Breaking News

“No impact of plain packaging on transactions”

| December 5, 2013

A study led by Curtin University professor Owen Carter, which timed transactions at retail stores before and after Australia’s plain packaging law took effect in December 2012, found virtually no difference in transaction times, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The study was conducted to investigate claims that transactions would take up to 45 seconds longer per pack, because plain packaging would be more difficult for retailers to locate.

Skycig appoints CFO

| December 5, 2013

Skycig, the Scottish e-cigarette company that was acquired by Lorillard in October, has appointed Bruce Casely as its chief financial officer. Casely is the former finance chief of U.S. online advertising firm Digital Globe Services.

Skycig’s president and co-founder Tom Rolfe said Casely will help the company integrate smoothly into a global corporation with complex financial reporting requirements, adding that his international experience would also support potential European expansion.

Casely has held executive and managerial positions at Bank of Scotland, Ernst & Young, Rothschild and Scottish & Newcastle.

China’s cigarette output soars despite tobacco control

| December 5, 2013

China’s cigarette production has soared over the past decade, despite efforts to curtail tobacco use, according to a new study, reported by China Daily.

Annual cigarette production in the world’s most populous country has increased 50 percent over the past 10 years, according to the report Tobacco Control in China from a Civil Society Perspective 2013. In the 12 months to October, Chinese tobacco companies produced 2.175 trillion cigarettes.

The latest finding echoed a similar recent assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO), which rates China as a poor performer among countries that have joined the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The WHO assessment awarded China two of a possible 16 points on public smoking control, and zero points on tobacco advertising control. Moreover, the country’s tobacco tax rate, at 43.4 percent, is still below the world average, the assessment noted.

The Chinese government signed the FCTC in 2003.


Blackout Cigs to accept virtual currency

| December 5, 2013

E-cigarette manufacturer Blackout Cigs has started accepting payments in Bitcoin, a virtual currency.

Because Bitcoin is not tied to credit card issuers or banks, the value is transferred directly from the customer to the merchant. As a result, transactions are completed faster and the fees are minimal.

“Our mission is to make Bitcoin every merchant’s favorite form of payment,” said Anthony Gallippi, CEO of Bitpay, a company that promotes the use of Bitcoin. “Blackout is a forward thinking company, and we are thrilled that they have adopted Bitcoin payments.”

22nd Century purchases equipment out of bankruptcy

| December 5, 2013

22nd Century Group has purchased the cigarette production equipment used by the defunct Renegade Tobacco in Mocksville, North Carolina, USA. The Clarence, New York-based biotechnology firm intends to manufacture experimental and high-end cigarettes at the plant.

22nd Century paid $3.22 million for the equipment owned by GE Capital during a bankruptcy proceeding. In October, the company had already signed a lease agreement for Renegade’s 61,500-square-foot facility.

22nd Century plans to first manufacture Spectrum research cigarettes and shortly thereafter begin production of its Red Sun and Magic super-premium brands. The company also expects to enter into a manufacturing agreement with a strategic partner and to begin exporting its products in 2014.

22nd Century believes that having its own factory will create shareholder value as control and production of its differentiated tobacco products will be greatly facilitated and costs will be reduced. Until now, 22nd Century Group’s subsidiary, Goodrich Tobacco Co., had produced all of its products through contract manufacturers.

The company makes the Spectrum cigarette for the U.S. government, which is distributed under the direction of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. The Spectrum line includes a series of cigarette styles that have a similar tar yield, but varying nicotine yields.

Approximately one-third of the manufacturing equipment purchased will not be needed and is expected to be sold to other parties that have already expressed interest.





Promotions at Star Tobacco

| December 4, 2013

Star Tobacco International has made several corporate management appointments.

Baldev Mistry has been promoted to the position of vice president, African Region. In capacity, he will oversee all of Star’s commercial operations in Africa, as well as spearhead vertical integration projects in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. He will also be responsible for the group’s cloves business in Madagascar.

Akin Akdogan has been promoted to the position of commercial director for tobacco monopolies & group logistics. In addition to overseeing Star’s logistics and the group’s business with government tobacco monopolies, Akdogan will spearhead the expansion of the company’s “just-in-time” tobacco depots initiative in southern Europe and Asia.

Christopher Maan has been promoted to the position of commercial director for sales & marketing. In this capacity, Maan will be overseeing Star’s commercial sales worldwide with the exception of sales to tobacco monopolies and Asia.

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