WTO Tobacco Ruling Opens Door to New Plain-Packaging Laws

Editor’s Note: See also Counterfeit Products, Genuine Harm: How Intellectual Property Theft Fuels Organized Crime While Undermining American Communities.

From: Bloomberg News


  •  Decision could lead other countries to adopt similar measures
  •  Tobacco companies warn plain packs raise counterfeit risk

The World Trade Organization upheld Australia’s right to require cigarettes to be sold in plain packs without any logos in a landmark case that could usher in a new wave of global tobacco restrictions.


Since August, the U.S. has blocked nominees to the WTO’s appellate body, saying it has overstepped its mandate. If the U.S. continues its hold, the body will be paralyzed by late 2019 because it will lack the three panelists required to sign off on rulings.

Ex-FDA counsel joins Juul

From: Tobacco Reporter

Juul Labs has appointed Gerald F. Masoudi as chief legal officer, effective July 9, 2018.  In his new role, Masoudi will be responsible for the company’s global legal strategy and will report to Juul’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burns. Masoudi will be based in the company’s Washington D.C. office.

Since 2015, Masoudi has served as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Celgene Corporation. He previously served as chief counsel (2007-09) and principal deputy/acting chief counsel (2004-05) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In those roles, Masoudi supervised agency litigation and advised the FDA’s senior leadership on regulatory and enforcement matters.

Philip Morris defends IQOS safety vs regular cigarettes

From: Pulse [Korea]

Philip Morris Korea Inc., which could face punitive action if found guilty of false or exaggerated advertising, strongly refuted the latest finding by the South Korean government that underscored health risks in the heat-not-burn cigarettes.

The maker of the iconic heated tobacco product IQOS flagged its own clinical study in a press briefing on Monday to defend its original argument that smokeless tobacco can reduce health risks, an appeal that has made the novel concept device sell 1.9 million units in just a year after its launch in June 2017 and made Korea its second-largest market after Japan, where the product has been sold since 2015. About 1 million smokers in Korea are estimated to have switched to its vaping device.

FDA Extends Comment Period on Various Potential Regulatory Targets

From: Convenience Store News

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving the public more time to provide comments on a slew of advance notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) it issued in March.

With an additional 30 days to comment, the new deadlines are:

  • Tobacco Product Standard for Nicotine Level of Combusted Cigarettes – July 16
  • Regulation of Flavors in Tobacco Products – July 19
  • Regulation of Premium Cigars – July 25
  • Draft Concept Paper: Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products after Implementation of an FDA Product Standard – July 16

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FDA cracks down on nicotine products branded and marketed to appeal to youth

From: The St. Louis American

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued four new warning letters to manufacturers and retailers for selling e-liquids used in e-cigarettes with labeling and/or advertising that cause them to resemble kid-friendly food products, such as cereal, soda and pancakes. One of the companies receiving a warning letter was also cited for illegally selling the product to a minor.

The warning letters follow actions taken last week by the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission against 13 other makers and sellers of nicotine-containing e-liquids that look like juice boxes, candy or cookies.

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Philip Morris plans to target Indian smokers with iQOS device: sources

From: Reuters


A government source said New Delhi would keep an “open mind” if Philip Morris approached it to discuss a device that helped people quit smoking, but added such devices, including e-cigarettes, could be banned if found to be harmful.


Philip Morris plans to start strategising an iQOS launch in India, which would include work on branding and pricing, as well as reaching out to media and regulators, sources aware of the plan said. The company’s top corporate affairs executive in India, R. Venkatesh, has been interviewing candidates for a senior executive who would focus on iQOS, the sources said.

A Harbinger?

From: SFGate.com

Flavored Tobacco Bans Appear To Have Won Big Tuesday

Bans on flavored tobacco products appeared to win big on Tuesday, with San Mateo County supervisors unanimously approving a ban and San Francisco voters apparently upholding a ban in that city.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday meeting approved prohibiting the sale or offer for sale of flavored tobacco products and prohibiting pharmacies from selling or offering tobacco for sale, a top aide to the board’s president confirmed today.

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Japan Tobacco to cut heated tobacco prices in battle with Philip Morris

From: Reuters

Taiga UranakaRitsuko Shimizu

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan Tobacco Inc (2914.T) is set to slash prices on its heated tobacco products early next week after a similar move by bigger rival Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N), signaling increased competition in Japan’s nascent market for alternative cigarettes.

Japan, where regular e-cigarettes with nicotine-laced liquid are effectively banned, has become the main market for “heat not burn” (HNB) products which emit less smoke and smell less than conventional cigarettes. The country accounts for over 90 percent of the $5 billion HNB market, according to Euromonitor.