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Court wants growers shifted away from tobacco

| June 11, 2015

The High Court of Karnataka state, India, has directed the Indian and state governments to co-operate in jointly framing a policy for encouraging tobacco growers and workers to shift to other industries, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

The order is directed particularly at those working in the bidi sector.

And the court wants the governments to step up their actions aimed at reducing the consumption of tobacco.

Acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy passed the order while considering a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) petition filed by the Cancer Patients’ Aid Association.

The petition claimed that instead of reducing the production of tobacco, the authorities were promoting it by offering subsidies.

The government counsel apparently claimed that no subsidies were being given to tobacco growers, but that ‘a small amount is being assigned as incentive to licensed tobacco farmers’.

PMI declares quarterly dividend

| June 11, 2015

The board of directors of Philip Morris International today declared a regular quarterly dividend of $1.00 per common share, payable on July 10 to shareholders of record as of June 25.

The ex-dividend date is June 23.

Beijing smoking ban will boost vapor, says e-cig inventor

| June 10, 2015

Hon Lik, the Chinese inventor of the modern e-cigarette, has predicted that Beijing’s new public-places smoking ban will prompt many consumers to switch from smoking to vaping. Although China’s e-cigarette market is still relatively small compared to those in other countries and smoking rates in China remain high, the ban—which took effect June 1—could be the push smokers need to quit combustible cigarettes.

Anyone who violates the ban on smoking in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools and certain outdoor public places will be fined CNY200 ($32.35). Other cities in China are expected to follow suit by implementing similar smoking bans as governments seek to improve public health.

AMA remains opposed to e-cig’s smoking-cessation claims

| June 10, 2015

The American Medical Association (AMA) has announced a new policy that will further strengthen its support of the regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes. The update is an extension of the organization’s existing policy, which calls for all e-cigarettes to be subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations that apply to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.

The AMA’s new policy calls for laws and regulations that would set the minimum legal age to buy e-cigarettes and e-liquids at 21; mandate child-resistant containers for e-liquids; and enforce laws against the sale of tobacco products to minors. The existing policy also seeks a ban on claims that e-cigarettes are effective tools for smoking cessation.

“Improving the health of the nation is AMA’s top priority, and we will continue to advocate for policies that help reduce the burden of preventable diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, both of which can be linked to smoking,” said AMA president Robert M. Wah.

Pax Labs raises $46.7 million in Series C funding

| June 10, 2015

Pax Labs has raised $46.7 million in new funding led by existing investors with participation from Fidelity Management & Research Company; Sivia Capital; individual investors from finance, pharma, entertainment and Silicon Valley leadership; and a group led by Chuck Pieper and Brian Finn. Previous investors participating include Tao Capital Partners and Sand Hill Angels.

Pax Labs will use this latest round of funding to accelerate its mission to apply vapor technology and science across already mature industries, providing better consumer options. The company will expand its product availability both domestically and internationally, scale its category redefining tobacco vapor products led by the newly launched e-cigarette, Juul, and extend the application of its vapor science technology into new verticals.

“Vaporization is a highly disruptive technology, and we are focused on applying our innovations across new industries and use cases,” said James Monsees, CEO and co-founder, Pax Labs. “Our integrated science and technology platforms have the potential to rapidly innovate the $1 trillion existing tobacco industry and have broad applications for entire new delivery systems that will amaze consumers and drive growth. We’re excited to implement this growth round and further shape the future of these industries.”

Over the past two years, Pax has grown nearly 200 percent. The company has sold more than 500,000 units of its revolutionary premium, portable, loose-leaf tobacco vaporizer, Pax, and this year has successfully launched two new products: Pax 2, the next generation of the industry’s number one vaporizer; and Juul, a fundamentally different e-cigarette and e-liquid platform using a variety of patented technologies to provide satisfaction akin to traditional cigarettes.

Among those technologies, Juul introduced nicotine salt technology reverse-engineered from nicotine found in leaf tobacco, rather than free-base nicotine used in standard market products. Juul has been available for retail purchase since June 1, 2015.

Iggesund expands services for Eastern Europe

| June 10, 2015

Iggesund Paperboard—Europe’s third-largest manufacturer of high-quality virgin fiber paperboard—is expanding its services for Eastern Europe by establishing a new freight terminal in Riga, Latvia, as well as a sales office in Moscow, Russia, to boost Russian sales. Construction of the two new facilities is part of Iggesund’s long-term plan to cultivate its delivery services on a global scale.

“We need to be near the customer both in terms of deliveries and other services required by today’s customers,” says Rikard Papp, director Asia Pacific & Merchants Europe at Iggesund.

Iggesund will also take part for the second time in the RosUpack exhibition, which will be held June 16-19 in Moscow.

“The intense interest we met with last year convinced us that we should establish a sales office for the Russian market. It is a major market that definitely has room for a high-end product like [our flagship product] Invercote,” says Papp.

Iggesund Paperboard’s terminal in Riga became operation in April, and the sales office in Moscow will be inaugurated in July.




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