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Nine new Seven Stars on Japanese horizon

| April 28, 2015

Japan Tobacco Inc says that it is to introduce across Japan nine redesigned Seven Stars products.

The Seven Stars brand, which includes 14 products in all, is the tobacco sales leader in Japan.

The redesigns, which are due to appear in the middle of June, have targeted the products’ packaging; so there have been no changes to the flavor and taste delivered by the products.

The changes have been made in respect of six regular and three menthol products: Seven Stars 10, Seven Stars 10 Box, Seven Stars 7, Seven Stars 7 Box, Seven Stars 4, Seven Stars 1, Seven Stars Menthol 12 Box, Seven Stars Menthol 8 Box, and Seven Stars Menthol 5 Box.

Growers’ earnings down by 24 percent in Zimbabwe

| April 27, 2015

By day 33 of Zimbabwe’s flue-cured sales, volume sales were down by seven percent from those of the same period of the 2014 season and earnings from those sales were down by 24 percent, according to a story in The Herald.

This season, tobacco growers earned US$129 million after selling 50 million kg of flue-cured, while last season they earned US$170 million from the sale of 54 million kg, the Herald reported, citing Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board figures.

Prices this season have been depressed since the opening day of the 2015 sales season when the average price was US$2.80 per kg, down from US$3.15 per kg the previous season.

The decline in prices has been attributed to the poor quality of the lower leaves as a result of unhelpful weather, but a more likely explanation is probably to be found in the supply/demand situation.

Illegal trade agreement has no liability release clause

| April 27, 2015

The European Commission has said that the 2010 anti-fraud co-operation agreement between British American Tobacco, EU member states and the Commission does not include a clause releasing the company from ‘any civil claims arising out of past conduct relating to illicit trade’.

The Commission was replying to a question by Bart Staes, a Belgian politician and MEP for Flanders.

In a preamble to his question, Staes said that on July 15, 2010, BAT had signed an agreement with the EU to combat the illegal trade in tobacco.

‘A press release from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the UK suggests that the BAT agreement has a discharge clause that releases the company from past liability for smuggling, noting that “the manufacturers (BAT) are released from any civil claims arising out of past conduct relating to illicit trade”,’ Staes said.

‘On the OLAF website no information is provided on the existence of such a clause.’

Staes asked the Commission to confirm or deny that such a clause exists in the 2010 tobacco agreement concluded between BAT and the EU.

‘The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that such a clause does not exist in the 2010 anti-fraud Cooperation Agreement concluded between British American Tobacco, Member States and the EU,’ the Commission said in its written reply.

Jakarta’s tobacco smoking ban largely ignored

| April 27, 2015

Although it has been in place for a decade, a bylaw banning tobacco smoking in public places in Jakarta, Indonesia, is not enforced effectively and so is ignored by many smokers, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

This is despite the fact that those found to have violated the bylaw are liable to a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment or a fine of up to Rp50 million (US$3,856).

Daryatmo, of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI), said the prohibition of smoking in public places had made little impression on the general public and that the administration should enact a concerted campaign to raise awareness of the ban.

He said places such as railway stations and bus terminals should have large, visible banners reminding passengers of the ban, and should make regular reminders via the intercom system.

And it was important to employ at railway stations and terminals people whose job it was to watch for violations.

“Sadly, I don’t think that many officials working in public places are very interested in enforcing the smoking ban,” Daryatmo said.

However, he added that, having disseminated information on smoking restrictions, the city administration should begin to enforce the bylaw by imposing criminal punishments on violators, he added.

JT to launch two additional richer-flavor products

| April 27, 2015

Japan Tobacco Inc is due to launch in June two additions to its Mevius Mode series of products that are said to deliver a richer flavor through the inclusion of a ‘lavish blend’.

Like other Mode products, the soon-to-be-launched Mevius Mode 6 100s and Mevius Mode 3 100s will incorporate JT’s LSS (less smoke smell) technology.

Mevius Mode 6 and Mevius Mode 3, which deliver respectively 6 mg of tar and 0.5 mg of nicotine, and 3 mg of tar and 0.3 mg of nicotine, are due to be rolled out nation-wide in Japan.

Swedish Match announces dividend

| April 27, 2015

Swedish Match’s Annual General Meeting has resolved, in accordance with a proposal by the board of directors, to pay a dividend of SEK7.50 per share.

The dividend is payable on April 30 to shareholders of note on April 27.

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