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Pakistan going for 85 percent graphic warnings

| February 12, 2015

Pakistan’s Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Co-ordination, Saira Afzal Tarar, said yesterday that all cigarette packs sold in the country would have to carry new graphic warnings covering 85 percent of both the front and back panels, according to a story in the Business Recorder.

Addressing a press conference, the minister said that tobacco companies would start implementing the requirements from March 30 and that efforts would be made to have all cigarette packs carrying the new warnings by May 30.

The minister said, too, that the government had decided to increases taxes on tobacco products, and that, in this regard, a committee, with representation from the World Health Organization and the Federal Board of Revenue, had been set up with the aim of stopping tobacco use.

According to the minister, Pakistan will be the third country after Thailand and India to require graphic health warnings covering 85 percent of pack surfaces.

PMI to webcast conference presentation

| February 12, 2015

Philip Morris International is due to host a live audio webcast at of a presentation by CFO Jacek Olczak at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference starting about 13.45 Eastern Time on February 18.

The webcast, which will be in listen-only mode, will provide live audio of the entire PMI session.

The audio webcast can be accessed also on iOS or Android devices by downloading PMI’s free Investor Relations Mobile Application at

An archived copy of the webcast will be available at until 17.00 on March 19.

The presentation slides and script will be available at

Ploom names two senior executives

| February 11, 2015

Ploom, a San Francisco, California, USA-based vapor delivery system company, has added two senior executives to its team. Timothy Danaher was named vice president of finance and Scott Dunlap was appointed chief marketing officer. Reporting to founder and CEO James Monsees, Danaher will play a critical role in developing and executing the overall business and financial strategy of Ploom to maximize sales growth and profitability.Dunlap will be responsible for crafting the strategic marketing vision and plan behind all of Ploom’s future products.

“We are excited to welcome Tim and Scott to the Ploom team,” said Ploom CEO James Monsees. “Tim’s broad experience in finance and history of building value in startup ventures will serve us well as we enter the next phase of Ploom’s strategic growth. In addition to success in growing new business platforms, Scott has the unique skills–ncluding expertise in mobile apps, gaming, data mining and social networking–that are needed in an envelope-pushing industry that relies on new and creative tools to build a customer base. Tim and Scott will be key factors as we continue to build our business with innovative products and designs.”

Reynolds’ volumes down but Santa Fe is on the up

| February 11, 2015

R.J Reynolds Tobacco’s US domestic cigarette volume during the year to the end of December, at 61.0 billion, was down by 5.0 percent on that of 2013, 64.2 billion.

Camel volume was unchanged at 20.9 billion but Pall Mall volume fell by 3.2 percent to 20.6 billion; so the company’s total ‘growth brands’ volume was down by 1.6 percent to 41.5 billion.

Volume shipments of RJR’s other brands were down by 11.6 percent to 19.5 billion.

Reynolds American Inc, whose business sectors take in RJR, Santa Fe and American Snuff, announced its full-year and fourth-quarter results yesterday.

RJR’s volume during the fourth quarter to the end of December, at 14.9 billion, was down by 4.9 percent on that of the fourth quarter of 2013, 15.6 billion.

Camel volume fell by 0.7 percent to 5.1 billion and Pall Mall volume fell by 4.9 percent to 5.0 billion; so the company’s total growth brands volume was down by 2.8 percent to 10.1 billion.

The other-brands volume fell by 9.1 percent to 4.8 billion.

RJR’s share of the US cigarette market during the year to the end of December, at 26.5 per cent, was down from 26.6 percent during 2013.

Camel’s share was increased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 10.2 percent while Pall Mall’s share was unchanged at 9.4 percent.

The share held by the company’s other brands fell by 0.5 of a percentage point to 7.0 percent.

Meanwhile, Santa Fe’s cigarette (Natural American Spirit) volume during the year to the end of December, at 3.9 billion, was increased by 10.0 percent on that of 2013, while its volume during the three months to the end of December, at 1.1 billion, was 14.0 percent up on that of the three months to the end of December 2013.

Santa Fe’s share of the retail market during 2014, at 1.6 percent, was up by 0.2 of a percentage point on that of 2013.

American Snuff’s volume during the year to the end of December, at 478.6 million cans, was up by 2.8 percent on that of 2013.

Grizzly volume increased by 3.5 percent to 433.8 million cans, while sales of the company’s other moist snuff products fell by 3.5 percent to 44.9 million cans.

American’s volume during the three months to the end of December, at 120.5 million cans, was down by 1.0 percent from that of the three months to the end of 2013.

Grizzly volume was down by 0.5 percent to 109.2 million cans, while the volume of the company’s other brands fell by 5.3 percent to 11.3 million cans.

American’s share of the moist snuff market during the year to the end of December, at 34.3 percent, was increased by 0.3 of a percentage point on that of 2013.

Grizzly’s share was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to 31.4 percent, while the share of other brands was down by 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.0 percent.

RAI had net sales of $8,471 million during the 12 months to the end of December, 2.9 percent up on those of 2013.

Reported operating income was down by 19.2 percent to $2,531 million, while adjusted operating income was up by 2.8 percent to $3,105 million.

Reported net income was down by 14.4 percent to $1,470 million, while adjusted net income was up by 5.0 percent to $1,831 million.

And reported net income per diluted share was down by 12.4 percent to $2.75, while adjusted net income per diluted share was up by 7.2 per cent to $3.42.

“Reynolds American continued to deliver growth momentum in the fourth quarter, capping a highly successful year for our operating companies’ core operations and key brands,” said president and CEO Susan M. Cameron in announcing the results. “This strong performance contributed to RAI’s excellent total shareholder return of just under 35 percent for 2014.”

In addition, Cameron said, substantial progress was made in RAI’s transforming tobacco strategy. “Our companies’ innovative new products across categories are enhancing prospects for commercial success in an evolving marketplace, while also underscoring our commitment to reducing the harm caused by tobacco,” she said.

Developments were said to have included:

  • The national expansion of R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company’s VUSE Digital Vapor

Cigarette and the addition of four more adult-oriented styles;

  • The start of the national expansion of Niconovum USA’s ZONNIC nicotine replacement therapy gum; and,
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s launch of REVO in Wisconsin, which uses

heat-not-burn technology.

Late last month, RAI and Lorillard shareholders approved RAI’s proposed acquisition of Lorillard and divestiture of select brands and assets to a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco.

“We have also substantially complied with the Federal Trade Commission’s second request for information, and the process of obtaining the necessary regulatory and other approvals continues to proceed as expected,” Cameron said. “We remain confident that the transaction will close in the first half of this year.”

Andhra growers seek guidance to the ‘promised land’

| February 11, 2015

Tobacco growers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are urging world leaders to address the issue of providing them with alternative livelihoods, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

So far, the search for the ‘promised land’ of alternative crops, which has been going on for years in a number of countries and regions, has proved almost fruitless.

The growers appear to be jockeying for position ahead of the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which is due to he held in Delhi next year.

They are asking that they be allowed to participate at the meeting so as to present their case before any decision is taken to phase out tobacco cultivation; a request that seems doomed given the secrecy that surrounds these meetings.

And the growers are urging world leaders also to come up with recommendations to eliminate the illegal trade in tobacco products.

And here they are pushing at an open door. The illegal trade eats into government tobacco revenues and its elimination has been a pet project of the WHO for some time.

US FDA commissioner to step down next month

| February 11, 2015

The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Margaret A. Hamburg, is to step down by the end of March.

In a letter to her colleagues at the agency, Hamburg said that together they had made significant progress in implementing both the letter and spirit of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

‘Our tobacco compliance and enforcement program has entered into agreements with numerous state and local authorities to enforce the ban on the sale of tobacco products to children and teens; conducted close to 240,000 inspections; written more than 12,100 warning letters to retailers; proposed the extremely important foundational “deeming” rule; and broken new ground for FDA with the launch of the Agency’s first public education campaigns to prevent and reduce tobacco use among our nation’s youth,’ she said in part.

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