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August, 2008

United States
Altadis USA to distribute Nat Sherman Cigars
Ft. Lauderdale - Altadis USA has just announced that as of July, they became the exclusive USA distributor for several of the Nat Sherman cigar lines, including Nat Sherman Sauve, Nat Sherman 489, and 1400 Series, and the Omerta Nat Sherman Private Selection.

Joel Sherman, President of Nat Sherman, Inc., said that because of recent changes relating to OTP taxing and regulations, “it has been increasingly difficult for us to give our cigars the attention they deserve. We have always enjoyed a warm relationship with Altadis USA, and this is a unique opportunity for both parties. Having the ability to partner with such a professional sales force to represent and handle the sales of Nat Sherman cigars will certainly help further the Nat Sherman brand and make it more accessible to our consumers.”

Two of Bulgaria’s tobacco factories to be privatized
Sofia - Bulgartabac Holding is to have approved the privatization of the tobacco factories in Plovdiv and Stara Zagora through the Stock Exchange. This was announced by Vladimir Karolev, the current co-Manager of the Balkan consulting company.

JT to launch Camel Nutty Lights Box
Tokyo - Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) announced the launch of their new product, Camel Nutty Lights Box, with sales that began July 1st in the Fukuoka Prefecture.

This new product was developed to meet consumer demand for a non-menthol version of the Camel Menthol Box, and is in line with JT’s strategy to develop value-added products using so-called D-spec (odor reducing) technologies.

Russian watchdog could sue for misleading ads
Moscow - British American Tobacco could be sued by the anti-monopoly service for an advertising campaign featuring a disputed territory, according to a senior watchdog official.

The campaign in question by BAT Russia is a collection of ads, which promote a tour of Japan for those who smoke Kent cigarettes; images of the South Kuril Islands, which were annexed from Japan post-WWII, are shown in these ads.

Andrei Kashevarov, watchdog Deputy Chief, said, “The ad violates legislation, which does not allow advertisers to abuse people’s patriotic sentiment,” and that they had received complaints from consumers regarding these ads.

The dispute over these islands has continued be an obstacle between Tokyo and Moscow when it comes to signing formal postwar treaties and peace deals.

United States
Court will review $79.5 mn award in tobacco case - again
Salem - The Supreme Court said it will review, for the third time, the $79.5 mn punitive damages judgment against Philip Morris USA.

In the two previous rulings, the justices of the Supreme Court against PM USA, granting the award to the family of an Oregon Marlboro smoker. The case is scheduled to go to court this coming fall.

Murray Garnick, Associate General Councel for Altria (owner of PM USA), said, “The Court has previously instructed the Oregon appellate courts to properly apply the constitutional standards to the punitive damage award in this case. The Oregon courts have not done so, and so the Supreme Court has agreed to review the case once again.”

Lorillard joins NYSE

New York - Lorillard Inc. will now officially be traded on the New York Stock Exchange as its own independent company, and likewise will be traded under its own stock symbol, “LO.”

“This is a great day for all Lorillard employees and shareowners, as together we begin to write the next successful chapter of our history,” said the Chairman, President, and CEO of Lorillard, Martin Orlowski. “As an independent company we are now able to pursue our growth strategy and opportunities unique to our markets.”

Lorillard is the manufacturer of Newport and Kent cigarette brands, and reported approximately $4 bn in sales during 2007.

Tobacco International - August, 2008

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