Boston bans cigarette sales in drug stores..

December 13, 2008 - Boston Public Health Commission, bans cigarette sales at drugstores (pharmacies) and on college campuses in the city and eliminates smoking on the patios of restaurants and bars with outside service. The restrictions, which would give Boston among the toughest anti-smoking laws in the nation, will go into effect in 60 days. Cigar bars and other swank salons devoted to smoking won a significant though temporary reprieve from Boston health regulators today, December 11, 2008 when it was decided that the establishments will face extinction in 10 years instead of the five-year grace period originally proposed as part of sweeping new tobacco control rules.

At the end of the 10-year period, smoking bars may ask the executive director of the health commission for a further grace period, the commission decided. The city now has six cigar bars and five hookah lounges - no new ones will be permitted to open.

"Cigarettes are bad, they're harmful to people, there's a need for us to change the social norms around cigarettes," said commission member Harold Cox, an associate dean at the Boston University School of Public Health. "Our responsibility as governmental officials is to protect people."

Summary of Regulations including Blunt wraps will not be sold in Boston.., Boston Public Health Commission, 12/11/2008.

Reference: Boston bans cigarette sales in drug stores but delays cigar bar closings by Gideon Gil,, 12/11/2008.

Related news brief: Boston To Ban Drugstore Tobacco Sales..

Earlier this year, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban tobacco sales at drug stories, saying selling cigarettes was out of place in stores devoted to health care products. Audit trail of events: Federal Judge Denies Bid To Stop San Francisco Pharmacy Tobacco Ban..; Philip Morris USA request stop in San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales by pharmacies..; 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...

C-store update John Middleton's Black & Mild Cigars..

December 13, 2008 - For $100 per quarter Philip Morris Tobacco (PM) wants c-stores to devote an entire store shelf to Black & Mild Cigar selections. (From the image you can see Imperial Tobacco/Altadis (Alliance Tobacco Distributor) gets a shelf for Phillies Cigars and does not pay anything.) Also, a new Black & Mild sign has to be displayed. Here's the view the patron at the checkout counter would have of the Black & Mild shelf - can you find it?? The cigar distributor has to be on the PM's approval list of distributors. Here's an ad that appeared in the Raleigh, NC News & Observer a few months back promoting their wine flavored cigar.

The 2 for $6.10 off cans of UST's Skoal and Copenhagen will end. Local to this store the owner will give a $1.00 off if 2-cans ($4.39 each NC) are purchased. Watch - Altria will tweak the UST's premium brands - Copenhagen and Skoal - to return these brands to some modest share growth., i.e. take market share back from Conwood's Grizzly..

The PM salesperson has indicated that PM will accept returns of Marlboro 72s. This is surprising because returns are almost never accepted for cigarettes and most moist snuff products.

What do you think?? Are PM's Marlboro 72s and Philip Morris International's (PMI) Marlboro Intense the same product. The idea behind both is to appeal to customers who, due to indoor smoking bans, want to dash outside for a quick nicotine hit but don't always finish a full-size cigarette. Both cigarettes are shrunk down by about a half inch - 7.2cm long and shorter than the standard 8.5cm cigarette. The test marketing of Marlboro Intense began in November 2007 in Turkey. Pointing to his lit Intense, the PMI CEO André Calantzopoulos says there are "possibly 50 markets that are interested in deploying it."

Previous C-store update..

Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike..

December 12, 2008 - Prices for cigarettes produced by Bulgaria's Bulgartabac Holding are to increase by 26 percent starting in January 2009 due to higher excise duty, the company's managing director, Korneliya Ninova, recently announced.

The most popular Victory packs will cost BGN 3.45 (USD 2.36, EUR 1.76) instead of the current BGN 2.75 (USD 1.88, EUR 1.40). Melnik will be the most costly Bulgarian brands - BGN 2.90 (USD 1.98, EUR 1.48). A price of BGN 3.15 (USD 2.16, EUR 1.61) will be introduced for largely smoked Sredetz packs.

Contraband cigarettes account for 15-20 percent of the market in Bulgaria (May 2008) - contraband usually increases in cases of price hikes.

The move is expected to get many inveterate smokers round to quit their unhealthy habit.The smoking prevalence in Bulgaria is high, about 50% of the adult population according to 2005 figures, and smokers in Bulgaria tend to smoke, on average, more than 20 cigarettes a day, making them one of the most prolific smoking groups in Europe. (Cigarette smoking in Bulgaria - the latest numbers by Petar Kostadinov, the Sofia Echo, 5/30/2008)

Bulgaria’s entry to the EU in January 2007 saw the local monopoly, Bulgartabac, strongly decline. Open gates to foreign giant cigarette brand raids left Bulgartabac in a hopeless defensive position. British American Tobacco Bulgaria EOOD (BAT) and Philip Morris Services Bulgaria EOOD (PM) grabbed shares with cheap well-established foreign brands.

Cigarette maker Bulgartabac registered a 50,59% increase in sales revenue in the first nine months of 2008 compared to the same period of 2007. The total amount of the increase in sales revenue for this period is BGN 14,102 M. At the same time the total net revenue of the company in January-September, 2008, amounted to BGN 54,344 M. However, much of the revenue came from the sale of two of the monopoly's four cigarette plants located in the cities of Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. The two factories were sold on the Sofia Stock Exchange in July in order to restructure the company and to consolidate the production in the cities of Sofia and Blagoevgrad.

Reference: Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike, Novinite - Sofia News Agency, 11/28/2008.

More on Bulgaria and Tobacco: World Tobacco - Eastern Europe - EU expansion offers opportunities and challenges; Euromonitor: Tobacco in Bulgaria.

Philip Morris raises some U.S. cigarette prices..

December 12, 2008 - Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria Group Inc., the largest U.S. cigarette maker, raised prices on some of its brands and made adjustments in its promotional spending that could result in higher prices for top-selling Marlboro in some markets. Parliament, Virginia Slims, Chesterfield and Merit were raised by 5 cents a package. It also cut certain promotional allowances on Marlboro and Basic cigarettes by 5 cents per pack, Philip Morris spokesman David Sylvia said.

But in other markets, the company increased special promotional allowances on certain types of Marlboro offerings, which could result in lower prices in those markets. Philip Morris gives retailers and distributors promotional allowances that tend to be passed on to consumers in the form of higher or lower cigarette prices, although such price changes are not automatic.

The price increases were "relatively modest and in-line with our view that only a modest net price increase to the manufacturers is likely for 2009," Goldman Sachs tobacco analyst Judy Hong said. in a research note. Also on Thursday, December 11, 2008, Hong downgraded her view on the tobacco sector to "neutral" from "attractive," saying a likely increase in the federal excise tax in cigarettes could lead to a 7 percent decline in industry-wide volume in 2009.

Rising unemployment could also cause some consumers to trade down to lower-priced cigarettes and also any price increases cigarette makers could take on top of the tax increase, Hong said.

Reference: Philip Morris raises some U.S. cigarette prices, Reuters, 12/11/2008.

Directly related news briefs: C-store update: Premium cigarette makers offering lots of promotions to keep customers..; SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again.. and Nik Modi, UBS analyst tobacco remains "economy resilient"...

Japan - shelves tobacco tax hike for 2009..

December 12, 2008 - The Japanese government and the ruling parties decided Thursday, December 11, 2008 to shelve a plan to raise the tobacco tax, one of the key elements of tax reform for fiscal 2009, according to government sources. On December 2, 2008 we reported that the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) planned to push for a tobacco tax hike for fiscal 2009 starting in April.

Following the decision, Prime Minister Taro Aso ordered Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman Kosuke Hori to find an alternative source of revenue to the tobacco tax hike. With the tax hike having been shelved, Aso faces the difficult task of finding an alternative way of boosting social security funding, observers say. The government had studied a possible tobacco hike as a stable revenue source to enable it to reduce cuts to the projected natural annual increases in social security spending. But the plan to raise the tobacco tax faced growing opposition from some LDP and New Komeito members that insisted there was no guarantee that the tobacco tax hike would help boost tax revenue.

Reference: Japan shelves tobacco tax hike, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Asia News Network, 12/12/2008.

Related news briefs: Japan - Ruling party plans tobacco tax hike in 2009..; Japan Tobacco Starts Petition To Fight Tax Increase..; How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..; Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices.. and Japan Tobacco's (JTI) market share up in Japan in FY 2007 for 1st time since 1985...

Australia NO cigarette price increase since 2001..

December 11, 2008 - The Victorian Cancer Council's research shows that in 2007, 19 percent of adults were regular smokers, compared to 34 percent in 1980. The Fiona Sharkie, Executive Director of anti-tobacco group Quit , says smoking rates have fallen for three main reasons. "Very clearly it's increasing the price of cigarettes, continuing to run anti-smoking television commercials, and also bringing in more and more smoke-free areas," she said.

Sharkie continued: "We haven't had a price increase since 2001." "If we'd continued with the World Health recommendations for the price of cigarettes, we'd be looking at cigarettes costing $19 a pack, rather than the $11 or $12 they cost today," she said.

Reference: Anti-smoking lobby calls for increase in cigarette prices, ABC News, 12/8/2008.

Indonesia to increase tax on tobacco products..

December 11, 2008 - The government will raise the excise duty for cigarettes and tobacco products, starting Feb. 1, 2009, by an average 7 percent to help increase state revenues, while at the same time keeping the industry viable.

The excise duty will be changed from a combination of ad valorem (based on a product's retail price) and specific taxes (based on a product's retail price) only, based on production levels and retail prices for cigarettes and tobacco products, the Finance Ministry said in a statement Wednesday (December 10, 2008).

The arise in excise duty aims in part to contain the growth of cigarette consumption to 5 percent, less than the 7 percent growth booked in 2008 , and to increase excise duty income from the industry to Rp 48.2 trillion (US$4.37 billion) as stated in the 2009 state budget, up Rp 2.7 trillion from the 2008 budget.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, has the lowest average price for cigarettes worldwide -- and analysts estimate about 12 million people are directly or indirectly dependent for their income on the industry. (A third of Indonesians now smoke, up from a quarter 10 years ago. Cigarettes cost as little as $1 a pack in Indonesia, which has a population of around 225 million. About a quarter of deaths in Indonesia in 2005 were caused by tobacco.)

Reference: Cigarette duty will rise 7 percent to boost government revenue, Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, 12/11/2008.

Related news briefs: Semarang, Indonesia - Cigarette Smoking Areas to be Prepared..; Jakarta, Indonesia - Malls help enforce non-smoking ban..; Indonesia - federal anti-smoking laws in one year - MAYBE..; Indonesia - NGO's (non-government organizations) Demand the Government Ratify WHO's FCTC.; Indonesia to raise cigarette tax by 6 to 7% in 2009..; Surabaya, Indonesia - anti-smoking bylaw 10/2009 - FOR REAL??; Indonesians smoking more than ever before..; Indonesia further rise in the excise tax would hurt the cigarette industry..; Alicia Keys - Jakarta Concert (July 31st) tobacco companies forced to withdraw sponsorship.. and Most Indonesians support moves to ban tobacco advertisements...


England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..

December 11, 2008 - The open display of tobacco in shops is to be banned in England and Wales, the government has announced. Ministers hope the display ban, which is also under consideration in Scotland, will reduce smoking. Northern Ireland is yet to decide a policy. But plans for an outright ban on tobacco vending machines (The British Heart Foundation says a total ban on vending machines is the only way to prevent children accessing cigarettes.) and branding on cigarette packets (banning all promotional material from tobacco packaging) have been scrapped - at least for now.

Critics say the moves do not go far enough to stop young people smoking. A government consultation on how to deter young people from smoking launched six months ago found the "overwhelming majority" of 100,000 responses backed the display ban.

Health Secretary for England Alan Johnson said he had been impressed with evidence from other countries, suggesting the move would have an impact on smoking rates. Ministers say where other countries - such as Iceland and Canada - have removed displays, smoking prevalence among young people has fallen by up to 10%. Johnson said: "They (young people) see the point of sale display and as a result of seeing it, it encourages them to take up smoking. This is the key evidence as to why we have 200,000 11 to 15-year-olds smoking." He said people who start smoking in their youth - aged 11 to 15 - are three times more likely to die a premature death than someone who takes up smoking at the age of 20.

Mr Johnson said the big supermarkets would be asked first to remove their displays - in 2011 - followed by corner shops - in 2013.

Reference: Ban on tobacco displays announcedBBC News, 12/8/2009.

Related news briefs: UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use..; UK Planned Curbs On Smoking to be Axed..; British Considering Ban on Cigarette Displays..; Gruesome Photos on British Cigarette Packs..; Royal College of Physicians still pushing the use of SNUS..; Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products..; Britain to put picture warnings on ALL tobacco products..;

In Process - Swedish Match prepares to put its snus on the U.S. map..

December 10, 2008 -

The company has a 90 percent market share in Sweden and Norway, and its General brand has dominated those markets for decades.

Swedish Match’s CEO, Lars Dahlgren, says smoking bans and regulations have created more “usage opportunities” for smokeless tobacco products. “And those trends are basically true in the entire world,” he says. “So I think smokeless is a product category with a future.” Because snus is banned in most of the European Union, Swedish Match is preparing to take its product into the North American smokeless market, which is growing rapidly. UBS analyst Nik Modi expects sales of moist snuff to go up 6 to 8 percent a year through 2010.

North America’s largest market, the United States, has a relatively strong smokeless tobacco segment already. Swedish Match’s Red Man brand of chewing tobacco has been popular in the U.S. for decades. Snus differs from traditional American moist snuff because of its preparation process, which is similar to pasteurization and results in a product that is virtually sterile. According to Swedish Match, its own moist products in the U.S. are similar in quality to Swedish snus.

After testing the American waters in a limited deal with Lorillard, Swedish Match can enter the U.S. market with nine different varieties of snus, with different flavors, strengths and blends. The company is well positioned for the move. It spent the past several years restructuring its cigar and lighters operations and making acquisitions that added to the bottom line. Today, the company is in good financial position, unaffected by the world’s current financial volatility, says Dahlgren.

Swedish Match understands that launching a new tobacco product in the U.S. will not be easy in the current social and regulatory climate. The U.S. Congress is expected to give the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products, a move that could result in additional product and marketing restrictions.

While targeting America, Swedish Match continues to keep an eye on Europe, which has kept its doors firmly shut to snus.

Nik Modi, UBS analyst tobacco remains "economy resilient"..

December 10, 2008 - Nik Modi, senior tobacco analyst at UBS Investment Research presentation at CSPNetwork's Tobacco Update CyberConference (Swedish Match N.A. sponsors of the CyberConference). Despite predicting that a U.S. recession could last beyond the third quarter of 2009, Modi said that tobacco has held up "extraordinarily well," despite unemployment rates that have been at their highest since the recession in the early '90s and consumer confidence that reached a 20-year low this year.

He pointed out that although tobacco has seen some decline, it is outperforming other staples (such as beverages, food, cleaning products, beauty and personal care), and its decline rate has slipped merely from 2.7% in September 2007 to a 2.4% decline in September 2008. Modi added that with gas prices continuing to fall, the tobacco category "is a good place to be" from an in-store perspective. But the news wasn't all positive for cigarettes. Modi predicted that a federal excise tax increase was a foregone conclusion. "The question is when and how much," he said, adding that it was likely to be seen by the end of March 2009. (SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again.. - Funding for SCHIP lasts through March 2009).

Another opportunity for c-store retailers could come from consumers migrating to other tobacco products (OTP)-with 2009 potentially being a "breakout" year for smokeless growth. According to Modi, the smokeless category continued to show accelerated growth in 2008-with moist smokeless tobacco up 8.2% year-to-date and, as importantly, both premium and nonpremium segments are excelling.

Joe Teller, director of category management for Swedish Match N.A. - in his portion of the presentation - said that continued attention to the Other Tobacco Products (OTP) category from retailers is important for continued growth-particularly since 40% of cigarette smokers try to quit smoking at some point in time, and look for products to satisfy their nicotine urge. "My main theme is that next year I think we need to spend a little bit more time and a little bit more energy and I think what's going to happen is that we're going to get more results," he said.

Reference: Is Tobacco Recession Proof? Smoke, smokeless sales continue strong track despite economic challenges by Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Consumer Store/Petroleum Daily News, 12/9/2008.

WHO - Cancer to become world's #1 killer by 2010..

December 10, 2008 - Cancer will become the world's top killer by 2010, in part due to smoking in developing countries, the WHO said. (The Wall Street Journal, 12/10/2008 - hardcopy)


UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use..

December 9, 2008 - 'Protecting children from smoking is our goal' - Alan Johnson, United Kingdom's (Britain) Secretary of State for Health.

Over 96,000 responses were received to the Department of Health's consultation on the future of tobacco control - the largest ever response to a consultation of this kind. (Royal College of Physicians still pushing the use of SNUS..)

Responses overwhelmingly supported removing tobacco displays in shops, and tough action to restrict access to vending machines. Since the ban on tobacco advertising, retail displays in shops are the main way in which tobacco products are marketed to children. These measures will be taken forward in primary legislation through the Health Bill in the next parliamentary session.

Over eight in ten adults in Great Britain who have ever smoked regularly say that they started before they were 19. In England in 2007, nearly 200,000 children aged between 11-15 years of age were regular smokers. These children are 3 times more likely to die of cancer due to smoking than someone who starts in their mid-20s.

From October 2011 large shops will have had to remove all tobacco displays from the point of sales (POP) and smaller business es will have to comply by 2013. Government will work closely with retailers to develop regulations setting out detailed requirements. Where other countries have removed displays smoking prevalence among young people has fallen by up to 10 percent.

The measures to restrict access to vending machines will be brought in by 2011 and monitored to check they are working. If not working, then ministers will consider banning vending machines altogether in 2013. Vending machines are the primary source of cigarettes for nearly one in five young people aged 11 to 15 and children were able to use the machines in more than 40 percent of test purchases. The British Heart Foundation estimates that 46,000 children purchased their cigarettes from vending machines in 2006.

Communication with ASH (Action on Smoking and Health)UK - Alan Johnson is the Health Secretary for the whole of the United Kingdom but because health is one of the policy areas that is devolved to the 4 countries, some aspects of tobacco control are applied differently in the separate jurisdictions. The measures announced yesterday (12/9/2008) will apply to England and Wales but the Scottish parliament is likely to adopt similar measures, and may do so sooner than England.

On smoking in cars when kids are present, there are unlikely to be any further developments until the smokefree legislation is reviewed in 2010.

Reference: Stubbing out recruitment of young smokers, Department of Health, 12/9/2008 and Cigarettes displays in shops will be banned but not until 2013 by Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor, Telegraph,, 12/9/2008.

Related news briefs: UK Planned Curbs On Smoking to be Axed..; British Considering Ban on Cigarette Displays..; Gruesome Photos on British Cigarette Packs..; Royal College of Physicians still pushing the use of SNUS..; Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products..; Britain to put picture warnings on ALL tobacco products..;

We must stop the launch of dissolvable tobacco products..

December 9, 2008 - The holiday season is almost upon us. Our minds start to be more concerned with looking forward to being with friends and family and making this Christmas the happiness for our kids and if so, grandchildren. Meanwhile behind the scenes, R.J.Reynolds Tobacco is planning to test market three Camel brand dissolvable tobacco products in mid-to-late January 2009 in three trial markets. No smoke, no spitting, nothing to dispose of and no one will ever know - just experience true pleasure. Just like they did for Camel SNUS you can be sure Reynolds of Joe Camel fame will heavily promote these products (a company rep indicated that print ads, direct marketing, sampling (at bars and nightclubs) and point-of-purchase promotions will be used).

The Camel Dissolvables Products: Sticks (twisted) can be placed in the mouth like a toothpick or broken into a pieces that are placed between the upper lip and gum, where they dissolve after 10 minutes; Orbs, which is a pellet (like placing a candy in your mouth) that lasts about 15 minutes and film Strips for the tongue, which dissolve after about 3 minutes. Flavors - Strips will come in fresh mint flavor and Sticks in Mellow; Orbs will be available in both flavors. Camel Dissolvables deliver between 0.6 to 3.1 milligrams of nicotine, while cigarette smokers typically inhale about 1 mg per cigarette.

Once the sales start it will already be too late. Kids are going to think this is the coolest stuff; they can use it at any time, no one will ever know and it will derive pleasure and make coping with life-stresses easier. You can't reason with your child to stop because you'll never know until it's too late. They'll rationalize "Everyone does it" - "No one will know" - "Who's going to find out?".
Teenagers are infamous for being on the cutting edge of current fads and trends. The reason why teens are on the lookout for something new and different is almost a given: they are working on their identity. Your teen wants to identify with something that makes him/her feel good about him/her self - the silent killer tobacco.

Only problem after using this stuff for a few times - our kids our future leaders soon will be addicted to nicotine for their whole life. So the child you've tried so hard to make the very best becomes a nicotine addict never able to reach his/her full potential. There are many adverse effects that occur with nicotine but one of the major ones is that it interferes with the adolescent brain development.

Tobacco harm reduction proponents think these products are a good option not considering our primary focus - our kids. For example, Bill Godshall, the executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania., "I'm pleased that Reynolds is being aggressive in accelerating the switch to smokeless tobacco and getting more products that are likely to appeal to tobacco users." (Reynolds moves to be on top when smoke clears by By Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 10/8/2008)

Now is the time to step forward and STOP the release of these products.

Companion news brief: STOP - the Proliferation of Flavored Tobacco Products..


Harm Reduction Cigarettes More than Toxic Traditional Cigarettes..

December 9, 2008 - The University of California at Riverside research team used mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) as a model for pre-implantation embryos—embryos that have not yet implanted in the wall of the uterus—and compared the toxicity on these cells of cigarette smoke emanating from traditional and harm-reduction brands. Further, they studied the effects on the mESCs of two kinds of cigarette smoke: mainstream smoke, which is smoke actively inhaled by smokers; and sidestream smoke, which is smoke that burns off the end of a cigarette.

They found that both kinds of smoke from traditional and harm-reduction cigarettes are toxic to pre-implantation embryos and can retard growth or kill embryonic cells at this stage of development. Equally surprising to them was their discovery that mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke from harm-reduction cigarettes are more potent than the corresponding smoke from traditional brands of cigarettes.

Paper: S. Lin, V. Tran, and P. Talbot, Comparison of toxicity of smoke from traditional and harm-reduction cigarettes using mouse embryonic stem cells as a novel model for preimplantation development, Hum. Reprod. Advance Access published on November 29, 2008 - ABSTRACT..

"This study for the first time sends a clear message to nonsmoking women of reproductive age who are planning to become pregnant that they must avoid exposure to sidestream smoke" stated Olga Genbacev, a senior scientist in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UC San Francisco.

Harm-reduction Cigarettes Are More Toxic Than Traditional Cigarettes, UC Riverside Study Finds
, Science Daily, 12/8/2008.

Racial slur causes mistrial in Florida tobacco case.

December 8, 2008 - A Broward County, Florida judge declared a mistrial in the case of a Cooper City widow suing cigarette maker Philip Morris over the death of her chain-smoking husband after an expert witness used a racial slur.

Robert Proctor, the expert witness, triggered the mistrial when he explained that research about racism within the tobacco industry cannot be done without using the N-word. The judge felt that the context the jury heard it within was prejudicial...that the jury was hearing about racism by the tobacco industry.

Philip Morris lawyer Kenneth Reilly objected and asked Circuit Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld to declare a mistrial.

This is the first of about 8,000 tobacco cases in Florida.

Reference: Racial slur causes mistrial in Broward County tobacco case by PATRICK DANNER, Miami Herald, 12/4/2008.

Ban on Tobacco advertising in Macedonia starts December 8, 2008..

December 8, 2008 - Full ban on advertising tobacco products in Macedonia has come into force today, 12/8/2008. Pursuant to the alterations to the Law on Smoking of 2006, all advertisements on tobacco products have to be removed from the bars and restaurants, retail and service shops. The ban applies also to indirect advertising of cigarettes by displaying a logo, specific lettering, signs, symbols and slogans, which were used in advertising, or raise associations on those products. The vendors are allowed to display cigarettes in the original packaging along with price tags. The fines for violation of the ban on cigarettes advertisements range from 2,000 to 4,500 euros (USD 2,589.92 to 5,827.32).

Studies show that one-third of the Macedonian population smokes a pack a day. And up to 8% of those smokers are aged 13 to 15. Only 5% of smokers plan to give up the habit. According to data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 35% of the total population in Macedonia (700,000) smoke and the number of smokers constantly rises. According to The Economist's 2008 World Rankings Book, the average Macedonian (man, woman, and child) smokes 7.1 cigarettes per day, ranking our country on the Second place in the list of the Most Smoking Countries on Earth. Only its southern neighbors, the Greeks, smoke more than the Macedonians, they are ranked first with an average of 8.4 cigarettes per day. Russia is third and all other Balkan countries seem to score very high too. (MACEDONIA SMOKES AT THE TOP, MacedoniaDaily, 11/24/2007)

As of January 1, 2006 Macedonia adopted a law restricting indoor smoking in official environments to well-separated areas. However, a recent study found a high prevalence and a high level of exposure to ETS (environmental tobacco smoke, secondhand smoke, passive smoking, involuntary smoking) in the workplace. The authors recommended stricter adherence to smoking-free legislation or even the total ban of smoking in the workplace. (WORKPLACE ETS EXPOSURE IN MACEDONIA NOW Jordan MINOV et al. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2008;59:103-109 Paper..

The Macedonian government amended the Law on Tobacco and Tobacco Products and the Antismoking Law in March 2008, launching an intensified nationwide campaign against smoking. Starting in mid-2009, cigarette packs will be required to depict photos of smokers' diseased organs. Also, starting October 2008, Macedonia banned smoking in all public places, except cafes, bars and night clubs, which will follow in January 2010. The ban comes after the previous policy of setting aside separate tables for smokers in restaurants and other establishments proved ineffective at improving air quality for nonsmokers. (Anti-smoking campaign underway in Macedoniaby Zoran Nikolovski for Southeast European Times in Skopje, 4/16/2008)

Reference: Ban on Tobacco advertising in Macedonia/, 12/8/2008.

Euromonitor - more information on tobacco in Macedonia.

IMAGE - "There, where the Sun shines forever - there is Macedonia", says an old popular song.

Macedonia is a party (June 30, 2006) to the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) - the global anti-tobacco treaty.


Dummies - Citizens Against Fire Safe Cigarettes..

December 8, 2008 - As of January 1, 2009 the State of Pennsylvania will require all cigarettes sold in the state to be fire safe. The House Bill signed into law July 9, 2008 will adopt a fire safety standard for cigarettes and require that they be low-ignition strength, making them less likely to cause fires if left unattended.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials, such as cigarettes, cigars or pipes, are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. Research done by the association in the mid-1980s found that fire-safe cigarettes (look for the initials "FCS" on the pack) would eliminate three out of four cigarette fire deaths. Materials, such as cigarettes, cigars or pipes, are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.

David Jaromnak of Reading, PA has launched an organization he calls Citizens Against Fire Safe Cigarettes. David bought a pack of cigarettes that tasted stale. Then he developed a headache and felt nauseous. When he complained to a fellow about his cigarettes repeatedly going out the co-worker told him about fire-safe cigarettes. So far this fellow has drafted a petition and within 3-weeks has collected 300 signatures to get the PA law repealed.

There's not a chance the repeal of this bill has a chance. The benefits far outweigh any minor inconvenience the smoker would suffer. In fact, a fire-safe cigarette may just save David's life some day.

Just a couple days ago a 2-alarm fire in Columbia, MO at an apartment complex was ignited after a cigarette was left unattended in the attic - picture.. The State of Missouri has NOT enacted a fire-safe cigarette law so far.

Learn more: Coalition for Fire Safe Cigarettes, an arm of the National Fire Protection Association.

Reference: Some want fire-safe smokes snuffed by Nancy Eshelman , The Patriot News, 12/7/2008 and US smokers question safety of ‘fire-safe’ cigarettes, Tobacco Reporter, 12/8/2008.

Some related news briefs: Cigarettes “fire safe” in Minnesota as of December 1, 2008..; Fire - Safe Cigarettes for all 50 states - NOW.. and Switzerland could join EU requiring sale of only self-extinguishing cigarettes.. For other related news briefs do a random search..

C-store update: Premium cigarette makers offering lots of promotions to keep customers.

December 7, 2008 - The price of cigarettes is one of the most important factors affecting tobacco consumption (World Bank 1999) as high cigarette prices can prevent people from taking up smoking and encourage those who smoke to quit. In addition, higher cigarette pricing along with continuing economic pressures on smokers does result in growth in discount brands. To counter the possibility of a smokers switching to discount brands or quitting premium cigarette makers are now offering lots of promotions.

Take a look at some examples of special offers.

Marlboro Lights have been reduced one dollar per carton.
But there had been talk that Philip Morris would have a special offer where the smoker gets an extra pack of Marlboro as a Christmas gift - this has not happened.

There's even a B1G1F offer for Camel No. 9 cigarettes and a mini-brochure can be found - Outside Panel, Inside Panel provided for the buyer. More on Camel No. 9.

A study that examined cigarette purchasing patterns of current smokers found that most smokers are price sensitive and seek out measures to purchase less expensive cigarettes. (Higher cigarette prices influence cigarette purchase patterns, A Hyland, J E Bauer, Q Li, S M Abrams, C Higbee, L Peppone, K M Cummings, Tobacco Control 14:86-92, 2005. ABSTRACT..)

Previous c-store update.