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Biggest smoking-related event for years

| October 8, 2013

A fine-cigar auction in London already scheduled for Nov. 19 is to be followed by The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year Dinner.

The dinner will be hosted by British journalist, broadcaster and cigar fan, Andrew Neil.

“This will be the biggest smoking-related event to take place in the U.K. for years,” said Mitchell Orchant, managing director, C.Gars Ltd.

“Some of the most famous and wealthiest cigar smokers in the world will be celebrating with fine wine, food and, not least, premium cigars on Boisdale’s smoking terrace overlooking the Thames.”

The evening will start with C.Gars’ 9th auction, at which more than 400 lots of vintage, rare and mature cigars will go under the hammer at 5 p.m. And for the first time at such an auction, cigar collectors around the world will be able to place bids online (at www.cgarsltd.co.uk).

The event, bringing together Boisdale and C.Gars, will include the inaugural Spectator magazine dinner.

The evening will recognize various aspects of the cigar world, with awards categories including those for cigar producers, retailers, cigar terraces and writers; and culminating in The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year.

Proposed new tobacco directive would cause “massive” job losses in Germany

| October 7, 2013

Tobacco companies in Germany have warned of massive job cuts should the EU force companies to place larger health warnings on cigarette packs, according to a Handelsblatt story.

The works councils of Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, Reemtsma (Imperial Tobacco), Japan Tobacco International, von Eicken, Landewyck and Lekkerland said the introduction of new rules under the proposed new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) would lead to the elimination of as many as 100,000 jobs in the country.

The EU parliament is due to vote on the proposed TPD, which includes, too, recommendations on banning and restricting a wide range of tobacco and nicotine products, on Oct. 8.

Ireland to denormalize smokers in its quest for tobacco-free status by 2025

| October 7, 2013

A proposal to reduce the prevalence of smoking in Ireland from the current 22 percent of the population to less than 5 percent by 2025 has been published by the Minister for Health, James Reilly, according to a story in the Irish Times.

The proposal broadly sets out the government’s aims but a detailed action plan with timelines has yet to be developed.

Tobacco Free Ireland (a country is deemed in some quarters to be tobacco free if the smoking population is lower than 5 percent), would seek to further denormalize smokers.

It would include an annual excise duty increase on tobacco products over five straight years.

And it would prohibit smoking within the campuses of primary schools, secondary schools and child care facilities, while promoting tobacco free campuses for all tertiary institutions.

In all, the proposal sets out 60 recommendations aimed at cutting the rate of smoking, one of which would require tobacco manufacturers to offer their cigarettes in standardized packaging.

Meanwhile, according to a Sunday Times story, an Irish-based lawyer for Philip Morris International has warned that Ireland will face compensation claims running to hundreds of millions of euro if it introduces a requirement for standardized tobacco packs.

Alistair Payne, of Matheson solicitors, was quoted as saying that if Ireland did not allow tobacco companies to use their branding it would breach the intellectual property rights of the companies. He said these rights were guaranteed under the Irish constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Poland to take more money off smokers

| October 7, 2013

Poland’s cabinet has approved a 5 percent increase in excise tax on tobacco products from next year, according to a Market Insider story quoting a budget-related bill for 2014 adopted last week.

Poland is looking to grab PLN247.98 billion in tax receipts in 2014, including PLN115.7 billion from VAT and PLN62.08 billion from excise.

Replacing lighter sockets with USB ports

| October 7, 2013

The South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai has said that it will replace cigarette lighter sockets with USB power points in its passenger cars made for the domestic market, according to a story for the U.K.’s Electronic Telegraph.

Hyundai said the change would affect all passenger cars and SUVs sold in Korea from October.

Hyundai’s decision follows a domestic survey that showed many drivers used the lighter jack to charge mobile phones or tablet computers rather than for lighting cigarettes.

A spokesman said that Hyundai was “the first auto company in the world” to make the change, and that the company would survey consumers in other countries to see whether it should be adopted elsewhere.

Hyundai might well be the first car company to swap from cigarette lighters to USB ports, but it is not the first to remove cigarette lighters.

Bulgaria to introduce new tax stamps

| October 7, 2013

Tobacco products in Bulgaria will have new excise stamps from Jan. 1, 2014, according to a Bulgarian News Agency story quoting Finance Ministry sources.

The change is part of efforts being made to fight the trade in contraband and counterfeit products.

It will be legal to sell stocks of tobacco products with the current excise stamps until Dec. 31, 2014.

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