America's hopsitals - more hospitals are moving to having a completely smoke-free campus..

August 22, 2009 - Smokers still huddle outside the doors of more than half of America's hospitals -- and 65 percent of Virginia's -- a new study found.

The study, “The Adoption of Smoke-Free Hospital Campuses in the United States,” appears in the latest online issue of Tobacco Control. It was found that more hospitals are moving to having a completely smoke-free campus. In central Virginia, HCA's (Hospital Corporation of America) Chippenham and Johnston-Willis campuses went tobacco-free -- even banning smokeless tobacco -- last year, said Karen Nelson, executive director for marketing. In November 2009, HCA's Henrico Doctors', Parham Doctors' and Retreat Doctors' campuses will follow suit. John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell will go tobacco-free sometime after that, Nelson said.

"We felt this is the right decision for a health-care organization," Nelson said.

VCU Medical Center, meanwhile, faces the challenge that its buildings open directly onto public streets and sidewalks, where it has no authority to ban smoking, spokeswoman Pamela D. Lepley said.

Bon Secours Richmond has designated smoking areas at St. Mary's Hospital, Richmond Community Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center, but the four hospitals will eliminate those in November, said Kim Brundage, administrative director for patient relations.

At that time, the hospitals will ban smoking everywhere, including parking lots, but will provide nicotine gum to visitors, she said.

In Virginia, 35 percent of hospitals ban smoking indoors and outdoors on their property.

Nationwide, 45 percent of hospitals ban smoking everywhere on their property, and about 36 percent make no exceptions. But 11 percent said they will, either for specific patient groups or by giving doctors and administrators authority to override a smoke-free policy. An additional 15 percent of hospitals say they are actively planning to implement completely smoke-free policies.

More rural than urban hospitals banned outside smoking. Teaching hospitals were more likely to allow outside smoking.

More than 70 percent of federal hospitals allowed outside smoking, and slightly less than 70 percent of for-profit hospitals did. Less than 45 percent of not-for-profit hospitals allowed smoking on their campuses, and 57 percent of stateor local-government owned hospitals did.

The survey was conducted by researchers of The Joint Commission, an accrediting agency, and the Henry Ford Health System.

PAPER: The Adoption of Smoke-Free Hospital Campuses in the United States, Scott C Williams, Joanne M Hafner, David J Morton, Amanda L Holm, Sharon M Milberger, Richard G Koss, Jerod M Loeb, Tobacco Control Published Online First: 20 August 2009, ABSTRACT...

Reference: Smoke-free policies at American hospitals by David Ress, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/22/2009.


Updated - England - tabacco display ban - the Lords got it right..

August 22, 2009 - On May 6, 2009 The House of Lords voted to ban displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products. The Bill will has now been returned to the House of Commons for a final vote by Members of Parliament (MPs).

Patrick Basham, who directs the Democracy Institute and is a Cato Institute adjunct scholar recently provided comments on why the Lords should not have approved the ban.

Tobacco - Health Bill 2009

Scotland's Public Health Minister Shona Robison reminds us - "the protection of children and young people from the impact of tobacco must be paramount and there are instances when the benefits to the public health of the nation must take precedence."

Tobacco products are legal and can be sold in retail outlets. In fact tobacco is the only consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended. Tobacco kills half the people who use it as directed, the earlier you start the greater the chance of premature death. Smoking remains the main cause of preventable disease and premature death in the United Kingdom (UK). In England alone, over 80,000 deaths per year are due to smoking and about 8.5 million people still smoke in England today. Smoking related conditions and diseases cost the National Health Servive an estimated £1.5 billion (2.47200 billion U.S. dollars) per year.

Possibly tobacco would no longer be legal to sell if for decades, major tobacco companies have lied about the risks of smoking. In August of 2006, a United States federal judge ruled that the tobacco industry had actually engaged in racketeering practices, stating that the industry had engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to hide the dangers of smoking from their users. The judge stated that the conspiracy dated back to 1953, when a group of tobacco companies met together at the Plaza Hotel in New York City and devised a public relations plan to counter health concerns associated with smoking. It was also found that the tobacco industry marketed their product to youth groups; that even though the industry claims it does not want children to smoke, the companies were caught tracking youth behavior and preferences, thereby ensuring that “marketing and promotion reaches youth,” even hiding from them the serious dangers of smoking while their young bodies were still developing.

Retail stores represent the main interface between tobacco producers and customers. Attractive-looking packets, as packages are called in Britain, are one of the few remaining options tobacco companies have to appeal to smokers in the developed world.
Michael Symanczyk, CEO of Altria Group has stated that Philip Morris owes their success to the ability to connect with the tobacco consumer through the-in-store-experience and the development of one-to-one relationship using their database 0f 25 million adult cigarette smokers. (Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008) We surely do not want cigarette makers to be successful and continue to spread death around the world.

In is well known that colorful and clever cigarette pack designs, which are constantly entering the market, represent a deliberate marketing strategy to recruit young people to smoke. According to statistics published by the UK Cancer Research Institute, more than 400 adolescents become occasional, light smokers each day across the United Kingdom. Professor Janet Hoek and Dr Heather Gifford found in New Zealand with interviews with former smokers and lapsed quitters show that tobacco displays are highly visible and tempt people struggling to give up a dangerous and unhealthy habit.

Tobacco should be treated just like a controlled substance kept out of view and only available when requested by the proper patron. On the dependence scale, the three most addicting drugs are heroin (#1), cocaine (#2) and tobacco (#3). A number of jurisdictions have already banned tobacco displays at retail outlets - surely these people can't all be wrong.

It has been found American adolescents who live in states that comply with tobacco sales laws are less likely to pick up a smoking habit than are those who live where the laws are not vigorously enforced. In the United Kingdom in order to purchase tobacco products the age has been raised to 18 but there's no uniformity in enforcing these purchases. One example - six young people serving as volunteers visited shops around the West Midland region (metropolitan county in western central England) and attempted to buy cigarettes. These volunteers were able to make purchase cigarettes in 31 out of 38 shops. (Is It as Easy as Young People Claim for Them to Buy Cigarettes? Comparing the Results of Realistic Test Purchases with Those from Trading Standards Test Purchases, Emma Croghan, Paul Aveyard and Carol Johnson,, July 2004) Banning of tobacco product displays will provide uniformity throughout all retail outlets selling tobacco products.

According to Cancer Research UK - research shows that 70 percent of adults in the United Kingdom back proposals to protect children from tobacco by putting it out of sight in shops and 76 percent support abolishing cigarette vending machines.

How much could it possibly cost to place cigarette packs out of sight of customers? In the past cigarette makers have been directly involved in providing the shelving for the display of tobacco products. The Australian Association of Convenience Stores executive director David Killeen has acknowledged that tobacco companies paid for retail displays in many, but not all, convenience stores. The government should find a contractor to work with the various types of retail outlets to find the best arrangement to hide the tobacco products.

With tobacco products out of sight eventually if not sooner tobacco products will be to a certain degree out of mind. The longer the ban is in force the more removed from a person's mind will be thoughts about tobacco - both for the youngster and the person serious about quitting.

We are predicting that Scotland will be the first country in the United Kingdom to successfully implement the ban preventing the display of tobacco products in retail outlets.

Meanwhile in the U.S.A.the Big 3-Cigarette makers compete for every inch of space in convenience stores.

Some related news briefs:
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicians most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
England, House of Lords votes to ban shop tobacco dislays and restrict vending machine use..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use...

Mumbai, India - NGO activists want closure of hookah bars..

August 22, 2009 - Activists of Lok Adhikar Welfare Trust, a Mumbai-based non-governmental organization (NGO), today went on an indefinite hunger strike demanding closure of hookahs (argileh nargile, hubble-bubble, water pipe, hooka, shisha, goza, meassel, sheesha) parlors in the city.

On October 2, 2008 public places across India become smoke-free. The health ministry's directive, is known as the "Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Rules 2008." (India Toughens Ban On Smoking In Public Places, Catharine Paddock, PhD., Medical News Today)

Talking to United News of India (UNI), president of the NGO, Anil Nair said, "We have started an indefinite hunger strike against the hookah parlors and our demand is that the government should immediately close down discos, pubs and other public places, where hookah is sold and strict action should be taken against those who violate this ban. Surprise checks should also be carried out by the police and the BMC at the public places to avoid cropping up of any such parlors in future." The protesters also submitted a memorandum of their demands to the District Collector.

Mr Nair also said that children below the age of 21 should be strictly restricted from smoking in all these restaurants, the senior inspector of each police station should be responsible to impose this ban in their concerned jurisdiction and the report should be submitted to the DCP concerned.

More than 100 hookahs parlor are running in the city, bringing huge revenue to the government, he added. Hookah bars more polluted than dumping grounds: Survey.

Reference: NGO acivists on hunger strike demanding closure of hookah parlors, United News of India, 8/21/2009.

India - related news briefs: India - gutkha and bidi companies NOT pictorial warnings..; India - cigarette packs with pictorial warnings are here..; ndia - NO graphic pictorial warnings yet..; India - Still no pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..; India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..; India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented from May 31 - no doubts about it..; India - will pictorial or graphic health warnings be implemented from May 30, 2009..; India - placing pictorial warnings on tobacco products delayed again..

United KIngdom's NHS spending more to stop smoking less people quittting..

August 21, 2009 - The National Health Service (NHS), the world's largest publicly funded health service, is spending more money helping people stop smoking - but fewer are quitting, say official figures. The cost per quitter was £219 in 2008/09 compared with £173 in 2007/08 and £160 (263.68 U.S. dollars) in 2006/07. (NHS is the name commonly used to refer to the four publicly funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom.)

Up in smoke: 337,054 people quit last year, down four percent on the previous year's total of 350,800. But spending went up 21 percent last year to £74m - not including the cost of nicotine replacement therapy. The figures also found less than half of pregnant women using NHS stop smoking services manage to quit smoking. Of the 18,928 pregnant women who set a quit date, 8,641 successfully quit (46 per cent), says the NHS Information Center. This was a 12 percent fall on the 9,817 successful quitters among pregnant women setting a quit date in 2007/08.

A total of 671,259 people set a quit date through the service in 2008/09, a 1 percent fall on the 680,289 in 2007/08.

The smoking ban in public places came into force in England on July 1, 2007. The NHS Information Centre's chief executive, Tim Straughan, said: 'The report shows that fewer people successfully quit last year compared to 2007/08. 'However, 2007/08 saw the introduction of the ban on smoking in public places which would be expected to affect the number of quitters in that year. 'It is encouraging that more people quit smoking last year than in 2006/07, the year prior to the ban.'

But Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb said 'The Government is wasting NHS resources which are vitally needed to save lives. 'It’s extraordinary that more money is being spent for worse outcomes. 'The incentive system for doctors has to be urgently changed. GPs shouldn’t be paid just for referring people to stop smoking services, they should be paid for helping them to successfully quit.'

Janet Fyle, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “It is disappointing to see the figures going in the wrong direction. 'There is ample evidence on the impact of smoking on the health of the pregnant mother and child, and we advice all women who are pregnant or trying to conceive to do their best to give up smoking.'

Public health minister, Gillian Merron, said 'The NHS Stop Smoking Services give people the best possible chance of stubbing out a dangerous habit for good, improving their opportunity to lead a healthy life and saving thousands of lives every year. 'We provide high quality, cost-effective support and advice that is clinically proven to work in helping people to stop smoking, and will continue to do so, with extra help for those who need it most.'

Reference: Fewer smokers kicking the habit - despite the NHS spending a record £74m NHS quitting campaign by Jenny Hope, Mail Online, 8/21/2009.


Italian resort town fines kids that smoke...

August 21, 2009 - Capoliveri is a resort town on the Italian island of Elba has adopted an ordinance penalizing children under 16 who smoke or carry tobacco on municipal property. (The town has a population of about 4,000 and a year-round police force of six. In summer, the population triples, and the number of police officers swells to 15.)

The Capoliveri ordinance takes effect August 25, 2009 the Italian news agency ANSA reported Tuesday. Minors who break the law could be fined 200 to 300 euros ($283 to $424). The legal purchase age for tobacco in Italy is 16.

Mayor Ruggero Barbetti told Il Tirreno, a newspaper on Elba: "Our aim is not to repress, but to protect the health of our young people. The ordinance has an educational value. As far as we know, we are the first in Italy to take such an initiative."

Capoliveri was also one of the first towns in Italy to fine those under 16 spotted drinking in public.

In Italy an anti-smoking law came into force on Monday, October 3, 2005.. It banned smoking in public places including bars, restaurants, discotheques and offices. Private homes, the open air or special places reserved for smokers will be the only places to light up. (Smoking Ban Begins in Italy ,, 10/1/2005.)

More on tobacco in Italy..

Reference: Italian resort to fine smoking minors,, 8/18/2009.

Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..

August 21, 2009 - Shoppers and visitors to Komtar (means Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak) in Penang, Malaysia are urged to observe the ‘No Smoking’ ban or risk getting fined a maximum of RM10,000 (10,000.00MYR=2,833.28USD) or jailed up to two years under the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004. (Komtar, the tallest building in Penang and the sixth tallest building in Malaysia, is a shopping complex in the center of Georgetown. Georgetown is the capital of the island and in the state of Penang.)

State Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said enforcement officers from the Health Department would be mobilized from ‘time to time’ to Komtar to ensure that the smoking ban was not flouted at the gazetted areas. He added that the move was to create greater awareness on the ill effects of smoking, clean up the air within the Komtar vicinity and revive the state’s iconic landmark image.

“We hope the no smoking ban will improve Komtar’s image and draw more people to the complex,” he told reporters after launching a ‘Don’t Want to Smoke At Komtar’ Campaign at Komtar on Wednesday, August 19, 2009. Phee added that the state government, through the State Secretariat, would identify civil servants to act as ‘inspectors’ to advise and educate their colleagues caught smoking inside government offices in Komtar.

“The campaign is a three-pronged strategy to produce healthy air with no smoke pollutants for shoppers and visitors to Komtar.” He said the move was also timely in view of the Ramadan as it would discourage Muslims from smoking during fasting hours. The four-day campaign also saw visitors registering at the no-smoking clinics and attending talks and exhibitions.

Reference: Strict ban on smoking in Komtar , the Star online, 8/21/2009.

Related news briefs - Malaysia:
Malaysia student forced to smoke 40 cigarettes in two hours..
Malaysia - PSD and Cuepacs are at odds over the no-smoking rule at government de­­partments and agencies..;
Malaysia: Are tobacco control measures working? - WHO thinks so...;
Malaysia - slowdown in cigarette consumption..;
Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings..;
Malaysia to hike cigarette prices..;
Malaysia - 25% of all cigarettes sales are illegal...

South Dakota - trial delayed in fight to enforce smoking ban..

August 21, 2009 - The trial has been delayed in the fight over whether South Dakota's smoking ban should be put to a statewide public vote next year. The trial originally was scheduled for August 24, but has been moved to October 26 in Fort Pierre.

Circuit Judge Kathleen Trandahl also will hold a hearing on September 11 to deal with some issues in the lawsuit.

After the Legislature passed a law expanding the smoking ban to bars and casinos, opponents submitted petition signatures to put the issue on next year's election ballot. Secretary of State Chris Nelson eventually ruled that the issue could not go onto the ballot because more than 8,000 signatures were invalid.

Opponents of the ban want the judge to order Nelson to put the issue on the ballot.

Reference: (S.D.)-Trial Delayed in Smoking Ban Dispute by Nick Jakusz, 8/20/2009.

Developments - related news briefs:
South Dakota - new judge appointed in the smoking ban dispute..
South Dakota - ACS wants smoking ban passed by legislature to begin ASAP..
South Dakota - opponents of smoking ban gain a delay..;
South Dakota - petition rejected - state smoking ban to take effect..;
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...

Smokeless Tobacco - use may result in an increase of having a fatal heart attack or stroke..

August 21, 2009 - A meta-analysis of observational studies finds that people who use smokeless tobacco products like snus (a moist powder tobacco product) have a slightly higher risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke.

PAPER: Use of smokeless tobacco and risk of myocardial infarction and stroke: systematic review with meta-analysis, Paolo Boffetta, epidemiologist, Kurt Straif, epidemiologist, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France, BMJ 2009;339:b3060, ABSTRACT.., FULL TEXT...

Over the last couple of decades, there has been an increase in the number of people in Europe and North America using smokeless tobacco. Most new users are aged under 40. According to the study, since these products are being promoted as 'safer' alternatives to smoking cigarettes, the number of individuals using them is expected to increase.

Dr Paolo Boffetta led the research team that examined the results of 11 studies (mainly in men) carried out in Sweden and North America on the use of smokeless tobacco products and the risk of developing or dying from a heart attack or stroke. In order to reduce partiality, variations in study plan and features were considered.

The results indicated there was a small increased risk of death from a heart attack or stroke among users of smokeless tobacco products compared with non-users. Smokeless tobacco was responsible for 0.5 percent of all heart attacks in the United States and 5.6 percent in Sweden. The products were also the cause of 1.7 percent of stroke deaths in the United States and 5.4 percent in Sweden.

The studies from both the United States and Sweden showed an increased risk of death from myocardial infarction and stroke. The inclusion of non-fatal myocardial infarction and non-fatal stroke lowered the summary risk estimates. Data on dose-response were limited but did not suggest a strong relation between risk of dying from either disease and frequency or duration of use of smokeless tobacco products.

In closing, the authors say that the degree of the excess risk was small, particularly for fatal myocardial infarction. However, the reliability of the results among studies and their strength with respect to study design and quality added to their credibility.

It was recommended that future research should aim to clarify the mechanisms of effect of smokeless tobacco products on deaths from cardiovascular disease and to elucidate whether a similar effect is present for non-fatal myocardial infarction and non-fatal stroke.

Reference: Increased Risk Of Heart Attack And Stroke With The Use Of Smokeless Tobacco Products, by Stephanie Brunner, Medical News Today, 8/19/2009.

A few related news briefs: Some facts for smokers to consider before considering smokeless tobacco..; Snus causes premature death..; Prolonged Use of SNUS (Swedish moist snuff) Increases Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular Disease(CVD) and Stroke..; News brief based on lead authors work: Smokeless Tobacco Can Also Increase Cancer Risk..; Snus does not save lives: quitting the use of tobacco does!.

Dubai, UAE customs blocks e-cigarette shipment..

August 21, 2009 - The Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Municipality has said that it will recommend a ban on electronic cigarettes, as tests carried out by the municipality have found the electronic device to be a health hazard which contains carcinogens and toxic materials, according to the Khaleej Times. 'There is general agreement in the GCC Tobacco Control Committee that e-cigarettes should not be circulated in the [Gulf] market as therapy,' Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of Tobacco Control Team at the MoH has said. (Dubai to push e-cigarette ban,, 8/19/2009)

A shipment of e-cigarettes, which arrived at the Dubai International Airport last week, was blocked by Dubai Customs following a ban enforced by the Ministry of Health. The ministry had banned the battery-powered product last week after tests revealed that it could be hazardous to people’s health.

“We have acted upon the ban and stopped the goods from entering the country,” said Mohammed Mattar Al Marri, executive director of cargo operations at Dubai Customs. “Because this is a local ban, we will allow the exporter to export the shipment back to the country of origin or on to a new destination. We are not a legislative body. We work within the legal framework established by the relevant 
government bodies.”

Al Marri did not elaborate on the size of the shipment but added that it was relatively small because it arrived in the cargo hold of an aircraft.

Electronic cigarettes emit a fine vapor which contains a dose of nicotine. However, there have been concerns that they could be harmful to health.

In the United States, a study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in anti-freeze.

A Dubai Municipality study is expected to have corroborated the findings (see first paragraph in this news brief).

“There is general agreement in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Tobacco Control Committee that e-cigarette should not be circulated in the (Gulf) market as therapy,” Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of Tobacco Control Team in the Ministry of Health (MoH), had told Khaleej Times last week.

Reference: Dubai Customs Blocks e-Cigarette Consignment, Martin Croucher, Khaleej Times Online, 8/21/2009.


C-store update - R.J. Reynolds starts test marketing Camel Dissolvable Sticks and Strips, Marlboro Blend No. 54, Skoal..

August 20, 2009

It has happened R.J. Reynolds Tobacco has started test marketing Camel STICKS and Camel STRIPS in Columbus, OH. We never thought these arrogant conveyors of addiction, disease and death would have the nerve especially with the new law to regulate tobacco products now in force.

The FDA Tobacco Center is directly responsible for stopping the sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products to children.

Click on image to enlarge..

STICKS- How to open? How to Use? Instructions:

Click to enlarge..

STRIPS- How to open? How to Use? Instructions:

Click to enlarge..

Susan Ivey, Chairman and CEO of Reynolds American - from the Second Quarter 2009 Webcast: 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.

The dissolvable, Camel Orbs a candy-type flavored lozenge is similar to the Star products but the STICKS (like a toothpick) and the STRIPS (like an edible strip similar to Listerine breath strips) are quite different. These products are distinctly designed to appeal to young adults and kids that want to be young adults. Soon we'll see offers get these products FREE. THE MARKETING OF THESE PRODUCTS MUST BE STOPPED..

Here's the very latest from the people in Columbus, OH: people in the area are getting mailings for free tobacco dissolvables products and ads are appearing in the "Columbus Alive" newspaper for free Camel dissolvables. (We should have images for next weeks C-store update..)

"Our Highest Priority Has To Be Keeping Children From Beginning To Use Tobacco Products" Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the USA.

Marlboro Menthol Marlboro Blend No. 54 - the $2.00 promotion is back on.

Yes - Skoal pouches are coming..

Click on image to enlarge..

There's even a coupon for $1.00 off bringing Skoal closer in price to the discount brand Conwood's Grizzly. Grizzly, the nations number one moist snuff brand, expanded its market share to 25.5 percent in the 2nd quarter of 2009 launched Grizzly pouches (2-pouch styles, mint and straight)in the 1st quarter 2009 but the pouches only accounted for 0.2 of a share point. (Reynolds American Inc. Q2 2009 Earnings..)

Previous c-store update..

That's all for now - we'll try to get another C-store update out next week. Please help us fight the marketing of Camel Dissolvables - they are targeting our kids..


Thailand Tobacco Monoploly - union concerned about privatization..

August 20, 2009 - Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) faces tough situation due to internal and external factors. Foreign producers, continue to make inroads in the market, with foreign cigarette sales totaling 418.86 million packs in 2007, compared with just 12 million in 1991. The TTM saw its own sales drop to 1.59 billion packs in 2007 compared with 2.31 billion 10 years earlier.

Internally a tax hike combined with an aggressive anti-smoking campaign resulted in continuing decline in the smoking population in Thailand.

TTM needs to make its operation more efficient in order to reduce production cost. The Union resist change and and indicate TTM must reconsider its organizational restructuring, said chairwoman Jantima Sirisaengtaksin. Mrs Jantima said it was incumbent on management of the state enterprise (TTM) to reopen talks with the TTM's 3,000- strong union and that restructuring did not imply a privatization.

"The policy to change the TTM into a juristic (legal) person is not a privatization, but a restructuring of the organization aimed at improving flexibility and reducing obstacles to operations," she said.

Currently, the TTM must essentially seek Finance Ministry approval for nearly any strategic decision, significantly hindering the agency's ability to respond to changes in the market.

Mrs Jantima warned that without change, the TTM may very well face collapse, similar to cigarette producers in other countries.

The TTM produces the market-leading brand Krong Thip, but has seen its revenues fall sharply in recent years due to stiffer anti-smoking regulations as well as competition from foreign producers such as Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco and British American Tobacco.

Mrs Jantima said trade liberalization had caused the TTM's market share to fall to 77%. While still dominant in the market, the TTM's market share had never fallen below 80% until recently. The TTM hopes to boost its market share to 85% by 2010-11 through better cost controls, more efficient production processes and product innovations.

TTM sales for fiscal 2009 ending next month are projected at 28.8 billion cigarettes, or 5% below targets. Revenues, however, are expected to exceed targets slightly at a projected 44 billion baht this year.

Thailand is a member of Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca).

References: Union holds up tobacco restructuring by WICHIT CHANTANUSORNSIRI, Bangkok Post, 8/19/2009; Tobacco in Thailand, EuroMonitor International, published November 2008.

Some Thailand news briefs: Thailand - monks sickly from tobacco smoking and/or smoke exposure..; Philippines - Thai cigarette import rules..; Thailand - cigarette and liquor prices are expected to rise once new measures for calculating excise taxes take effect..; Congratulations.. Thailand Joins Developed World With Total Ban On Smoking..; Discouraging Tobacco Use - Horrific Images on the Packaging..

Dr. Lawrence Deyton to head FDA's Tobacco Center..

August 20, 2009 -

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)tapped a Veterans Affairs official with extensive public health experience to head the agency's tobacco center, which formally opened Wednesday, August 19, 2009.

On June 22, 2009 President Barack Obama signed into law an anti-smoking bill, S. 982—The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.., that gives the FDA greater power to regulate tobacco.

Two weeks after the FDA was given duties to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products, the agency is setting up a new Tobacco Division at its Maryland headquarters. To kick things off for the new division, the FDA posted a help-wanted ad for a tobacco center director. Applicants, it says, need substantial scientific expertise and experience in toxicology, epidemiology and public health.

The real test, will be knowing how play well on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Or as the FDA post says: “Substantial expertise and experience in the area of administrative procedure and regulation, including deep familiarity with Congressional operations and policymaking in the executive branch” are required. (U.S. FDA posts job for new tobacco czar..).

Lawrence Deyton was chief public health officer at the VA, where he initiated smoking cessation programs that cut veterans' smoking rates. He also has worked at the National Institutes of Health and started a Washington community health organization that specializes in treating patients with HIV or AIDS.

The FDA's relatively swift launch of the tobacco unit and appointment of Dr. Deyton shows how seriously agency officials are taking their new responsibilities. The unit will be responsible for carrying out the legislation, including restricting tobacco advertising, collecting user fees from tobacco companies and stopping the sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products to children.

Just in a little over a month based on the new tobacco law all cigarettes or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter, or paper) should no longer contain, as constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.

Reference: FDA Names VA Official For Top Tobacco Post by Jared A. Favole, The Wall Street Journal - printed version, 8/20/2009.


Richard Burrows former Bank of Ireland governor to become chairman of BAT..

August 19, 2009 - Former Bank of Ireland governor Richard Burrows is to become chairman of global tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT), it was announced today. Burrows has been appointed a Non-Executive Director at BAT from September 1 and will become 2chairman on November 1, when Jan du Plessis steps down to take up the chairmanship at Rio Tinto.

Burrows was governor of the Bank of Ireland from 2005 until July of this year.
He was chief executive of Irish Distillers from 1978 to 2000, and co-chief executive at Pernod Ricard SA from 2000 to 2005.

He served as president of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation from 1998 to 2000, as chairman of the National Development Corporation from 1984 to 1988 and chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association from 2006 to 2007.

Burrows: “I am delighted to have been given such an exciting opportunity at such a world class company. I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Board and getting to know the rest of the executive team."

British American Tobacco plc, the world's second biggest cigarette maker, is a holding company that owns, directly or indirectly, investments in the numerous companies constituting the British American Tobacco Group of companies. The Company is an international tobacco company, with its brands sold in over 180 markets. Its four Global Drive Brands include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall. The Company operates in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and America-Pacific

References: Former BOI governor to chair tobacco giant,, 8/19/2009; Appointment of Chairman, British American Tobacco, 8/19/2009.

2 The BAT chair is a nonexecutive position, but a higher-profile role than at other similar sized companies. Mr. du Plessis took responsibility for commenting on any political issues - such as anti-smoking legislation - leaving Chief Executive Paul Adams to concentrate on operational matters. Mr. Burrows will be paid an annual salary of 525,000 pounds (865,846.99USD) and will work a two-day week for BAT. (Tobacco Maker Names Chairman by Anita Likus and Michael Carolan, The Wall Street Journal, 8/20/2008 - print copy)

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Varies with Smoking Habits..

August 19, 2009 - Smoking is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer. To better understand how patterns of exposure to cigarettes may relate to disease risk, Dr. Shannon M. Lynch, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and her colleagues analyzed data for 1,481 people with the disease and 1,539 healthy controls from the International Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium.

Smoking is an established risk factor for pancreatic cancer; however, detailed examination of the association of smoking intensity, smoking duration, and cumulative smoking dose with pancreatic cancer is limited.

The study found that, given an equal total exposure to smoking, a person who smoked less for a longer period of time would be at greater risk of pancreatic cancer than someone who smoked more for a shorter period of time. Overall, the researchers found, smokers were 1.77 times more likely than people who had never smoked to develop pancreatic cancer.

Risk rose steadily with the amount of cigarettes a person smoked daily, the length of time that they smoked, and the total "smoking dose" -- or the number of packs a person smoked daily and the number of years they smoked.

The current analysis found 15% of all pancreatic cases were due to cigarette smoking.
People who had quit smoking 10 years previously were still at increased risk of pancreatic cancer, while the risk for people who had quit for 15 years was similar to that of people who had never smoked.

PAPER: Cigarette Smoking and Pancreatic Cancer: A Pooled Analysis From the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium, Shannon M. Lynch et al., American Journal of Epidemiology 2009 170(4):403-413; doi:10.1093/aje/kwp134, ABSTRACT.., FULL TEXT..

Similar risk patterns have been seen for lung cancer, bladder cancer, cancer of the oral cavity, kidney cancer, and esophageal cancer, they add, which suggests that smoking may increase the risk of all of these cancer types through similar mechanisms.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of death due to the cancer in the US, with fewer than 5% of people surviving for five years after being diagnosed with the disease. Pancreatic cancer is particularly deadly because there is no way to screen for it, so people are often diagnosed late.

Reference: Pancreatic Cancer Risk Varies with Smoking Habits,Reuters Health, 8/17/2009.

Related news brief: Karolinska Institution finds twice risk of pancreatic cancer when using moist snuff (snus)..


South Africa - survey of youngsters smoking and drinking hablits..

August 19, 2009 - TNS Research Surveys, which interviewed 1,000 South African teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 19 years, from the seven major metropolitan areas. The home survey asked youngsters if they had "lots of friends" who were smoking, drinking and/or using drugs. (The reason for asking about the behavior of their friends, but not themselves, was to elicit more honest answers. This was especially important with teenagers under 16, whose caregivers were required to be present during the interview.)

The highest concentration of smoking was found in Cape Town, where 44 percent of teenagers interviewed said they had lots of friends who smoked. The rate among 13-year-olds was 15 percent. This worries Peter Ucko, director of the National Council against Smoking, who says exposure to smoking makes it more likely that teenagers will themselves become hooked on cigarettes. "If they are exposed to it at home, with friends, in movies, in advertising in sport, they are more likely to smoke." The high number of smoking teens could explain drug abuse in the country, said Ucko.

Ucko: "Nicotine is the gateway drug. Few people who don't smoke do other drugs. Most people who take other drugs are also smokers."

The survey found that the highest concentration of drug use was in East London, where 17 percent of respondents had lots of friends who used drugs. Cape Town was second, at 12 percent. Peer pressure was hugely influential in determining a teenager's use and abuse of alcohol too, said Adel Grobbelaar, a trustee for Alcoholics Anonymous.

Grobbelaar said drinking was "definitely increasingly" among young South Africans. The organization was recently called to a primary school in the Johannesburg area where 10 pupils ranging in age from 10 to 13 were intoxicated. "It's a socialisation. They say, 'Dad's drunk, so why can't I do it?'" she said.

Reference: Does your teenager smoke and drink? by Sonya Bell,, 7/1/2009.

Click to enlarge image..


Connecticut AG Blumnethal wants to ban e-cigarettes..

August 18, 2009 - The Connecticut State Attorney General (AG) Richard Blumenthal called on consumers and retailers Tuesday to avoid electronic cigarettes, discounting claims that the devices are safer than real cigarettes.

The Electronic cigarettes are battery operated devices that look like traditional cigarettes e-cigarettes, as they are known, are powered by batteries and produce a mist containing nicotine and propylene glycol, an organic compound. Users inhale the mist, satisfying their craving for nicotine.

”I will vigorously fight to ban e-cigarettes, unless approved by FDA, and any attempt to retail the devices in Connecticut, as well as work with federal authorities to regulate Internet sales,” Blumenthal said at a press conference in Hartford.

He cited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's finding last month that two brands of e-cigarettes, Smoking Everywhere and NJoy, contain known carcinogens. An antifreeze ingredient, diethylene glycol, was found in a Smoking Everywhere cartridge.

Reference: Blumenthal Pledges Fight For A Ban On E-Cigarettes by Brian Hallenbeck,, 8/19/2009.

Suffolk County, NY - bans electronic (e) cigarettes..

August 19, 2009 - The Suffolk Legislature on Tuesday, August 18th banned the use of electronic cigarettes in indoor public spaces, a move it claimed makes the county the first jurisdiction in the nation to forbid the product.

The 12-1 vote, with four abstentions, puts the so-called e-cigarettes on par with traditional cigarettes, barring their use in Suffolk's indoor public spaces. , but supporters say are less harmful.

The vote came after a group of a dozen members of the Long Island Vapors Club, an organization of e-cigarette enthusiasts, pleaded with legislators to spare their hobby from public restrictions. But the bill's sponsor, Legis. Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor), said the battery-operated devices are dangerous and need to be barred from the county's buildings.

Reference: Suffolk lawmakers ban the use of
electronic cigarettes indoors
by REID J. EPSTEIN,, 8/18/2009.

Orgeon - files lawsuit against e-cigarette company -

August 19, 2009 - Oregon Department of Justice (Senior Assistant Attorney General David Hart handled the case for the Department of Justice) filed two settlements Thursday, July 30th that prevent two national travel store chains from selling "electronic cigarettes" in Oregon. The action is the first of its kind in the country and prevents Oregonians from buying potentially dangerous products that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve. (Oregon - electronic (e) cigarettes sales prohibited until approved by FDA..)

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today, August 18th filed a lawsuit against Smoking Everywhere, alleging that the Florida-based "electronic cigarette" company made false health claims about its nicotine delivery device and targeted children with sweet flavors such as bubblegum, chocolate and cookies ‘n' cream.

Electronic cigarettes are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and some contain known carcinogens. As a general rule, nicotine products other than traditional tobacco products used to get a nicotine "buzz" or to quit smoking are considered by the FDA to be drugs and must be submitted for pre-approval. Prior to approval, the FDA requires manufacturers to submit reliable scientific evidence that proves the product is safe and effective for its intended use.

Oregon recently reached legal settlements with three retailers prohibiting them from selling e-cigarettes in the state until they meet state and federal standards. Oregon also reached an agreement with another e-cigarette company, Sottera, Inc., the national distributor of NJOY, which prohibits it from doing business in Oregon until local and national standards are met. The Oregon Attorney General Kroger filed a lawsuit against Smoking Everywhere who refused a similar settlement offer.

Attorney General Kroger: "We're fighting to make sure kids are protected from unapproved gimmicks like e-cigarettes that get them hooked on nicotine."

Reference: Electronic Cigarette Lawsuit, KOHD abc News, 8/18/2009.

Related news brief: Smoking Everywhere - e-cigarette distributor...


Saudi Arabia - bans use of cessation drugs Champix and Zyban..

August 19, 2009 - The Ministry of Health has banned two popular smoking cessation drugs as their side-effects include suicidal tendencies. The drugs containing varenicline (trade name Champix from Pfizer, Champix) and buproprion (Yaba, Zyban)) were banned after the US Food and Drugs [SIC] Adminstration (FDA) issued a black box warning – the toughest warning on risks associated with a medicine — on serious mental health risks of the drugs.

Varenicline is suspected of inducing depression and suicidal thoughts. Other harmful side-effects of varenicline include serious accidents and falls, potentially lethal cardiac rhythm disturbances, severe skin reactions, acute myocardial infarction, seizures, diabetes, psychosis and aggression.

Buproprion too has been linked to similar adverse reactions.

Champix was developed specifically to act on reducing nicotine craving and the pleasure of smoking.

FDA analyses have revealed that some who have taken the smoking cessation drugs have reported experiencing unusual changes in behavior, become depressed, or had their depression worsen, and had thoughts of suicide or dying. In many cases, the problems began shortly after starting the medication and ended when the medication was stopped. However, some people continued to have symptoms after stopping the medication. Also, in a few cases, the problems began after the medication was stopped. – Okaz/ SG

Reference: Ban on drugs to help quit smoking by Abdullah Al-Meqatti, Saudi Gazette 8/19/2009.

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Turkey - hundreds of cafe owners demonstrate against smoking ban..

August 18, 2009 - Hundreds of Turks have taken to the streets of Ankara to protest against a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants which was brought in last month. Many of the protesters are cafe owners who say the ban is hurting trade and want smoking to be allowed in special areas of their establishments.

The government banned smoking in most enclosed public spaces in May last year and extended the ban last month.

Turkey has 20 million smokers but polls suggest most people support the ban. Turkey’s government has estimated around 100,000 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses. Turkey’s government has estimated around 100,000 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses.

Turkey aspires to become a member of the EU, and the ban brings the country into line with most EU countries.

Anyone caught lighting up in a designated smoke-free area faces a fine of 69 lira ($45; £28).
Bar owners who fail to enforce the ban could be fined from 560 lira ($373.62) for a first offense up to 5,600 lira ($3736.37).

On Tuesday about 1,000 protesters gathered in a park outside the health ministry buildings with brightly colored banners daubed with slogans and, inevitably, many cigarettes.

"Don't add a coffeehouse crisis to the economic crisis," one banner read. Other banners threatened that the party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a supporter of the ban, would suffer at the next election.

Reference: Turks rally against smoking ban,, 8/18/2009.

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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...

Click on images to enlarge..

Cambodia - now favors text only warnings on cigarette packs..

Click to Enlarge..

August 18, 2009 - Cambodia is a member of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca).

The Council of Ministers approved a sub-decree on Friday, August 14th that will require health warnings to be printed on the outside of cigarette packages.

Under the presidency of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the council released a statement saying that the purpose of these warnings will be "to educate people, especially children and housewives, about the consequences of smoking, and to counter any deceiving advertisements from tobacco companies".

The sub-decree was created by the Ministry of Health in pursuance of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a public health agreement (treaty) ratified by 166 countries including Cambodia.

Lim Thai Pheang, director of the National Centre for Health Promotion, said Friday, August 14th that the Ministry of Health sub-decree had originally called for anti-smoking photos to be printed on packaging in addition to warning messages, but that the Council of Ministers requested that the warnings be text-only.

Previous related news brief: Cambodia - graphic warnings soon to be on cigarette packs..

He added that he was not sure when the messages would begin being printed on packages, and that further discussions are necessary before the decree can be enacted. "We must inform tobacco companies before we start to put health warning messages on cigarette packages," he said.

According to a 2004 survey by the National Institute of Statistics at the Ministry of Planning, 54 percent of male Cambodians over 20 years of age are smokers, compared with just 6 percent of women over 20, along with about 10 percent of Cambodians aged 10 to 14.

Reference: Council of Ministers mandates warning labels on cigarettes, Chhay Channyda , The Phnom Penh Post, 8/17/2009.


Spain - ready for full smoking ban in public places....

August 17, 2009 - The Ministry of Health is expanding the first Anti-Smoking Act to prohibit smoking in all public places. Spain's health minister Trinidad Jimenez said in an interview Monday with radio station Cadena Ser.

"Right now, with the information we have and the study we are doing of the current [smoking] law, I think the society is mature enough... and we want to prohibit smoking in all public places," Jimenez said.

In 2006, Spain introduced a smoking ban in workplaces and public places larger than 100 square meters. However, a smoke-free bar or restaurant, for example, in Spain is rare. Many of the country's bars and restaurants are smaller than 100 square meters and in larger establishments, few owners enforce the law or have installed nonsmoking sections.

The move is likely to be a blow to tobacco companies, that have traditionally found Spain, along with other Southern European nations, to be key markets.

Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (IMT.LN), maker of Fortuna, Ducados, Davidoff, West and Drum and Phillip Morris International whose Marlboro brand is also popular in Spain, are likely to be the most affected by a probable drop in tobacco consumption in the country.

An Imperial Tobacco spokesman said smoking bans tended to reduce tobacco consumption in countries where they were put in place, but said that tobacco consumption in Europe had been declining for decades. Phillip Morris International wasn't immediately available for comment.

Reference: UPDATE: Spain Is Ready For Full Smoking Ban - Health Minister by Jason Sinclair (, Dow Jones Newswires, 8/17/2009.

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Nigeria - parliament still debating new tobacco legislation..

August 17, 2009 - The Nigerian parliament is currently debating sweeping new tobacco control legislation in a bid to break the growing tobacco addiction in the country. The bill has strong backing from anti-tobacco groups and health organizations.

"Change starts from now. I dare to be different. I will remain smoke-free. I am the future, and the future starts now, So help me God. I am smoke free!!!," recite students at Shepherd Secondary School in Ketu in Lagos.

Students of the Shepherd Secondary School in Ketu, a poor neighborhood in Nigeria's sprawling city of Lagos, recite a "no-smoking pledge" at the end of a two-hour anti-tobacco lecture. The program is part of a grassroots initiative by anti-tobacco campaigners to counter growing cigarette smoking, particularly among teens in Nigeria.

About 25 percent of Nigerian teens, some as young as 10, are hooked on tobacco, double the smoking rate among men.

Salau Moshood, a 17-year-old student, told Voice of America (VOA) what he learned. "I heard that smoking is not good for people at the age of 10 years and upwards," said Salau Moshood. "It makes them to die young, and makes them not to reach the place they supposed to reach. My advice for people that smoke is that they have to stop it because, if they don't stop it, they will have something that will affect them in their future."

Individual cigarettes sells for as little as seven cents each, and analysts fear that tobacco use in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation of 140 million people, could continue to rise.

The Nigerian parliament has responded with a tobacco control bill that would impose smoking bans, increase taxes and impose advertising restrictions. If passed, this could be the biggest tobacco crackdown in the history of Nigeria.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, told VOA that the assembly has a duty to protect the health of Nigerians.

"Under Section 14 of our constitution, we have an obligation, which we all swore to, in terms of upholding the provisions of the constitution," said Senator Mamora. "That section says, the welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. So, we just need to safeguard the welfare of the people. It is important to us."

Even the Nigerian government, which previously granted generous concessions to tobacco companies, has withdrawn its support and filed a $45-billion suit against tobacco companies for allegedly targeting young Nigerians.

Senator Mamora says of the tobacco industry: "They are no more than merchants of death, as far as I am concerned," he said.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about a tobacco crackdown in Nigeria. A group of tobacco farmers from the southwest issued a passionate appeal to the senate committee on health during its just-concluded public hearing on the bill. The farmers asked legislators to consider the plight of thousands of poor tobacco farmers.

Okeke Abiola spoke for the group. "Our concern is that, if tobacco growing is banned without any alternatives - and I must mention quickly that we don't have any industry in Okeogu area, nothing other than this tobacco growing - we are concerned that without any alternatives, we will be the ones to bear the brunt," said Okeke Abiola. "For instance, if tobacco growing is banned, instantly 300,000 farmers will be affected."

The World Health Organization says more than 80 percent of tobacco deaths will be in developing countries by 2030.

Reference: Nigeria Considers Tough Tobacco Control Legislation by Gilbert da Costa Abuja, VOA News, 8/16/2009.

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Click on image to enlarge; National Health Research Ethics Committee of Nigeria, FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PLANNING AND RESEARCH..


Smokeless Tobacco - new study expands list of hazardous chemicals..

August 17, 2009 - Attention all users! It's time to banish the comforting notion that snuff and chewing tobacco are safe because they don't burn and produce inhalable smoke like cigarettes. A study that looked beyond the well-researched tobacco hazards, nitrosamines and nicotine, has discovered a single pinch –– the amount in a portion –– of smokeless tobacco exposes the user to the same amount of another group of dangerous chemicals as the smoke of five cigarettes.

The research on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in smokeless tobacco was reported here today at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). It adds to existing evidence that smokeless tobacco contains two dozen other carcinogens that cause oral and pancreatic cancers, the scientists say.

Irina Stepanov, Ph.D., who led the research team: "This study once again clearly shows us that smokeless tobacco is not safe," said "Our finding places snuff on the same list of major sources of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as smoking cigarettes." PAHs are widespread environmental contaminants formed as a result of incomplete burning of wood, coal, fat in meat, and organic matter. PAHs form, for instance, during the grilling of burgers, steaks and other meat.

The findings come in the midst of a rise in both marketing and consumption of smokeless tobacco, which many consumers regard as less dangerous than other forms of tobacco. Estimates suggest that sales of moist snuff in the United States have doubled since the 1980s.

"The feeling of safety among some smokeless users is wrong," said Stepanov, a chemist with Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. "A total of 28 carcinogens were identified in smokeless tobacco even before our study. Continued exposure to these over a period of time can lead to cancer. Now we have found even more carcinogens in snuff." In addition to the heightened cancer risk, she noted that chronic use of snuff leads to nicotine addiction, just as it does with cigarette smoking.

Stepanov said that until recently, scientists believed that only trace amounts of PAH existed in snuff because the tobacco was not burned when used. This assumption proved to be wrong. "Even though smokeless tobacco use does not involve burning, moist snuff is getting contaminated with PAH during its manufacturing," according to Stepanov. The most likely source of this contamination with PAH is the curing process that is used to turn tobacco leaves into snuff. This process is called 'fire-curing', and it puts tobacco into direct contact with the smoke generated by smoldering hardwoods –– a rich source of various PAHs.

Looking to the next project, she said the team is working on a study that will examine a wide range of smokeless tobacco brands to compare PAH levels among them.

Reference: New study expands the list of hazardous chemicals in smokeless - 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), 8/16/2009.

Dr. Stephen S. Hecht related news briefs: NO - don't even consider legalizing SNUS in Australia..; Star Scientific wants to augment sales of their tobacco lozenges..; Smokeless Tobacco Can Also Increase Cancer Risk..; Snuff Is NOT 'Safer' Substitute For Cigarettes..; Smokeless Tobacco Called Unsafe Cigarette Substitute..;

Click on image to enlarge, Researcher Irina Stepanov, Ph.D., a chemist with Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, examines a can of smokeless tobacco. Photo credit: Keith Lindsey..

Women that quit smoking may have reduced infllammation..

August 16, 2009 - Just weeks after quitting smoking, women show major reductions in several markers of inflammation associated with heart disease risk, new research shows. The findings point the way to a strategy for encouraging people at risk of heart disease to kick the habit, the study's authors say.

Smoking is known to promote inflammation, while quitting cuts the risk of developing and dying from heart and lung disease, Dr. Christine N. Metz of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, and her colleagues write in the medical journal Chest. However, it's unknown whether benefits are seen immediately after a person quits.

To investigate, they performed blood tests for several markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and other substances, in 36 women participating in a smoking cessation program. The women were tested four times over 6 to 7 weeks.

Levels of TNF and two related substances fell steadily through the course of the study, the researchers found. Levels of CRP and interleukin-6 also fell.
Informing people about the "age and health" of their lungs is known to help encourage them to quit smoking, Metz and her team note, and using markers of inflammation like those measured in the current study could provide similar information on cardiovascular health."Quantifiable information reflecting cardiovascular health may act as positive reinforcement for those trying to quit and remain smoke free," they add.

"We propose the identification of a panel of inflammatory biomarkers that could be used as measurable milestones for persons quitting smoking in a smoking cessation program focused on improving cardiovascular health for smokers who are at risk," they conclude.

PAPER: A Pilot Study To Examine the Effects of Smoking Cessation on Serum Markers of Inflammation in Women at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease, Virginia Reichert, Xiangying Xue, Diane Bartscherer, Daniel Jacobsen, Christine Fardellone, Patricia Folan, Nina Kohn, Arunabh Talwar and Christine N. Metz, CHEST July 2009 vol. 136 no. 1 212-219, ABSTRACT...

Reference: Quitting Smoking Causes Quick Drop in, 8/14/2009.

Uganda - growing tobacco at the expense of growing subsistence crops..

August 16, 2009 - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO's latest estimates put the number of chronically hungry people at 1.02b, up from 915m in 2008, Uganda’s West Nile region isn’t exempt from these global figures save for reasons that force people to go hungry.

Tobacco growing has partly contributed to the famine in West Nile. First and foremost, tobacco growing has led to destruction of forests and fruit trees to the point that the region now faces drought, reduced honey production and general environmental degradation. Because tobacco production also requires dedicating labour, land and other resources at the expense of growing subsistence crops, the potential for hunger and starvation is imminent. My estimation is that over one million people are engaged in tobacco value chain in Uganda. According to BAT, there are 17,500 registered tobacco farmers in West Nile. With such a high number of people engaged in tobacco and neglecting food production, what do we expect?

Above all, in West Nile, tobacco is grown by the poor, sold at throwaway prices determined by tobacco companies, processed by low-paid workers, sold to the poor and used by the poor, the majority of whom starve, stay poor, get sick while generating wealth for multinationals. With most profits going to middle men (tobacco buyers) and multinationals, farmers are left with no option but starvation after failure to raise enough money to buy food whose production is often ignored.

The government should inform of seed inputs and subsidies support shift from tobacco to cultivation of other alternative crops with less requirements than tobacco.

Reference: Tobacco farming killing food production in West Nile, Denis Lee Oguzu - West Nile Rural Development Agency, Daily Monitor, 8/13, 2009.


India - gutkha and bidi companies NOT pictorial warnings..

August 16, 2009 - Despite strict instructions from the Supreme Court of India to have pictorial warnings on tobacco products, a large number of Gutka (also spelled gutkha, guttkha, guthka) and bidi companies here are not going by the rule. According to a study conducted by a voluntary organization, Aparajita Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), it came to light that 80 per cent of the brands available in the market are not adhering to the warning guidelines.

India - this is definite - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented effective Sunday, May 31, 2008 - WHO World NO Tobacco Day.

"Many bidi, gutkha and khaini companies do not carry the customary warning. Even if they do, they are weak, ineffective and fail to perform the crucial role of informing users and saving lives. A few cigarette companies and brands are however carrying the pictorial warning," the study revealed. It's mandatory to carry the pictorial warning under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Packing and Labelling) Rules, 2008, that came into effect on May 31 this year.

The study also pointed out that there's no monitoring mechanism in Orissa. Tobacco companies are very casual in complying with the Supreme Court order. In many packs, the warnings cover only 10-20 per cent of the principal display area instead of the stipulated 40 per cent, the study observed. "There is no checking or seizure to create awareness among vendors as well as tobacco companies to take the order seriously," said Itishree Kanungo, a volunteer of VHAI.

Given the fact that one person dies due to smoking in every 40 seconds in India, the warning should go a long way in alerting tobacco users. India is the second country in the world to have tobacco-related deaths after China. Over 900,000 people die every year in India from smoking-related ailments. Passive smoking is also one of the major causes of people falling prey to smoking-related diseases.

Dr A K Rath, CMD, Hemlata Cancer Hospital, said that tobacco-induced killer diseases like cancer are preventable. "About 0.4 per cent Indians is presently suffering from sub-mucosis fibrosis, the initial stage of oral cancer. So it's high time we take the warning seriously," said Dr Rath.

This brings into focus the role of the police in enforcing compliance with rules. Police commissioner B K Sharma said, "Compliance can never be enforced. It has to be a conscious decision by responsible citizens. However, we are planning zero-smoking zones in public places. We will also make no-smoking zones mandatory for procuring cinema hall license from the coming year."

Reference: Tobacco law goes up in smoke, Minati Singha, The Times of India, 8/1`3/2009.

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