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PMI to host conference presentation webcast

| November 12, 2015

Philip Morris International is due to host at a live audio webcast of a presentation and question-and-answer session by its CFO Jacek Olczak at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer & Retail Conference starting about 10.40 Eastern Time on November 18.

The webcast, which will be in listen-only mode, will provide live audio of the entire PMI session.

The audio webcast can be accessed also on iOS or Android devices by downloading PMI’s free Investor Relations Mobile Application at

An archived copy of the webcast will be available at until 17.00 on December 17.

Presentation slides and script will be available at

GCC finance ministers approve tax on tobacco

| November 11, 2015

Finance ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states approved imposing a 100 percent selective tax on tobacco and related products equal to customs duties of these products, according to the Bahrain News Agency.

The decision was taken upon a recommendation from the third meeting of representatives of the GCC customs union and a team of the GCC unified tax system to study imposition of selective taxes on tobacco and its related products as well as its value and levying means, Kuwait’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Anas Al-Saleh told Kuwait News Agency.

GCC ministers also approved a draft law on protection of consumers in Gulf states and referred to the upcoming GCC summit for deliberations and final approval. According to the Bahrain News Agency, the ministers tackled different aspects of financial and economic cooperation among Gulf countries, mainly those related to the GCC monetary council, customs union, common market, railway network and the higher education quality assurance network.

Tobacco taxes to rise 11 percent in Indonesia

| November 11, 2015

The Indonesian government has announced an average increase in tobacco excise taxes of 11.19 percent, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

“The highest tax increase of 12.96 to 16.47 percent will be applicable to machine-rolled cigarettes, and the lowest increase of 0 to 12 percent will apply to hand-rolled cigarettes,” said the Finance Ministry’s director general of taxation, Heru Pambudi.

Heru said the government would not increase taxes on hand-rolled cigarettes in the III B group because of their slower production rate in comparison to machine-made cigarettes, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

This year the Indonesian government set a target of Rp 139.12 trillion (US$10.29 billion) for tobacco tax revenue. In total, the excise revenue target listed in the 2016 state budget is Rp 155.52 trillion, which includes Rp 148.86 trillion from tobacco taxes and Rp 171.2 million from alcohol taxes.

Heru expressed his optimism that the government would reach its targeted cigarette excise revenue due to the upcoming regional elections, stating that “consumption usually increases” at regional election time.

Deputy Coordinating Economic Minister Edy Putra Irawady has said that in 2020, the government will no longer take tobacco taxes into account in the state budget, or the contribution of the tobacco-related industry to employment. According to Edy, by 2020 the government would have prioritized public safety over the economic impacts of the tobacco industry.

Andhra grower prices down by 20 percent

| November 11, 2015

The average price paid this year to flue-cured tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh, India, was about 20 percent down on that paid last year, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

This year, 190 million kg of flue-cured was sold over Andhra’s auction floors for an average price of Rs93 per kg; down from the average price of Rs116 per kg paid last year for a bigger crop.

Bright grade leaf, of which there was about 56 million kg, sold for an average price of Rs120.74 per kg this year, while the 74 million kg of medium-grade leaf sold for an average of Rs102.99 per kg and the 60 million kg of low-grade leaf sold for an average of Rs54.85 per kg.

Farmers who produced low-grade leaf and received the very lowest commercial payments were said to have received on top of the prices paid by the trade Rs20 per kg from the state and Indian governments in a package worth Rs285 million.

In 2014, flue-cured tobacco growers sold a crop of almost 214 million kg. The 2014-15 authorized flue-cured crop was set by the Tobacco Board at 172 million kg and the 2015-16 authorized crop has been pegged at 120 million, which will force farmers in many areas to grow crops other than tobacco.

Japanese growers to miss out on profit sharing

| November 11, 2015

The average leaf tobacco (all types) grower price for Japan’s 2016 harvest has been set at a lower level than that of 2015 despite the sole buyer’s having announced a week ago that its profits were up.

Japan Tobacco Inc. said yesterday that the Leaf Tobacco Deliberative Council (LTDC), chaired by Yoshio Kobayashi, had released its annual determinations for domestic leaf tobacco cultivation area and grower prices for 2016, in response to a proposal submitted by JT earlier in the day.

‘The Council was in general agreement with JT’s proposal, and determined that in 2016, the domestic tobacco cultivation area will be set at 8,276 ha, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to the contracted area of the previous year,’ JT said in a note posted on its website.

‘The leaf tobacco grower price for all leaf types will be set at an average of ¥1,877.57 per kg, a decrease of 2.21 percent compared to that of the previous year.

For this year’s harvest, the grower price was set at ¥1,920.1 per kg, an increase of 0.71 percent on that of 2014, ¥1,906.47 per kg, which price was the same as that of 2013 but up by 0.84 percent on that of 2012.

The LTDC is described as a council that confers on important matters concerning the cultivation and purchase of domestically grown leaf tobacco in response to inquiries by JT representatives. It comprises no more than 11 members who are appointed by JT, with the approval of the Minister of Finance, from among representatives of domestic leaf tobacco growers and academic appointees.

In announcing earlier this month its results for the nine months period to the end of September, JT said that its adjusted operating profit for its domestic cigarette business had increased by 5.1 percent (from ¥187.9 billion to ¥197.6 billion).

FDA deeming regs ‘embarrassment to public health’

| November 10, 2015

A US public health expert has issued a robust and detailed criticism of the information publicly available about the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed deeming regulations, as they apply to electronic cigarettes.

In his Rest of the Story blog, Dr. Michael Siegel, who is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, described the FDA as being out of its mind. ‘These deeming regulations should really be called “The Cigarette Protection Act of 2015″,’ he said. ‘The regulations are an embarrassment to public health.

‘They create stringent requirements for electronic cigarettes, while allowing the much more toxic real cigarettes to remain on the market, unencumbered and unchallenged by competing products that are much safer and that could have otherwise transformed the nicotine market away from combustible tobacco products, thus saving thousands of lives.

‘The regulations will decimate the e-cigarette industry, forcing thousands of small vapor shops and e-cigarette sellers out of business. This will no doubt result in many vapers returning to cigarette smokers and many potential quitters from trying to quit using these products.’

In making his comments, Siegel made the point that they were based solely on his review of the PMTA (pre-market tobacco product applications) draft guidance that the FDA intended to release in conjunction with the deeming regulations.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) had obtained a copy of the FDA electronic cigarette deeming regulations that were sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final approval before promulgation, as well as a draft of the guidance that the agency intended to release in conjunction with the deeming regulations, Siegel said. The guidance related to the recommended procedure for filing PMTAs. The TVECA had made the PMTA guidance publicly available on its website, but did not make the deeming regulations available upon the request of the FDA.

Siegel said it was possible, though unlikely, that the actual deeming regulations included exemptions or modified provisions for certain small businesses.

‘I had originally made a decision to postpone my commentary on the draft guidance document until the deeming regulations were released in their entirety, in order to avoid any error in case there are exemptions in the deeming regulations,’ Siegel said. ‘However, I have made the decision to publish the commentary now because by the time the deeming regulations are released, it will be too late to change them.

‘I believe that the risks associated with the possibility that the fine details of the deeming regulations render invalid my commentary below are far outweighed by the benefits of making this information available to the public so that interested parties can provide meaningful feedback to the OMB to inform a properly informed review of the regulations.’

Siegel’s blog is at:


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