E-cigs – attempts to classify E-cigs as cigarettes under MSA

House Members Henry Waxman, Tom Harkin and Peter Welch are asking State Attorney Generals to classify e-cigs as cigarettes so they fall under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA.)

The main reason cited is using the MSA provisions to prevent advertising and marketing of e-cigs – particularly to youth and children.

They cite a recent CDC study which indicates an emerging trend of e-cigs use by youth and children which could serve as a gateway product to nicotine addiction.

While efforts to restrict tobacco access and use to adults only is laudable – this initiative misses the point.

Many E-cigs have nicotine- but not all. And if they don’t, they are technically not cigarettes nor any other type of tobaco product.

The judicial system will uphold this point and any US attempts to regulate non-tobacco e-cigs will fail – irrespective of whether it is under the MSA or FDA.

What’s your opinion??

Moreover the issue of youth smoking and prevention is more complicated than this….

Why do youth and chidren experiment with tobacco products (cigarettes) and now it appears e-cigs??

Is it accurate that e-cig use leads to cigarette use as implied by CDC?

And is it such a bad thing that e-cig use is being used as a substitute for actual cigarette use??

Post your views and let’s open a dialogue….

E-cigs – the regulatory dilemma….

In case you’re still undecided – E-cigs are here to stay. And we’d all better get used to it - Health Regulators and policy advocates included.

Befuddled Regulatory Health advocacy thinking demonstrates how truely difficult it is to develop a clear regulatory policy – or even if one is really needed?

Some want an outright ban – but is this even possible?

Others are wrestling with how to classify E-cigs. Is it a tobacco product, drug-delivery device, recreational toy or nicotine replacement therapy??

Who has a vested interest in this?

What if the product contains no tobacco products or nicotine?

How do you regulate the entire category and its flavor variants?

Should it be taxed?

Many agree E-cigs are probably less harmful than combustible cigarettes – do you agree?

Others argue E-cigs are a starter product leading to nicotine addiction – do you agree?

Some national / regional markets are considering a ban – is this practical??

And what about the US – where any sales restrictions will almost certainly end up in the courts??

Your thoughts and opinions are welcome….

The future of exhibitions?

These days pre-show rumors that the next tobacco exhibition will be cancelled are rife – and increasingly accurate.

The lastest victim was the joint Inter-Tabac / ProTobex tobacco exhibition scheduled for Bali February 27/28 – cancelled earlier the same week.

The Balinese police rescinded their approval at the last minute. Their exact reasons are unclear, although it was mentioned Bali has no tobacco industry (we already knew this.)

The damage is done. Participants were already inbound; monies spent and travel plans made, not to mention all the associated costs of exhibiting and attending. All lost.

Last year World Tobacco was similarly embarrassed; cancelling its exhibition in Istanbul Turkey – after approval was withdrawn at the last minute.

Last year, shows scheduled for Moscow and Macau were also cancelled.

While there are altogether too many tobacco exhibitions – often almost on top of one another – this is not a good outcome.

Will Inter-Tabac / ProTobex organize a future exhibition in Asia and if so where??

Your thoughts?

Where should the next tobacco exhibition in Asia be held?

Do tobaco exhibitions have a future and

if so, where else do you recommend future tobacco exhibitions be held ??

Filtrona changes name to Essentra

Filtrona PLC – The UK filter and plastics group – announced last week it is changing its Corporate Identity.

From June 26, it will be rebranded as Essentra and Filtrona Filters will be known as Essentra Filter products.

The rebranding is probably a good idea as Filtrona is increasingly less about cigarette filters as the group acquires more businesses with non-tobacco activities.

So what do you think about the new name?

Comments welcome.

Glenn John – Publisher of Tobacco Asia provides exhibition feedback

With hindsight what is your present view on the Manila show and your position going forward?
Our customers indicated that a move from Manila would be best, and after months of investigation going back to last year, we’ve just announced that the combined ProTobEx and Inter-tabac Asia will go to Bali, Indonesia, at the new Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center next February 27-28, 2014. Bali is one of the most desirable destinations in Asia, and is certainly a highlight of Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest tobacco market.
Nothing can compare to the size and success of Inter-tabac Dortmund, by far the world’s largest tobacco exhibition, and the Asia line-extension of that is of course much smaller.  As markets and businesses are not as homogeneous in Asia as they might be in Europe, Inter-tabac ASIA will thrive best by a move every few years to explore different areas, and give visitors/exhibitors a different exciting place to visit and areas to explore.
A driving factor in venue placement is our exhibitors’ and visitors’ strong preference that smoking be allowed in the hall.  And today, that winnows down the inventory of venues drastically.  While we might be able to find some halls with a second-best solution to the smoking issue (such as a ventilated room, a conveniently connected outdoor smoking area, or even a designated smoking area/corner), if the customer demands smoking in the hall freely wherever they are, I’m afraid that this points to Indonesia right now.  One day, this point will be moot – smoking won’t be allowed in halls anywhere, and this will then widen the possibilities of venues providing possible alternative solutions to the exhibition smoking issue.
I see Tobacco Asia is mentioned as a supporter for Sinotab. Will this show go ahead or not? Given the cancellation of Istanbul and Moscow, what are your thoughts??
It is our information going back months now that Sinotab would not be held at the Venetian as has been stated on Sinotab’s (very) hard-to-find website. We never authorized the organizers to use our logo, and we asked that it be removed, and it hasn’t.  It’s another example of why the tobacco industry should put its exhibition dollars into offerings by unique companies like October Multimedia, publishers of Tobacco Asia, that have an active stake in the Asia regional tobacco business, and are not outside organizers with little or no connection to tobacco or to Asia. And you’re right, that’s the third tobacco exhibition cancelled in 2013 after WT Turkey, Moscow (Lockwood’s Tobacco International), and now Sinotab Macao.
Tobacco exhibition organizers need to keep first and foremost in mind the particular nature and demands of the tobacco industry and the unique political/legal landscape we operate in…something you’d think would go without saying, but sometimes we wonder. Time and again in the months leading up to the tobacco showtime “suddenly” the issues of smoking in the hall, displays of tobacco products, imports of tobacco leaf, displays of tobacco imaginary, and security begin rearing their ugly heads, with the organizer pointing their finger at “the hall”, “the government”, “changes in policy”, “competitors”, etc…in short, at anyone besides themselves. These are issues that should have been disposed of long before a show was ever announced.
Glenn Anthony John,
Publisher, Tobacco Asia
Organizer, ProTobEx/Inter-tabac ASIA

Hauni’s acquisition of Borgwaldt

On the surface Hauni’s acquisition of the Borgwaldt group looks to be a a good move.

It has acquired a second larger instrument business - filling out its instrumentation portfolio, in addition to its earlier acquisition of Sodim  - and acquired the successful Borgwaldt Flavor business.

Integrating the Borgwaldt and Sodim businesses will realise cost savings – but only if there’s a real consolidation effort in premises and staff.

Superficially, Hauni could be accused of mimicking Molins (Tobacco machinery) who bought Cerulean (the largest Instrumentation supplier) several years ago. This would be unfair. Although Cerulean is larger, the acquisition evens up the playing field while simultaneously diminishing competition.

Nevertheless a quick look at the product lines confirms there is product duplication. Both have a range of multiple parameter test stations and a range of manual digital instruments – representing a large portion of sales. How will this be resolved? Borgwaldt has a range of smoking machines, which Sodim does not. Sodim recently agreed to market Burghart’s smoking machines.  Borgwaldt and Burghart do not get along and haven’t for some time. It is hard to imagine two instrument businesses selling competing smoking machines under Hauni’s common ownership for long. Will the Burghart line be dropped?

The flavor business does well – albeit within the new Hauni ownership – it looks a little out of place. What does Hauni plan for this?

So what has Hauni really gained and where will it take the business? Does the acquisition strategically fit or is it purely opportunistic? Does Borgwaldt bring to Hauni opportunities or is it the other way round?

Comments welcome.

 

WT cancels their Istanbul exhibition

 

In a move sure to upset prospective exhibitors and attendees – World Tobacco (WT) sent out a late email on May 7 canceling its show scheduled for May 29-31. The email informs it was told by the venue on May 2nd it could not hold the show.

This is the second show canceled this year and the third if you include Sinotab scheduled to be in Macau early September.

The late cancellation will cause some exhibitors and visitors unrecoverable costs. Contracts for stand builds will have already been paid and equipment shipped as well as airline tickets bought.

In the last couple of months there were signs something was awry. WT canceled some participants when they learned no tobaco products could be shown – including advertising materials, signage and samples. Only recently was the license granted to actually hold the show.

Tobacco Journal International’s (TJI April – May) edition dedicated its front page to the exhibition and included many pages of  exhibition information and orientation.

Comments and feeback welcome.

 

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New York City proposes to increase the minimum smoking age to 21 from 18.

New York City proposes to increase the minimum smoking age to 21 from 18.
Mayor Bloomberg, clearly no ally of tobacco, has already advocated restrictions on advertising and NYC has one of the country’s highest taxes.
This new proposal aims to prevent younger adults from smoking. “Our responsibility today is to do everything we can to reduce,” the number of young people who start smoking, said Christine Quinn – City Council Speaker. With City Council and Mayor Bloomberg’s support, the measure has the ability to pass.
A spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NATO) suggested younger smokers will buy from neighbouring communities or corner-store cigarette sellers instead depriving Convenience Stores of this revenue which is a significant portion of their store profits.
Youth smoking has declined to about 8.5% with high school students since 2007. Increasing the minimum age would also bar 18-21 year old friends from buying cigarettes for their friends.
The age limit is already 21 in Needham, MA, and the same change are not yet implemented in Canton MA. A similar proposal is on hold in Texas.
Altria and RJ Reynolds had no immediate comment.

Comments and feedback – welcome