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RAI and employees support non-profits

| February 21, 2014

Reynolds American Inc. and its affiliates, related private charitable foundations and employees donated about $11.6 million to a wide range of non-profit organizations in 2013.

“So many communities continued to face economic challenges last year, and we were happy to be able to offer support,” said Alan Caldwell, director of corporate and civic engagement at RAI’s services company.

“As always, our commitment to transformation extends to the communities where our employees live and work, and that means financial donations for organizations serving those in need, as well as our time and active involvement in areas where we can make a difference.”

Lorillard declares quarterly dividend

| February 21, 2014

Lorillard’s board of directors has approved a 12 per cent increase in the quarterly dividend on its common stock from $0.55 per share to $0.615 per share.

The dividend is payable on March 10 to stockholders of record as of February 28.

‘This step marks the sixth dividend increase and a doubling of the quarterly dividend rate since Lorillard became an independent publicly traded company in June 2008,’ the company said in announcing the dividend.

“We are very pleased to take this action as it underscores our confidence in Lorillard’s business model and our commitment of returning cash to our shareholders as evidenced by our targeted dividend payout ratio of 70-75 per cent of earnings as well as our current $1 billion share repurchase program,” said executive vice president and CFO, David H. Taylor.

Spain looks at e-cigarette ad bans

| February 20, 2014

The Spanish government is looking to approve draft legislation that will control the advertising of e-cigarettes and require information displays concerning the “risks to health” posed by these products, according to a story in The Leader.

Under new consumer protection guidelines, television advertising will be largely banned before 8 p.m., though some concessions will be made for daytime television.

The legislation will dictate where advertisements for e-cigarettes may be placed, and it will control cinema advertising.

In particular, the legislation is said to aim at eliminating advertising from where and when it might be seen by those less than 18 years of age.

The packaging of the products will have to warn of the dangers (not specified in the story) e-cigarettes pose to adults, and will have to clearly state that they contain nicotine and are “highly addictive.”

While requiring health warnings, the legislation seems to tacitly admit that e-cigarettes might in fact have health benefits.

The Leader story says that no claims of health benefits may be included in advertising, unless and until a competent public authority declares them to be of such benefit.

Philippines city looks at tobacco ad bans

| February 20, 2014

An Iloilo city councilor has set in motion a discussion aimed at introducing an ordinance prohibiting tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships in the city, according to a Sun Star story.

Joshua Alim is chairman of what was described in the story as the city council’s Committee on Rules and Style, but which is described elsewhere as the Committee on Police Matters.

A public hearing was hosted yesterday at the city council by his committee and the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force to hear the opinions of stakeholders.

After the hearing, Alim said the suggestions made would be used in drawing up regulations.

There seems little doubt which way this issue is moving. Alim said it was well documented that tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships increased tobacco use, but that comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships decreased tobacco use.

Thus, an effective ban on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships should be comprehensive and applicable to all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, he added.

Sri Lanka to impose huge warnings

| February 20, 2014

Sri Lanka’s parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved the imposition of graphic health warnings covering the top 80 percent of the front and back of cigarette packs, cartons and other packaging, according to a story in The Island.

The regulations were presented to parliament under the provisions of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act by the government on Jan. 24, 2012.

They state that no packaging of any tobacco product shall contain false messages about the health hazards of using tobacco.

And they require, in addition to the graphic messages, written warnings stating that smoking makes children ill, smoking causes heart diseases, smoking causes cancer and smoking causes sexual impotence.

In addition, no packs will be able to carry—even given that there were room for such—descriptors such as “low,” “light,” “ultra,” “mild” or “extra.”

Book provides shed-load of history

| February 20, 2014

A new book, Tobacco Sheds: Vanishing Treasures in the Connecticut River Valley, by Dale Cahill and Darcy Cahill, catalogs some of the beautiful tobacco-farm structures that had not been lost at the time their photographs were taken.

“In recent years, over 1,000 tobacco sheds have disappeared from the ‘Tobacco Valley,’” says a promotional note from Schiffer Publishing.

“This important book systematically catalogs tobacco sheds from Putney, Vermont, to Portland, Connecticut, a span of just over 100 miles.

“The photographs capture the beauty of these unique farm buildings and serve as a valuable record for these endangered barns.

“The text offers the agricultural history of each town, helping to connect sheds to their own unique region of New England.

“In addition, the book reinforces the need for preserving one of New England’s most unusual farm structures.

“Many sheds in the Connecticut River Valley are still used to dry tobacco leaves that will wrap some of the world’s most expensive cigars, but, sadly, some are being left to slowly deteriorate over time or are being torn down to make way for development. ‘This book will be treasured by cigar smokers and architectural historians and preservationists alike.”

Tobacco Sheds, which is in a 6-inch by 9-inch, soft-cover format, has 196 illustrations on 160 pages. ISBN13: 9780764342097; price $16.99.

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