Philip Morris International (PMI) urging South Africa Members of Parliament (MPs) to change the 'Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill'..


June 19, 2008 - PMI wants a change in the definitions of advertising and promotion, arguing that the present wording would prevent legitimate communication within the industry. The bill, which is before Parliament, aims to place greater restrictions on the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products. It includes all commercial communication or action brought to the notice of any member of the public in the definition of advertisement, and says promotion includes the practice of fostering awareness of positive attitudes towards a tobacco product or manufacturer for the purposes of selling. If strictly interpreted, a phone call, a price list or a job advertisement would have tobacco companies falling foul of the law, Philip Morris spokesman Neetesh Ramjee told MPs. He called for the bill to be amended to include a definition for the Marlboro cigarettes trade and for this group to be exempted from the advertising and promotion restrictions. PMI also called for changes to the bill's controls of point of sale advertising. The existing laws say signs for tobacco products must be placed within 1m of a point of sale. The signs are allowed to show price and availability, and must carry health and minimum age warnings. The bill proposes limiting such advertisements to a single sign at the point of sale. A single notice for all tobacco products would prejudice new market entrants and well-established firms an unfair advantage, said Steen Hjortholm, Philip Morris southern and east Africa manager. Philip Morris disinvested from SA in the 1980s, and only began selling its Marlboro cigarettes products here again in 2004. It has about 5% of the market, and faces stiff competition from British American Tobacco and Japanese Tobacco International. Each tobacco company should be allowed one sign at point of sale that would list its brands and the price of the products, said Hjortholm. Reference: , South Africa: Tobacco Giant Tackles New Bill,Cigarettes Online, 5/12/2008. More on the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Bill: Amending South Africa’s Tobacco Control Law, The blog of Jackie Tumwine GLOBALink African Corrrespondent Kampala, 2/16/2007.
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Comparison U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Players: No. 1 UST and No. 2 Conwood...


June 19, 2008 - UST Inc. (UST Inc. is a holding company for its principal subsidiaries: USSTC and International Wine & Spirits Ltd.) produces and markets moist snuff brands (MST) such as the premium brands Skoal, Copenhagen and the value/priced (discount) Husky brand. Skoal has been rolling out various new brands MST including mild flavors like Citrus Skoal- designed to both convert smokers and add new younger consumers to its base. Its winery division grew 25% on extremely UST high volume last quarter. In an April 2008 article on MSN Money USSTC president Daniel W. Butler said: This marked the seventh consecutive quarter of premium volume growth. I am especially pleased to see that despite a challenging economy and new price value entrants, premium volume trends remain strong and there has not been an acceleration in the price value segment. In fact, that’s not entirely true. Low priced smokeless tobacco has been gobbling up market share from UST for several quarters now, as this RealMoney.com article points out: UST has had significant losses in market share to rivals like No. 2 player Conwood, a unit of Reynolds American, which is focused on the price-value segment with its low-cost Grizzly brand.

Ten years ago, UST owned more than 80% of the smokeless tobacco market. By late 2004, the company's market share had slipped to 68%. Today, it's less than 60% and trending down. And the trend has no reason to break, yet. Sure, there is ALWAYS brand loyalty. I’d be na├»ve to doubt that. But, if we are in a recession, you can bet that the discount dip will creep its way up the income brackets Reynolds American first quarter 2008 profit was disappointing.. This is not the Conwood division’s fault; the producer of Grizzly posted double digit volume growth, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. In fact, Conwood has huge growth opportunities, making up only 4% of revenues in 2006. Altria (MO), better known as Philip Morris USA, is testing its own smokeless tobacco product. If market penetration proves difficult for big MO, will either subsidiary be ripe for acquisition by the tobacco giant? ( Altria falling short on growth because of slowness in developing smokeless tobacco products..) Reference: Smokeless Tobacco Players: Who Will Come Out On Top?, Steve Farrington, Seeking Alpha, 6/18/2008. We hear from c-store personnel that MST users continue to switch from premium brands like Skoal, Copenhagen and Kodiak to low priced brands like Conwood's Grizzly ($2.19/can) and NOT UST's Husky (99cents/can). Sales of Grizzly are bound to increase as a result of its new promotion - buy one can and get a free pocket knife. Related news brief: Where's The Growth in Smokeless Tobacco Products. (TobaccoWatch.org)
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Davidoff Cigarettes Takes Award for ‘Best Packaging & Design’..



June 17, 2008 - Davidoff Cigarettes, newest super-premium cigarette brand in the U.S. market, was presented with a new product award for "Best Packaging & Design" at the Tobacco Plus Expo Show 2008 in Las Vegas in late April. Commonwealth Brands (the fourth-largest cigarette company in the United States) an Imperial Tobacco Group company, announced the introduction of Davidoff Cigarettes into the U.S. domestic market in May 2008. Davidoff is Imperial Tobacco’s lead international strategic brand, and one of the leading luxury cigarette brands in the World. It is already well established in more than 100 countries, with particular areas of strength throughout markets such as Greece, Taiwan and the Middle East, the company said. References: Davidoff Cigarettes Takes Award for ‘Best Packaging & Design’ New luxury brand introduced in U.S. this month, CSP Daily News, 5/21/2008. Related news briefs: Imperial Tobacco Gets Approval to Sell Brands in U.S.. and Can we expect more non-American Tobacco Manufacturers in the U.S.??. Once firmly established in the U.S.A. can Davidoff take market share away from Marlboro. Imperial Tobacco acquisitions since 1997. Click on image to enlarge.. (TobaccoWatch.org)
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If you want a safe, smoke-free environment for your children it's best to quit smoking..


June 18, 2008 - An Australian study (K. Rumchev et al., How free of tobacco smoke are 'smoke-free' homes?, Indoor Air: 18(3): 202-208, June 2008) suggests that levels of respirable suspended particles, including nicotine, were significantly higher in houses where smokers lived than in smoke-free homes - even if they only smoked outside. Researchers measured nicotine and respirable particles over 24 hours in the living rooms of 92 Perth households with children aged between four and nine years old. Although 39 houses (42%) had smokers, only 4% said smoking occurred inside. Levels were low in homes without smokers and considerably higher in houses where smoking was reported. Half of the children in the study had lower respiratory symptoms, such as asthma, wheezing and shortness of breath, while 42% had upper respiratory symptoms, including coughing and runny nose. Respiratory illness was more prevalent in households with smokers than smoke-free homes. Children exposed to higher air nicotine levels were three times more likely to have asthma or wheeze than those not exposed. It is interesting to note that the prevalence of asthma in Australia is among the highest in the world: between 14% and 16% of children and between 10% and 12% of adults have asthma. References: Outdoor smoking affects children indoors, Helen Carter, ABC Science, 6/16/2008; Rumchev study abstract. Click on image to enlarge..
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Egypt's fledgling anti-tobacco program to place images and warnings on cigarette packs..


June 18, 2008 - Starting Aug. 1, 2008 cigarette labels in Egypt will be required to carry images of the effects of smoking: a dying man in an oxygen mask, a coughing child, and a limp cigarette symbolizing impotence. Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs is helping Egypt with the campaign. For the new label requirements, authorities field-tested a variety of images. They found that warnings linking tobacco with death were not particularly effective with Egyptians, since dying is perceived as inevitable anyway. Also, images of diseased lungs left people confused about what was being shown. Instead, the new warnings focus on threats to health and, particularly, to family, like the effect on children and pregnant women and the risk of impotence. The campaign faces a tough challenge among Egypt's die-hard smokers. Egyptians suck down an estimated 50 billion cigarettes a year, which according to the World Bank makes it the largest tobacco consumer in the Middle East and North Africa, accounting for nearly one fourth of total consumption in the region and the 17th-biggest tobacco market in the world. By law, the Eastern Company the state-owned cigarette-maker monopoly is the only company allowed to produce cigarettes in Egypt. References: Egypt to smokers: Smoking causes impotence, disease, GMA News TV, 6/16/2008 and A Joint Effort A venture between Eastern Company and British American Tobacco targets smokers sick of Cleopatras and too broke for Marlboros, by July 2004. Dirt-cheap (50 cents US/pack)Cleopatras remains the the dominant brand in Egypt, accounting for over 60 percent of total consumption. In 2005 Egypt ratified the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) treaty. Related news briefs: March 4, 2008, December 6, 2007 and August 29, 2007. Twelve countries, including Canada, Jordan, Brazil and Thailand, require graphic photos of the effects of smoking to be printed on cigarette packs — and many have reported success in at least reminding smokers of the danger. Click on image to enlarge..
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National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN), an antismoking group, pulls support for bill to regulate tobacco in the U.S.A..


June 17, 2008 - It is felt the legislation (Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) failed to adequately protect the health of African-Americans. The because it would not ban menthol flavorings from cigarettes . Menthol brands are chosen by about 75% of African-American smokers, a group with a disproportionate share of smoking-related cancers. That special protection for menthol has been considered crucial to getting the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, to support the legislation, said the report. Menthol-flavored cigarettes account for more than 25% of the $70 billion domestic cigarette market. PM USA's Marlboro Menthol is the second-largest menthol brand behind Newport, made by Lorillard. For related news briefs: Public health experts are questioning why menthol flavoring in cigarettes, received special protection as Congress tries to regulate tobacco for the first time.. Reference: Group Pulls Support of Tobacco Bill Rejects legislation that does not ban menthol, CSP Daily News, 6/2/2008.
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Canadian province of Ontario bans smoking in cars with kids under 16..


June 17, 2008 - Just a few days ago Ontario and Quebec Eliminated the Display of Tobacco Signs and Tobacco Products in Retail Outlets.. Already in Ontario smoking in workplaces and public areas, such as bars and restaurants is illegal. The new ban will provide an additional level of protection to children under the age of 16 , said Health Promotion Minister Margarett Best. “This is about protection of our most vulnerable citizens — children who do not have a voice,” Ms. Best told the legislature. Nova Scotia and British Columbia have already outlawed the practice, which critics liken to child abuse. Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are also considering a similar ban. Health care groups who lobbied hard for a ban praised the province for taking the right steps to protect children's health. “Doctors have been calling for a ban since 2004 and raising awareness about the serious impacts on children of second-hand smoke in cars,” Ontario Medical Association president Dr. Ken Arnold said in a statement. Reference: Ontario bans smoking in cars with kids under 16 by MARIA BABBAGE, The Canadian Press, 6/16/2008. Related news brief: Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels.. Click on image to enlarge.. Great Job Ontario.. (TobaccoWatch.org)

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Davidoff Cigarettes Takes Award for ‘Best Packaging & Design’..


June 17, 2008 - Davidoff Cigarettes, newest super-premium cigarette brand in the U.S. market, was presented with a new product award for "Best Packaging & Design" at the Tobacco Plus Expo Show 2008 in Las Vegas in late April. Commonwealth Brands (the fourth-largest cigarette company in the United States) an Imperial Tobacco Group company, announced the introduction of Davidoff Cigarettes into the U.S. domestic market in May 2008. Davidoff is Imperial Tobacco’s lead international strategic brand, and one of the leading luxury cigarette brands in the World. It is already well established in more than 100 countries, with particular areas of strength throughout markets such as Greece, Taiwan and the Middle East, the company said. References: Davidoff Cigarettes Takes Award for ‘Best Packaging & Design’ New luxury brand introduced in U.S. this month, CSP Daily News, 5/21/2008. Related news briefs: Imperial Tobacco Gets Approval to Sell Brands in U.S.. and Can we expect more non-American Tobacco Manufacturers in the U.S.??. Once firmly established in the U.S.A. can Davidoff take market share away from Marlboro?? Imperial Tobacco acquisitions since 1997. Click on image to enlarge.. (TobaccoWatch.org)
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British considering banning logos on cigarette packs, other measures..


June 16, 2008 - British Government's Dept of Health has released a consultation paper entitled, The Future of Tobacco Control to trigger a 12-week national debate. The proposals would ban cigarette companies from putting any kind of logo or branding onto their cigarette packets. Cigarette manufacturers would have to sell cigarettes in plain black-and-white boxes with nothing but health warnings written on them. The paper also suggests restricting the display of tobacco products in shops, possibly by requiring they are placed under the counter, banning cigarette vending machines and stopping the sale of cheaper packs of 10 cigarettes instead of the usual 20. Further, it suggests banning advertising of rolling papers and other smoking paraphernalia. Dawn Primarolo, the public health minister, said: "Protecting children from smoking is a government priority and taking away temptation is one way to do this. If banning brightly colored packets, removing cigarettes from display and removing the cheap option of a pack of 10 helps save lives, then that is what we should do—but we want to hear everyone's views first." Reference: Brits Propose Brand Ban, CSP Daily News, June 3, 2008.

Andre Calantzopoulos
, CEO, Philip Morris International (PMI), tells us PMI strongly opposes generic packaging. (PMI presentation at JP Morgan Global Tobacco Conference, London,
6/27/2008). England, UK, United Kingdom
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Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices..


June 16, 2008 - At present, Tokyo is a city with the world's most affordable cigarettes. Taxes currently account for 189 yen ($1.75)of the price of a 300 yen ($2.77) packet in Japan. Lawmakers have proposed raising taxes for Japan's cigarettes to fund rising welfare costs in a country where smoking kills about 100,000 people a year. Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) controls more than 70% of the cigarette market in a country where about 40% of the male population smokes. A state-owned monopoly until 1985, the Japanese Finance Ministry now owns half of the company. JT says the proposal would devastate the nation's tobacco industry and could hurt the share price of the world's third-largest publicly traded cigarette maker. Japan Tobacco is the world's #3 tobacco firm, trailing trailing Altria and British American Tobacco. Japan Tobacco also operates in the foods, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, engineering, and real estate industries. JT bought Britain's Gallaher Group for some $15 billion in April 2007. JTL's Mild Seven remains best-selling cigarette in Japan for nearly 30 yrs. References: Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices, AFP, 6/6/2008; , China Daily, 6/13/2008; Hiking cigarette taxes 'disastrous' move for consumers, industry: JT, The Japan Times, 6/13/2008. The U.S. can expect, in the not to distant future, an almost tripling on the federal excise tax on cigarettes and a hefty increase in the tax on other tobacco products. Click on image to enlarge..
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Rising Prices Causing People to Re-think Their Lifestyle - This Just Might Be the Time to Eliminate Tobacco From Your Life..


June 15, 2008 - Everywhere you go, it seems like people are talking about high gas prices. In many cases, that's creating a domino effect by making groceries and other goods much more expensive. That's forcing people to find other ways to make ends meet to provide for themselves and family. If you're a tobacco user it costs more and more each and every day for an addiction that can only cause you harm. With cigarettes the price is constantly going up caused by the manufacturer raising the price along with increases in taxes. Just in the last 45 days Philip Morris has had two price increases on Marlboros and in New York State another dollar has added to the tax per pack bringing the total tax to $2.75. Can you use a few extra dollars?? An every-day smoker can save more than $2000 a year by quitting. Most likely you've been wanting to quit for a long time --well, here's your chance. There is no magic pill for tobacco cessation. Will power is what it takes. (TobaccoWatch.org)
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