Price value/discount moist snuff - UST's/ Husky vs. Conwood's/Grizzly..

October 4, 2008 - As we know, the growth of moist snuff has been in the price value/discount brands not the premium brands like Skoal, Copenhagen, Kodiak and Marlboro MST.

What do you think?? A fellow comes into the c-store to buy a can of cheap moist snuff - which would he buy the same size container of Husky at 99 cents or Grizzly at $2.39?? - answer later next week..


Altria May Delay Purchase of UST Amid Tight Credit..

October 4, 2008 - The $10.3 billion deal, would unite the Altria**, the parent of Philip Morris USA, the nation's biggest cigarette maker with UST Inc., the nation's largest smokeless tobacco company.

Altria said its lenders, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. asked it to wait until next year to try to raise the funds to complete the deal. These financial houses had previously committed to provide up to $7 billion in bridge loan financing for the deal. Altria declined to comment beyond its statement, which said that its lenders advised that it would be "preferable" to close the deal in 2009 (possibly early January 2009).

Related news briefs: UST to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Altria..; Altria in advanced talks to buy UST, Inc..; Altria will continue to test Marlboro Smokeless Tobacco Products.. and Any interest Lorillard to acquire Swedish Match - NOT.

Reference: Altria says lenders want UST deal pushed into 2009 by Jessica Wohl, Reuters, 10/3/2008 and Altria May Delay Purchase of UST Amid Tight Credit by PETER LATTMAN and LIZ RAPPAPORT, The Wall Street Journal, 10/4/2008.

** - Altria owns approximately 28.5% of SABMiller (South African Breweries - Miller) plc.


Japan Tobacco Starts Petition To Fight Tax Increase..

October 4, 2008 - Japan Tobacco Inc. (JTL), the world's third- largest publicly traded cigarette maker, will enlist customers in a campaign to stop the government from raising cigarette taxes. Back in July 2008 Chief Executive Hiroshi Kimura of JTL in a Reuters interview stated that most Japanese smokers would quit if the price of cigarettes were to triple.

The company is enlisting customers in a campaign to stop the proposed tax hike. It has asked consumers opposed to the proposal to fill in a petition at tobacco retailers, by mobile phone or on the Internet. Japan Tobacco said it will submit its petition to the government after the campaign, which the company plans to end in December, in time for the Japanese government's internal discussions on proposed taxes.

The campaign comes as the maker of Camel and Mild Seven cigarettes battles higher tobacco prices, a falling smoking rate and controls on vending-machine purchases that account for more than half its $31.4 billion in domestic tobacco sales. JTL's operating income from cigarette sales in the country slid 9.4 percent to 222 billion yen ($2.1 billion) in the 12 months through March 2008.

Besides JTL, organizations representing tobacco farmers and stores have jointly voiced opposition to a possible tobacco tax hike, arguing that higher tobacco prices would dampen consumption and not lead to increased tax revenue.

JTI claims that the tax hike could destroy Japan's tobacco industry; 50% of JTI is owned by the Japanese government.

References: “Tax hike could destroy Japan’s tobacco industry”, Tobacco Reporter, 10/3/2008 and Japan Tobacco Starts Petition Against Cigarette Tax Increase by Maki Shiraki,, 10/1/2008.

New Hampshire - cigarette tax increase - ON HOLD..

October 3, 2008 - An expected 25-cent increase in New Hampshire's cigarette tax was put on hold yesterday, October 1, 2008 as state officials review recent tax receipts to see if an increase is necessary. If the state determines that it raised at least $50 million in cigarette taxes over the past three months, there will be no tax increase. But if tax revenue falls short of that mark, the 25-cent increase will take effect. State revenue counters have until Oct. 15 to determine whether the $50 million mark had been reached. New Hampshire cigarette tax currently stands at $1.08 per pack of 20 cigarettes.

Massachusetts's recent tax increase may have resulted in a boost in New Hampshire cigarette sales.

Reference: Cigarette tax increase on hold for two weeks by DANIEL BARRICK, Concord Monitor, 10/2/2008.

A law requiring cigarettes sold in New Hampshire be self-extinguishing started in Oct. 1, 2007.

Related news brief: Kentucky to go ‘fire safe’ by next year..

C-store update - tobacco product displays at checkout counter..

October 2, 2008 - Today, we take a closer look at a c-store's checkout counter with numerous tobacco displays mixed in with candy and other selections. Take a look at the images of a typical c-store checkout counter with its various tobacco product displays.

A child seven years old is tall enough to look these products directly in the eye. There should be NO doubt that tobacco displays encourage children to start using tobacco products.

You see Swisher, the U.S.A.'s largest manufacturer of little cigars, Cigarillos for 99 cents a pack, Imperial Tobacco/Altadis Phillies in various types and flavors - note the Phillies cigarillos come in various colored tubes (containers), Altria/John Middleton varieties of Black & Mild Cigars as cheap as 50 cents/each, Swedish Match's White Owl Cigars with a B1G1 free offer (latest flavor - pineapple) and many more items all designed to get the attention of those that frequent the c-stores.

Cigarette sales mainly take place in c-stores.

Related news briefs (lots of them - here's a few): Link Between Convenience Stores and Tobacco Use..; *Convenience Store Update - hanging tobacco signs from the ceiling.. and Big 3 cigarette companies continue to compete for c-store space - the PM T-SET...

Other news: In November 2008 - Marlboro products will go down one dollar a carton and in December 2008 Philip Morris will be promoting a Marlboro gift package (get one pack free)- they do not want it called B1G1 free.

C-store owners wonder how Altria will tweak the UST's premium brands - Copenhagen and Skoal - to return these brands to some modest share growth..


October 1, 2008 - District of Columbia cigarette excise tax will increase from $1 to $2 ..

October 2, 2008 - On October 1, 2008, the District of Columbia cigarette excise tax increased from $1 to $2 for a pack of 20 cigarettes and from $1.25 to $2.50 for a pack of 25 cigarettes. The new excise tax rate applies to previously stamped floor stock, including cigarettes in vending machines and all cigarettes held by retailers or wholesalers for commercial distribution or sale in the District of Columbia on or after October 1, 2008.

There was no excise tax increase on other tobacco products. As pointed out by Washington, DC based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids increasing cigarette taxes without increasing the tax on other tobacco products such as moist snuff and cigars prompts kids to start using these nicotine-addicting products. According to a city report from your neighboring city of Baltimore data compiled by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Black & Mild cigars are smoked by 24 percent of African-American residents of Baltimore aged 18 to 24 (some as young as 12).

To protect the youth in your community it's time increase the tax on all tobacco products NOT just cigarettes. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends excise tax increase to raise the unit prices of tobacco products in order to: 1) reduce consumption of tobacco products; 2) reduce tobacco-use initiation and 3) increase tobacco-use cessation.

Related news brief: District of Columbia (D.C. Washington) to double tax on a pack of cigarettes to $2.00...

Reference: Cigarette Excise Tax to Increase on October 1, District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, 8/22/2008.

India - Heavy Fines If You Smoke In Public Places..

October 1, 2008 - Tomorrow, Thursday October 2, 2008 the Indian Health Ministry will put in effect a countrywide ban on smoking in public places. Those caught violating the rule may be fined $5 - a sizeable sum in a country where the per capita income is less than $1,000 a year.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss said "An Act on no smoking in public places has been brought out by the Centre two-and-a-half years ago, but it remained only on paper. Now, we have made a modification in the already enforced rule and from October 2, 2008, the modified rule will be enforced strongly across the country." He said at a function, as part of World Tobacco Day being observed on Saturday. Ramadoss said 40 percent of deaths occur in India due to tobacco related diseases while two-thirds of deaths occur due to smoking, junk foods and usage of drugs. India has some 120 million smokers -- about one-fifth of the population.

Most Indians support plans to tighten existing laws for a complete ban on smoking in public places, according to results of a survey published Thursday.
Some 92 percent of the 1,030 people who answered the survey in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, strongly favoured curbs on lighting up at work or in hotels, bars, restaurants, cinemas, schools and hospitals. Eighty-four percent also agreed that breathing second-hand smoke was a serious health hazard, mirroring the findings of similar surveys conducted in other countries that have now gone smoke-free.

Reference: Smoking ban to be enforced from Oct 2: Ramadoss,, 5/31/2008. India smoking ban 'has strong public support', AFP, 9/18/2008 and India Tells Smokers to Take it Elsewhere (Nation to Begin Ban On Public Puffing; Enforcement is Key by Vibhuti Agarwal, The Wall Street Journal, 10/1/2008.


NYC sues reservation smoke shops over bootlegging..

October 1, 2008 - The lawsuit filed in federal court accuses the small cluster of shops on the Poospatuck Indian Reservation of breaking state and federal law by selling massive quantities of cigarettes to bootleggers, who then smuggle the cartons off the reservation and resell them throughout the New York City metropolitan area.

The shops are permitted to sell untaxed cigarettes to reservation residents, but the city contends that sale records indicate something else is going on. The numbers show that each Poospatuck resident would have to be smoking 960 packs a day to consume the quantity of tax-free cigarettes sold in those stores. The practice has existed for years, but Bloomberg said it costs the city $195 million per year in tax revenue, and the state is also losing millions.

The lawsuit is part of a broader strategy by Mr. Bloomberg to tackle cigarette bootlegging as well as reduce smoking in New York. Earlier this year, the city won a couple of legal victories: cigarette wholesalers were found potentially liable for violating a federal law, and the city was allowed to proceed with racketeering lawsuits against out-of-state Internet cigarette retailers.

Reservation cigarette dealers have also claimed repeatedly that any bootlegging happens without their knowledge, but in its lawsuit, the city accused the Poospatuck shops of being willing partners in such schemes.

Reference: Bloomberg on Warpath, Sues Indians Over Smoke Salesby John Del Signor,, 9/30/2008 and City Sues Reservation’s Cigarette Stores, Article Tools Sponsored By
By DAVID W. CHEN, 9/29/2008.

Related news briefs:NY Governor Paterson to negotiate with Native Americans over cigarette taxes..

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Gruesome Photos on British Cigarette Packs..

October 1, 2008 - Starting today- October 1, 2008 - smokers in Britain (United Kingdom, UK) will be confronted with graphic pictures on cigarette packets, showing how tobacco damages health. The pictures, which show cancerous lungs and throats as well as rotting teeth, replace written warnings such as "smokers die younger" which currently greet smokers as they light up. The warnings will start today and will be compulsory on all tobacco products from October 2010.

The pictures are similar to those used on packets in other countries which have been credited with encouraging smokers to quit. Images are designed to shock people and emphasize the harsh health realities of continuing to smoke.

Around 10 million Britons smoke out of a total population of more than 60 million. A number of measures in recent years have aimed to cut the number of smokers. Written warnings on packs were adopted in 2003, and last year, the minimum age for buying tobacco was raised from 16 to 18. Smoking in enclosed public places was banned across the country from July 2007.

Recently, Health Canada it has been found cigarette packages would have a greater effect on smokers if the images covered most of the pack.

David Byrne, the European Union’s former commissioner for health and consumer protection has said, “People need to be shocked out of their complacency about tobacco. I make no apology for some of the pictures we are using.”

Related news brief: Britain to put picture warnings on ALL tobacco products...

Reference: Cigarette packs to carry graphic picture warnings,, 10/1/2008 and British cigarette packs to show graphic warnings, Reuters, 9/27/2008.

Click on images to enlarge..

Superior Court Judge clears the way for San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales at pharmacies..

September 30, 2008 - San Francisco's ban on cigarette sales by pharmacies will go forward Wednesday, October 1, 2008 Judge Peter Busch, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled today. Judge Busch ruled the city had a rational basis for enacting the ban and denied the Walgreens motion. Walgreens Co., which operates more than 50 stores in San Francisco, had asked for a preliminary injunction halting the ban, arguing it unfairly favors the larger stores. Attorneys for Walgreens claimed the first-of-its-kind prohibition violated equal protection laws and would cause irreparable harm to the company.

City attorneys had contended that the public trusts pharmacies as health-promoting businesses and that the sale of tobacco by drugstores "sends an implicit message that smoking is acceptable." Extending the ban in the future to big-box stores is under consideration, they said.

The ban has also been challenged in federal court by the Richmond, Va.-based tobacco company Philip Morris on grounds it violates the company's First Amendment right to free speech, by ending cigarette advertising and displays in stores.

Reference: Judge clears the way for San Francisco's ban on cigarette sales at pharmacies, Bay City News Service,, 09/30/2008.

Related news briefs: Philip Morris challenges San Francisco pharmacy tobacco ban..; Walgreen: San Francisco’s Tobacco Ban Is Unfair..; San Francisco - All Tobacco Products Banned in All Pharmacies..; San Francisco critical vote - bar tobacco sales pharmacies.. and SAN FRANCISCO Ban on tobacco at drug stores sought...

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New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..

September 30, 2008 - The Health select committee today released a report today calling for tobacco and cigarette displays to be out of sight in retail stores around New Zealand. But National Member of Parliament (MP) Jo Goodhew said its four MPs on the health select committee had voted against the ban because they believed "more robust international evidence" was needed. "We're not ruling it out, but we would like to see an evidence-based approach to this ... Some New Zealanders will see this as the nanny state butting in again."

Cigarette advertising has been largely banned for 20 years, except inside stores. Cancer Society chief executive Dalton Kelly - whose petition in support of a ban received 20,000 signatures - said children walking into the country's 10,000 retail stores were confronted by "a power-wall of tobacco advertising". Action on Smoking and Health director Ben Youdan said in-store displays were one of the last bastions of cigarette marketing. The displays that the committee seeks to ban, what are popularly called Power Walls - huge displays of cigarettes of every brand usually just behind the counter - have a powerful message. "Tobacco is not a regular product. It kills half the people who use it, yet for too long we have allowed these addictive and deadly poisons to be sold next to the milk and chocolates."

British American Tobacco - which sells three-quarters of cigarettes in New Zealand - said it "supported the views of many retailers who say a ban on the retail display of tobacco products will have a significant impact on the viability of their businesses". However, the report quoted the examples of Ireland and Iceland, which have banned displays, where there had been "no cost or minimal costs to retailers".

Let's get the science-based evidence to the NZ Parliament's Health Select Committee so they can make the proper informed decision. New Zealand's Dr. Janine Paynter's work: More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking... Also, 66 percent of adult New Zealanders support a total ban on the visual display of cigarettes, and support is even higher among non-smokers. (Under the counter initiative New Zealand, June 7, 2007, Tobacco Reporter.)

Reference: Tobacco sellers resist bid to outlaw displays by RUTH HILL - The Dominion Post, 9/30/2008 and Cigarette displays may be banned, ONE News, 9/29/2008.

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Nicotine Dependence in Kids Exposed to Second-Hand Smoke..

September 29, 2008 - Scientists have a new warning for parents who smoke, as new research suggests exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS, passive, involuntary, side stream) may lead to symptoms of nicotine dependence in kids who have never before had a cigarette. A joint study among eight Canadian institutions found that five percent of kids who are exposed to second-hand smoke in their homes or in cars exhibit symptoms of nicotine dependence. The symptoms included cravings, feeling tempted to smoke when in the presence of others who smoke and having the feeling of being addicted to nicotine.

Paper: Matthieu Belanger et al., Nicotine dependence symptoms among young never-smokers exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, Addictive Behavior, 9/2008. ABSTRACT

It was concluded SHS exposure in motor vehicles may be associated with nicotine dependence symptoms among young never-smokers. If replicated, this finding provides support for interventions that promote non-smoking in motor vehicles. Some facts on second-hand smoke's (SHS)effect on children.

Banning smoking when children are in the car is a no-brainer - even Philip Morris agrees. David Sutton, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA said the company believes the public "should be guided by the conclusions of public health officials regarding the health effects of secondhand smoke" and "particular care should be exercised where children are concerned." The majority of Canadians (82 per cent) say they support a ban on smoking in vehicles with children younger than 18 years of age, according to a national poll released today by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Reference: Second-hand smoke may cause dependence in kids, News Staff, 9/29/2008.

Related news brief: Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present.. and Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels...

U.S. District Judge clears the way for San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales at pharmacies..

September 28, 2008 - Philip Morris USA (PM), the nation's largest tobacco company lost the first round Friday of its federal court bid to block the city of San Francisco's upcoming ban on cigarette sales by pharmacies.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland late Friday turned down a request by PM for a temporary restraining order (on grounds it violates the company's First Amendment right to free speech, by ending cigarette advertising and displays in stores) that would have blocked the measure from going into effect Wednesday, October 1, 2008> as scheduled.

City lawyers hadn't yet responded to the lawsuit and were planning to file opposition to a temporary restraining order on Monday. But Wilken said in a two-page order that even without the city's opposition, Philip Morris' own papers hadn't shown the combination of likelihood of legal success and danger of irreparable harm needed for a temporary restraining order.Wilken wrote that Philip Morris's "unexplained delay in filing its application for a temporary restraining order until days before the enforcement of the ordinance belies its claim of irreparable harm. Wilken scheduled a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction, the next step in the case, on Oct. 30, and ordered both sides to file further briefs before then.

Deputy City Attorney Vince Chhabria said, "The fact that the judge denied the temporary restraining order request without even receiving our opposition underscores the weakness of the argument that Philip Morris has a First Amendment right to sell cigarettes."

Reference: Judge Denies Philip Morris' Request to Block Pharmacy Ban (Ordinance Enacted By Board Of Supervisors Last Month) ,, 9/27/2008.

Related news briefs: Philip Morris challenges San Francisco pharmacy tobacco ban..; Walgreen: San Francisco’s Tobacco Ban Is Unfair..; San Francisco - All Tobacco Products Banned in All Pharmacies..; San Francisco critical vote - bar tobacco sales pharmacies.. and SAN FRANCISCO Ban on tobacco at drug stores sought...

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