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Vapor continues to offer opportunity

| November 24, 2014

Wells Fargo Securities identified several “takeaways” from its second annual e-cigarette conference in New York City on Nov. 20.

The e-cigarette category continues to offer considerable opportunity for both traditional tobacco companies and independent players, according to the financial services firm. Despite the significant changes in e-cigarettes and vapor products over the past year, the e-cigarette industry is still in the early stages of innovation, it said. Attractive margins to retailers and manufacturers are helping fund research and development and organic growth. E-cigarette companies are responding to evolving consumer preferences and targeting different segments.

The industry overall is becoming more sophisticated and responsive, according to Wells Fargo.

The Wells Fargo e-cigarette conference brought together experts from the traditional tobacco industry, independent vapor companies and the public health community.

E-cigarettes provide navigable route out of smoking

| November 21, 2014

Electronic cigarettes offer smokers a realistic way to kick their tobacco smoking addiction, according to a story in MedicalXpress citing the results of a new study.

In a report of the study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, scientists at KU Leuven [Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium] reported that electronic cigarettes successfully reduced cravings for tobacco cigarettes, with only minimal side effects.

MedicalXpress described electronic cigarettes as having been developed as a less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

It said they emulated the experience of smoking a tobacco cigarette even though they contained 100 to 1,000 fewer toxic substances.

In their 8-month study, the KU Leuven scientists examined the effect of using electronic cigarettes on 48 participants, all of whom were smokers with no intention of quitting.

The participants were divided into three groups: two electronic cigarette groups, whose members were allowed to vape and smoke tobacco cigarettes for the first two months of the study, and a control group whose members had access only to tobacco. In a second phase of the study, the control group was given electronic cigarettes and all participants were monitored for a period of six months via a web tool.

At the end of the 8-month study, 21 percent of all participants had stopped smoking tobacco entirely, something that was verified with a CO test, and 23 percent reported cutting the number of tobacco cigarettes they smoked per day by half.

Across all three groups, the number of tobacco cigarettes smoked per day decreased by 60 percent.

“With guidance on practical use, many smokers could use electronic cigarettes delivering nicotine to reduce their smoking or quit altogether, said Professor Frank Baeyens and postdoctoral researcher Dinska Van Gucht of the Psychology ofLearning and Experimental Psychopathology Unit. “E-cig users get the experience of smoking a cigarette and inhale nicotine vapor, but do not suffer the damaging effects of a tobacco cigarette,” they said.

Electronic cigarettes with nicotine are banned in Belgium.

The text of the study is available here.

Court says smoking risks known by late 1950s

| November 21, 2014

The Danish Supreme Court ruled yesterday that two tobacco companies were not responsible for the health problems suffered by a long-time smoker, according to a Deutsche Presse-Agentur story.
Allan Lykke Jensen, 67, who had smoked for almost 50 years until he stopped in 2005, had sought damages of 53,000 kroner (US$8,900 dollars) for health issues that included heart problems.
In arguments before two lower courts, which both ruled against him, Jensen had said the cigarette brand he smoked had been manipulated to enhance smokers’ addictions because they delivered higher levels of tar and nicotine than were stated on the packs.
But the court found that the cigarettes were not defective.
It said that the risks of smoking had been ‘generally known’ at the time Jensen started to smoke and that it was common knowledge that it was hard to quit smoking.
The court rejected Jensen’s compensation claim against House of Prince, now owned by British American Tobacco, and Skandinavisk Holding II, just as an appeals court did in 2011.
Jensen and his attorney said they were not surprised over the outcome, which ended a 14-year legal battle.

Health Board members quit their ‘anti-tobacco habit’

| November 21, 2014

A Health Board that had proposed a tobacco-products sales ban in a small US town has voted down the proposal, according to a story by O’Ryan Johnson for the Boston Herald.
If the proposal had been accepted, Westminster (population 7,277 in 2010 according to Wikipedia), in Worcester County, Massachusetts, would become the first community in the US to ban all tobacco sales.
The list of banned items would have included cigarettes, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
A meeting called earlier this month to discuss a proposal was ended prematurely after shouting broke out over a no-clapping rule.
Now, Johnson has reported, Westminster Health Board members, faced with a fuming citizenry, have decided to quit their ‘anti-tobacco habit’.
Opponents of the ban – bent on preserving American freedoms – were cheered when board members Ed Simoncini and Peter Munro voted to stop the ban. “The town is not in favor of the proposal, and therefore I am not in favor of the proposal,” Simoncini declared.
Although voting down the ban was seen as preserving American freedoms in general rather than the right to buy tobacco in particular; it was a big win for small businesses, which had argued that customers who stopped in to buy cigarettes left also with bread and milk; so that tobacco was critical to the businesses bottom line.

December 1 cigar auction set to break records

| November 21, 2014

C.Gars says that its winter 2014 cigar auction looks set to break records at Boisdale Belgravia, London, UK, on December 1.
“There is huge interest from cigar aficionados around the world, many of whom will be attending, and we anticipate total bids of over £300,000 for the first time,” said managing director, Mitchell Orchant.
“No other auction on the planet has such a large and wide variety of rare, vintage and aged cigars. Currently there are 350 lots and bids are expected to range from £40 to £30,000 – the latter the highest bid at any of our auctions.
“The global market for collectible cigars has grown steadily since we first started auctioning them in 2009. Some of the cigars that went under the hammer five years ago have since doubled in value.”
Lot 317, described as a Cubatabaco 1492 humidor containing 50 cigars is expected to fetch between £24,000 and £30,000.
The winter auction catalogue is at:

Change to RAI’s board as BAT nominee retires

| November 21, 2014

Neil R. Withington is due to retire from Reynolds American Inc’s board of directors, effective immediately after its meeting on December 4, according to a note posted on the company’s website yesterday.
It was announced yesterday that Withington would retire, effective April 30, from British American Tobacco’s management board and leave the group, where he has been director, legal and security, and group general counsel since August 2000.
Withington, has been a member of the RAI board since July 2004, serving as one of the five board members designated by Brown & Williamson Holdings, a subsidiary of BAT, under the terms of the 2004 governance agreement between RAI, B&W and BAT.
BAT, through its B&W subsidiary, is RAI’s largest shareholder, with an ownership interest of about 42 percent.
B&W has designated Ricardo Oberlander, a management board director of BAT, Americas Region, as the nominee to succeed Withington on RAI’s board.

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