Among children with asthma, exposure to ETS is related to increased child behavior problems among boys..

February 21, 2009 - Emerging evidence suggests that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS, passive smoking, second hand smoke, involuntary smoking) may be linked with behavior problems in childhood, but previous research has relied primarily on parent report of exposure, and results are inconclusive. Boys with asthma who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have higher degrees of hyperactivity, aggression, depression, and other behavioral problems - behavioral problems increased with exposure levels

PAPER: Yolton, Kimberly PhD; Khoury, Jane PhD; Hornung, Richard DrPH; Dietrich, Kim PhD; Succop, Paul PhD; Lanphear, Bruce MD, MPH Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Child Behaviors [Original Article]Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics:Volume 29(6)December 2008pp 450-457 ABSTRACT..

Among 220 children in the study, 61% were boys, 56% were black, and 77% had moderate to severe asthma, with the rest having mild asthma. Children included in the study had to have a diagnosis of asthma with no other health problems and be exposed to at least five cigarettes a day. According to estimates provided by parents, children were exposed to an average of 13 cigarettes a day. Because parental estimates can be inaccurate, says Yolton, investigators also measured the cotinine levels in the children's blood. (Cotinine is a byproduct, or metabolite, of nicotine and is often used as a biomarker to more accurately measure tobacco smoke exposure.) Behavioral patterns were reported by parents using the Behavioral Assessment System for Children.

Stronger efforts are needed to prevent childhood exposure to tobacco smoke..

Reference: Research Links Behavior Issues in Asthmatic Boys to Tobacco, 2/21/2009.


Taxes to fund SCHIP may slow illegal cigarettes into Canada.

February 21, 2009 - For years, the major cigarette companies have regularly tried to block efforts to raise cigarette taxes by claiming that they will spark massive increases in cigarette smuggling. The cigarette tax increases that many states are instituting to balance their budgets are raising fears that the trend will make black-market smokes more profitable and lead to more cigarette smuggling.

The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control (CCTC) is calling for effective action to end the massive volume of smuggled cigarettes originating in the U.S. and entering Canada. Until now, U. S. authorities have been less enthusiastic than Canadian law enforcement agencies about cracking down on illegal factories operated by the St. Regis Tribal Council in New York State.

But this may change soon - the new U. S. government might take a very different view of the illegal tobacco industry, because President Barack Obama has just signed a new US$32.8-billion children's health insurance law that will be funded almost entirely by an increase in tobacco taxes. The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) has committed the federal government to match state funds to provide health insurance to four million more children. The measure will be paid for by a US62¢ increase in the tax levied on each pack of cigarettes, taking the total to US$1.01 per pack.

The increase in tax is sure to make the huge U.S. market all the more attractive to the criminal groups that have concentrated almost exclusively on the lucrative Canadian market to this point. The new tax will take the price for a carton of 200 Marlboro or Newports up to US$90 in some high-tax jurisdictions such as New York City. By comparison, legal cigarettes sell for $65-$85 per carton of 200 in Canada. There is a concern that when taxes do go up, we'll be seeing the illegal cigarettes in both countries.

Reference: Tobacco tax may help clip smuggling, John Ivison, National Post, 2/10/2009.

Related news briefs: Canada - Obama visit - help STOP cigarette smuggling from U.S..; Canada economic recession losing billions in unpaid tobacco taxes..; Canada - Police arrest 46 in tobacco crackdown..; Imperial Tobacco Survey - Canadian Illegal Tobacco Trade..; Canada - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband ..; Canada tobacco firms admit aiding smuggling...

Iran - graphic warnings cigarette packs..

February 21, 2009 - Iran’s battle against tobacco consumption took a step forward in February 2009 the country received its first series of cigarette packages with health warning pictures. The warnings come at an important time as World Health Organization statistics show that smoking rates are rising in Iran, despite the country’s efforts to reduce tobacco consumption since the 1990s.

The pictures cover roughly half of the packaging and show graphic images of the diseases caused by smoking tobacco. Research manager for the Iranian Anti Tobacco Association Dr Ali Abdolahinia said that pictorial warnings on cigarette packages were one of the most effective ways to convey information about the health impacts of smoking. “According to a preliminary study performed to assess the initial reactions of Iranian smokers to pictorial health warning labels, more than half of smokers stated a probable decrease or giving up their smoking,” he said.

During the next few months, similar warnings will cover all locally and imported cigarette products in Iran.

According to an ISNA report published in the 25 March 2007 edition of the online Persian newspaper baztab, Iran is the world's third largest consumer of American cigarettes, after Japan and Saudi Arabia. The report said the World Health Organization has announced that cigarettes are the most important item authorized for export by American companies to Iran, and that at least half of the $100 million in goods exported by American companies to Iran in the year 2005 was cigarettes. (Iran Third Largest Consumer of American Cigarettes, Freedom's Zone, 3/25/2007)

More - Campaign for Effective Health Warnings on Cigarette Packs..

Countries which have picture based cigarette health warnings from

Reference: Iran receives first graphic warnings on cigarette packages, Framework Convention Alliance, 2/20/2009; Iran: here come the graphic health warnings, Tobacco Control in Africa, 2/10/2009.

On 26 May 2008, the new changes to Queensland’s anti-smoking laws will ban smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 16 years, and grant councils the power to regulate smoking in malls and at public transport waiting points such as bus stops.

By law and popular demand the Queensland Government has the nation’s toughest anti-smoking laws. These laws are reducing the public’s exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, contributing to a culture that supports smokers trying to quit, and discouraging young people from taking up the habit.

Mr Stephen Robertson said smoking-related deaths remained unacceptably high. Almost 3,400 Queenslanders die each year as a result of the habit. "Smoking related hospital admissions also place a huge burden on public finances, costing Queensland's health system $217 million a year," he said.

Reference: February 21, 2009 - In a big win for Gov. Tim Kaine and a blow to the Virginia tobacco industry, the General Assembly on Thursday passed historic legislation that, come December 2009, will outlaw lighting up inside eateries unless they have an enclosed smoking room with independent air ventilation. The bill allows smoking in open-air outdoor patios and at private clubs. Owners and diners who violate the ban will face a $25 fine.

Under the legislation, restaurant workers cannot be required to work in smoking rooms against their will.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, who unsuccessfully pushed for smoking bans in each of the last two years, said he expects to sign the bill next month in the "quickest drying ink I can find." Virginia joins D.C. (in 2006) and Maryland (in 2007) with restrictions on smoking in most public places.

The approval came after the Democratic governor Tim Kaine worked out a compromise with Republican House Speaker William J. Howell of Stafford.

After two weeks of intense debate, the legislation passed without discussion on votes of 27-13 in the Senate and 60-39 in the House. Many lawmakers said there was an overwhelming public support for the ban.

The bill was a compromise between health advocates who wanted an unconditional restaurant smoking ban and conservatives who held that restaurant owners should be allowed to decide whether it is in their business interests to ban smoking.

Anti-smoking groups praised the compromise, noting that most restaurant owners already bar smoking and, among those that don't, many will not want to pay to enclose and ventilate a room for puffing. More than 90 percent of Virginians -- nearly 7 million people -- live in localities in which the majority of restaurants are smoke-free, David Harden a Longwood University geographer has found by Karin Kapsidelis, Richmond
Times-Dispatch, 2/18/2009.

The ban was strongly opposed by Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest cigarette producer, and its corporate parent, Altria. Both corporations are headquartered in metropolitan Richmond. Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Altria, said the legislation is "effectively a complete ban on smoking."

Virginia will join 23 states that outlaw smoking in restaurants. Public health advocates in North Carolina - the heart of tobacco country - vowed to pass a statewide ban this legislative session on smoking in restaurants and bars, an effort that failed by a slender margin two years ago. The bill's fate may hinge on the N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association. (Smoking ban proponents gear up
Lawmakers will try to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. Tobacco companies plan to fight the bill
, Mark Johnson - Staff Writer, The News & Observer, 1/30/2009) The N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association will not oppose -- and could actively support -- a ban on smoking in restaurants and workplaces, The News & Observer, 2/16/2009..

Recently, Virginia lawmakers refused to consider raising taxes on tobacco.

Related news briefs: Possible Smoking Ban Law in Virginia..; Shame on Virginia...

Reference: Virginia passes smoking ban compromise, Washington Business Journal. 2/19/2009; Restaurant smoking ban OK'd, awaits Kaine's signature by Julian Walker and Warren Fiske, The Virginian-Pilot, 2/20/2009.

Russia among top-10 smoking nations..

February 21, 2009 - According to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s authority for health issues, Russia ranks fourth according to the number of smokers per capita. The WHO report reveals that two-third of the world’s smokers live in just ten countries – China, India, Indonesia, Russia, US, Japan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Germany and Turkey.

Russia leads the US and Brazil in the total number of smokers, although it has a much smaller population. Moreover, first-ranked China, followed by second- and third-place India and Indonesia respectively have much larger populations than Russia, yet the latter finds itself in the same smoky neighborhood.

Despite the growing awareness in Russia that smoking is a leading factor in death and disease, smoking continues to kill millions of Russians deaths every year, thus making the smoking problem more acute than that of TB, AIDS and malaria taken together.

In Pictures: The World's Heaviest-Smoking Countries.

Related news briefs: Russian lawmakers discuss smoking ban for restaurants and bars.., Russia passes new restrictions on tobacco.., British American Tobacco (BAT) Misleading Russian Consumers.., Russian State Duma (Parliament) ratified the framework convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control...

Reference: What a drag…Russia among top-10 smoking nations, RussiaToday, 2/20/2009.


PMI presentation Consumer Analyst Group of NY..

February 20, 2009 - Philip Morris International Inc.(PMI) presentation at the annual Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference, February 17, 2009 at approximately 3:00 p.m. ET.

Phillip Morris International Presentation..

Canada - Obama visit - help STOP cigarette smuggling from U.S..

February 20, 2009 - Yesterday (2/19/2009) as President Obama arrived on Parliament Hill , he was greeted by a giant, 21-meter (19.1 yards) long banner stating "Please STOP cigarette smuggling from the U.S to Canada".

The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control (CCTC) is calling for effective action to end the massive volume of smuggled cigarettes originating in the U.S. and entering Canada.
The Royal Canadian Mounting Police (RCMP) reports that cigarette smuggling from about 10 illegal, unlicensed factories located on the U.S. side of the Akwesasne reserve near Cornwall represents as much as 90% of cigarette contraband in Canada. This contraband is having a very serious adverse impact on Canadian public health, public revenue and public security.

References: Parliament Hill urges President Obama to stop cigarette smuggling from the U.S. to Canada, CNW Group, 2/19/2009.

Related news briefs: Canada economic recession losing billions in unpaid tobacco taxes..; Canada - Police arrest 46 in tobacco crackdown..; Imperial Tobacco Survey - Canadian Illegal Tobacco Trade..; Canada - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband ..; Canada tobacco firms admit aiding smuggling...

Click on image to enlarge, Image from Melodie Tilson, Non-Smoking Rights Association - Canada..

Russian lawmakers discuss smoking ban for restaurants and bars..

February 20, 2008 - Russia's Duma (the Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament) this week is discussing the crucial second reading of amendments to the 2001 Federal Law on smoking, which at the time outlawed cigarettes in the workplace and on planes. The latest amendments - drawn up by nine deputies from Putin's United Russia party, which dominates the Duma - seek to extend the smoking ban to cafes, bars and nightclubs.

The Duma is scheduled to vote on the proposed changes in March, after which they must be passed in a third reading, approved by the upper house - the Federation Council - and signed into law by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia's entry last spring into the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

According to the Health Ministry, up to half a million people die from smoking-related diseases each year in Russia, where a packet of cigarettes retails at around 30 rubles ($0.82) - well below Western European prices. Russia's population has contracted by more than two million in three years now - standing at almost 142 million toward the end of 2008. The country’s 60 million smokers (two thirds of men and a third of women are smokers) puffed their way through an estimated 340 billion cigarettes last year (2005), compared with 141 billion in 1996.

The Russian tobacco industry generates around $12 billion annually, with Japan Tobacco Inc. Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco Ltd. the major players.

The majority of the Russian population would support considerable strengthening of tobacco control policies but there is also a need for effective public education campaigns.

Related news briefs: Russia passes new restrictions on tobacco..; British American Tobacco (BAT) Misleading Russian Consumers..; Russian State Duma (Parliament) ratified the framework convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control...

Reference: Russia To Debate Ban On Smoking In Restaurants, Bars, - Dow Jones, 2/19/2009.

More on tobacco in Russia..


Canada economic recession losing billions in unpaid tobacco taxes..

February 19, 2009 - Billions of dollars in unpaid tobacco taxes are lost every year from the sale of illegal cigarettes. And it is only getting worse. In 2008, the federal and provincial governments together lost approximately $2.4 billion in taxes and that number is growing as the sale of illegal cigarettes grows. The federal government's share was $1.1 billion.

In December, the Ontario Auditor General reported that the estimated tax loss for Ontario in 2006-2007 was $500 million; and we believe it could be much more than that. We estimate that the Government of Quebec lost approximately $380 million in 2008.

The numbers are alarming: 13 billion illegal cigarettes sold in Canada in 2008; Nearly 50 percent of all cigarettes purchased in Ontario are illegal; 40 percent of cigarettes purchased in Quebec are illegal and Hundreds of millions of dollars in profits for organized crime. It is clear that teenagers are getting hold of these cheap cigarettes. A teenager can buy 200 illegal cigarettes for as low as $6, compared to approximately $60 for the same number of legal cigarettes.

Garfield Mahood, the executive director of the Non-Smokers' Rights Association stated, "In this time of economic recession, a time when governments are desperate for revenue, it is critical that the government recover over a billion dollars in unpaid tobacco taxes."

As President Obama arrives on Parliament Hill today (2/19/2009), he will be greeted by a giant, 21-meter long banner stating "Please STOP cigarette smuggling from the U.S to Canada". The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control (CCTC) is calling for effective action to end the massive volume of smuggled cigarettes originating in the U.S. and entering Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounting Police (RCMP) reports that cigarette smuggling from about 10 illegal, unlicensed factories located on the U.S. side of the Akwesasne reserve near Cornwall represents as much as 90% of cigarette contraband in Canada. This contraband is having a very serious adverse impact on Canadian public health, public revenue and public security.

References: Illegal tobacco costs billions in lost taxes, Benjamin Kemball (president and chief executive officer of Imperial Tobacco Canada),, 2/19/2009; Parliament Hill urges President Obama to stop cigarette smuggling from the U.S. to Canada, CNW Group, 2/19/2009.

Related news briefs: Canada - Police arrest 46 in tobacco crackdown..; Imperial Tobacco Survey - Canadian Illegal Tobacco Trade..; Canada - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband ..; Canada tobacco firms admit aiding smuggling...

Australia - wants to move up date for fire-safe cigarettes..

February 19, 2009 - In the wake of the Black Saturday blazes that have killed 208 people and left 10,000 homeless, the Government hopes to bring forward the March 2010 deadline so safer cigarettes are in use before next summer's bushfire season.

Arson investigators have blamed a lit cigarette, possibly thrown from a passing car or truck, as the probable cause of the West Bendigo fire that claimed two lives and destroyed 50 homes. Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Bowen yesterday announced he had sought advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on bringing forward the start date for the new cigarette regulations. He warned the reduced fire-risk cigarettes were not foolproof in preventing fire.

A lobby of 40 anti-smoking organizations is writing to Attorney-General Robert McClelland to demand the cigarettes become mandatory by September. "The recent devastating fires have highlighted the urgency of all sections of society doing their utmost to minimize further risk of fire," says the letter, on behalf of the Protecting Children from Tobacco coalition.

University of Sydney health professor Simon Chapman, who was a member of the World Health Organization's expert advisory panel on tobacco and health for 18 years, said there was no excuse to wait any longer to introduce cigarettes already mandatory in Canada and parts of the US.

Related news briefs: Australia - Victoria fires - arson thrown cigarette butt..; Australia - new regs fire-safe cigarettes by March 2010...

Reference: Self-dousing cigarettes to cut bushfire risk,
Natasha Bita, 2/20/2009; Australia wants to fast-track fire-safe cigarettes by ROD McGUIRK,, February, 2009.

General Tobacco reaches deal with states on MSA

February 19, 2009 - An forbearance agreement between General Tobacco Co. and a majority of participating states in the landmark Master Settlement Agreement, including North Carolina, may give the manufacturer a better chance at weathering its financial crunch. According to the National Association of Attorneys General, the essence of the conditional agreement is that General will forgo its rights to future reductions in annual MSA payments if the participating states forgive a portion of General's prior payment obligations.

General Tobacco was founded in 2000 and did not join the Master Settlement Agreement until 2004, roughly six years after the MSA was created in 1998. Because of its late entry, General Tobacco had to make retroactive payments before it could join. As of April, it will have made about $550 million in payments. GT-ONE was General Tobacco's first brand of cigarettes launched in 2000.

It has sought changes to how it pays, in an effort to give it a more predictable payment schedule. In the forbearance agreement, General has agreed to pay $6 million toward its prior obligations by April 15, as well as continue to make its current MSA payments.

Back in October 2008 General sued 52 attorneys general and other tobacco makers in complaining that the belated payments limited competition and forced it to pay more than the original entrants. The lawsuit was dismissed by a Kentucky judge last month.

Related news briefs: Judge dismisses General Tobacco challenge to tobacco settlement..;
General Tobacco lays off nearly 25% of work force..; General Tobacco Sues 52 U.S Attorneys General and 19 Tobacco Companies..; N.C.'s General Tobacco Appoints New Sales Head..; General Tobacco completes move to Mayodan, N.C.. and General Tobacco (GT) could “potentially” come out with a snus product in the future..

References: General Tobacco Co. requests deal for payments It asks for flexibility with MSA agreement by Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 2/19/2009; General Tobacco nears deal with states on MSA, - Associated Press, 2/17/2009.


Indonesia - farmers hold rally protest tobacco controls..

February 19, 2009 - Thousands of farmers joined a rally Monday, February 16, 2009 at a public park in Temanggung regency, Central Java, to protest a bill on the health impacts of tobacco products. Wisnubrata, secretary-general of the Indonesian Tobacco Farmers Association's Temanggung branch: "If it's passed, the bill will result in huge losses for tobacco farmers. We will set up a team and send it to Jakarta to express our rejection of the bill."

Indonesian tobacco farmers are opposed to an edict issued by the Council of Indonesias Ulema (MUI) (a quasi-government council of Muslim scholar - give guidance on many issues including smoking for Moslems) forbidding Muslims in Indonesia to smoke although the country earns tens of trillions of rupiah of its revenues from cigarette taxes. Abdurrahman, chairman of the Tobacco Farmers Association in Jember which has 6,000 hectares of tobacco plantations in East Java.: “The edict will affect the income of tobacco growers and indirectly impact on people who want to smoke.” He expressed regret about the MUI edict which banned children, expecting mothers and people in public places from smoking, saying tobacco growers would not obey it and continue to plant tobacco to support their families. Mubaroq, MUI's Temanggung chairman, claimed the edict was just a good call for people to avoid the habit.

Temanggung Regent Hasyim Affandi supported the farmers. "Go ahead to Jakarta. I've read the bill, it doesn't accommodate the farmers' interests. But the team should bring a proposal to counter the bill," he said.

House of Representatives member Suswono, who attended the rally, said the bill had actually been proposed by an NGO (non-government organizations). The bill is not prioritized for deliberation. When it gets discussed, we will ask for input from various parties," he said.

Reference: Thousands of farmers protest bill on control of tobacco, Suherdjoko , The Jakarta Post, 2/19/2009.

Related news briefs: Indonesia - tobacco farmers reject Islamic council's edict..; Indonesia - Ulema Council - debate results is split on smoking..; Indonesia - Withdraw Sponsorhip of Another Rock Concert..; Indonesia to increase tax on tobacco products..; 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...

Click on image to enlarge.. The debate over smoking revealed a split between those wanting to make it "haram" (forbidden), or not allowed, and others who favored "makruh" (objectionable), an Arabic term whereby it would only be advised that smoking is bad and it is better to drop it. The fatwa is the decision issued by the Council of Moslem scholars - MUI.


February 19, 2009 - Former Winston cigarette model Alan Landers has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Co., claiming his former employers' product destroyed his health. In an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper, Landers, who appeared in hundreds of ads for Winston cigarettes in the 1960s and '70s and who is now battling late-stage throat and lung cancer, said, "They created the illusion that smoking was cool but they knew when I was doing the campaign that it caused lung cancer and that it was the most addictive drug the world has ever known. ... They should be held accountable for killing people."


Some of us remember the last Marlboro Man Wayne McLaren who died of lung cancer at age 51 in 1992 after 30 years of smoking.

Before After, Image courtesy of

China - graphic warnings on cigarette packs..

February 18, 2009 - China is a signatory to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The treaty stipulates that on packs of tobacco, consequences of smoking must be clearly and strikingly stated. The words or pictures shall take up no less than 30 percent of the entire packing.

China's tobacco control authorities are seeking support from netizens (a person who is a frequent or habitual user of the Internet) to urge producers to print warning pictures on cigarette packaging, trying to set an agenda for the coming parliamentary and political advisory sessions.

The netizens' opinions will be submitted to national political advisors before they meet in March for their annual full meeting to call for more effective tobacco control efforts, organizers said. The National Tobacco Control Office (NTCO) initiated the move with several websites to ask the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration to ensure that harms of tobacco are clearly specified on the packs with pictures.

In China, although cigarette packs carry characters that read "smoking is harmful to your health," 70 percent of consumers are still ignorant or numb to the warning, according to a survey by the office last year.

There are 350 million smokers in China (one-third, of the world’s total smokers) that is 50 million more than the entire population of the U.S. China is not only the largest tobacco producer in the world, but China consumes about 40% of the world’s cigarettes. Almost two-thirds of Chinese men (63%), and 3.8% of Chinese women, are smokers. According to a 1998 survey, among Chinese adolescents aged 11–20 years, almost half (47.8%) of the boys and 12.8% of the girls surveyed were experimenting with tobacco. If current trends continue, China’s tobacco-related death toll could reach 2.2 million per year by 2020 and 3 million per year by 2050.

Among the FCTC provisions, China is required to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship on radio, television, print media and the Internet within five years. It also prohibits tobacco-company sponsorship of international events and activities. Chinese state media reported that China is to ban all tobacco-vending machines, including in self-administered Hong Kong and Macao.

Reference: China's Anti-tobacco Fighters Demand Warning Pictures on Cigarettes, Beijing, 2/18/2009.

Arkansas governor signs tobacco tax increase..

February 18, 2009 - Gov. Mike Beebe signed an $87.8 million tobacco-tax hike into law (Act 180 of 2009, formerly House Bill 1204), on Tuesday, February 17, 2009. It will raise cigarette taxes by 56 cents a pack and increase other tobacco taxes to pay for a statewide trauma system and a host of expanded health programs. The law, which takes effect March 1, 2009 will raise cigarette taxes by 56 cents a pack (from 59 cents a pack) to $1.15 per pack. With the increase, Arkansas’ tax will still be below the national average of $1.19 per pack. The state increase is on top of a 62-cent-a-pack federal excise tax signed this month that goes into effect April 1, 2009.

Arkansas’ state senate had approved the tax on all tobacco products on February 12, 2009. The measure needed 27 votes to pass, and the state senate approved measure with a 28 to 7 vote. The house passed the bill earlier 75 to 24. The bill then goes to the governor to sign. (Arkansas Senate passes tobacco tax increase by ANDREW DeMILLO, - Associated Press (2/12/2009))

State officials say the Arkansas tax increase, when combined with federal matching dollars, will pay for nearly $180 million in expanded health programs.

Beebe has proposed using the new revenue to expand the ARKids First health insurance program for low-income children by raising the income eligibility cutoffs, a move that will open it up to about 8,000 more children. Other programs that Beebe has called for funding with the tobacco tax money are a northwest Arkansas campus for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, community health centers and a statewide flu-shot campaign.

Arkansas also bans smoking in cars with children age 6 and younger.

Related news brief: Arkansas Governor's proposed tobacco tax increase..; U.S. States Considering Tobacco Tax Increase...

Reference: Beebe signs tobacco tax hike into law by John Lyon, Arkansas News Bureau, 2/17/2009.

Turkey after smoking ban cigarette consumption reduced..

February 17, 2009 - Turkish authorities said on Sunday, February 15, 2009 that cigarette consumption decreased in Turkey after a ban. Cigarette consumption was down 1.1 percent in the second half of 2008 over the same period of 2007, Mehmet Kucuk, the deputy chairman of Tobacco & Alcohol Market Regulation Agency (TAPDK), told AA correspondent.

Under the new law passed in January 2008, smoking was be banned in all enclosed public places including restaurants and bars as of July 19, 2009.

Kucuk said that there had not been any tendency of decrease in cigarette sales in other countries in the world in the first four or five years after they had enacted a cigarette ban. The reduction in cigarette sales in Turkey in the second half of 2008 indicated that the regulation was being implemented well, he also said.

Reference: Cigarette consumption decreases in Turkey after ban, HurrriyetDailyNews, 2/15/2009.

Related news briefs: Smoking ban in Turkey lowers cigarette consumption..; Turkey's ban on pubic smoking goes into effect on Monday, May 19, 2008..; British American Tobacco (BAT) reported group volume sales up for first quarter 2008..; More on the quick fix for outdoor smokers..; BAT to Acquire Most of Denmark's ST..; More on Philip Morris International of the Future..; WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008...

Smoking bans unpopular in Austria..

February 17, 2009 - Smoking bans have been distinctly unpopular and hard to enforce in a Austria where, according to the World Health Organization, no less than 47 percent of the population smokes, and each consumer burns through an average 2,073 cigarettes per year.

Local authorities are in charge of enforcing the ban in each of Austria's nine provinces but with some 2,000 bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Vienna alone -- many of them small -- checks are not always easy to carry out.

According to Walter Piller, chairman of the gastronomy (the science of good eating) branch of Vienna's chamber of commerce, 80 complaints have already been filed in Vienna but no fine has yet been given. These can go up to 10,000 euros (13,040 dollars) for owners who fail to respect the ban and 100 euros for customers.

Austria - January 1, 2009 - smoking ban large restaurants and bars..

Reference: Cigarettes still burning holes in Austrian ban, Agence France Presse (AFP, 2/13/2009.

Canada - sales of Imperial of Canada's du Maurier SNUS..

February 17, 2009 - Imperial of Canada is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT). In September 2007 Imperial started test marketing du Maurier snus in the City of Edmonton, Alberta. Then on January 28, 2008 Imperial chose Ottawa, Ontario as the second test site for their snus product.

We set out to find out how the sales of du Maurier snus were going. Cynthia Callard, Executive Director, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and Melodie Tilson, Director of Policy, Non-Smoking Rights Association were very helpful.

Although the companies are required to provide Health Canada with sales data, and although this information was previously made public, Health Canada has recently taken a decision to not make this information public. As a result, we have no hard data on sales. Possibly because there is only one company selling snus in Canada, the sales figures although collected by Health Canada are confidential.

Anecdotally, I (Cynthia) can tell you that the sales are very low, as reported to me by the sales clerks I have asked. Melodie - We are hearing that sales have been very slow. The convenience store in my building in downtown Ottawa had the fridge reclaimed by Imperial several months ago due to very slow sales. A sales person in a convenience store at the airport wasn't even aware that they sold snus, despite the presence of the mini-fridge right on the counter.

Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health.. Just anecdotal, Sam. I have talked to several retailers in Edmonton who have told me that the product is not selling very well at all. We have challenged Imperial to release the sales figures for duMaurier snus and cigarettes for Edmonton to prove that snus sales will displace cigarette sales as they suggest but so far they have ignored our request (no surprise).

Imperial ran a series of full-page ads for snus in the daily newspapers in Edmonton and Ottawa during the month of December (about 8-10 ads each), likely in an attempt to see if they could boost sales through aggressive advertising - Melodie. That was the only month in which there was extensive advertising (Cynthia - inferred that it was a year-of-end spending for the project).

Although the packages cannot be displayed at point of sale, there remain large black and white availability signs, in the form of the words “SNUS: $7.99”. Newspaper advertising of tobacco products is legal in Canada. December was the only month in which there was extensive advertising (I inferred that it was a year-of-end spending for the project). An example of ad that appeared at in December 2009.NOTE: the ad tells reader that oral tobacco is highly addictive too.

Related news briefs: Still sucking our youngsters in..; Ottawa becoming next test market for Snus..; duMaurier SNUS - Comments Regarding Smokeless Tobacco from Dave Hancock, Minister of Health & Wellness, Province of Alberta, Canada..; SNUS - smokeless tobacco product coming to Canada - Canada's largest tobacco manufacturer (Imperial Tobacco); duMaurier SNUS - Edmonton, Alberta - Imperial Tobacco Canada...

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids - Need for FDA Regulation of Tobacco..

February 17, 2009 - Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids when commented on the CDC analysis to assess the cigarette brand preferences among middle school and high school students, need to pass legislation to have the FDA regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sales of tobacco products.

Myers writes: Congress can protect our nation's children by granting the FDA authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. This bill would impose specific restrictions on tobacco marketing that appeals to children. It would limit tobacco advertising in stores and in magazines with significant teen readership to black-and-white text only, eliminating the colorful images that depict smoking as cool and glamorous. It would ban outdoor tobacco advertising near schools and playgrounds, end tobacco sponsorships of sports and entertainment events, and require stores to place tobacco products behind the counter. The bill would also grant the FDA and the states authority to further limit tobacco marketing.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (TFK) worked very closely with Philip Morris USA (PM), to produce this legislation. You can say the Campaign TFK got in bed with the enemy. Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) said it best, "Poison peddlers shouldn’t get to decide how we as responsible legislators fight the war against their deadly products."

Regulation of the tobacco industry is absolutely necessary but let's do it RIGHT this time. It's time to take another look with less input from the major company Altria controls over half of the U.S. tobacco market congress is trying to regulate. Mr. Myers has even said, “The election of Barack Obama changes everything.” Prior to approval of this legislation PM is working to circumvent the law. Citi bank tells shareholders that if the FDA begins to regulate the tobacco industry, it would make little difference. Many concessions have been granted to get tobacco companies to buy into this legislation weakening the bill even further. UST Inc. (now owned by Altria Group, Inc, the parent of PM), the biggest U.S. maker of smokeless tobacco products and the North American unit of Swedish Match AB which also sells smokeless tobacco announced they would support the bill. The bill was amended to give smokeless companies the ability to give away free samples to adults under limited circumstances which hadn't been allowed in earlier versions of the bill.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: February 2009 - legislation FDA to regulate tobacco..; FDA Regulation Likely for Tobacco - Let's Do It RIGHT..; President--Elect Barack Obama and Tobacco..; Revise Senate's Version FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill..; FDA tobacco regulation - bill distorted in current form..; AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP.."; More - Lorillard-Newport - FDA proposed tobacco regulation..; FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill Overwhelmingly Passed U.S. House..; House to Vote on FDA Regulation of Tobacco..; Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authority to regulate tobacco products...; With U.S. FDA tobacco regulations on the horizon Altria already preparing to circumvent the law..; Public health experts are questioning why menthol flavoring in cigarettes, received special protection as Congress tries to regulate tobacco..; Lorillard Tobacco opposes US FDA bill to regulate tobacco..; FDA regulation moves a step closer..; On Tuesday April 1, 1970 President Richard Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect in January 1,..; FDA regulatory control tobacco bill is voted forward..; Reject Proposed Legislation That Would Add Responsibility For Tobacco Regulation to the FDA..; FDA Head: 'No' to Tobacco Cigarettes too "inherently dangerous" to regulate; would "undermine mission."; Federal tobacco regulation backed...; On July 18, 2007, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee postponed a vote on the bill - which would for the first time allow...

Reference: New CDC Study Shows Tobacco Marketing Influences Kids to Smoke, Underscores Need for FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products", Campaign for TFK - Matthew Myers, 2/17/2009.


U.S. Again Marlboro, Newport and Camel preferred amongst youth smokers..,

February 16, 2009 - To assess the cigarette brand preferences among middle school and high school students who were established smokers, CDC analyzed data from the 2004 and 2006 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). Knowing the brand preferences of student established smokers can provide insights into what influences student smokers to start and continue to smoke. The U.S. researchers conclude that exposure to tobacco advertising and promotional activities plays a role in influencing youth to start smoking.

Cigarette Brand Preference Among Middle and High School Students Who Are Established Smokers --- United States, 2004 and 2006, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, February 13, 2009 / 58(05);112-115.

The three most heavily advertised brands, Marlboro, Newport and Camel, continue to be the preferred brands of cigarettes smoked by established student smokers in middle and high school. The analysis found that among established student smokers in middle and high school, Marlboro was the preferred brand (43.3% and 52.3%, respectively), followed by Newport, Camel, other brands. The use of Newport was significantly higher among blacks in middle school (59.7%) and high school (78.6%) compared with other racial/ethnic groups.

Asian, white, Hispanic, and multiracial students were more likely than blacks to smoke Marlboro. Blacks were more likely than Hispanics, multiracial students, Asians, and whites to smoke Newport. Whites and multiracial students were more likely than blacks to smoke Camel, and Hispanics were more likely than Asians to smoke other brands. The use of Camel was higher for middle school males -- 12 percent -- than middle school females -- 4 percent.

In 2005, the cigarette industry spent $13.1 billion in advertising and promotion, down from $14.1 billion in 2004. Since the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, which prohibits tobacco advertising that targets persons aged <18 years, cigarette advertising expenditures in magazines with more than 15% youth readership have decreased. However, alternative promotional strategies likely are being used to reach youth, including sample distribution, point-of-sale promotion, specialty item distribution, and sponsorship of public entertainment. NYTS data indicate that although self-reported youth exposure to protobacco messages declined during 2000--2004 in all media channels except the Internet, most youth in the United States remain exposed to protobacco messages: in 2004, 81% saw images of smoking on television or in movies, 85% saw tobacco advertisements in stores, 50% saw tobacco advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and 33% saw tobacco advertisements on the Internet.

Click on image to enlarge..


Wyoming - tobacco tax increase killed/Smokeless tobacco taxed by weight.

February 16, 2009 - Without discussion, the Wyoming House Revenue Committee killed a proposal Wednesday to raise cigarette taxes 50 cents a pack. "My goal is actually to sell less cigarettes," said bill sponsor Rep. Lori Millin, D-Cheyenne. "Then we aren't paying so much in health-care costs at the end." House Bill 224 would have raised the total tax on one pack of cigarettes to $1.20 and generated about $21 million. The bill would have earmarked that money for local governments.

Cigarette tax extinguished by Bill McCarthy, , 1/29/2009.

HB 67 becomes law - the tax on chewing tobacco will be based on product weight rather than a percentage of the product price, as is the case under current law. Consumers currently pay a 20 percent tax on the price of chewing tobacco. Under HB 67, the tax would be 60 cents per ounce. That will mean substantial increases in the price of low-priced brands of chewing tobacco, and much smaller increases for premium brands.

Supporters of the legislation, including some tobacco companies, say the current formula is based on bad tax policy that assesses higher taxes on more expensive products, putting lower priced competitors at an advantage.

Price of 'dip' could go up

Kentucky raises taxes on cigarettes..

February 16, 2009 - Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation Friday, 2/13/2009 that will raise taxes on cigarettes an extra 30 cents, and a six percent tax will be added to all alcohol sales.

Kentucky, which leads the nation in adult smoking, taxes cigarettes at 30 cents a pack, one of the lowest rates in the nation. This state has the nation's highest rate of lung-cancer deaths and some of the highest rates of heart disease, stroke, premature births and other smoking-associated ailments. Kentucky had high rates of five cancers: lung, larynx, kidney, esophageal and cervical.

Kentucky lawmakers are hoping that this tax increase will make up for a $456 million shortfall in this fiscal year. They say that the increase in the cigarette tax will generate $81.5 million per year, and the six percent sales tax on alcohol would generate an additional $97.9 million.

Kentucky is the nation's largest producer of burley tobacco and dark fire- and air-cured tobaccos.

Reference: KY cigarette, alcohol taxes going up by Cory Stark, - NBC-14, 2/13/2009.

Related news briefs: U.S. States Considering Tobacco Tax Increase..;

Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity..

February 15, 2009 - Smoking a cigarette usually yields 0.5-2mg of nicotine but when placing tobacco in your mouth like Camel Dissolvables then all the nicotine is available for absorption.

Nicotine is one of the most lethal poisons known. Nicotine-based insecticides have been barred in the U.S. since 2001 to prevent residues from contaminating foods. A lethal dose of nicotine is contained in as little as one half of a cigar or three cigarettes; however, only a small fraction of the nicotine contained in these products is actually released into the smoke.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco has started test marketing three dissolvable tobacco products, i.e., Camel orbs - a pellet that looks like candy - similar to a TicTac, soon a flavored tobacco-filled toothpicks will be available followed by edible film strips that dissolve when placed on your tongue. Also Star Scientific flavored lozenges.The taste of these products are usually enhanced by the addition of flavors such as wintergreen, mint and "java."

These dissolvable tobacco products contain between 60 to 300 percent of the nicotine found in cigarettes. Smokers who use these products may get a higher dose of nicotine than they are used to, possibly resulting in adverse reactions such as tremors, nausea, vomiting and agitiation.

While these products are sold in child-resistant packaging, their resemblance to candy and breath mint strips and the likelihood that adults will carry small packages in their pockets or leave them in other unsecured places, means that children may have easy access to them. (In the past small children and even pets were turned off because of the nasty taste of the tobacco but now with flavors they'd be anxious to ingest more. A few drops of pure nicotine placed on the tongue will quickly kill a healthy adult.) Children who ingest one of these products may become pale, shaky, sweaty and may vomit. Because of the pleasant taste of these products, children may want to eat amounts that could result in more serious problems such as slow heart rate and low blood pressure as well as effects on the brain including seizures and coma.

While tobacco companies say they will not market these products to under-age consumers, the appeal to teens is obvious: the product does not look like tobacco, is easy to hide and doesn't cause telltale "smoker's breath" or odor on clothes.

If signs of nicotine toxicity develop, immediately contact your nearest Poison Control Center, e.g., the Indiana Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Reference: PDF Format: New Forms of Smokeless, Spitless Tobacco Put Users and Children at Risk, Indiana Poison Center, 1/1/2009; The same press release in HTML format..