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ITC seeks e-cigarette policy in India

| August 4, 2014

ITC is ready to enter the e-cigarette era and is engaging with the government in the hope of developing a policy that would allow the launch of these products on to the Indian market, according to a story in The Economic Times quoting chairman Y.C. Deveshwar.
The chairman said he expected that the new government would look favorably on the e-cigarette business and divulged that ITC was “ready with e-cigarettes.”
However, he said that some people wanted to ban these products in India.
And he warned that this could lead to a situation whereby, by the time it was established that e-cigarettes were less harmful than were tobacco cigarettes, foreign brands would be able to swamp the market, leaving Indian companies out in the cold.

EU detains fewer items on IPR grounds

| August 4, 2014

Cigarettes comprised the third most frequently detained specific article at the EU’s borders during 2013, according to the commission’s annual report on customs actions to enforce intellectual property rights (IPR).
First place was taken by clothing, which accounted for 12.33 percent of the items detained, and next came medicines (10.10 percent).
Cigarettes accounted for 8.95 percent of detained articles, just ahead of packaging materials, 8.83 percent, and toys, 7.63 percent.
An “other goods” category of articles—distinct from the “all other category” (41.03 percent)—including items such as insecticides, shoe polish, light bulbs, glue, batteries, air refreshers and washing powder accounted for 11.13 percent of detained goods.
A commission press note on the report, which didn’t mention cigarettes or tobacco, said that customs authorities in the EU had detained almost 36 million items suspected of violating IPR.
Although this was fewer than the number of articles detained in previous years, the value of the intercepted goods had been more than €760 million.
“Postal and courier packages accounted for around 70 percent of customs interventions in 2013, with 19 percent of the detentions in postal traffic concerning medicines,” the press note said.
Around 90 percent of all detained goods were either destroyed or a court case was initiated to determine the infringement.
“China continues being the main source of fake products, with 66 percent of all products detained coming from China and 13 percent coming from Hong Kong.
“Other countries, however, were the top source for specific product categories, such as Turkey for perfumes and cosmetics and Egypt for foodstuffs.”

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

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