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Award of Hungary wholesale license hits tender spot

| June 18, 2015

Three multinational tobacco companies have expressed concern that another multinational is part of a venture granted sole wholesale tobacco concession rights in Hungary, according to a story in Hungary Around the Clock, relayed by the TMA.

In a joint statement released today, Philip Morris International, JT International and Imperial Tobacco Group said the Hungarian government’s decision to issue wholesale tobacco concession rights to British American Tobacco and tobacco distributor Taban Trafik without an open tender breached EU rules.

The statement said that the concession placed PMI, JTI and Imperial in a ‘vulnerable’ position because they would be required to provide their sensitive pricing and inventory data to a close competitor.

Dow Jones reported last week that the Hungarian government had announced that BAT would join forces with a Hungarian tobacco trader to supply tobacco shops in the country.

Under the arrangement, BAT and Taban Trafik would jointly pay 600 million forints ($2.2 million) for the wholesale license, Janos Lazar, head of the prime minister’s office, was reported to have said at a press conference.

Hungary monopolized the retail trade of tobacco in 2013 and, in doing so, radically reduced the number of retail tobacco outlets.

Market experts estimate Hungary’s retail tobacco market is worth about 500 billion forints ($1.81 billion) a year.

In December last year, Hungary’s parliament, which is dominated by the governing Fidesz party, approved legislation to introduce a single firm licensed by the state as the only tobacco wholesaler.

Botswana plans to act against underage smoking

| June 18, 2015

Botswana plans to introduce a new law requiring the licensing of retailers that sell cigarettes, according to a StarAfrica story citing an African Press Agency report.

Ephraim Rapalai, a Ministry of Health environmental health officer, said that the licensing requirement was included in the proposed Tobacco Control Bill.

The officer said Botswana’s biggest challenge was the prevalence of underage smoking and that the ministry hoped the proposed legislation would address this and other challenges relating to tobacco.

One of the other major challenges facing tobacco control concerned the illegal trade, he said. Trying to control that was a mammoth task.

E-cigarettes to be kept out of airline checked bags

| June 18, 2015

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has announced a ban on electronic cigarettes being included in checked baggage, according to an ndtv.com story citing an Agence France Presse report.

The ban is said to have been announced in response to reports that electronic cigarettes have sparked fires in the cargo holds of aircrafts.

Airline passengers and crew are being encouraged instead to carry the devices in the cabin so that incidents can be dealt with immediately.

The ICAO, which is based in Montreal, works with 191 member states and airlines to develop international standards and safety regulations.

The amendment to those regulations that deals with electronic cigarettes prohibits also the recharging of electronic smoking devices in aircraft cabins.

“Several incidents have been reported involving e-cigarette heating elements being accidentally activated and resulting in fires in checked baggage,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the president of the ICAO Council.

Several airlines had already taken measures against electronic cigarettes after concerns were raised late last year, he added.

Karelia launches oriental-blend RYO tobacco brand

| June 18, 2015

Karelia Tobacco Company of Kalamata, Greece, has launched on its domestic market a new oriental-blend roll-your-own tobacco brand, according to a press note relayed by the TMA.

Oriental Mist is said to be based on ‘fine oriental tobacco recipes passed down from previous generations’ and preserved by the company’s master blenders.

It is said also to be ‘reminiscent of mystical, magical days gone by, with a smooth natural aroma and flavor’.

The product retails in a vintage-design pouch of 20 grams.

Oriental Mist will be supported at retail points with promotional activities, Karelia said.

The company has experienced growth in the RYO category since 2006 and it says that its RYO brand George Karelias and Sons is a market leader that is growing also in international markets.

Never smokers aren’t using e-cigs, U.K. survey finds

| June 17, 2015

Results of the New Youth Tobacco Policy Survey conducted by Cancer Research UK show that the majority of youth who have never smoked combustible cigarettes are not using e-cigarettes regularly.

Of the 1,205 children aged 11-16 who took part in a U.K.-wide survey on e-cigarette use, 12 percent reported “ever” use, 2 percent reported “more than monthly” use and 1 percent reported “more than weekly” use.

Among never smokers, only 3 percent reported ever use and 0 percent reported “at least monthly” use, indicating that regular e-cigarette use occurs only in youths who also smoked tobacco cigarettes.

The results of the study reflect earlier research that showed regular e-cigarette use to be extremely rare among nonsmoking youth. The latest survey, which was conducted from August to September 2014, marked the first time questions regarding e-cigarettes were included.

According to Cancer Research UK scientist and University of Stirling professor Linda Bauld, there is a common perception that the recent increase in e-cigarette use will lead to a new generation of adults who have never smoked but become dependent on nicotine. However, the survey results indicate that youth who have never used tobacco products are not using e-cigarettes regularly and that “experimentation is not translating into regular use.”

The study will be published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal.

Essentra launches rechargeable and disposable e-cigarettes

| June 17, 2015

Essentra, a global supplier of specialist plastic, fiber and foam products, has launched two industry-leading e-cigarette solutions. The new e-cigarettes—a rechargeable and a disposable option—are the company’s first “full service” white-label products in the category.

Developed in response to the company’s extensive customer research and industry insights, both e-cigarettes deliver a high-performing and consistent “extraction efficiency” for optimum taste and nicotine release, according to Essentra.

“We have developed close and confidential partnerships with our customers by applying our technical expertise and analytical testing capabilities,” says Patrick Meredith, Innovations Director at Essentra. “This has allowed us to provide bespoke solutions that meet our customer’s demands.”

Essentra’s rechargeable portfolio ranges from a traditional cigarette size to a cigar size. The company also offers e-cigarette kits, which include battery units, refill cartridges and a USB charging device. Designed to be a more convenient solution for consumers, the disposable e-cigarettes will be available as a single unit or as multiples, and are packaged into a branded outer carton or blister carton.

The new rechargeable and disposable e-cigarettes were developed using Essentra’s specialist knowledge and sector expertise, including its patent-pending reservoir technology. According to Essentra, the reservoir can be manufactured without the use of processing aids such as antistatic, lubricate, bonding agent or surfactant, meaning that it does not interfere with the chemistry of the e-liquid it holds and instead ensures a more pure experience.

“As experts in specialty plastic, fiber, foam and packaging components, we can provide a complete end-to-end service while adding value and maximising efficiency,” says Meredith. “With the only independent e-cigarette testing laboratory in the industry, Essentra can guarantee consistent industry leading quality.”

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