Breaking News

Smoking hit by market forces

| October 9, 2014

Bangkok’s deputy governor, Pussadee Tamtai, yesterday warned people that they risked being fined more than Bt2,000 if they smoked tobacco in the city’s markets, according to a story in The Nation.

There are said to be 338 markets in Bangkok where smoking is prohibited.

The deputy governor said markets that failed to enforce anti-smoking laws faced fines of up to Bt20,000. She was speaking at the launch of a campaign aimed at forcing markets to be tobacco-smoke free. The Thai Health Office had previously distributed pamphlets, stickers and banners to the markets in support of the campaign.

However, a survey earlier this year showed that only about 20 per cent of respondents had seen the campaign material.

And it showed that about 73 per cent of people had witnessed smoking in the markets.

RAI to webcast results conference

| October 9, 2014

Reynolds American Inc. is due to host a conference call and webcast following the release of its third-quarter 2014 financial results before the market opens on October 21.

The conference call, which will begin at 09.00 hours Eastern Time, will involve Susan M. Cameron, president and chief executive officer, Thomas R. Adams, chief financial officer, and Morris L. Moore, vice president of investor relations.

It will be available on line on a listen-only basis at, where registration is already available and where a replay will be made available.

And it will be available at (877) 390-5533 (toll-free) and (678) 894-3969 (international).

JT considers major restructuring in EU

| October 7, 2014

Japan Tobacco today announced a proposal to restructure its manufacturing facilities in the European Union (EU) for the purpose of optimizing its operations and strengthening its competitive position in a challenging operating environment. The company will undertake appropriate consultations with employees’ representatives and the European Works Council on the proposal to change its product sourcing, which could lead to the closure of some of its manufacturing sites.

The prolonged challenging economic environment and excise tax pressure has triggered industry volume contraction in key European countries. This is compounded by the need to comply with legislation, including the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive, which will significantly reduce the number of pack formats to be produced for various markets. These developments have forced the company to review its manufacturing operations.

Under the proposal, the company’s facilities in Lisnafillan, Northern Ireland, and Wervik, Belgium would cease to operate, with production moving to other facilities, potentially in Poland and Romania.

Other tobacco product manufacturing in Trier, Germany, would also be relocated, with the exception of Ploom-related production.

Support for affected employees will be discussed as part of the consultation process. This proposal would affect approximately 1,100 full-time jobs across the EU.

JT says the restructuring proposal will be implemented in phases, recognizing the needs of each country, with factory closures completed between 2016 and 2018.

E-cig maker to challenge Tobacco Directive

| October 7, 2014

Totally Wicked, a leading U.K. e-cigarette manufacturer, has won the right to formally challenge the validity of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) at the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Luxembourg.

At a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, Justice Green decided that a preliminary ruling reference should be made to the CJEU, to determine whether Article 20 of the TPD breaches EU law. It is expected that a hearing will take place at the CJEU in 2015.

Totally Wicked becomes the first e-cigarette manufacturer to win the right to challenge a directive that will bring e-cigarettes and e-liquid within its regulatory scope as a tobacco-related product and subject e-cigarettes to more stringent regulation than some conventional tobacco products.

Totally Wicked believes that the TPD is likely to adversely impact the availability of good quality, e-cigarettes and e-liquids, and jeopardize their potential as a less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco.

Totally Wicked’s challenge is based on its view that Article 20 of the TPD represents a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provision of services, places e-cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products, fails to comply with the general EU principle of equality, and breaches the fundamental rights of e-cigarette manufacturers.

AOI to enter Uganda

| October 6, 2014

Alliance One International (AOI) has announced its intention to enter the Ugandan tobacco leaf market once all relevant governmental approvals and licenses, including registration of its new Ugandan subsidiary, Alliance One Tobacco Uganda (AOU), are complete.

AOU’s core business plans to include providing agronomy services to tobacco growers through an integrated production system that supports sustainable compliant tobacco leaf production. To execute on its plan, AOU expects to employ agronomy and support staff in Uganda, drawing from local talent to develop a dedicated country team. To meet first-year production goals, AOU intends to register and sponsor farmers that produce both flue-cured and burley tobaccos for the upcoming 2015 crop.

“Once complete, the addition of Uganda to our existing African footprint further strengthens our regional position as a leading supplier to both new and existing customers,” says Pieter Sikkel, AOI’s president and chief executive officer.

“Ugandan tobaccos have a good range of quality flavor and semi flavor styles that complement tobaccos from our other supply origins. We are excited about the heightened prospects for Ugandan tobacco on the world market.”


VMR vaporizers under OCB brand

| October 6, 2014

ocb vaporizer

VMR Products, a leading e-cigarette manufacturer, has partnered with Republic Technologies International (RTI), a global distributor of rolling papers and smoking accessories, to create a new line of advanced vaporizers for the EU market. The new vaporizers will be developed by VMR and distributed by RTI under the OCB brand.

OCB is well established in the EU’s roll-your-own and make-your-own tobacco markets, with a strong presence in France, Spain, Germany and Austria.

Following the success of VMR’s recently launched V2 Pro vaporizer, the new line of OCB-branded devices will be designed for the emerging large vapor device category. Models will be able to vaporize e-liquid, loose leaf tobacco and essential oils.

VMR and RTI expect the multi-medium devices to be one of the most disruptive innovations to enter the vaporizer category in the EU.

The partnership marries VMR’s technology with RTI’s distribution network, which reaches more than 800,000 locations across Europe. The OCB vaporizer line will be gradually rolled out across that network over the next year, with 1 million devices expected to be sold by 2016.

“By partnering with RTI, we can quickly scale across the EU, bringing European consumers the first-rate technology and experience that VMR is known for,” said Jan Verleur, CEO and co-founder of VMR. “Abroad, we’ve seen consumers demand larger, open system devices that are naturally more customizable and powerful than their closed-system counterparts. We’re eager to meet that growing demand with RTI’s expansive distribution network and the OCB brand.”

The new OCB vaporizers will feature several industry innovations, such as a one-piece aluminum body with drop-in cartridges to eliminate the breakage and leakage that plague traditional large-scale devices.

The cartridges will couple to the vaporizers magnetically—rather than with threading—and will be “smart,” automatically controlling temperature. The vaporizers will also feature a breakthrough magnetic charger that permits usage of the devices while plugged into a power source.

“We’re combining VMR’s excellence in product design and manufacturing with RTI’s record of popular, world-class products in the roll-your-own and make-your-own markets,” says Santiago Sanchez, managing director of RTI. “Through the partnership, we can provide OCB customers who want high-performing vaporizers with a proven winner at both retail and online.”

The new line of OCB Premium Vaporizers was launched at the Inter-tabak trade exhibition in Germany, in September, and has already aroused great interest.


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