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Smokeless Sales Show Promise

While managing new products and planograms is vital, retailers will need to keep an eye out for federal tax increases and FDA intervention over the next 12 months. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Smokeless tobacco has outperformed expectations for three straight years—which, while good, leaves many in the industry fearing it’s only a matter of

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Strong Demand for Cigars

Flavored and single-serve cigars represent a real opportunity for convenience stores to boost tobacco sales. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. With flavored cigarettes no longer available in the U.S., flavored cigars are in line for sharp sales gains. But with FDA having declared last year that it’s got the cigar industry in its sights, retailers

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Lighting the Way to Profitability

A wide array of tobacco accessories to complement cigarettes and cigars shows customers you’re serious about tobacco and incites impulse sales. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Many retailers recognize that it’s beneficial to step out from behind the counter to teach customers about smokeless alternatives and educate them on e-cigarettes, but taking the same approach

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Tobacco Forges an Electronic Transformation

E-cigarettes are a relatively new product, but for convenience stores they are beginning to make a big impact on sales. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. While electronic cigarettes show promise as a growing tobacco subcategory, two issues are threatening its widespread growth. One is the looming threat of government regulation, which most agree is inevitable,

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FDA Sends Warning Letter To Adult-Only Tobacco Stores

As FDA cracks down on adult-only tobacco stores, NATO seeks clarification from FDA on whether a “bouncer” is needed at the door to check IDs. Some adult-only tobacco stores have been receiving warning letters regarding a failure to ensure that no minors enter the store, and for failure to have a staff member checking IDs

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Serving Today’s Smokers

Led by the Gallagher family, Smoker Friendly continues the fight to sell tobacco legally and responsibly. By John Lofstock, Editor. While the federal government seems intent on eliminating tobacco products altogether, tobacco remains a legal product in the U.S. enjoyed by legal-aged adults exercising their right to smoke, dip or chew. The right to enjoy

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Maintaining Cigarette Sales

Despite taxation and regulation, convenience store retailers remain optimistic about this lucrative category, though a potential ban on menthol products is looming. By John Lofstock, Editor. In an era in which the sports page sounds like the business page, talk of selling cigarettes inevitably sounds like political rhetoric. When c-store operators talk cigarettes these days

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Tobacco Sales Rolling Along

As consumers embrace roll your own (RYO) tobacco, retailers are seeing a boost in sales of accessories such as rolling papers, cigarette tubes and rolling machines. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Smokers seeking a safe harbor from cigarette tax increases have made port in the roll your own (RYO) segment. Many have been pleasantly surprised

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FDA’s CTP Website Features New Content

FDA seeks to educate retailers with new quizzes and updated information on tobacco regulations, including in Spanish. The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products’ (CTP) has added new features to the retailer section of its Website. FDA hopes these new updates and quizzes will help educate retailers about relevant tobacco regulations and increase voluntary compliance with

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Cornering the Smokeless Tobacco Market

Keeping sets fresh—allocating shelf space, rotating product, keeping tabs on expiration dates and weeding out slow sellers in favor of new items—is the key to maintaining strong sales. By John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience store operators are enjoying the growing popularity of smokeless tobacco products, but they are also being forced to keep a wary eye

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FDA Cracks Down On The Illegal Marketing of Tobacco Products

“It is illegal for tobacco companies or retailers, including Internet sellers, to make unsubstantiated claims or statements that imply tobacco products reduce health risks,” says the director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued 11 warning letters last week to online retailers for illegally marketing tobacco products with

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Hard-Pack Little Cigars

Swisher International has introduced 84-millimeter hard-pack packaging for the company’s Swisher Sweets Little Cigars. While the traditional soft pack will remain available, the popular 84-millimeter length hard pack is designed to resist bending and crushing to preserve the product in its original condition. Today’s consumers have expressed a preference for more protective packaging, and now

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Commonwealth Brands, Altadis USA Announce Integration

Commonwealth Brands and Altadis USA have announced the integration of their sales and marketing units into a unified team. The unified team is expected to provide greater sales coverage and more comprehensive service to its customer. “This will put us in a stronger position to drive growth across our USA mass market portfolio that comprises

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Cigar Sales Holding Strong

Flavored products and natural leaf wrappers remain popular with consumers despite increased taxation and looming FDA intervention. By Frank Seltzer, Contributing Editor. Machine-made or mass-market cigars are by far the largest segment of the cigar universe. While premium cigars get most of the notice in magazines and blogs, the reality is that most cigar smokers

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The Electronic Frontier

The popularity of e-cigarettes has risen substantially over the past couple of years, giving retailers an opportunity to make up for shrinking tobacco profits. By Frank Seltzer, Contributing Editor. Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new product, but for convenience stores they are beginning to make a big impact on sales. Electronic cigarettes were invented just

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Complying with Cigarette Sales Restrictions

As the noose tightens on menthol products, convenience store retailers are learning to accept the latest limitations placed on tobacco products. By: John Lofstock, Editor. Cigarettes will soon carry new warning labels as the question for retailers becomes how to market a product whose package basically urges consumers not to buy it. Federal legislation handed

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FDA Will Not Appeal E-Cigarette Ruling

The FDA now is developing a strategy to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. On Monday, April 25, 2011, the FDA announced in a letter to stakeholders that is not appealing the recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Sottera Inc. vs. Food & Drug Administration, stating that e-cigarettes

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FDA Posts Draft Guidance To Website

Industry members are encouraged to read and comment on the guidance. Draft guidance, Establishing that a Tobacco Product was Commercially Marketed in the U.S. as of Feb. 15, 2007, has been posted to the Federal Register and on the FDA’s Center For Tobacco Products (CTP) Website today, to encourage feedback from those in the industry.

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High Hopes for Smokeless Tobacco

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the rate of smoking has remained constant since 2008, but the number of smokeless tobacco consumers is rising. The smokeless category has emerged as convenient and practical for those times and locations where cigarettes are desired, but prohibited. While smokeless products represented just 6% of

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Margins Spark Tobacco Accessories

As the convenience store industry continues to weather the unceasing assault by legislators determined to make it harder to sell tobacco products, accessories are picking up speed based on what is still easy to sell. As a result, tobacco accessories is an emerging category that should continue to grow throughout 2011. According to SymphonyIRI Group,

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Cigars, E-Cigarettes Earning More Shelf Space

Tedeschi Food Stores of Brookline, Mass., made a decision four years ago to slash the space it gave cigarettes to increase its focus on other tobacco products (OTP). Cigarette sales continued to trend downward in the chain’s New England markets—thanks to a combination of higher taxes and aggressive marketing by Native Americans—and Tedeschi wanted to

Even in the face of federal and state taxes, cigarette sales were up 5.21% in 2010.

Dealing With Tobacco’s Cloudy Future

For all the controversy surrounding cigarettes and increased local and federal taxes, cigarette sales fared well in 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group. For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2010, cigarette sales totaled more than $53.5 billion, up 5.21% from the pervious 12 months. Units sold increased 1.52% to slightly more than nine billion. The

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Star Scientific Gets Good News From FDA CTP

ARIVA-BDL and STONEWALL-BDL modified risk tobacco products are currently not subject to Chapter IX in the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act, CTP director says. Star Scientific Inc. announced that the company has received notices from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding its pending ARIVA-BDL and STONEWALL-BDL modified risk tobacco product applications. The notices

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FDA Hosts Webinars To Clarify Tobacco Regulations

Retailers are encouraged to submit Webinar topics that would most benefit them to the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. FDA Center for Tobacco Products is hosting a new series of one-hour Webinars on federal tobacco regulations. Designed to give retailers updated, relevant FDA compliance training information, the series features an interactive format with topics based

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FDA’s TPSAC Comments On Menthol Cigarettes

Although there is no required deadline or timeline for FDA to act on the issue of menthol in cigarettes, we recognize the strong interest in this issue among all stakeholders and will continue to communicate the steps the FDA is taking as it determines what future regulatory actions, if any, are warranted. FDA intends to provide its first progress report on the review of the TPSAC recommendations in approximately 90 days.

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