, art and music worlds will help us connect with consumers in these diverse and cultural markets. Forward-thinking, trendsetting and socially active consumers continue to be drawn to the PAX products across geographies.”

Pax has distinguished itself as a premium vaporizer brand through its collaboration with fashion, music and art. This year, Pax secured its first fashion retail partnerships with lifestyle boutiques, including Opening Ceremony New York and American Rag Los Angeles. The company also participated in Fashion Week events, collaborating with designer Richard Chai at “New York Fashion Week: Men’s” and the 2015 New York Fashion Week with Opening Ceremony and 11 by BBS. Pax has integrated its brand and products into the prolific art and music scene through artist showcases, event sponsorships and consumer engagements.

“We know that consumers connect with Pax through not only our product design but also our distinct brand identity,” says Mumby. “We’ve redefined our category, and we’re always challenging ourselves to find resonant ways to connect with our fans, often through experiential partnerships and collaborations. From speakeasies, warehouse parties and music festivals, to prolific street art, galleries and fashion shows, the U.K. and Germany are two vibrant and influential European markets. London and Berlin are two cities at the leading edge of innovation, creativity and style.”

Pax 2 is an evolved product building on the original Pax. Pax Labs further integrated new hardware and software into Pax 2, making it smaller, faster, smarter, more robust, longer lasting on a single charge, and more straightforward to use. Pax 2 is the most pocketable and premium loose-leaf vaporizer available. The device heats loose-leaf material, instead of burning it, releasing active ingredients and natural oils into a subtle vapor. This process produces no combustion and no smoke, making it optimal for social settings.

Pax 2 retails for 199 pounds in the U.K. and 259 euros in Germany. The company now has distribution in the United States, Canada, the U.K. and Germany from its online store,, and at select retail locations.

South Korea’s tobacco tax revenue expected to soar next year

| September 15, 2015

Tax revenue from cigarette sales in Korea is expected to reach more than 12.68 trillion won ($10.72 billion) next year, nearly double the increase from 2014, according to a report shown Monday by the independent Korea Federation of Taxpayers.

The Korea Federation of Taxpayers said in its report that the increase is attributable mainly to the sharp tax hike early this year but little reduction in sales volume. The tobacco tax hike was introduced as part of the government’s strategy to reduce the smoking rate in Korea.

The government raised a total of 6.74 trillion won in tobacco tax revenue in 2014 before the tax hike took effect on Jan. 1. This year, it is estimated that the government will collect 11.17 trillion won, up 4.42 trillion won from the previous year. The government had predicted that the tax revenue would increase only by about 2.78 trillion won this and next year, respectively, as sales were expected to drop due to the price hike.

Once the new cigarette pricing went into effect, the price of cigarettes increased to 4,500 won, up 80 percent from the previous 2,500 won. From January to June, the government collected approximately 4.3 trillion won in tax revenue from tobacco sales, up 1.2 trillion won from the year before. During the same period, cigarette sales decreased by 28.3 percent due to the tobacco tax hike.

Although tobacco sales plunged early this year as a result of the sharp price hike, sales have begun to show signs of recovery.

Zimbabwe: $585 million tobacco sold during 2015 season

| September 15, 2015

Nearly 200 million kg of flue-cured tobacco worth $585 million was sold during the 2015 season, which ended on Sept. 9, according to a story in The Herald.

“Tobacco growers sold 198.7 million kg of flue-cured tobacco worth $586 million during the 2015 marketing season,” said Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) public relations manager Ishemunyoro Moyo. “Earnings declined by 14 percent from the 215.8 million kg worth $684 million that had been sold during a corresponding period last year.”

According to latest TIMB statistics, the seasonal average price was $2.95 per kg compared to $3.17 per kg last year.

H.B. Fuller opens Luneburg Adhesive Academy

| September 14, 2015

H.B. Fuller—a leading global adhesives provider focusing on perfecting adhesives, sealants and other specialty chemical products—has opened its Luneburg Adhesive Academy. Located in Germany, the Luneburg Adhesive Academy is the company’s newest technical center and will help its customers respond more quickly and effectively to market trends, industry challenges and opportunities.

Combining state-of-the-art equipment with the collective knowledge of experts drawn from H.B. Fuller’s global network, the facility will be a focus for adhesive R&D excellence. Drawing on specialist knowledge from different industry sectors, the academy provides an environment to work in partnership with customers to solve problems and create new solutions more rapidly than ever before.

“Our new adhesive academy is a perfect example of what we mean by ‘connecting what matters.’ It brings together everything necessary to connect customers to innovative adhesive solutions that will give them a competitive edge,” says H.B. Fuller president and CEO Jim Owens. “From the academy, we will strengthen our commercial partnerships, solve some of the world’s toughest adhesion challenges and develop market-ready solutions to help drive customer and industry performance.”

Nick Lehman, H.B. Fuller’s R&D director, adds, “By bringing together adhesive specialists from different sectors to share expertise, transfer technologies between markets and stimulate ideas, we are confident we can accelerate adhesive innovation. Furthermore, we are providing those experts with first-class offices, laboratories, technical facilities and machinery to ensure they have the best possible environment in which to think and to create.”

Covering 2,300 square meters, the Luneburg Adhesive Academy includes dedicated areas for packaging and converting, hygiene and durable assembly adhesive technologies. It is purpose-designed for related functions, such as conducting experiments, running demonstrations and training customers. The investment in the site also reinforces H.B. Fuller’s commitment to the local community.

Executive changes announced at RAI and its operating companies

| September 14, 2015

Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) has announced several executive changes at both RAI and its largest subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. All the changes will be effective Oct. 1.

Debra Crew, who is currently president and chief commercial officer of R.J. Reynolds, will become president and chief operating officer of the company. She will assume management responsibility for the company’s manufacturing operations and research and development functions, in addition to her ongoing responsibility for the consumer and trade marketing functions.

Nancy Hawley, who is currently senior vice president of operations at R.J. Reynolds, will be promoted to executive vice president of operations for the company.

Daniel J. Herko, who is currently senior vice president of research and development for R.J. Reynolds, will be promoted to executive vice president of research and development for the company. Herko will also become an executive vice president of RAI Services Company and will be responsible for managing regulatory oversight for RAI’s subsidiaries.

When Crew assumes her new responsibilities, Jeffery Gentry, who is currently R.J. Reynolds’ executive vice president of operations and chief scientific officer, will move to a project role overseeing the ongoing integration of Lorillard operations into subsidiaries of RAI. Gentry plans to retire in the first half of 2016.

Thomas Adams, who served as RAI’s executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2008 to March 2015 and has been overseeing the integration of Lorillard operations, now plans to retire on Oct. 1, when Gentry assumes responsibility for overseeing the integration.

“Reynolds American places great importance on its talent-development and succession-planning processes,” says Susan Cameron, RAI’s president and CEO. “As a result, we have a talented pool of top-notch executives ready to move into key leadership roles for our companies. Strong people and strong brands are the keys to success in consumer packaged-goods businesses, and Reynolds American and its subsidiaries are fortunate to have both.”

JT selected for inclusion in the DJSI Asia/Pacific

| September 14, 2015

Japan Tobacco (JT) has been selected for the second consecutive year for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia/Pacific Index (DJSI Asia/Pacific), the worldwide index for socially responsible investment, the company announced Sept. 13.

The DJSI is a collaborative initiative by S&P Dow Jones2 Indices of the United States and RobecoSAM3 of Switzerland. It assesses the sustainability performance of companies based on economic, environmental and social criteria.

From among approximately 600 major companies in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, 145 companies (62 of which are Japanese companies) were named to the DJSI Asia/Pacific this year.

In accordance with its management principles, the JT Group, which sells its products in more than 120 countries and regions, balances the interests of consumers, shareholders, employees and society; fulfills its responsibilities to them; and aims to exceed their expectations. With this in mind, the JT Group carries out various initiatives in countries where it operates, and plans to continue to contribute to sustainability through its businesses.

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