Reynolds American Inc. Q2 2009 Earnings..


July 25, 2009 - Reynolds American Inc.'s ability to raise its cigarette prices in response to a higher federal excise tax enabled it to post a 4 percent increase in net income in the second quarter despite lower sales. In response to the 62-cent increase in the federal excise tax, effective April 1, Reynolds raised in March the list price on its cigarette brands from 41 cents to 78 cents a pack for wholesale customers.

Susan Ivey, Chairman, President and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc..

"For the second quarter and the first half of 2009, higher pricing, lower promotional expense and additional productivity gains, including those from last year's restructuring at R.J. Reynolds, more than offset the impact of lower cigarette volume, higher pension and legal expense, and Master Settlement Agreement costs," the company said in a statement.

The company said it had a slight market-share gain in cigarettes, led by its Pall Mall brand, and a larger gain in moist-snuff tobacco, led by industry leader Grizzly.

While the market share for Camel, the lead Reynolds cigarette brand, remained at 7.5 percent, the market share of the value growth brand Pall Mall (may be the result of 2-pulse promotions, i.e., lower the price for a short period and the raise it) doubled to 5.2 percent compared with a year ago, according to data from Information Resources Inc./Capstone, a research group.

Overall, Reynolds' cigarette brands had a 28.7 percent market share, up 0.3 percentage points.

Camel Snus was expanded nationally in the first quarter. In the second quarter, it achieved the equivalent cigarette market share of 0.3 percentage Reynolds accounted a tin of snus equaling a pack of cigarettes since they are similarly priced. Ivey - Camel Snus has growing appeal and we expect it to build momentum over time. Question: Do you have a sense of where that is coming from, either traditional cigarettes or moist snuff, and do you have any sense from that perspective? Ivey: Yes, our research shows that it is primarily smokers and it is smokers who are using Snus when they can't smoke and I am – there is the occasional dipper who uses it when they don't want to spit, but really it is coming from smokers, and it is coming across the board in terms of source of brands. So Camel is slightly over index but not a lot.

In the increasingly competitive moist-snuff category, Grizzly (the nations number one moist snuff brand) expanded its market share to 25.5 percent, up 2.2 percentage points, according to data from Management Science Associates Inc., a research group. Conwood's overall market share was up 1.9 percent to 29.4 percent. Question: with FET result steep increase in cigarette price relative to more modest increase in smokeless. Ivey: don't have that detail; Grizzly of course has just continued on its growth path as it continues to capture a large share of people either coming into the category from cigarettes or trading as prices increase. Grizzly pouches (2-pouch styles, mint and straight), launched in the 1st quarter 2009 only accounted for 0.2 of a share point.

This year there have been significant reductions in the retail price of premium moist snuff product (Altria reducing the price of UST's Skoal and Copenhagen). This has further narrowed the price gap between premium and Grizzly's. In addition, Grizzly announced a price increase in June. The national average price gap at retail now stands at about a $1.35 a can. That gap has been cut in half since RAI brought Conwood in 2006. Even so, Grizzly's market share has grown by more than six percentage points in the past three years.

The cigarette shipment volume for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. subsidiary fell 6 percent in the second quarter compared with an industry decline of 4.1 percent.

Camel Crush (market share 0.6 of a point with relatively low promotion levels) - Camel, R.J. Reynolds premium growth brand, continued to benefit from recent innovation. Camel Crush, which went national late last year, is enhancing Camel's position in the growing menthol category. Beginning in August, that capsule technology will be expanded to Camel's core menthol styles, but instead of changing the cigarettes from regular to menthol, the capsule will offer adult smokers of these menthol styles the option of adding more menthol to suit their taste.

Camel Dissolvables - Camel Orbs went into three lead markets in the first quarter and R.J. Reynolds will add Camel Sticks and Camel Strips to these markets this summer. Adult female smokers find Camel Orbs much more appealing than other smokeless tobacco products. And women make up about half of all smokers, so that greatly expands the opportunity for Camel Dissolvable products. Question: with respect to FDA, now that it is past, is there a real threat that they will force products that were recently launched like the Orbs, Dips, and Strips to be considered new products under that legislation? And so with that possibility that those products have to be pulled from the market or is that risk relatively modest at this point? Ivey: Our position is very clear. These products are very similar to other moist type of style of products (Star Scientific's Ariva and Stonewall HardSnuff Dissolvable Tobacco.) and so we will continue to evaluate these Dissolvables in the lead market.

Reynolds American Inc. Q2 2009 Earnings Call Transcript

Reference: Reynolds American Second-Quarter Profit Climbs, Boosts Outlook by Richard Carver, Winston-Salem Journal, 7/23/2009.
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Another e-cigarette..


July 25, 2009 - A new business in the Anderson Mall, Anderson, South Carolina is selling an “electronic cigarette” that the company says includes no carcinogens from tobacco and produces no secondhand smoke.

Green Smoke, which operates in front of the Belk and Belk Home stores, has been in business for nearly a year with independent salespeople, but the location in the mall on Clemson Boulevard is its first store. Cathy Pettyjohn, owner of the location, has been working as an independent sales representative with the company.

Green Smoke’s electronic cigarette has a two-part design. One end is a battery containing a computer chip. The other end, where a cigarette filter would normally be, holds nicotine and water. When the two parts are screwed together and a person puffs on the device, it blows out water vapor. As soon as the person stops puffing, the cigarette turns off automatically.

Federal health officials said they have found cancer-causing ingredients in electronic cigarettes, despite manufacturers' claims the products are safer than tobacco cigarettes.

“The person that’s smoking is smoking a lot healthier, because all they’re getting is water vapor and no carcinogens from tobacco,” Pettyjohn said. “Nicotine doesn’t create cancer. It’s a highly addictive drug. It’s the other things in cigarettes that cause cancer.”

Green Smoke’s cigarettes are available in four nicotine levels: 8 mg, 6 mg, 4 mg and 0 mg. The water vapor also is available in five flavors: tobacco, mint, chocolate, vanilla and coffee.

Besides removing harmful carcinogens, Pettyjohn said, the Green Smoke cigarette makes it possible for people to stop smoking.

“The actual motion of smoking … the oral contact, is as addictive and habit-forming as nicotine is addictive,” she said. “A lot of people have a struggle with stopping smoking because they miss the oral hand-to-mouth. They’ve tried the patch, they’ve tried the gum, they’ve tried other methods of (quitting) smoking, but they miss the actual blowing of smoke.”

Green Smoke lets them have the hand-to-mouth contact and smoke, she said. Since she began using Green Smoke, she said, she, her husband and her mother have stopped smoking cigarettes. The electronic product also can be used in more places than typical cigarettes, Pettyjohn said. “You can smoke anywhere that you can’t smoke a typical cigarette,” she said. “The biggest thing about this is there’s no secondhand smoke, so people around you aren’t affected.”

The Green Smoke starter kit costs $149. It contains six cigarette cartridges, which Pettyjohn said is equal is two packs of cigarettes, and two rechargeable lithium batteries. Replacement cartons cost $14.95 each. A 10 percent off coupon will be featured in the new issue of Coffee News.

Reference: Anderson store now selling "electronic cigarette" by Nicole Smith, IndependentMail.com, 7/23/2009.

A few related news briefs: Denmark - e-cigarettes can not be sold OTC..; E-cigarettes need to establish efficacy and safety - FIRST..; Health Canada warns against 'e-cigarettes'..

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Snus does not save lives: quitting the use of tobacco does!


July 25, 2009 - The global tobacco industry realises that the end is near for the traditional cigarette, especially in the Western world. In order to keep their old customers and recruit new ones to nicotine addiction, a steadily growing number of cigarette manufacturers supplement their arsenals with various smoke-free products, including Scandinavian-type oral moist snuff (snus).

Not surprisingly, the harm reduction debate (ie, the substitution of one tobacco product with another) is supported by the moist snuff industry. The advocates of snus base their argument in part on the assumption that it is largely thanks to snus consumption that tobacco smoking—and thus the occurrence of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease—among Swedish men is low from an international perspective.

The myth of moist snuff’s powerful positive effect on Swedish smoking habits is contradicted by data from the national survey entitled ‘‘Ha¨lsa pa° lika villkor’’
(health on equal terms) undertaken by The Swedish National Institute of Public Health. The survey shows that 4 out of 10 snus users actually started their tobacco use with moist snuff and almost as many continue to smoke daily or occasionally in addition to using snus. It is estimated that no more than 5 percent of Swedish men found oral moist snuff helpful as an aid to quitting. The ratios are the same among women. To date, there are no longitudinal data demonstrating to what extent snus played a role in smoking cessation in individual cases. (Further evidence SNUS is NOT a component of smoking cessation..)

Research into the health effects of snus use is highly insufficient. In 2005, the
Swedish National Institute of Public Health published the report ‘‘Ha¨lsorisker med svenskt snus’’ (the health risks of Swedish moist snuff). Its conclusion was that snus is carcinogenic. The cancer research institute of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has also found Swedish moist snuff to be carcinogenic.3 Moreover, the EU Commission recently assigned an expert group to conduct an assessment of all available data. Combined with the latest published results of Swedish research, the situation can be summarised as follows: the use of Swedish moist snuff increases the risks of reversible and irreversible changes in oral mucus membranes and of pancreatic, oesophageal and gastric cancer, lethal heart infarction, lethal stroke and heightened blood pressure.

Furthermore, there are indications that snus use increases the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome (name for a group of symptoms that occur together and promote the development of coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes), premature births, low birth weight and pre-eclampsia. The health effects of nicotine addiction and long-term nicotine consumption are still unknown. At present, one out of three Swedish men and one out of five women are daily addicted to nicotine. Adults using snus leads to increased risk of snus consumption among children. An additional reason for a restrictive attitude towards the snus issue is new science on the interaction between nicotine and other drugs in the brain’s reward system. The findings show, for example, that adolescents who are snus users also have the highest alcohol consumption.
(Nicotine has a negative impact on the developing adolescent brain..)

Scandinavaian health authorities are in agreement - rather than promoting the use of Scandinavian moist snuff, we would like to see a major increase in preventive efforts. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a strategy for effective initiatives to reduce tobacco damage. The Scandinavian countries (in fact, countries around the world) ought to implement the measures outlined in this strategy.

Snus does not save lives: quitting smoking does. Snus only saves the tobacco industry.A similar statement was made by Dr. Gunilla Bolinder, then director of education at Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital, "To sing the praises of SNUS is a deathblow to 20 years of hard tobacco preventive work. SNUS only saves the life of the tobacco industry" (SNUS gets the thumbs-down NEWS-24 1/31/2007).

PAPER: COMMENTARY: Snus does not save lives: quitting smoking does!; L-E Holm, J Fisker, B-I Larsen, P Puska and M Halld├│rsson (correspondence to: B-I Larsen, Norwegian Directorate for Health, PO Box 8054 Dep, 0031 Oslo, Norway; wan@helsedir.no); Tobacco Control 2009;18:250-251; doi:10.1136/tc.2009.030221; ABSTRACT - 1st 150 words...

Some related news briefs: Smokeless tobacco products may not curb smokers’ cravings..; Some facts for smokers to consider before considering smokeless tobacco..;Finland - proposal to ban tobacco display, total ban on SNUS..; Snuff Is NOT 'Safer' Substitute For Cigarettes..; Uphill Battle in Teaching Smokers to Use SNUS..; Encouraging smokeless tobacco use is not only a dangerous tactic in the drive to reduce smoking rates, but scientifically unproven as well..; United States - using smokeless tobacco does not help smokers quit..; Snus causes premature death..; Latest marketing ploy of tobacco companies: switch to smokeless...
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Korea - slight increase in men smoking..


July 24, 2009 - A government survey yesterday showed the smoking rate for male adults has begun to rise in recent months. According to the survey released by the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, the male smoking rate was 41.4 percent during the six months of the year, up 0.7 percent from the same period last year.

A particularly high rate of smoking among South Korean men corresponds to high rates of cardiovascular disease.

The number of smokers had been falling since 2005 when the government signed the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and started to launch non-smoking campaigns.

After toughened measures were taken on smoking, the adult smoking rate steadily decreased from 57.8 percent in 2004 to 52.3 percent in 2005, 44.1 percent in 2006 and 42 percent in 2007. But the figure hovered above the 40 percent range recently and started to increase from the second half of last year.

People's financial pressure caused by the global economic crisis has been suggested as one of the main reasons for the increase. Health officials say, however, the slight increase seems to be driven more by the weakening effect of related policies.

"During the early period of smoking regulations, the smoking rate dropped sharply. But those measures are losing momentum after five years and we plan to overhaul the overall current policies," said a ministry official.

While the rate for female smokers slightly decreased to 3.6 percent from 3.7 percent of last year, the nation's average smoking rate was 22.1 percent, up 0.2 percent from last year.

In June, the Health Ministry conducted a phone survey on 3,000 people. According to the survey, 58.7 percent of smoking respondents said they smoked out of habit and 32.5 percent smoked due to stress.

When buying cigarettes, 42.6 percent said they consider the taste and smell first while levels of toxic ingredients and branding were regarded by 30.8 percent and 9.3 percent of smokers, respectively.

The starting age of male smokers was 21.2 while females started smoking at 26.3 years old on average.

More than 70 percent of smokers responded that they had tried to quit smoking to improve their health. All but 10.7 percent attempted to quit smoking for themselves without the help of experts.

Cigarette consumption (2008) various countries.

More - Tobacco in South Korea..

Reference: Smoking rate increases among men by Lee Ji-yoon
(jylee@heraldm.com), The Korea Herald, 7/23/2009.

Korea - some related news briefs: South Korea - anti-tobacco campaign - body painting..; Korea - smoking ban just about everywhere by end of 2009..; Tobacco marketing in South Korea has been deliberately aimed at girls and young women..; Korea - smoking rates fall for men and women...

Click on the Korean Coat-of-Arms to enlarge..

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Tobacco smuggling fuels organized crime, robs governments of tax money and spurs addiction..





July 24, 2009 - Cigarette smuggling is a lucrative, low-risk business that is sometimes used to help fund terrorist organizations around the world, according to a new report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The report, "Tobacco Underground," charts the paths of smugglers working for the Taliban, Hezbollah, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Real Irish Republican Army (Real IRA) and others.

David Kaplan, editorial director at The Center for Public Integrity and editor of the report, explains how the multibillion-dollar business fuels organized crime, robs governments of tax money and spurs addiction.

David Kaplan explains how tobacco smuggling fuels organized crime worldwide. - NPR's FreshAir from WHYY - 25 minute.

According to The Tobacco Atlas, cigarettes are the world’s most widely smuggled legal consumer product. In 2006, contraband cigarettes accounted for 11 percent of global cigarette sales, or about 600 billion cigarettes.

Reference: Tobacco Fuels Addiction, And Terrorism, David Kaplan - Editor of Report, npr.org, 7/21/2009.

Some related news briefs: Tobacco Underground - cigarette smuggling, 6-part series..; Ukraine - lost cigarettes flooding Europe..; Paraquay - top producer of contraband tobacco..; Smuggled Cigarettes Give Boost To Pakistani Militants..; Big Tobacco Attempts to Smuggle Loopholes Into Global Tobacco Treaty..
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Dr. Howard A. Engle, the veteran pediatrician who lent his name to a landmark class action suit against Big Tobacco, dies..


July 24, 2009 - Dr. Howard A. Engle, the veteran Miami Beach pediatrician who lent his name to a landmark class action suit against Big Tobacco, died Wednesday at home, said son David Engle. He was 89 and suffered from smoking-related respiratory disease and lymphoma.

Reference: Dr. Howard A. Engle | Pediatrician led anti-tobacco lawsuit A revered pediatrician, Howard Engle battled smoking-related illness in a historic class-action lawsuit by ELINOR J. BRECHER, Miami Herald, 7/24/2009.
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England - program to pay pregnant women not to smoke seems hopeful..


July 24, 2009 - Mother (mum)-to-be are always warned of the dangers of smoking while pregnant but a surprising number still choose to do it. Some women find quitting easy when they're expecting, but for others beating the nicotine cravings seems impossible.

So a Department of Health funded initiative with cash rewards of up to £200 (328.545USD) is now being trialled by 12 Stop Smoking services in the Yorkshire and Humber areas - which hold some of the highest rates of women who smoke during pregnancy. (England - pregnant women getting paid to stop smoking..)

Called the Significant Others Supporters (SOS), the scheme hopes to persuade pregnant women to stop smoking and to help ensure they stay away from cigarettes permanently - and if it's successful, it could be rolled out across the country. In the scheme, pregnant smokers will also be assigned a SOS, who could be a relation or close friend, whose aim is to keep the pregnant woman smoke-free. As an incentive to be a reliable supporter the SOS will also be entitled to a £40 (65.72USD) financial reward. And none of these vouchers can be used to pay for tobacco or alcohol.

Under the initiative - funded by a £100,000 Department of Health grant - "Vulnerable pregnant smokers" will be able to claim high-street shopping vouchers if they kick the habit for good. Some might think it's bribery, but others feel it's an effective way to cut the problem.

Scope of problem: - based on the Infant Feeding Survey 2005 states that just over a third of mothers (35%) in England smoked at some point in the 12 months immediately before or during their pregnancy. Of mothers who smoked before or during their pregnancy, about half (49%) gave up at some point before the birth. 14.3% of mothers were smoking at delivery during 2007/08.
Professor Paul Johnstone, Regional Director of Public Health NHS Yorkshire and Humber, says: "Protecting unborn babies is worth every penny. Many women manage to stop smoking as soon as they find out that they are pregnant but some find it hard to stay off cigarettes. "There is strong evidence that giving a small additional incentive can help."

While it's still in the early stages, initial reports seem to be looking hopeful.

Reference: Should pregnant women be paid to stop smoking? Exclusive: By Claire Dunwell, Mirror.co.uk, 7/23/2009.

Related news briefs: England - pregnant women getting paid to stop smoking..; U.K. women paid for stopping smoking when pregnant..; Pregnant women who quit smoking before the 15th week reduce risk of premature birth and small babies...
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South Dakota - petition rejected - state smoking ban to take effect..


July 24, 2009 - Secretary of State Chris Nelson has rejected petitions calling for a statewide vote on the smoking ban because not enough valid signatures were submitted.

The opponents of the smoking ban turned in more than 25-thousand signatures. They needed nearly 17-thousand and after the Secretary of State's office went through them all they came up 221 signatures short. Nelson said he will give formal notification of the petition failure to its sponsors early next week.



Erik Gaikowski works for the American Cancer Society who says what catapulted this effort to victory, was the public support. "There was a number of lawmakers who stood up on both floors of the Senate and House that said 'I'm voting for this because my constituents want it.' "

On the other side, the smoking ban opponents are disappointed with the outcome and have not decided yet whether or not to appeal the decision and take the smoking ban issue to court, which would be their last resort.

Chris Nelson said it is now in the Attorney General's hands to determine when the smoking ban will take effect. Nelson: "The Attorney General Larry Long is looking at that question, because this is brand new territory. The law is not specific on that and I know he will take the time that he needs to make sure he gets the answer to that question."

References: Petition Rejected, Smoking Ban Set To Take Effect by Chuck Harmer, KSFY.com, 7/24/2009; Smoking ban clears big hurdle Not enough valid signatures in petition challenge; Next step: Possible lawsuit on initiative rejection, Peter Harriman, ArgusLeader.com, 7/24/2009.

Related news briefs: South Dakota - Secretary of State's Office still counting disputed signatures on the smoking ban petitions..; South Dakota - anti-smoking leaders challenge petition..; South Dakota - smoking ban to start July 1, 2009 may be delayed..; South Dakota - opponents try to stop extended smoking ban..; South Dakota - extends smoking ban effective July 1, 2009...

Click on image to enlarge; congratulations South Dakota..

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U.S. - Convenience Store News - special report the tobacco category..


July 24, 2009 - In this special report featuring exclusive interviews with retailers and executives from Altria Group -- the industry's largest tobacco supplier -- Convenience Store News analyzes how recent tobacco supplier consolidation will affect retailers' sets; the current challenges facing the tobacco category in convenience stores; what these hurdles mean to the future of the tobacco category; and whether or not the demise of tobacco has been pronounced prematurely.

For all the challenges tobacco faces -- regulation, taxes, reduced consumer spending and more -- its largest segment, cigarettes, remains the No. 1 category in c-stores, with more than 30 percent of in-store sales in 2008. Other tobacco products (OTP) meanwhile, is the fastest growing segment in c-stores outside of the foodservice category.

Centers for Disease Control's estimate of 45.3 million smokers present in the U.S. -- where c-stores hold 63 percent of the tobacco market -- the influence of this category is difficult to ignore.

Blazing a New Tobacco Road by Mehgan Belanger, Convenience Store News (csnews), 7/13/2009.



Click on image to enlarge..
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Smarties - a candy cigarette of a new generation..


July 23, 2009 - Remember Smarties, that sweet treat? Kids have found a way to smoke them, and some doctors are calling them the candy cigarettes of a new generation.

Can't imagine how you'd light up the candy? If it sounds bizarre, it is: Kids crush up the candy and puff it. Some even have mastered the art of smoke rings.

Parents are fuming. Dax De Los Santos says its just one more crazy trend he'll now watch out for as he raises his 10 -year -old daughter Natalie.

Adolescent medicine specialist Dr. Seth Ammerman says smoking Smarties won't cause major health problems -- or produce the "high" smokers claim they experience. Usually kids just complain of coughing. But he says it's still dangerous behavior because kids are modeling smoking and are more likely to try real cigarettes at a young age if they think smoking smarties is cool and fun.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every day in the U.S., about 3,600 kids 12 and older try smoking cigarettes for the first time, and the Smarties trend could tempt more to try real cigarettes. That's why some doctors say smoking Smarties is for dummies.

Reference: Kids Smoking Smarties Not So Sweet Parents fuming about kids puffing candy by MARIANNE FAVRO, NBCConnecticut.com, 7/10/2009.
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PMI q2 2009 financial report - profit fell 9 percent....



July 23, 2009 - Cigarette maker Philip Morris International (PMI) said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell 9 percent as the stronger dollar shrunk profit earned in other currencies.

Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) Reports 2009 Second-Quarter Results, PMI, 7/23/2009.

More to come..

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Altria - Key Highlights q2 2009 financial results..



July 23, 2009 - Cigarette earnings rose 6.7 percent while volume fell 6.8 percent. Retail market share slipped 1.5 percentage points to 49.5 percent as competitors increased promotions. Marlboro's market share fell 0.6 percentage points..

More to come..

Altria Reports 2009 Second-Quarter Results.

Altria Group, Inc. Q2 2009 Earnings Call Transcript.

Related news brief: Preview - Altria - second quarter 2009 results..
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Texas Department of State Health Services’ Spit It Out campaign..


July 22, 2009 - Weather it’s known as snuff, chew or dip, many Texas teens new smokeless or spit tobacco as a safer alternative to smoking. Texas teens now outnumber adults two to one when it comes to spit tobacco use. About 552,000 Texas teens use the product.The average age a which a Texas teen starts spitting tobacco is 13, or around the sixth grade. Based on the 2008 Youth Tobacco Survey, 7.3 percent of Texas high school youth and 4.4 percent of Texas middle school youth use spit tobacco.

In support of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Spit It Out campaign, the Prevention Resource Center-Region 3 aims to arm teens with the facts about spit tobacco and its health effects. Spit tobacco is addictive and harmful. It contains nicotine, the addictive ingredient in Tobacco, as well as additives that increase the rate at which nicotine is absorbed into the body. According to Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, people who consume 8-10 dips or chews per day receive the same amount of nicotine as a smoker who smokes 30-40 cigarettes a day.

The tobacco companies prefer to market spit tobacco as smokeless tobacco, in hopes that consumers will see ‘smokeless’ and think ‘harmless’. Different spit tobacco like Camel Snus, the latest in smokeless tobacco products targeted a new generation of chaw users.The U.S. Surgeon General reports that spit tobacco is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes, causing cancer and a number of non-cancerous oral conditions. In fact, teens that use spit tobacco are more likely to use cigarettes as they grow older.

Spit It Out campaign’s overall is to prevent youth tobacco use among the teenage targeted audience, ages 13-17. The campaign’s objectives include: education, emphasizing the health consequences spit tobacco use cause and encouraging youth to decide for themselves what they believe and what they will do to making healthy life choices.

Teens can visit the official Spit It Out website at www.SpitItOutTexas.org to learn more about the dangers and consequences of using spit tobacco, play games, and view public service announcements featuring the Jackalope as the campaign mascot.The Region 3 Prevention Resource Center (PRC) is a program of the Texas Department State of Health Services and Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. The PRC provides prevention materials and services to 19 North Texas counties.

If you would like more information on tobacco or other drug prevention topics, please
visit www.prc3.org or call 214-552-8600.

Reference: Texas Spit It Out CampaignJennifer Williams, Tobacco Prevention Specialist, Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, The Forney Post, 7/21/2009.

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FDA: Electronic cigarettes contain toxic chemicals..


July 22, 2009 - WASHINGTON — Federal health officials said today they have found cancer-causing ingredients in electronic cigarettes, despite manufacturers' claims the products are safer than tobacco cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said testing of products from two leading electronic cigarette makers turned up several toxic chemicals, including a key ingredient in antifreeze. FDA scientists said they tested 19 varieties of cigarettes, many of which contained fruit and candy flavors. FDA officials declined to comment on whether they would take action against the two manufacturers whose products were tested. They also declined to identify the companies.

Public health advocates have complained the products are marketed toward young people and can serve as a "gateway" to tobacco smoking. Because electronic cigarettes are not covered by federal tobacco laws, they are often easier for young people to purchase.

Electronic cigarettes produce a nicotine mist absorbed directly into the lungs. Most can easily pass as a tobacco cigarette with slim white bodies and glowing amber tips. They even emit what look like puffs of white smoke.

Manufacturers have touted the products as a healthier alternative to smoking because no burning is involved, and there's no hazardous cocktail of cancer-causing chemicals.

Regulators said they already halted 50 shipments of electronic cigarettes at the border, but those actions have been challenged in federal court by manufacturers. The products are made primarily in China. The FDA did say it's "planning additional activities" to address safety issues with the products, which may include recalling products or issuing criminal sanctions.

Reference: FDA: Electronic cigarettes contain toxic chemicalsby MATTHEW PERRONE, Associated Press, 7/22/2009.

Related news briefs: Thailand has banned the sale of e-cigarettes..; Denmark - e-cigarettes can not be sold OTC..; e-cigarettes - Company sues FDA for blocking imports of product..; e-cigarettes - FDA approval needed prior to marketing..; Health Canada warns against 'e-cigarettes'..;

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Internet - kids being exposed to messages on tobacco use..


July 22, 2009 - The study published online July 20, 2009 in the journal Pediatrics, found that the Internet is the newest place for kids to get exposure to positive messages on tobacco use. Although tobacco content was found on less than 1 percent of the pages that teens view, there were more pro-tobacco pages than anti-tobacco pages.

To assess what type of exposure teens are getting to tobacco messages from the Internet, the researchers randomly selected 346 teenagers with home Internet access. The teens allowed the study authors to track all of their page views for a 30-day period. The researchers then searched those pages for tobacco-related content. study volunteers viewed 1.2 million Web pages. Of those, 8,702 (0.72 percent) contained tobacco or smoking content.

Pro-tobacco messages were found on 1,916 pages and anti-tobacco content was included on 1,572 pages. The authors said the tobacco messages were "complex or unclear" on 5,055 pages. More than half of the tobacco-related page views -- 53 percent -- came from social networking sites (at the time of the study, MySpace was the predominant social networking site). Often, mentions of smoking or tobacco use were part of user profiles.

Forty-three percent of teens were exposed to pro-tobacco imagery, according to the study. Tobacco products were specifically sold on 50 of the pages, and 242 pages contained links to tobacco products sold on other sites.


PAPER: Exposure to Tobacco on the Internet: Content Analysis of Adolescents' Internet Use; Brian P. Jenssen, BA, Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH, Laura F. Salazar, PhD, Nichole A. Daluga, MPH and Ralph J. DiClemente, PhD, Published online July 20, 2009 PEDIATRICS (doi:10.1542/peds.2008-3838); ABSTRACT.., Complete Article..
(youth, children, adolescents, young)
Reference: Internet May Be Newest Venue for Teen Tobacco Exposure Social networking sites latest place to view smoking-related content, study shows by Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter, 7/22/2009.

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Moscow, Idaho bans smoking in bars, private clubs..


July 22, 2009 - - No more smoking in most of Moscow, Idaho. The City Council has banned smoking in bars and private clubs, relegating smokers to designated areas at least 20 feet away from entrances and prohibiting any indoor smoking rooms.

That news has some bar owners concerned. They say the ordinance dramatically alters the structure in which bar owners operate. But proponents, such as 26-year-old Katie Whittier, said the ban would protect public health.

Idaho law already prohibits smoking in public buildings, except bars and clubs. The state law also allows for cities to impose additional restrictions.

A public hearing on the proposed fines -- ranging from $10 to $50 for violations -- is set for Aug. 3. If the fees are voted into effect, the ban kicks in on Aug. 4.

Related news brief: Eagle - 1st city in Idaho to ban smoking...

Reference: Moscow City Council bans smoking in bars & clubs, KREM.com, 7/21/2009.
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Michigan - counties can pass smoking rules..


July 22, 2009 - Michigan has no statewide ban on smoking in public places for now..

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that counties can put more stringent anti-smoking rules in place than state lawmakers. Courts have said only the legislature can ban smoking in restaurants and bars. But local governments are prohibiting smoking inside other businesses because of secondhand smoke risks. All seven justices on the high court said Tuesday that local officials can adopt stricter smoking regulations than the state to safeguard public health. But the court split 4-3 on another issue, voting to uphold a northern Michigan health department's rules letting workers sue if they're fired for asserting the right to a smoke-free environment. Dissenting justices said at-will employees can be fired for any reason in Michigan with some exceptions.

Reference: Counties Can Pass Smoking Rules Michigan Supreme Court Says Counties Can Adopt Stricter Standards Than The State, ClickondDetroit.com, 7/22/2009.
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Japan - convenience store sales fell in June 2009..


July 22, 2009 - Japan’s convenience-store (c-store) sales in June fell for the first time in 14 months, as customers spent less on cigarettes and lunchbox meals.

Sales at stores open more than a year dropped 2.3 percent to 605.9 billion yen ($6.44 billion), the Japan Franchise Association said in a statement today. Department store sales fell 8.8 percent in June, capping the worst half-year performance, the Japan Department Stores Association said in a separate release today.

Consumers in Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, have cut back on spending as unemployment rose to a five-year high and wages fell for the 12th straight month in May. Sales at convenience stores last year were also boosted with the introduction of an age verification card for vending-machine purchases of cigarettes, which increased customer traffic at chains including Seven & I Holdings Co.’s 7-Eleven and Lawson Inc.’s outlets.

“The initial spike in cigarette sales following the introduction of electronic age-verification cigarette machines is over, particularly in western Japan,” said Miki Ichikawa, a spokeswoman at the convenience store association.

Sales per customer at the convenience stores declined 4.8 percent, the largest in seven months, the statement said. Weak sales of prepared meals contributed to the drop.

Reference: Japan’s Convenience Store Sales Fall on Cigarettes (Update1) by Go Onomitsu and Naoko Fujimura, Bloomberg.com, 7/22/2009.

Japan - some related news briefs: Japan - tobacco control people upset with smoker-only cafes..; Japan - Tokyo smoking cafes, people with children, those under 20 NOT allowed..; Japan - Kanagawa - bans smoking in public places starting April 2010..; Japan shelves tobacco tax hike for 2009.., Japan - Ruling party plans tobacco tax hike in 2009..; Japan Tobacco Starts Petition To Fight Tax Increase..; How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..; Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices..; Japanese tobacco giants focus on point-of-sales cigarette purchases..; Japan - photos can be used to fool the age-verification cameras on some vending machines..; Vending Machines - Japanese protecting their children from becoming life-long nicotine addicts...

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Nigeria - National Tobacco Control Bill - public hearing..


July 22, 2009 - The Nigeria National Tobacco Control Bill is a comprehensive law when passed to regulate the manufacturing, advertising distribution and consumption of tobacco products in Nigeria. It is a bill that is aimed at domesticating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The bill seeks to ban smoking in public places and forbids persons under the age of 18 to sell and buy tobacco products.

The proposed law, which would amend the 1990 Tobacco Control Laws of Nigeria, also forbids communication between the manufacturers and consumers.

Some local civil society groups expressed support for the bill and called for is speedy passage because of the health hazards tobacco-smoking poses.


Senate President David Mark said yesterday, July 20th while declaring the public hearing on the bill open that "No senator has been bribed to influence the passage or otherwise of the National Tobacco Control Bill." President Mark also said, that Senators to vote by name on the ban on tobacco.

British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria on Tuesday, July 21st expressed their opposition to a proposed anti-tobacco bill to be discussed in parliament.

A representative of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Kadri, said that manufacturers were opposed to the bill because it allegedly ignored the positive contribution of tobacco firms to the society.

A BATN representative Tony Okwoju told a public hearing, organised by the senate committee on health, the law if passed "will force legal tobacco companies out of business because they will be forced to shut down their operations." He said that certain provisions in the bill were "either extreme and would have unintended consequences or will only make it difficult or impossible for the legal industry to operate without necessarily achieving the desired objective of reducing the impact of tobacco on public health". "The effect of passing a law that is not adequately considered is that it will undermine its own intentions by placing tobacco outside of the control of the regulator, thereby leaving those who continue to smoke at the mercy of smugglers," said Okwoju.

BATN, a subsidiary of the British American Tobacco group, locally produces international brands such as Benson and Hedges, Rothmans, St. Moritz, Dunhill, London Kingsize and Consulate.

BATN has pledged on Tuesday, July 21st to comply with a new legislation that seeks to control tobacco use in the country when it becomes operational.

A member of the senate committee, Kamorudeen Adedibu, said that the National Tobacco Control Bill (2009) will run down the tobacco companies and result in unemployment in the country.

A suit filed by the Nigerian government against tobacco companies operating in the country to seek damages for health hazards is pending in court.

Reference: Nigeria's tobacco lobby fumes over anti-tobacco bill, Agence France Presse (AFP), 7/21/2009; Perspectives: Public Hearing of the Nigerian Tobacco Control Bill 2009 Nigeria's tobacco lobby fumes over anti-tobacco bill, National Tobacco Control Bill, 7/23/2009.

Nigeria - related news briefs: Nigerian senator believes passage of anti-tobacco bill wil lead to unemployment..; Nigeria - Senator claims anti-tobacco bill will lead to 400,000 job losses..; 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..
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Teenager oversdoses on Nicorette gum..


July 22, 2009 - A boy of 14 collapsed after chewing 45 sticks of nicotine (Nicorette) gum - equivalent to 180 Marlboro Light cigarettes - in just 25 minutes. The teenager chewed his way through 45 sticks - a total of 90mg - meaning he had the equivalent of 180 Marlboro Lights in just 25 minutes The teen said he was given the gum by a classmate who had allegedly been caught smoking.

The teenager's mother yesterday was upset with the school, which allows children as young as 12 to be given up to a week’s supply of Nicorette gum (available in three flavors - Original, Mint and Orange) - 105 pieces – without parental consent to help smokers quit the habit.

Each stick of Nicorette gum contained 2mg of nicotine - the equivalent of four Marlboro Light cigarettes, which each have 0.5mg.

His mother said: ‘I couldn’t believe that this gum can be given out like this without parents knowing. It is then being passed around the playground. ‘The doctors said that he could have died and he had to be kept in for 24 hours for observation. ‘I know what my son did was stupid, but if anything it proves that these kids can’t be given responsibility for taking medication that could do serious harm.’

From news brief: Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity..: Smoking a cigarette usually yields 0.5-2mg of nicotine but when placing tobacco in your mouth like nicotine replacement products, moist snuff or the dissolvable tobacco products 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.

In the U.S., 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.

Reference: Boy, 14, collapses after chewing nicotine gum equivalent to 180 cigarettes in just 25 minutes... handed out at school by Daily Mail Reporter, 7/21/2009.
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Marlboro its 15th variety - Blend No. 54 - menthol flavored..


July 22, 2009 - The nation's biggest cigarette maker's newest Marlboro variety -- its 15th (in the U.S) -- is called Blend No. 54, a menthol-flavored cigarette with a tobacco blend that Philip Morris spokesman Bill Phelps described as having a richer, bolder taste. The green-on-green boxes have been showing up in stores in recent weeks.

The latest from Marlboro.com. Get Your Coupon - savings on any style Marlboro including New Blend No. 54..

The six Marlboro varieties Philip Morris introduced immediately before Blend 54 have captured about 2 percent of the U.S. market since 2002, Phelps said. That translates to about $180 million a year of after-tax income for the company, he said.

Phelps: "Line extensions are very successful for us." Modifying Marlboro to make different versions has been a key to Philip Morris strategy for years.

Since 2002, Marlboro's share of the overall market climbed from 37.4 percent to 41.2 percent, Phelps said. While there's no tally of how many smokers switch from one type of Marlboro to another, the figures suggest Philip Morris won a lot of smokers from other companies' brands.

The tweak with Blend No. 54 is a strong tobacco flavor combined with menthol. The company's other menthol brands are versions of its main Marlboro Red brand, as well as medium-strength, lights and ultralights varieties, which have less nicotine and tar.

"They want to defend share, and profits, in a declining market, which is what the U.S. cigarette market is doing," said Frank Franzak, a marketing professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. "This type of continuous innovation, even when the changes are minor, is considered the best way to maintain a leadership position in a mature market," he said.

Marlboro, ever since its 1955 reintroduction as a filter cigarette in its red-and-white box, has become one of the business world's biggest brand-making success stories. In the 1920s, Philip Morris marketed Marlboro as a woman's cigarette but stopped selling it during World War II. The relaunch of Marlboro aimed at tapping a fast-growing market for filter cigarettes, and "Marlboro Country" advertising from the 1960s with its working cowboys and music from a famous Western film created an image that eventually made it the leading cigarette brand in much of the world. (Quit Smoking! Two ‘Marlboro Man’ Died of Lung Cancer by Monalisa Hyden, Ezine Articles, 10/16/2006; also the Winston Man, Alan Landers dies of lung cancer..) Marlboro Man - Wayne McLaren..

Reference: Philip Morris adds another cigarette to Marlboro lineup by David Ress, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/22/2009.

Blend No. 54 related news briefs: More on Philip Morris' New Menthol Marlboro 54..; C-store Update; Marlboro Menthol No.54, Camel SNUS, Altria, etc..; Philip Morris USA introduces - Marlboro Blend No. 54 - menthol cigarettes..; C-store update: from Light, Ultra-lights to Colors; etc..; C-Store Update - Philip Morris USA to introduce another Marlboro menthol cigarette...
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New Brunswick - lawsuit against tobacco companies - outside lawyers can be used..


July 22, 2009 - New Brunswick (N.B.) was the second Canadian province (first was British Columbia) to file a lawsuit against tobacco companies to recover health-care costs related to the use of tobacco products. New Brunswick's government announced in December 2006 that it would take legal action against the companies but the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Cost Recovery Act was only proclaimed on March 7, giving the province the legal authority to launch the lawsuit. (N.B. launches lawsuit against tobacco companies, CBCNews.ca, 3/13/2008)

The New Brunswick government has won a preliminary battle in its lawsuit against several big tobacco companies, which were fighting to block a team of outside lawyers from working on the court case. The province is seeking millions of dollars in damages for health-care costs resulting from people smoking, and is suing companies including Rothmans, Benson & Hedges, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and Imperial Tobacco.

New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench Judge Thomas Cyr rejected a preliminary motion filed by 15 tobacco companies named in the lawsuit that sought to remove the team of lawyers representing the province.

The province's legal team consists of private practitioners Philippe J. Eddie and Chris Correia from New Brunswick, as well as the firms Siskinds LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin and Bennett Jones from Ontario, Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman of South Carolina, and Martin & Jones of North Carolina.

The lawyers are seeking unspecified millions in damages. If they're successful, the legal team will divide up to 25 per cent of any financial award or settlement. That contingency-fee arrangement was the problem, according to the tobacco companies. The tobacco industry lawyers argued there was a conflict of interest between the government lawyers' potential private financial gain and their duty to act impartially in the public interest when the province hired them.

Reference: N.B. tobacco lawsuit scores early victory , CBCNews.ca, 7/16/2009.
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North Carolina - may get a slight increase in cigarette tax..


July 22, 2009 - The North Carolina General Assembly did not pass a new state budget by the end of the fiscal year at midnight, June 30th. The assembly is now in its second two week extention through July 31st to come up with an agreement on the budget. Lawmakers have approved a temporary spending bill to keep government operating and Governor Beverly Perdue signed the measure. (NC gov signs new budget extension from lawmakers by GARY D. ROBERTSON, Associated Press, 7/16/2009)

House and Senate Democrats closed in Tuesday, July 21st on a deal to generate nearly $1 billion in new taxes this year in North Carolina they said would raise both sales and income taxes but avoid subjecting a host of services to the sales tax. Finding such a deal has been the key obstacle to passage of a permanent state government budget three weeks after the new fiscal year began.

As part of this deal the cigarette tax also would go up by 15 cents a pack to 50 cents and raise taxes on beer, wine and liquor, according to Sen. Clark Jenkins, D-Edgecombe, one of the tax negotiators.


Reference: North Carolina Democrats say tax deal imminent North Carolina Democrats say agreement very close to raising sales, income taxes this year by Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press Writer, 7/21/2009.

Related news briefs: North Carolina - 50 cents increase in cigarette tax back in the news..; NC - Reynolds American employees protest any increase in cigarette taxes..; North Carolina House panel deletes cigarette tax increase..; Reynolds American - NC Governor's tobacco tax increase - Outrageous..; NC Governor calls for an increase in the tobacco tax..; North Carolina - may consider raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes..; North Carolina tobacco companies and growers oppose possible tax increase..

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Turkey - dangers of secondhand smoke media campaign..


July 21, 2009 - To coincide with Turkey's ban on smoking in cafes, restaurants and bars that begun on July 19, 2009 the World Lung Foundation, Turkish NGO Green Crescent (Yesilay), municipal governments, and Turkish Ministry of Health worked together to air a new media campaign warning of the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS, passive smoking, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS).

The mass media campaign called ‘Sigarani da Beni de Yakma!’ vividly shows second-hand smoke can harm non-smokers, especially children. The campaign is being aired on national TV with support from the Turkish Ministry of Health, and on more than 500 billboards and 20 overpass advertising in Istanbul through investment from the Istanbul Governarate. Gaziosmanpasa and Izmit Municipalities are also adopting the campaign.

The campaign is part of Yesilay’s broader “Smoke-Free Istanbul” project which also includes a toll-free action hotline that people can call to learn more about their rights to smoke-free public places and how to report violations.

Research has shown that mass media campaigns are an effective strategy to help people stop smoking, and a key component of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) M-P-O-W-E-R (W=Warn) policy package. MPOWER is endorsed and promoted by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, of which World Lung Foundation is a principal partner.

World Lung Foundation has provided financial and technical support to governmental and civil society for communications campaigns to inform Turkish citizens about the smoke-free law and the harms of second-hand smoke.

Reference: TURKISH GREEN CRESCENT AND WORLD LUNG FOUNDATION LAUNCH MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT 100% SMOKE FREE TURKEY, Press Release, World Lung Foundation, 7/19/2000. To view media TV ad click on this address.

Turkey - related news briefs:
Turkish Government - makes major move to improve the health of its citizens..;
Turkey - smoking ban starting July 19th will be enforced - these guys are serious..;
Turkey - poll indicates employers, their employees and customers support smoking ban in cafes, bars and restaurants..;
Turkey - July 19th total smoking ban, will employees lose jobs..;
Turkey - on July 19, 2009 will mark the beginning of “100 percent smoke-free air” in this country..;
Turkey - national smoking ban starts July 19, 2009..;
Turkey - quit smoking photo displayed in ─░stanbul's Taksim Square..;
Turkey - data on tobacco usage - Turkish Statistics Institution..;
Turkey - smoking ban in all bars, restaurants and coffeehouses starting July 19, 2009..;
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...
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Users of illicit tobacco have worse health than smokers of licit tobacco..


July 21, 2009 - A telephone survey, stratified by state, using computer aided telephone interviewing, with households selected by random digit dialing from the telephone white pages was performed. Setting was all Australian states and territories, 1,621 regular tobacco smokers aged 18+ years. Measures were social and personal characteristics of tobacco smokers, smoking histories and patterns, and health status (SF-8 and disability weights).

It was found that current and lifetime users of illicit tobacco (chop-chop) report significantly worse health than smokers of licit tobacco.

PAPER: Smokers of illicit tobacco report significantly worse health than other smokers; Campbell K. Aitken, Tim R. L. Fry, Lisa Farrell and Breanna Pellegrini; Nicotine & Tobacco Research 11(8): 996-1001, 2009; ABSTRACT...
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Is the smell of cigarettes the same as secondhand smoke?


July 21, 2009 -Harvard Medical School - HEALTHbeat..

Q: A family friend just started smoking again. He doesn’t smoke while my young daughter and I are there, but his house is saturated with the smell. Is this secondhand smoke? Should I be concerned?

A. Secondhand smoke (passive smoking, involuntary smoking, environmental tobacco smoking, ETS, SDS) is defined as the combination of sidestream smoke, which comes from the burning end of a cigarette, and mainstream smoke, which is smoke exhaled by the smoker. While the smell of smoke doesn’t necessarily correlate with the amount of secondhand smoke in a room, you and your daughter are being exposed to some level of smoke toxins.

There are good reasons to avoid secondhand smoke. It increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory problems, and possibly cancers of the cervix, breast, and bladder. In children, it’s been linked to middle ear infections, bronchitis, and asthma. Exposure in the womb is associated with low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome.

More than 250 chemicals in secondhand smoke are known to be toxic or carcinogenic. They can linger in the air as gases or particles and may be absorbed through the nose, mouth, or skin. Some become carcinogenic only after they’re activated by enzymes in the body and become part of a cell’s DNA.

In June 2006, the Surgeon General issued a report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, which concluded that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. It also stated that cleaning the air or ventilating buildings cannot completely eliminate secondhand smoke exposure. Banning smoking in indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers.

You and your daughter probably get very little exposure to secondhand smoke when you visit your friend, but your visits are not risk-free. The safest route is to have him visit in your home, with the understanding that he’ll go outside if he wants to smoke. Of course, whatever you can do to encourage him to stop smoking will be good for everyone.
— Celeste Robb-Nicholson, M.D.
Editor in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch

This Question and Answer first appeared in the October 2006 Harvard Women’s Health Watch, available at www.health.harvard.edu/women.

Related news brief: Children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke...
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Tobacco smoke exposure on college campuses..


July 21, 2009 - Secondhand smoke (SHS, passive smoking, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS) is not only a nuisance, but a potential health concern for many college students, and administrators should be taking steps to reduce students' exposure, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

It is the first study to provide evidence of the high rates of SHS exposure, and correlates of exposure, among college students in the United States.

Mark Wolfson, Ph.D., lead author: "While some college campuses are smoke free, others have virtually no restrictions on smoking, not even in the residence halls. There is a growing national movement to move away from that, but it still very much varies by campus. In this first study to evaluate SHS exposure among college students, we were really kind of floored to see how many, and how frequently, students are exposed to it."

For the study, researchers surveyed 4,223 undergraduate college students from 10 North Carolina universities – eight public and two private. They were asked questions about their drinking and smoking habits, demographics (age, gender, race, parents' education level), lifestyle (residence on- or off-campus, living in a substance-free dormitory, participation in a fraternity or sorority) and SHS exposure.

Of the participants, 83 percent reported having been exposed to SHS at least once in the seven days preceding the survey. Most of those exposures (65 percent) happened at a restaurant or bar, followed by exposure at home or in the same room as a smoker (55 percent) and in a car (38 percent). Daily and occasional smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to report exposure, perhaps not surprising given that they are more likely than other students to have friends who smoke and to frequent or live in locations where smoking occurs, according to the study. Similarly, students who binge drink were more likely than other students to report exposure to SHS, likely reflective of the co-occurrence of smoking and drinking among college students.

Other factors that appeared to be associated with increased exposure to SHS included living in residence locations where smoking is allowed or locations associated with smoking, such as Greek houses and off-campus housing, being female, of white race, having parents with higher education levels and attending a public versus private school.

Nearly all nonsmokers (93.9 percent) and the majority of smokers (57.8 percent) reported that SHS was somewhat or very annoying.

"We were really shocked to see that 83 percent of students reported at least some exposure during the previous week," Wolfson said. "That said, we don't know if the exposure was at a nuisance level or at a level that might influence health. Either way, knowing what we know about SHS, lowering the rates of smoking is definitely something we should be seriously looking at on college campuses."

SHS contains at least 250 chemicals that are either toxic or carcinogenic and is, itself, considered a human carcinogen. In nonsmokers, exposure to SHS is estimated to be responsible for 3,000 deaths annually from lung cancer and 35,000 deaths from coronary heart disease, respiratory infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome and other illnesses in children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002.

Recent studies suggest that most colleges do not have a comprehensive ban on smoking. In fact, in another study of the largest public university in each of the 50 states, researchers found that only 54 percent of schools banned smoking inside student housing and 50 percent banned smoking outside building entrances. As a result, college students are likely to be exposed to SHS regularly.

More than 10 million individuals were enrolled in 4-year degree-granting institutions in fall 2002, thus colleges represent a key setting for preventing exposure to SHS to promote public health.

Although college administrators may be limited in their ability to affect exposure in some locations, they have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for students, the authors wrote in their study, and should consider looking at ways to take steps to reduce smoking and concomitant exposure to SHS among their students. Such steps include enacting smoke-free campus policies and offering smoking cessation services, such as those recommended by the American College Health Association.

The NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund's Tobacco Free Colleges initiative promotes work to prevent initiation of tobacco use among young adults, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke on college campuses, promote cessation and reduce health disparities among college students attributable to tobacco use.

Additionally, a new law in North Carolina prohibiting smoking in nearly all restaurants and bars will go into effect January 2, 2010. "Debates about smoking restrictions, especially on college campuses, often revolve around considerations of individual choice," Wolfson said. "However, the issue of SHS exposure brings in the rights of all to a healthy environment. This is an issue which is beginning to resonate with many college administrators."

PAPER: College students' exposure to secondhand smoke; Mark Wolfson, Thomas P. McCoy and Erin L. Sutfin; Nicotine & Tobacco Research 11(8): 977-084, 2009.

Reference: Rates of secondhand smoke exposure high among college studentsEurekAlert.org, 7/21/2009.

Related news briefs: New York City - nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke..; Boston - NO Tobacco Products Sold - Pharmacies/College Campuses...

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Homeowners Association - outlaws smoking inside of homes..


July 21, 2009 - Members of the Fairfax Parkside Homeowners Association in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on Wednesday July 15th voted to outlaw smoking inside residences that are part of the 34-unit development. The ban also prohibits smoking in shared spaces, such as porches and garages, but does allow it in yards and on patios. Fairfax Parkside is believed to be the first Eau Claire development in which homeowners aren't allowed to light up indoors. The regulation restricts current residents, future homeowners and visitors also won't be allowed to smoke inside.

Of the 19 association members who voted on the issue, 15 favored the anti-smoking regulation proposed by association President Dave Hanvelt, while four argued that residents should be allowed to smoke in their homes. "This doesn't restrict a smoker from living here," Hanvelt said of the smoking prohibition. "It just means that there are restrictions on where they can smoke."

Hanvelt proposed the regulation earlier this year because homeowners in the development own twin homes, or each side of a duplex-style home. Because of their close proximity, smoke from one unit could flow into the one next door.
"I'm not aware of any other instances where that is the case," said Julie Marlette, coordinator of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Eau Claire County. "If we all lived in separate units, this wouldn't have been necessary," Hanvelt said, noting homeowners association members made sure to allow outdoor smoking so as to not be too restrictive.

Last year the Eau Claire City Council approved a controversial ban on smoking in indoor public places, including taverns. Wiasconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed a smoking ban, making bars, restaurants and other workplaces smoke-free starting July 5, 2010.

While preventing smoking in privately owned homes is unusual, prohibiting the practice in rental residences isn't unheard of in Eau Claire and elsewhere. Some landlords don't allow renters to smoke indoors in an effort to keep those living quarters cleaner and to reduce the chances of a house fire.

Stomping out smoking in multifamily rental units is a growing trend in other parts of the U.S., Marlette said.

"I think people are recognizing the exposure that is occurring to secondhand smoke in multiunit housing," she said. "It is definitely a bona fide health issue, and I think we're going to see more requests for those units to go smoke free."

Dave FitzGerald, one of the Fairfax Parkside developers who also lives there, initially questioned whether the non-smoking measure would hinder future sales in an already tough housing market. But FitzGerald, a nonsmoker, said the anti-smoking rule could attract buyers too, especially given that nearly four of every five people don't smoke. "Could we lose a sale to somebody who is a smoker? Certainly," FitzGerald said. "But I think there is a better chance of having somebody be willing to live here because there isn't any smoking."

Hanvelt knows firsthand the frustrations of living next to a smoker in a shared-space residence. He previously spent thousands of dollars at a former residence retrofitting his unit to prevent cigarette smoke from a next-door neighbor from making its way to his home, but the effort proved unsuccessful, he said.

"We adopted this for our own safety and health," Hanvelt said. "This is a very nice place to live, and we want to keep it that way."

Smokers are more marginalized than ever before - it's time to make people proud of you.

Reference: Housing complex owners vote to ban smoking by Julian Emerson, Leader-Telegram staff, 7/19/2009.
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Top 10 Most Creative Anti-Smoking Ad Campaigns..


July 21, 2009 - Take a look: Top 10 Most Creative Anti-Smoking Ad Campaigns by Amy Gifford, InventorSpot.com, 7/21/2009.

It appears that some of the most creative and inventive advertising is coming from nonprofits these days. This month (July), I will be taking a look at the nonprofits and "for a good cause" marketing techniques. Today, we turn to the the advertising campaigns being used to increase awareness about the bad effects of smoking.
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Preview - Altria - second quarter 2009 results..



July 21, 2009 - Altria Group Inc. reports its second-quarter results on Wednesday, July 22nd. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.

OVERVIEW: The Richmond-based seller of Marlboro cigarettes and Black & Mild cigars, has said it has realized $50 million in savings from its January acquisition of smokeless tobacco maker UST Inc., which makes Copenhagen and Skoal. Owner of the biggest U.S. cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, Altria has said it expects savings of about $300 million by 2011. The company also consolidated its sales force.

The company reported that its first-quarter profit slid 76 percent, to $589 million. During the quarter that ended March 31, cigarette volumes dropped industrywide as retailers and wholesalers cut their orders ahead of a one-time federal tax on their inventory. As a 62-cent-per-pack retail sales tax went into effect April 1, tobacco sellers had to pay a "floor" tax of 62 cents per pack on whatever they had on hand that day. Tobacco makers have until July 31 to make those payments on product that was ready for distribution.

Goldman Sachs analyst Judy Hong told investors in a research note on July 5 that cigarette volume declines have eased since April 1, suggesting retailers have gone back to ordering cigarettes and consumers have adjusted to the higher prices that include the new tax. Yet smokeless tobacco trends appear to have softened, Hong wrote.

Regarding UST: Skoal is Celebrating July with Mind Blowing Prizes..



Former Skoal user, that is sorry he ever started.



Reference: Earnings Preview: Altria Group Inc. by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, Associated Press - Bismarck Tribune Online, 7/20/2009.

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U.S.- creating the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products..


July 21, 2009 - Now that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has been given that job, the FDA must set up a new center devoted to regulating a multibillion-dollar industry that employs tens of thousands of people -- many of them in the Richmond region. The industry reaches from farm fields to retail stores, has more than 40 million U.S. customers and has long enjoyed a high degree of autonomy.

"It's a daunting task," said Mitch Zeller, a former associate commissioner of the FDA and a longtime tobacco-control advocate. "There is no infrastructure at FDA yet" geared specifically for tobacco regulation, Zeller said. "It can be built, and it needs to be done quickly. That will happen simultaneously with FDA beginning to meet the deadlines that are in the legislation," such as a Sept. 29 ban on candy-flavored cigarettes.

The legislation, passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on June 22, calls for the creation within 90 days of a Center for Tobacco Products in the FDA.

The FDA has announced that it is seeking public input on the implementation of its new authority overseeing tobacco products in the United States.

Observers say the new tobacco center likely will be structured in a similar fashion to other FDA offices, such as its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, which is responsible for making sure the nation's food supply is safe, and its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, which regulates over-the-counter and prescription drugs. But the tobacco center will have a unique role for the FDA -- regulating a product that, when used as intended, causes disease and death for more than 400,000 of its consumers in the U.S. each year. In that light, the FDA's approach to tobacco will likely be "a hybrid" of the way it regulates foods, drugs and devices, Zeller said. Tobacco doesn't fit clearly into one of those categories, but it has characteristics of all of them.

"Tobacco is in a category by itself, given its inherent toxicity," Zeller said. "Having said that, I think the regulatory tools that [the FDA] will use in this unique category are pretty much the tools that we have seen the agency use for as long as there has been an FDA." Those tools include pre-market evaluation of products, scrutiny of marketing claims, and ingredient disclosures, he said.

Yet some issues are still left open to interpretation in the FDA legislation. For example, it requires the FDA to set product standards for tobacco that must be "appropriate for the protection of public health," rather than the "safe and effective" standard used for pharmaceuticals.

"That's pretty broad," said Scott Ballin, a tobacco and health policy consultant who lobbied for FDA regulation of the industry. "There are going to be a lot of questions as to what the agency decides to do with that. Are they going to be reasonable standards? Are they going to be economically feasible standards?" There is a whole spectrum of new, complex issues that need to be addressed carefully and openly and in a way that will achieve public-health goals," Ballin said.

The FDA's decisions on tobacco regulations should be based on scientific evidence, Ballin and other tobacco-control advocates said. That view was echoed by the nation's largest tobacco company, Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc., parent company of Philip Morris USA. "The FDA has a history of making decisions using a thoughtful, science-based process that includes input from the public, other stakeholders and the regulated community," said Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Altria Group Inc. "We believe whoever leads the [FDA] tobacco center should follow the same model, and we are hopeful that would be the case."

Much of the decision-making on implementing the regulations will be made by the director of the Center for Tobacco Products, who has not yet been hired. The FDA closed its application process for the director position on July 9. The agency would not comment on how many people have applied, but a director is expected to be named within 45 days. The director will have to build a staff, likely to eventually include hundreds of people with various scientific, regulatory and legal backgrounds.

The job description posted by the FDA for the director's job called for applicants with "substantial scientific expertise" in areas such as toxicology and epidemiology, and experience in public health and "administrative procedure and regulation, including deep familiarity with congressional operations and policymaking in the executive branch."

Whoever fills that role, said Matt Myers, president of the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, "will need to be someone with exceptional leadership and management skills, and an ability to create a vision, build a staff, set priorities and meet deadlines under intense scrutiny on a highly controversial topic."

The FDA also must appoint a 12-member scientific advisory board on tobacco products to provide recommendations and advise the agency on product regulations. That board will be heavily weighted toward public health, with seven members from medical, health-care or scientific fields. Two members will represent the interests of tobacco manufacturers, and one member the interests of tobacco farmers, but they will be nonvoting members, serving in what the legislation calls a "consulting" role.

Before it sets product standards, the agency likely will seek out information from the tobacco industry itself, Zeller said. The legislation requires tobacco companies to disclose product ingredients to the FDA, but the agency can also go further than that by requiring companies to submit their research on toxic compounds and the health impacts of products.

Zeller: "Right now much of the scientific knowledge about the delivery of toxic compounds in smoke is in the hands of the tobacco companies," he said. "One of the tools in the legislation that I think is very important is the power that FDA is given to demand health-related information from the companies." Zeller headed the FDA's office of tobacco programs from 1993 to 2000, after the agency had asserted authority to regulate tobacco products. Tobacco companies disputed that in court, and in 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that only Congress could grant the agency regulatory power over tobacco.

In the 1990s, Zeller said, the FDA had primarily focused on ways to prevent youth smoking, but the agency's ability to continue that work was always in doubt because of the lawsuit. "Congress has spoken now," he said. "The day is here when those tools have been given to the agency." The FDA's Center for Tobacco Products primary focus should be to prevent youth from using tobacco products.

Reference: Next regulatory step: the Center for Tobacco Products by JOHN REID BLACKWELL Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer, 7/21/2009.

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