Tobacco Fees To Increase

The increasing cost of cigarettes in the state isn’t only affecting smokers, but it’s also hurting those who sell the product.
Come the start of the new year, convenience store owners will be paying a higher fee to register to sell tobacco products due to state lawmakers passing a new law in the 2009-10 budget. The old fee was $100 across the board, no matter how much tobacco the business sold. However, now the fee is increasing depending on the gross sales in the business of all products – including gas and other items not related to tobacco.
If a store does less than $1 million in gross sales annually the registration fee will increase to $1,000; for businesses doing sales between $1 million to $10 million the new costs to sell tobacco will be $2,500; and for places doing more than $10 million in business the new costs of selling cigarettes will be $5,000.
Nine associations representing New York retailers have jointly launched ”Operation Rollback,” an industry-wide drive to undo the huge increase in retail tobacco registration fees approved in the state’s budget. The groups included the New York Association of Convenience Stores, Gasoline and Repair Shop Association of New York, Food Industry Alliance of New York State, Small Business Congress, National Association of Tobacco Outlets, Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, New York City Newsstand Operators Association, United 7-Eleven Franchise Owners of Long Island and New York and National Federation of Independent Business/New York all teamed up to fight the increase.
Locally, the measure has some business owners afraid if they comment on the registration fee increase they could face more retribution from the state for voicing their displeasure.
One area convenience store owner answered questions from The Post-Journal about the fee increase, but when asked his name he declined out of fear that the state could find another way to hurt his business for commenting on the issue. The owner said because of the fee increase, he will no longer sell tobacco come Jan. 1, 2010.
”Sure it’s going to affect my business because I don’t plan to sell them after the first of the year,” he said.
The owner said the state and federal government already make plenty of money from taxes, why increase the fee as well.
”The state and the federal government already take $4 from each pack sold,” he said. ”We make less than $1 a pack, and they’re taking $4 now and increasing the registration fee. It’s definitely going to affect me and it will probably put a lot of small businesses out of business.”
The Hi-Way Gas station in Jamestown said the fee will probably affect business because of the high volume of sales the convenience store does.
”We sell a lot of cigarettes. I’m sure we will get charged the higher amount because we sell so many,” said Curtis Nobles, Hi-Way Gas manager. ”We have the least expensive cigarettes around because of the volume we sell, so I’m sure it will affect business with the increase.”

© Copyright: Post-journal

FDA Wins Control Over Tobacco

With President Obama’s June 22 signing of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin/ getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_ bills&docid=f:h1256enr.txt.pdf), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given what it and other organizations described as “historic” authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect public health and to reduce tobacco use by minors. The Act also established the Center for Tobacco Products within the FDA to administer these regulations.
Now, the FDA is seeking feedback from the public on the approaches and actions the agency should take to reduce the incidence and prevalence of tobacco use and protect public health. “We’re interested in receiving input from across the country as the FDA begins to implement this important new authority intended to reduce the enormous toll of suffering and death caused by tobacco products in the United States,” explained FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, in a statement announcing the public comment period.
The call for comments was published in the Federal Register on July 1; interested parties have until September 29 to share their views. Comments can be submitted electronically to www. regulations.gov; more information is available in the Federal Register notice, which can be viewed at http:// edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9- 15549.pdf.
According to the FDA, tobacco products are responsible for more than 430 000 deaths per year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 60 million adults in this country alone smoke cigarettes. The FDA now can set national standards to control the manufacture of tobacco products, which the law defines as any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption.
The Act doesn’t allow the FDA to ban the sale of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, cigars, little cigars, pipe tobacco, or roll-your-own tobacco products, nor can the agency require manufacturers to reduce the nicotine yield of a tobacco product to zero. However, the FDA can otherwise reduce the amount of nicotine, reduce or eliminate other harmful components in these products, test these products, and issue recalls, among other powers.
Among other requirements set forth by the new legislation:
• Any new tobacco product—that is, a product not substantially equivalent to an existing tobacco product—that came on the market after February 15, 2007, must go through the application process for premarket approval, as must all such products introduced going forward.
• Labeling must include certain health information, and manufacturers can no longer use the terms “light,” “mild,” or “low” in their marketing or otherwise market the product in a way that makes the user believe it is less harmful than other such products.
• Cigarettes cannot contain any flavor other than tobacco or menthol, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, and vanilla.
• Manufacturers must alert the FDA if they make any changes to their product.
//

Oregon AG moves to block 'E-cigarette' sales

The Oregon Department of Justice filed two settlements Thursday that prevent two national travel store chains from selling “electronic cigarettes” in Oregon.
The action is the first of its kind in the country and prevents Oregonians from buying potentially dangerous products that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve.
“When products threaten the health and safety of Oregonians, we will take action,” said Mary Williams, deputy attorney general. “If companies want to sell electronic cigarettes to consumers, they have to be able to prove they are safe.”
The affected travel store chains, Pilot Travel Centers, which has seven centers in Oregon, and TA Operating, which has four centers in Oregon, both sell “NJOY” brand electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are actually battery operated nicotine delivery devices constructed to mimic conventional cigarette. Each “cigarette” consists of a heating element and a replaceable plastic cartridge that contains various chemicals, including various concentrations of liquid nicotine. The heating element vaporizes the liquid, which the user inhales as if it were smoke.
Despite FDA issued “Import Alerts” against NJOY and other brands of electronic cigarettes, and despite the fact that the U.S. Customs Service detained several shipments of these devices, sales of electronic cigarettes continue throughout the United States.
Sales persisted even though just last week the FDA warned the public about health concerns regarding electronic cigarettes. FDA tests showed a wide variation in the amount of nicotine delivered by three different samples of nicotine cartridges with the same label. Tests also revealed the presence of nitrosamines – a known carcinogen.
By the time the FDA issued its warnings, the Oregon Department of Justice had already launched an active investigation of the sale and promotion of electronic cigarettes. NJOY electronic cigarettes were a target of that investigation.
Consumer protection has long been a priority for the Oregon Department of Justice. In recent years, the Attorney General’s office has been the lead voice in the ongoing litigation against tobacco companies.
As a result of their work, hundreds of millions of dollars have poured back into the state to subsidize health costs related to the now known hazards of smoking. The Oregon Department of Justice continues to enforce the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement on behalf of the state.
In addition to work on tobacco, the Consumer Protection Section works to protect consumers from financial fraud, consumer scams, dangerous products, and misleading advertising. In the winter, the Department of Justice launched the “Scam Alert Network” to alert consumers to fast moving scams in the marketplace.
The settlement announced Thursday prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes in Oregon until they are approved by FDA, or until a court rules the FDA does not have the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes.
Even if courts decide that the FDA does not have regulation authority, the settlement stipulates that electronic cigarettes may not be sold in Oregon unless there is competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the product’s safety claims.
In addition, the companies must give the Attorney General advance notice that they intend to sell electronic cigarettes in Oregon, provide copies of all electronic cigarette advertising, and provide copies of the scientific studies they maintain substantiates their claims.
Senior Assistant Attorney General David Hart handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.

Production ends at Philip Morris USA’s N.C. plant

As of this morning, Philip Morris USA’s Richmond manufacturing plant is the only site where the company makes cigarettes.
The Henrico County-based tobacco company said yesterday that the last cigarettes — specifically, Marlboros — would come off the production line at its Cabarrus County, N.C., manufacturing plant at about 9 last night.
About 1,000 employees were working their last shifts at the plant near Charlotte yesterday. An additional 100 employees will continue to work there as the plant is decommissioned, which could take until late this year or early next year.
In June 2007, Philip Morris USA said it would close the North Carolina plant and move its production to Richmond in 2010. The decision came as its parent company, Altria Group Inc., made plans to spin off its international cigarette subsidiary as a separate company.
The spinoff, completed last year, eliminated the export market for the company’s U.S. cigarette factories, which now supply only the slowly declining domestic market.
The company said 565 employees at the North Carolina plant accepted transfers to Richmond, and nearly all of them already have moved.
Altria said it had about 2,300 employees at its Richmond cigarette plant at the start of this year and about 5,400 overall in the Richmond area, but the company also acknowledged making significant job cuts from its local operations this year as it adjusts to a smaller cigarette market. The company has not confirmed a specific number of job cuts.
In May, the company said it would close the North Carolina plant by the end of July, months earlier than it had first announced, in part because of the ongoing erosion in cigarette shipments.
As some employees drove from the plant for the last time yesterday, they honked repeatedly and waved at each other.
Ramona Caudill, 55, of Concord, N.C., who worked at the plant as a packer for 27 years, said her shift was bittersweet. “There’s been a lot of hugging today,” Caudill said. Her last shift ended at 3 p.m.
“But we’ve had two years to get used to the idea so everyone has gotten their ducks in a row,” said Caudill, who received $91,000 in severance and plans to retire.
A majority of the workers will receive severance packages, ranging from six to 20 months of pay. Caudill said the packages were generous. Her niece has worked for Philip Morris for four years but received a 41-week severance package, she said.
The North Carolina plant, on U.S. 29 in Concord, about 20 miles northeast of Charlotte, opened in 1982. At its peak production, it manufactured 155 billion cigarettes a year and employed 2,500 people. Its production volume was typically higher than the Richmond plant’s, in part because the Cabarrus site had “super high speed” machinery that could produce 1,000 packs per minute, compared with 700 packs by machines used in Richmond, said Paige Magness, a company spokeswoman.
The faster machines are being moved to the Richmond plant, which is undergoing renovations. New tobacco-processing equipment is being installed; the basic infrastructure is being upgraded; and office areas, the fitness center and the cafeteria are being remodeled, Magness said.
The 2.5 million-square-foot North Carolina plant has been put up for sale, along with about 1 million square feet of distribution space and 1,500 acres of developable land around the plant. Magness said she could not comment on prospective buyers.
“The site is actively being marketed,” she said. “We have certainly had a number of interested parties along the way.”

© Copyright: 2.timesdispatch

Japan Tobacco Operating Profit Slumps on Domestic Sales

Japan Tobacco Inc., the world’s third-largest publicly traded cigarette maker, said first- quarter operating profit plunged 24 percent as domestic sales dropped and the yen gained.
Operating profit fell to 84.3 billion yen ($887 million) for the three months ended June from 110.5 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Sales slipped 15 percent to 1.46 trillion yen from 1.72 trillion yen.
The maker of Camel and Mild Seven cigarettes is losing sales in Japan as the smoking rate falls and tighter tobacco controls are introduced. The yen’s rise against the dollar and other currencies eroded gains from overseas cigarette sales helped by the 2007 takeover of U.K.-based Gallaher Group Plc.
“Japan Tobacco was among victims by the global recession,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, an analyst at Tokyo-based Cosmo Securities Co. “It needs to seek growth outside Japan, which makes it more vulnerable to currency swings.”
Japan Tobacco fell 0.6 percent to 270,200 yen in Tokyo trading today, before the earnings were announced. The decline extended its year-to-date loss to 8.4 percent, compared with a 15 percent gain for the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
Overseas tobacco revenue fell 24 percent to 568.3 billion yen because a stronger yen reduced the value of Japan Tobacco’s overseas sales. The yen averaged 95.50 against the dollar in the first half of this year, compared with 105.02 yen per dollar a year earlier.
One-Time Gain
The ruble and other currencies weakened against the dollar in the period, which reduced Japan Tobacco’s overseas sales. The cigarette maker uses the dollar to compile revenue from countries including Russia and the U.K.
The company posted a one-time gain of 9.11 billion yen from selling its corporate housing last quarter. That boosted net income to 42.9 billion yen from 16.9 billion yen.
Japan Tobacco reiterated its forecast today. Net income may fall 19 percent to 100 billion yen for the year ending March. Sales may fall 12 percent to 6 trillion yen.
Domestic tobacco sales fell 7.5 percent to 779.7 billion yen, including tax, in the quarter. The percentage of Japanese men who smoke has fallen by half over the past 40 years to about 40 percent.
The number of cigarettes Japan Tobacco sold abroad fell 1.4 percent. The company temporarily stopped shipments to the Middle East and switched its license contract in the Philippines, eroding higher Winston sales in countries including Turkey and Russia.
Japan Tobacco will buy overseas leaf suppliers and set up JTI Leaf Services LLC with Hail & Cotton Inc. and J.E.B. International Co. to secure supplies.
The company agreed to take over Tribac Leaf Ltd. of the U.K. last month and also said earlier this month that it plans to acquire Kannenberg & Cia. Ltda., a Brazilian leaf supplier, and its Kannenberg, Barker, Hail & Cotton Tobacos unit in October. The expansion will cost about $230 million, Japan Tobacco said July 22.
Japan Tobacco, which is 50 percent government owned, is the biggest traded cigarette maker after Altria Group Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc.

© Copyright: Bloomberg

Obama's tobacco regulation is a bad idea

It is hard to comprehend the righteous enthusiasm some Americans have for using the government to punish or effectively ban things that they find “offensive” or “immoral.” So it didn’t surprise me to see near universal applause when President Obama’s signed last month’s bill giving the FDA the power to regulate tobacco.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act now gives sweeping powers to the FDA. Anyone involved in manufacturing, preparing, compounding, or processing tobacco has to register with the FDA and submit to FDA inspections, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The FDA will also restrict tobacco advertising and advertising on labels, a blatant unconstitutional restriction of free speech. All of these new measures will be funded, of course, by taxes on manufactures, importers, and the cigarettes themselves.
Objections to this type of government control is not an endorsement of the harmful and deadly effects of smoking. Smoking is a bad habit and a personal choice, and the way to combat vices is through education and information, not with the corruptible power of the state. Liberals defend freedom from government only in private and social issues, and conservatives tend to only praise economic freedom, seeing no philosophical contradiction. These equally inconsistent ideologies have spent the last century playing a tug-of-war with each other over the reins of the massive US government, and depending on who is in charge, the vice hunting begins.
The enthusiasm behind this bill, and the tax raises on cigarettes that are gaining popularity, is disconcerting since it represents a regressive step in fighting the insanity of US drug laws and other prohibitions. A majority of Americans now think that marijuana should be decriminalized, and some states are standing up for themselves and making their own drug laws. Authorizing the FDA to regulate tobacco makes the repeal of victimless crime laws that much harder.
President Obama promised a different and encouraging approach to federal drug policy, but is again showing his reptilian political ability to say one thing and do the other. The raids on medical marijuana facilities have increased, including one a few months ago here in San Francisco. Our prisons are already bursting with millions of non-violent drug users. Will the hypocritical Puffer-in-Chief’s tobacco tyranny result in the criminal punishment of smokers?
An overreaction? Maybe. But consider that the beginning of the road for the federal ban on marijuana started with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. It effectively taxed marijuana at extremely high levels, and slowly but surely the government grabbed more and more control and regulation over “illicit” drugs until they were completely criminalized by Nixon’s junta.
The prohibition or taxation of a substance that is deemed “dangerous” or “harmful” has had, and continues to have, incredibly destructive repercussions that are worse than the drugs themselves. Modern drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition before it, creates a black market where bloody organized crime steps in to supply the demand, forces police forces to waste valuable resources hunting drug offenders down, and actually increases drug use and addiction.
The road to hell is paved with government’s good intentions, and no matter how noble it may sound to regulate harmful substances for the benefit of the children (and don’t forget that nauseating, all-inclusive “society”), social problems, like smoking, are best handled by families, communities, churches, charities, guilds, and the thousands of other voluntary associations that existed when Americans didn’t live under a nanny state.
My fundamental objection to the regulation of tobacco, and drug prohibition, ultimately lies in the principal that our bodies and our property do not belong to the state. These prohibitions and massive regulations are counterproductive and costly, yes, but the real crime is how much of our individual liberty gets trampled by the government’s refusal to mind its own business.
Author: Robert Taylor
Examiner

Intermountain Healthcare or tobacco companies

Intermountain Healthcare is issuing an ultimatum to its lobbying corps: Kick tobacco or else.
The region’s largest health-care provider sent letters this month to its contract lobbyists — including former House Speaker Greg Curtis — demanding that they sign a conflict-of-interest statement vowing not to lobby on behalf of tobacco companies or Intermountain would terminate their pacts.
“The purpose of the statement is to preclude Intermountain lobbyists from working for tobacco interests, and to force current lobbyists who represent tobacco to choose one side or the other,” said the letter from Alan Dayton, Intermountain’s director of government relations.
Five lobbyists worked for both Intermountain and tobacco companies in the past legislative session: Curtis, Miles and Sue Ferry, their grandson David Stewart and Rob Jolley.
“We’re tightening our policy,” Intermountain spokesman Daron Cowley said. “We felt it was incongruous for firms to represent health care and tobacco at the same time.”
It was an “obvious problem” and about time the health-care provider draws the line, said Dave Nicponski, who lobbies for Intermountain, but not for tobacco companies.
“Obviously there’s a cross purpose when you’re representing both parties and its detrimental to everything Intermountain Healthcare stands for, which is quality of life and preventive medicine,” Nicponski said. “They’re taking a stand, which is refreshing.”
During
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the 2009 legislative session, a team of tobacco lobbyists helped derail various efforts to increase the cigarette tax by anywhere from 61.5 cents to $1.31 per pack, but the proposal promises to be back again next year. Utah’s current cigarette tax is 69.5 cents per pack.
“Their role was significant,” said Michael Siler, government-relations director for the Utah chapter of the American Cancer Society. “They were some pretty powerful people who were advocating for the tobacco side of things, including the former speaker of the House, who obviously has some real inroads to legislators that other people likely do not.”
Curtis’ contract to lobby for Altria and its subsidiary, Philip Morris, expired at the end of the session. He updated his registration Wednesday to reflect he no longer lobbies for the company.
Sue Ferry said her husband, Miles “Cap” Ferry, a former Senate president, and their grandson will stick with the tobacco company.
“We will be staying with Altria. We’ve represented them a much longer period of time,” she said. “[Intermountain] has known from the very beginning that we represented [Altria] and up until this last session that hasn’t been a conflict or a problem.”
She said that changed when Jon Huntsman Sr., the governor’s father, raised the issue because he wanted a portion of the tobacco tax dedicated to research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute before the bill was defeated.
Ferry said she originally was hired by Philip Morris to lobby for stricter laws to prevent youth smoking, which resulted in changes such as doing away with cigarette vending machines and left Utah with some of the nation’s toughest laws against youth smoking.
“This company,” she said, “has never asked me to do one thing that would be contrary to the health, safety or welfare of the people of Utah or my religion.”
Jolley did not return a phone message, but Cowley, the Intermountain spokesman, said he has told the company that he would give up lobbying for cigar manufacturers.
Siler said he was glad to see Intermountain’s response.
“After all,” he said, “they’re a health-care entity and their main priority is the good health of the people of Utah, and someone working for the tobacco industry, their goals really run contradictory to the main goals of [Intermountain].”
© Copyright: Sltrib

Group urges smoking ban in TV, film

The Chinese Association on Tobacco Control (CATC) Wednesday called for tobacco-free TV and film screens in China, in an attempt to take the glamour out of smoking, especially for impressionable young people.
Currently, due to a lack of legislation and low awareness, many scenes in TV series and films – including those produced in China and those imported – contain smoking scenes, which has a negative impact on viewers, particularly on minors who are not mature and tend to follow and mirror others, said Xu Guihua, deputy director of CATC, a Beijing-based non-governmental organization.
The conclusion is based on studies jointly commissioned by CATC and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Xu told China Daily.
Of 144 box-office hit movies from 2004 to 2009, 66 of which were imported, about 69 percent contain tobacco-related scenes such as people smoking a cigarette or cigar, with ash tray or lighters in the background, the study found.
Among all of the movies “contaminated” with tobacco-related contents, the 2008 blockbuster Mei Lanfang, directed by leading Chinese director Chen Kaige, ranked at the top with 14.3 minutes of smoking, nearly 11.8 percent of the entire movie time, said Yang Jie, deputy director of the tobacco control office under CDC.
Red River, another Chinese film, which premiered in April, has the longest smoking scene this year: 7.6 minutes, according to the study.
More than 76 percent of the Chinese films contain smoking scenes, compared with one-third of imported films, Yang noted.
Group urges smoking ban in TV, film
Nearly all tobacco-related scenes show smoking in a positive or neutral light, the study showed.
One actor who was forced to smoke in films is now a volunteer for the anti-tobacco cause.
“I became a smoker at 22 because the director wanted my character, a successful detective, to smoke while thinking over complicated crimes in the film,” said Beijing-based actor Feng Yuanzheng, one of CATC’s anti-tobacco volunteers.
Sometimes, a smoking scene seems inevitable because the real-life characters, such as Chairman Mao Zedong, were smokers, Feng said.
However, the smoking could be left out in 70 percent of the smoking movies because the smoking has nothing to do with the plot, Yang said.
Directors include smoking in their productions because they receive “contributions” from tobacco companies, Feng said.
“The practice of including smoking in scenes will help tobacco companies foster more customers, especially the young,” Xu warned.
Research shows that young people aged 13 to 18, who often see smoking in movies and TVs, are 16 times more likely to become smokers than those who don’t see smoking scenes.
“To protect children, tobacco-free screens are very important,” Yang said.
He urged the government to enact laws to make films tobacco-free.
The education of TV and film producers is also important to achieve a smoke-free screen, Xu said.
“Movie and TV administrators should also beef up supervision over productions for tobacco control,” she said.
Movies with tobacco scenes should be denied the opportunity to compete in any awards, she added.
The group’s latest proposal comes after it successfully pressured the 2010 Shanghai World Expo organizers to reject a 200 million yuan ($29 million) donation from a local tobacco producer last week.
Source:China Daily

Smoking ban fight heats up

PIERRE – The complicated legal battle intensified Tuesday over whether there will be a referendum on the 2010 election ballot on South Dakota’s new ban against smoking in bars, casinos and restaurants that serve alcohol.
Mike Trucano of Deadwood, one of the leaders in the petition drive seeking the statewide vote, filed a sworn statement in state circuit court that opens a new line of argument about why 2,552 signatures were declared invalid by Secretary of State Chris Nelson.
State law requires petition circulators to verify before a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths that all laws were followed in the signature-gathering process. The 2,552 signatures are in question because the expiration dates of notaries’ commissions were listed incorrectly on the verifications.
The fate of those signatures could decide whether there is a referendum or the expanded ban takes effect without a public vote. Nelson declared Thursday that the petitions were short 221 signatures.
“We were informed by the Secretary of State’s Office that all notaries involved in the 2,552 signatures were fully commissioned notaries public, that is, none had expired commissions,” Trucano said in his affidavit to the court.
He added, “We petitioners have not yet received the names of the notaries determined to have provided incomplete or improper information, or the petition itself.”
Altogether, Nelson declared 8,845 signatures invalid. They fell into 26 categories.
The attorney for the four petitioners – Trucano, Don Rose and Pete Thompson of Sioux Falls, and Mark O’Neill of Henry – filed court papers on Monday arguing there is no state law or state rule requiring the notary public to correctly list the expiration date of the notary’s commission on the petition paperwork.
The attorney, Sara Frankenstein of Rapid City, said the court must determine whether there is a legal requirement for an accurate expiration date, and if so, whether the expiration dates used on the verifications were sufficient to substantially satisfy the requirement.
Circuit Judge Mark Barnett issued an order on Monday putting the ban on hold until the court case is finished. No date has been set yet for a hearing.
Frankenstein raised several other arguments in her filing, including whether 255 signatures of inactive voters should be allowed. She said state law requires that petition signers be qualified voters and doesn’t specify they be active voters.
The petitions needed 16,776 valid signatures. Of the 26 categories of signatures declared invalid, the incorrect expiration date was the second largest. Here’s a look at the number in each of the 26 categories:

  • Not registered to vote, 3,578.
  • Incorrect expiration date of notary commission, 2,552.
  • Incomplete date in circulator verification, 449.
  • Blank or crossed-out line, 439.
  • Invalid or missing notary seal, 409.
  • Invalid or no printed name of circulator, 375.
  • Incomplete or no residential address, 337.
  • No county of registration, 312.
  • Inactive registration, 255.
  • No date of signing, 238.
  • Duplicate signatures, 235.
  • Illegible or no printed name, 225.
  • Use of P.O. box in Class 1 city for address, 147.
  • No notary signature, 136.
  • No signature by “signer,” 74.
  • Invalid date of signing, 72.
  • No expiration date for notary, 70.
  • Signed after circulator verification, 69.
  • Circulator notarized petition, 42.
  • Missing complete notarization, 42.
  • Out-of-state address for circulator, 20.
  • Incomplete address for circulator, 12.
  • Signer notarized petition, 2.
  • © Copyright: Aberdeennews

    Tobacconists Complete Certification Program

    Princeton, New Jersey  –  More than 40 professional tobacconists from across the country have qualified to become Certified Retail Tobacconists by Tobacconist University, the official curriculum resource of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.
    Those receiving their CRT accreditation include:
    Delaware
    Joseph McDonough and Gary A. Griffith of Cigarette City, Inc. in Newark, Delaware;
    Georgia
    Jim Luftman and Michael J. Cain of Blue Havana II in Alpharetta, Georgia and Allan Buelvas of Smoking Joe’s Cigar Company in Marietta, Georgia;
    Illinois
    Peter J. Worth of Kaw Kaw’s Cigar Society and Ron Carroll of Iwan Ries & Co, both in Chicago, Illinois;
    Maryland
    John J. Vanore of Titan Cigar in Gambrills, Maryland;
    Missouri
    Kevin L. Baxter, Tim Claytor, Dirick Matteson, Bradley Oldham, and C. Scott Powell with Outlaw Cigar Co in Kansas City, Missouri;
    New Jersey
    Jorge Armenteros was named Certified Master Tobacconist and the designation of Certified Retail Tobacconist went to Aly A. Badran, Jeffrey A. Davis, R. Sloane Franklin, John T. Richardson and William P. Harvey. All are with A Little Taste of Cuba in Princeton, New Jersey.
    Ohio
    James C. Wilson of Sandusky Bay Cigars in Sandusky, Ohio;
    Pennsylvania
    Lee S. Lavinson of Holt’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Jonathan Rebmann of Puffs N Stuff in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Kathryn L. Bellando, Nathaniel Chase, Christian R. Fernandez, Dennis E. Guevara and Charles Stockton with A Little Taste of Cuba in New Hope, Pennsylvania;
    Texas
    Jimmy Edwards and Jose R. Torres, Jr of C.I.G.A.R. in San Antonio, Texas;
    Virginia
    Kevin Edmiston with Winston’s Humidor in Richmond, Virginia;
    Washington, D.C.
    Jordan Baines, Andrew Chase, Edward W. Guehm III, Walter Gorski, Yoon Robert Kim, Adam K. Levy, Michael F. Nolan, R. Adam Shepherd, and Zeke M. Williams with Georgetown Tobacco in Washington, D.C.
    Selected professional tobacconists are awarded CMT or CRT recognition after participating in an academic curriculum and testing process that enables them to achieve superior technical and marketing knowledge about premium cigars, pipes, loose tobacco and related accessories.
    ABOUT TOBACCONIST UNIVERSITY
    Tobacconist University is an independent teaching and research organization dedicated to preserving the traditions and enhancing the knowledge and skills of retailers and consumers who appreciate luxury tobacco and adhere to a high code of industry ethics and standards.
    ABOUT IPCPR
    The IPCPR is an association principally comprised of more than 2,000 owners and employees of small, family-owned cigar stores and businesses primarily engaged in the sales, marketing and distribution of premium cigars, pipes, loose tobacco and related items.
    ###
    Contact:
    Tony Tortorici
    678/493-0313
    tony@tortoricipr.com