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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ashley Olsen puffs on a cigarette as she clutches oversized coffee cup

Just days ago, she let her guard down grinning on the beach in her bikini.
But Ashley Olsen was back to her hipster best today.

The 25-year-old was spied walking through New York puffing on a cigarette and clutching an oversized cup of coffee.

Despite there being countless caffeine outlets in the Big Apple, it seemed the former child actress was holding a trusty Starbucks, Venti size

The trendsetter was seen sporting black skinny jeans and leopard print shoes, together with large shades and a blue crocodile skin handbag.

Last July, Ashley and twin Mary-Kate debuted their handbag line for The Row at Barneys - with their croc backpack retailing for a lavish $39,000.

As she wandered out the city, Ashley shrugged off an umbrella in the rainy city, looking deep in thought as her wet hair hung over both shoulders.

Last month, she revealed why she decided to stray away acting.
Ashley told ELLE UK magazine: 'We worked non-stop until we were 18.

'Then we decided to take a break and go to school, and that was when we decided to question whether we would carry on in entertainment.
 'It was time to step behind the process. I wanted to work on other things.

'It doesn't mean I'm not interested in Hollywood; I like the way it operates and the people who are involved and the sense of possibility.

'But if I ever do get back in, it's not going to be as an actress.'

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

High Yielding Dividends From Altria and Philip Morris

Dividend paying companies have gaining popularity in the markets in 2012. With interest rates as low as they are investors are looking at dividend paying stocks for investment income, where returns currently far exceed those of bonds. The Cigarette Industry has been home to some of the safest dividend investments in the market. Even during the recession, when many companies slashed dividend payments, cigarette manufacturers did not. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Cigarettes Industry and provides equity research on Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) and Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM).
Altria PMI
Logos of Altria and Philip Morris International
Tobacco companies have been experts in dealing with adverse conditions. Negative publicity in the U.S. has sent demand for tobacco down in recent years; however, companies have been able to maintain stable revenues by merely raising the price of cigarettes. With stable profits cigarette companies have been able to keep their high yielding dividends intact.
A proposed law in Australia may prevent a new challenge for the tobacco industry. The Australian government wants impose the first ever ban of logos on cigarette packs. The proposed law would see cigarettes sold in dark olive-brown packages, with graphic images of diseases caused by smoking replacing corporate logos. Countries such as New Zealand, Canada, Belgium, Iceland, and France have all expressed interest in adopting a packaging law like Australia.
In April 20, 2012, Altria's annualized dividend yield was 5.1%. Altria expects to continue to return a large amount of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends by maintaining a dividend payout ratio target of approximately 80% of its adjusted diluted EPS.
Phillip Morris currently offers investors a dividend yield of 3.4 percent. The company recently reported first quarter results: Net revenues, excluding excise taxes, were up by 9.7% to $7.4 billion, or by 10.9% excluding currency and acquisitions. The company reported earnings per share of $1.25, up by 17.9%, or by 19.8% excluding currency, versus $1.06 in 2011.

Tobacco companies will battle branding ban through courts

Alison Cooper, chief executive of the FTSE 100 tobacco giant, which owns labels such as Davidoff, said the industry in the UK would "absolutely" challenge through the courts efforts by the Government to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes and other products.
Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, last month published a consultation on plans to strip cigarette packets of their colourful logos and branding, which tobacco companies argue will do little to curb smoking and make it easier for criminals to gain a bigger slice of the market.
Plain Marlboro Pack
Plain Marlboro cigarettes pack
Tobacco companies mounted a legal challenge against similar plans in Australia, the result of which is expected within the next few months.
When asked if the industry would do the same in the UK, Ms Cooper said: "It's absolutely something we would challenge but I'm really hoping we don't get to that."
Vince Cable is under mounting pressure to intervene in the bitter face-off between the tobacco industry and the Department of Health. Cigarette companies are pressing the Business Secretary to take charge of the consultation on plain packaging amid claims Mr Lansley has demonstrated a lack of "objectivity".
Ms Cooper has written to Mr Cable and the Prime Minister expressing concern about Mr Lansley's stance after he said last month the Government wants tobacco companies to have "no business" in the UK. Imperial Tobacco and other manufacturers such as Silk Cut-owner JTI want Cable's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to step in to ensure that issues such as the potential impact on jobs will not be lost amid the health debate.
It is estimated that 70,000 Britons are directly or indirectly employed by the tobacco industry and it contributes between £10.5bn and £12.5bn per annum to the Treasury's coffers.
The industry calculates one in four cigarettes smoked in the UK is bought from smugglers or counterfeiters – a figure that is expected to rise if the industry is regulated more tightly.

Lamborghini's smoky new venture

Merchandising brand Tonino Lamborghini, which has earlier offered the cigar lighters and cutter to help you in flaunting your love for the auto brand has now introduced a new cigarette line. In conglomeration with South Korea’s biggest tobacco producer, KT&G Corporation, Tonino Lamborghini has launched the new cigarette line, the Raging Bull smokes. The Lamborghini’s iconic raging bull logo will adorn the Cigarettes in South Korea, and soon the smokers will be able to light up a Lamborghini cigarette.
Lamborghini Lighter
Lamborghini's raging bull logo on a cigarette lighter.
The cigarettes - which will be sold alongside smoking paraphernalia such as lighters and cigarette cases - will reportedly cost 2700 South Korean Won per packet ($2.40) - about $0.17 more than the average pack of cigarettes in South Korea (about 2500 Won).
KT&G told the Korea Herald the new cigarette line has been under development for the past three years, and will eventually be sold overseas. The company says the product has been: "designed as a premium product with a global brand value".
Targeting both the domestic and the international markets, the Lamborghini cigarettes has been under development from the last three years. KT&G, Korea Tobacco & Ginseng has acquired the exclusive global sales rights for the new cigarette brand, and has the future plans to market the cigarette line as one of its global strategic product. However, the Italian car maker Lamborghini is not involved in the venture, but associated the merchandise and fashion arm, Tonino Lamborghini.
Specially designed as a superior product with global brand value, the new cigarette line priced at $2.37, has been made of top-notch materials will be released on April 18, 2012.
Besides the new cigarette line, Tonino Lamborghini also offers a sleek silver cigarette case to carry the cigarettes in style. Priced at $125, the cigarette case boasts an exquisite craftsmanship infused with the elegant design, and also comes beautifully presented in a signature gift box.
There's no word yet on whether Australia will see the Lambo-branded smokes sold here.

Madonna Expressed Herself About Daughter Lourdes Smoking

Madonna expressed herself in an interview on Wednesday’s “Today” show that she was not happy to see her 15-year-old daughter, Lourdes, smoking.
Madonna Lourdes
Madonna with daughter Lourdes
Photos of Lourdes smoking emerged late last month when a paparazzi took a picture of her having her nicotine break in New York where the legal age for smoking is 18.
“I wasn’t very happy,” Madonna told “Rock Center’s” Harry Smith about her eldest daughter’s cigarette smoking, “but honestly, I don’t think I’m as tough as I should be.
“I think I need to be maybe tougher. It’s hard. “Every day is a negotiation, but cigarette smoking I’m not fond of on anyone, most of all my daughter,” she said in the exclusive interview.
When Smith mentioned about Madonna’s smoking in her latest music video, “Girl Gone Wild,” she confirmed that she doesn’t smoke.
“I don’t smoke.” “That’s just an accessory, Harry. There’s a difference. Lourdes smoked that cigarette before I did that video!”
The Material Girl who has three other young children namely Mercy James, David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie and Rocco Ritchie also said that her children only see one side of her, shes simply Mom.
“To my children there’s mostly the one who says, ‘Have you done your homework?’ and ‘Why are you wearing that?’ and ‘Why did you say that?’ and ‘What are you eating that for?’” she said.

Lindsay Lohan Handed Bathroom Attendant $100 After Sneaky Cigarette Break at White House Dinner

Lindsay Lohan's redemption tour continued with a random act of kindness at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, starting with a possibly illegal smoke break and ending with a bizarre run-in with a bathroom attendant that left Lohan's wallet $100 lighter.
Lindsay Lohan White House Dinner
Lindsay Lohan at the White House Correspondents' Dinner
LiLo stole away to the bathroom during the black tie event to sneak in a cigarette, a habit she's reportedly picking up in preparation for her role as Elizabeth Taylor, according to the New York Post.
She noticed an attendant name Bianca cleaning the bathroom stalls and reached in her bag for $100.
"You're too old to be doing this," Lohan told the woman, Bianca, and she gave her a crumpled Benjamin.
Bianca protested, saying "No, no, no," but Lohan reportedly repeated her pseudo-insulting line about the woman's age and insisted the attendant take the cash. Bianca eventually relented and took the cash.
The tale is just latest in what ended up being a whirlwind night for Lohan. Before the event even started, Jessica Alba took a pass on attending after discovering she was seated at the same table as Lohan, according to the post.
Then came reports that LiLo nearly missed the event altogether, having to catch a second flight Washington D.C. after not catching her first on time.
While at the dinner, former Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum asked Lohan to take a photo with Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, before the former Pensylvania Senator asked LiLo for another photo of Lohan. Yes, you read that correct. Of Lohan -- not with.
If Lindsay Lohan's growing knack to take events by storm is any indication of her comeback gathering steam, there will be plenty more Santorum's and Bianca's in her future.

Chelsea Handler paid $500 for ‘Russian hooker’ cigarettes

Chelsea Handler’s recent night-in with friends almost went up in smoke.
In a podcast interview with “WTF with Marc Maron,” which aired Monday, the outspoken host of “Chelsea Lately” admitted she recently paid $500 to have a pack of cigarettes delivered to her doorstep.
Chelsea Handler
American stand-up comedian Chelsea Handler
Handler, 37, recalled inviting some co-workers to have drinks at her Bel Air home, where the group ended up playing ping pong and watching the tear-inducing romantic-drama, “Like Crazy.”
“I smoke sometimes when I drink,” explained Handler, whose list of best-selling books includes “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea.” “I like to smoke when I drink so I only drink a couple nights a week, actually.”
“Around 1 in the morning, I decided I wanted a cigarette...,” she continued.
Handler said the Los Angeles-based company, which delivers a range of products typically found in a grocery store, could not accommodate her request because she lived outside of their delivery range.
“I called them back and said ‘I will give you $500 if you bring me a pack of Capris.’ And they’re like, ‘What are Capris?’” she said. “I’m like ‘They’re for Russian hookers and we need a pack of Capris and I will give you $500.’”
Though the comedienne promised the company she had the money in cash, she quickly realized she was in a jam.
“I didn’t even have my wallet here, it’s at work!” Handler explained. “So I didn’t even have the money so (my friend) had to use her money.”
“That’s a really embarrassing story!” the TV host added. “I’m such a loser!”

Philip Morris Names Jacek Olczak CFO, Succeeding Hermann Waldemer

Tobacco firm Philip Morris International  on Monday said its Chief Financial Officer Hermann Waldemer has elected to take early retirement effective July 31. Waldemer will be succeeded by Jacek Olczak, with effect from August 1.
PMI Brands
Philip Morris International Brand portfolio
Olczak is currently President, European Union Region. He will be succeeded by Drago Azinovic, currently President, Philip Morris Japan.
Commenting on Waldemer's retirement, Louis Camilleri, Chairman and CEO, said, "His crowning achievement is undoubtedly his invaluable contribution as CFO to our company's tremendous performance since our spin off from Altria Group, Inc., in March 2008."
Olczak has been in his present role since April 2009. Since joining the tobacco company in 1993, Jacek has held several increasingly senior positions in Finance, Sales and Operations, including General Manager Romania, Managing Director Poland and the Baltic States.
Azinovic joined the company in 2009 as Vice President Marketing and Sales for the Asia Region. In July 2011, he was appointed to his current position as President of the company's affiliate in Japan.
PM closed on Friday at $89.13, down $0.83 or 0.92 percent, on 3.71 million shares.

Cigar Info

There are fewer basic sizes in the world of cigars. The size of a cigar is defined by diameter (ring gauge) and length (in inches). Ring gauge is the diameter measured in 64ths of an inch, so a cigar with a ring gauge of 48 is 48/64ths (or 3/4ths) of an inch.
Burning Cigar
A pile of cigars

The basic sizes are:

Cigarillo Cigars (3" X 20 ring gauge)
Panatela Cigars (6" X 36)
Corona Cigars (5 1/2" X 42)
Lonsdale Cigars (6 3/4 X 42)
Robusto Cigars (5" X 50)
Toro Cigars (6 x 50)
Double Corona Cigars (7 1/2" X 50)
Churchill Cigars(7"X 48)

Cigars and Their Regions

Cigars sold in the United States are manufactured in many countries throughout the world including Jamaica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, the Dominican Republic, the Canary Islands, the Philippines and the United States. Each of these countries produce cigars which vary from each other in flavor, strength, aroma, and price. Seed from the same tobacco plant put into the ground in various countries will yield very different results because of differing climate conditions, soil, water, even perhaps the air itself. As a matter of fact, cigars produced in a particular country may contain tobaccos grown in a completely different country.
- Dominican Republic Cigars made in the Dominican Republic are presently the most popular choice among US consumers. Their flavor is subtle, sweet, nut-like and usually milder than most other countries.
- Honduran cigars are more robust in flavor with a more full-bodied strength. To the uninitiated, they may be overpowering.
- Jamaica cigars are gentle, mild and more mild than even Dominicans. A good cigar for early afternoon or even early morning.
- Nicaraguan cigars are just coming back into their own after the burning of the tobacco plantations during the Sandanista years. They tend to be slightly less robust than Hondurans and possess a sweet nutty flavor.
- Mexican cigars are thought to be on a tier below super premium cigars because of a general lack of refinement. However, there are several excellent Mexican brands.
- Cigars made in Europe are unlike those described above in that they are machine-made using short filler tobaccos and are generally not humidified. They are also smaller in size. The taste of these cigars is quite different because they use tobacco not only from the Americas (Brazil) but also from Africa and Indonesia. These tobaccos blend to produce a spicy flavor in a mild cigar.

Paul Garmirian's The Gourmet Guide to Cigars Describes Cigars in this Fashion:

"A cigar consists of three components: the filler, the binder, and the wrapper. The filler, which is the inner core of the cigar is what constitutes the body and shape of the cigar and constitutes its greatest mass. The binder is the leaf that binds the filler. It is somewhat coarser than the wrapper. The wrapper which is the outer covering of the cigar must be strong, yet elastic and silky. The elasticity of the wrapper gives the ability to the leaf when moisturized to stretch without breaking."
Rick Hacker in The Ultimate Cigar Book points out that there are three different ways a cigar may be made:
Handmade Cigars - The entire cigar is bunched, rolled and trimmed by individual hand labor. It can be one person working alone on a single cigar, or the work can be divided between a buncher and a roller working on the same cigar. The main criterion is that the entire cigar is completely made by hand from start to finish.
Machine Bunched/Handrolled Cigars- The filler is bunched by machine and then the filler/binder combination is turned over to a cigar roller, who puts the wrapper on by hand. This technique is often simply referred to as machine bunched.
Machine-made Cigars - The filler, binder and wrapper are completely assembled by machine."
The best way to decide what you will like is to become familiar with various sizes and types of cigars. Then you'll be able to determine what cigar is best for your own special smoking scenarios.