June 1, 2007 - Congratulations to the Great State of Tennessee - Tennessee will probably become the first major tobacco-growing state to pass a comprehensive smoke-free-workplace law. Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, proposed the ban in February 2007. He plans to sign the bill into law, despite his original push for a stricter ban. The ban will take effect in October. Tennessee would become the 22nd state to adopt a statewide workplace ban. Another hit for smokers may come when they buy cigarettes. The Tennessee Senate voted on Thursday (5/31/2007)to raise the state cigarette tax by 42 cents, two cents more than the governor proposed. (At present the tax is 20 cents a pack, 48th lowest in the nation.) Smoking in a prohibited area would be a misdemeanor crime, punishable by a fine of $50 to $350. 26.8% of Tennessee's adults smoke, 3rd highest rate in the nation, making Tennessee one of the least healthy. This translates into $2 billion in health-care costs annually as a result of cigarette smoking. Fire-cured tobacco grown in Kentucky and Tennessee is used in moist snuff.
May 31, 2007 - Mild Seven family of cigarettes expands. Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) will be launching a new brand, Mild Seven Aqua Menthol Super Lights Box , in June 2007. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Mild Seven, and in celebration of this occasion, JT has announced that it would enhance the brand equity of Mild Seven, focusing on quality, value and strengthening sales. Mild Seven products accounted for three of the five leading tobacco products by sales volume in Japan during the last fiscal year. The brand’s total market is 31.6 percent. With the addition of Mild Seven Aqua Menthol Super Lights Box, the Mild Seven brand family will consist of 19 different products. (Tobacco Reporter) JT is the world's third largest international tobacco manufacturer. JT sells 8 out of the 10 top brand styles in Japan, with the top three styles all coming from the Mild Seven brand. In Asia, the group has significant presence through JTI, where Mild Seven is the major brand in the portfolio. In the global market, three of the best-selling international cigarette brands: Camel, Mild Seven and Winston, are within JT's product portfolio, along with Salem, one of the world's leading international menthol brands. Mild Seven is the second most popular brand in the world behind only Philip Morris' Marlboro. On April 18, 2007 JT Group completed Gallaher acquisition. JT remained the third largest international tobacco manufacturer but whose share of the world market moves from 7.4 per cent to 10.5 per cent.