C-store update: premium cigarette specials, Pall Mall/Kool.

February 14, 2009 - As the economy struggles to find its footing, consumers are becoming increasingly frugal. Tobacco smokers as they face this building fiscal pressure, even the most brand conscious are more likely to seek out budget-friendly alternatives, such as price-value cigarette products. To avoid this migration to cheaper brands companies like Philip Morris and R.J Reynolds are discounting their premium cigarettes.

Marlboro 72s also have a 2-pack special price. The idea behind 72s was 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. These cigarettes are shrunk down by about a half inch - 7.2cm long and shorter than the standard 8.5cm cigarette.

Back on September 10, 2008 we reported that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) subsidiary of Reynolds American, Inc. would be scaling back marketing and promotional support for its Kool menthol brand cigarettes. As a result, RJR has moved Kool from a "growth" brand to a "support" With this change, R.J. Reynolds has two growth brands, Camel and Pall Mall. (Lower Trademark Value of Reynolds' Kool cigarette brand..) Judy Hong, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. tobacco analyst: Newport, the top-selling U.S. menthol cigarette, increased its share of smokers after Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc. reduced marketing of Kool, a rival brand. Demand for Newport spurred an 8.2% increase in Lorillard shipments to 9.43 billion cigarettes. First RJR stopped the support of Salem and now it's Kool - both menthol cigarettes have a very interesting history.

Notice the images below - the R.J. Reynolds salesperson hides the shelf containing Kool cigarettes behind a sign advertising Pall Mall.

Previous c-store update..

American Institute of Cancer Research

Click on any image to enlarge..

Hong Kong - temporary smoking ban exemption ends July 1, 2009..

February 13, 2009 - Bars, clubs, nightclubs, bathhouses, and massage and mahjong parlors will be made smoke-free premises when their temporary smoking ban exemption ends July 1, 2009 announced Secretary for Food & Health, Dr. York Chow. He said that smoking claims 6,900 Hong Kong lives annually, making it one of the city's leading causes of death. Dr. Chow thanked anti-smoking professionals whose work has cut the smoking prevalence of the population aged 15 and above from more than 23% in 1982, to about 12.

Background: The initial smoking ban, that was effective on January 1, 2007 prohibited lighting up in restaurants, workplaces, schools, karaoke lounges and public areas. Even smoking outdoors, at public beaches, swimming pools, sports grounds, museums and most areas in public parks is forbidden. Any smokers caught breaking the new law will be subject to a maximum penalty of HK$5,000 (US $644). Venues were not liable to any penalty. (Hong Kong wakes up to smoking ban new law prohibits lighting up inside and outside most public places, msnbc - 1/2/2007)

A new fixed penalty system for smoking offences will launch in the coming months, under which all offenders who smoke illegally must pay a $1,500 fine within 21 days. The smoking ban will also be expanded to public transport interchanges.

To help cut tobacco dependence the Government has adopted a combination of measures, including legislation, taxation, publicity, education, enforcement and smoking-cessation services.

Reference: Tobacco control to remain after smoke ban, news.gov.hk, 2/12/2009.

Related news briefs: Honk Kong - smoking increase raise tobacco duties??; Hong Kong - after smoking ban cigarette consumption up 14 percent..; Hong Kong - public smoking ban - smoking rooms??; Shanghai Tobacco's Golden Deer Cigarettes - Hong Kong...

Click on image to enlarge.., Paul Yeung/Reuters..

Second-hand smoke linked to dementia..

February 13, 2009 - A research study has for the first time shown a link between second-hand (environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, passive smoking, sidestream smoke, involuntary) exposure and development of dementia and other neurological problems in elderly non-smokers.

Previous research has highlighted the increased risk of dementia to active smokers.

PAPER: Exposure to secondhand smoke and cognitive impairment in non-smokers: national cross sectional study with cotinine measurement, David J Llewellyn, Iain A Lang, Kenneth M Langa, Felix Naughton, Fiona E Matthews, : BMJ 2009;338:b462, ABSTRACT..

The research, carried out by Dr David Llewellyn and his colleagues at Cambridge University, measured levels of cotinine — a by-product of nicotine — in saliva samples of nearly 5,000 non-smoking adults over the age of 50, to ascertain levels of exposure to second-hand smoke. Conducting a range of neuro-psychological tests, they were able to assess aspects of brain function including verbal memory and fluency, and numerical calculations. These results were added together to provide a global score for cognitive function. Those whose scores were in the lowest 10% were identified as suffering from cognitive impairment.

Based on the results, Dr Llewellyn and his team concluded exposure to second-hand smoke may be linked to an increased chance of developing dementia and other cognitive impairments. There are believed to be a number of explanations for this, |including the fact that passive smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke — both of which are known to increase the likelihood of neurological problems like dementia. Dr Llewellyn: “Our results suggest that inhaling other people's smoke may damage the brain, impair cognitive functions such as memory, and make dementia more likely.

“Given that passive smoking is also linked to other serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke, smokers should avoid lighting up near non-smokers.”

Altria's comment on second-hand smoke: Bill Phelps Spokesman for Altria Group Inc: "We think that people should be able to avoid being around second-hand smoke, especially in places they must go, such as government buildings and public transportation. But he added that "business owners, particularly those who own restaurants and bars, should be able determine smoking policy for their own businesses."

A few related news briefs: Bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban..; Smoking bans lower heart attacks..; Secondhand (environmental,involuntary, passive) Smoke: Blood Vessel Damage Within Minutes.. and let's not forget about third hand smoke..Children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke...

Second-hand smoke linked to dementia, study reveals
, Belfast Telegrapgh, 2/13/2009.

Click on enlarge to enlarge.. Image from blog of Wesley Smith..

Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation..

February 12, 2009 - A study included a large group of General Electric Co. employees across the country who were offered up to $750 to give up smoking. After about a year, 14.7 percent of the group that was offered money were still smoke-free, compared to just 5 percent of those who weren't paid to kick the habit."Incentives do work in changing health behaviors, and they can be successful in people who have not succeeded using other approaches in the past," said study author Dr. Kevin Volpp, director of the Center for Health Incentives at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Wharton School in Philadelphia.

Even though just 15 percent of those offered money ended up quitting for the long term, those success rates are still far higher than what's normally seen in smoking-cessation efforts. "Only about 2 to 3 percent of smokers quit each year," said Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends and international cancer control for the American Cancer Society.

PAPER: Kevin G. Volpp, M.D., Ph.D., Andrea B. Troxel, Sc.D., Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D., Henry A. Glick, Ph.D., Andrea Puig, B.A., David A. Asch, M.D., M.B.A., Robert Galvin, M.D., M.B.A., Jingsan Zhu, M.B.A., Fei Wan, M.S., Jill DeGuzman, B.S., Elizabeth Corbett, M.L.S., Janet Weiner, M.P.H., and Janet Audrain-McGovern, Ph.D., A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation, New England Journal Medicine, volume 360:699-709, Number 7, Feb. 12, 2009ABSTRACT...

Nasal snuff another harm reduction product..

February 8, 2008 - Stop with these so-called harm reduction remedies - it seems like someone has a new one just about every other week. First it was snus - it's spitless if placed in a specific location in your mouth while sucking on the bag - any movement will release more saliva with an increased urgency to spit or allow the toxic juice to get into your GI tract resulting in an increased chance of pancreatic cancer. Or you have the dissolvables: the Camel orbs - a pellet that looks like candy - maybe a TicTac, soon a flavored tobacco filled toothpicks will be available followed by an edible film strips that dissolve when placed on your tongue. Now the push is on to use nasal snuff. Simple to use - sprinkle a small amount of the powdery-tobacco containing substance on the back of your hand before inhaling it through the nose. But wait--you have to be sure that your inhalation is not as deep as a "snort" because the snuff shouldn't get past the nose, i.e.; into sinuses, throat or lungs.

Toque (pronounced took) one brand of nasal snuff comes in 16 flavors of the tobacco powder including toast & marmalade, toffee, grapefruit, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, peppermint, espresso, whiskey & honey and peanut butter. Besides the powder form this snuff comes in mini-bullets with most of the same flavors.

How can we possibly keep our children from trying out all these new products?? IT's IMPOSSIBLE. They'll give it a try selecting their favorite flavor that masks the taste of the tobacco, the kid comes back for another and another because they just love the flavor. 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 adolescent brain development.

Reynolds has defended the new dissolvable tobacco in part by saying the products come in child-resistant packs. IS THIS ENOUGH?? - WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT TWO YEAR OLD KIDS..

Most smokers start using cigarettes in their teens--with these so-called harm reduction products they could start before the age of ten. The makers of Toque indicate that about 50 percent of their customers are aged between 18 and 25 years old.

Tobacco harm reduction proponents think these products are a good option, not considering our primary focus - our kids. Oregon's state epidemiologist is concerned that the test marketing of dissolvables in Portland will be marketed to children. Dr. Brad Rodu's response.. This is nonsense. First, R.J. Reynolds signed the 1998 master settlement with 46 states (including Oregon), agreeing not to "take any action, directly or indirectly, to target youth. R.J. Reynolds signed the 1998 master settlement with 46 states (including Oregon), agreeing not to "take any action, directly or indirectly, to target youth." Another proponent, when we asked Mr. Godshall how can we limit the distribution of moist snuff pouches (Snus) so they don't get in mouths (or nostrils) of kids. He responded: The 1992 Synar Amendment, and laws in every state (and many local jurisdictions) sharply reduced tobacco sales to youth, and the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement sharply reduced cigarette and smokeless tobacco advertising and promotions that had previously targeted youth. Meanwhile, tax hikes on cigarettes and other tobacco products have further reduced youth consumption of those tobacco products.

It has been proven that these solutions are not sufficient.

Reference: Snuff sales puff up as credit crunch and smoking ban take hold, ASH Daily News for 15 October 2008.>

All tobacco products with no exceptions are highly addictive and dangerous to health; as the World Health Organization tells us "Tobacco is Deadly in Any Form or Disguise."


UAE new tobacco ban proposed..

February 12, 2009 - NEW TOBACCO BAN PROPOSED IN United Arab Emirates (UAE): The UAE's Federal National Council has issued a new proposal to further restrict smoking across the country and control how tobacco products are marketed, reported The National. Smoking would be prohibited in most closed public spaces, in cars with passengers aged under 12 and anywhere in hospitals, mosques, educational institutions and sport facilities. The Supreme Council, which is made up of the rulers of the seven emirates, must approve the ban.

A Ministry of Health stud revealed a quarter of those aged between 12 and 16 in the UAE were full-time smokers. About 27 percent of men and 2.4 percent of women in the UAE use tobacco products like shisha and midwakh, while 25.2 and 3.0 per cent respectively smoke cigarettes, according to the WHO. – Gulf News.

More Tobacco in the UAE - Euromonitor International...

Reference: New tobacco ban proposed in UAE, AMEINFO, 2/11/2009.

Related news brief: UAE - Quadruple Cigarette Price - Prevent Kids from Smoking...

Swedish girls start smoking earlier..

February 12, 2009 - Swedish girls are starting to smoke at younger ages than their counterparts in other countries. In this new study, which took place on the initiative of the international cancer institute in Lyon, France, 5,000 women in Ireland, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, and Sweden, answered questions about when and why they started smoking. In comparison to girls in other European countries, Swedish girls in the youngest age group, 14-years-old and younger, are twice as likely to have started smoking.

Margareta Haglund, who helped complie the results, a tobacco policy expert at the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet), told Svergies Radio:“It shows clearly that girls in Sweden begin at significantly younger ages than in other countries in Europe, which is alarming,”

Haglund warned of the dangers associated with smoking at an early age. “The earlier you start smoking, the larger the risk to your health. If you start before you are 15-years-old, there is a four times greater risk for developing lung cancer than if you start after 25. She suggested that tobacco companies not be allowed to market their products to young people and that tobacco products only be sold from behind the sales counter so that they are not visible to passersby.

Around a fifth of women in Sweden are daily cigarette smokers; 19% women vs. 16% men, which is lower compared to the 25% female average in the western WHO-Europe Region. Men are much more likely to use oral snuff or ‘snus’; 20% men vs. 1-2% women. The argument over the idea that snus alone has caused the decrease in smoking prevalence is simplistic and should be avoided. In fact, only the minority of smokers who quit smoking did so by using snus. International Network of Women Against Tobacco Women and Tobacco in Sweden, INWAT Europe, 7/12/2004.

Reference: Swedish girls start smoking earlier: study, The Local, 1/15/2009.

Altria/Lorillard cigarette prices increase..

February 12, 2009 - Though a federal cigarette tax hike remains weeks away (April 1, 2009), at least two U.S. cigarette makers already have upped prices, and another is cutting some wholesaler discounts as demand drops. Both Altria Group Inc., which owns Philip Morris USA, and Lorillard Inc., which makes Newport cigarettes, increased their carton and pack prices in recent days.

Lorillard raised all its wholesale prices 10 cents a pack or a $1 a carton last week, the company said. Altria raised wholesale prices for its signature Marlboro line and some lower-cost brands this month. Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Basics and other cigarettes rose nine cents a pack or 90 cents per carton, said spokesman Greg Mathe. Reynolds American Inc., the nation's second-largest cigarette company, which reported a 13 percent drop in its fourth-quarter profit Wednesday partly resulting from selling fewer cigarettes, has cut some of the discounts it offers wholesalers in March.

Changing their pricing lets cigarette companies spread the blow of tax hikes to consumers and raise extra money in a dwindling market, said Eric Lindblom, director for policy research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Manufacturers pay federal excise taxes on cigarettes, while wholesalers cover state taxes when they sell to gas stations, convenience stores and other retailers.

Related news brief: Philip Morris USA is raising prices again...

Reference: Cigarette price rises ahead of tax increase Federal hike starting April 1 will help pay for children's health care. by Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press, 2/12/2009.

In Process - Reynolds American Inc.'s (RAI) fourth-quarter 2008 net income skidded 13%,

February 11, 2009 - Cigarette volume fell 8.4% in 2008, compared with an industry decline of 3.3%. The company attributed the drop to tough competition in the first half of 2008 and its discontinuation of some cigarette styles during the year (phasing out low-growth brands).

The company said lower volumes in 2008 were more than offset by higher prices, improved productivity at R.J. Reynolds and double-digit volume growth in Conwood's moist-snuff products. Reynolds shipped 21.6 billion cigarettes in the fourth quarter, down 6.3 percent from a year earlier.

Reynolds American President and Chief Executive Susan M. Ivey answers question regarding Camel SNUS.

Can you just give us an update on what you saw with Camel Snus in the quarter prior to being launched nationwide? But, have you seen people taking that on as a dual use product or is there any sense that there are people who are switching to that product entirely?

Susan Ivey.. Good questions. I would say that we continue to see that Snus is primarily attractive to smokers. Smokers are using Snus when they can’t smoke. The longer Snus’ in the market, we do see growth in the use of Snus substituting smoking occasionally. So, we have seen builds in the markets for Snus where we have been for a longer period of time with increased off take on Snus.

As I said, we are very encouraged by that, because again, as the tax scenario (the price gap between smokeless and cigarettes will grow with federal tax increase) will again provide additional pricing incentive for smokers to try Snus. That’s certainly part of our migration strategy.

"The unprecedented magnitude of the federal tax increase along with a deteriorating economy makes it difficult to predict the impact on volume and earnings," chief Executive Susan Ivey said during a conference call with analysts. "In addition, many states are looking at tobacco taxes to make up revenue shortfalls."
That federal tax increase to $1 per pack, as well as any state tax increases in a recession, could pressure smokers to trade down to cheaper brands and limit the ability of tobacco companies to increase prices.

Reference: Reynolds American Inc. F4Q08 and Full Year Earnings Call Transcript, Seeking Alpha, 2/11/2009.

Japan Tobacco International annual report January - December 2008..

February 11, 2009 - Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Japan Tobacco, Inc's international business operations, increased its sales volume by 17.3% to 452.3 billion cigarettes compared to the previous year. Gallaher results have been incorporated as of April 18, 2007. Global Flagship Brands (GFBs) volume increased 20.8 percent to 245.5 billion cigarettes compared to the previous year. (There are eight GFBs - three of the top five worldwide cigarette brands – Winston, Mild Seven and Camel, also Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut – two leading Virginia brands; the prestigious Sobranie of London; Glamour – the fastest-growing Super Slims brand; and our international value brand LD.)

Total sales volume for Winston grew by 13.8 percent due to robust sales mainly in Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Spain, France, Italy and the Near East. Total sales volume for Canada rose 10.3 percent supported by strong sales in Italy, Russia and Spain and total sales volume for Mild Seven increased 11.4 percent during the period with gains in Korea, Taiwan, Russia and Malaysia. GFB performance also reflected the additional contribution of Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut in the United Kingdom and Ireland and LD, Sobranie and Glamour in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

JTI also has a portfolio of brands which are marketed regionally to complement our GFBs. These include Coronas, Ducat, Export A, Magna, Mayfair, Memphis, Mi-Ne, Monte Carlo, More, Peter I, Ronson, Russian Style, Salem, Sovereign, St George, Troika, Winchester plus many more. JTI is a significant player in the Other Tobacco Products (OTP) arena, with Hamlet cigars, Old Holborn and Amber Leaf Roll Your Own tobacco, and Gustavus Snus (Swedish-style smokeless tobacco).

Reference: JT Reports International Tobacco Business Results January - December 2008, 2/9/2009.

Scotland - bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban..

February 11, 2009 - The health of bar workers, who actively smoke cigarettes, significantly improves after the introduction of a smoking ban. Study findings are based on 371 bar workers from 72 Scottish bars, whose symptoms and lung function were assessed before the implementation of the ban on smoking in enclosed public places, and then two and 12 months afterwards.

Jon G Ayres, Sean Semple, Laura MacCalman, Dr, Scott Dempsey, Shona Hilton, Finton J Hurley, Brian G Miller, Audrey Naji, and Mark Petticrew, Bar workers’ Health and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure (BHETSE): Symptomatic improvement in bar staff following smoke-free legislation in Scotland, Occup. Environ. Med., Feb 2009; doi:10.1136/oem.2008.040311, Abstract.

In all, 191 workers underwent all three assessments, and the proportion reporting any respiratory symptoms fell from 69% to 57% after one year. The proportion of those with sensory symptoms (runny nose, red eyes, sore throat) also fell from 75% to 64%. Among non-smokers the proportion of those with phlegm and red eyes fell, respectively, from 32% to 14%, and from 44% to 18%.

But the effects were also seen among those who continued to smoke themselves. The proportions of smokers reporting wheeze fell from almost half (48%) to one in three (31%), and those reporting breathlessness fell from 42% to 29%.

The authors conclude that their findings reinforce the benefits on health of a smoking ban in public places, but they also show that those who continue to smoke also stand to gain. It is thought that the ban may have boosted the numbers of smokers indulging their habit at home, so exposing their children to greater levels of environmental tobacco smoke. More attention now needs to be paid to this, the authors warn.

Scotland became the first part of the UK to ban smoking in enclosed public places when legislation came into force at 6am on Sunday, March 26, 2006.

Reference: Bar Workers Who Smoke Also Benefit From Smoking Ban, Study Find, Science Daily, 2/9/2009.

Some related news briefs: Smoking bans lower heart attacks..; U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke; Massachusettes - Smoking ban drop in fatal heart attacks..; Nicotine Dependence in Kids Exposed to Second-Hand Smoke..

Why NOT make it illegal for kids to smoke??

February 10, 2009 - A new study shows that making it illegal for kids to smoke can help to reduce youth smoking rates. In Canada right now, it’s illegal for stores to sell cigarettes to kids under the age of 18 or 19 (depending on the province), but that doesn’t mean that it’s illegal for kids to smoke. In fact, while laws against underage drinking are commonplace, laws against underage smoking only exist in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

A study released in October by the University of Florida and DePaul University in Chicago indicates that the rest of the provinces should consider banning youth smoking too. It found that introducing youth possession laws for tobacco is an effective approach to reducing the number of young smokers. Leonard Jason, a psychology professor at DePaul University and co-author of the study, says that banning the sale of tobacco to minors isn’t enough. “There are a variety of ways that, if you’re addicted, you’re going to get tobacco. So you need something more,” he says. Jason argues that if young people can’t smoke openly because they’re afraid of being ticketed by police, there’s less peer pressure for others to pick up the habit.

Canada’s convenience stores, which make a considerable chunk of their profits from selling cigarettes, support the study’s recommendation to ban youth smoking—while anti-smoking groups, such as Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, oppose it. Cynthia Callard, executive director of the anti-smoking advocacy group Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, says the very fact that the Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA) supports such a ban is evidence that it won’t work.

A Statistics Canada survey shows that the percentage of youth aged 15 to 19 who smoke has leveled off at 15 per cent in recent years, after declining from 28 per cent in 1999. That suggests it may be time for a new strategy.

United States: According to Arizona State Code 13-3622 it is a misdemeanor for any person under the age of 18 to possess tobacco products in the state of Arizona, therefore it is illegal for any minor to smoke in the state of Arizona.

Reference: This isn’t illegal Corner stores want to ban cigs for kids. Oddly, doctors don’t by Emily Burke, MACLEANS, 2/4/2009.

Related news brief: Illegal for teenagers under 18 to possess tobacco products..

Netherlands - 1st court case for flouting smoking ban..

February 9, 2009 - AMSTERDAM - Dutch judges are closing a cafe for a month for allowing its patrons to smoke. It's the first case to be brought to court since smoking was banned in restaurants July 1, 2008. The court fined Brothers Gerhard and Ronald Sannes, owners of Cafe de Kachel in Groningen in the north of the country, euro1,200 ($1,535) after they ignored six warnings. The cafe had argued it was too small to provide a separate smoking area.

Small bars and cafes report business has fallen 30 percent since July. Many are reportedly defying the ban. Patrons and sympathizers marched Friday through Groningen to protest the legal action. Some draped themselves in the Dutch flag. The cafe put up notices before the hearing saying it would stay open 36 straight hours Friday and Saturday to mark the event.

Tougher penalties were introduced in October 2008, with inspectors given the power to issue on-the-spot fines of 300 euros for a first offence, followed by 600 euros for the second.

The Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority said in a statement this month that about 2,500 of the country's 11,000 bars were flouting the smoking ban.

Less than a quarter of the Dutch population of 16.4 million are smokers.

Reference: Dutch court closes pub for defying smoking ban, Asociated Press - MSNBC, 2/6/2009; Bar owners face fine for flouting Dutch smoking ban, EXPATICA.com - Dutch News, 2/7/2009.

Related news briefs: Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced..; Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced..; Netherlands the smoking ban must be enforced - Ab Klink, Health Minister...; Congratulations are in order: Netherlands, Romania & Alberta...

Lorillard, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual 2008 Results..

February 9, 2009 - 4th quarter 2008: Total Lorillard wholesale shipment volume for the fourth quarter of 2008 of 9.428 billion units increased 8.2% compared with the fourth quarter of 2007. Newport's domestic wholesale shipments increased 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Based on Lorillard's proprietary retail shipment data, Newport continued to increase its retail market share during the fourth quarter of 2008 by 0.32 share points from 9.54% in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 9.86% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Fiscal 2008 Results (year ended December 31, 2008): Net sales were $4.204 billion in 2008, compared to $3.969 billion in 2007. The 5.9% increase in net sales reflects higher average unit prices and higher net unit sales volume and was partially offset by higher sales promotion costs accounted for as a reduction in net sales. During 2008, Lorillard's domestic wholesale unit shipments increased by 3.2% versus an estimated industry decline of 3.3%. Gross profit was $1.776 billion in 2008, compared to $1.662 billion in 2007. The increase in gross profit reflects an increase in net sales, partially offset by higher manufacturing costs and higher costs related to the State Settlement Agreements. Total wholesale shipment volume increased 3.0% over 2007. Newport retail market share increased by 0.37 points over 2007 to 9.92%.
Judy Hong, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst in New York: Newport, the top-selling U.S. menthol cigarette, increased its share of smokers after Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc. reduced marketing of Kool, a rival brand. Demand for Newport spurred an 8.2% increase in Lorillard shipments to 9.43 billion cigarettes.

Lorillard Inc. Q4 2008 Earnings Call Transcript..

Lorillard Tobacco Company has agreed to donate $1 million to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum to commemorate the unique role that Greensboro played in advancing the civil rights movement. The Center will be located in the original F.W. Woolworth building on downtown Greensboro's Elm Street and will honor the sit-in of February 1, 1960 that took place there, and other civil rights accomplishments. The donation is part of an additional $10 million in funding for the site that was announced during the Center's 49th annual awards gala on Saturday night. (Lorillard Tobacco Company Donates $1 Million to International Civil Rights Center and Museum, SOURCE Lorillard, Inc, 2/2/2009)

Reference: Lorillard, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual 2008 Results, PRNewswire-FirstCall, 2/9/2009; Newport News Lorillard profit up on demand for menthol brand, CSP Daily News, 2/10/2009.

Will Federal tobacco tax increase hurt states from raising the tax on tobacco..

February 9, 2009 - The federal cigarette tax will increase by 62 cents to $1.01 per pack on April 1, 2009. Officials in at least 16 states are weighing proposals for significant cigarette-tax increases to fill gaping budget holes or fund programs.

The sharply increased federal tax (from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack) could alter their reasoning, because the higher cigarette prices are likely to decrease sales, eroding projected tax revenue.

Raising the cost of cigarettes makes non-smokers less likely to start, according to the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Raising cigarette excise taxes has proven to deter youth from becoming addicted to tobacco and has motivated thousands of Americans to quit.

The primary reason to increase the tax on tobacco is to get smokers to quit and dissuade kids from starting..

The effect a higher federal rate would have on state cigarette tax revenue: most states would face a decrease in revenue The demand for tobacco is strongly influenced by its price. Taxation is the most cost-effective way of reducing tobacco consumption, especially among young people and those on low income.

The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) estimates that the federal tax increase, which applies to several forms of tobacco, will lead to the loss of 117,000 of the industry's 1.2 million jobs, a devastating blow especially in a bad economy, said Executive Director Tom Briant. Tobacco Industry - Consequences of the SCHIP Federal Excise Tax Increases..

NATO is faxing letters to state legislators arguing that the federal tax diminishes prospects for raising state revenue through tobacco taxes.


Reference: Cigarette Tax Clouds Boosts Among States by Betsy Mackay, The Wall Street Journal, 2/8/2009.


Australia - Victoria fires - arson thrown cigarette butt..

February 9, 2009 - Australia's raging wildfires have killed at least 130 people, decimating massive spans of land and leaving thousands of residents homeless, creating situation officials say they've never experienced. Scorching temperatures, drought, tinder-dry bush were ideal conditions for igniting a fire and the constantly-changing wind directions helped fan the blazes.

Arsonists are responsible for some of Australia's worst-ever wildfires. A LIT cigarette butt, possibly thrown from a passing car or truck, is the probable cause of the West Bendigo fire that claimed two lives and destroyed 50 homes.

Click on map to find Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

What if the cigarette thrown was fire-safe (reduced propensity to burn)??

If the thrown LIT cigarette butt landed on a paved road there will be a good chance the burning tobacco would have self-extinguished. But more likely the LIT cigarette (fire-safe or not) was thrown into a highly combustible area immediately igniting the massive fires that resulted.

All cigarettes sold in Australia will be fire-safe by March 2010.

Victoria is the smallest mainland state in Australia but the most densely populated and urbanised. Compared to other Australian states, Victoria has a large and thriving Koala population.

Reference: Cigarette butt blamed for town's losses by Corrie Perkin, The Australian, 2/9/2009; Police: Australian fires create 'a holocaust'CNN.com/Asia, 2/9/2009.

Boston - NO Tobacco Products Sold - Pharmacies/College Campuses..

February 9, 2009 - Beginning today Monday, February 9, 2009 college campus stores and pharmacies, including those inside supermarkets, must remove tobacco products from their shelves. The ban comes after the Boston Public Health Commission approved the restrictions last year.

The board also closed loopholes in Boston’s 2002 workplace smoking ban by restricting smoking in outdoor adjacent areas. In addition, the board banned new smoking bars, such as hookah and cigar bars, and gave current smoking bars 10 years to remain open. Cigarette sales at Boston drugstores and on college campuses would be banned under sweeping new tobacco control rules likely to win initial approval today from health regulators.

Pharmacies are not expected to take a financial hit with the new measure coming into place as cigarettes account for a mere one to three percent of sales. CVS and Walgreens have the largest number of pharmacies in Boston and both the chains have said they will comply with the new rules.

With the passage of the country's first tobacco-free pharmacy law, San Francisco has lead the way in recognizing that cigarettes and pharmacies don't mix. The San Francisco ban has survived an initial round of court challenges. Walgreens and Phillip Morris both requested injunctions to stop enforcement of San Francisco's ban on selling tobacco products in pharmacies. Both challenges were rejected and tobacco products disappeared from the city's pharmacy shelves last October 1, 2008.

References: Boston Gets Tough on Tobacco Products: Bans Sales in Colleges and Pharmacies by Jason Ramsey, TOPNEWS.US, 2/9/2009; Tobacco ban on colleges, pharmacies to start, Examiner.com - Associated Press, 2/8/2009.

Related news brief: Boston bans cigarette sales in drug stores..; Boston To Ban Drugstore Tobacco Sales..

As stated, on October 1, 2008 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: San Francisco - Judge threw out a Walgreens attempt to stop the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies..; Philip Morris appeals tobacco ban at San Francisco pharmacies..; 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...

Congratulations to the Boston Public Health Commission in attempting to improve the health of people living and working in the city of Boston.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) smoking in cars when kids are present..

February 8, 2009 - Smoking in cars when children are present was not included in the The Tobacco Amendment Bill 2008 so Katy Gallagher, Minister of Health released a consultation paper (January 2, 2009) on the subject looking for feedback on the subject by February 27, 2009. The paper involves protecting children in cars from passive smoking (environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, secondhand, involuntary). Topics to consider: Ban smoking in a motor vehicle when a child under the age of 16 years is present, Ban smoking in a motor vehicle when any passengers are present or Total ban on smoking while driving.

If you want to have your say on this discussion paper then you’ve got until 27 February to comment: Mail: Smoking in cars, Health Protection Service, Locked Bag 5,
Weston Creek ACT 2611, Email: hps@act.gov.au, Fax: (02) 6205 1705.

Tobacco retail display ban was proposed for Canberra - The Australian Capital Territory (ACT)in March 2008..

On August 27, 2008 Tobacco Amendment Bill 2008 passed the Legislative Assembly. The Tobacco Amendment Bill 2008 continues to implement tighter laws around tobacco and tobacco sales: prohibit point of sale displays; remove the ministerial exemption for tobacco advertising and sponsorship; amend the definition of vending machine; ban rewards for smoking product purchases and ban flavored cigarettes and split packets.

For most tobacco licensees tobacco displays will be removed by 31 Dec 2009 and for retailers whose primary business is tobacco sales the displays would be removed by 31 Dec 2010. When will the other changes be implemented??

Steps involved in getting the ban on smoking in cars passed. The consultation phase ends shortly I believe. The Department will then be required to compile a report reflecting the views from this consultation and making recommendations for a way forward. The Health Minister will then need to take the options to Cabinet for a decision on any proposed changes. I wouldn't think there would be anything occurring until at least mid- year. (communication with Angie Drake, Media Contact, Govt of the Australian Capital Territory)

Consultation Paper..

Reference: Smoking in cars when children are presentACT Government Health Information, 1/2009.