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CSi receives OHSAS certificate

| November 17, 2015

CSi, a global leader in product handling at the end of production and packaging lines based in the Netherlands, has been awarded the OHSAS certificate. The company received the certificated after a nine-month period of preparation, numerous internal audits and an extensive external audit by Veritas.

CSi was formerly SCC** certified; however, this system is only recognized in the Netherlands. Because CSi now operates globally, the company has switched to the ISO18001 standard, better known as OHSAS.

CSi serves many international manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods and is dedicated to meeting their increasingly stringent safety standards. In order to fully comply with safety management systems and independent external auditing, CSi must continually advance to the next level of safety with each project.

CSi provides a complete package from initial consultancy and design to production, assembly, installation and commissioning.

Estades elected chairman of Cigar Association 

| November 17, 2015
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Javier Estades

Javier Estades, head of premium cigar manufacturer and marketer Tabacalera USA, has been elected chairman of the Cigar Association of America (CAA). CAA is a national trade organization of cigar manufacturers, importers and distributors as well as major suppliers to the industry.

Estades was elected chairman at the organization’s recent annual conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  Originally established in New York City in 1937 as Cigar Manufacturers of America, CAA’s roots date to predecessor organizations prior to 1900.

As the head of Tabacalera USA, which is part of Imperial Tobacco Group, Estades oversees the Fort Lauderdale-based premium cigar division of Altadis USA., the manufacturer and marketer of such classic hand-made cigars as Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and VegaFina.

He also is responsible for the North Carolina-based 800-JR Cigar and its affiliates. JR Cigar is one of the U.S.’ largest premium cigar wholesale and retail businesses, featuring retail stores, upscale cigar lounges and a major online business.

Estades joined Imperial’s premium cigar operations in the U.S. in 2011. In addition to his work at Imperial, Estades has worked with such fast-moving consumer goods companies as HJ Heinz and Bristol Myers-Squibb.

Fontem and NJOY settle patent dispute

| November 17, 2015

Fontem Ventures and NJOY have reached a global settlement agreement that resolves ongoing litigation in the U.S. and Germany.

The settlement ends one of eight patent-infringement cases originally brought by Fontem Ventures and Fontem Holdings in March 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in relation to e-vapor technology.

Under the terms of the settlement, Fontem Ventures has granted NJOY and its affiliates a non-exclusive royalty-bearing global license under the patents-in-suit and certain other vapor technology-related patents.

The remaining settlement terms are confidential.

UN expert says ISDS system undermines democracy

| November 17, 2015

Alfred de Zayas, the UN independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, has said that the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism has devastating implications for the respect of human rights around the world.

ISDS provisions or their derivatives are included in trade agreements such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated between the US and the countries of the EU, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has been provisionally agreed between the US and 11 other countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam).

Writing in The Guardian newspaper yesterday, de Zayas said that, since its inception, the UN had put on the world stage not only the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also legally binding instruments, including 10 core human rights conventions and countless declarations and resolutions.

But the ISDS mechanism threatened the existing system of justice, the concept of checks and balances, and the very core of the rule of law. ‘Its implications for the respect of human rights around the world are devastating,’ he wrote. ‘If it is allowed to continue to exist, it will hijack the dreams of a just international order born out of the Second World War. It must be abolished because it undermines fundamental principles of the UN, state sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law. Far from contributing to human rights and development, the international investment regime and ISDS have resulted in growing inequality among states and within them.’

The full article is at:

PMI recognized for addressing climate change issues

| November 17, 2015

Philip Morris International has been recognized for addressing climate change and reducing its carbon footprint.

In a note posted on its website, the company said it had been named yesterday as the only consumer staples company in the S&P 500 on both the CDP Climate ‘A’ List for top performers and the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for quality and transparency of reporting. The 100 percent score for carbon disclosure is the highest ever recognition PMI has received in the annual CDP ratings.

CDP, formerly known as the ‘Carbon Disclosure Project’ was described as the leading international not-for-profit organization assessing the work of thousands of companies worldwide in the area of climate change.

‘PMI is recognized on the CDP Climate “A” List in their Global Climate Performance Leader Report, released on November 4, for top performance in measuring, verifying, managing and reducing our carbon footprint,’ PMI reported. ‘The company also earned its leading place on the CDLI by disclosing high quality carbon emissions and energy data for 2014 through CDP’s climate change program. The CDP assessment is compiled at the request of 822 investors who represent US$95 trillion in assets – more than a third of the world’s invested capital. ‘

“We are delighted to make the CDP Climate Disclosure Leadership Index for the S&P 500 and to be recognized as a top performer on CDP’s Climate ‘A’ list,” said Andrew Harrop, head of Environmental Sustainability at PMI. “This demonstrates the hard work and commitment across PMI, setting tough targets and doing what it takes to achieve and exceed them. As we prepare to join government leaders in Paris later this month at COP21, the UN Climate Change conference, the CDP results demonstrate that businesses like PMI are playing their part to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

Meanwhile, Paul Dickinson, executive chairman and co-founder of CDP said that as the world looked beyond the Paris climate change negotiations and prepared for a low carbon future, reliable information about how companies were responding to the transition would be ever more valuable. “For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index,” he said.

US adult smoking rate at 16.8 percent last year

| November 16, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) reported on Friday that the adult smoking rate in the US fell to a record low of 16.8 percent last year, down from 17.8 percent in 2013, according to a statement from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) issued through PRNewswire.

The smoking rate has declined by nearly 20 percent since 2005, when 20.9 percent of the population smoked, and by 60 percent since 1965, when 42.4 percent smoked.

But the CDC reported also large disparities in smoking, with higher rates among people who live below the poverty level; those with less education; American Indians and Alaska Natives; residents of the Midwest; and lesbians, gays and bisexuals. Adults who are uninsured or on Medicaid smoke at more than double the rates of those with private health insurance or Medicare.

‘It is good news for our nation’s health that smoking continues to decline, but there is much work to do to finish the job and protect all Americans from the number one cause of preventable death’ said Matthew L. Myers, CTFK’s president. ‘It is not acceptable that tobacco use still kills nearly half a million Americans and costs us about $170 billion in health care expenses each year.

‘It is also unacceptable that we have become a nation of haves and have-nots in combating tobacco use, with some populations and communities lagging behind and suffering higher burdens of tobacco-related death and disease as a result.

‘Our tremendous progress shows that we know how to win the fight against tobacco. Proven solutions must be fully implemented across the nation, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws, well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs that include mass media campaigns, and comprehensive, barrier-free health insurance coverage for smoking cessation treatments.’

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