March 10, 2007 - For your pet's sake, keep your home and car tobacco-free. Your pet can develop respiratory infections, lung inflammation or asthma when breathing second-hand smoke. Discarded tobacco litter like cigarette butts and used snus (moist snuff) pouches can be eaten by your pet and could cause a life-threatening reaction and even death. Take the pledge and keep your home tobacco-free.
March 10, 2007 - Philip Morris acquires Pakistan's Lakson Tobacco.. Philip Morris International (PMI) on Friday completed the acquisition of a 50.21 percent stake in Pakistan's Lakson Tobacco Co. Ltd. (LAKT.KA: Quote, Profile, Research) for about $340 million, the U.S. tobacco giant said in a statement. PMI, which now holds around 97.62 percent shares in Lakson, agreed in January to acquire the stake in Pakistan's second largest tobacco firm at 666.89 rupees a share. "This acquisition combines PMI's international expertise and global brand portfolio with Lakson Tobacco's local knowledge and strong brand," the company said. (Philip Morris acquires Pakistan's Lakson Tobacco, 3/9/2007)
Lakson Tobacco is Pakistan's second largest tobacco company, with an estimated cigarette volume of 29.8 billion units in fiscal year, ending 30 June, 2006, generating net revenues of approximately USD160.5 million. Its EBITDA was USD 46.1 million in 2006 and the Company held an estimated 47% share of the growing 63 billion-unit Pakistan cigarette market. Morven Gold is the leading brand in the market with an estimated 37% market share, complemented by Diplomat and Royals. Additionally, Lakson Tobacco is the licensed manufacturer of PMI's Marlboro and Red & White brands in Pakistan. PMI will acquire an additional 50.21% stake in Lakson Tobacco,EdgarOnline, 3/2007)
Mississippi the poorest state in the union, proposed Bill to increase the cigarette tax to a $1 a pack (from 18 cents, 3rd lowest in the nation) and cut the 7% grocery tax in half. The Bill passed the House in February 2007 but remains bottled up in the State Senate Finance Committee which is friendly to Governor Haley Barbour (a former tobacco lobbyist) who opposes the Bill. (Adam Nossiter, The New York Times, 3/7/2007)
Maine Tobacco Tax Hike - Tobacco industry mobilizes to fight proposed Maine tax hike. AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) As the Legislature prepares to debate Gov. John Baldacci's proposed $1-a-pack hike in Maine's cigarette tax, the tobacco industry is mobilizing to fight the increase that would give Maine the highest state cigarette tax in the nation. Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. are enlisting cigarette wholesalers and retailers in the campaign. Philip Morris has also provided convenience stores with pamphlets urging smokers to join the fight. Baldacci is seeking to raise the tax, currently $2 per pack, to $3. The increase, which would generate an estimated $66 million per year in additional revenue, is part of Baldacci's proposed $6.5 billion budget. (Foster's Daily Democrat 3/2/2007) To those who say the tax would be too high, the Maine Coalition on Smoking and Health said Maine would have to put a $7.00 per pack tax on cigarettes to recoup smoking's impact on state health care (Anti-Smoking Group Pushes For Steeper Cigarette Tax, Caroline Cornish, WCSH6.com, 3/5/2007).