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India’s prices up on those of last year

| September 23, 2014

Flue-cured tobacco auctions in Andhra Pradesh, India, are nearing completion with about 213.21 million kg sold for an average price of Rs116.29 per kg, according to a story in the most recent issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

Prices last year averaged Rs113.80 per kg.

This year, bright leaf grades accounted for 47.6 percent of total sales, with 100.50 million kg fetching an average of Rs124.83 per kg.

Medium grades, at 35.90 percent of the total, earned an average of Rs119.93 per kg, while low grades fetched an average of Rs87.44 per kg.

Growers this year produced more than 40 million kg in excess of the Tobacco Board’s authorized crop size of 172 million kg.

Meanwhile, flue-cured auctions got off to a good start in Karnataka earlier this month with growers confident of earning more than they earned last year.

Growers are said to have harvested a good-quality crop despite a dry spell followed by prolonged rain.

The opening day’s prices reached Rs151.00 per kg, higher than the opening Rs150.20 per kg of last year and setting a first-day record.

Karnataka, which was authorized to grow 104 million kg, is thought to have produced 100-105 million kg.

Purilum opens e-liquid facility

| September 22, 2014

Purilum officially opened its new e-liquid development, manufacturing and fulfillment center on Sept. 17. The state-of-the-art facility, located Greenville, North Carolina, USA, includes multiple ISO 8 class 100,000 clean-room environments, segregated nicotine and non-nicotine mixing rooms, and fully-automated bottle filling and assembly and cartomizer/clearomizer filling and assembly.

“The company was founded on the principles of using the purest ingredients and the latest technological advancements to deliver premium e-liquids and a consistent and reliable consumer experience,” says Purilum President Bianca Iodice. “This new facility will allow us to achieve these core principles as well as meet the capacity demands of this growing industry.”

In the flavor development lab, Purilum’s flavorists leverage their 60 years of combined experience and technical knowledge to ensure the highest standards of quality and taste. Flavorists work hands-on with each formulation, developing and refining e-liquids that deliver unique tastes, rich vapors, and satisfying aromas. In addition to creating original flavors for customers, Purilum can consistently reproduce proprietary blends that match brand requirements.

All ingredients are reviewed for suitability for inclusion by an independent toxicologist. Incoming raw materials enter a segregated quarantine room and are tested for purity. Once the purity testing is complete, flavorings, nicotine, and USP-grade propylene glycol and vegetable glycol are delivered to their respective clean storage rooms where they are kept until needed for flavor development and mixing. E-liquid mixing and batching take place in segregated nicotine and non-nicotine clean-room environment mixing rooms. These separate ISO 8 class 100,000 clean rooms prevent cross-contamination, maintaining the company’s commitment to purity throughout the production process.

Purilum is particularly proud of its fully-automated e-liquid bottling and cartomizer/clearomizer filling machines. Bottles are filled using precision-metering pumps, and are then capped, labeled and safety-shrink wrapped. Cartomizers or clearomizers are precision filled, assembled and then resistance tested for smooth operation prior to exiting the machines. All products are laser printed with a unique production code, identifying the batch and lot number of each product to ensure full traceability from finished product back to all ingredients used. This process allows for a level of consistency and reliability in the customer experience that the next generation of e-liquid customers demand.


Cambodia to get tough on tobacco firms

| September 22, 2014

Phnom Penh’s City Hall warned tobacco companies at a meeting last week to stop flouting a sub-decree that is supposed to prohibit all forms of tobacco advertising, or else face fines or closure, according to a story in The Phnom Penh Post.

The municipality said some companies were skirting the 2011 sub-decree by using creative ways to sell their products.

While the companies had stopped using overt forms of advertising, such as those on television, radio and billboards, a municipal investigation had revealed that some companies were still advertising using restaurants, female promoters, tuk-tuks and lucky draws, said Chan Sokun Thea, director of the Inter-Sector office of the Phnom Penh Municipality.

Meanwhile, according to Dr. Yel Daravuth, a national officer with the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative, the companies continued violating the order because no fine was imposed on them if they did so.

But Daravuth said an upcoming law to curb smoking in Cambodia was under discussion at the ministerial level, and might be passed as soon as next year.

The law would prohibit all tobacco advertisements across the nation, and ban smoking in public places such as bars and restaurants.

“I think this time it will be better – this time it’s not a sub-decree, it’s a law,” said Daravuth.

Peruvians smoking fewer cigarettes

| September 22, 2014

Volume sales of cigarettes in Peru declined moderately last year, according to a story by the Andina news agency quoting Euromonitor International.

No figures were given but the report attributed the decline to the usual factors: rising prices, smoking bans in public-places and a rising awareness of the health impacts associated with tobacco smoking.

The story suggested, too, that a growing demand for more-expensive, innovative products, such as those with flavour capsules, meant that the value of cigarette sales was increasing.

Nine object to Ireland’s plain packs plan

| September 22, 2014

Nine countries had objected to Ireland’s plain tobacco packaging proposals by Thursday, the deadline for lodging such objections with the European Commission, according to a story in The Irish Times.

The nine countries, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain, have a total population of 201.7 million or 40 percent of the EU’s population.

The Times’ story explained that countries filed so-called detailed opinions when they believed regulations in one country ‘may create obstacles to the free movement of goods, the freedom to provide services or the freedom of establishment of services operators within the internal market’.

The Irish Department of Health has said it is considering all of the opinions lodged and that it would respond to the Commission in due course.

Government tries to prevent hoarding

| September 22, 2014

Despite the government’s efforts to crack down on cigarette hoarding, large numbers of smokers across Korea are managing to stock up ahead of a major price hike next year, according to a story in The Korea Times.

The government has threatened fines of up to WON50 million ($48,000) for cigarette hoarding following its decision to raise tobacco prices next year by WON2,000 per pack – from about WON2,500 to WON4,500 per pack.

The measure, however, seems to have had only a limited impact, partly because it does not target consumers, but only tobacco manufactures, importers and retailers. In addition, news of the fines was not widely disseminated, especially among small and mid-sized stores.

The Times said that many owners of convenience stores and supermarkets had seen big spikes in cigarette sales since the price hike announcement on September 11, and that thousands of smokers were managing to stockpile cigarettes.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said that it would co-operate with other relevant authorities, including the National Tax Service and the Fair Trade Commission, if it were necessary to stabilize the tobacco market.

Yet some people are skeptical about whether the government can limit cigarette stocking.

“Rumors are that big retailers and convenience chains are also hoarding cigarettes, since they do not have an expiration date,” said a convenience store owner, who refused to be named.

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