Tobacco marketing in South Korea has been deliberately aimed at girls and young women..

February 7, 2009 - Research has shown that transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) are using tactics long used with devastating effect in Western countries to snare new female smokers in Asia. Kelley Lee from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine led a team of researchers who studied internal documents from the tobacco industry that reveal the scheme to seduce a generation of girls. She said, "Since the opening of the South Korean tobacco market in the late 1980s, females have been targeted by TTCs as an important source of future market growth and profitability. (In 1988 South Korea opened its cigarette market to foreign companies under the threat of US trade sanctions.)

Kelley Lee, Carrie Carpenter, Chaitanya Challa, Sungkyu, Gregory N Connolly and Howard K Koh, The strategic targeting of females by transnational tobacco companies in South Korea following trade liberalisation, Globalization and Health 2009,5:2 doi:10.1186/1744-8603-5-2, Published: 30 January 2009, ABSTRACT/Full TEXT..

Lee concludes, "The implementation of comprehensive tobacco control measures in South Korea, as set out under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, is urgently needed to protect and promote the health of Korean women and girls".

Reference: Tobacco companies target girls,, 1/30/2009; Tobacco companies specifically targeting girls in South Korea,, 2/1/2009.

Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights - WOMEN


C-store update: Philip Morris $1.00 off promotion Skoal and Copenhagen..

February 7, 2009 - Altria realizes they have work to do with UST, they've been losing market share in the smokeless tobacco market for years. Michael E. Szymanczyk - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Altria has indicated a little tweaking is necessary for the UST's premium brands - Copenhagen and Skoal to return these brands to some modest share growth. (Altria Group, Inc. Agrees to Acquire UST Inc. - Altria Group and UST Conference Call, Seeking Alpha, 9/10/2008.)

Click on either image to enlarge..

Altria's first attempt at tweaking the UST's premium brands is to lower the price of Skoal and Copenhagen by one-dollar. As of February 1, 2009 the price of Skoal and Copenhagen have been reduced - the promotion is suppose to last until March 28, 2009. For further details on the arrangement C-store update - the battle for market share is on...

It's too early to know how this promotion is going. In one c-store in North Carolina the price of premium brands Skoal and Copenhagen have been (see images above)reduced $1.00 to $3.69 per can. Conwood's Grizzly is sitting at $2.09 per can and Kodiak Conwood's premium brand is still at $4.69 per can. C-store Update: Conwood's/Grizzly - No. 1 Price value/discount moist snuff... Bill Godshall, the executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania said, "Grizzly sales have taken off in the Southeast, which is why Altria is targeting the Southeast with the price cut."

We are not sure if Grizzly customers will switch to either Skoal or Copenhagen because of the cheaper price. At one time we thought this would happen when a promotion ran for two cans for $6.10. But as we talk with more c-store employees and dippers - a Grizzly user may be a different breed (more rugged outdoorsmen type). There are even cheaper brands than Reynolds American - Conwood's Grizzly and Altria-UST's Husky - how about Bobcat?? - NEW DEEP DISCOUNT SMOKELESS BRAND (BOBCAT) IS MAKING WAVES....

Mr. Szymanczyk said. “Our tobacco operating companies have four powerful brands, Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild, which are leaders in the largest and most profitable domestic tobacco categories."

Below is a copy of a sign promoting Cheyenne Little Cigars.

American Institute of Cancer Research


Utah - proposal to increase cigarette tax falters..

February 6, 2009 - A slimmed-down bid to raise Utah's tobacco tax was beaten back in a Senate committee Thursday, February 5, 2009 as opponents cited fears of forcing smokers out of state to buy cigarettes and concerns about damaging the economy. Christensen said the governor supported the $1.30-per-pack rate. Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, initially had proposed raising the 69.5-cent-a-pack cigarette tax to $2, but ran into resistance and lowered the boost to $1.30, the national average for non-tobacco-producing states. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. had proposed a $3-per-pack tax, but has backed away from that figure. A proposal to send Christensen's bill to the Senate floor for debate was defeated in a committee Thursday on a 4-to-3 vote.

A bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, and identical to Christensen's original proposal of a $2-per-pack tax, has yet to come up for debate in the House. Ray has expressed confidence that there will be a cigarette-tax increase this year, but is not sure how much it will be and where the money will be spent.

Reference: Utah Senate panel snuffs out tobacco-tax hike by Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/6/2009; Proposal to increase Utah cigarette tax falters, - asssociated press, 2/5/2009.

Other Utah news briefs: Utah - philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., supports big boost in tobacco tax..; Utah Bars Go Smokefree January 1, 2009..; Utah moves from a tax based on the percentage of sales price to one based on the weight - independent of price of smokeless tobacco product..

Possible Smoking Ban Law in Virginia..

February 6, 2009 - Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and Republican House Speaker William J. Howell have agreed on a plan to prohibit smoking in most Virginia bars and restaurants, putting unprecedented political heft behind a measure that was once unthinkable in the cradle of the nation's tobacco industry -- and home base to one of the largest producers of cigarettes in the world, Altria - Philip Morris USA. Kaine and Howell both predict the legislation will be approved.

Under the plan, which represents a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation between the state's two most powerful leaders, smoking would still be permitted in private clubs, and other public establishments would be given the chance to construct enclosed, ventilated smoking rooms for patrons.

A few hours after Howell (R-Stafford) and Kaine stood together to unveil their plan, the legislation was approved by a House committee. It will be taken up Monday by the full House for a vote.

The ban lacks enforcement -- violating the ban would bring only a $25 fine for businesses.

Richard Kluger, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Ashes to Ashes" about the history of tobacco, said Virginia leaders' proposal to ban smoking in bars and restaurants represents a major milestone in efforts to marginalize smoking in the United States.

Such laws save lives, e.g., from 2003 to 2006, heart attack deaths in Massachusetts plummeted 30 percent,

Nearly 600 fewer Massachusetts residents have died from heart attacks each year since legislators banned smoking in virtually all restaurants, bars, and other workplaces four years ago,
The study, conducted by the state Department of Public Health and the Harvard School of Public Health, shows that a steep decline in heart attack deaths started as Boston and most of its neighbors adopted bans. Enforcement of the statewide law beginning in mid-2004 coincided with a further reduction, the study found. From 2003 to 2006, heart attack deaths in Massachusetts plummeted 30 percent, significantly accelerating what had been a more modest long-term decline.

References: A Bipartisan Blow To Smoking in Va. Leaders Support Ban in Bars, Restaurants by Tim Craig and Anita Kumar Staff Writers, Washington Post, 2/6/2009; Deal puts smoking ban in restaurants on path to passage by Julian Walker Warren Fiske, The Virginian-Pilot, 2/6/2009.


Philip Morris USA is raising prices again..

February 6, 2009 - Philip Morris USA (PM) is raising prices on Marlboro and other cigarettes by about 9 cents per pack next week, with some of its smaller brands getting an 18-cent-per-pack increase, the company said on Thursday. PM, the largest U.S. cigarette maker, said it told trade partners about the plan on Wednesday. The new list prices go into effect on February 9, 2009. The company, which is owned by Altria Group Inc, said the increases stem from its periodic evaluation of its pricing strategies.

PM is raising list prices by 90 cents per carton, or 9 cents per pack, on Marlboro and other brands such as Basic, Parliament and Virginia Slims. It is raising the price of brands such as Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield, Lark and Merit by $1.80 per carton, or 18 cents per pack.

Goldman Sachs analyst Judy Hong called the increases "relatively modest" and said she expects a larger increase to come in the future due to the anticipated 61-cent federal excise tax increase in April to fund the SCHIP program - health care for kids. Hong, who has a "neutral" view on Altria and the tobacco sector, said she expects Reynolds American Inc and Lorillard Inc to follow with similar price adjustments.

Reference: Philip Morris USA raises cigarette prices, Reporting by Jessica Wohl, editing by Dave Zimmerman, Reuters UK, 2/5/2009.

The additional cost of tobacco will create an additional burden on the poor or low-income - the people that do most of the smoking. Maybe it's time to consider quitting and use the money to better care for their families. -

Reynolds American spent $702,330 on lobbying in 4th quarter..

February 6, 2009 - Cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc. spent $702,330 in the fourth quarter to lobby against a bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate Big Tobacco and other issues. Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving cigarette labeling, according to the disclosure report filed January 21 with the House clerk's office.

Altria has long supported the FDA bill (in its present form), but other tobacco makers have argued against it. They fear any greater restriction on their marketing would further solidify Altria's No. 1 position and handicap them to compete against it.

Reference: Reynolds American spent over $702K lobbying in 4Q, Associated Press -, 2/5/2009.

Cyprus - kids being exposed to high levels of passive smoking..

February 5, 2009 - Children in Cyprus have alarming levels of nicotine in their blood, researchers said on Monday, February 2, 2009 highlighting passive smoking (involuntary, secondhand, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS) is a threat to development.

Greek Health Ministry found traces of metabolized nicotine, known as cotinine, in the saliva of 94 percent of children from non-smoking households and 97 percent of all surveyed children. Eighteen percent of children aged between 4 and 8 showed high levels of the substance, the researchers said, citing a study of 71 households.

Greek Cyprus ranks 17th among EU member states for smoking prevalence, according to 2003 figures from the World Health Organization, but Greek Cypriot males are the bloc's 6th heaviest smokers. About 42 percent of households contain a smoker.

"The fact that children who lived in a non-smoking environment had cotinine suggests it is in their broader environment, like relatives' homes or other areas," said Stella Michaelidou, director of the State Laboratory. "It is a pilot survey but the results are too significant to ignore," she said.

"Children have a unique sensitivity to their environment because they are still developing. There is an important need to protect and prevent exposure to harmful chemicals," Michaelidou added.

Greek Parliament is debating ways to tighten the law for a blanket ban on smoking in all public places.

The public smoking ban is strictly followed and smokers still puff away in bars and nightclubs. Lack of Enforcement. The 2002-2004 Protection of Health (smoking) Unified Laws prohibits smoking in all public places, including nightclubs, cafes and restaurants, in all government buildings, public transport and in private cars carrying passengers under the age of 16. Separate smoking areas that are well ventilated will be introduced at the discretion of individual bar. cafe or restaurant owners. The current fines for breaking the ban are €34 (USD43.57) fine nightclubs and €85 (USD108.88) on public vehicles, which are inadequate and do not act as a deterrent. Of the nearly 21,400 checks carry out by the police on nightclubs since the beginning of the year, 1,066 were reported for not implementing the law’s provisions.

The EU’s Health Commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou has expressed her disapproval regarding the failure of Cyprus to implement the ban properly. Greek Parliament is debating ways to tighten the law for a blanket ban on smoking in all public places.

Reference: Greek Cypriot males EU's 6th heaviest smokers, World Bulletin - Reuters, 2/2/2009; Cypriots number two in smokers’ league The Cyprus Weekly Newsletter, 5/31/2007; UPDATED* European smoking bans - Evolution of the legislation, European Public Health Alliance, European Public Health Alliance.


Arkansas Governor's proposed tobacco tax increase..

February 5, 2009 - Governor Mike Beebe planning to rally support for his $87.8 million proposal to hike tobacco taxes. Beebe's proposal would raise cigarette and chewing tobacco taxes to pay for the statewide trauma system and a host of other health programs. Meanwhile, opponents of the governor's tax hike say they plan to file their proposal to fund only a trauma system by increasing driving fines early this week.

Arkansas remains one of only a handful of states without a trauma system — a unified network of hospitals that can route victims of car crashes, electrocutions and other serious injuries quickly to specialists. Earlier estimates put the annual cost of fully funding a trauma system at $25 million.

Beebe's called for a 56-cent-a-pack hike in the state's tax on cigarettes and wants to raise the taxes on smokeless tobacco by an additional $10 million. Opponents say raising the fines for drunken and reckless driving can raise $27 million annually for a trauma system.

Beebe is selling the tax hike as a way to pay for $177.9 million in health programs that would also be funded by federal matching dollars. The proposed health plan includes an expansion of the state's health insurance program for low-income children, money for food banks and increased funds for community health centers.

Rep. Gregg Reep, D-Warren, filed an amendment to HB1204, the tobacco tax bill.
Reep wants to change the tax rate on the first sale to wholesalers or retailers of non-cigarette tobacco products from 19 percent to 36 percent of the manufacturer's selling price. Also, in the bill's original version, "moist snuff" is taxed at a different rate than other tobacco products, with a portion of the revenue -- $962,000 -- going to Special Revenue. Reep has deleted this language, thereby lumping "moist snuff" in with "tobacco products other than cigarettes," and has changed the tax rate for products other than cigarettes from 19 percent of the manufacturer's selling price to 36 percent of the manufacturer's selling price.

A major cigarette manufacturer says low-income Arkansans will be hurt most in the wallet and others will drive across borders to buy smokes. Altria contends that a packper-day smoker in Arkansas pays $677 a year to the federal and state governments. If Beebe's plan passes, that would go up to $896 a year and disproportionately hurt poor people, the company says.

Surgeon General Joe Thompson: "Tobacco is the major burden on our citizens, and a strategy to increase its price is a well-proven mechanism to keep youth from starting smoking and to reduce adult smoking. The health care programs are broadly based and meet a lot of needs."

Reference: Cigarette tax hike could fund Arkansas trauma systemArkansas Online, 8/11/2008; UPDATED: Legislators File Beebe's Cigarette Tax Bill
by Mark Carter,, 1/26/2009; Arkansas lawmakers to consider tobacco tax hikeby Associated Press, 2/4/2009; Capitol Round-up: Reep Files Amendment to Tobacco Tax Bill by Arkansas Business Staff, 2/2009; Cigarette tax proposal draws fire by SETH BLOMELEY, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 1/25/2009.

Related news brief: U.S. States Considering Tobacco Tax Increase...

President Obama To Sign SCHIP ..

February 4, 2009 - President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign into law on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 a bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to give health coverage to 4 million more children. The Senate passed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 last Thursday by a vote of 66-32, with nine Republicans voting in favor of the measure. The House passed its own version of the measure on Jan. 14 by a vote of 289-139.

The SCHIP reauthorization bill expands coverage to 4 million more children at the cost about $33 billion over the next 4 1/2 years. The program currently covers 6.7 million children.

Republicans had opposed similar efforts last year to reauthorize SCHIP because of the the rising costs of Medicaid and concerns that illegal immigrants and high-income children would benefit from it. The issue of raising cigarette taxes from 39 cents per pack to $1 in order to fund the program has also been raised.

During the Senate debate last week, Republicans had tried to have an amendment added to the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had said, "The Kids First Act closes a number of loopholes and gimmicks that are being used to expand the definition of 'low income' to families making $88,000 per year. I don't know anyone in Kentucky who would characterize $88,000 as 'low-income.'"

In the House two weeks earlier, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) had cited during floor debate that in many states, more than two-thirds of those enrolled in the SCHIP program are adults, and that while the bill clearly states illegal immigrants will not be covered, it provided no verification process for ensuring that only legal residents and U.S. citizens are insured.

The passage of the SCHIP reauthorization is part of a broader effort from the Obama administration and Democrats to overhaul the nation's ailing healthcare system. Obama had pledged during the campaign to expand coverage by including children but did not include individual mandates, a point which his former rival, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had frequently criticized.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, released a proposal late last year guaranteeing universal healthcare coverage for all Americans. The lawmaker, whose committee has jurisdiction over Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and other health entitlement programs, was the first Democrat to unveil a healthcare reform proposal after the presidential elections.

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health estimated that more than one-third of the children added to the program will be Hispanics who currently have no health insurance. Health officials project that there are about nine million uninsured children in the United States.

The American Cancer Society predicted that the tax increase on tobacco would reduce youth smoking by about 7% and overall cigarette consumption by 4%.

Remarks by President Barack Obama on Children’s Health Insurance Program Bill Signing..

Reference: Obama To Sign SCHIP Wednesday Giving 4 Million More Children Health Coverage, Kris Alingod - AHN Contributor, AHN, 2/4/2009; SCHIP Happens
Legislation raises federal cigarette tax to $1.01 per pack on April 1
by Steve Holtz, CSP Daily News, 2/5/2009.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: Tobacco Industry - Consequences of the SCHIP Federal Excise Tax Increases..; SCHIP increased tobacco tax will black market flourish..; U.S. Senate passes SCHIP..; A final vote on SCHIP is expected today - Thursday, Janaury 29, 2009..; SCHIP federal tobacco tax increase will deter nearly 1.9 million kids from using tobacco..; NATO - reauthorize SCHIP without imposing tax increases on tobacco products..; U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Expand SCHIP..; SCHIP Expansion approved by U.S. House of Representatives..; U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..;
SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..;
Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the SCHIP..
AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..
U.S. Federal tax increase on tobacco - try it again..
U.S. House fails to override SCHIP expansion veto..
Congress Sends An Extension of the SCHIP to President Bush..
Bush vetoes 2nd bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)...
Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
Bush's SCHIP veto stands..
US edges closer to federal tax hike on tobacco products...
Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...


York County, South Carolina Council passes smoking ban..

February 4, 2009 - The ban applies to all businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county, though municipalities such as Fort Mill, Clover and York won't be affected. Rock Hill passed a similar measure last month.

Under the ban, people who light up inside businesses, restaurants and other indoor public places could face fines as high as $50. Businesses that allow people to smoke in violation of the bans also could be fined. The vote was the final one needed to make the ban permanent, though leaders say they won't begin enforcing it until May 1, 2009. The ban also doesn't apply to people smoking in their homes.

Reference: York County Council passes smoking ban Unanimous vote paves way for law to take effect May 1 by Charles D. Perry - The Herald Online, 3/2/2009.

Related news brief: Cities/Counties South Carolina Smoking Bans, Latest Could Be Rock Hill...

PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..

February 4, 2009 - Philip Morris International (PMI) is giving technical training to 100 customs officers from across Bulgaria, who are given the job of stopping the illegal smuggling of cigarettes into and out of the country. The customs officers will be taught how to identify different illegal types of cigarettes and will also be informed of what procedures they must follow when they find smuggled cigarettes.

Phillip Morris Determined to Become Leading Brand in Bulgaria.

Cigarette smuggling, a global problem that experts say cheats governments of tax revenues and promotes smoking by keeping supplies of cheap cigarettes on the market.
Bulgaria's arm of British American Tobacco Plc says cigarette smuggling, which stood at seven percent in the middle of the year, will double in 2009 due to the higher prices of cigarettes from next year (Monitor, 24 Chasa, Pari). Contraband cigarettes account for 15-20 percent of the market in Bulgaria (May 2008) - contraband usually increases in cases of price hikes.

Since Bulgaria entered the European Union at the start of 2007, border police have seen a huge increase in tobacco smuggling. In the first six months of 2007, more than 26,000 people were checked and 60,000 boxes of cigarettes confiscated,” said border police boss Krasimir Petrov. Most of those violations were at Dragoman and Kalotina, on the western border of Bulgaria. In previous years, he said, about 30,000 boxes were confiscated annually. (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project: Bulgarian Smuggling)

It is interesting to note back in April 2004 Philip Morris International offered $1bn (£550m) to kill off EU smuggling lawsuits. It had long been suspected that tobacco manufacturers facilitated the release of cigarettes to smuggling operations as a way of undermining government attempts to both collect revenue and reduce smoking with high taxes.

Reference: Bulgaria Customs Get Philip Morris Help to Combat Cigarette Smuggling, Sofia News Agency -, 1/28/2009.

Related news briefs: Philip Morris International (PMI) was truly happy they had been back in the Bulgarian cigarette market for a year and had already had 6.8% of market..; WHO FCTC Protocol to Prevent Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Won't Be Completed Until End of 2010..; WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008..; Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike...

In Process -Enforcement - It's Against the Law - Smikng in Cars with kids present..

February 3, 2009 - Ontario drivers who refuse to butt out while transporting kids could face fines of up to $250. Ontario law banning smoking in cars with children under the age of 16 takes effect ..

January 21, 2009 - The banning takes effect today to coincide with the Canadian National Non-Smoking Week - Wednesday during this week is dubbed Weedless Wednesday. Ontario drivers who refuse to butt out while transporting their kids or other young people could face fines of up to $250.

Kingston man chrarged for violating new car no-smoking law, posted by Rob Tripp, Sun Media

Woman busted for smoking in van filled with kids by Joe Belanger, Sun Media, The London Free Press, 2/3/2009.


Nunavut Territory has the highest rate of babies born pre-term in Canada..

February 3, 2009 - A Nunavut health official says expectant mothers' lifestyle choices, including the choice to smoke, are one reason why the territory has the highest rate of babies born pre-term in Canada.

Nunavut (meaning "our land") is the largest and newest territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999 via the Nunavut Act. Nunavut comprises a major portion of Northern Canada, and most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, making it the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world. The capital Iqaluit (formerly "Frobisher Bay") on Baffin Island, in the east, was chosen by the 1995 capital plebiscite. Nunavut is both the least populated and the largest of the provinces and territories of Canada. It has a population of 29,474[2] spread over an area the size of Western Europe.

Figures released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) show that 10.8 per cent of Nunavut babies born in hospitals between 2006 and 2007 were pre-term — meaning they were born before 37 weeks of gestation. By comparison, the national average pre-term birth rate was 8.1 per cent. Seven per cent of Nunavut babies had a low birth weight, and about eight per cent were born smaller than expected for their gestational age, the report found. Babies born early are more likely to be small, and they are also more likely to develop health problems later in life.

Dr. Geraldine Osborne, Nunavut's deputy chief medical officer of health, said that "roughly around 80 per cent of pregnant women smoke and they are smoking more cigarettes than ever." Osborne said other factors include poor nutrition, unsteady food supplies in many Nunavut households and a high rate of teenage pregnancy in the territory.

The CIHI report found that 22.7 per cent of babies were born to teenage mothers in Nunavut, compared to 4.8 per cent nationally (excluding Quebec). Pre-term birth rates in the other northern territories were close to the national average: the Yukon's rate was 8.4 per cent, while the Northwest Territories was at 7.2 per cent. Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador led the provinces with the highest pre-term birth rates, at 8.7 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively.

Reference: Smoking while pregnant contributes to Nunavut's high rate of early births: 80 percent of pregnant women in Nunavut smoke: deputy medical health officer,, 2/3/2009.

Related news briefs: Smoking rampant among pregnant women in Alberta..; U.K. women paid for stopping smoking when pregnant..; Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy Alters Maternal and Fetal Thyroid Function..

PMI will jointly sell SNUS worldwide with Swedish Match AB..

February 3, 2009 - Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI), the largest publicly traded cigarette company, will jointly sell snuff worldwide with Swedish Match AB, broadening the company’s product range as it targets emerging markets for growth.

The companies also said today that they’ll press the European Union to scrap a ban on Swedish-style smokeless tobacco, known as SNUS (pasteurized and put against the upper lip and sucked), which they say is a less unhealthy alternative to cigarettes. The main reason SNUS was banned in European Countries it was feared that it would appeal to children. The few people that use the stuff in the U.S. are young adults and kids that want to be young adults. There is an art to SNUSing - if the bag is not placed in the proper place (and kept there without movement for like 25 minutes) the flow of saliva is increased and the user has the urge to spit.

“Markets like Russia will be the opportunity, where snus is already sold but with limited presence and knowledge,” said David Hayes, an analyst at Nomura in London.
As Swedish Match learned in Russia (Snus product called Click) with no prior Snus tradition - it is a matter of marketing an entire new behavior pattern and teaching consumers. You would think, that if a tobacco users have to change their behavior, they might as well give up tobacco products and live longer.

“It’s a very difficult thing to persuade people to put tobacco in their mouths and suck,” said Jonathan Fell, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, who has a “hold” rating on Swedish Match. “It will be a long haul for everybody,” and probably won’t have a meaningful effect on profit for five to 10 years, he said.

Growth of snus use in Norway (a non-European Country.. According to Dr. Karl E. Lund, research director at the Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research in Norway over the past decade, daily use of snus has tripled among teens and young adults. Swedish Match, makes what Dr. Lund calls "starter kits." "This is snus sold in glamorous metal boxes…where the snus is seasoned with different kinds of fruit flavors," he explains. "[They are] easy to use for snus novices." (NCI Cancer Bulletin, Feb 20, 2007 vol 4 number 8)

PMI already acquired, back in October 2006, Rocker Production AB (Rocker),a privately owned Swedish SNUS manufacturer..

Reference: Philip Morris, Swedish Match to Sell Snuff Globally (Update4) by Thomas Mulier in Geneva at, 2/3/2009.

(PURPLE - comments

Is PMI being sold of a "bill of goods" - SNUS has failed to take-off elsewhere in the way it has taken off in Sweden (Simon Chapman, Queensland Independent, 10/2007).


Tobacco Industry - Consequences of the SCHIP Federal Excise Tax Increases..

February 3, 2009 - If the SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) expansion is passed it will become active on April 1, 2009. According to a report from Fitch Ratings, the additional 61-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes will produce a volume decline of approximately 3.5% to 7%. "While tobacco products are relatively price inelastic, they are not perfectly inelastic," said senior director Wesley E. Moultrie II. "As a result, near-term revenue and operating income growth may be negatively impacted, leading to weaker credit measures."

Fitch further noted, with cigarette volumes decreasing as a result of the increase in the federal cigarette excise tax, state cigarette excise tax revenues will consequently fall. A number of states have dedicated programs funded by their own cigarette excise taxes, meaning states will have to cut their dedicated programs or increase their state cigarette excise taxes. In addition states' budgets are facing record shortfalls; some 45 states are projecting budget deficits for fiscal year 2009 and/or 2010. So-called "sin taxes," taxes on tobacco and alcohol, will be popular revenue sources for state governments looking to somewhat offset revenue shortfalls.

Approximately 117,000 jobs lost in the wholesale and manufacturing tobacco sectors in an industry that employs about 2 million.

Perhaps the category hardest hit by the bill is roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, which will see a tax increase of nearly 2,200%. In a Kraft/CSP Daily News Poll yesterday (2/2/2009), nearly 60% of the 150 respondents said they expect the tax increase will "kill" RYO tobacco sales. Tom Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO): "If you do the math and you buy a quarter-pound of RYO tobacco, plus your tubes and your machine, it's still about 50% less than the cost of fully manufactured cigarettes. So I think RYO will survive. Will it be different? Absolutely. But sales will drop."

So is there an up side as a result of the new taxes? Depends on your point of view, but for manufacturers of other tobacco products - most of which also will see tax increases - this may push more consumers to sample or move to products such as snus and moist smokeless tobacco.

Reference: Tobacco Tax Turmoil (Part 2)
Roll-your-own to take tremendous hit as experts project sales declines, job losses
by Steve Holtz, CSP Daily News, 2/3/2009.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: SCHIP increased tobacco tax will black market flourish..; U.S. Senate passes SCHIP..; A final vote on SCHIP is expected today - Thursday, Janaury 29, 2009..; SCHIP federal tobacco tax increase will deter nearly 1.9 million kids from using tobacco..; NATO - reauthorize SCHIP without imposing tax increases on tobacco products..; U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Expand SCHIP..; SCHIP Expansion approved by U.S. House of Representatives..; U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..;
SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..;
Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the SCHIP..
AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..
U.S. Federal tax increase on tobacco - try it again..
U.S. House fails to override SCHIP expansion veto..
Congress Sends An Extension of the SCHIP to President Bush..
Bush vetoes 2nd bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)...
Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
Bush's SCHIP veto stands..
US edges closer to federal tax hike on tobacco products...
Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...


Honk Kong - smoking increase raise tobacco duties??

February 3, 2009 - Hong Kong - even with smoking ban cigarette consumption up 14 (13.8) percent. Customs and Excise Department figures show that 38.2 million more cigarettes per month were consumed last year than in 2006. The ban on smoking in indoor public places was introduced in July 2007, but some bars and karaoke clubs were given a two-year exemption. That exemption will end in July 2009, but already there has been a movement to postpone the move. The smoking ban has not hurt the restaurant trade, as the industry had feared.

Anti-tobacco groups are calling on the Government of Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, JP to raise the tobacco duties (a tax charged by a government, especially on imports). The pressure to raise the tobacco tax is greater this year due to the financial downturn, and anti-tobacco groups say it is high time the government increased tobacco duties to cut consumption, especially among young people. The Council on Smoking and Health (Cosh) has been using the internet to rally support for a policy that would increase duties by 5 percentage points above inflation.

Low tobacco duties - which have not changed since April 1, 2001 - have made Hong Kong cigarettes among the cheapest available in developed economies.

1 HKD (Hong Kong Dollar) = 0.13 USD; 1 USD = 7.75 HKD)

Anthony Hedley, professor of the University of Hong Kong’s department of community medicine, said he was “very pessimistic” that Mr Tsang would choose public health over business.

Reference: Smoking Rise Draws Call To Put Up Duties by Mary Ann Benitez - South China Morning Post, Clean the Air Tobacco Blog, 1/31/2008.

Additional related news briefs: Hong Kong - public smoking ban - smoking rooms??; Shanghai Tobacco's Golden Deer Cigarettes - Hong Kong...

More on Marlboro MST & Marlboro Snus..

February 2, 2009 - In its fourth quarter and year-end results, Altria Group Inc. revealed it would discontinue Philip Morris USA's Marlboro moist smokeless tobacco test market in Atlanta area. In the statement, the company maintained the Marlboro brand has "an important role to play in the smokeless tobacco category," adding the company is evaluating potential strategies and options for the Marlboro brand following Altria’s acquisition of UST's smokeless tobacco business last year.

Meanwhile, the company's test of Marlboro Snus, a spitless, smokeless tobacco pouch, will be expanded into a new test market in Arizona during the first quarter of 2009. In addition, the Snus product was revamped based on consumer-driven insights and learnings from test markets in Dallas and Indianapolis, the company stated. The new Snus contains new packaging, product enhancements and pricing, according to the company.

More on Marlboro MST and Marlboro Snus. More on Altria's 2008 Full Year & 4th Quarter Results.

Reference: Marlboro MST Test Gets the Can; Snus Revamped, Convenience Store News, 2/2/2009.

It is interesting to note that tobacco analysts felt the Marlboro name could not miss in the smokeless category. Citigroup tobacco analyst Bonnie Herzog Citigroup's Tobacco Analyst Bonnie Herzog told investors that PM USA will fully cement its place in the smokeless segment using the power of the Marlboro brand (8/21/2007). Philip Morris (PM) USA today announced that it will be introducing Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco (MST)..">) Also - Altria's growth depends on the Marlboro name..

Todd Sullivan: I love the idea of a Marlboro branded chew product. I have very little doubt it will be an immediate hit. Several people I know who chew are excited about the product and are definitely going to give it a test when it is available. With smoking rates in decline, a new product with the Marlboro brand label will be a big boost to Altria's (and we shareholders') coffers. With the anticipated success of this product, a fat dividend increase, a big share repurchse, and the PMI spin all expected soon, it looks to be a very exciting fall for shareholders. (Altria: Marlboro Smokeless Product Will Be A Hit by Todd Sullivan, Seeking Alpha, 8/22/2007.)

Survey looks at new tobacco products, predicts hit for PM USA's Marlboro Snus..

UST, Inc. (principal subsidiaries: U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates) NOT Worried About New Moist Snuff Entry - Marlboro..

SCHIP increased tobacco tax will black market flourish..

February 2, 2009 - The increase in the federal excise tax on tobacco products to fund SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) will hurt small tobacco manufacturers, tobacco wholesaler and tobacco retailers. (Fred Hoyt, President of Smoke N Go LLC, a chain of 18 smokeshop/convenience stores based in Abbeville, LA) The bill will price tobacco products out of the reach of many consumers. Hoyt believes the high tobacco prices will inspire a flourishing black market for cigarettes. No longer will people be robbing convenience stores for the money but will ignore the cash and just take cigarettes. Consumers will look for alternatives to get their tobacco supply such as placing orders on the Internet. We must bar the shipment of tobacco products through the U.S. Postal Service.


Reference: Tobacco Tax Turmoil (Part 1)
SCHIP vote leaves retailers reeling over likely sales declines, security issues
by Steve Holtz, CSP (Convenience Store/Petroleum) Daily News, 2/2/2009.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: U.S. Senate passes SCHIP..; A final vote on SCHIP is expected today - Thursday, Janaury 29, 2009..; SCHIP federal tobacco tax increase will deter nearly 1.9 million kids from using tobacco..; NATO - reauthorize SCHIP without imposing tax increases on tobacco products..; U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Expand SCHIP..; SCHIP Expansion approved by U.S. House of Representatives..; U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..;
SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..;
Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the SCHIP..
AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..
U.S. Federal tax increase on tobacco - try it again..
U.S. House fails to override SCHIP expansion veto..
Congress Sends An Extension of the SCHIP to President Bush..
Bush vetoes 2nd bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)...
Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
Bush's SCHIP veto stands..
US edges closer to federal tax hike on tobacco products...
Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...


Hawaii may ban lipstick-sized packs of Virginia Slims..

February 2, 2009 - Hawaii may ban lipstick-sized packs of slim cigarettes because some lawmakers believe they're marketed toward teenage girls. A bill pending before the Hawaii Legislature would prohibit the small, pink and teal packs of cigarettes, known as "purse packs," from being sold in the islands. The measure specifically mentions Virginia Slims Superslims Lights. They are made by Philip Morris USA and were initially marketed in the United States in October, according to the legislation.

"Something like this would appeal to young, gullible girls," said Jackie Young, chief staff officer in Hawaii for the American Cancer Society. "They're seductive looking. They're sexy and glamorous. But they're still full of toxins."

Take a look at various views of the lipstick-sized pack.

Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris USA.: Similar types of thin cigarettes, like Virginia Slims Superslims Ultra Lights, have been sold for nearly 20 years, said The difference with these new cigarettes is their packaging. "Our marketing practices are designed to reach adults who are 21 years of age and older and already smoke," Phelps said, noting that the company supports legislation curbing underage access to tobacco products. Hawaii appears to be the only state attempting to prohibit these types of cigarettes, Phelps said.

Reference: Hawaii may ban 'purse packs' of cigarettes by Mark Niesse, Asociated Press - Forbes, 1/30/2009; Other Tobacco News, Convenience Store Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 2/11/2009.

Related news briefs: C-store update: Virginia Super Slims "Purse Pack"..; STOP launch of PM's Virginia Slim "Super Slim" cigarettes:..; Virginia Slims "Purse Pack" Available 1st Quarter 2009..; Gallaher targets teenage girls with 'super slim' Silk Cut cigarettes..

The thin cigarette ban legislation has been referred to multiple committees, but hearings on it haven't been scheduled yet. HB327 and SB779. Click here to view the text of the bills.

Click on image to enlarge..


C-store Update - Availability of Little Cigars or Are They Cigarettes..

Click on image to enlarge display.

February 1, 2009 - Standalone (floor) display of Cheyenne Little Cigars made by Cheyenne International of Grove, N.C.. They come in packaging identical to a cigarettes and are identical to a cigarette. However, the price is quite different - a carton (identical to a carton of cigarettes) is $8.99 ($.99/pack) compared to a carton of Marlboro Lights at $30.00 ($3.65/pack).

The cigars come in numerous flavors kids would like such as grape, peach, vanilla, wild cherry, xotic berry. Click here - notice the cigar display is next to a displays of Hershey candy bars and baseball caps - a kid would think it's normal to have a tobacco product along with these other items. Federal regulations, that should have been changed by now, allow the maker to sell them as cigars allowing them to evade marketing restrictions and higher taxes that apply to cigarettes - increasing youth access with the lower price and all the variety of flavors (a kid may even start associating the flavored cigars with candy bars.)

Cheyenne International is not the only company producing little cigars. There are several brands of little cigars here's just a sampling - various flavors.

A few related news briefs: Ontario to outlaw candy flavored cigars..; Canada: a bill introduced to snuff out drive to recruit young smokers..; Baltimore, MD bans inexpensive single cigar sales..; Ohio youth are using cigars and smokeless tobacco products and it is a continuously growing problem...

Previous C-store update..