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Reynolds American marks 10th birthday

| August 4, 2014

Reynolds American (RAI) celebrated its 10th anniversary on Friday with a closing bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange.
Susan M. Cameron, RAI’s president and CEO, joined a group of other company employees in ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange in recognition of the decade since the newly created company started publicly trading in 2004 after the merger of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Brown & Williamson.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the great progress we’ve made since the merger and the start of our transformation journey,” Cameron said.
“Over the past decade, we’ve driven change across our companies and industry, found new opportunities for sustainable growth, and returned excellent value to our shareholders.
“Thanks to our employees and our companies’ powerful key brands, we’re well on the way to our ultimate goal of achieving market leadership in a transformed tobacco industry.”
In the 10-year period through June 30, 2014, RAI said, it had generated a total shareholder return of 542 percent, outpacing the S&P 500’s 112 percent.
It said too that on July 15 it had announced a plan to acquire Lorillard and its strong flagship cigarette brand, Newport. The transaction was expected to close during the first half of 2015 after regulatory clearance, and shareholder and other approvals.

AOI appoints vice president and treasurer

| August 4, 2014

Alliance One International has appointed John R. Heffernan as vice president and treasurer.
An AOI press note posted on its website said that Heffernan was bringing to the company more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international finance, treasury and capital markets.
Prior to joining AOI, he held finance leadership roles at several leading U.S. corporations, most recently as director of long-term investments at Duke Energy Corp.
Heffernan holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering degree from Bradley University.

Threat to tobacco retailers in Turkey

| August 1, 2014

More than 22,000 Turkish retailers risk losing their licenses to sell cigarettes under an anti-tobacco law being drafted by the government, according to a story in the Hurriyet Daily News.
If passed, the proposed law would ban cigarette retailers within 100 meters of schools, a regulation that the cigarette industry says would affect about one-sixth of the country’s 150,000 tobacco retailers.
The industry claimed that strict enforcement of the law could mean that some towns in Turkey would be without a cigarette retailer.
And it said the law might boost the illicit trade, which would rob the state of tax revenue.
Meanwhile, the health minister, Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, said the government would continue its efforts against tobacco use, including a requirement for cigarettes to be sold in black packages.
“Currently, Turkey’s tobacco watchdog is preparing the regulations,” Müezzinoğlu said.
“We need to give the perception that smoking is not fascinating, but wrong.
“In the new packages, the visuals will not be fascinating; they will reflect the ugliness, the negativity [of smoking].
“For the smoker, the package might not be important, but sometimes the pack is put on the table. Then he will not be ‘cooler’ for doing it. On the contrary, there will be a negativity associated with smoking.”
The minister said that the law had been prepared and could go into effect after receiving approval from the prime minister. “I expect it to be out in September or October, but also 2015 at the latest,” he added.

U.K. doctors split on e-cigarettes

| August 1, 2014

Forty percent of U.K. doctors believe that e-cigarettes should be available only from pharmacies, according to a WalesOnline story quoting a recent poll.
Thirteen percent of doctors believe the devices should be prescription-only, 16 percent think they should not be on the market at all, and 31 percent believe they should be freely available.
These were the findings of a poll of 525 doctors conducted by Doctors.net.uk, an online network for U.K. doctors.
“I think e-cigarettes need to be regulated like a medicine and then be available as a pharmacy-only product,” said Dr. James Quekett, a practising GP and director of educational services for Doctors.net.uk.
“This would bring them into line with nicotine replacement products.
“Since e-cigarettes are not currently regulated as medicines, we do not know exactly what is in them apart from nicotine. Therefore, while it might be assumed that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes because they do not contain all the toxic elements of cigarette smoke, we do not know that for a fact, and we cannot advise patients on any long-term health implications.”
Dr. Michael Blackmore, a retired GP, added, “E-cigarettes are undoubtedly safer than tobacco in terms of the cancer risk as there are no benzo(a)pyrenes in the vapor. However, I am less sure about the cardiovascular risk, which may be more closely related to nicotine.”
A survey last year of general practitioners (GPs) in the U.K. and Sweden revealed that many incorrectly identify nicotine as one of the most harmful components of cigarette smoke.
The survey findings showed that 40 percent of GPs believe nicotine to be the first or second riskiest component of cigarettes, incorrectly identifying it as more harmful than smoke. Many (44 percent in the U.K. and 56 percent in Sweden) also wrongly believed that nicotine in tobacco products was associated with cancer, while 15 percent in the U.K. and 22 percent in Sweden believed the same for pharmaceutical nicotine.
The results of last year’s survey, which was commissioned by British American Tobacco, were published in a Harm Reduction special issue of Drugs & Alcohol Today, 2013, 13 (issue 2): http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1745-9265&volume=13&issue=2

Smoking rate continues long-term decline

| August 1, 2014

Japan’s smoking incidence fell below 20 percent in May, according to the Japan Smoking Rate Survey that has been conducted annually by Japan Tobacco Inc. since 1965.
The overall incidence of smoking stands at 19.7 percent, down from 20.9 percent last year, with the rate of smoking among men down from 32.2 percent to 30.3 percent and that among women down from 10.5 percent to 9.8 percent.
Given these figures and population data provided by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan’s smoking population was calculated to be 20.59 million, down from 21.95 million last year. The number of male smokers stands at 15.26 million, down from 16.23 million; while the number of female smokers stands at 5.33 million, down from 5.72 million.
JT said that the smoking rate in Japan had been on a declining trend because of various factors, including the country’s aging population, growing awareness about the health risks associated with smoking, the tightening of smoking-related regulations and a tax and price hike earlier this year.

Minister goes on the offensive

| August 1, 2014

The Indian minister of health and family welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, has written to Arun Jaitley, the minister of finance and the minister of defense, urging that the armed forces stop selling tobacco products at their canteens.
And Vardhan has asked the minister to review the policy whereby tobacco products are made available at discount prices to members of the armed services.
Furthermore, he wants all defense establishments, including ships, to be declared no-smoking zones.

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