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Multinationals picketed in Russia

| August 5, 2014

A series of pickets against multinational tobacco companies were staged yesterday in a number of Russian cities stretching from the south to the northwest of the country, according to an ITAR-TASS story.

The picketers seemed to have had a number of grievances, not all of which could be laid at the door of the multinationals. Some were protesting about multinational companies controlling more than 90 percent of the Russian tobacco market.

But others complained that the Russian budget was missing out on about 500 billion rubles annually because of what they described as low excise duties on tobacco.

And those at Saratov, on the Volga, were demanding that the BAT-STF tobacco factory, owned by British American Tobacco, be relocated beyond the city boundaries.

Roman Plyuta, head of the Orthodox Union, which set up a picket in front of the Philip Morris Kuban factory in the southern city of Krasnodar, was said to have told ITAR-TASS that transnational corporations made “cigarettes of such quality that they would never be allowed in the United States or other Western countries.”

The smoking of these cigarettes “doubles and even triples [health] risks,” he added.

Plyuta said he believed that Western manufacturers added special ingredients to their cigarettes so that smokers became strongly addicted to them, even after a short period of smoking.

Andhra tops COPTA prosecution table

| August 5, 2014

Andhra Pradesh, the volume leader in flue-cured tobacco production in India, is also the top state in prosecutions relating to violations of anti-tobacco laws.

According to an Indian Television report, between April 2012 and September 2013, 71,705 people were prosecuted in Andhra and fined INR5,283,948 for having broken the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA).

Of the 21 states for which data was available, six had not reported any prosecutions for COTPA violations during the period in question, and only four states had exceeded the “prosecution challenge” of more than 10,000 persons.

In Tamil Nadu, 26,081 persons were prosecuted and fines of INR2,773,750 were levied; Karnataka, the second most important state for volume flue-cured tobacco production, recorded 19,030 prosecutions and fines of INR1,958,724; and Rajasthan prosecuted 12,891 people, who were fined INR1,351,314.

Based upon a request by the Health & Family Welfare Ministry, the then home secretary in May this year advised the director generals of police in states and union territories to incorporate COTPA as one of the agenda items in the monthly crime review meetings at district level.

Imperial ups fight against illicit trade

| August 5, 2014

Imperial Tobacco said today it had rolled out Case Trace technology in four European factories and six markets to enable it better to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products.

“A cross-functional project team comprising Group IS, Global Engineering and Supply Chain plus factory and market teams worked for two years to successfully implement the technology,” according to a note posted on its website.

“Markets can use Case Trace to track bulk supplies to customers and identify any that falls outside the legitimate supply chain.

“This can be used as evidence for authorities to seize illegal product and demonstrates our commitment to the OLAF [EU anti-fraud office] anti-illicit trade agreement.”

“The Coding and Tracking project managers have done a fantastic job in driving this work, but they couldn’t have done so without the efforts of hundreds of others all working together,” said Olaf Huderitz, head of Supply Chain Services and project sponsor.

Case Trace is now operational in 11 factories covering 13 EU markets.

The next phase will see it rolled out in Germany and global duty free.

Keeping tabs on cigarettes.

Keeping tabs on cigarettes.

E-cigarette store at Dublin airport

| August 5, 2014

The Electronic Cigarettes International Group says that its subsidiary, VIP Electronic Cigarettes, has opened a new flagship retail store within Dublin International Airport’s Terminal 2.

According to a Business Wire press note, the Dublin airport store is the first dedicated e-cigarette store to be located in an airport in Ireland.

VIP says that it now has 32 retail stores and mobile retail kiosks “throughout Ireland, cementing the company’s position as the market leader for electronic cigarettes in Ireland.”

The opening of a store at Dublin Airport is said to be part of ECIG’s and VIP’s initiative to locate retail stores and retail merchandising units within high consumer traffic locations, including airport and train transit venues, and other key locations where smokers are looking to vape.

China vapor forum

| August 4, 2014

The CECMOL forum 2014 will take place Sept. 2-4 at the Kirin Parkview Hotel in Shenzhen, China on. This is the first major international forum in China dedicated to the vapor market. Experts will discuss issues such as public policy, standardization, R&D and manufacturing.

This forum is an opportunity for visitors to meet China’s major e-cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers and major players in the global vapor industry. Among other things, visitors will learn more how the standards of safety, technologies, and production processes in China correspond with the standards of other regions.

The Chinese consumer market is gradually opening to the e-cigarette industry and may one day become the biggest vapor market in the world.

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ITC seeks e-cigarette policy in India

| August 4, 2014

ITC is ready to enter the e-cigarette era and is engaging with the government in the hope of developing a policy that would allow the launch of these products on to the Indian market, according to a story in The Economic Times quoting chairman Y.C. Deveshwar.
The chairman said he expected that the new government would look favorably on the e-cigarette business and divulged that ITC was “ready with e-cigarettes.”
However, he said that some people wanted to ban these products in India.
And he warned that this could lead to a situation whereby, by the time it was established that e-cigarettes were less harmful than were tobacco cigarettes, foreign brands would be able to swamp the market, leaving Indian companies out in the cold.

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