Kick Butts Day Wednesday, March 25, 2009..

March 13, 2009 - Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak up and take action against Big Tobacco at more than 2,000 events from coast to coast.

Information on Kick Butts Day

Kick Butts Day is the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids' annual celebration of youth leadership and activism.


U.K. - G20 Foreign dignitaries will be exempt from smoking ban, ..

March 13, 2009 - The United Kingdom hosts the G20 (Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors) finance ministers' meeting in London March 14 and the leaders' summit April 2. (G20 - 19 of the world's largest national economies, plus the European Union (EU).) The G-20 is a forum for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system

Foreign dignitaries attending the G20 summit in London next month will be exempt from the smoking ban, it has been revealed. (On July 1st 2007, England introduced a new law to make virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces in England smokefree.) The leniency required an amendment to the legislation enforcing the ban. Certain smoking rooms will now be allowed in the Excel Exhibition Centre in Docklands in east London during the summit.

Andy Davis, chairman of Freedom2Choose: "This concession should now be made available to all private businesses and clubs for them to adopt if they so desire." Many working men's clubs have faced precipitous falls in income since the smoking ban, after a second vote in parliament denied private members clubs the right to allow members to opt-in to smoking leniency.

Conservative MP Anne Widdecombe said: "It's one law for one, and one for another, and I think that sums up this government."

Reference: G20 exempt from smoking ban by Ian Dunt,, 3/12/2009.

U.S. - smoking prevalence not falling fast enough..

March 13, 2009 - CDC report - State-Specific Prevalence and Trends in Adult Cigarette Smoking --- United States, 1998--2007. CDC analyzed data from the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey (from 430,912 respondents) and examined trends in cigarette smoking from 1998--2007.

During 2007, an estimated 19.8% of adults in the United States were current smokers. Among states, current smoking prevalence was highest in Kentucky (28.3%), West Virginia (27.0%), and Oklahoma (25.8%); and lowest in Utah (11.7%), California (14.3%), and Connecticut (15.5%). Smoking prevalence was 8.7% in U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), 12.2% in PR, and 31.1% in Guam. Median smoking prevalence among the 50 states and DC was 21.3% (range: 15.5%--28.8%) for men and 18.4% (range: 8.0%--27.8%) for women. Men had a significantly higher prevalence of smoking than women in 30 states, DC, and all three territories.

Trend analyses of 1998--2007 data indicated that smoking prevalence decreased in 44 states, DC, and PR, and six states had no substantial changes in prevalence after controlling for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Only Utah and USVI met the Healthy People 2010 target for reducing adult smoking prevalence to 12%.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for full implementation of comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco control programs at CDC-recommended funding levels to achieve substantial reductions in tobacco use in all states and areas.4).

Cigarette smoking in the United States causes about 443,000 premature deaths and is responsible for $193 billion in direct health-care costs and productivity losses each year, the CDC said. According to the Institute of Medicine, full implementation of comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco-control programs at CDC-recommended funding levels are needed to achieve major reductions in tobacco use in all states and areas.

Reference: State-Specific Prevalence and Trends in Adult Cigarette Smoking --- United States, 1998--2007, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), March 13, 2009 / 58(09);221-226

Dr. Michael Cummings - former advisor receives 2009 Luther Terry award..

March 13, 2009 - K. Michael Cummings, PhD, Recognized for International Leadership in Tobacco Control..

The 2009 Luther L. Terry Awards for excellence in tobacco control were held this evening in Mumbai, on the last full evening of the 14th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health. K. Michael Cummings, PhD, MPH, of the United States: Recipient of the Award for Outstanding Research Contribution.

Dr. Cummings was the thesis advisor for Dr. Garten ( when he received his Master's Degree in Epidemiology from Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo..

Click on image to enlarge.., Dr. Cummings second from left.

Vermont - will tighten current smoking ban..

March 12, 2009 - Vermont was one of the first states to begin restricting secondhand smoke at workplaces when it passed the Smokefree Workplace Act in 1987 – prohibiting the use of tobacco and other smoking products under most circumstances.

Tina Zuk, the coordinator of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont, said current state law allows workplaces to have indoor smoking rooms under specific conditions. She said this is unfair for nonsmoking workers, who expect that they would not be exposed to secondhand smoke (passive smoking, involuntary smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, sidestream smoke) on the job. There's no such things as a NO Smoking Section.

"I don't think most Vermonters realize that you can still smoke indoors in some workplaces," Zuk said. "But times have changed. We used to see smoking as something that bothers people, gets in their eyes and makes them smell yucky. We know now that it is also a killer." The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General (June, 2006). ( Richard H. Carmona, M.D., MPH, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States.)

Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, a member of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and one of the sponsors of the bill, said states that have enacted similar laws have seen dramatic decreases in the number of heart attacks – one of the physical fallouts from tobacco use.

Mullin said he believes many employers support this bill because cigarette smokers can sometimes be less productive in the workplace, take more frequent breaks and get sick more often than their nonsmoking co-workers.

The bill, S.7, is expected to be voted on in the Vermont Senate on Tuesday, March 17. An identical bill has been introduced in the Vermont House, but it has not yet had a committee hearing.

A couple news brief: Smoking bans lower heart attacks..; Secondhand (environmental,involuntary, passive) Smoke: Blood Vessel Damage Within Minutes..

Reference: State to ban smoking at all workplacesby DANIEL BARLOW VERMONT PRESS BUREAU - Published: March 10, 2009.

Click on image to enlarge..


Will Maryland ban smoking in cars when small children present..

March 12, 2009 - A similar bill last year was voted down in committee. Montgomery County Senator Mike Lenett is sponsoring a measure that would fine people who smoke in the car while driving children under the age of eight. Drivers would also be fined if they allow another passenger to smoke in the car while in the presence of children under the age of eight. Lenett's bill sets a $50 fine for violation.

Senator Lenet cites studies by the Surgeon General and the Harvard School of Public Health that exposure to cigarettes in the confined space of a car is 12 times the hazardous level set for children by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Senator Lenet: "I will tell you one thing, parents have no idea of the damage and the harm they're causing to their children by smoking in the car. If you're in a car and you light up a cigarette, you're as good as sharing that cigarette with your three-year-old, strapped in a car seat." Kids exposed to smoke are at higher risk since they breath in more air by weight than adults. Both the respiratory rate and heart rate are higher in children below the age of 13 than adults. Children breathe in a greater amount of air per body weight compared to adults. The younger the child, the greater the potential for exposure. - One child under five years of age, dies every 18 days, when exposed to cigarette smoke.

In the United StatesMaine, California, Arkansas and Louisiana have passed similar laws, as has Puerto Rico.

Seven senators have agreed to co-sponsor the legislation. A legislative panel will hear testimony on the measure Tuesday afternoon (3/17/2009). A Senate committee killed similar legislation in 2007.

Banning smoking when children are in the home or car is a no-brainer - even Philip Morris agrees.

Toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke..

Reference: Md. Lawmakers Want To Ban Smoking In Cars, - Baltimore, 3/10/2009.

Related news briefs: Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..; Further evidence - STOP smoking in the presence of your children..;ASH Calls for a Debate in England on Banning Smoking in Cars with Kids; Among children with asthma, exposure to ETS is related to increased child behavior problems among boys..; U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke..; Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present.. and Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels... For others - do a random search.


As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing..

March 11, 2009 - Convenience Store / Petroleum (CSP) Special Report: this is the second of a four-part CSP Daily News series on how the industry is reacting to the federal excise tax on tobacco that begins in April.

Kit Dietz, a longtime industry expert and consultant: "Whenever you get taxation to reach a point it's reaching today, the illicit markets are going to develop. To what point we don't know, but we all better be keeping a watchful eye," he told CSP Daily News. "That risk vs. reward is greater now," Dietz said during an exclusive interview. "The risk of getting caught hasn't changed, but with the increased FET, the reward has become much greater." (Dietz is talking about April 1, when the federal-excise-tax (FET) increase kicks in on virtually all tobacco segments to finance expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Contraband is undermining the potential effectiveness of higher tobacco taxes. We know higher tobacco taxes reduce smoking. The presence of cheap cigarettes undermines this strategy, leading to higher smoking rates. Illegal cigarettes are defined as cigarettes and tobacco sold by individuals who are not paying the appropriate taxes or duty.

With an additional $6.17 tacked to a carton's federal excise tax, Dietz believes the U.S. may be hitting that threshold when the black market could surge as a viable consumer alternative to in-store purchases. "In Canada, legal consumption has declined by 9%, but the actual percent of smoking consumption has fallen by only 3%-3.5%," he said. "That means that most of those smokers that the government says aren't smoking are smoking but are buying cigarettes from the black market and not from their convenience stores."

Implicitly underscoring this concern, the federal SCHIP measure creates a new section called "Treasury Study Concerning Magnitude of Tobacco Smuggling in the United States." The legislation directs the Secretary of the Treasury to conduct a study to be submitted to Congress that reports on the "loss of Federal tax receipts due to illicit tobacco trade in the United States and the role of imported tobacco products in the illicit trade in the United States."

For Dietz, his concern is that legal tobacco trade be protected in the United States, a challenge exacerbated by the SCHIP legislation and recent Congressional movement to place tobacco under the oversight of the Food and Drug Administration.

"The decline rate of smokers isn't steepening in Canada, illicit consumption is rapidly increasing," he said. "The FET will have a negative impact on consumption. We need to protect the legal volume in the channel for legitimate manufacturers, distributors and retailers and take a united stand against illicit product sales in the U.S."

Related news brief: Taxes to fund SCHIP may slow illegal cigarettes into Canada..; SCHIP increased tobacco tax will black market flourish...

Reference: CSP Special Report:
Tobacco on Fire Pt. 2 With cigarette and OTP prices about to hit new record highs, the black market may flourish
by Mitch Morrison, CSP Daily News, 3/10/2009.

Image - The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco is an organization dedicated to fighting the spread of illegal cigarettes in Canada.


Besides federal tax increase - several states want to do the same..

March 11, 2009 - Convenience Store / Petroleum (CSP) Special Report: this is the third of a four-part CSP Daily News series on how the industry is reacting to the federal excise tax on tobacco that begins in April.

Effective April 1, the federal excise tax (FET) increase kicks in on virtually all tobacco segments to finance expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Among the increases: a pack of cigarettes jumps from 39 cents to more than $1, a pack of little cigars soars from 4 cents to more than $1; and in the biggest hit, the levy on roll-your-own tobacco skyrockets from $1 a pound to nearly $25. History of Federal Tax Rate Hikes on Cigarettes..

What is generating far less attention is that nearly half the states in the country have passed or are contemplating raising their state excise tax on tobacco to finance budget shortfalls that are running in the hundreds of millions-and even billions-of dollars.

Robert Sears, director of trade relations at Philip Morris USA, "If you're a local retailer, you have to be worried about your state," said "You're seeing the potential of a state tax on top of a federal tax."

Indeed, the economic slump, compounded by the federal tobacco increase, is raising tobacco prices by unprecedented amounts that exceed the Master Settlement Agreement a decade ago. Some states could see the price of cigarettes climb by as much as $2 a pack.

Danny Blackburn, vice president of Marsh Petroleum, operator of Greeneville, Tenn.-based Kwik Shop expects a significant backlash from the SCHIP tax hike. "We could see as much as a 15% decrease in sales," he said. "Once everything levels out, we may get some of that back over time. There is no question about it that the cigarette category will feel the biggest impact. If by chance anyone is considering a roll-your-own program, you can forget that idea."

States Eying Cigarette Tax Hikes.. Two states already passed state cigarette taxes this year: Kentucky raised its tax 30 cents per pack and Arkansas by 56 cents per pack. More than 20 other states are considering increases to offset budget shortfalls.
* Alabama: 32.5 cents
* California: $2.10
* Connecticut: 50 cents
* Georgia: $1
* Hawaii: 3 bills pending (amount TBD)
* Illinois: $1
* Kansas: 95 cents
* Maryland: 75 cents
* Missouri: 16 cents
* Mississippi: 14 bills pending (ranging from 17 cents to $1)
* New Hampshire: $1
* New Mexico: $1
* Oregon: Several bills pending (ranging from 3 to 60 cents)
* Rhode Island: $1
* South Carolina: Several bills pending (ranging from 25 to 93 cents)
* Tennessee: 18 cents
* Utah: $1
* Virginia: 30 cents
* Washington: 75 cents
* Wisconsin: 75 cents
* West Virginia: 80 cents

Reference: CSP Special Report:
Tobacco on Fire Pt. 3 Federal tax hike just tip of iceberg as many states consider increases of their own
by Mitch Morrison, CSP Daily News, 3/11/2009.

Asean Countries - Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Tobacco..

March 11, 2009 - Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca) said since it took effect in 2005, implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in the region has been undermined by insidious tactics of big tobacco companies. Abuses by tobacco corporations have ranged from attempting to write tobacco control laws and blocking the passage of key legislations in the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia, and using so-called "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) to circumvent laws and regulations in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Asean Countries..

Seatca's Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee has stated that tobacco industry interference has been the number one obstacle to the WHO FCTC implementation. The region's governments have been vulnerable to interference through the industry's lobbying, public relations dealings and CSR activities, Seatca said in a statement.

Dr Mary Assunta, Seatca's Senior Policy Adviser, the tobacco industry has aggressively expanded its business in the Asean region. Seatca urged all parties to the convention to take strong measures to implement guidelines on Article 5.3 of the WHO FCTC to block tobacco industry interference in regional health policies.

Related news brief: Indonesia, an Asean country is the only nation in Asia which has not signed or ratified the the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) - a global anti-tobacco treaty. No where else in Asia does Philip Morris enjoy such marketing freedeom. Indonesia related news briefs... Nigeria and British American Tobacco CSR Nigeria - Senator claims anti-tobacco bill will lead to 400,000 job losses..

Reference: Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Smoking In Asean Countries by D. Arul Rajoo BANGKOK, - Malaysian National News Agency, 3/10/2009.


Turkey - smoking ban in all bars, restaurants and coffeehouses starting July 19, 2009..

March 11, 2009 - Smoking ban in all bars, restaurants and coffeehouses by mid 2009 in Turkey. 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.
Enforcing smoking bans in Turkey has been tricky. Fines up to 5000 YTL for smoking in places such as hospitals are rarely imposed, and it is not unusual to see people lighting up next to no-smoking signs in public places.

Under the new law, owners of cafes, restaurants and bars would be fined up to 5000 YTL if they allow customers to light up. TV stations would be barred from airing shows in which people can be seen smoking. The ban will include cigars, pipes and the traditional water pipe, or nargile, a popular attraction for tourists visiting Istanbul and Turkey's coastal resorts as well as for locals.
altinkum-didim today newsErdogan's party said some 160,000 people die annually in Turkey from smoking-related ailments. About 40 percent of Turks over the age of 15 are smokers, consuming around 17 million packs a day, according to Yesilay, an organization devoted to fighting alcohol, drug and tobacco abuse.

Turkey is among the world's main tobacco growers along with China, India, the United States and Brazil, and one of the top exporters. Several major cigarette producers blend Turkish tobacco in their products.03/01/08

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party said some 160,000 people die annually in Turkey from smoking-related ailments. About 40 percent of Turks over the age of 15 are smokers, consuming around 17 million packs a day, according to Yesilay, an organization devoted to fighting alcohol, drug and tobacco abuse.

Turkey is among the world's main tobacco growers along with China, India, the United States and Brazil, and one of the top exporters. Several major cigarette producers blend Turkish tobacco in their products.

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...

Reference: Smoking ban in all bars, restaurants and coffeehouses by mid 2009 in Turkey, Didim Today, 3/11/2009.

Nigeria - Senator claims anti-tobacco bill will lead to 400,000 job losses..

March 11, 2009 - The National Tobacco Bill is currently on the floor of the National Assembly. This was the view expressed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, Senator Kamorudeen Adedibu who described the bill as a "misplaced priority" for the country, Adedibu, who represents Oyo South in the Senate also vowed to mobilise his colleagues in the upper legislative chamber to ensure that the bill is defeated. He claims passage of the bill will increase smuggling and most especially, it is going to stop the necessary means of livelihood for over 400,000 people.

He also hinted that the Senate should concern itself more with bills that will help people put money in their pockets, put food on their tables, boost education and not bills that will lead to unemployment.

Adedibu commended British American Tobacco - Nigeria (BATN) for its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives which he said has helped to create wealth in the rural areas of the state, and urged it not to relent.

BATN Foundation is an independent charitable organization incorporated in Nigeria in November 2002 as a Company Limited by Guarantee. Its vision is to improve the quality of life of citizens in rural and urban areas of Nigeria. It operates throughout Nigeria on a series of local initiatives. In order to achieve its Mission in Nigeria, BATN Foundation focuses on Poverty Reduction through Agricultural Development, Sustainable income generation, Potable Water Supply and Environmental Protection. (About BATN Foundation, BAT-Nigeria)

The anti-tobacco campaign in Nigeria Public health jeopardised by greed of global death merchants
Sokari Ekine, Pambazuka News, 10/15/2008.

British American Tobacco targeting African Children with cigarettes, Duncan Bannatyne takes on the company behind Embassy, Pall Mall and Benson & Hedges and asks them why they're targeting African children, in the face of falling smoker numbers in the west - video, approximately 60 minutes..

Related news briefs: Nigerian Lawsuit Against Tobacco Firms Adjourned Until January 2009..; Nigeria House Passes Anti-smoking Bill..; BAT using illegal tactics to get African youths to start smoking..; British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..

Referenece: Nigeria: Anti-Tobacco Bill Will Lead to 400,000 Job Losses - Sen Adedibu,, 3/9/2009.

In Process Bulgaria's Bulgartabac to hike cigarette prices again..

March 10, 2009 - Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly Bulgartabac (with about 60% of the cigarette market) is increasing cigarette prices by an average of 27%, the company's CEO, Ivan Bilarev, informed Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Bilarev further pointed out that the new prices were not even as high as the current market situation dictated, but added Bulgartabac would try to maintain them as long as possible. The CEO explained that many competitors have listed prices but were celling cigarettes at different ones, thus stirring a market war.

Bulgaria's Bulgartabac Holding was to increase by 26 percent cigarette prices starting in January 2009 due to higher excise duty.

Reference: Bulgaria's Tobacco Monopoly Hikes Prices over Market War, Sofia News Agency -, 3/10/2009.

Bulgaria - 1 in 3 youths smoke / half of pregnant women smoke..

March 9, 2009 - In Bulgaria one in three youths between 10 and 19 years of age is an active smoker. These are the observations from the campaign "HELP - life without smoking" from last year, reported.

Half of the pregnant women in Bulgaria also smoke. On number of smoked cigarettes per day Bulgarians take third place among Europeans, as they need a pack per day. In Bulgaria active smokers are 1.9 million people (total population 7,521,066). In 1986 women smokers in Bulgaria were 19%, now they are 38%. Men smokers are 52.4%.

The Bulgarian Ministry of health alerts that smoking is among the main causes of 25 diseases, and is also a reason for their change for worse. Smoking is the main cause of death in the European Union, making its limitation a vital part of the European Community health policy.

The European Commission's "Help - a life without smoking" campaign started in 2007 in Bulgaria. Its priorities are prevention of smoking, quitting smoking, and the risks of passive smoking.

Related news briefs: PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..; 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...

References: Bulgaria third in the EU on smokingby Stefan Nikolov,, 3/9/2009; Half of Pregnant Women in Bulgaria Active Smokers, Sofia News Agency -, 3/9/2009.

Smokeless Tobacco Use Increase among Adolescent Males..

March 10, 2009 -The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) asks persons aged 12 or older about their substance use, including their use of tobacco products. The questions on tobacco products focus on cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco (i.e., chewing tobacco and snuff). Respondents who used these substances are asked when they first used them.

This issue of The NSDUH Report examines smokeless tobacco use and its relationship to cigarette smoking among persons aged 12 or older. The first section presents information on trends in the use of smokeless tobacco using NSDUH data from 2002 to 2007. Unless otherwise noted, all other findings are annual averages based on data from the combined 2002 to 2007 surveys.

  • The rate of past month smokeless tobacco use remained relatively stable in the range of 3.0 to 3.3 percent between 2002 and 2007 among persons aged 12 or older; however, there were increases among certain subpopulations—in particular, among adolescent males
More: Levels of Smokeless Tobacco Use Increase among Adolescent Males, Media Newswire, 3/9/2009.
  • Among past month smokeless tobacco users, 85.8 percent used cigarettes at some time in their lives, and 38.8 percent used cigarettes in the past month
  • Among persons who had used both smokeless tobacco and cigarettes in their lifetime, 31.8 percent started using smokeless tobacco first, 65.5 percent started using cigarettes first, and 2.7 percent initiated use of smokeless tobacco and cigarettes at about the same time

Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents and has been linked to oral cancer and increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases. Chewing tobacco leads to nicotine dependence, as does cigarette use. This report indicates that although rates of use remained stable between 2002 and 2007, there were increases among certain subpopulations—in particular, among adolescent males. Most smokeless tobacco users smoked cigarettes at some time in their lives, and most people who used both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco had used cigarettes first. It is important for current and former cigarette users to understand that smokeless tobacco use is not a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking.

Reference: Smokeless Tobacco Use, Initiation, and Relationship to Cigarette Smoking: 2002 to 2007, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 3/5/2009.

Virginia smoking ban law - takes effect December 1, 2009..

March 10, 2009 - Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today (Monday, March 9, 2009) formally signed into law legislation that will ban smoking in nearly all public restaurants in Virginia. Seated in a Virginia Beach restaurant that has already made the switch to smoke-free dining, Kaine signed Senate Bill 1105 and its companion legislation, House Bill 1703. In 2006, Kaine issued an executive order banning smoking in all state buildings.

The new law exempts private clubs from the ban, in addition to those restaurants that establish physically separate and independently ventilated rooms for smokers. The legislation protects workers by stating that restaurant owners cannot compel employees to work in a smoking area. Proprietors must also provide at least one smoke-free entrance to their establishments.

Statistics compiled by the Virginia Department of Health show that second-hand smoke is responsible for an estimated 1,700 deaths per year.

Related news briefs: Virginia - smoking ban passes for most bars and restaurants..; Possible Smoking Ban Law in Virginia...

Reference: Kaine signs restaurant-bar smoking ban legislation by Jim Nolan, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/9/2009.

C-store - Update Special - the Camel SNUS employee badge..

March 10, 2009 - Be the first to know.. First R.J Reynolds (RJR) tried the secret shopper where a customer would ask leading questions like what do you have when I can't smoke. If the c-store employee answered by describing Camel SNUS the employee won a $10 gift card.

Now RJR realizing that they can't rely on a standard response from the c-store employee every time has come up with a badge the employee wears.

Related news brief: Reynolds To Roll Out Camel SNUS Nationally Early in 2009..

Click on image to enlarge..

Previous C-store Update..


C-stores adjusting to SCHIP tobacco price increases..

March 9, 2009 - Convenience Store / Petroleum (CSP) Special Report: Part 1 of a four-part series on how retailers are reacting to the federal excise tax on tobacco that begins in April.

For all retailers, the tax, which cuts into every established segment of tobacco including steep levies on roll-your-own and little cigars as well as a 62-cent increase on a pack of cigarettes, is bad news. For someone lacking a serious foodservice program or alternative in-store driver, it's even worse.

Ray Johnson, operations manager at Speedy Mart, a 21-store chain based in Las Vegas Valley, told CSP Daily News. "What's going to happen, I assume, is that people are going to buy down to the lower brands as they adjust to the impact." Carton [sales are] going to drop 5%-7%."

For Johnson, the tax threatens a category that pumps about 40% of his inside sales and more than 40% of store profit. He is also shrinking inventory to reduce the burdens of a one-time floor-stock tax (requires collection and payment by August 1, 2009) that is expected to cost retailers between $2,000 and $3,000 per store. "The idea is to get rid of the slow sellers; we're going to mark them down and sell them now so we don't have to pay the floor tax on them. (TW - The floor tax provision meaning that all tobacco products except cigars in inventory at manufacturer, distribution, c-store, etc. will immediately be subject to the new tax rate on April 1st when the law takes effect.)

Johnson expect his new set to look like? First, expect all packs of cigarettes to go up 75 cents, much in line with what analysts predict. Also, while Marlboro will remain his featured brand, Johnson expects customers to sample with lower-tier products to save a dollar or two. "Nearly 70% of my sales are Marlboro, so I am on the max level with them," he said. "And we take surveys every week on Marlboro prices, so that's where the competitiveness is. Beyond that is whatever is the cheapest brand. And that's another 10% more." The remaining brands make up 20%.

"The tax increase is going to really impact the little cigars the most because right now they're going to be taxed the same as cigarettes," he said. "The original version, it was going to go up 25 cents every two years." The final version jumps little cigars from 4 cents a pack to more than $1.

Such news should perhaps cause anxiety. But Johnson is taking it in stride. "I'm going to just let cigarettes fall where they may. It doesn't scare me, because it's going to happen to everyone," he said. "We're going to spend the last month doing nothing but educating consumers on what's to come."

Reference: Tobacco on Fire (Finding rays of light behind the SCHIP/FET tax) by Abbey Lewis and Mitch Morrison, CSP Special Report, 3/9/2009.

Australia - National Youth Tobacco Free Day Friday - March 27, 2009..

March 8, 2009 - National Youth Tobacco Free Day aims to educate young people about a range of issues associated with smoking, including health effects, environmental effects, and related laws. By raising awareness of the dangers of smoking, the day seeks to create a tobacco free OxyGeneration.

The theme for the day is supporting plain tobacco packaging - 'Get on their back for the plain pack'

Click on image to enlarge..