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PM USA seeking review of reinstatement of $10.1 billion “lights” judgment

| April 30, 2014

Philip Morris USA has said that it will seek immediate review by the Illinois Supreme Court of yesterday’s appellate court decision to order reinstatement of the 2003 judgment in the Price “lights” case. While that review is pending, the appellate court decision is stayed automatically.

“Almost 10 years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the Price judgment as contrary to Illinois law,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “The Fifth District Court of Appeals’ decision today conflicts with that ruling and essentially overrules a decision of a higher court.

“The law does not allow the Fifth District to reopen a decision by the Illinois Supreme Court based on speculation about the possible impact of subsequent events on the higher court’s ruling.

“In addition, the Fifth District erred in ordering reinstatement despite the fact that the Illinois Supreme Court previously raised other problems with the judgment, including whether the case was properly certified as a class action.”

The Illinois Supreme Court in 2005 overturned a $10.1 billion judgment against PM USA, which was imposed by former Madison County Circuit Judge Byron, sitting without a jury. The original case, filed in 2000, alleged that Illinois smokers were deceived in purchasing Marlboro “Lights” and Cambridge “Lights” cigarettes and, therefore, were entitled to a refund.

“If the Illinois Supreme Court declines to review the case at this point, PM USA will pursue an appeal in the ordinary course, to which a $250 million bond cap would apply,” Garnick added.

Essentra Packaging offers prize to keep the ideas fresh at Interpack exhibition

| April 30, 2014
Canned idea from Essentra.

Canned idea from Essentra.

Visitors to Interpack are being asked for ideas about how AquaSense™, the latest label innovation from Essentra Packaging, can revolutionize packs.

Every idea submitted by visitors to Essentra’s stand, C20, in hall 7 at Messe Düsseldorf May 8–14 will be in with a chance of winning an iPad Mini at the end of the show, the company said in a press note issued yesterday.

AquaSense™ has been designed to help maintain and control the moisture content within packs, ensuring the goods do not dry out and are kept fresh.

Moreover, in a press note issued towards the end of March, Essentra said that AquaSense™ had been designed to help maintain and control the moisture content of make-your-own tobacco packs.

According to the March press note, an absorbent AquaSense™ pad included in the packaging and available on opening was placed by the consumer under a running tap or in a glass of water. The pad soaked up only a specific amount of water that it then released over time to keep the contents of the packaging fresh, control humidity and reduce product waste due to drying out.

The pad could be supplied in a variety of formats and sizes and had been designed to meet the specific protection needs of make-your-own tobacco packs and tubs.

And it could be used to deliver high-impact promotional graphics and messages that appeared on the addition of the water.

Plain packaging dispute moves up a gear

| April 29, 2014

Australia could learn by the end of this year whether its standardized tobacco packaging regulations have fallen afoul of World Trade Organization requirements, according to an Agence France Presse story.

Since Dec. 1, 2012, Australia has required that all tobacco products be sold in packaging designed on behalf of the previous Labor government to be as ugly as possible. Packs are hugely dominated by graphic health warnings, are otherwise a standard olive color, have no logos or other design features, and have brand and variant names in a standardized font and position.

Australia and the five countries that have raised objections to the regulations, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia and Ukraine, agreed at a WTO dispute settlement body meeting on Friday to combine the five separate challenges into a single case.

WTO chief Roberto Azevedo is expected by May 5 to name the three-member panel of independent trade and legal experts, who, under the organization’s rules, will then have six months to issue a ruling.

However, according to a story by Tom Miles for Reuters, panels frequently ask for more time, and the WTO’s dispute system is suffering from a bottleneck.

Additionally, any party to the dispute could appeal, a process that can add months to the outcome, and some disputes drag on for years because of disagreements over whether a country ruled to be in the wrong has done enough to comply with the terms of the WTO judgment.

The Agence France Presse story, meanwhile, quoted trade analysts as saying that the dispute ruling could have far-reaching implications for how governments balanced global intellectual property rules with measures they say are in the public interest.

E-cigarette use among never-smokers negligible, says anti-smoking body

| April 29, 2014

Electronic cigarette use among people who have never smoked remains negligible in Great   Britain, according to an ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) fact sheet.

Only 1.1 percent of “never-smokers” have ever tried e-cigarettes and almost none of those who have tried these products continue to use them.

Among former smokers, 11.8 percent have tried e-cigarettes but only 4.7 percent use them on a regular basis.

ASH has commissioned a series of surveys on e-cigarette use, starting in 2010 with a survey of adult smokers that was repeated in February 2012, February 2013 and March 2014. In March 2013, an additional survey of young people aged 11 to 18 was conducted.

Using its own and government data, ASH estimates that whereas in 2010 only 8.2 percent of current smokers had ever tried e-cigarettes, by 2014, that figure had risen to 51.7 percent.

Between 2010 and 2014, also, there was a gradual but consistent rise in the number of current smokers who used e-cigarettes on a regular basis: 2.7 percent to 17.7 percent.

There are currently 2.1 million e-cigarette users in Great Britain, of whom about 700,000 are ex-smokers and 1.3 million continue to use tobacco alongside e-cigarettes.

The ASH fact sheet is at http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_891.pdf.

TFWA registrations up 23 percent

| April 29, 2014

With less than three weeks to go before the start of the TFWA (Tax-Free World Association) Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference, 1,480 duty-free operators, travel-retail businesses and landlords had registered for the event, according to the association’s newsletter, Evoice.

Registrations for the event, which will be held in Singapore May 11–15, were up 23 percent on those of last year.

The association is promising that improved registration facilities at street level this year will save time and offer direct access to the show floors.

Interactive screens will help visitors navigate the alleys and stands, with directions downloadable to smartphones via QR tags.

More information of the exhibition and conference is at http://www.tfwa.com/duty_free/Event-news.49.0.html.

Macau ups the ante on smoking lounges

| April 29, 2014

The government of Macau will announce its technical guidelines for the installation of smoking lounges in casinos by June or July at the earliest, according to a Macau Business Daily story quoting Health Bureau Director Lei Chin.

Before the guidelines were launched, Lei said, his bureau was going to discuss the approval criteria with the public works departments and the Fire Services Bureau.

Under the partial smoking ban in casinos, those who have applied for smoking areas—permissible on up to 50 percent of casino floor space—will have to submit a monthly air-quality report to the Health Bureau.

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