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New longer-lasting e-cigarette on offer

| July 15, 2014

FirstUnion says it has used new battery materials and a different internal structure to develop a more economical, longer-lasting, disposable e-cigarette that yields high puff counts, “immense vapor” and a fresher taste using a safer battery.

The new design is said also to allow for a longer shelf-life.

The new battery materials were said by FirstUnion in a press note issued through PRNewswire to have been developed with its suppliers.

And the battery is such that it can deliver “ultra-thick” vapor even under conditions of low voltage.

FirstUnion Group, which describes itself as the largest solutions provider for e-cigarettes in the world and is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, says that it has applied for patents on its leak-proof design.

“There is an unprecedented and new high-tech comprehensive thermal structure solution hidden under a regular appearance,” the company said of its product.

“We can proudly announce to the world that this new technology can change the world,” it added.

Lorillard acquisition talks confirmed

| July 14, 2014

Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard have confirmed that they are in discussions about a possible acquisition of Lorillard by RAI.

The confirmations followed a statement by Imperial Tobacco—in response to U.K. disclosure obligations—that it had been part of the discussions as a possible purchaser of certain RAI and Lorillard brands and assets should the acquisition go through.

In a statement posted on its website, RAI said the acquisition discussions were consistent with its strategy of considering a variety of options to enhance shareholder value.

“British American Tobacco (BAT), RAI’s largest shareholder, is participating in these discussions,” said the RAI note. “If the transaction proceeds, BAT expects to support the transaction by subscribing for additional shares in RAI and would maintain its existing 42 percent equity position in RAI.

“Imperial is also involved in these negotiations as a possible purchaser of brands and other assets from Lorillard and RAI.”

Lorillard issued a similar statement, and BAT, in response to the statements by Imperial, RAI and Lorillard, confirmed that if the acquisition were to proceed it would expect to support the transaction by subscribing for additional shares in RAI, with the aim of maintaining its existing 42 percent equity position in that company.

BAT, RAI and Lorillard each said there was no guarantee that any deal would take place, and they added that, unless circumstances dictated otherwise, they did not intend to make additional comments regarding this matter.

Dalli seeking €1.9 million in damages

| July 14, 2014

The former EU health commissioner, John Dalli, is seeking €1.9 million in material damages from the EU after what he alleges was his forced resignation from the European Commission in October 2012, according to a story in the Times of Malta.

Up until his resignation, Dalli was responsible for the new Tobacco Products Directive, which governs the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member states concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. The new TPD entered into force on May 20 and member states are required to bring into force by May 20, 2016, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the directive.

The €1.9 million figure emerged from a report by the rapporteur for the judges’ panel, which is hearing a claim for unfair dismissal filed by Dalli at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

It had been reported previously that Dalli was seeking only symbolic damages of €1. The report to the Panel of Judges did not explain how Dalli had reached the €1.9 million figure.

Sugar is the new tobacco

| July 14, 2014

Kuwait’s Ministry of Health is considering whether it should ask the government to increase taxes on tobacco products and cancel subsidized sugar from the monthly rations of its citizens, according to a Kuwait News Agency report quoting the ministry’s undersecretary, Khaled Al-Sahlawi.

The proposed moves would be aimed at reducing the incidence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

Al-Sahlawi said the ministry was considering a number of ideas, one of which would be to end the government’s subsidy on sugar while providing people with a healthier alternative.

“These ideas also include increasing tax on tobacco products to reduce smoking as Kuwait has one of the world’s lowest tobacco tax rates,” he said.

Nominal duty increase will have impact

| July 14, 2014

Although an excise-duty increase on cigarettes by the Nepalese government has been described as “nominal”; it is nonetheless expected to have an impact on the tobacco trade in the long term, according to a Republica story quoting a tobacco manufacturing executive.

In the budget for fiscal year 2014–2015, which Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat unveiled yesterday, excise duties on cigarettes and cigars were raised by NPR500 per 1,000 pieces to NPR3,500 per 1,000.

“Though the government has been increasing excise duty on tobacco products annually to discourage their consumption, it affects traders and manufacturers,” said Ravi KC, vice president of Surya Nepal, the leading cigarette manufacturer in the country.

“Though the hike in excise duty is nominal, the industry is sure to see impact in the long run.”

Imperial employees provide flood relief

| July 14, 2014

Employees from across Imperial have been helping to support those affected by the severe floods in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia.

The heaviest downpours for 120 years saw communities flooded and thousands of people left homeless and cut off.

A number of Imperial employees were directly impacted, including two sales representatives in Bosnia who lost their homes as a result of the floods.

Thousands of people have been left homeless by the floods.

Thousands of people have been left homeless by the floods.

Money has been collected from Imperial employees, including those working at the company’s head office in the U.K., to help them rebuild their homes.

“We’re very grateful to our colleagues from across the group for their generous support during this very difficult time,” said Tanja Mihajlovic, HR manager, Northern Balkans.

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