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Gamucci’s sights on medicines approval

| June 19, 2014

Adrian Marshall2Gamucci Corporation has set up a new scientific products division and appointed Adrian Marshall (pictured) as divisional CEO.

In a press note, the company said it had established the new division with the aim of setting the benchmark for innovation and quality in the e-cigarette industry, and ensuring Gamucci products met future regulatory requirements.

Marshall is said to have a strong background and reputation in the tobacco and nicotine product sectors. He has previously held a number of senior roles with British American Tobacco, including director of BAT’s Global Harm Reduction Programme; managing director of its nicotine products business, Nicoventures; group head of regulation and corporate and social responsibility; and vice president sales and marketing in Japan.

“Gamucci is committed to developing e-cigarettes that receive marketing authorization from the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the U.K. and other regulatory authorities in the EU and elsewhere,” Gamucci said in a press note.

“As an expert in the field, Adrian will lead a team of specialists and expert advisors to develop new Gamucci products that will meet future regulatory requirements and provide smokers with the highest-quality alternatives to tobacco cigarettes.”

“This new division will set the benchmark for quality and innovation,” said Tony Scanlan, CEO of Gamucci. “The rest of the sector will be challenged to meet our developments, which will continue to demonstrate that Gamucci is a technology leader. The division will enable our products to meet and exceed the demands of regulatory agencies and assure our customers that Gamucci products are of the highest quality. As head of this exciting new division, Adrian will bring a wealth of knowledge to Gamucci and will add tremendous value as a member of the board and management team.”

Marshall was quoted as saying that he had been impressed with Gamucci’s leadership in product design and its commitment, through its wholly owned factory, to developing and manufacturing the highest-quality e-cigarettes on the market today. “I am delighted to be joining this ambitious and innovative business and look forward to working with the board in capitalizing on the many opportunities ahead,” he added.

Meanwhile, Taz Sheikh, director and co-founder of Gamucci, said his company had raised the bar a number of times since its entry into the industry in 2007. “Gamucci was responsible for developing the world’s first disposable cigarette in 2008, and we have proprietary core cartomizer technology, which is now widely copied and for which we have secured a U.K. patent,” he said. “Adrian’s team will help to ensure that Gamucci continues to lead the industry through innovation and quality.”

Tax plans threaten bidi industry collapse

| June 19, 2014

Plans by the government of Bangladesh to raise the prices of bidis in the next fiscal year would send the industry to the verge of collapse, according to a story in the Daily Star, quoting researchers.

A price hike would take a heavy toll on the businesses operating within the bidi sector, which were already struggling with spiralling costs of production, said professor Mesbah Kamal, chairperson of the Research and Development Collective.

Kamal spoke at a seminar on the national budget and bidi workers, organized by the research firm at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka.

Under provisions of the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, the price of a 25-stick pack of nonfilter bidis would increase from BDT5.35 to BDT6.14. And the price of a 20-stick pack of filter bidis would increase to BDT6.94 from BDT6.05.

About 2.5 million people are now engaged in 90 bidi factories throughout Bangladesh, down from 218 factories in 2001.

“Any type of tobacco is injurious to health,” said Monirul I. Khan, chairman of the sociology department at Dhaka University. “If the government wants to ban tobacco, it can do that. But the government must protect the bidi workers until alternative employments are created.”

Spiked editor to speak at Freedom Dinner

| June 19, 2014

The U.K. smokers’ group Forest has announced that Brendan O’Neill, editor of the online magazine Spiked, is to speak at Forest’s Freedom Dinner on July 15.

A blogger for the Telegraph and a columnist for The Big Issue and The Australian, O’Neill has also written also for The Spectator, City AM, Reason and the Daily Beast.

Described by The Guardian as a “Marxist proletarian firebrand,” he is a fierce opponent of “bossy, intolerant and censorious government.”

O’Neill has described standardized packaging as an “infringement of free speech” and proposals to ban smoking in cars  as an exposure of “the new authoritarians’ casual disregard for the notion of privacy, so that even our privately owned vehicles come to be seen as fair game for petty laws to curb and control what was once perfectly legal behaviour.”

Also speaking at next month’s event is Alex Deane, head of public affairs at Weber Shandwick. An elected common councilman in the City of London, Deane was the founding director of Big Brother Watch and David Cameron’s first chief of staff.

Author of Big Brother Watch: The State of Civil Liberties in Modern Britain, Deane currently advises some of the biggest companies in the U.K.

This year’s Freedom Dinner is hosted by Forest and supported by the Institute of Economic Affairs, The Free Society and Liberty League.

Deadline nears for Indonesian health warnings

| June 18, 2014

Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (FDMA) has told tobacco companies to comply with a government regulation requiring pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs by June 24, reports The Jakarta Post.

Indonesian tobacco companies produced 3,392 cigarette brands as of April, according to Indonesia’s taxation directorate general. Of those companies, only Bentoel, Sampoerna, Djarum and Gudang Garam had registered their cigarette packaging designs with pictorial health warnings, said Sri Utami Ekaningtyas, the FDMA’s addictive substances monitoring director.

“They have sent their pictorial health warnings and shown a commitment to launch these cigarette packs on 24 June. We are optimistic that other companies will follow,” Sri added.

According to the government regulation, tobacco companies should print five pictorial health warnings on their cigarette packs, covering at least 40 percent of a pack’s overall size.

These warnings show scary images of tobacco-related diseases such as mouth cancer, throat cancer and lung cancer.

Vuse goes national

| June 17, 2014

R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. will expand distribution of its Vuse digital vapor cigarette nationally in the United States beginning June 23. Selected retail outlets across the country will be carrying Vuse as of that date, and additional stores will be added to the distribution throughout the rest of the year.

“We are proud to expand our distribution of Vuse and offer adult smokers across the nation the most technologically advanced and best-performing digital vapor cigarette on the market,” said Stephanie Cordisco, president of RJR Vapor Co. “Vuse is a game-changer in the e-cigarette category, providing an innovative product that meets the expectations of adult tobacco consumers.”

Designed and assembled in the United States using high-speed automated equipment, Vuse provides a consistent smoking experience, according to RJR Vapor Co. A digital microprocessor works in conjunction with a memory chip to control major aspects of product performance from vapor delivery to battery management.

Since expanding with full marketing support to Colorado in July 2013, and earlier this year to Utah, Vuse quickly became the best-selling vapor product in both states, with high levels of repeat purchase, according to RJR Vapor Co.

The Vuse Solo includes a flavor cartridge in original or menthol, a rechargeable Vuse power unit and a USB charger. Replacement cartridges are sold in packs of two—each Vuse cartridge lasts about the equivalent of one pack of traditional cigarettes. Depleted cartridges and power units can be returned to RJR Vapor Co. through a prepaid mailer available at (access restricted to those age 21 and over) and are recycled free of charge.




FDA walking an e-cigarette tightrope

| June 13, 2014

E-cigarettes might be closer to smoking cessation devices than to regular cigarettes, and regulators are keeping “an open mind” on their potential health benefit, according to a story by Edney Anna for Business Week (Bloomberg), quoting Mitch Zeller, head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP).

Zeller said the agency was exploring expedited reviews for tobacco products based on risk and toxicity levels as it prepared its e-cigarette rules.

He said he wanted advocates and foes to view nicotine-containing products as a continuum—from cigarettes to their electronic counterparts to cessation gums and patches.

“Cigarettes are designed to create addiction,” Zeller said on Wednesday at a Washington conference. “Ultimately it’s not the nicotine that kills. It’s all about the delivery mechanism.”

But, according to a National Association of Convenience Stores story, Zeller said the CTP did not yet know the extent to which e-cigarettes were harmful.

And, he added, it did not know if e-cigarettes were more likely to help current smokers transition away from tobacco use, or if they are more likely to encourage nonsmokers to begin using tobacco.

The FDA is responsible for implementing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was enacted in June 2009. The law, which gives the FDA broad authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing and retail sale of tobacco products, initially granted the FDA jurisdiction over cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco products. But, in April, the FDA proposed extending its authority to cover additional products such as e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah tobacco.

Meanwhile, a story by Toni Clarke for Reuters said the FDA was working to develop strong product standards for e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices that would protect public health and enable the agency to withstand legal challenges.

Zeller had said the CTP was exploring potential product standards in the areas of addiction, toxicity and product appeal as it prepared to gain regulatory authority over e-cigarettes and other nicotine-delivery devices.

The establishment of product standards was one of five priorities for the division over the next few years, Zeller said. The priorities included putting in place regulations for approving new products and monitoring them after they reached the market, ensuring that the agency had in place a strong compliance and law enforcement presence in every state, public education and the formulation of an FDA-wide nicotine policy that recognized some products were less risky than others.

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