tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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Duty-free cigarette ban is on the cards

Cigarettes will disappear from Britain’s duty free shops after a period of being sold from “behind closed doors” as the Government BRITISH DUTY-FREE SHOPtightens anti-smoking laws.

Mark Riches, chief executive of World Duty Free, Britain’s biggest airport shopping chain, expects to set up closed-off areas for cigarette sales from 2013, in which the brands won’t be on display. The company aims to replace its most profitable product ahead of an expected total ban.

“We’re not kidding ourselves that we’ll have the business forever,” Mr Riches said. While such a move is not imminent, “that’s the direction we’re heading in,” he added.

Such a development would come as a blow to smokers as cigarettes cost £2.50 for a packet of 20 from tax-free shops compared with £6 on the high street. The new Government is expected to review Labour’s plans for a ban on displaying tobacco in all shops from 2013. Mr Riches said his business will take a total ban in its stride. Airport shopping has already been transformed “out of all recognition” since the end of duty free limits within Europe in 1999, he said.

At that time tobacco was by far the biggest seller. Now World Duty Free’s (WDF) biggest business is beauty products, which account for around 50pc of sales. Among its most popular products are Gucci aftershave and Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle perfume.

WDF’s cigarette sales are falling by around 5pc a year, while the company’s sales rose 6.4pc last year and 8.7pc in the first quarter of 2010, with revenues at £126m. WDF has 85 shops in the UK, with a flagship store at London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 which takes in £100m a year.

After working for Marks & Spencer and Asprey, Mr Riches became the director of retail at Heathrow in 1999, when the shopping part of the airport business was still owned by BAA, Since then, Mr Riches has steered his shops through an industry which has suffered the September 11 attacks, SARS, bird flu, swine flu, numerous strikes, attempted terrorist attacks, increased security and the ensuing queues, liquids restrictions and the fallout of an erupting Icelandic volcano.

“Don’t go into airport retailing if you want a quiet life,” he said. The company, which is now owned by Italian-listed Autogrill, always banks on several unforeseen disruptions when it does its annual planning, he says.

Last year’s sales increase came in spite of a 6pc fall in passenger numbers, and Mr Riches does not expect a rise in passengers coming through UK airports this year either. But he does expect further growth in his own business this year, although the second quarter is likely to miss its targets after the “disaster” of the volcanic ash shutdown.

Airports were closed for six and a half days, but sales were affected for longer than that because angry travellers “were not in the mood to shop,” he says, and it took a number of days for normal airline service to resume.

WDF also loses £250,000 every day British Airways is on strike, he said. Mr Riches is optimistic about the prospects for the business. Revenue grew last year despite the worst economic slump since the 1930s and a 6pc fewer people travelling through Britain’s airports.

“We don’t sell things people need, we sell things people want,” Mr Riches said. “We felt the recessionary pressure like everyone else but we were quick to offer promotions and exclusive products that aren’t available on the high street. I don’t think we’re operating in a bubble.”

He admits the strength of the euro and the dollar against the pound last year gave the business an enormous boost because it made tax-free goods a bargain for European and US shoppers. But now the euro is weakening, the company is prepared to change its offers. When the pound was at a high of close to two-for-one against the dollar in 2008, WDF offered dollar prices on some ranges to keep sales going.

The company has also has an enviably high level of information about its customers as they need a boarding card to buy anything in a duty free shop. So WDF has a clear picture of what shoppers from different countries want to buy and can rearrange the products at front of its stores and make sure staff who speak the language are working when flights go out to those destinations.

From Terminal 5, BA’s main destinations are the USA, India, China and Nigeria. WDF says Nigerian shoppers favour top-of-the-range perfumes and aftershaves, Chinese travellers choose cigarettes and night cream while Indians are in the market for Scotch and chocolates.

Flying from Heathrow’s other terminals and around the UK, low-cost airline customers typically buy champagne and chocolate. But the dream duty free couple, according to the chief executive, is a Norwegian man married to a Japanese woman – because of high taxes on alcohol in Norway and strong demand for designer beauty products in Japan.

By Amy Wilson
Telegraph, 29 May 2010

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