Lou Maiellano

Pep Rally or Pity Party?

The convenience store and tobacco industries need to respond to the FDA’s deeming regulations. By Lou Maiellano The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) on April 25 released its deeming regulations, asserting regulatory authority over a variety of tobacco products. Of course, most of the attention in the press and

It’s Time to be a Tobacco Advocate

E-cigarette retailers and distributors need to understand and educate the public about the safer tobacco products on the market today. By Lou Maiellano. Something has happened to e-cigarettes. As recently as two years ago as I would visit distributors and retailers, I would be asked by those responsible for purchasing, “I’m thinking about adding an

Lou Maiellano

E-Cigarettes and the Future

As the FDA pokes around electronic tobacco devices, experts predict the products will evolve considerably in the coming years. By Lou Maiellano. While in Las Vegas last month, attending the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) conference, I attended a number of informative presentations. One of these presentations was on the “Current State of the

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Redrawing the Battle Lines

Separating nicotine from cigarettes and smoking could open new doors for tobacco. By Lou Maiellano. Imagine a natural ingredient so promising and intriguing that it is being clinically evaluated to address a variety of illnesses and conditions, including depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Tourette syndrome, ADHD, anger management and anxiety. Think about it, an ingredient that would

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Convenience store operators must take the time to observe how their competitors are marketing tobacco. In most of the presentations I have given over the past few years, I challenge my participants to take the time to understand how their business is doing, but to also make sure to check on the competition. After all,

Targeting Casual Smokers

A new class of products is emerging to satisfy the needs of social tobacco users. So many thoughts that capture my mind are worthy of being written about. Some incite our emotions (like the recent attack on Terry Gallagher of Smoker Friendly who accepted the position as coach of the Boulder High School girls varsity

Harm Reduction: The Voice of Reason

Despite all the naysayers, safer tobacco products are a reality convenience  store owners should embrace. Great strides have been made within the last year to introduce new tobacco products that would, from my perspective, reduce harm when compared with traditional cigarettes. I must say, though, that I would have never thought the quest for harm

A Section for What?

Embracing alternative smoking products is a trend the industry should not ignore.   Often I am asked what I would do if I was a tobacco category manager today as I peered into the future. Simply, I would practice good sound category management. I would look at what products meet my consumer’s needs in the

Engaging the Future

Retailers must embrace the many new opportunities offered in the tobacco category.   The current and future tobacco category will present new challenges that retailers will need to embrace if they are to succeed. As each convenience store retailer looks at the future of their tobacco business, there is one thing that is certain and

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