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Pre-budget cigarette shortages the norm

| July 9, 2014

Cigarettes are in short supply in Nepal as traders hoard tobacco products in expectation that their prices will go up after the budget, according to a story in Republica.

The budget is scheduled to be brought down in the middle of this month.

Retailers say that since the government generally raises taxes on tobacco products through the budget speech, wholesalers are hoarding cigarettes so as to make a quick profit.

Wholesalers, however, rebut the allegations. They say it is the manufacturers and distributors who have reduced supply and that there is nothing wholesalers can do about it.

And manufacturer Surya Nepal is blaming the wholesalers and retailers for the shortage. Some big wholesalers and retailers were receiving increased supplies of cigarettes but were hoarding them, it said.

“Shortage of tobacco products before budget speech has become a usual phenomenon for the past few years as traders know prices of tobacco products will increase after the budget speech,” said Ravi KC, vice president of Surya Nepal.

Altria to host results webcast

| July 9, 2014

Altria is due to host a live audio webcast beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on July 22 to discuss its 2014 second-quarter business results, which will be published in a press note about 7 a.m. on the same day.

During the webcast, which will be in listen-only mode at altria.com, Chairman and CEO Marty Barrington and Executive Vice President and CFO Howard Willard will discuss the results and answer questions from the investment community and news media.

Pre-event registration is necessary and directions are posted at www.altria.com.

An archived copy of the webcast will be available on altria.com.

Paris to trial park tobacco smoking ban

| July 8, 2014

A park in Paris is due to ban tobacco smoking as part of a trial that, if it proves to be popular, could pave the way for smoking to be banned in all public parks, according to a story in The Local France.

In making the announcement, Mayor Anne Hidalgo reportedly said Paris was going to roll out a pilot tobacco ban in one of the City of Light’s parks with the intention of “teaching the public about addictions.”

Hidalgo refused to say in which park the trial would be conducted.

Talk of the trial follows a suggestion by a Paris municipal councilor that smoking should be banned in all the neighborhood’s playgrounds.

And it comes after Health Minister Marisol Touraine said she would like to see cigarettes banned on all beaches, in public parks and on pavements outside schools.

Public places ban on smokeless mooted

| July 8, 2014

Maharashtra may soon become the first state in India to ban the consumption of smokeless tobacco in defined public places, according to a story in The Times of India.

The state public health department has set the idea in motion and government notification is said to be likely.

Presently, tobacco smoking is banned in public places, but nearly 80 percent of the state’s 23 million tobacco users primarily consume smokeless tobacco, including paan, zarda, khaini and maava.

“Like smoking, chewing tobacco will be banned in offices, gardens, hospitals and public places,” said Sujata Saunik, principal secretary, health and family welfare. “It will reduce the menace of spitting, which can contribute to the spread of many diseases.”

The public health department plans to amplify provisions of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA) to bring smokeless tobacco under its ambit. “It essentially means that places where smoking is banned, smokeless tobacco will be prohibited,” said Saunik.

Saunik seemed to dismiss concerns over implementation of the proposed rules and their enforcement.

Carton congress program wrapped up

| July 8, 2014

The program for the ECMA Pro Carton Congress “What’s Up on Cartons? Multiple Challenges Ahead” has been finalized, according to the organizers.

The congress is due to be held in Sorrento, Italy, on Sept. 17-20.

“It is one of the best programs we have ever had,” said Andreas Blaschke, president of the ECMA. “We have a very interesting working program with top speakers across the board. All current topics—the digital revolution, global food industry developments, food safety, multi-channel retailing, the importance of design, innovation environment and risk management—are covered by leading international experts.”

Meanwhile, Roland Rex, president of Pro Carton, is enthusiastic that the cooperation between Pro Carton and the ECMA has enabled the putting together of an exclusive portfolio of speakers. “The congress provides the European folding carton industry and their supply chain partners—designers, brand owners and retailers—a unique opportunity to experience the inspiring views of top speakers and to meet, exchange information and [take part in] high-level networking.”

Details of the congress program are at: http://www.ecmaprocartoncongress.com/programme/

JT to hold London investor conference

| July 8, 2014

An investor conference focusing on the JT Group’s tobacco business is due to be held in London on Sept. 19.

According to a note posted on JT’s website, the conference will include “an update on its global tobacco strategic focus, the Japanese domestic market, JTI’s first half business performance and the expansion in Central European markets.”

The speakers will be Akira Saeki, JT executive deputy president and president, tobacco business; Junichi Fukuchi, JT senior vice president, head of tobacco business planning; Roland Kostantos, JTI senior vice president finance, IT and CFO; and Jorge Da Motta, JTI regional president, Central Europe.

The conference is scheduled be held at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel starting at 9 a.m.

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