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China dominates e-vapor patents

| November 26, 2014

The number of vapor-related patents has skyrocketed in recent years and the field is dominated by China, according to Thomson Reuters. Of more than 2,000 vapor inventions tracked by the company, 64 percent originated in China, 14 percent in the United States and 9 percent in South Korea.

China’s domination of the e-vapor patent market is said to reflect its huge number of smokers, at more than 300 million, and a wider drive by the Chinese government to forge a knowledge economy

In 2005, only eight e-cigarette inventions were described in published patents. The figure jumped to 220 in 2012, to 500 in 2013, and to 650 so far in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters’ IP & Science business.

The original e-cigarette technology is usually credited to Hon Lik, a Chinese researcher.  Imperial Tobacco last year bought the patents owned by the company Hon co-founded.


ECIG revenue up 41 percent

| November 26, 2014

Electronic Cigarettes International Group (ECIG) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, announced third-quarter revenue of $15.9 million, up 41 percent over the prior-year quarter’s result. The company reported growth in all its brands, including FIN in the U.S. and VIP in the U.K.

Gross profit, however, declined to $2.3 million from $6.9 million. Cost of goods sold was $13.6 million in compared with $4.4 million in the previous quarter, driven by increased sales activity and the one-time $5.6 million charge for aging inventory of “early generation products” purchased as part of the FIN company acquisition, ECIG said.

“ECIG performed well during the third quarter and executed against its key initiatives and operational drivers across the Group,” said CEO Brent Willis.



‘U.S. won’t discriminate against Indonesian cigars’

| November 26, 2014

The U.S. will refrain from “arbitrarily or unjustifiably” discriminating against Indonesian cigars and cigarillos in light of the FDA’s proposed deeming regulations for currently unregulated tobacco products, according to a memorandum releaed by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, reports Bloomberg News.

The promises follow an agreement between the two countries that allows the U.S. to maintain its ban on clove cigarettes in exchange for resolving certain trade issues. The memorandum also includes steps to be taken by both countries to resolve disputes related to vehicle wiring harnesses, mineral ore exports and intellectual property protection.

China mulls tougher tobacco controls

| November 26, 2014

China is considering a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, according to a draft regulation published on the website of the State Council’s legislative affairs office.

Pending public consultation, the draft also includes plans to ban certain smoking scenes in films and TV shows.

The draft bans smoking in kindergartens, schools, colleges, women and children’s hospitals as well as in fitness venues. Outdoor smoking is only allowed in designated areas.

The proposal prohibits selling cigarettes to minors through vending machines.

As the world’s largest tobacco maker and consumer, China has more than 300 million smokers. Despite signing the World Health Organization’s Framework on Tobacco Control, smoking in public remains widely tolerated.

JT launches Camel Natural Box

| November 25, 2014

Japan Tobacco has announced the launch of Camel Natural Box and Camel Natural Lights Box. These new products, which contain no added flavorings, are to go on sale in mid-December 2014 at selected retail stores in the Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Osaka prefectures.

Introduced in the United States in 1913 Camel is one JT Group’s leading brands, currently sold in more than 100 markets.

Tobacco Plus Convenience “to break records”

| November 24, 2014

Scheduled for Jan. 28–29, the Tobacco Plus Convenience Expo (TPC) 2015 is set to break records. According to its organizers, registration has already surpassed that of the 2014 event.

Buyers will come to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, from all over the world to engage with manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and suppliers.

With an eye on the Chinese market, TPC has planned a round-table discussion on both days of the show. Moderated by Ed O’Connor, president and CEO of TMG International, and Arlen Luo, president of Newsteel Media, the discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities faced by various stakeholders.

Industry icon Steve Saka, former president and CEO of Drew Estate, will share his insights during a discussion about the premium cigar business. The round-table discussions are free to all registrants.

The TPC 2015 opening reception takes place Jan. 27 from 6-8 p.m. on the pool deck of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

More information is available here.

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