Hawaii Becomes First State to Raise Tobacco Sale Age to 21

Increasing the age limit for purchasing tobacco products is expected to help reduce teen smoking. Hawaii has become the first state to raise the tobacco sale age to 21, but with the precedent now set, other states are expected to follow suit. Hawaii anticipates that this change will reduce smoking among young people which will,

Very Berry Cigarillos

Just in time for summer, White Owl has introduced another fresh seasonal offering that is guaranteed to excite consumers, White Owl Very Berry. The White Owl quality cigarillos are bursting with berry flavor and are sure to be a consumer favorite this summer. This seasonal offering’s unique flavor and eye catching packaging will be available […]

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RAI Completes Lorillard Acquisition

Reynolds American Inc. CEO says the transaction supports RAI’s efforts to lead the transformation of the tobacco industry.  Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) has completed its acquisition of Lorillard Inc. and related divestiture transactions, effective June 12. With the acquisition finished, Lorillard is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of RAI, and former Lorillard shareholders now own approximately

Don’t Label E-Cigarettes Just Yet

Not unlike killers of spiders, anti-smoke groups and some lawmakers are moving quickly to stomp out e-cigarettes without really knowing what effect the act will have. By Jim Calvin, President, New York Association of Convenience Stores Some people have responded to the emergence of e-cigarettes the way they might react to seeing a spider on

Tobacco’s Future Muddy for Merchants

In more ways than one, tobacco’s pie is shrinking. The net result for convenience stores could cut either way. By Carl V. Phillips, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association The future is bright for tobacco consumers. Sure there’ll be some bumps along the way as tobacco control dead-enders fight their desperate

2015 Legislative and FDA Regulatory Update

Of all the different tobacco legislative bills introduced this year, two themes have emerged: increased tobacco taxation and greater scrutiny of electronic cigarettes. Both issues will shape the tobacco offering at convenience stores for years to come. Tom Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) sat down with Convenience Store Decisions

Tobacco Category Update

Industry experts sketch out why the tobacco category is as robust as ever. By Mary Szarmach, NATO President The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) Show held in Las Vegas this past April was an ideal place for retailers to learn about market trends on all tobacco product categories. I had the opportunity to personally

Website To Help Canadian C-Stores Fight Contraband Tobacco

Now convenience store retailers in Canada can report illegal cigarette dealers confidentially and online. Canadian c-stores are fighting back against illegal cigarette dealers with help from a new Website launched by the Western Convenience Store Association (WCSA). WCSA is encouraging convenience store retailers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada to use the Website

Exploring Tobacco’s Future

As cigarette sales drag, OTP segments are filling the gap. For real momentum, however, e-cigs are breaking away from the pack. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Except for automobiles, processed food and banking perhaps, few U.S. industries have encountered the vast market influences that tobacco has. In the past century, the tobacco industry has been

Don’t Blow Off Cigarettes

Cigarette sales have been steadily declining, but the category is too big to ignore and too lucrative to disappear any time soon. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Since cigarettes sales have been slowly falling the last few years, convenience retailers have invested in foodservice and other ventures to help balance in-store revenue—which seems a wise

How to Push Smokeless Sales Higher

Smokeless tobacco sales continue to grow at convenience stores, which are pressing their advantage over competing retail channels. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor While the overall cigarette smoking prevalence has declined in recent years, the overall use of smokeless tobacco has remained strong. That’s good news for the convenience store channel. The main types of

How E-Cigs Are Spurring A Growing Market

While stakeholders await finalization of possible regulatory policies, convenience stores tap into e-tobacco’s vast potential. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor If one were to describe the current state of the e-tobacco industry, “mixed results” might be the most accurate description. On one hand, year-to-year pricing for the past 12 consecutive periods is down, according

RAI-Lorillard Deal Closing Friday

Wells Fargo weighs in with an analysis. Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) received the final clearance needed to complete their merger and announced a date for the closing: Friday, June 12, with the brand divestitures of Winston, Salem, KOOL, Maverick and blu eCig brands to Imperial Tobacco’s ITG Brands. The companies announced that

How Good Supply Can Lead to More Cigar Sales

C-stores are learning that good supply and staying attentive to customer purchasing patterns are driving cigar sales. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Cigar sales are trending upward and c-stores are responding in kind by adding SKUs, honing assortments, maintaining prices, offering fresher product in resealable packs and stocking a popular, ever-expanding variety of flavors. IRI’s

How C-stores Can Capitalize on The Vaping Trend

In the fast-growing vaping marketplace, c-stores are discovering where they fit. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor It doesn’t seem that long ago that vaporizers comprised a little-known product category for convenience stores. Really, this segment of the non-combustible electronic nicotine devices (ENDs) industry was just revving up. Today, vapors/tanks/mods (VTMs) have locked onto the

Are E-Cigarettes The Future of Tobacco?

As big tobacco enters the e-tobacco category, retailers take notice. By David Bennett, Senior Editor The U.S. cigarette market retains a resilient presence—enabled by strong consumer loyalty—but regulatory initiatives continue to chip away at the industry’s dominance. As a result, customers are increasingly exploring smoking alternatives and looking to other tobacco products (OTP) from smokeless

OCSA Applauds Move To Up Contraband Tobacco Fight

New bill offers increased tactics for eliminating contraband tobacco. The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) cheered the recently passed Budget Measures Act that cracks down on contraband tobacco. “Convenience store retailers are pleased that Finance Minister Sousa is following through on his fall commitment to tackle the underground economy,” said Dave Bryans, CEO of the

Tobacco Companies in Canada Ordered To Pay $15 Billion To Smokers

More than 1 million smokers win a lawsuit against three tobacco companies. In Canada, three tobacco companies— Imperial Tobacco, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald—have been ordered to pay $15 billion in damages after losing a historic court case, according to CBC News Montreal. All three tobacco companies issued statements saying they plan to appeal

C-stores Contribute Their Share to Vape Sales

As vapor becomes more of a pronounced OTP segment, convenience stores are becoming more of a pronounced provider. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor For most convenience stores, VTMs, including open-system vaporizers, tanks and e-liquids, function as a supplement to traditional tobacco sales rather than a specialty item meant to draw in a new customer

C-store Retailers See Solid Smokeless Tobacco Sales

Improving the smokeless section by updating products and increasing promotions can help drive convenience store retailers’ smokeless tobacco categories. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Information Resources Inc. (IRI)’s Infoscan data shows that for the 52-week period ending April 19, 2015, c-stores rang up nearly $5.7 billion in smokeless tobacco sales, an increase of 5.8%. Of

RAI-LO Deal Receives FTC Clearance

Wells Fargo does not anticipate any further brand divestitures or behavioral modifications. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), yesterday evening, May 26, “voted to accept a proposed consent agreement” by a 3-2 vote, paving the way for Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) to proceed with its Lorillard (LO) acquisition, broadly in line with certain already agreed-upon conditions

E-Cig Sales Growth Continues

Cigarette pricing remains strong. All channel (mass channel + c-stores) e-cig dollar sales growth continued to accelerate sequentially to +28.9% in the period ending May 16, 2015, driven by +66.5% unit growth, partially offset by -22.5% net pricing, according to Wells Fargo Securities and Nielsen data. While year-over-year e-cigarette pricing has been negative for 12

Calypso Cream Cigarillos

Swisher Sweets offers an unforgettable journey of enchanting blends with its newest limited-edition cigarillo—Swisher Sweets Calypso Cream. Customers will love the magical blend of Oranges and Sweet Cream, with a slight hint of Blueberry to complete the taste. Swisher Sweets Calypso Cream are available to ship to participating stores nationwide beginning July 1, 2015. They […]

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NATO Executive Director Talks Tobacco Regulations

Tom Briant outlines upcoming bills at the state level. Some 26 state legislatures have considered bills to raise the cigarette or tobacco product tax rate, but so far this year the bills have either died or failed in 10 states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

RAI and Lorillard Follow Philip Morris’ Price Increase Lead

Pricing remains a critical driver of revenue and remains necessary to drive top-line growth, says Wells Fargo Securities spokesperson. Altria/Philip Morris USA announced a cigarette list price increase of $0.07 per pack (roughly 2-3% increase), or 70 cents per carton, across all of its core brands and a $0.07/tin increase on Marlboro snus tins, on

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