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Gamucci in deal with retailer Tesco

| December 3, 2013
Umer Sheikh, one of founders of Gamucci, enjoys an electronic cigarette while awaiting a flight.

Umer Sheikh, one of founders of Gamucci, enjoys an electronic cigarette while awaiting a flight.

Gamucci today announced a deal with Tesco that will see Gamucci’s e-cigarettes on sale in about 2,000 Tesco Express Stores and Tesco Filling Stations across the U.K.

“This further strengthens Gamucci’s retail footprint in the U.K. and follows similar tie-ups with Waitrose, WHSmith and other leading retailers both within the U.K. and overseas,” Gamucci said in a press note.

Gamucci’s products will be included in a Tesco fixture as part of an e-cigarette category that will appear adjacent to existing tobacco merchandising fixtures.

“The Tesco deal further cements our position as one of the U.K.’s leading brands,” said John Dunne, head of U.K. sales at Gamucci.

“As the electronic cigarette market continues to develop, product quality and brand loyalty are becoming increasingly important.

“As Gamucci fully owns our manufacturing facility and produces to industry-leading quality standards, we have quickly gained a reputation for supplying the best electronic cigarettes in the category.”

Last week, Gamucci unveiled what was said to be the world’s first custom-built e-cigarette airport vaping zone, located airside in Terminal Four at Heathrow Airport.

“The Gamucci Zone is the first airport venue to offer a designated indoor area where passengers can enjoy electronic cigarettes,” the press note said.

There are now an estimated 1.6 million people using e-cigarettes in the U.K., while the e-cigarette industry is worth at least $3.5 billion globally, according to Euromonitor International.

Gamucci is experiencing year-on-year growth of more than 2,000 percent, according to Nielsen.

EU smokers could be left exposed by Commission plans for e-cigarettes

| December 2, 2013

European Commission proposals could leave tobacco smokers within the EU with easy access to tobacco cigarettes but little access to less risky alternatives to these products.

According to a story in the European Voice, the commission, whose proposal to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines was turned down by MEPs in October, is now putting forward other measures seen by some as being medicines regulation by the back door.

If the commission has its way, smokers might be left with no access to electronic cigarettes and—with the exception of tobacco users in Sweden—no access to snus.

The question of how to regulate e-cigarettes is said to be the biggest remaining obstacle to an agreement between MEPs and the member states on revising the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive.

As negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers prepare to meet in Brussels to finalise the text of a revision to the directive, lobbying about e-cigarettes is intensifying.

At issue are differences about whether e-cigarettes should be regulated lightly because they might prove useful to wean smokers off more harmful cigarettes, or whether e-cigarettes should be heavily regulated because they pose a health risk.

The European Voice says that, ahead of the negotiations, the commission has circulated a text that proposes introducing a series of restrictions on e-cigarettes, including banning those that produce levels of nicotine above 20 mg per ml of vapor or 10 mg/unit, and those with refillable cartridges or tanks. They would also ban e-cigarettes designed to taste like tobacco.

Thirteen health experts from Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Poland and the U.K. have written a letter warning that the latest commission proposals could bring to an end the positive effect that safer electronic cigarettes have had in weaning smokers from tobacco cigarettes, which, they said, caused 700,000 premature deaths a year in the EU.

BAT ‘disappointed’ at BMJ U-turn on tobacco-industry funded research

| December 2, 2013

British American Tobacco has said that it is surprised and disappointed by the BMJ group of journals’ recent decision not to consider for publication any scientific studies funded by the tobacco industry.

BAT has spent an enormous amount of money in recent years setting up state-of-the-art facilities in which to carry out research into reduced-risk products, and it has placed great importance on publishing its findings and having those findings peer-reviewed.

But editors at the BMJ, Heart, Thorax and BMJ Open have said that they will not consider the publication of studies that had been funded in part or wholly by the tobacco industry.

In BAT’s response, Chief Scientific Officer Christopher J. Proctor said the BMJ’s new policy of banning consideration of scientific studies based on their source of funding was particularly disappointing in the light of its historical policy of encouraging robust scientific discourse independent of ideology.

Proctor said it was ironic that the BMJ had revised its prior view given that there was a new commitment to transparency of funding and potential conflicts of interest throughout the scientific world.

There was also a renewed interest in tobacco science.

Proctor’s response and the responses of other people are at http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5193?tab=responses.

Nonsmokers set ‘community standard’

| December 2, 2013

The city council of Perth has become the first in Western Australia (WA) to ban tobacco smoking in shopping malls, according to an Australian Associated Press story.

Initially, those found to be smoking tobacco will be cautioned, but fines will be issued from June 1.

Rosanna Capolingua, the chairperson of Healthway, the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation, said nine out of 10 people in WA were nonsmokers and it was important to show young people that being a nonsmoker was a community standard.

Healthway “ambassadors” would be in the malls during peak periods and at major city events over the summer to inform the public of the local law changes.

PM warns Ireland over packaging plans

| December 2, 2013

Philip Morris Ltd. has warned the Irish government that the introduction of standardized packaging for cigarettes could lead to “an extremely high price” in compensation being paid to multinational tobacco companies by the taxpayer, according to a story in The Irish Times.

PM Ltd., an arm of Philip Morris International, was said to have commissioned a legal opinion in response to proposals to introduce standardized packaging in Ireland.

It said such moves would not “withstand legal scrutiny” without providing compensation to the tobacco companies involved.

The opinion and accompanying letter, which have been seen by The Irish Times, were sent to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Minister for Health James Reilly.

UK government does standardized-pack policy U-turn on to median strip

| December 2, 2013

Cigarettes could be sold in the U.K. only in standardized packs after a government U-turn on a public health policy U-turn.

A story in The Guardian said that in a surprise move the government was set to give ministers the power to introduce the policy, though implementation would be subject to an evidence review.

The government would table an amendment to that effect in the children and families bill, which was currently going through the House of Lords, The Guardian reported.

The review, which will be led by Sir Cyril Chantler, a doctor, academic and NHS administrator, will report by the end of March.

Subject to its findings, standardized packaging could be in force before May 2015.

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