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Altria identified as community-minded company

| December 9, 2014

Altria was recognized yesterday as one of the US’ most community-minded companies in The Civic 50, an annual survey that identifies companies for their commitment to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business. Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, conducted the survey in partnership with Bloomberg LP.

“Altria and its family of companies have a deeply-rooted heritage of contributing to organizations that enrich the communities where our employees live and work,” said Jennifer Hunter, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Altria Client Services.

“At Altria, our support for communities goes beyond just writing a check. Our employees contribute their time and talents to help our non-profit partners serve their communities even more effectively.

“We are proud to be recognized as one of the Civic 50 companies.”

‘Of the $47 million in cash and in-kind contributions that Altria and its tobacco companies donated to charitable organizations in 2013, nearly $20 million benefited about 275 non-profits in Virginia focused on arts and culture, the environment and Altria’s Success 360° education and youth development initiative,’ according to a note posted on Altria’s website.

Exclusive snus sold in gold-plated pewter containers

| December 8, 2014
General Kardus Selection 2015 is packaged in handmade, gold-plated pewter containers in which the snus continues to mature. Optimal flavor is achieved after about eight to 12 weeks, but the snus can be enjoyed long after that.

General Kardus Selection 2015 is packaged in handmade, gold-plated pewter containers in which the snus continues to mature. Optimal flavor is achieved after about eight to 12 weeks, but the snus can be enjoyed long after that.

Swedish Match says that it took more than two years to develop its most exclusive snus ever, General Kardus Selection 2015, which was launched on Saturday and which goes on sale at about 95 selected retailers around Sweden today.

Four thousand individually numbered containers have been manufactured with a recommended store price of SEK799 (about US$106) each.

‘Uncompromising quality and perfection in every detail has been the guiding light in every aspect in the production of General Kardus Selection 2015,’ said a note posted on the company’s website. ‘From the selection of seeds that grow into the harvested tobacco plants, to how the tobacco has been meticulously cut to 0.72 millimeters, to how the finished product is finally packaged and presented. General Kardus Selection 2015 is Swedish Match’s tribute to its 200-year history highlighting the sensory snus experience.’

SM said that it had selected the very best crops of what it believed to be the foremost tobacco varieties in the world: ‘Green River from Pennsylvania, One Sucker from Guatemala, Criollo from Argentina and Malawi Western from India’. “Two are sun cured and two are air cured,” said Carl Egeberg, product manager of General. “These varieties have been selected to merge with each other in a balanced mixture of pure tobacco flavour.”

The tobacco plants were harvested whole, but only the middle leaves were used because ‘they have a more mature and filling flavor’, the note said. ‘This gives General Kardus Selection 2015 an experienced and more rounded character without being sharp. After harvesting, the stalks and nerves are removed, giving a unique concentration of pure tobacco. The tobacco is cut precisely to a width of 0.72 millimeter, with the cut surface releasing more flavor and more nuances than normal ground tobacco. The flavor also lasts longer for increased indulgence.’

Lars Öberg, product developer at SM advised those who had the opportunity to experience the General Kardus Selection to start by inhaling the fragrance of the snus. “Look for a fruity scent with an element of nutmeg,” he said. “When inserting the portion you might feel a strong tobacco flavor characterized by shades of dried apricots and raisins. Some people also experience a taste of lemon and rose hip.”

To maintain the high-quality feel of the product, SM performed most of the manufacturing process by hand. “As a result, we produced only 4,000 unique containers,” said Egeberg. “Our objective has been to achieve the highest possible quality and a sensory experience that has never been offered before. We are incredibly proud to be able to share this experience.”

Studies on plain packaging impacts industry-linked

| December 8, 2014

The tobacco industry is financially linked to the majority of studies showing negative impacts of standardised packaging, according to a Press Association story quoting a Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) study funded by Cancer Research UK.

Academics with the University of Bath say that more than half the evidence tobacco companies relied on to claim that standardized packaging would have negative economic impacts comprised either company-commissioned reports or the opinions of those financially connected to the industry.

The TCRG was said to have reviewed 74 pieces of evidence cited by tobacco companies to argue that standardised packaging would have detrimental economic and illicit trade impacts.

Of these it found there were no independent, peer-reviewed pieces of evidence that supported the companies’ position and that 47 percent were industry-connected, comprising reports commissioned by tobacco companies and other evidence from third-parties financially connected to a tobacco company.

The University of Bath is part of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, a network of 12 UK and one New Zealand universities that is funded by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, which builds on the work of its predecessor, the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies.

First tobacco regulation law approved in Cambodia

| December 8, 2014

Cambodia’s Council of Ministers on Friday approved a draft of the country’s first law on tobacco regulation, which includes 49 articles addressing, among other things, taxes, advertising and health warnings.

A statement released by the council said that $100 million was spent on cigarettes annually in Cambodia and that far more than that was spent on treating smoking-related illnesses.

No other details of the law have been released so far.

Friday’s council session was chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who said in September that he had given up smoking after 10 failed attempts over the past 14 years.

The prime minister was said to have admitted to a crowd of university students that he had once decided against signing a sub-decree that would have prevented smoking in public places because he liked to smoke at council meetings. “If I have to leave the meeting room to smoke a cigarette, would there be someone there to listen to me?” the prime minister was reported to have said.

Price rises likely to greet smokers early next year

| December 8, 2014

Moroccan smokers might have to pay more than they do now for their favorite cigarettes from January 1, according to a Morocco World News story quoting the December 5 issue of the business weekly, La Vie Eco.

La Vie Eco reported that a request had been submitted to the Prices and Competition Commission of the Ministry of General Affairs by the local subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco [Altadis Maroc] to increase the price of a pack of Marquise, the most popular brand in Morocco, by 50 cents.

At the same time, Philip Morris International had submitted a request to increase the price of a pack of Marlboro, the second most popular brand in Morocco, by 1 dirham.

The proposed increases were said to have been prompted by a new tax that had been imposed on manufactured tobacco.

The business weekly went on to say that PMI and British American Tobacco were planning to reintroduce a number of brands to the Moroccan market, including Philip Morris, at 20 dirham per pack, and, in the case of BAT, Lucky Strike, at 22 dirham.

Pizzanelli wins hologram award

| December 5, 2014

David Pizzanelli

David Pizzanelli has won the Brian Monaghan Award for Business Innovation at this year’s Excellence in Holography Awards.

The award recognizes his role in the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) and in the development of the hologram image register (HIR).

“David has been a driving force behind the Hologram Image Register since its inception in the early 1990s,” said IHMA Chairman Mike Messmer. “He has been heavily involved with the IHMA, providing guidance on the redesign of the HIR forms in 2007 and he is now advising on the 2014 rebuild of the system.”

Pizzanelli started his career in the hologram industry in the early 1980s, as a holographer at Hollusions, a small British company making silver halide holograms. He then joined Jonathan Ross and Nigel Abraham at See 3 Holograms, where they developed a method to make embossed holograms.

He left See 3 to study the postgraduate holography course at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1994 after doing most of the course part-time, after he joined Light Impressions in 1990 as sales and marketing manager.

For Light Impressions he built an impressive portfolio of orders, including several Chinese tobacco packs, Vietnamese banknotes and numerous well-known brands.

The Holography Awards recognize outstanding industry achievement and are presented annually to organizations who have introduced the most innovative or commercially viable hologram product or technique over the past year.


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