Bloomberg Grant: Tobacco Reforms in Pakistan..

October 25, 2008 - In Pakistan, some 57 tobacco manufacturers are currently operating in the country. Around 78% of the market share belongs to two corporate giants: Pakistan Tobacco Company, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, and Phillip Morris International (PMI), which completed the acquisition of Lakson Tobacco Pakistan, in February 2007.

About more then 25 million Pakistanis smoke, and 1,200 youth start smoking each day in Pakistan. An estimated more then 100,000 die annually from tobacco-related illnesses. In Pakistan, more than 55.3 billion cigarettes are produced.

In Pakistan, round about 50 percent of the population is illiterate and the smoking is more prevalent among poor. Therefore, written warnings have very little impact on making decision to smoke a cigarette or not. In this context, the pictorial warnings advised in FCTC are very relevant. By now 17 countries of the world have introduced pictorial warnings on cigarette packs in their countries. Those include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, New Zealand, Panama, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

In 2002, “Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance, 2002” was promulgated. The main features of the law include prohibition of smoking at pubic places like airports, railway stations, hospitals, educational institutions, offices, planes, restaurants, public transport, bus stands except for designated areas under notification; ban on smoking near educational institutions within area of 50 meters; prohibition of sale to minors below age of 18 years; regulations of advertisements. There is very slow implementation of the Tobacco Control Ordinance.

Reference: Advocacy and Awareness Campaign to introduce Amendments into Tobacco Control Ordinance in Pakistan", Network for Consumer Protection in Pakistan, 10/24/2008.

Euromonitor: Tobacco in Pakistan..

Nigeria House Passes Anti-smoking Bill...

October 24, 2008 - Nigeria - House of Representatives yesterday, 10/23/2008 passed the anti-smoking bill prohibiting the smoking of tobacco in public places across the country. By definition, the locations identified as ‘public places’ include hospitals, government offices, nursery, primary and secondary schools among others. Anyone caught smoking cigarettes in public places will now be liable to four months imprisonment, N50, 000 ($436.53USD) fine or both.

The adoption followed the presentation of the report of the Joint Committee on Health and Justice on the issue. Chairman House Committee on Health, Dr. Alaba Ojomo, urged the House to consider the report which provides for the regulation of the production, importation, advertising, promotion, sponsorship, distribution, sale and smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The new law repeals the existing Act. At the plenary, members considered the report and unanimously resolved that sale of cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 years should be punishable and violators should be liable to two months imprisonment, N50,000 fine or both.

Efforts by some members to inject a clause prohibiting the sale and consumption of tobacco at the nation’s airports as well as some other places designated as ‘public places’ failed as majority of members kicked against the amendment. The House also struck out a section of the bill which prescribed a total ban on advertisements and sponsorship of events by tobacco manufacturing companies.

Reference: House Passes Anti-smoking Bill from Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja,, 10/22/2008.

Related news briefs: BAT using illegal tactics to get African youths to start smoking.. and British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa...

Nigeria has ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.


In Process - UST, Inc. posted lower third-quarter net profit..

October 24, 2008 - UST Inc posted lower third-quarter net profit as it spent more to try to defend sales of its smokeless tobacco products (e.g., Skoal and Copenhagen) from increased competition.

The company, has agreed to be acquired by Altria Group Inc.

UST's share of the U.S. smokeless tobacco market was 57.4 percent, the same as the second quarter and down 3 percentage points from a year earlier. While smokeless tobacco sales in general have been on the rise, UST's main business, the premium segment, has suffered because of soaring gasoline prices and the weak U.S. economy.

- Response to question from tobacco analyst..

Judy Hong - Goldman Sachs..And then in terms of Snus, I know previously you’ve been a little bit reluctant to comment on Snus making any meaningful inroads in the near term. You’ve got Reynolds now rolling out Camel Snus nationwide. Do you think that they’re beginning to gain some traction, maybe faster than you expected? What are your thoughts there for Snus, generally?

Murray S. Kessler, UST's Chief Executive Officer - Our Snus test, we put it in and in selected customers it’s doing fine. I haven’t seen any change in trend that would change the opinions I’ve given you in the past. So they obviously see the numbers different than me but it still remains a very tiny piece of the category and I don’t see it building significantly in original markets in any material way. So I’m not saying it can’t over time, I’ve always been a believer, but no, there are no breakthroughs going on right now.

Some previous comments on snus:UST, Inc. Executives Very Disappointed in Sales of the Entire SNUS Segment...

Reference: UST third-quarter net profits falls, Reuters, 10/24/2008; UST, Inc. Q3 2008 Earnings Call Transcript, Seeking Alpha, 10/24/2008.

Philip Morris USA request stop in San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales by pharmacies..

October 24, 2008 - Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM) argued in a filing with U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken on Thursday, October 23, 2008 that because the measure "handicaps" the company's advertising message ("suppress favorable messages about tobacco"), it violates the constitutional right of free speech. Judge Wilken will hold a hearing in Oakland on Nov. 6 on PM's request for a preliminary injunction that would stop the city law from being enforced.

The measure went into effect on Oct. 1 after Wilken on Sept. 26 turned down the Virginia-based company's bid for a temporary restraining order. The judge said Philip Morris filed its lawsuit very late - on Sept. 25 - and hadn't met the requirements for an immediate order. But Philip Morris continued its challenge with the request for a preliminary injunction, the next step in the case.

The ordinance bars pharmacies from selling tobacco, but makes an exception for supermarkets and so-called "big-box" stores such as Costco that contain pharmacies. It applies to about 60 pharmacies in the city, most of which are Walgreens drug stores. Walgreen Co. filed a separate challenge, based on a claim of discrimination, in San Francisco Superior Court, but on Sept. 30 a trial judge declined to grant a preliminary injunction in that case.

City lawyers have argued that the measure has nothing to do with free speech because it regulates conduct - cigarette sales - and not advertising.

Reference: Philip Morris argues against SF cigarette ban, San Francisco News, 10/24/2008.

Related news briefs: San Francisco - cigarette sales rise sharply in c-stores..; San Francisco files brief to oppose bid by PM USA to block the banning of tobacco sales in pharmacies..; 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...

No Downturn for Tobacco in Tough Economic Times - YET..

October 24, 2008 - No Downturn for Tobacco
Cigarette makers Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) display sales resilience as other industries struggled with a pullback in the third quarter while consumers watched banks collapse and markets teeter.

PMI's profit rose 20% in the third quarter as sales climbed, and it benefited from favorable foreign exchange rates. PMI, which was spun off in March from Altria Group Inc., reported net income of $2.1 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. It earned $1.73 billion, or 82 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue climbed 22% to $17.37 billion. The company also affirmed its full-year profit forecast for 2008 and increased its quarterly dividend.

Reynolds American raised its full-year forecast even though profit fell 41% on hefty restructuring and trademark charges. The results still topped expectations as the tobacco company used higher prices (and cost savings) to offset consumption declines (cigarette sales volume declined 7.5% in the 3rd quarter). The net income slid to $211 million, or 72 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. It earned $358 million, or $1.21 per share, a year ago. The maker of Camel, Pall Mall and Kool brands said revenue dipped 1% to $2.27 billion, coming in just above Wall Street's $2.25 billion forecast.

With U.S. excise taxes likely to rise in 2009 and the economy weakening, loyalty toward premium brands could come under fire.

Reference: No Downturn for Tobacco, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) News, 10/24/2008.

In Process - Altria Reports 2008 Third-Quarter Results..

October 23, 2008 - Philip Morris USA market share dips to 50.5 pct vs 51. Altria's tobacco operations, which include Philip Morris USA and the John Middleton cigar business, helped offset increased allowances for losses at the Philip Morris Capital Corp and lower earnings from a stake in brewer SABMiller PLC (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research).

The Philip Morris USA unit shipped 4.8 percent fewer cigarettes, with the total falling to 44.9 billion.

Table 5 - PM USA Cigarette Volume* by Brand (Billion Units)

Q3 2008 Q3 2007 Change**
Marlboro 37.5 39.1 (3.9)%
Parliament 1.5 1.5 (8.6)%
Virginia Slims 1.6 1.9 (12.9)%
Basic 3.2 3.5 (8.0)%
------- -------
Focus Brands 43.8 46.0 (4.7)%
Other PM USA 1.1 1.1 (7.8)%
------- -------
Total PM USA 44.9 47.1 (4.8)%

* Unit volume includes units sold as well as promotional units, and excludes Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories Overseas Military, Philip Morris Duty Free Inc. and contract manufacturing for PMI.

Altria's tobacco operations, which include Philip Morris USA and the John Middleton cigar business, helped offset increased allowances for losses at the Philip Morris Capital Corp and lower earnings from a stake in brewer SABMiller PLC (SAB.L: Quote, Profile, Research).

The Philip Morris USA unit shipped 4.8 percent fewer cigarettes, with the total falling to 44.9 billion.

2009 - "There's some things on the horizon, primarily the tax hikes, which are looking more and more likely, that may push prices up to such a point where consumers may start trading down (lower-priced options)," Morningstar tobacco analyst Philip Gorham, said, adding that "2009 will be the litmus test" for brand loyalty.

Reference: Altria Reports 2008 Third-Quarter Results, 10/23/2008; UPDATE 3-Altria profit beats view, sees 2009 challenges, Reuters, 10/23/2008.

U.S. - Panel Calls for Adult Smokers to Get Pneumococcal Vaccine..

October 23, 2008 - The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is recommending smokers aged 19 through 64 years of age should be vaccinated with pneumococcal vaccine. The committee also recommended smokers who receive pneumococcal vaccine also undergo stop smoking counseling," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesman Curtis Allen said by e-mail.

If accepted by the CDC, it would be the first vaccine recommendation aimed specifically at smokers. Smokers account for half of otherwise healthy adults with serious pneumococcal infections.

Studies have shown that smokers (more than a fifth of U.S. adults), are about four times more likely than nonsmokers to suffer pneumococcal disease. Also, the more cigarettes someone smokes each day, the higher the odds they'll develop the illnesses. Why smokers are more susceptible is not known for sure, but some scientists believe it has to do with smoking-caused damage that allows the bacteria to more easily attach to the lungs and windpipe, said Dr. Pekka Nuorti, a medical epidemiologist with the CDC.

Exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke may further increase the risk of pneumococcal disease. (Smoking and Pneumococcal Infection, New England Journal of Medicine,
342(10):732-734, March 9, 2000

Reference: Smokers should get pneumonia vaccine: U.S. advisers, Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Will Dunham and Jackie Frank, Reuters, 10/22/2008 and Panel Calls for Adult Smokers to Get Pneumococcal Vaccine, Associated Press, 10/22/2008.

Japan Tobacco Inc. (JTI) results of its Japan Smoking Rate Survey..

October 23, 2008 - JTI today, 10/23/2008 announced the results of its Japan Smoking Rate Survey, a study that has been carried out annually since 1965. Based on official population figures from the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications that in April 2008 put Japan’s total population at 104.22 million, including 50.23 million men and 53.99 million women, Japan’s smoking population is 25.7 per cent of the total population, down from 26.0 per cent last year. Japan has about 26.80 million smokers, down from 27.00 million last year, according to a survey carried out in May by Japan Tobacco Inc, which has been conducting annual surveys since 1965.

The number of male smokers was down from 20.16 million last year to 19.84 million this year, while the number of female smokers was up from 6.84 million to 6.96 million. According to the survey, 39.5 percent of men are smokers, down from 40.2 per cent last year, while 12.9 percent of women smoke, up from 12.7 per cent.

In 2007, JTI had a 66.2 percent cigarette market share, followed by Philip Morris International with 24.3 percent and British American Tobacco (BAT) with 8.4 percent.

Reference: JT's Annual Survey Finds 25.7 percent of Japanese Adults Are Smokers..

50% of JTI is owned by the Japanese government.

RAI 2008 3rd quarter - cigarette volume down, Conwood posts gains..

October 23, 2008 - Reynolds American Inc.'s (RAI) R.J. Reynolds Tobacco's 2008 third-quarter cigarette volumes declined by 7.5 per cent from those of the third quarter of 2007 and the company’s market share fell by 0.8 percentage points to 28.2 per cent. About 45 per cent of the third-quarter volume decline was said to have come from non-support brands, including some low-margin brands that were de-listed.

As a result of portfolio strategy change reclassified Kool as a support brand. R.J. Reynolds will focus on investment brands Camel and Pall Mall. The focus will be on building Camel's overall volume and share, and strengthening its position in the growing menthol category by driving growth of Camel menthol styles. Camel delivered modest 3rd quarter growth with retail cigarette market of 8.1% up 0.1 share points.
Pall Mall, the other growth brand, continued strong volume share growing in the 3rd quarter, with a retail share of 2.75, up 0.5 percent from the prior year quarter.

RAI smokeless company, Conwood posted another record quarter, with $98 million in operating profits. That's a 10 percent increase over last year's quarter, with Grizzly continuing to deliver double-digit growth. The moist snuff category is growing at an annual rate of more than 7 percent, and Grizzly continues to represent almost half of all category growth. Grizzly's 3rd quarter share of shipments was 23.4 percent, up 2.1 percentage points from the prior-year period. Contributing to the growth of Conwood's flagship brand was the strong performance of Grizzly's two newest styles - Grizzly Snuff and Grizzly Wintergreen Pouches which were both introduced nationally this year.

Again - no mention of Camel SNUS sales. As we know RAI plans to take SNUS nationally in 2009. It is claimed that Camel SNUS is playing a key role in creating awareness and educating smokers about this new category of smoke-free tobacco products. We know now that RJR sales people are sending cans to c-stores at no charge to pass out to anyone that wants them. It's been hard to finds people willing to take the free cans.

Reference: See RAI's Cuurrent News..

Related paper: STOP - the Proliferation of Flavored Tobacco Products..


Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) Reports 2008 Third Quarter Results..

October 22, 2008 - PMI cigarette shipment volume of 225.9 billion units was up 4.0% for the quarter, driven by EEMA (Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia and Latin America & Canada, partly offset by a decline in the European Union (EU). On an organic basis, excluding acquisitions, PMI's cigarette shipment volume was up a robust 3.2%, benefiting from particularly strong performances in Argentina, Indonesia, Korea, Russia and Ukraine.

Total cigarette shipments of Marlboro of 80.3 billion units were up 1.1%, with growth in EEMA, Asia and Latin America & Canada, partly offset by a decline in the EU. Total cigarette shipments of L&M of 24.0 billion units were down 3.6%, with a decline in EEMA partially offset by growth in the EU. Led by double-digit growth in EEMA and an increase in the EU, total cigarette shipments of Chesterfield grew 14.6% versus the prior-year quarter. Total cigarette shipments of Parliament continued to record strong growth, up 15.8%, driven by gains in EEMA. Virginia Slims grew 3.6%, driven by gains in EEMA and Latin America & Canada. Shipment volume of other tobacco products (in cigarette equivalent units) surged 36.2%, fueled by strong growth in France and Poland.

In Indonesia, a haven for tobacco companies and the only nation in Asia which has NOT signed or ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), PMI's shipment volume rose 13.0% versus the same period last year, reflecting gains by Marlboro, up 12.8%, and A Mild, up 24.2%. Indonesians smoking more than ever before... In Japan PMI's shipments were down 7.1%, primarily reflecting the lower total market. The Japanese puffed 260 billion cigarettes last year (2007), a 17.1 per cent decrease compared to 2002, according to Euromonitor International.

Press Release: Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) Reports 2008 Third Quarter Results, PMI, 10/22/2008.

Conferenece Call: Philip Morris International Inc. Q3 2008 Earnings Call Transcript, October 22, 2008 09:00 am ET.

PMI has completed the successful acquisition of Rothmans Inc. in Canada. The Rothman stock was de-listed on October 20 and PMI now owns 100% of the company. The Canadian business results were incorporated into the Latin America and Canada region as of September19, but were immaterial for Q3 results.

Related news brief: Philip Morris International is suppose to post 'solid' 2008 3rd-quarter earnings..


Nearly 40 million tobacco deaths since October 25, 1999..

October 22, 2008 - The Framework Convention Alliance an organization of groups advocating for tighter tobacco controls, started the death clock when negotiations on the global tobacco treaty began on Oct. 25, 1999. As of 9 a.m. on Oct. 20, 2008, the number had reached 39,776,437 lives lost. One person dies every 5.8 seconds from causes linked to tobacco use, researchers estimate. "Every number was a family member and a loved one," said Mary Assunta, head of the alliance.

Lower-income countries are experiencing the steepest rise in smoking, with China and Indonesia among 10 nations where almost two-thirds of the world's smokers live, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The clock serves as a "reminder of the sheer needlessness of this epidemic," said Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative. "This is an epidemic that is affecting the poorest of the poor."

Reference: Tobacco `Death Clock' Shows Almost 40 Million Dead (Update1) by Thomas Mulier,, 10/20/2008.

Japanese tobacco giants focus on point-of-sales cigarette purchases..

October 22, 2008 - In Japan is the land of vending machines. It is possible to get pretty much anything out of a vending machine. There are more than half a million cigarette vending machines.

The retail cigarette landscape across Japan is changing, as a result of a new type of cigarette vending machine that can actually count your wrinkles. In an effort to prevent underage smokers from illegally purchasing cigarettes, a Japanese company has developed a vending machine that can check a smoker's age by studying the lines on their face. Since July 1, 2008 the 'tobacco access passport' TASP ID card is required to purchase a pack of cigarettes.

Instead, the electronic ID system has led to a shift in the way cigarettes are purchased: smokers are unwilling to go through the process of applying for a card now feed their habit in convenience stores. “Before Taspo, the channel share was 50 per cent vending machines to 30 per cent convenience stores,” said Masaru Yoshimoto, project manager at Synovate (Synovate is one of the world's top research firms.) “Now convenience stores have 50 per cent and vending machines 20 per cent.” Marketing activity is growing in this environment - at the counter, there are promotions with, say, a limited-edition box with a unique lighter. They are trying to drive sales from the convenience stores.

Overall cigarette consumption is falling. The Japanese puffed 260 billion cigarettes last year (2007), a 17.1 per cent decrease compared to 2002, according to Euromonitor International, which forecasts an additional 16.3 percent decline to 218.2 billion sticks by 2012. The smoking population is also heavily male: in 2006, 48 per cent of males aged 15-plus and 18 per cent of women smoked.

Dominating this contracting market is Japan Tobacco. Last year, it had a 66.2 percent market share, followed by Philip Morris International with 24.3 percent and BAT with 8.4 percent.

Reference: Sector Insight..Japanese tobacco giants focus on point-of-sale by Glenn Smith, MEDIA, 10/16/2008.

Click on image to enlarge..

Gallaher criticized for marketing cigarettes at young women..

October 22, 2008 - UK - Silk Cut is launching a range of super-slim cigarettes in packaging that is likely to appeal to females. Action on Smoking and Health has attacked the company's latest product, which consists of thinner-than-usual cigarettes housed in a package resembling a perfume box similar to the product that Philip Morris Tobacco's Virginia Slims will soon be marketing. A spokesman for Japanese International Inc. owned Gallaher indicates the new cigarette (coffin nails) represents "elegance and quality."

Elspeth Lee, head of tobacco control, Cancer Research UK - Wrapping cigarettes in attractive packaging is one of the last marketing tools left for tobacco companies.

More on Silk Cut cigarettes.

Reference: Tobacco firms attacked over 'super-slim' cigarette packs, Cancer Research UK, 10/21/2008.

Gallaher targets teenage girls with 'super slim' Silk Cut cigarettes..

October 21, 2008 - Gallaher's (owned by Japan Tobacco International) Silk Cut cigarttes will next month launch in the United Kingdom a range of "Superslims", which will be sold in "perfume-shaped" boxes designed to appeal to image-conscious women. Deborah Arnott, director of the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), "Silk Cut is using the terminology 'super slim' to make the link between smoking their product and losing weight."

Many tobacco companies have tried to forge a link between smoking and slimness. The first ad which emphasized the "benefits" of smoking for weight control was brought out in the late 1920s, with the slogan Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.

The popular US brand Virginia Slims hammers the message home with varieties Virginia Slims Super Slims Lights and Virginia Slims Super Slims Ultra Lights.
In early 2009 the Philip Morris Tobacco company will also launch sleek pink "Purse Packs" aimed at women.

Silk Cut's new marketing ploy is just the latest device that tobacco companies are using to appeal to women. Newly released industry documents show tobacco firms paid huge amounts for endorsements from the stars of Hollywood's "Golden Age".

Reference: Tobacco firms target teenage girls with 'super slim' products cigarettes
Charities accuse companies of exploiting young women's fears about weight
by Rachel Shields, 10/19/2008.

Japan Tobacco International (parent of Gallaher) and Imperial Tobacco, dominate the UK tobacco market with an 80% share by value. British American Tobacco (BAT) is the world's second-largest cigarette company and is increasingly focused on fast-growing developing markets rather than advanced economies where smoking is in decline. BAT has a 5% share of the UK market largely through its Rothmans brand. (Research and Markets: Examine the Challenges and Opportunities for the Cigarettes & Tobacco Market as Companies Focus on Developing Markets as Demand Falls in Developed Countries Market Watch - Wall Street Journal, 10/21/2008.)

Saudi court set to hear tobacco compensation case..

October 21, 2008 - A Saudi court will begin hearing a lawsuit on Tuesday, 10/21/2008 filed by the Ministry of Health against agents of international tobacco companies in the kingdom. Health chiefs will demand compensation of $2.6 billion and an annual compensation of $133 million for the expenditures incurred on the treatment of smokers when the General Court in Riyadh opens.

Health Minister Hamad Al-Manie said he was confident that his ministry would win the lawsuit since it provided statistics and medical data that showed how smoking destroys people’s health and eats away at social spending connected with smoking-related medical treatment of citizens. “We’ll go ahead with the lawsuit unless the tobacco companies paid the full amount of compensation ... I will not and neither will the ministry forsake the rights of patients,” he said.

Arabian Gulf states in general and Saudi Arabia in particular are some of the biggest tobacco importing and consumer countries in the world. Saudi Arabia tops the list of tobacco importers, according to 2007 statistics. Iran is placed second, followed by Jordan, Turkey, Morocco and Egypt.

Smoking leads to self-destruction, against which Islam has strongly warned. It incurs a waste of money and Islam forbids excessive expenditure. It irritates the throat and it fouls the breath, in addition to its other health hazards. (The late Dr Al-Hussaini Abdulmajid Hashem Former Deputy Rector of Al-Azhar- Islamic Ruling on Smoking...

Related news brief: Saudis to sue tobacco firms for more than $2.7 billion Ryadh, Saudi Arabia.

Reference: Saudi Arabia sues cigarette agents by P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News, 10/21/2008 and Saudi court set to hear tobacco compensation case
by Andy Sambidge,, 10/21/2008.


Egypt, CAPMAS Study Graphic Photos on Cigarette Packs - NOT EFFECTIVE..

October 20, 2008 - In Egypt, as of August 2008, cigarette packs have featured graphic images about the dangers of smoking; death, lung disease and impotence (covering 50 percent of the pack on both sides). A study by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistic (CAPMAS) found that pictures on cigarette packs has not affected the number of smokers, nor cigarette sales.

The study by CAPMAS also found that more than 5 percent of an Egyptian family’s income is spent on cigarettes versus 2 percent of the income which is spent on health. In addition, the study also stated that developing nations spend $2,000 billion annually on cigarettes and citizens below the age of 35 represent 67 percent of total smokers in the Egypt.

Egyptians are among the heaviest smokers in the world. Egypt is one of the top fifteen countries with smoking problems - nearly 60% of its adult male population smoke in a country of 79 million people. An estimated 2 percent of Egyptian women smoke — though most researchers believe female smoking is greatly under reported due to social taboos against it that push female smoking into private areas. Egypt has the highest consumption of tobacco in the Middle East and North African Region. Egyptians smoke 19 billion cigarettes a year, spending LE 3 billion (USD533,289,379.38) annually, and smokers in Egypt increases by 6 to 9 percent every year as compared to 1 percent in the West. Metal cigarette boxes are popular in Egypt.

According to Dr Wael Safwat, a gastroenterologist and smoking cessation specialist, prices and warning signs alone will not affect cigarette sales; there needs to be a change in the society’s perception of the smoker. He recommended increasing non-smoking areas as well as anti-smoking campaigns. He also suggested the formation of support groups that can help smokers quit.

In May 2008 smokers were hit with a 10 percent rise in the cost of a pack of cigarettes. A young construction worker buying the domestically-made Cleopatra cigarettes said he has no choice but to pay the difference for the cigarette cost.
He said smoking is one of the few ways he can relax. He was at a corner shop buying five packs of Cleopatra cigarettes at about 75 piasters extra a box, or about 14 cents more per pack. "How can I quit smoking. People who smoke can't just give it up," he said, "What are we supposed to do but pay the difference?" ) Egyptians Concerned After Parliament Votes to Increase Fuel Costs, Taxes, Voice of American by Aya Batrawy, 5/7/2008.)

Relate news briefs: Egypt - warning pictures on cigarette packs - INEFFECTIVE.. and Egypt's fledgling anti-tobacco program to place images and warnings on cigarette packs..

Reference: Graphic photo on cigarette packs has zero effect on smokers, says CAPMAS study by Safaa Abdoun, Daily News - Egypt, 10/19/2008 and Egypt Passes National Anti-Smoking Law, vitabeat health & wellness, 6/21/2007.


San Francisco - cigarette sales rise sharply in c-stores..

October 20, 2008 - In the 18 days since San Francisco banned pharmacies from selling tobacco products, convenience-store retailers (c-stores)have seen cigarette sales rise sharply. But many believe the good fortune will be temporary. "My sense is that they will go after convenience stores," Ray Huff, president of Denver-based HJB Convenience Corp.

Beginning October 1, pharmacies in San Francisco were barred from selling tobacco products, temporarily giving an advantage to the c-store industry but raising the specter that other channels of retail, too, could one day see cigarette marketing efforts curtailed.

The ban could spread; elected officials in nearby Marin County are considering a similar prohibition. And across the country, Boston city officials also are mulling a curb that would cover pharmacies, as well as any retailer operating on the campus of that city's numerous colleges.

Philip Morris said that 20% of its sales come from pharmacies, including Walgreens, Rite-Aid and Long Drugs. So far both Walgreens and Philip Morris have struck out with their lawsuits, though both have them on appeal in separate challenges to the ordinance in California courts.

Reference: Good Fortune or Awful Omen? For now, sales are up, but San Francisco's pharmacy tobacco sales ban likely to grow by Steve Dinnen, CSP (Convenience Store/Petroleum) Daily News, 10/20/2008.

Women Smokers Prone to Dangerous Blood Vessel Condition..

October 19, 2008 - As part of the Women's Health Initiative** (WHI) the association between potential risk factors and subsequent clinically important abdominal aortic aneurysm events (repairs and ruptures) in women was assessed. It was found that women who smoke are eight times more likely to suffer a potentially fatal rupture of the body's largest artery, the aorta, or require surgery to repair the weakening that can cause such a rupture, than nonsmokers. (The aorta is the main artery carrying blood from the heart. An aneurysm is a weakening or ballooning of the blood vessel, a process that can take years to develop, often without symptoms. Some 15,000 Americans die each year when an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures, 40 percent of them women.)

Research paper: Frank A. Lederle et al., Abdominal aortic aneurysm events in the women’s health initiative: cohort study, British Medical Journal 2008;337:a1724 ((Published 14 October 2008). Full Text

The large prospective observational cohort study with mean follow-up of 7.8 years found events occurred in 184 women and were strongly associated with age and smoking. Ever smoking, current smoking, and amount smoked all contributed independent risk.

** - The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) launched in 1991 was a major 15-year research program to address the most common causes of death, disability and poor quality of life in postmenopausal women -- cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. WHI consisted of a set of clinical trials and an observational study, which together involved 161,808 generally healthy postmenopausal women (aged 50-79).

Reference: Women Smokers Prone to Dangerous Blood Vessel Condition by Ed Edelson, HealthDay, 10/15/2008.