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China struggling with smoking rules

| December 6, 2013

Health and law experts say that regional anti-smoking regulations in China lack the teeth to protect nonsmokers from secondhand tobacco smoke, according to a story in the China Daily.

China is said to be looking at a national ban on tobacco smoking in enclosed public areas. Currently, more than 10 cities have smoking regulations, all of which ban smoking in such areas.

“But implementation of the law is unsatisfactory, mostly because there is a lack of enforcement and awareness of the law,” said Wang Qingbin, associate professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, at a symposium staged by the Beijing-based tobacco control campaign ThinkTank and the Tobacco Control Office of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The municipal-level rules mainly targeted public businesses such as restaurants, Internet bars, hotels and movie theaters, but did not focus on individual smokers, he said.

New head of JTI Korea appointed

| December 6, 2013

Japan Tobacco International has appointed Anastasios Sitsas as general manager of its Korean operation, according to a story in The Korea Herald.

Sitsas began his career as a consumer and trade marketing expert in 1990 at the British tobacco manufacturer Gallaher.

After Gallaher was acquired by JTI in 2007, he headed JTI’s regional operations in Central Asia, including those in Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan.

Prior to taking over at JTI Korea, he led the strategic marketing of Sobranie, Glamour, Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut from JTI’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“I plan to effectively leverage the diverse experience that I have gained while working in various countries across the globe to offer high-quality products and services that satisfy the needs of Korean consumers,” Sitsas said.

Altria on The Civic 50 list of companies

| December 6, 2013

Altria was recognized yesterday as one of the U.S.’s most community-minded companies when it was included on The Civic 50, an annual initiative that identifies and recognizes companies for their commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities where they do business.

The survey was conducted by the National Conference on Citizenship and Points of Light, the nation’s definitive experts on civic engagement, and published by Bloomberg News.

“Altria and its family of companies have a long history of contributing to organizations that enrich and improve the communities where our employees live and work,” said Jennifer Hunter, Altria Client Services’ senior vice president, corporate affairs.

“We work to develop strong partnerships with leading nonprofit organizations with proven-effective programs.

“Over the past 10 years, Altria’s companies have donated more than $1.1 billion in cash and in-kind contributions to improve the communities where we operate.

“In addition, our employees give their time, talents and resources to organizations through volunteer service in the community and our Altria Companies Employee Community Fund.

“We are pleased to be recognized for this work and the difference corporations and citizens can make in our communities when we work together.”

Michael Weiser, chairman of the board for the National Conference on Citizenship, and Neil Bush, chairman of the board for Points of Light, said in a joint statement that the results of this year’s Civic 50 survey had shown that even the most civically engaged companies were doing more to make community engagement a top priority and a permanent aspect of their business strategy.

“These 50 companies are showing others in the private sector how to boost the bottom line and make the world a better place.”

Volunteering might prove habit forming

| December 6, 2013

Almost 70 employees working for Imperial Tobacco subsidiaries in Madrid have taken part in the company’s first community help day held in the city.

The initiative was launched as part of the company’s corporate responsibility framework and co-ordinated through the Altadis Foundation.

Volunteers carried out tasks such as weeding and decorating to help spruce up two rundown areas in the Spanish capital.

The volunteers included the general manager for Iberia, Juan Arrizabalaga, and Premium Cigar Director Fernando Dominguez.

Sandra Maynegra, marketing manager for Cuban cigars, described the day as a “great experience,” while Rodrigo de Carlos, finance controller for Altadis, said the day’s activities might encourage some of the people involved to start volunteering on an individual basis.

Ex-chairman returns to RAI board

| December 6, 2013

Susan Cameron (Ivey) was yesterday elected to rejoin the RAI board of directors.

Cameron—or Ivey as she was then known—retired as chairman, president and CEO of RAI in February 2011.

She had served on the RAI board between 2004 and 2011.

Also yesterday, H.G.L. “Hugo” Powell retired from the RAI board.

Powell was one of RAI’s original board members when the company went public in July 2004.

Reynolds American declares dividend

| December 6, 2013

Reynolds American Inc. said yesterday that its board of directors had declared a quarterly cash dividend on the company’s common stock of $0.63 per share ($2.52 per share annualized).

The dividend will be payable on Jan. 2 to shareholders of record on Dec. 16.

The company said that this was the 38th consecutive quarterly cash dividend that RAI had declared since it became a public company on July 30, 2004.

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