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Strict laws to limit tobacco ads in China

| April 23, 2015

Lawmakers in China may introduce tough new restrictions on tobacco advertisements, according to a story in the China Daily. A draft revision to the country’s 20-year-old Advertisements Law will be voted upon tomorrow; the revision was discussed Tuesday at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and is likely to be ratified.

The draft indicates that no tobacco advertisements should be displayed in public places or published in mass media outlets. While many lawmakers advocate a complete ban on tobacco advertisements in China and maintain that public health should be the country’s top priority, others recognize that the production of tobacco provides a significant source of income for farmers who reside in areas that are not suitable for other types of agriculture.

China signed the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003.

Philip Morris Korea to increase exports

| April 21, 2015

Philip Morris International Korea (PMIK) will increase its cigarette exports to an expected 20 billion sticks this year after securing larger markets in Japan and Australia.

The company will expand its export of cigarettes manufactured in its factory in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, in an effort to make up for domestic losses caused by a tobacco tax hike that went into effect on Jan. 1. The bill—which increased tobacco prices to won4,500 per pack from the average won2,500 per pack—resulted in significant decreases in sales for tobacco makers operating in the country. PMIK’s sales dropped by approximately 18 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter of 2014.

In 2012, the company invested approximately won200 billion into the Yangsan factory to expand its packaging facilities and add raw material processing facilities. Today, the factory has the ability to produce 40 billion cigarettes per year, double its prior manufacturing capacity.

“Since 2012, our exports grew more than 10 times, thanks to the increased capacity in Yangsan factory, as well as the growing quality,” said Mikhail Prokopchuk, PMIK’s director of operations.

Exports from the Yangsan factory to Japan, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macua have increased dramatically since manufacturing capabilities were expanded, with export volumes increasing from 900 million cigarettes in 2012 to 4.5 billion cigarettes in 2014.

Vapor Corp. announces organizational restructuring

| April 20, 2015

Vapor Corp.—a leading U.S.-based distributor and retailer of vaporizers, e-liquids, e-cigarettes and e-hookahs—has announced that it is undergoing an organizational restructuring to maintain its competitiveness and establish its branded products and retail stores in the evolving vapor market.

Following a recent merger with Vaporin, Vapor Corp. added several new members to its management team, including president and director Gregory Brauser, chief financial officer James Martin and new board member Robert Swayman.

To further establish its national distribution network, Vapor Corp. has developed new supply deals with key retailers and reorganized inventory in an effort to meet an increasing demand for vapor products. Vapor Corp. also recently opened three new “The Vape Store” locations in Orlando, Florida, and one in Port Charlotte, Florida. The company plans to open an addition 20-30 branded retail “The Vape Stores” before the end of FY 2015.

“With new management, new stores, new deals and new products, Vapor Corp. is well positioned to rise above the competition and take a leadership role in what is currently a highly fragmented e-cig and vaporizer market,” said Brauser. “Vapor Corp.’s merger with Vaporin served as a catalyst for the company’s future success and has helped to pave the way for us to cast a wider net in the industry. Our goal is to reach new and veteran vaping consumers and continue to spread the word about our stores and our products.”

Vapor Corp. opens four new stores in Florida

| April 20, 2015

Vapor Corp.—a leading U.S.-based distributor and retailer of vaporizers, e-liquids, e-cigarettes and e-hookahs—has opened three additional locations of the company’s “The Vape Store” chain in Orlando, Florida, and acquired an existing store in Port Charlotte, Florida, which has been converted to a “The Vape Store.”

The addition of these four new stores is part of the company’s planned expansion strategy for “The Vape Store” retail chain, which was recently acquired through a merger with Vaporin, Inc.

“The opening of these four new stores under ‘The Vape Store’ brand is just the beginning of our expansion strategy to establish a national retail footprint, making us one of the largest operators in the rapidly developing vape shop retail market. We are poised to open another 20 to 30 of our branded retail Vape Stores before the end of fiscal [year] 2015,” said Vapor Corp. CEO Jeff Holman. “The vape shop retail market is highly fragmented, providing our ‘The Vape Store’ brand with an opportunity to serve customers as the retailer that they can trust, with the convenience of multiple locations to buy their favorite brands of vaporizers, e-liquids and accessories.”

ITM USA and TAM join forces to provide service support

| April 20, 2015

ITM USA, part of ITMGroup, and Thomas Automation Management (TAM) have joined forces to establish cooperation in the fields of engineering and support services in both the USA and abroad. With many years of experience and expertise in the national and international tobacco industries, the companies will work together to create common synergies and to develop and utilize their individual strengths and infrastructure.

A team of 17 engineers and technicians will support customers on major PLC and automation platforms, including Siemens, Allen Bradley, Beckhoff and Mitsubishi. Other services that will be provided to customers include equipment layout and footprint preparation, installations, maintenance support, troubleshooting, contractor management, data system maintenance and automation IT support, as well as locally-stored original spare parts.

ITM and TAM will utilize their Continuous Improvement framework to improve customers’ efficiency-flexibility ratios, and their combined technical knowledge and measurement tools will allow them to further enhance or refine existing equipment.

“The relationship between ITM and TAM continues to be a great opportunity to leverage our technical knowledge and experience with such a well respected and technically innovative company such as ITM,” said TAM’s managing director, Ricky Thomas.

According to ITM’s regional sales director Jason Carr, the collaboration between companies makes perfect sense. “We complement each other perfectly as a partner in the tobacco industry,” he said. “Our customers will also benefit from the synergies being developed because we will bring experience, consistency and valuable support in the region.”

Polish e-cigarette distributer opens manufacturing plant

| April 20, 2015

ESmoking WORLD, a leading distributor of e-cigarettes throughout the European market, has opened a manufacturing plant that will begin developing liquid nicotine for use in e-cigarettes by the end of April. The Polish company’s investment of approximately 5 million euros led to the construction of a state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to produce 4 million liquid nicotine packages per month.

In addition to manufacturing products for its network of over 900 eSmoking WORLD stores, the new plant will also manufacture nicotine liquids for OEM brands of other European e-cigarette distributors who stop purchasing products from Chinese liquid nicotine suppliers as a result of the implementation of Tobacco Products Directive regulations.

The manufacturing plant is one of the most modern technological plants of its type and includes original technical solutions and quality-control systems designed by a team of Polish experts from the eSmoking Institute in Poznan, which has researched the content of liquid nicotine and aerosols manufactured in e-cigarettes since 2013.

E-cigarettes are currently used by 1.8 million people in Poland, where the company is the largest supplier of the country’s e-cigarettes for the fast-moving consumer goods sales network and convenience stores.

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