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    Smoker Friendly Conference to Tackle M&A Impact on Tobacco

    Panel will look at what the changes mean for retailers.

    BOULDER, Colo. — There has been a lot of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity among tobacco companies during the past few months, ranging from big players — Reynolds American Inc.'s acquisition of Lorillard Inc. — to big names in electronic cigarettes — Japan Tobacco's deal for Logic Technology Development LLC — and everything in between.

    With the flurry of deals, panelists at this summer's Smoker Friendly Conference & Tobacco Festival will discuss the changes in all tobacco categories and the opportunities these changes may or may not provide retailers in the future. 

    The event takes place Aug. 20-22 in Broomfield, Colo.

    The M&A panel, which will convene during the general session on Aug. 21, will include leaders from all areas of the tobacco space, including Dan Carr, president of General Cigar; J. Kelly Michols, CEO of Scandinavian Tobacco Group-Lane USA; and Henry Sicignano III, CEO and president of 22nd Century Group Inc.

    To round out the general session, Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), and Mark Pursell, executive director of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, will provide a legislative and Food and Drug Administration update on the tobacco and cigar industries.

    Boulder-based Smoker Friendly operates approximately 90 corporate-owned stores in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming. Another 850 stores in 38 states are operated by licensed retailers. Smoker Friendly's parent company also operates the Gasamat chain of gas stations and convenience stores.

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