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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.

Warning: Proposed e-cigarette rules could devastate public health

| April 28, 2014

A public health expert has expressed serious concerns about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed regulations on electronic cigarettes.

Writing on his blog, Dr. Michael Siegel, who is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, said that with the release of its deeming regulations, the FDA was poised to give a huge gift to combustible tobacco and to the diseases and death caused by cigarettes.

“If promulgated as is, the regulations will be devastating to the public’s health by protecting the combustible cigarette market at the expense of the introduction and promotion of much safer alternative products that would otherwise have the potential to substantially reduce lung disease, heart disease, stroke, and cancer,” he writes.

Siegel focuses on two major aspects of the deeming regulations that he says would deal a devastating blow to the public’s health:
1. Electronic cigarette companies cannot inform consumers that these products are safer than cigarettes, and they cannot even tell the public that they are free of tobacco.
2. The regulations put a huge, if not insurmountable, obstacle in the way of new and innovative electronic cigarette products.
Siegel’s blog is at http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/.

Bangladesh looks to check growing trend

| April 28, 2014

The government in Bangladesh is planning to check the increase in production of leaf tobacco in the country, according to a story in The Financial Express quoting a UNB News Agency report.

“A policy will be formulated soon to check the cultivation and production of tobacco,” M. Amin Ul Ahsan, coordinator of the tobacco control cell of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was quoted as telling the news agency.

But despite his use of the word soon, he seemed to suggest that it might take some time to devise a policy acceptable to all. Many ministries and government bodies had interests in tobacco cultivation and production, he added.

Online Coresta registration open

| April 28, 2014

Online registration and accommodation booking for Coresta’s 2014 congress is now available at www.coresta2014.org.

The congress is due to be held at the Château Frontenac, Québec City, Canada, on Oct. 12–16.

The theme of the congress is “Building on experience to shape the future.”

The deadline for the submission of congress paper abstracts is May 23; the deadline for the early registration rate is Aug. 1, and the deadline for online registration is Sept. 15.

Innovia owners share investment vision

| April 28, 2014

Arle Capital has acquired the Innovia Group from the Candover 2001 Fund for an enterprise value of €498 million, with funds raised from a syndicate of new investors.

The deal means that ownership remains with funds managed by the same international private equity company. “We are delighted that we will be partnering again with Arle, who have worked closely alongside us since 2009,” said David Beeby, CEO of the Innovia Group. “They share our vision for the future and will continue to support new investment in both the films and security businesses moving forward.”

“This transfer of ownership means that the Innovia Group has a strong future.  It enables the company to sustain its growth plans across our technologies, brands and trademarks.”

According to a press note about the ownership change, Innovia recently announced £40 million worth of investment at its Wigton site in the U.K.

Half of that amount is due to be spent on a state-of-the-art gas turbine and a new “bubble” that will increase Innovia’s biaxially oriented polypropylene output by 10 percent.

The other half was announced after the Bank of England confirmed its decision to adopt polymer bank notes, a move that will enable Innovia to build a new plant to produce the new £5 and £10 polymer banknote substrate and that will create a further 70–80 jobs at the site.

Currently, the group employs 1,600 people across two divisions—Innovia Films and Innovia Security. It operates six manufacturing sites in Australia, Belgium, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S., coupled with a network of sales offices, agents and distributors around the world.

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