SS December 2015

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14 SMOKESHOP December 2015 NEWS >>>TRENDS & TRENDSETTERS IN TOBACCO RETAILING Retailing > A California women who suffered second degree burns when her e-cigarette battery exploded and ignited her clothing after plugging it into car charger was awarded $1.9 million in damages by a Riverside County, California court in September. The plaintiff's product liability lawsuit named VapCigs, the distrib- utor of the Chinese-made e-cigarette and charger; wholesaler La Verne Car Wash; and retailer Tobacco Expo in the suit. All three defendants admitted lia- bility prior to trail, leaving the jury to only deliberate plaintiff's damages. > In a study examining compliance with New York City's law that raised the legal age for purchasing cigarettes from 18 to 21 years of age, researchers with New York University and University of California, Los Angeles found that compliance with identi- fication checks had sig- nificantly decreased since the law became effective. Prior to the new law, 29% of retailers sampled were non-compliant. Following the change, a full 38% of retailers sampled did not ask for ID when selling cig- arettes to young people. The research, published in Tobacco Control journal, cast significant doubt on the effectiveness of the first law in the nation's largest city which increased the tobacco purchase/posses- sion age to 21. Retailing Bits&Pieces nashville— Blend Bar, an upscale cigar bar and lounge that opened its flagship location in Indianapolis in 2013, is poised to unveil its second location in the heart of downtown Nashville, Tenn. in January 2016. Called "Blend Bar with Davidoff Cigars," the new 2,500 sq. ft. venture represents the first partnership of its kind in the U.S. incor- porating the same design and materials featured in the global "Davidoff of Geneva— Since 1911" retail concept for the lounge's walk-in humidors, while simultaneously retain- ing the unique look and feel of the original Blend Cigar Bar throughout the rest of the venue. The new concept will prominently feature Davidoff of Geneva USA brands in addition to other leading premium brands. Blend is already a strong Davidoff retailer: its Indianapolis location was awarded the 2015 Davidoff Golden Band Award for the Best Davidoff (cigar sales) Performance by a Single Location at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show. "Nashville has an appetite for luxury, and we are excited to add our upscale lounge experience to the mix," said Corey Johnston, president of Blend and co-owner of CKM Entertainment, LLC, Blend's owner/operator. "In addition to our vast selection of cigars, we serve premium and handcrafted spirits and select food pairings in a beautiful space that appeals to people with discerning tastes who want a great atmosphere where they can network, socialize, or unwind." Professionally designed, Blend's upscale entertainment experience features imported lighting fixtures from Turkey and custom seating made of premium fabrics, leather and exotic wood surfaces, delivering what the company describes as a "social-friendly nightclub environment." Johnston explains that the lounge's con- cept is built around a "complete sensory experience," including a state-of-the-art ven- tilation system, a proprietary entertainment network, and top-of-line cigars, spirits, and wines. Blend works with its cigar and spirits partners to offer rare blends that are hand- picked or created specifically for its lounges. Headquartered in Indianapolis, CKM Entertainment plans to open Blend Bar locations in additional major market cities throughout the country. Blend Bar with Davidoff Cigars Set for January 2016 Opening in Nashville The U.S. Food and Drug Administration filed complaints in October initiating the first-ev- er 30-day No-Tobacco-Sale Order (NTSO) actions for a group of retailers who have repeatedly violated certain restrictions on the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including sales to minors. Under the law, the FDA may pursue an NTSO against retailers that have a total of five or more repeated violations of those restrictions during compli- ance inspections within 36 months. "Retailers are the first line of defense in preventing the illegal sale of…cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to youth," said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products. "There are real consequences for repeatedly violating the law." As of Oct. 1, 2015, the FDA has conducted more than 508,000 inspections of tobacco product retail stores, issued more than 35,700 warning letters to retailers for violating the law, and initiated more than 5,200 civil money penalty cases. FDA Files First-Ever No-Tobacco Sale Orders on Retailers

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