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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.

Fifth tender for Hungary’s retail licenses

| April 28, 2014

Hungary’s government-operated National Tobacco Trade Nonprofit (NTTN) is due to issue a tender on May 8 for the remaining 18 licenses for the retail sale of tobacco products, according to an MTI-EcoNews story.

A government monopoly on the issuing of such licenses was introduced in July 2013.

About 5,800 National Tobacco Shops are currently selling tobacco products in Hungary after receiving retail tobacco licenses in NTTN’s previous four tenders.

The shops are authorized also to sell newspapers, lottery tickets, spirits, coffee, energy drinks, soft drinks and mineral water.

The deadline for submitting applications for the fifth tender is June 7, though it could be extended to July 7 upon request.

Altria’s cigarette shipments down but cigar and smokeless volumes up

| April 25, 2014

PM USA’s domestic cigarette shipment volume during the three months to the end of March, at 28,749 million, was down by 2.5 percent on that of the first quarter of 2013, 29,501 million.

The company estimates that, when adjusted for trade inventory changes, its domestic cigarette shipment volume fell about 3.5 percent against a total cigarette category volume decline of about 4 percent.

Meanwhile, within PM USA’s total shipments, Marlboro volume was down by 2.4 percent to 24,816 million, while the volume of the company’s other premium brands fell by 8.6 percent to 1,629 million. Sales of discount brands, however, increased by 0.9 percent to 2,304 million.

PM USA’s cigarette market share during the three months to the end of March, at 50.7 percent, was up by 0.2 of a percentage point on that of the first quarter of 2013.

Marlboro’s share was increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 43.8 percent, while the share of the company’s other premium brands fell by 0.2 of a percentage point to 2.9 percent. The share of PM USA’s discount brands rose by 0.2 of a percentage point to 4 percent.

Altria’s first-quarter results, reported yesterday, also included those of Middleton and USSTC. Middleton’s domestic cigar shipment volume during the three months to the end of March, at 274 million, was up by 0.4 percent on that of the first quarter of 2013, 273 million. Shipment volume of the company’s Black & Mild brand was increased by 0.4 percent to 270 million, while that of its other brands was unchanged at 4 million.

Middleton’s retail market share increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 28.4 percent, with Black & Mild’s share up 0.3 of a percentage point to 28.2 percent and the share of the company’s other brands unchanged at 0.2 percent.

USSTC and PM USA’s combined domestic market shipment volume of smokeless products during the three months to the end of March, at 186.1 million cans and packs, was up by 5.9 percent on that of the first quarter of 2013, 175.7 million.

Copenhagen’s shipment volume increased by 11.1 percent to 103.9 million, but Skoal’s volume fell by 0.6 percent to 64.0 million. The shipment volume of other brands increased by 2.2 percent to 18.2 million.

USSTC and PM USA’s retail market share during the three months to the end of March, at 54.9 percent, was down by 0.1 of a percentage point from that of the first quarter of 2013.

Copenhagen’s market share increased by 1.5 percentage points to 30.2 percent, while Skoal’s share fell by 1.3 percentage points to 20.6 percent. Other brands’ market share fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.1 percent.

In announcing Altria’s results, Chairman and CEO Marty Barrington said the company had increased adjusted, diluted earnings per share (EPS) by 5.6 percent behind the strength of its “core tobacco businesses and their leading premium brands.” “Our smokeable and smokeless products segments grew their adjusted operating companies’ income and expanded margins.”

“We also continued to make disciplined investments to grow new income streams with innovative products. In e-vapor, Nu Mark will begin its national launch of MarkTen in June.

Nu Mark also closed the Green Smoke acquisition earlier this month.”

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