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Godfrey Phillips expanding, consolidating

| September 10, 2014

Godfrey Phillips India (GPI) is expanding its business by venturing into non-tobacco products, according to a Press Trust of India story.

“As part of our expansion plans, we are looking into food and beverages, contemporary tea formats, confectionery products as well as new tobacco products,” said Harmanjit Singh, vice president, corporate affairs, at the launch yesterday of the company’s cardamom-based mouth freshener ‘Pan Vilas Silver Dewz’.

Also during the launch, GPI’s COO, Nita Kapoor, said the K K Modi Group, of which GPI was a part, was planning to consolidate all of its businesses into one.

“K K Modi Group has nine to 10 different businesses at present,” said Kapoor.

“Just like ITC, we are planning to consolidate all our businesses into one entity after Diwali.”

PMI dividend increased

| September 10, 2014

The board of directors of Philip Morris International today increased the company’s regular quarterly dividend by 6.4 percent to an annualized rate of $4.00 per share.

The new quarterly dividend of $1.00 per share, up from $0.94 per share, is payable on October 10 to stockholders of record as of September 25.

The ex-dividend date is September 23.

The company announced also the election of Jun Makihara, Frederik Paulsen and, effective January 1, Werner Geissler to its board.

Blackcat E-cigs expands into Europe

| September 9, 2014

Bxpression of Long Beach, California, USA, is expanding into Europe, with offices in Prague and Paris. Blackcat Europe will make its debut at the Inter-Tabac tradeshow in Dortmund, Germany, on Sept. 19-21. The company will exhibit in hall 5, booth number 5.D10

Anatole Soulier serve as director of sales and marketing for Blackcat Europe.

“We are very excited with our expansion into the European market with our Blackcat E-cig products,” says CEO Mark Leafstedt. “The European market is expanding at a very rapid pace and together with the Blackcat Europe team, headed by Anatole, we intend to bring our products to this part of the world very quickly.”

“I am very pleased to be a part of the blackcat team and together with my team plan to expand it throughout Europe,” said Soulier.

Blackcat Europe will carry the full line of blackcat products, including disposable e-cigarettes and e-cigars, vaporizers, mods and accessories.

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Oriental tobacco growers want part in FCTC discussions on their future

| September 9, 2014

Representatives of oriental tobacco growers have expressed concern about a report by a working group of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The report on the FCTC’s articles 17 (provision of support for economically viable alternative activities) and 18 (protection of the environment and the health of persons) is due to be discussed at the FCTC’s Conference of the Parties meeting, COP6, in Moscow on October 13-18.

The grower representatives, from Bulgaria, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Oman, Serbia and Turkey, met in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, on Thursday for an Oriental Tobacco Forum organized by the International Tobacco Growers’ Association. It was the third such forum to have been organized by the association.

The forum noted that the report agreed with the ITGA that:

* ‘Growers must be consulted on changes that will affect them: The draft proposals acknowledge and insist that the involvement of tobacco growers in policy development, decision-making and implementation ‘should be guaranteed’.

* ‘Comprehensive and long term research must be undertaken in order to identify viable alternatives to tobacco before it can be recommended to farmers to move out of tobacco, should the market for tobacco decline due to lower demand.’

However, the forum said it noted with concern that:

* ‘The proposals urge signatories to the FCTC to ensure that subsidies for tobacco growing are ‘discontinued’ and reallocated to alternative livelihood activities. This recommendation will have a detrimental impact on tobacco growers across Europe and beyond, many of whom already face significant economic challenges.

* ‘Recommendations for land reform to speed up the search for alternatives by the growers, which fail to take into account that land reform is the prerogative of sovereign states and not nongovernmental agencies.’

The forum called on the signatories to the FTFC to:

• ‘Immediately set up formal consultation processes with the ITGA and its members, as representatives of tobacco growers.

• ‘Ensure that the views of growers are conveyed to the WHO during the COP6 discussions and all future COP meetings.’

The ITGA reiterated that it and its member organizations were available to share with the WHO the vast experience of and data gathered by ITGA’s members.

Lobbying keeps advert rules in check

| September 9, 2014

Intense lobbying by the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) has resulted in the weakening of legislation that otherwise would have introduce a complete tobacco advertising ban in China, according to a story by Li Hui and Ben Blanchard for Reuters, quoting unnamed sources.

The state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday that some Chinese lawmakers had called for a complete ban on tobacco advertisements during discussions on amendments to the country’s 20-year-old advertisement law.

But instead, the National People’s Congress last week decided only to expand the scope of the country’s tobacco advertising restrictions.

Excluded from the restrictions will be promotional activities such as cigarette product launches and tobacco sponsorships for sporting events and schools.

The new restrictions are expected to take effect by the end of this year, after they have been passed by parliament.

The STMA delivers an estimated 7-10 percent of government revenues in China – Yuan816 billion ($132.87 billion) in 2013.

The full story is at:

Eight out of 10 US homes ban smoking

| September 9, 2014

Smoking is banned in more than eight out of 10 US homes – almost twice as many as two decades ago, according to an Associated Press story quoting the results of a new government study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found smoking was forbidden even in nearly half of homes where an adult smoker lived, up from one in 10 households with smokers in the early 1990s.

CDC experts attributed the changes to shrinking smoking rates and altered attitudes.

“People no longer see it as socially acceptable to smoke around non-smokers,” said Brian King, a CDC expert on smoking issues.

The adult smoking rate fell from 25 percent in 1993 to 19 percent in 2011.

The AP story is at:

The study is at:

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