Issues, Rumors and Need-to-Know Numbers From the Final NATO Show

By 
Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

The FDA's Mitch Zeller addresses the crowd at the NATO Show in Las Vegas.

“If ‘Mr. Serious’ Tom Briant says it’s going to be a party, you know it’s going to be a good time.”

This is how NATO executive director Thomas Briant described the awards dinner at this year’s NATO Show—but really, it was an apt statement for the conference’s last hurrah.

There was no shortage of hot topics: lingering rumors that an announcement of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final deeming regulations was “imminent,” the cigarette category’s recent sales surge, and sluggish performance from the once-scorching vapor category.

There were also familiar faces: Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo Securities, Don Burke of Management Science Associates (MSA) and Keith Canning of Pine State Trading Co.

Attendees were again granted the opportunity to question Mitch Zeller, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) director. Though he remained tight-lipped on a number of issues, he was vocal about why he attends such industry-driven events. “The dialogue and mutual respect I’ve always felt with [tobacco] retailers needs to continue—even if we at times have to agree to disagree,” Zeller said.

Read on for the top takeaways from the 2016 NATO Show.


Table of Contents

4 Topics Everyone Was Talking About at the NATO Show 2016

Three Local Regulatory Trends to Watch

3 Predictions for the Tobacco Industry in 2016 and Beyond

What CTP Director Zeller Talked About ...

...And 4 Things He Didn't

Fact and Figures Tobacco Retailers Need to Know