Cigarette smokers are at significant risk for seizures..


November 28, 2009 - Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted a prospective study to examine the potential risks associated with cigarette smoking, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption as they independently relate to epilepsy. They observed no trend of increasing seizure or epilepsy risk with increasing caffeine consumption. Further results indicated that risk of seizures or epilepsy was not significantly different between heavy to moderate alcohol drinkers and alcohol abstainers. Barbara A. Dworetzky, M.D., - lead author - "Our analysis showed risk of seizure was significantly higher for current smokers, but not related to the amount of cigarettes smoked daily. It does appear, however, that the number of years of smoking does increase seizure risk."

Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterized by repeated unprovoked seizures where electrical disturbances in the brain cause sudden involuntary convulsions and muscle spasms. Approximately 2.5 million Americans are affected by epilepsy, with 150,000 new cases diagnosed in 2009 alone. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that epilepsy accounts for $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost earnings. Single seizures or those provoked by alcohol withdrawal or other cause are even more common, occurring in up to 10 percent of the population.

Barbara A. Dworetzky, M.D., and colleagues used data obtained from the Nurses' Health Study II, a group of 116,608 female registered nurses, aged 25-42 years, who returned mailed questionnaires on their lifestyle and medical history. The data used in this study were obtained from 1989 through May 31, 2005. "Given the composition of the study group [91 percent Caucasian women], our findings may not apply to men, younger or older populations, groups with lower socioeconomic status or lower attained education, or populations with higher percentages of minorities," advised Dr. Dworetzky.

PAPER: A prospective study of smoking, caffeine, and alcohol as risk factors for seizures or epilepsy in young adult women: Data from the Nurses' Health Study II,
Barbara A. Dworetzky, Edward B. Bromfield, Mary K. Townsend, and Jae H. Kang, Epilepsia, February 2010, ABSTRACT..

Reference: Smoking and Seizures, Ivanhoe.com, 11/27/2009.
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Virginia - December 1, 2009 smoking ban goes into effect in most bars and restaurants..


November 28, 2009 - Tuesday, December 1, 2009 Virginia's no smoking ban in most bars and restaurants will take effect. The ban will snuff out a tobacco tradition more than 400 years old.

The Virginia Department of Health provides answers to frequently asks questions about the smoking ban.

According to the American Lung Association 28 states and the District of Columbia have laws that ban restaurant smoking.

References: Bars Prep for the Start of Virginia Smoking Ban, News Channel 8, 11/27/2009; In tobacco-loving Va., bars to quit cold-turkey by BOB LEWIS, The Associated Press, 11.27/2009.

Related news briefs:
Virginia smoking ban - FAQS (effective December 1, 2009)..;
Virginia smoking ban law - takes effect December 1, 2009..;
Virginia - smoking ban passes for most bars and restaurants..;
Possible Smoking Ban Law in Virginia..;
Shame on Virginia..;
Read more...

Cigarette smoke death of the transplanted heart..



November 27, 2009 - Study provides first direct evidence of cigarette smoke's role in the death of transplanted hearts in either the donor, recipient, or both. The study, conducted in rats, showed that tobacco smoke leads to accelerated immune system rejection of the transplanted heart, heightened vascular inflammation and increased oxidative stress, and a reduction in the transplanted organ's chance of survival by 33-57 percent.

The study involved exposure to levels of tobacco equivalent to that of a habitual, light-to-moderate-range smoker and included comparisons between smoking and non-smoking donors and recipients.

PAPER: Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Either the Donor or Recipient Before Transplantation Accelerates Cardiac Allograft Rejection, Vascular Inflammation, and Graft Loss ,
Khanna AK, Xu J, Uber PA, Burke AP, Baquet C, Mehra MR., Circulation, Nov 2009; 120: 1814 - 1821. (Originally published online Oct 19, 2009), ABSTRACT..

Studies from the mid-1990s have shown a connection between cigarette smoking and cardiovascular diseases. More recent studies have found a connection between smoking and the outcome of heart and other organ transplantation in recipients who resumed smoking after their transplants.

Reference: Tobacco smoke exposure before heart transplantation may increase the risk of transplant failure, EurekAlert, 11/24/2009.
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Fitch Ratings - review of events that could adversely affect the U.S. tobacco industry..


November 27, 2009 - Fitch Ratings, an international credit rating agency expects U.S. tobacco corporate ratings to remain stable in 2010 as the tobacco companies continue to generate sizeable free cash flow as a result of high operating margins.

"Due to the sizable cash flow generated by industry participants, past credit rating changes have mostly been precipitated by events, such as adverse legal judgments and merger and acquisition activity," said Christopher Collins, Associate Director at Fitch. "Fitch believes that the risk of an event being material enough to cause a change in existing tobacco company ratings in 2010 is nominal."

See the Fitch's review of events with the greatest ability to adversely affect ratings and the expected likelihood of those events occurring, Fitch Ratings, 11/18/2009.
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Malaysia - stepping up efforts to curb the trade in illicit cigarettes,..


November 27, 2009 - Malaysia is stepping up efforts to curb the trade in illicit cigarettes, some of which are selling for less than half of the price of brands on which local taxes have been paid, according to a report in The Star.

Back on September 10, 2009 - we reported one out of every three cigarette packs sold in peninsular Malaysia is either contraband or fake. Map - Malaysia..

There is some official concern too that prices are so low they are encouraging people to start smoking, not merely encouraging established smokers to continue in their habit.

The Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism Minis¬try’s deputy director-general (enforcement), Iskandar Halim Sulaiman, said his ministry had yesterday conducted raids on seven outlets in Selayang, Kepong and other parts of Kuala Lumpur. The raids had netted 323 packs of cigarettes that were believed to have been brought in from Indonesia, Thailand and China. The cigarette packs either had no address of the wholesaler or importer, or displayed false addresses.

In two separate operations recently Penang Customs seized 2.7 million sticks of cigarettes worth RM1.5 million (0.444774 million USD) including duty, which were being smuggled into the country.

Malaysia - related news briefs:
Malaysia - BAT plans to dispose of a parcel of industrial land..;
Malaysia - ban on cigarette sponsorship for sports will not be withdrawn..;
Malaysia - cigarette-shaped sweets packaged like cigarettes;
Malaysia - Penang consumer group ban cheap cigarettes and increase price on premium..;
Malaysia - Kelantin State Government may not promote staff who smoke..;
Malaysia - excise duty increased on tobacco - another increase could be coming this month..;
Malaysia - smoking limits your quality of life..;
Malaysia - smoking civil servants in Penang to receive free nicotine treatment..;
Malaysia - illicit cigarettes, BAT wants government to slow excise duty increases..;
Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
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...Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
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...
Read more...

Bulgaria - MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators..


Bulgarian parliament building, click to enlarge:
November 27, 2009 - The Members of the Bulgarian Parliament decided Friday, November 27th to impose hefty fines on cigarette merchants not registered to pay VAT. The move involves businesses that have a turnover of more than BGN 50 000 (50,000.00 BGN = 38,241.09 USD), are not Value Added Tax (VAT) registered, but store, offer and sell cigarettes.

The fine is set at BGN 15 000 to 50 000, in addition to property sanctions of BGN 50 000 to 100 000 and revocation of the sales license for one year.

Repeat violators face respectively fines of BGN 50 000 to 100 000, property sanctions of BGN 100 000 to 150 000 and 3-year license revocation.

The opposition left-wing declared they are against the move saying it is not based on reality, pointing out it would hurt small village stores, which will not be able to register for VAT.
The MP (Members of Parliament) from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, Menda Stoyanova, countered the measure involves only those who violate the law, adding that from 28 000 facilities in Bulgaria selling tobacco products only 65 have VAT registration.

Reference: Bulgaria MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators, Novinite.com (Sofia New Agency), 11/27/2009.

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgartabac Chief - cigarette tax increase as of January 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria Bulgartabac Holding Sells 23% of Shares to Mutual Funds..;
Bulgaria - more than 70% of smokers want to quit..;
Bulgaria - cigarette taxes going up each year except 2011..;
Bulgaria - chair of the economic committee in parliament disapproves of planned raise in excise duties on cigarettes..;
Bulgaria and others - smoking ban, increased cigarette taxes, smuggling..;
Bulgaria - Cigarette excise duties will be increased next year..;
Bulgaria - cigarette contraband, government loses BGN 920M yearly..;
Bulgaria - one third of the tobacco products sold are illicit..;
Bulgaria - new government to speed-up Bulgartabac sale..;
Bulgaria - Fake Victory Light cigarettes..;
Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly may be up for sale..;
Bulgarian lawmakers vote to ban smoking in all publc places from June 2010..; Bulgarian tobacco company Sofia-BT exports increase by 541 percent..;
Does Russia own Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly, Bulgartabac..;
EU percent of adults smokers -highest Greece 1 , Bulgaria 2.. - lowest Slovenia..;
Bulgaria - 1 in 3 youths smoke / half of pregnant women smoke..;
PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..;
Philip Morris International (PMI) was truly happy they had been back in the Bulgarian cigarette market for a year and had already had 6.8% of market..;
WHO FCTC Protocol to Prevent Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Won't Be Completed Until End of 2010..;
WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008..;
Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike...
Bulgaria is marking Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the 20th year since the internal coup at the Bulgarian Communist Party which led to the crumbling of the communist regime.

Read more...

Malaysia - BAT plans to dispose of a parcel of industrial land..


November 27, 2009 - British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd plans to dispose of a parcel of industrial land in Sabah, which has been unoccupied since early this year, for RM1.9 million (1.90 million RM(MYR) = 0.557226 million USD) to an individual.

The disposal of the 0.806ha-acre land includes a single-storey leaf store with an attached double-storey office, one single-storey tobacco store and one single agriculture inputs (fertiliser) store.

Proceeds from the disposal will be used for working capital.

Reference: BAT Malaysia to sell Sabah land for RM1.9m, Business Times, 11/28/2009.

Malaysia - related news briefs:
Malaysia - ban on cigarette sponsorship for sports will not be withdrawn..;
Malaysia - cigarette-shaped sweets packaged like cigarettes;
Malaysia - Penang consumer group ban cheap cigarettes and increase price on premium..;
Malaysia - Kelantin State Government may not promote staff who smoke..;
Malaysia - excise duty increased on tobacco - another increase could be coming this month..;
Malaysia - smoking limits your quality of life..;
Malaysia - smoking civil servants in Penang to receive free nicotine treatment..;
Malaysia - illicit cigarettes, BAT wants government to slow excise duty increases..;
Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
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...Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
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...

Read more...

In Process: Lorillard summary - Morgan Stanley's Global Consumer & Retail Conference on Thursday, November 19, 2009..


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.


menthol flavor
passage of tobacco regulation act ..
cigarettes - all flavored cigarettes except menthol
committee will look at the existing data and decide on the fate of menthol cigarettes

but it is already known that menthol has to be eliminated - committee should be assigned the task of determine how to eliminate menthol - it can't be done in the short term but more likely over a period of many years..













































/b>
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Ireland - after 2004 smoking ban decline in maternal smoking rates as well as lower risk for preterm births..


November 26, 2009 - Ireland's implementation of a workplace smoking ban in 2004 (On March 29, 2004, the Republic of Ireland implemented a ban on smoking in the workplace, the first country to do so. In Norway similar legislation was put into force on July 1 the same year.) appears tied to a decline in maternal smoking rates as well as lower risk for preterm births, study findings hint. Dr. Zubair Kabir, of the Tobacco Free Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, and colleagues report that compared with the year prior to the smoking ban, 12 percent fewer women reported smoking during pregnancy in the year after the ban. They observed 25 percent lower risk for preterm births in the year after the smoking ban compared with the year prior to the ban.

PAPER: Low birthweight and preterm birth rates 1 year before and after the Irish workplace smoking ban, Z Kabir, V Clarke, R Conroy, E McNamee, S Daly, L Clancy, BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, published on Oct 13, ABSTRACT...

Kabir and colleagues analyzed records at Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital to assess whether Ireland's workplace smoking ban altered smoking during pregnancy, a known risk factor for preterm birth and having a low birth weight infant. Their comparison included 7,593 births in 2003 and 7,648 births in 2005, and allowed for other maternal factors tied to birth risks such as the mother's age, number of previous births, alcohol intake, blood pressure, and complications during pregnancy.

Overall, babies with the highest birth weights on average were born to former smokers. By contrast, babies with the lowest birth weights had mothers who smoked during pregnancy.

However, in addition to the noted declines in maternal smoking and preterm birth risk, the investigators also identified 43 percent greater risk for low birth weight in the year after the smoking ban compared with the year prior to the ban.
Kabir and colleagues say: This finding "is intriguing and needs further exploration," particularly in light of evidence that exposures to secondhand smoke during pregnancy may play a role in having babies with low birth weight. They also call for further exploration of their observed increase in Caesarean delivery rates - from 15.4 in 2003 to 19.5 percent in 2005.

Reference: Moms-to-be smoke less after workplace smoking ban, China Daily, 11/26/2009.

Some Ireland related news briefs:
Ireland - cancer society urges government to increase cigarette tax..;
Ireland - increase fine for cigarettes imported illegally..;
Ireland - roll your own cigarettes making a comeback..;
Ireland - lots of smokers - lots of sickness - resulting in premature death - THIS HAS TO STOP..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigarette displays..;
Ireland - Prof Clancy not enough spent on prevention..;
Ireland - tobacco vendors must register by October 1, 2009..;
Children - exposed to cigarette smoke in cars have greater chance of respiratory distress..;
Ireland - tobacco companies not helping small retailers - display ban..;
Tobacco control initiatives starting Wednesday, July 1, 2009..;
Ireland - Office of Tobacco Control 2008 annual report - Positive..;
Ireland - modest penalty for cigarette smuggling..;
Ireland - to amend tobacco legislation to to include pictoral warnings..;
Ireland - as of July 1, 2009 no advertising or display of tobacco products will be permitted in retail outlets..;
Ireland - cigarette tax abandoned over smuggling fears..;
Ireland - may raise tax on cigarettes as part of emergency budget..;
Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..;
Ireland - further provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 are to be commenced on 1 July 2009.;
Ireland - 80% of smokers want a ban on tobacco advertising in shops to stop youngsters starting the habit..;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Ireland - reduction in admissions for acute coronary syndrome...
Read more...

Mechanism - how environmental irritants like cigarette smoke cause a person to cough..


November 26, 2009 - Scientists have revealed how environmental irritants such as air pollution and cigarette smoke cause people to cough (tussive). They have identified the reaction inside the lungs that can trigger coughing when a person is exposed to particular irritants in the air.

Coughing is the most common reason for people visiting a family doctor. This new study indicates, for the first time, how coughing can be triggered when a person is exposed to certain irritants in the air. It shows that the irritants can switch on receptor proteins called TRPA1 (TRPA1 is a member of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family present in sensory neurons) on the surface of nerve endings in the lungs. This switches on sensory nerves, which then trigger a cough reflex. The researchers say coughing could potentially be treated by blocking TRPA1 receptors, to stop irritants in the air from setting off this chain reaction.

Professor Maria Belvisi, corresponding author of the study from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, said: "Now that we think we have cracked the mechanism, we can start investigating whether we can stop people from coughing excessively by blocking the receptor protein that triggers it."

PAPER: TRPA1 Agonists Evoke Coughing in Guinea Pig and Human Volunteers
Mark A. Birrell1,2, Maria G. Belvisi1,2, Megan Grace1,2, Laura Sadofsky3, Shoaib Faruqi3, David J. Hele1,2, Sarah A. Maher1,2, VĂ©ronique Freund-Michel1 and Alyn H. Morice3 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Vol 180. pp. 1042-1047, (2009) Abstract..

To reach their conclusions, the researchers first looked at sensory nerves from mice, guinea pigs and humans, and showed that the receptors on the sensory nerves were activated by a number of irritants, including a key compound in cigarette smoke (acrolein) and a chemical called cinnamaldehyde. The researchers then blocked the receptors and showed that these substances no longer activated the nerves.

To establish whether activating the receptor causes coughing, the researchers looked at the effect of acrolein on guinea pigs, as they have a coughing reflex. The researchers assessed the guinea pigs' coughing after inhaling acrolein. The compound caused coughing, and the higher the concentration, the more the guinea pigs coughed. The researchers then showed that blocking the receptor using a drug significantly reduced the guinea pigs' coughing response to the compound.

Finally, researchers led by Professor Alyn Morice at the University of Hull looked at the effect of inhaling the chemical cinnamaldehyde in humans. Ten healthy, non-smoking volunteers inhaled the chemical, as well as control substances. The researchers measured their cough response on five occasions, 2-3 days apart. All of the volunteers coughed after inhaling the compound.

The authors suggest that their findings may ultimately lead to the development of new treatments for chronic coughing.

Reference: How Coughing Is Triggered by Environmental Irritants, Science Daily, 11/25/2009.
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New Jersey - legislation proposed to prohibit sale of e-cigarettes..


Click to enlarge:
November 25, 2009 - Legislation proposed to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and include e-cigarettes in the state's Smoke Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, was unanimously approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), a co-sponsor, said she's concerned e-cigarettes are being marketed to children because they offer flavors like chocolate, banana and strawberry and could serve as a gateway to real cigarette use. "These are dangerous devices and I want to make sure our children are protected," she said. "I'm very concerned that young people who use these things will get hooked on the nicotine and eventually move onto the real thing, opening the door to a lifetime of expensive and debilitating health problems." (New Jersey assemblywoman wants to limit electronic (e) cigarettes..

E-cigarettes look like the real thing but don't contain tobacco. They employ a metal tube with a battery that heats up a nicotine solution. Users breathe in the resulting vapor.

"Electronic cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals, with one study even finding they use a toxic ingredient found in antifreeze," said Assemblywoman Joan Voss (D-Bergen), the other co-sponsor. "We have every reason to be worried about the safety of these products that are easy for youngsters to buy and also contain no health warning like you find on real cigarettes."

The merged legislation, A-4227/A-4228, was approved by the Health and Senior Services Committee and was sent to the full lower house for a possible floor vote. It would extend the state ban on the sale of tobacco products to those under 19 years of age to e-cigarettes and include e-cigarettes in the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces.

Reference: Bill to combat e-cigarettes approved by New Jersey Assembly health committee, TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM, 11/23/2009.

Related NJ news briefs:
New Jersey bans flavored cigarettes..;
New Jersey May Ban Certain Flavored Cigarettes..;
New Jersey - Senator Buono bill would ban smoking in public parks and beaches..;
New Jersey assemblywoman wants to limit electronic (e) cigarettes..;
New Jersey casinos - most likely for now smoking will be permitted within limits..;
New Jersey town bans smoking on beach, boardwalk, sidewalk..;
Seaside Heights, NJ - don't try smoking on our beaches...
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Australia, New South Wales - BAT pushes for removal of judge hearing a cancer compensation case..


November 25, 2009 - The New South Wales (NSW) Court of Appeal has been asked by British American Tobacco (BAT) to remove a Dust Diseases Tribunal judge from hearing a landmark claim that smoking and asbestos jointly caused lung cancer. The company argued yesterday that Judge Jim Curtis should be disqualified because of a pre-trial ruling he made in a similar case in 2006 about its destruction of documents.

BAT claimed the judge, Jim Curtis, would not have "an impartial and unprejudiced mind'' over the case brought by Claudia Jean Laurie, the widow of a smoker.

The company, which last year made global profits of almost £2.7bn, said this was because in a separate case in 2006 Curtis had branded BAT Australia "dishonest" for its role in the destruction of documents relating to the potentially harmful effects of its products.

Curtis said the company destroyed documents in anticipation of legal action and "dishonestly concealed this purpose by pretence of a rational non-selective housekeeping policy".

The ruling was in an asbestos-tobacco compensation claim brought by a Wollongong motor mechanic, Allan Mowbray, which settled before trial. It related to British American Tobacco's so-called "document retention policy" first raised in a tobacco compensation case brought by a Melbourne smoker, Rolah McCabe.

Judge Curtis denied British American Tobacco the benefits of legal professional privilege in the Mowbray case, saying the company had destroyed prejudicial documents for the purpose of suppressing evidence in anticipated litigation and that it "dishonestly concealed this purpose by pretence of a rational non-selective housekeeping policy".

John Sackar, QC, for British American Tobacco, said yesterday that Judge Curtis would have to "hear the matter all over again" in a case he began hearing in March 2006.

The plaintiff, Donald Laurie, died at the age of 68 in May 2006 and his widow, Claudia Jean Laurie, has continued the case on behalf of her husband's estate. Ms Laurie has foreshadowed (to present an indication or a suggestion of beforehand) calling as a witness Fred Gulson, the former in-house lawyer for BAT Australia Services.

In the Mowbray case, "Mr Gulson was the man who fingered British American Tobacco on document destruction," Mr Sackar said. Under the legal test of "apprehended bias" Judge Curtis might not be seen by "a fair-minded lay observer" as bringing an impartial mind to the Laurie case, he said.

BAT is appealing against Judge Curtis's refusal in May to disqualify himself, when he said his pre-trial ruling on privilege in the Mowbray case was "far from" expressed in terms of finality.

"I took pains to recognise that the assertions … as to a document destruction policy remained a live issue for the trial, that the evidence of Mr Gulson had not been tested in cross-examination, and that there may be good reasons why BATAS, in an interlocutory proceeding, did not wish to take issue with, nor call evidence to contradict, Mr Gulson," the judge said.

Ms Laurie is claiming aggravated damages from the company on the basis that it knew that smoking tobacco products could cause lung cancer, and that it intentionally destroyed documents tending to prove this knowledge to put those documents beyond the reach of litigants.

The other defendants are a former James Hardie subsidiary alleged to have supplied asbestos products to Mr Laurie's workplaces and the navy, which employed him as an engine-room stoker in the 1960s.

Ms Laurie has previously indicated she might put her case on hold pending the outcome of further legal proceedings relating to document destruction in the McCabe case in Victoria.

Reference: Tobacco Giant Bid to Oust Judge Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 11/26/2009.
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United Kingdom - public smoking ban does not lead to more smoking at home..



November 25, 2009 - One of the main criticisms of the ban in public places was that it could prompt people to swap pubs for drinking at home where they could smoke. But a Cardiff University study of 3,500 primary school children found hardly any change in smoking exposure. Anti-smoking groups and the government said the results vindicated the introduction of the ban.

PAPER: Changes in child exposure to secondhand smoke after implementation of smoke-free legislation in Wales: a repeated cross-sectional study, Jo C Holliday Graham F Moore and Laurence AR Moore, BMC Public Health 2009, 9:430 (published 11/24, 2009), ABSTRACT..

Smoke-free legislation was enforced across the United Kingdom (UK) by July 2007 (England - July 1, 2007, Scotland - March 26, 2006, Wales - April 2, 2007, Northern Ireland - April 30, 2007).

Lead researcher Professor Laurence Moore said: "We could have hoped for a fall, and I think what policy-makers now need to do is look at ways of preventing people from taking up smoking in the first place as a way of reducing smoking levels." There has been little change in smoking rates for the past 15 years with between a fifth and quarter of adults continuing to smoke.

Martin Dockrell, of anti-smoking group Ash, said it was pleasing to see that the critics had been proved wrong.

And a spokeswoman for the Department of Health agreed. But she added that the government wanted to see less parents smoking at home. "Exposure to second-hand smoke is harmful, especially to young people. For this reason, we encourage all smokers to make their homes and cars smoke-free, especially if children are present."

Reference: Smoking ban 'did not lead to rise in home exposure', BBC, 11/23/2009.

Some related news briefs:
UK - NHS Trust - smoking your body takes a beating film..;
United Kingdom - Packaging people - tobacco display ban - Counterfeit cigarettes could thrive..;
UK - Retailer tells small shops to ignore tobacco industry 'scare tactics'..;
UK - Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) unhappy with tobacco displays ban..;
United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigaretet displays..;
JTI attacks UK government for plan to ban tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - 3rd reading of Public Health Bill including ban on tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - limiting access to cigarette vending machines not possible..;
Updated - England - tabacco display ban - the Lords got it right..;
Fewer Britons support the ban on smoking in pubs than in other public places..
"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...

Read more...

More: Philip Morris - Ruyan Group - e-cigarettes..



November 25, 2009 - Back on November 5th we reporter that Philip Morris has been discovered to be in negotiations with Ruyan Group, which manufactured the original e-cigarette starting in 2005. (Philip Morris - interest in e-cigarettes..)

This present article is similar in content to the article we reported on November 5, 2009.

“Ruyan Group said that an agreement between the Company and Philip Morris International Management S.A. could not be reached on matters relating to the co-operation between them on its “electronic cigarettes” by the end of the first and exclusive phase of negotiations.”

Back in June, the Ruyan Group stock rose over 35% after the announcement that the manufacturer was negotiating with what Quamnet (the No. 1 Financial Portal Website in China Hong Kong) ,called an “independent third party”. Later on July 6th, that third party was found to be Philip Morris.

What this could mean for the electronic cigarette industry both internationally and in the US is uncertain, but what seems to be clear is: Philip Morris wants in.

References: What many electronic cigarette users have feared from day one may be in the works by Jeff Smith, 11/23/2009; Philip Morris Eying Electronic-Cigarette Market? Reports suggest talks with Ruyan, CSP Daily News, 11/25/2009.
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Pakistan - February, 2010 - graphic warnings on cigarette packs..


November 25, 2009 - Frightening figures: about a 100,000 people die in Pakistan annually owing to diseases related to smoking. Pakistan has finally decided to stub it out, so to speak. Beginning next February, cigarette packs will have pictorial warnings to wean smokers away from, well, ending up in a smoke.

Until now, any official attempt to check the menace was limited to observing the annual World No-Tobacco Day with sound and the odd fury but little action.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Health has now mandated that cigarette packs will have picture-based health warnings that cover 40% of the principal display area on both the front and back of the packs. The decision has been hard-fought and hard-earned on the part of those campaigning for control given the clout of the tobacco industry, which still managed to pressurise the ministry into reducing the original recommended size of half the display area to forty per cent.

The decision to make graphic health warnings mandatory was announced at a seminar arranged in connection with World No Tobacco Day on May 31 this year. At the time, the ministry had announced January 1, 2010 as the deadline for the implementation of the decision. The intervening period was marked by hectic lobbying by the tobacco industry, which tried everything it possibly could to delay the move for pictorial warnings.

While the inevitable has been delayed by only a month, the tobacco industry successfully lobbied to have the size of pictorial warning reduced by a fifth. Its lobbyists argued that even in Britain, a lead time of three years was given to the industry. However, Pakistan’s ministry of health appears to have weathered the storm from different quarters and has largely lived up to the expectations of those campaigning for control over the grave threat it poses to millions in Pakistan.

The industry also reportedly, argued that it did not have state-of-the-art printing machines required for four-colour printing on cigarette packs. Some bureaucrats working for an Islamabad-based tobacco company worked their butts off (no pun intended) to first buy time till the end of 2020 and then at least till mid next year.

Islamabad has already withdrawn the controversial Statutory Regulatory Order on designated smoking areas and even closed the smoking lounges at the parliament — a symbolic step given the significance of where the first step was taken.

It is heartening for health-conscious Pakistanis to know that President Asif Zardari has taken personal interest to get the whip cracking. To begin with, he has stopped the purchase of special cigarettes for the Presidency.

The Pakistan Tobacco Company was until now manufacturing cigarettes with insignias of the Presidency, Prime Minister House and Governor Houses on cigarette packs - an obvious reflection of their reach and clout.

The government has taken up recommendations for high resolution images that arouse fear and shock along with health warnings on cigarette packs and extend the same to other smokeless tobacco products. The selected photos would target current smokers in order to encourage them to give up smoking, the youth to save them falling into a potentially killing habit and to drive home the dire message among non-smokers tempted to join the league.

These measures were perhaps necessary given few were willing to walk the talk. In Pakistan, the media is particularly to blame for underplaying messages aimed at highlighting the extremely harmful effects of smoking.

Perhaps, the reason lies in the majority of journalists themselves being smokers — some chain, others occasional and the rest puffing their way just to be seen in the same “macho” league.

Is it any wonder therefore, that according to a study no more than 5% of the Pakistani population is aware that tobacco smoking damages the lining of blood vessels, deposits cholesterol and reduces the blood flow to the heart causing heart diseases? But this is nothing compared to statistics that should have the smoke coming out of most ears. The situation begs urgent attention — before the current generation of smokers and those following it end up in a smoke themselves.

Early bird catches the worm, they say, and so should be the emphasis on getting a handle on youth in particular, which at 42% of Pakistan’s population, are the most vulnerable to the menace.

Consider these facts:
-According to Ministry of Youth Affairs, every day, 1,200 young Pakistanis — aged between six and 15 - including girls begin smoking. Independent experts put the daily figure at 1,600 between the ages of 15 and 19.
-There are about 30mn smokers in Pakistan, 28% of these are students. Schools, colleges and universities serve as breeding grounds — away from any prying eye — for these students.
-According to a recent research by the National Health Services of Pakistan, 14.4bn cigarettes are sold daily — a million every minute.
-Pakistan Medical Society says 42.7% of the country’s population indulge in tobacco smoking on a daily basis.
-According to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, 40% of the patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of Islamabad’s top medical facility with lung disease are smokers.

Around 75% of the patients visiting the cardiology outpatient department suffer from ischemic heart disease and 70% of these are chronic smokers between the ages of 40 to 55. Not surprisingly, most of them began smoking when they were young.

-According to Pakistan Anti-Smoking Society, tobacco sales per year in Pakistan amount to 108,000 tonnes. The government gets an annual revenue of $452mn out of these sales.
-About a 100,000 people die in Pakistan every year owing to diseases related to tobacco smoking.





It is not for want of regulations but the spirit and willingness to implement those regulations that has allowed the tobacco industry a free reign. The World Health Organisation says if Islamabad is really serious, it should ban all forms of tobacco advertising and substantially, raise the taxation system.

The new measure will at least provide hope to those who wondered if Pakistan, which ranks with India, Japan, Thailand and Turkey as one of the world’s largest tobacco growers and where the government benefits enormously from its sale will be able to stop young people from dying for a smoke — perhaps, literally.

Reference: Hope in a land dying for smoke by Kamran Rehmat (kaamyabi@gmail.com)/Islamabad, Gulf Times, 11/18/2009.

Pakistan - related news brief:
Pakistan - National Conference on Tobacco Control, October 28th..;
Pakistan - pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs and cartons soon..;
Pakistan - More, on rollback of the Statutory Regulatory Order on Designated Smoking Areas..;
Smuggled Cigarettes Give Boost To Pakistani Militants..;
Pakistan - strong tobacco control measures..;
Pakistan - Government must withdraw Statutory Regulatory Order..;
Bloomberg Grant: Tobacco Reforms in Pakistan...


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Florida - targeting companies that did not particpate in tobacco master settlement agreement...


November 25, 2009 - Facing a daunting deficit, some lawmakers plan to again target the smaller cigarette companies that didn’t participate in Florida’s settlement with the tobacco industry about a decade ago.

Back in 1997, Florida reached a settlement with large tobacco companies that the state contended were costing Florida money by making people sick. The settlement included companies that made most of those cigarettes – but left out a few companies with barely enough market share to be noticed. Those companies, though, particularly Miami-based Dosal, have greatly increased their share of the market since then.

And with Florida facing a deficit of some $2.7 billion, adding Dosal and other small companies to the settlement could bring in $70 million or so new dollars that when matched by Medicaid money from Washington could mean about $200 million for Florida health care programs.

“It’s almost like the state of Florida is appropriating $150 million to $200 million a year to cigarette companies and in this environment it’s unconscionable,” said Senate Finance and Tax Chairman Thad Altman, R-Melbourne. “We’ve got to fix that problem.”

A move in the Senate last year to try to add the non-settling tobacco companies to the settlement, requiring them to pay into state coffers, got bogged down in discussions over a broader tobacco surcharge that was eventually passed.

The proposal also ran into opposition from Dosal, which would be hit hard by being saddled with the same requirement as the bigger companies. Dosal argues that only the courts could add other companies to a legal settlement – not lawmakers – and that it shouldn’t be forced to pay for historical bad behavior by the tobacco giants, anyway.

The reason they were left out of the settlement agreement depends on who you ask. Those who want to add the smaller companies say it was simply because their market share was too small. Dosal says that’s not true at all – it didn’t settle with Florida because, unlike the big tobacco companies, it wasn’t accused of wrongdoing in the original lawsuit.

Regardless, Altman and a few others in the Legislature now want small companies like Dosal – which have dramatically increased their market share in the last decade – to pay into Florida’s health care coffers.

“It’s also a fairness issue for me,” said Altman, who said he will likely file a bill this year to try to force the companies that weren’t in the settlement to begin paying. “It’s fundamentally unfair to have what is now 20 percent of the market having some sort of advantage. And it undermines the entire effort of what was most important under the settlement – to curb smoking.”

Backers of the idea last year included former Attorney General Bob Butterworth – who was in office when the settlement was reached. The move is also being pushed by the companies who did settle with Florida – who now are competing with the smaller non-settling companies.

They’re no longer insignificant competitors, either. “Today, 12 years later, you’re talking about almost 20 percent of the market,” for the non-settling companies said David Sutton, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA’s parent company Altria, which is lobbying for adding its competitors to Florida’s settlement. “If one of the main things was to reimburse the state for health care costs related to smoking, some people are enjoying the opportunity to decide whether they’re going to pay into that stream based on the brand they buy. The fee would just sort of level that paying field – to the state’s benefit.”

That argument infuriates officials of Dosal, which shut down for a day last spring so its employees could trek to Tallahassee to remind lawmakers that the company’s workers are voters in this state and that the company provides jobs in Miami – not unimportant when unemployment hovers above 10 percent.

“Those guys in the settlement agreement, they are paying for past wrongdoing,” said Sarah Bascom, a spokeswoman for Dosal. “It was for a host of acts of wrongdoing, it has nothing to do with the effects of smoking, it had nothing to do with the size of the market…..They’re paying for things like lying to Congress, advertising to minors…. We weren’t a part of that.”

Reference: State Targets Small Cigarette Companies as Source for Cash, The Jacksonville Observer, 11/23/2009.

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Ghana - public forum on the tobacco control bill..


November 25, 2009 - Government would ensure that tobacco control is included in the country's developmental agenda to free Ghanaians from tobacco addiction, disabilities and death. Already the Ministry of Health has taken steps to ban smoking in health facilities and prohibited tobacco advertisement through various administrative directives.

Dr Benjamin Kumbour, Minister of Health-designate announced this in an address read on his behalf at a public forum on Ghana's Tobacco Control Bill in Accra on Thursday.

It was organised by Vision for Alternative Development, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in collaboration with Coalition of NGOs in Tobacco Control and Media Alliance in Tobacco Control. It was aimed at offering the participants the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the passage of the Tobacco Control Bill when presented to Parliament. Mr Issah Ali, Executive Director of Vision for Alternative Development, said the use of tobacco was the gateway to the use of hard drugs, which was causing harm to most Ghanaians. He therefore urged the government to protect its citizens against diseases by putting up measures to control the menace.

Some of the provision of the bill included the ban of smoking at public places, advertisement on tobacco and sponsoring events and sales by children under 18 years.

Dr Kumbour said the World Health Organisation (WHO) report indicated that close to five million people die annually as a result of tobacco use and exposure to the smoke. He said tobacco was projected to kill more than 10 million smokers and passive smokers by 2030 with 70 per cent in developing countries including Ghana.

Dr Kumbour said Ghana played a key role during the negotiation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). He said Ghana was among the first 40 parties to the Convention, adding that Ghana had since participated in all meetings and inter-governmental Negotiation Bodies. The FCTC is a global collective decision taken by more than 168 countries including Ghana and that the development of the convention was approved by the WHO Assembly and negotiated under the auspices of the WHO.

Dr Kumbour pledged the ministry's commitment to ensuring that children and the youth were not exposed to tobacco use and the use of hard drugs. Dr Kumbour expressed the hope that the recommendations of the forum would be considered by the Ministry in ensuring a strong law to control tobacco in the country.

Dr Promise Sefogah, Programmes Director of Doctors for Right To Health (DRH), an NGO said tobacco was the leading, cause of preventable disease death world wide and that it had serious negative effects on every single organ of the body. He therefore urged the youth to desist from using tobacco which he said had negative effects on their mental and physical development.

Reference: NGO holds forum on Tobacco Control Bill, Peace FM Online, 11/20/2009.

Related news briefs:
Ghana - Tobacco Control Bill to parliament this month, July 2009..;
Ghana to ban smoking in public places in November 2008..;
FCTC Member Ghana - NO Law Banning Sales of Tobacco to Minors..
British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..
Read more...

Japan - prime minister calls for tobacco tax increase..



November 25, 2009 - Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama recently told the Diet (the Japanese parliament is called the Diet) that an increase in the tobacco tax should be considered from the viewpoint of improving people's health. He has instructed the government's Tax System Council to study the matter. A tobacco tax increase is long overdue; we hope Mr. Hatoyama's effort will succeed.

Japan's parliament named Yukio Hatoyama prime minister September 16, 2009, as his Democratic party took power for the first time ever with promises to revive the slumping economy and make Tokyo a more equal partner in its alliance with the United States. (Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama Takes Office, Names Cabinet In Japan, Malcolm Foster, huffingtonpost.com, 9/16/2009.)

Directly related news brief: Japan - new government administration considering raising cigarette taxes..

The World Health Organization says, "Tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world today. It causes 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths, and nearly one-third of all cancer deaths in developing countries." Smoking not only accounts for about one-third of all cancer cases but also increases the incidence of heart diseases and cerebral infarction. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), effective February 2005, calls on its 164 signatories to raise taxes on tobacco products as a way of reducing tobacco consumption.

Cigarettes in Japan are much cheaper than in other parts of the developed world. For example, Japan imposes a tobacco tax of ¥174 (yen - USD 1.99) on a 20-cigarette pack, compared with an equivalent tax of ¥400 (USD 4.56) to ¥500 (USD 5.70) imposed in Europe and North America.

Every year since 2006 the health ministry has proposed raising the tobacco tax. But the Liberal Democratic Party's Research Commission on the Tax System quashed the proposal because it feared that an increase would be unpopular with voters and negatively impact tax revenue. The change in government, however, has breathed new life into the drive to increase the tax. (For example: Japan shelves tobacco tax hike for 2009..)

A health ministry survey shows that 36.8 percent of men and 9.1 percent of women regularly smoked in 2008. The rate for men was the lowest since the survey began in 1981. In five years, the overall rate went down by 5.9 points to 21.8 percent, while the rate for men dipped 10 points. In addition, of those surveyed, 28.5 percent of male smokers and 37.4 percent of female smokers indicated that they want to quit smoking.

A steep cigarette tax hike would induce many to quit smoking. The revenue should be used to promote measures to help smokers kick the habit, improve medical services and assist those among the nation's 12,000 tobacco farmers who would like to switch crops. The government could also discourage use of tobacco by banning smoking in public places nationwide, including restaurants.

Reference:
EDITORIAL Increase the tobacco tax
, The Japan Times, 11/23/2009.

Japan - some related news briefs:
Japan Tobacco growing popularity of its British cigarette brands..;
Japan - new government administration considering raising cigarette taxes..;
Japan - plaintiffs have slim chance of winning against big tobacco..;
Japan - convenience store sales fell in June 2009..;
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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Star Scientific - NASDAQ trading symbol changed to CIGX..



November 25, 2009 - Star Scientific, Inc. has announced that effective at the market opening on Monday, November 23, the NASDAQ trading symbol used by the company, STSI, is being changed to CIGX. Paul L. Perito, Star's Chairman, commented that "the change in trading symbol reflects our intent to signal more prominently the company's core mission and business, which is to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use. We have stated since the beginning that the most dangerous way to use tobacco is to inhale cigarette smoke into the human lungs, and that the best choice always will be to stop smoking."

Star Scientific's subsidiary, Star Tobacco, manufactures and sells two brands of dissolvable smokeless tobacco that are made with very low-TSNA tobacco - Ariva® and Stonewall®. These products were developed in 2001 and 2003 to offer adult dependant smokers (and users of traditional smokeless products) an alternative to cigarettes and other tobacco products. As the company recently reported, Star also is on track to submit an application in early 2010 to the FDA for approval to market Ariva® BDL and Stonewall® BDL dissolvable smokeless tobacco. The company hopes that these products will be the first to be approved by the FDA for sale as "modified risk" tobacco products.

Ariva and Stonewall Hard snuff. Star has just come out with a blister pack (packaging in which a product is sealed between a cardboard backing and clear plastic cover) for Stonewall lozenges.


Click on image to enlarge..
Stonewall Hard Snuff Packaging - front..



Click on image to enlarge..
Stonewall Hard Snuff Packaging - back..




In June 2007, Star Scientific formed its Rock Creek Pharmaceutical subsidiary in order to develop a range of botanical-based pharmaceutical products that are designed to treat tobacco dependence and a range of neurological conditions, as well as nutraceuticals. As the company has indicated in recent press releases, Rock Creek has developed a nutraceutical product (any substance that is a food or a part of a food and provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease), CigRx(TM) that is intended to help adults who have stopped using tobacco to maintain a nicotine-free metabolism. Pre-market testing and analysis is ongoing, and the company anticipates that CigRx(TM) will begin in test marketing in 2010.

Reference: Star Scientific Transitions to New NASDAQ Trading Symbol, PR Newswire, 11/23/2009.

Some related Star Scientific news briefs:
Star Scientific - new product (in 2010) to help adult smokers maintain a nicotine-free metabolism..;
Star Scientific - will use its low-nitrosamine tobacco curing process to formulate smokeless tobacco dissolvable smokeless products..
Star Scientific - q2 2009 report..;
Star Scientific - Filing patent for zero-nitrosamine tobacco curing process..;
Star Scientific - 2008 annual report/Stonewall vs other OTC NRTs..;
Star Scientific Corporate Study Stonewall Lozenge in NRT..;
Star Scientific Files Third Quarter Financial Report..;
Star Scientific wants to augment sales of their tobacco lozenges..;
Star Scientific , second quarter 2008, sales down 23.6%..;
Star Scientific Applauds Recent State Legislation - Banning Smoking in Cars with Children..

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Conwood maker of Grizzly to change name to American Snuff Company..


November 25, 2009 - Conwood Company, LLC, is changing its name to American Snuff Company, LLC, effective January 1, 2010. Conwood, the nation's second largest manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products, is an operating company of Reynolds American Inc.

The company name change will not affect any of the company's operations, products or staffing levels.

"Reassuming our historical company name emphasizes our commitment to the core values on which our company was founded," said Bryan K. Stockdale, Conwood's president and chief executive officer. "We are focused on delivering the highest quality smokeless tobacco products to our customers and adult tobacco consumers, and returning to our historical company name drives that home."

American Snuff Company was founded before 1900. In 1912, American Snuff Company's headquarters moved from New York to Memphis, and for 40 years, the company manufactured dry snuff. In the 1950s and 1960s, the company began diversifying, acquiring manufacturers of chewing tobaccos, as well as companies that manufactured shoe polish, popcorn, theater supplies and yogurt. In 1966, to reflect its diversified operations, the company changed its name to Conwood Company.

Since the 1980s, Conwood has divested all its non-tobacco lines of business and focused solely on smokeless tobacco products. Its Grizzly brand is the best-selling brand of moist snuff in the U.S.

Conwood Company, LLC is the nation's second-largest manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products. Its leading brands are Grizzly, Kodiak and Levi Garrett. Conwood also sells and distributes a variety of tobacco products manufactured by Lane, Limited, including Winchester and Captain Black little cigars, and Bugler roll-your-own tobacco.

Reference: Conwood Company to Change Name to American Snuff Company by: PR Newswire, 11/24/2009.




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Bulgartabac Chief - cigarette tax increase as of January 1, 2010..



November 24, 2009 - The price of cigarettes will go up between BGN 1,10 and BGN 1,40 from January 1 2010, the Executive Director of Bulgartabac Holding, Ivan Bilarev, stated Monday, November 23rd.

Bulgartabac’s "Victory" brand will cost between BGN 4,50 (USD 3.45), and BGN 4,80 (USD 3.68) per box - currently the price is BGN 3,40 (USD 2.60). According to Bilarev the overall huge rise of the excise duty on cigarettes will hit his business seriously.

Last week the Budget committee in parliament decided to increase excise duty on cigarettes to BGN 101 for 1000 plus 23% of the sales price. The proposal of the Ministry of Finance for the 2010 Budget was for a duty of BGN 74 plus 36% of the selling price. (Bulgaria - cigarette taxes going up each year except 2011..)

Bilarev concluded that the tobacco market in Bulgaria will shrink because of the increased tax but said that Bulgartabac does not currently plan to cut production. He added that Bulgartabac would also lose some market share and predicted that a large number of people will give up smoking while other people will look for cheaper cigarettes from neighboring countries.

Map of Bulgaria..

Reference: Tobacco Chief: Bulgarians Will Give Up Smoking over Tax Rise, Novinite.com - The Sofia News Agency, 11/23/2009.

European Union (EU) related: European Union - agrees to raise the minimum tax on tobacco products sold in the region..

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgaria Bulgartabac Holding Sells 23% of Shares to Mutual Funds..;
Bulgaria - more than 70% of smokers want to quit..;
Bulgaria - cigarette taxes going up each year except 2011..;
Bulgaria - chair of the economic committee in parliament disapproves of planned raise in excise duties on cigarettes..;
Bulgaria and others - smoking ban, increased cigarette taxes, smuggling..;
Bulgaria - Cigarette excise duties will be increased next year..;
Bulgaria - cigarette contraband, government loses BGN 920M yearly..;
Bulgaria - one third of the tobacco products sold are illicit..;
Bulgaria - new government to speed-up Bulgartabac sale..;
Bulgaria - Fake Victory Light cigarettes..;
Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly may be up for sale..;
Bulgarian lawmakers vote to ban smoking in all publc places from June 2010..; Bulgarian tobacco company Sofia-BT exports increase by 541 percent..;
Does Russia own Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly, Bulgartabac..;
EU percent of adults smokers -highest Greece 1 , Bulgaria 2.. - lowest Slovenia..;
Bulgaria - 1 in 3 youths smoke / half of pregnant women smoke..;
PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..;
Philip Morris International (PMI) was truly happy they had been back in the Bulgarian cigarette market for a year and had already had 6.8% of market..;
WHO FCTC Protocol to Prevent Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Won't Be Completed Until End of 2010..;
WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008..;
Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike...
Bulgaria is marking Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the 20th year since the internal coup at the Bulgarian Communist Party which led to the crumbling of the communist regime.
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Philip Morris USA - will no longer purchase tobacco from Georgia or Florida..


November 24, 2009 - Philip Morris USA officials held a meeting on Oct. 14, in Alma, Ga., with more than 75 growers from Georgia and Florida attending. Growers were informed of the decision by Philip Morris USA to “no longer offer contracts for the purchase of tobacco in Georgia after the 2009 season.”

Growers who are operating on a one year contract will not be offered a new contract for 2010. Growers who hold three or five-year contracts will continue to be able to produce and sell tobacco until the completion of their contracts, if they have met the requirements of their contracts and continue to have contracts in good standing.

The location of a buying point for the remaining production after 2009 was in question with the current receiving station not currently under contract for use. Three other Philip Morris USA buying points located in Lumberton, N.C., Wilson, N.C., and Danville, Va., will continue to buy tobacco from growers in those areas.

Shas heard talk of a possible interest form Japan Tobacco International (JTL) Leaf Services, which is establishing a burley and flue-cured processing plant in Danville, Va.

JTI Leaf Services, which is the international tobacco unit of Japan Tobacco, Inc., produces two of the top three worldwide cigarette brands — Winston and Mild Seven. Its other brands include Camel and Benson & Hedges. JTI recently announced it plans to spend $19.5 million to build the plant, creating 39 full-time jobs and 150 seasonal jobs when fully operational.

Nothing is for certain at this point, says Moore, and it’s too early to tell what Philip Morris USA’s competition might do. The three other buyers of Georgia and Florida tobacco include R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Alliance One International and U.S.

Reference: No PM tobacco contracts for Georgia, Florida by Paul L. Hollis, SoutheastFarmPress.com, 11/23/2009.
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Alberta joins some other provinces in suing tobacco companies..


November 24, 2009 - EDMONTON -- Health groups are celebrating after a bill was passed allowing the province to sue tobacco companies for health-care costs associated with tobacco-related diseases.

Under Bill 48, the Crown's Right of Recovery Act, the government can sue to recover "cost of health services caused or contributed to by a tobacco-related wrong." "We are delighted that the Alberta government has joined with other provinces to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the health-care impact of its deceptive marketing practices," said Tony Hudson of the Lung
Association.

Action on Smoking and Health spokesman Les Hagen also applauded the move, adding: "The Alberta government now has a tremendous opportunity to help offset the rising costs of health care while holding the tobacco industry accountable for its actions."
Hagen also encouraged the government to launch a lawsuit as soon as possible. The health groups estimate 3,000 Albertans die a year from tobacco-related illness.

Alberta joins Ontario, British Columbia (B.C.), Quebec and New Brunswick as provinces that have passed similar legislation.
Map of Canada.


Reference: Alberta's ability to sue tobacco firms praised by health groups by SUN MEDIA, Calgary Sun, 11/20/2009.
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Reynolds American to sell historic former headquarters..


Click to enlarge:
November 24, 2009 - A symbol of North Carolina's tobacco history located in downtown Winston-Salem is on the market.

Cigarette maker Reynolds American is trying to sell its historic former headquarters, the Winston-Salem Journal reports this morning. The Reynolds building is worth about $12.3 million, according to Forsyth County tax records, and could be leased for office space or renovated into a mixed-use project.

The 22-story building was the tallest south of Baltimore when it opened in 1929 and housed employees of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. until recently when the company began cutting jobs and consolidating its Winston-Salem operations into another building.


The architecture firm that designed it, Shreve & Lamb, went on to build a bigger version in Manhattan: the Empire State Building. The building is not on the National Register of Historic Places, company spokeswoman Maura Payne said. The building represented the culmination of a downtown construction spree during the 1920s. The Winston-Salem Journal reported at the time that the architectural firm was asked to produce "an effect of conservatism along with attractiveness, but to avoid flashiness." "Gray-brown marble from Missouri, black marble from Belgium and buff-colored marble from France covered the walls and floor. The ceiling was festooned with gold leaves, and the grillwork, elevator doors and door frames were bright, gleaming brass."

In October 2008, Reynolds said it planned to consolidate its downtown employees, both Reynolds American Inc. and the subsidiary, into the neighboring Plaza Building by early 2010. That goal recently was accomplished. The decision to vacate the building came shortly after Reynolds said it was eliminating 570 jobs, mostly white collar, as part of a continuing effort of trying to balance consumer demand for its products with company size. (Camel brand will increasingly become the face of Reynolds..)

The property broker will be Commercial Realty Advisors of Winston-Salem. The broker will work with Jones Lang LaSalle, an international commercial-realty company based in Chicago, to evaluate and market the building.

References: Reynolds American wants to sell historic headquarters; Submitted by AlanMWolf, 11/23/2009; Home of RJR on the market by Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 11/23/2009;

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South Dakota - smoking ban one more possible appeal..


November 23, 2009 - Backers of a statewide smoking ban say they expect to be outspent by opponents in what's expected to be a hard-fought campaign after deciding Thursday not to appeal a judge's ruling. The decision makes the prospect of a November vote more likely.

However, Attorney General Marty Jackley says he and Secretary of State Chris Nelson will meet today to discuss a possible appeal. A decision is likely within a week.

Jackley said the American Cancer Society's decision not to appeal "is certainly a consideration" as he and Nelson decide the state's course. The latest development came Thursday when the American Cancer Society decided not to appeal Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Trandahl's ruling that opponents of the smoking ban passed by the Legislature and signed into law in March had secured enough valid petition signatures to allow voters to decide the matter next November, 2010. (South Dakota - American Cancer Society won't appeal judges decision..)

If, as Don Rose (bar owner against the ban) suggests, the state follows the cancer society's lead and decides not to appeal, the 2010 referendum will follow. Opponents of the ban such as Rose say this is what they've wanted all along. Rose owns Shenanigan's Pub, is a district director of the Licensed Beverage Dealers of South Dakota and was a key organizer of the referendum petition drive that ended up before Trandahl after the Cancer Society challenged the validity of thousands of signatures.

"A vote of the people is what they should have done in the first place," Rose said.
"Our deal was we always wanted to be able to let the people vote," added Mark O'Neill, president of the Licensed Beverage Dealers of South Dakota.

The Deadwood Gaming Association is another member of the coalition opposing the smoking ban. Ken Gienger is president of the group and general manager of Deadwood's Celebrity Hotel. "When we talk to customers, they say that's all they wanted, a chance to vote on this issue," Gienger said.

Mike Trucano, a Deadwood business owner who in 1988 helped lead the successful referendum that allowed gaming in Deadwood, also is a smoking ban referendum organizer. He said "win lose or draw, this is America. There is nothing more sacred than the right to vote on an issue. I think it is wise of the Cancer Society to not go forward. I'm a little disappointed in them taking the steps they've taken until now."

Referendums have a volatile history in South Dakota. Bids to ban video lottery and abortion have bitterly divided the state. Bar and casino owners will be energized even more by economic studies from other states with smoking bans that show bar or casino business dropped 30 percent, he says. Rose predicts that fear will ensure the smoking ban coalition has plenty of money to mount a referendum campaign.

Jennifer Stalley, the society's government relations director: The Cancer Society will rely on strong grassroots support from a majority of South Dakotans who want to see smoking banned in public places. She also suggests the issue will become entangled with gubernatorial and legislative races. "I think all the candidates are going to be asked to respond to it from their voters," she said. "The Legislature approved this law, and the people who supported legislators who put this law in place will ask questions of those who didn't."

Stalley and smoking ban opponents agree the referendum campaign will not begin until next year. "I don't think South Dakota wants to hear about this issue for the next 12 straight months," Stalley added.

Rose says it won't get going until after the legislative session. He's watching to see whether the Legislature when it meets early next year imposes new taxes on things such as video lottery. That could affect the strategy of a smoking ban referendum campaign, he says.

Reference: Pricey fight over ban expected, Peter Harriman (pharrima@argusleader.com), ArgusLeader.com, 11/20/2009.

South Dakota State Smoking Ban - Developments - related news briefs:
South Dakota - American Cancer Society won't appeal judges decision..;
South Dakota - smoking ban passed by legislature still must go to a statewide vote..;
South Dakota (SD) - judge smoking ban legally eligible for statewide public vote..;
South Dakota - smoking ban, judge won't let ACS call witnesses - as trial nears..;
South Dakota - statewide smoking ban trial date moved to mid-November.;
South Dakota - trial delayed in fight to enforce smoking ban..;
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...

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