MSA Update: Tobacco Industry News

The following is an update from the Management Science Associates, Inc. (MSA) sourced through their week ending October 28th bulletin. Reposted with permission.

Week Ending 10-28-2019

TOBACCO INDUSTRY NEWS*

Scandinavian Tobacco Group closes Tucker facility

Scandinavian Tobacco Group is closing its Lane facility in Tucker, Georgia, USA, and moving production to facilities in Denmark and the Dominican Republic. The closure will reduce the group’s number of production facilities to 11 from 12.

The Tucker facility manufactures pipe tobacco, fine-cut tobacco and little cigars, the markets of which have been declining.

The closure of the Tucker facility will adjust the capacity to current and projected volumes and is expected to improve the group’s overall annual cost structure by more than DKK20 million ($2.99 million) when fully implemented by the end of 2020. The transfer of production is expected to incur investments of about DKK30 million.

In a statement, the company said the closure would not impact its 2019 financial guidance except for special items. Special costs related to the closure are expected of about DKK120 million and will be expensed in 2019. (Source: Scandinavian Tobacco Group)

Tobacco accused of ‘undermining’ plain packaging

Tobacco companies have been undermining U.K. plain packaging laws with subtle marketing techniques, according to a report published in BMJ Open. The techniques ensure cigarettes continue to stand out from rival products without breaching regulations.

Philip Morris International, for example, added beveled edges and a new “pro-seal” closing mechanism to packets of its bestselling Marlboro brand. This made packs “appear more premium and recognizable compared to other brands,” the researchers claimed.

Tobacco companies have also responded to a ban on taste descriptors by replacing them with names based on color. The researchers said that banning terms such as “smooth” and “light” was meant to dispel the myth that certain types of cigarette are less dangerous but that by teaching customers color codes linked to the old descriptions, “misperceptions are likely to endure.”

One of the lawmakers who pioneered the legislation said ministers should consider tightening up the rules to eliminate loopholes detailed in the report.

The U.K. plain packaging law took effect in 2016. (Source: The Guardian)

New index ranks industry ‘interference’

Japan faced the highest level of tobacco industry interference in its tobacco control policies in 2017–2018 while the U.K., Kenya, Brazil and Uruguay fared well in resisting such meddling, according to the first Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index.

Published by Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products, a global advocacy group funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the index covers 33 countries and is based on publicly available information.

The authors say many countries suffer from a lack in transparency in dealing with the tobacco industry. Among other recommendations, the authors suggest governments “de-nonormalize” tobacco industry social responsibility initiatives, saying that these are designed to gain access to high-level officials. (Source: NPR)

JTI employees protest job cuts

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) employees protested outside the company’s Geneva headquarters on Tuesday against job cuts.

Last month, the company announced a restructuring plan involving the elimination of 268 jobs in Geneva—about a quarter of its workforce in the city. Some positions may be relocated to East Asia and Eastern Europe, JTI said.

Eighty staff members gathered outside the glass headquarters building in Geneva’s international district to express their concern about a proposed resettlement package and what they described as lack of transparency about the cuts and plans.

JTI employs 45,000 people worldwide and has been based in Geneva since 2015.

The multinational will concentrate its resources in Warsaw, St. Petersburg and Manila. Worldwide cuts are expected to affect 3,720 employees, or 6 percent of the JTI workforce. The company says it headquarters will remain in Geneva. (Source: Swissinfo)

Altria Considering Selling Nat Sherman International

Altria Group made headlines back in 2017 when it acquired Nat Sherman International. Now, over two years later, Altria Group is making headlines again as news comes that the company is considering selling Nat Sherman International.

Nat Sherman International is the manufacturer of premium cigars and pipe tobacco, and also owns the brand’s well-known New York-based Nat Sherman Townhouse. In a press release, Jessica Pierucki, the managing director and general manager of Nat Sherman, LLC, referred to Nat Sherman International as a “terrific business” but noted that its core business, focus and portfolio–premium cigars–does not completely align with Altria’s tobacco portfolio. Altria’s is known for its strong cigarette brands including Marlboro, but in recent years, the company has made investments outside of tobacco as cigarette sales continue to decline in the U.S. In recent months, Altria Group has made investments in ABInBev, e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, and cannabis-focused Cronos Group.

Michael Herklots, Nat Sherman International’s Vice President, told Cigar Aficionado that for now, it is business as usual. While Altria is considering selling, there are no definitive plans for a sale and they are simply considering the possibility of a sale.
For all the latest news from Altria Group, visit altria.com. (Source: Tobacco Business – October 23, 2019)

REGULATIONS:

FDA Authorizes First Modified Risk Tobacco Products for US Market

On Oct. 22, 2019, FDA issued the first ever modified risk orders to Swedish Match USA, Inc. (formerly Swedish Match North America, Inc.) for the following eight General Snus smokeless tobacco products:

• General Loose
• General Portion Original Large
• General Dry Mint Portion Original Mini
• General Mint Portion White Large
• General Portion White Large
• General Classic Blend Portion White Large – 12 ct
• General Nordic Mint Portion White Large – 12 ct
• General Wintergreen Portion White Large

These products, without modified risk information, were initially allowed for sale in the United States following FDA’s authorization of the company’s premarket tobacco product applications in November 2015. This latest action allows the products to be marketed with the following modified risk claim:

“Using General Snus instead of cigarettes puts you at lower risk of mouth cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.”

The modified risk orders do not permit the manufacturer to make express or implied statements that convey or could mislead consumers into believing that the product is endorsed or approved by FDA, or that FDA deems the product to be safe for use by consumers.

The modified risk orders issued by FDA are specific to the above mentioned products and are effective through Oct. 22, 2024, barring, among other things, any finding that the products, as actually used, no longer significantly reduce harm and the risk of tobacco-related disease to individual tobacco users and benefit the health of the population as a whole, taking into account both users of tobacco products and people who do not currently use tobacco products. More information about these modified risk orders, including the decision summary, are available on the FDA website. (Source: FDA)

General Snus recognized as less harmful

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Swedish Match U.S. division’s amended modified-risk tobacco product (MRTP) applications for eight varieties of General Snus, making it the first tobacco product to secure the modified-risk designation and right to market the product as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.

“Today’s decision is a huge accomplishment for public health in the U.S. and another step toward realizing our vision of a world without cigarettes,” said Gerry Roerty, vice president and general counsel for Swedish Match. “There are nearly 35 million adult smokers in the U.S., all of which have been led to believe the only way to reduce tobacco risk is complete abstinence. We now have the opportunity and responsibility to inform cigarette users who cannot abstain that General Snus can be a risk-reducing alternative. If that’s enough to make even a percentage of them switch, we’ve made progress.”

The modified-risk status classifies General Snus as a tobacco product that is sold or distributed for use to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco-related disease associated with commercially marketed tobacco products. The FDA also cleared Swedish Match’s claim that using General Snus instead of cigarettes puts users at a lower risk of mouth cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

In a statement, Swedish Match said the authorized claim allows it to begin working to reduce misperceptions related to the risk of General Snus. According to the National Young Adult Health Survey, only 10 percent of respondents believed snus was less risky than cigarettes.

Snus has already been tied to progressing the reduction of cigarette use in other countries. In Sweden, widespread use of snus in place of cigarettes is believed to have helped the country achieve the lowest lung and oral cancer rates in men in Europe. In Norway, snus rates among young women increased to 13 percent since its legalization in 2002. Smoking rates among young women dropped from 30 percent in 2001 to 1 percent in almost the exact same time span.

In announcing the first-ever modified-risk orders for a tobacco product, the FDA said its decision does not mean General Snus is safe or “FDA approved.” Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said, “While we are authorizing these specific modified-risk tobacco products, it’s important for the public to understand that all tobacco products—including these—pose risk.” The market authorization is valid for five years and requires Swedish Match to conduct post market studies to determine the impact of MRTPs on consumer perception, behavior and health.

Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo Securities described the ability to make a modified-risk claim in tobacco/nicotine as a game changer—”not just from a consumer perception point of view but also in terms of potential tax favorability down the line since it’s logical that a tobacco product that is less harmful to public health should be taxed less onerously than a higher risk product,” she wrote. “We view this as very good news for the broader tobacco/nicotine industry as it demonstrates the FDA’s commitment to a ‘continuum of risk’ strategy and provides a viable pathway/process for manufacturers,” she added. (Sources: Swedish Match North America, FDA)

Cigar Industry Files Amended FDA Lawsuit Complaint

Three cigar trade groups have filed an updated complaint in their lawsuit against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) deeming regulations and their impacts on the cigar industry.

The amended complaint includes arguments specifically regarding the recent decision by a federal court in Maryland which moved up the deadline for when substantial equivalence submissions are due from August 2021 to May 12, 2020.

Substantial equivalence is expected to be the main approval process for cigars once FDA’s regulations are fully in effect. In short, a manufacturer would argue that its product is substantially equivalent to an already approved or grandfathered product, and as such poses no additional health risks and does not market towards children.

A group of doctors and health groups sued the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in Maryland arguing that the agency did not have the authority to delay the implementation of certain regulations. The FDA lost the lawsuit and the Maryland court asked the two sides to present alternatives timelines for regulation, specifically product approval. Ultimately, the court accepted a plan from FDA that moved up the deadline to May 2020.

The updated complaint from the three cigar trade groups—the Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the Premium Cigar Association (PCA), formerly IPCPR—is now 15 counts.

Last week, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the same plaintiffs regarding a longshot procedural argument that sought to invalidate the Maryland ruling. Today’s filing has been in the works for a while and is expected to be the main vehicle for the cigar industry to fight FDA in court.

It covers everything from whether FDA properly evaluated the financial impacts of the rules from 2014-2016 to the recent Maryland decision and its effect on the broader regulation. (Source: Halfwheel.com – Charlie Minato – October 23, 2019)

FDA Appeals Maryland Court Ruling that Accelerated Substantial Equivalence Deadlines

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has appealed a ruling from a federal court in Maryland that changed the date substantial equivalence submissions are due from August 2021 to May 12, 2020.

Attorneys for the Department of Justice filed a short notice of appeal in American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al. Earlier this year Judge Paul W. Grimm ruled against FDA in the case, which was brought on by health groups and pediatricians in the state of Maryland.

Those groups argued that FDA’s approach to regulating other tobacco products, specifically vaping and e-cigarettes, was not legal and was causing both the groups and the public harm. Grimm ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that FDA had arbitrarily created deadlines for various parts of the rule, most notably the deadlines for which tobacco products had to file submissions for product approval with FDA.

He then asked both sides to present alternative timelines for regulation. Ultimately, Grimm went with a timeline presented by FDA, which accelerated the regulatory process by about 450 days.

Throughout its defense, FDA argued that the plaintiffs had no standing because they couldn’t show the harm that was done to them by the timelines FDA had created, which Grimm denied. FDA also argued that the groups were unable to challenge executive rulemaking in the manner they did, one source indicated the appeal would likely focus on the latter.

For its part, the cigar industry has also tried to fight the Maryland ruling.

First, it asked a Washington D.C.-based federal court that has heard arguments in the cigar industry’s lawsuit against FDA to throw out the Maryland ruling due to legal claims, a move the court denied last week. Yesterday, the same groups filed an amended complaint in their ongoing lawsuit with FDA which highlighted both the legal questions and real-world impacts of the Maryland decision.

Part of those claims also call into question whether FDA will be capable of evaluating submissions under the new timeline. This is particularly controversial given that FDA has announced that it plans to introduce an overhauled substantial equivalence process with no timeline about when that might be finalized. It also has indefinitely delayed the process for testing of products because it has not finalized guidelines for the testing process.

While the Maryland court case centered almost exclusive on e-cigarettes and vaping products, it will impact the cigar industry due to the change in the substantial equivalence deadline. Substantial equivalence is expected to be the main approval process for cigars once FDA’s regulations are fully in effect. In short, a manufacturer would argue that its product is substantially equivalent to an already approved or grandfathered product, and as such poses no additional health risks and does not market towards children.

The Maryland ruling also moved forward the deadline for premarket tobacco product applications, which is what e-cigarette and vaping companies are expected to use. (Source: Halfwheel.com – Charlie Minato – October 24, 2019)

TAXING:

Premium Cigars Removed From Proposed Federal Tobacco Tax

A proposed change to how tobacco products are taxed appears to be moving forward without any changes to how cigars are taxed at the federal level.

Last month, Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., introduced H.R. 4425, a bill that would have overhauled how tobacco products are taxed, most notably introducing federal taxes for vaping and e-cigarette products. That bill also would have changed how other tobacco products are taxed, including cigars.

Last week, the two representatives introduced a new bill, H.R. 4742, which includes the new taxes for vaping and e-cigarette products but does not change the taxes for other tobacco products like cigars. Research done as part of the proposal indicates the tax on vaping products alone would generate over $1 billion annually.

The move is seen as a sign that the representatives will now focus on the bill that just adds the vaping taxes, though H.R. 4425 is not formally dead.

“The change in direction prior to the Committee mark-up, specifically excluding any new taxes on premium cigars and pipe tobacco, demonstrates the importance of continuous advocacy and education about our industry,” said Joshua Habursky, federal affairs director for the Premium Cigar Association, in a press release. “And this is why we are continuing to build out or education programs that directly target members of Congress as well as administrative bodies.”

H.R. 4425 could have more than tripled the taxes on cigars. Currently, cigars are taxed at 52.75 percent of their wholesale price, capped at 40.26 cents per cigar. The bill would have changed the tax to $73.85 per pound, which would have likely equated to around $1.48 per cigar.

A similar bill was also filed in the Senate. Last month, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., introduced the Tobacco Tax Equity Act Of 2019, which would have increased the tax to just under $1.00.

Scott Pearce, executive director of PCA, told halfwheel that the organization was working with Senate committees to have the language removed on the Senate side. (Source: Halfwheel.com – Charlie Minato – October 24, 2019)

NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES:

MISCELLANEOUS:

Study reveals dramatic decline in tobacco use

Twenty million fewer adults across 11 countries used tobacco in 2017 compared to 2008 thanks to strong government action to end the tobacco epidemic, according to a new study.

Published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the study also shows a dramatic decline in secondhand smoke exposure. Between 2008 and 2017, over 53 million fewer adults were exposed to secondhand smoke in indoor public places such as restaurants, government buildings and healthcare facilities.

More than 12 million adult tobacco users in the countries studied were considering quitting because of graphic warning labels on tobacco products, and close to 100 million fewer adults were exposed to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorships, according to the study. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Study: Unfiltered cigarettes most risky

Smoking unfiltered cigarettes poses a greater risk of lung cancer than smoking filtered cigarettes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Among the 14,123 patients included in the study, those who smoked unfiltered cigarettes were 40 percent more likely than those who smoked filtered cigarettes to develop lung cancer and almost twice as likely to die of lung cancer.

Researchers noted that although the risk was greater in those who smoked unfiltered cigarettes, those who smoked filtered cigarettes are also at a great risk. The study demonstrated lung cancer deaths occur in 1,600 per 100,000 persons who smoked filtered cigarettes compared with just 34 per 100,000 persons who never smoked. (Source: JAMA Internal Medicine)

How Russian financiers and investors are becoming big players in the cannabis industry

The New York Times details in a lengthy piece how a growing number of investors from Russia and former Soviet Union countries are beginning to shape the North American cannabis industry. Russian financiers are behind companies such as Curaleaf, one of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S. and Pure Spectrum, a Colorado-based business marketing CBD products. One investor, Russian tech entrepreneur Pavel Cherkashin, describes the legal pot sector as one of the “most promising and rapidly developing markets” in some time. But there have been issues, notably with some Russian investors funneling political contributions to candidates in Nevada which has drawn the ire of U.S. federal prosecutors. (Source: BNN Bloomberg)

Presidential hopeful Buttigieg lends support for U.S. cannabis reform

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg toured a legal marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas on Wednesday as the U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful advocated for his plans to reform cannabis laws in the U.S. Marijuana Moment reports Buttigieg, who admitted he’s indulged in cannabis a “handful of times a long time ago”, has proposed to eliminate incarceration for possession of all drugs, while supporting doctors looking to prescribe medical cannabis to U.S. veterans. The website also noted that Buttigieg ruled out the prospect of using executive action to decriminalize marijuana, stating it needs to be addressed through legislation. (Source: BNN Bloomberg)

Tilray announces new clinical study using medical cannabis to treat breast cancer patients

Tilray shares jumped after the company announced its medical cannabis products will be part of a U.S. clinical trial that will look at treating patients with breast cancer who are suffering from taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy. That type of neuropathy impacts more than 67 percent of women undergoing breast cancer treatment, Tilray said in a statement. This isn’t the first time that Tilray was able to export medical cannabis from Canada to the U.S. It participated in a study in Sept 2018 using medical cannabis to treat Essential Tremor, as well as importing medical cannabinoids to the U.S. in August to support two clinical trials led by NYU School of Medicine. (Source: BNN Bloomberg)

Sen. Sanders unveils major cannabis legalization plans if elected U.S. president

Bernie Sanders wants to legalize pot. The Vermont senator, currently in the running for the Democratic Party nomination for the 2020 presidential election, unveiled his plans to legalize marijuana late Thursday. In his platform, Sanders said he wants to use executive action to de-schedule marijuana within the first 100 days of his administration if he’s elected president, Marijuana Moment reports. Sanders also wants to enact market and franchise caps which would mitigate the influence of large corporate marijuana firms and limit tobacco companies from participating in the legal industry. Sanders recently congratulated Canada for a year of cannabis legalization, stating in a tweet that “as far as I can tell, the sky has not fallen and the cities have not plunged into anarchy on the other side.” (Source: BNN Bloomberg)

E-CIGARETTES/ALTERNATIVES:

Investigation uncovers how U.S. Yolo vape product tied to synthetic cannabis, illnesses

Is Yolo to blame for the U.S. vaping-related health epidemic? The Associated Press tried to figure out who is responsible for the product – named after the acronym for “you only live once” – believing it originated from a former Utah resident named Janell Thompson. Lab tests in 2017 found Yolo contained synthetic marijuana blamed for at least 11 deaths in Europe, while a complaint made in 2018 to a California state labor agency uncovered Thompson’s ties to the product. Thompson now faces 40 years in prison after a U.S. attorney alleges she distributed “massive quantities” of synthetic marijuana as far back as 2014. (Source: BNN Bloomberg)

Judge: Massachusetts vaping ban needs fixes

A Massachusetts judge on Monday said he would bar the state from enforcing its ban on nicotine vapor product sales unless several defects are addressed.

While declining to immediately halt the ban as requested by the Vapor Technology Association (VTA), Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins said the state must redo the ban and solicit public comment.

VTA Executive Director Tony Abboud said his organization regretted the ruling and would seek to block the ban, which the group has called an “existential threat” to the state’s $331 million nicotine vapor products sector.

In its lawsuit challenging the ban, the VTA argued that Baker’s emergency order was an unconstitutional overreach and was arbitrary as it claimed to target youth vaping and the outbreak by banning all sales to anyone in the state regardless of age. Baker’s administration has until Oct. 28 to reissue the ban and provide vape shops and members of the public an opportunity to comment. (Source: Reuters)

Washington: Industry sues to block vape ban

The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) filed a lawsuit in Washington State Monday October 21 to try to block a new flavored vape ban. The association argues the state failed to consider evidence that vapor products may be safer than traditional cigarettes.

“While claiming that it is trying to target the problem of youth vaping, the state’s emergency rule remarkably contains no provisions expressly directed at youth,” said VTA Executive Director Tony Abboud. He added that the VTA would be willing to work with regulators on “real solutions” to reduce youth vaping.

The VTA estimates that the ban threatens the livelihoods of approximately 3,400 Washington residents. There have been 12 cases of vaping-associated lung injury in Washington since April. (Source: OPB)

VTA call to action

The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) has formally called on voters to voice their opposition to the proposed U.S. ban on flavored vapor products and launched a multimedia campaign to raise awareness of the adverse public health and economic impacts of such a ban.

As part of this effort, VTA launched vapersdovote.com, a platform through which visitors can urge the federal government to preserve their access to this critical tool.

VTA also unveiled “Promises,” an advertisement airing on national television this week, which demonstrates the significant and negative impact that a ban on flavored vapor products would have.

According to the VTA, 10 million to 13 million American adults rely on e-cigarettes to quit or reduce smoking. A flavor ban would drive these men and women to either revert to combustible cigarettes or turn to a new and larger black market, the organization says.

Additionally, the licensed and regulated American vapor product distribution chain would shutter, resulting in the closure of 14,000 small businesses and the loss of upward of 166,000 jobs, according to VTA estimates.

“Bans don’t work; they never have,” said Tony Abboud, executive director of the VTA. “As we have said from the start, we stand ready to work with the administration, regulators and lawmakers on the many real solutions that should be implemented to achieve the twin goals of restricting youth vaping, which is already illegal, and preserving flavored alternatives for adults desperately trying to quit smoking.” (Source: VTA)

Study: Flavors sustain tobacco use

People who are introduced to tobacco via a flavored product are more likely to continue using tobacco, according to a new study published Wednesday in Jama Network Open.

Researchers analyzed the data by breaking self-reported responses from a nationally representative survey on tobacco use from September 2013 to December 2014 and from October 2014 to October 2015. Flavors were particularly attractive to people between ages 12–25. People seemed to be less drawn to flavored tobacco as they got older. The study also showed that people who started out with flavored e-cigarettes weren’t just likely to keep using them but upped their frequency as they got older. (Source: Vice)

UPCOMING EVENTS/WEBINARS:

FDA’s Public Meeting, Oct. 28-29

This meeting is intended to provide information on the policies, processes, and general scientific principles related to tobacco product marketing applications, with a focus on deemed tobacco products such as cigars, water pipes, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including e-liquids and electronic cigarettes. Additional details, including the agenda and webcast link, will be made available before the meeting. (Source: FDA.gov)

Altria to host webcast

Altria Group will host a live audio webcast on Oct. 31 at 9 a.m. Eastern time to discuss its 2019 third quarter business results. The company will issue a press release containing its business results at approximately 7 a.m. Eastern time the same day.

During the webcast, Howard Willard, Altria’s chairman and CEO, and Billy Gifford, Altria’s vice chairman and CFO, will discuss the company’s 2019 third quarter business results and answer questions from the investment community and news media.

The webcast will be in a listen-only mode. Pre-event registration is necessary; and directions are posted at www.altria.com/webcasts. (Source: Altria)

Turning Point Brands to host call

Turning Point Brands will host a conference call on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at 10 a.m. Eastern time to discuss results with the investment community.

Participating in the call will be Larry Wexler, president and chief executive officer; Robert Lavan, senior vice president and CFO; Graham Purdy, president of the new ventures division; and Jim Murray, senior vice president of business planning.

Analysts and professional investors can register and participate by calling 1-800-353-6461 (U.S.) or +1-334-323-0501 (international). The call will be also broadcast live as a listen-only webcast here. (Source: BusinessWire)

TABEXPO 2019 – Amsterdam – November 11-14, 2019

TMA is proud to bring our members a great opportunity: TabExpo2019. TABEXPO is the tobacco and nicotine industries’ premier trade exhibition. Held every four years, it’s the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with major companies dealing in anything from seed to finished product and everything in between, including what’s new in the world of vapor products. It’s also a chance to be involved in the critically acclaimed congress where what’s relevant to the tobacco and nicotine market will be discussed by key people from inside and outside the industry. You won’t want to miss great opportunities to meet new contacts, catch up with old acquaintances, view the latest innovations, share and update your business plans, and find out where our industry is headed. (Source: TMA.org)

China to host cigar show

The China International Cigar Expo will take place in the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center on Nov. 21–22. It will be hosted by China Cigarette Sales Co. and Shenzhen Municipal Tobacco Co. and organized by Shenzhen Tobacco Import & Export Co.

The expo will feature both domestic and international cigar products and provide a platform for exchanging industry information. In addition to product displays, the event will include discussion forums, cigar ratings and an event in which experts pair Chinese cigars with tea.

Strategically located, Shenzhen is a major port and consumer market for cigars from overseas. In recent years, the rapid growth of the middle-end to high-end cigar market in Shenzhen has played a significant role in developing China’s cigar industry. The expo will be held at a 5,000-square-meter convention center with more than 50 domestic and foreign enterprises. The organizers expect more than 100 exhibitors. (Source: The International Cigar Expo)

Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) 2020 Dates Announced

After a successful 2019 show, the Tobacco Media Group (TMG) is pleased to announce that the Tobacco Plus Expo 2020 (TPE 2020) will be held from Wednesday, Jan. 29-Jan. 31, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A growing must-attend event within the industry, TPE is the first big B2B buying show of the year, bringing together top brands and buyers from the premium tobacco, vapor, and alternative industries. TPE is a trade show that celebrates the tobacco, vapor and alternative industries, while offering opportunities to maximize profits and enjoy time with friends and colleagues. (Source: Tobacco Business – June 25, 2019)

TMG Reveals Details of TPE 2020’s All-Industry Party

Tobacco Media Group (TMG), publisher of Tobacco Business Magazine and the company behind the annual Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) trade show, is sharing details of TPE 2020’s All-Industry Party. TPE is a trade show that brings together the tobacco, alternative and vapor industries for three days of exhibiting, education and networking in Las Vegas, Nevada from Jan. 29-31, 2020. Kicking off this year’s show will be the All-Industry Party, open to all TPE 2020 badge holders the evening of Jan. 29, 2020 at the Sahara Hotel & Casino (formerly the SLS Hotel) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“The All-Industry Party will truly be a highlight of TPE 2020,” says Ellie Hansen, trade show director for TMG. “We feel like our exhibitors and attendees are bringing such enthusiasm and energy to the show, that we want to deliver a party that gets people mingling and having a great time. We hope everyone checks out all four of these amazing venues over the course of the evening, though we wouldn’t blame anyone for staying at their favorite all night.”

Designed to be completely different from a typical ballroom affair, the All-Industry Party offers attendees and exhibitors the chance to come together and network in four different venues within the Sahara Las Vegas. For all the latest TPE 2020 news or to register to attend, visit tobaccoplusexpo.com. (Source: Tobacco Business – October 16, 2019)

*Disclaimer: The information contained in this report has been compiled from public sources. No guarantee is given as to the accuracy or currency of any of the data. Therefore, in no event shall MSA be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence, or other action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the information and data provided in this report.