NHS's VIDEO: Children worry about parents' smoking..


February 27, 2010 - National Health Service (NHS) advertisement focuses on the huge emotional distress parents who smoke are causing to their teenage children..

VIDEO: Children 'worry about parents' smoking'

A total of 46% of secondary school pupils say they are concerned their parents are unable to kick the habit

guardian.co.uk,
Thursday 19 February 2009




(United Kingdom, Great Britain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Isles)


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BAT - 2009 financial statement..


February 27, 2010 - The Latest financial results to 31 December 2009

British American Tobacco (BAT) boosted profits in 2009 despite cigarette smoking declining and the recession forcing people to trade down to cheaper brands or rely on smuggled or counterfeit products. Richard Burrows, who took over as chairman from Jan du Plessis at the end of 2009, said there were signs that the global economy was beginning to improve but warned that unemployment may continue to rise in developed markets. (Richard Burrows former Bank of Ireland governor to become chairman of BAT..)

Underlying volumes fell 3% as the recession forced consumers to cut spending, particularly in eastern Europe and Japan. But BAT increased revenue by 17% in very difficult times as a result of favourable exchange rate movements, good pricing momentum, volume from acquisitions made in the middle of 2008 (ST and Tekel) and the acquisition of acquisitions in Indonesia of Bentoel, June 2009 and increasing prices.

The four Global Drive Brands achieved good overall volume growth of 4 per cent. Dunhill was up 9 per cent, Lucky Strike 4 per cent and Pall Mall grew by 10 per cent, while Kent volumes fell 4 per cent.

The tobacco industry has proved relatively resilient to the recession, with strong pricing power and a wide range of brands that appeal to smokers in developing countries, where western cigarettes are viewed as trophy products. But the global picture is one of overall decline, with volumes falling annually by about 2% as people give up for health reasons or because cigarettes have become too expensive as governments in western countries increase excise duties.

There has been speculation that BAT could bid for its US rival Reynolds but these stories were dismissed as "rumour" by the company yesterday. (BAT owns about 42 percent of Reynolds American Inc. stock.)

BAT did well in the Americas, where profit rose by £134m, mainly due to a strong performance in Brazil, an improved product mix and exchange rate benefits. But volumes were down 6%, illustrating how the company is having to work harder to deliver improved earnings. In 2008, it closed a factory in Denmark in an efficiency drive that is saving £250m a year.

Around the world, BAT saw variations in sales, with Russia particularly tough. BAT said tobacco industry declines in both Russia and Japan knocked sales volumes for its Kent brand by 4%. But Dunhill rose by 9% and Lucky Strike volumes were up 4% with growth in Germany, France, Italy and Chile, partially offset by declines in Spain, Japan and Argentina. Pall Mall saw the strongest growth, up 10%.

Good volume growth in Bangladesh, South Korea, Vietnam, Uzbekistan,
Nigeria, Egypt and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was more than offset by declines in Malaysia, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Romania.

Just over half of the growth was contributed by brand migrations. Although there was pressure on the premium segment, Dunhill grew market share in all its key markets, except in Taiwan, while Kent increased market share in its main markets, apart from Japan.

Kent volumes fell by 4 per cent mainly as a result of industry declines in Russia and Japan, its principal markets and despite a higher market share in Eastern Europe and an increased premium segment share in Russia. Volumes grew in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, while they were slightly down in Romania. Dunhill rose by 9 per cent, mostly driven by a brand migration in
Brazil, with growth in South Korea, the GCC, South Africa and Russia, partially offset by declines in Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia. Lucky Strike volumes were 4 per cent higher with growth in Germany, France, Italy and Chile, partially
offset by declines in Spain, Japan and Argentina, largely as a result of the industry volume decline. Market share grew well across all its key markets. Pall Mall volumes increased by 10 per cent with growth in Germany, Uzbekistan, Spain, Mexico, Chile and Turkey, partially offset by lower volumes in
Pakistan, Russia, Romania and Hungary.

Reference: BAT boosts profits despite recession British American Tobacco raises dividend by 20% as acquisitions and weak pound compensate for lower volumes globally, Richard Wachman, guardian.co.uk, 2/25/2010.
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OHIO - judge stops collection of fines against a bar accused of allowing customers to smoke..


February 27, 2010 - Nearly three years after enforcement began of a voter-approved smoking ban prohibiting lighting up in most public places, hundreds of bars, clubs, restaurants, and even factories statewide continue to rack up violations. (Ohio - enforcement of existing smoking ban a must..)

COLUMBUS -- A central Ohio judge has stopped the state from collecting more than $30,000 in fines against a Columbus-area bar accused of allowing customers to smoke.
Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David E. Cain ruled business owners have no control over whether "someone rips out a cigarette and lights up" and cannot be held responsible if they have met other requirements outlined under the voter-approved Ohio SmokeFree Workplace Act.

"This all comes down to the fact that property owners can only do so much...," Cain wrote. "They can put up 'no smoking' signs. They can take away ashtrays. They can ask patrons that are smoking to leave. Outside of these things, there is little property owners can do."

Backers of the ruling said Thursday, February 25th the decision could have wide-reaching implications, including stopping health officials from enforcing the smoking ban anywhere in the state and potentially leading to the forced refunds of fines already paid by businesses cited with violations.

"The decision, on its face, invalidates (the Ohio Department of Health) and local health department's enforcement of the law, their method of enforcement across the state," said Maurice Thompson, legal counsel for Zeno's bar.

Phil Craig, executive director of the Ohio Licensed Beverage Association, added, "We expect them to cease and desist (enforcing the law), but we'll have to see what they do. We are ready to take action if they continue to pursue this illegal persecution of permit holders."

The Ohio Attorney General's Office has appealed the decision, and the state health department intends to continue enforcing the smoking ban as it has for several years.

In a released statement, state Health Director Alvin D. Jackson said, "Ohio voters had a choice in 2006 and they overwhelmingly approved the Smoke Free Act. (The Ohio Department of Health) always has and will continue to follow the law and enforce the law regarding smoking in public places." He added, "The negative health effects from smoking and secondhand smoke are widely known and detailed in numerous studies. This law protects the health of Ohioans from those dangers while they frequent public places and places of employment."

In November 2006, voters OK'd a statewide smoking ban in public places and workplaces, including bars and restaurants. Enforcement of the ban began in May 2007, after state health officials completed rules that outlined penalties for violations.

Since then, health officials statewide have issued nearly 3,400 warnings and more than 2,200 fines against businesses that have allowed customers to smoke. Zeno's was cited in court documents filed by the state Attorney General's Tobacco Enforcement Section as the "second-most frequent violator of the Smoke Free Act."

The bar was investigated "about 30 times in the past five years" and "on most occasions, patrons ... are sitting at the bar in front of the bartender, smoking and ashing into small plastic cups filled with water," according to documents. Zeno's received a warning letter about breaking the smoking ban in July 2007. It has been cited with 10 violations and has been fined numerous times since then, in amounts ranging from $100 to $5,000, according to documents.

In response, the bar owner said he installed no smoking signs, removed ashtrays and asks customers to stop smoking whenever they do light up, as required under the smoking ban.

In court documents, they questioned the constitutionality of the smoking ban and the legitimacy of enforcement actions against the business.

While not addressing the constitutionality issue, Judge Cain sided with the business and vacated the violations.

He wrote, "Would the Department of Health require property owners to pat down visitors for cigarettes before they are allowed to enter? Would it have property owners remove people via force from the premises at risk of personal injury? Placing the (onus) of enforcing the SmokeFree Act against individuals completely on property owners is ludicrous and defies basic notions of fairness."

Reference: Smoking ban still in effect But can it be enforced? by MARC KOVAC (mkovac@dixcom.com), Dix Capital Bureau Chief, The-Daily-Record.com, 2/26/2010.

Some related news briefs:
OHIO - Legacy Foundation asks Supreme Court to hear appeal..;
OHIO - American Legacy Foundation will appeal decision to allow state to use tobacco funds..;
Ohio - enforcement of existing smoking ban a must..;
OHIO - appeals court rules state can use money set aside for tobacco prevention..;
OHIO - judge rules money can not be diverted from anti-tobacco fund..;
Ohio - state will provide NO funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs..;
Ohio - don't cut spending on anti-tobacco programs it will cost the state much more in the long run..;
Ohio youth are using cigars and smokeless tobacco products and it is a continuously growing problem...
Read more...

WHO FCTC - world health treaty's 5th anniversary..





February 27, 2010 - Today, Friday, February 26, 2010 representatives from the 168 ratifying countries of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) tobacco treaty gathered to celebrate its landmark fifth anniversary (treaty entered into force in 2005). As part of the convening, the treaty Secretariat released a comprehensive report on the history of the treaty, assessing its successes to date and the challenges that remain.

These countries deserve a lot of credit but there is still a lot of work to get done. (TobaccoWatch.org) The WHO said on Friday, February 26th that governments must do more to protect workers in bars, restaurants and the entertainment sector from harmful smoke, and curb tobacco advertising and sponsorship. ("Big Tobacco" still on the march, WHO warns by Stephanie Nebehay, (additional reporting by David Jones in London, editing by Jonathan Lynn and Elizabeth Fullerton), Reuters, 2/26/2010.)

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization. FCTC is the world’s first public health and corporate accountability treaty – and the most rapidly embraced treaty on record. It today protects 86% of the world’s population.

The treaty aims to reverse the leading preventable cause of death and disease. Each year tobacco kills 5.4 million people each year. The death toll will reach more than 8 million over the next two decades, with the majority of lives lost in developing countries. The WHO projects that strong worldwide enforcement and broad implementation of the treaty could save 200 million lives by the year 2050.

Origins of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Ruth Roemer, JD, Allyn Taylor, JSD, JD, and Jean Lariviere, MD.

Reference: Report: Five Years In, tobacco Treaty is Saving Lives, Continues to be Stymied by Industry, US Still Absent, Gigi Kellett and Christina Rossi (crossi@stopcorporateabuse.org), Corporate Accountability International, 2/26/2010.
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Bulgaria - justifying why smoking ban won't go into effect on June 1, 2010..



February 26, 2010 - When it is about politics, Bulgaria's parliament is clearly split between right and left. However, when it comes to smokers' rights, the ideological divide vanishes and bitter foes unite to defend them.

An ad hoc coalition fusing the ruling centre-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) with the main opposition Socialist Party has recently watered down draft legislation, which would completely prohibit smoking in all public establishments, including cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars as from 1 June 2010.

A flexible option was proposed instead under which establishments larger than 100 square metres (119.599 sq yards) would be required to have separate rooms for smokers fitted with ventilation and the owners of smaller businesses would be able to choose between a smoking or non-smoking regime. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov based the compromise on losses a total ban could cause to the tourist industry which has already been bitten by the economic crisis.

"Just two of a total of 27 EU countries have complete smoking bans," argued Lachezar Ivanov, the head of the parliamentary health committee.

Bulgarians, along with Greeks, are the heaviest smokers in the EU. Current legislation in Bulgaria bans smoking in public buildings like state institutions, shops, schools and hospitals. It is still legal to smoke in cafes and restaurants but their owners are required to clearly detach smoking from non-smoking areas.

"Smoking bans are inhuman," said Socialist lawmaker Andrei Pantev. "Smoking is part of the beauty of life."

Reference: Cross-Party Alliance Waters Down Smoking Ban in Bulgaria by Vesselin Zhelev, WAZ.euobserver.com, 2/26/2010.

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgaria - Citigroup chosen as consultant for sale of Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - ruling party may delay smoking ban until 2011..;
Bulgaria - Finance Minister Djankov, "Less Smoking Is Good for Economy..";
Bulgaria - govt to weaken full smoking ban to be effective June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - do producers support contraband cigarettes??;
Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..;
Greek Farmers Renew Bulgaria Border Blockade..;
Bulgaria - leadership of tobacco fund to be replaced..;
Bulgaria - illegal trade in cigarettes will reach 40% of total trade in 2010..;
Bulgaria - limits on personal imports of tobacco products from outside the EU..;
Bulgaria - European Commission authorizes payment to tobacco producers for 2009 crop..;
Bulgaria -two cigarette smuggling attempts busted on Serbian border..;
Bulgaria - price of cigarettes increases..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac stays in the economy ministry, sold by middle of 2010, starting price 100,000,000 euro..;
Bulgaria - tobacco producers propose Bulgartabac transfer..;
Bulgaria - government, tobacco growers reach subsidy agreement..;
Bulgaria - start of steps leading to the privatization of the state-owned cigarette monopoly Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - police hold smoking protest over lack of bonuses..;
Bulgaria - police busts major cigarette contraband ring..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding” will be privatized in 2010..;
Bulgaria - MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators..;
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..

Image - click to enlarge, from krish_shell03's Default Album..

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THIS MUST STOP - e-cigarette company asking active duty soldiers to buy their product..


February 26, 2009 - Smokeless Cigarettes 4U is looking for active duty soldiers in Iraq to partner with them. They claim they want to do their part to help the soldiers come home safely.

Another e-cigarette company promoting their own product.

A federal appeals court has put on hold a lower court ruling allowing electronic cigarettes to be imported. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed a lower court order banning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from seizing the devices when they enter the country. (U.S. - federal appeals court, import of e-cigarettes on hold again..)

The latest clinical evidence suggests users of e-cigarettes are not getting the addictive substance they get from smoking tobacco. Electronic cigarettes opening up a new front in the tobacco wars..

Back in November 2009 Reynolds American Inc. we learned (Reynolds American Investor Day Presentations, 11/16/2009) that the two new styles of Camel SNUS - WINTERCHILL and ROBUST - would be introduced in the military in November, 2009. (Camel SNUS - two new flavors now a total of four..)

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Kansas - public smoking ban effective July 1, 2010.


February 26, 2010 - The Kansas House passed a statewide public smoking ban Thursday, February 25th and sent it to Gov. Mark Parkinson. If Parkinson signs the legislation as expected, Kansas will join nearly 40 states that have some statewide restrictions on where smokers can light up. The ban would go into effect July 1, 2010.

Today's vote was 68-54. Supporters said they were tired of waiting as ban proposals languished for years on the legislative agenda. "While we continue to debate and debate... people are dying," said Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican and a physician. "People are becoming ill, and they are asking you to help them." In the end, supporters of the ban used a procedural move to force a vote on the legislation on House floor Thursday. Since the Senate has already passed the measure it now goes straight to Parkinson, who has said he supports a ban.

The proposed ban would prohibit smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces, 80 percent of hotel rooms and taxi cabs. Casino floors, tobacco shops, private clubs and designated smoking rooms in hotels would be exempt. The ban will not replace stricter local smoking bans now in place. Some 39 Kansas cities and counties – including most in the metro area – already ban smoking to some degree.

For years health advocates pushed bills to outlaw smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces only to see them snuffed out or tabled by skeptical lawmakers. Last year the Senate endorsed the legislation but the House never voted on the measure. Lawmakers who pushed for a statewide ban for years told their colleagues that Thursday’s vote would be one they could tell their grandchildren about.

“If you care about improving the health of Kansans, this is the most important vote you can make this year, perhaps in your entire legislative career,” said Rep. Jill Quigley, a Lenexa Republican..

Earlier this year, critics of a ban had proposed legislation that would allow restaurants and bars to opt out by paying a fee. But supporters of a stronger ban objected to that bill, saying it was disingenous. Critics of a statewide ban said smoking bans should be left to local governments. They called it hypocritical for the state to ban smoking in private businesses but not state-run casinos.

Reference: Kansas smoking ban passes, on its way to governor, submitted by David Klepper, Kansas City Star, 2/25/2010.

Related Kansas news briefs:
University of Kansas (KU) bans sale of tobacco starting July 1, 2010..;
Topeka, Kansas - opponents of smoking ban may drop petition drive..;
Kansas - cigarette tax hike likely in 2010..;
Topeka, Kansas - some petitions to overthrow smoking ban missing..;
Topeka, Kansas - smoking ban takes effect Friday, December 4, 2010..;
Topeka, Kansas to ban public smoking indoors and at places of employment December 4, 2010..;
Kansas - cigarette makers fined, failed to pay into escrow accounts..;
Kansas City, Missouri - court upholds smoking ban..;







Read more...

VIDEO: England - dead smoker sends warning from the grave - tobacco use kills..


February 26, 2010 - A Kent (county in southeast England) smoker who died from the lung disease emphysema will be using his funeral to tell others 'Smoking killed me - please give up!'


VIDEO: Albert Whittamore died after being a heavy smoker throughout his life..


Reference: Dead smoker sends warning from the grave, BBC News, 2/26/2010.
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Bulgaria - Citigroup chosen as consultant for sale of Bulgartabac..


February 26, 2010 - In early February 2010, four companies submitted bids to advise the sell-off of Bulgaria's state-run tobacco producer Bulgartabac Holding. (Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..)

Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. has been chosen as the consultant for the sale of Bulgarian state tobacco company Bulgartabac. The Bulgarian Privatization Agency announced Thursday, February 25th that Citigroup Global Markets Limited had been picked after four companies had originally bid for the consultant role including a tie-in between KBC Securities and Tokushev & Co, Raiffeisen investments- Kamburov and Renaissance Securities.

Citigroup Global Markets Limited represents the European investment banking arm of US-based financial services giant Citigroup. Its activities include underwriting equities and fixed-income products, equity research, and banking services for multinational corporations, middle-market enterprises, and small businesses.

At the end of last year Bulgaria’s Energy, Economy and Tourism Minister, Traicho Traikov, announced that the starting price for the state share in Bulgartabac Holding would be around EUR 100 M.

Citigroup will pocket 1.018 million euro to carry out a legal analysis, make a sell-off assessment as well as organise and maintain a webpage. It will get 1.6 per cent of Bulgartabac’s sale price.

References: Citigroup Chosen as Bulgaria Tobacco Privatization Consultant, Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency), 2/25/2010; Citigroup to advise sale of Bulgaria's tobacco giant Bulgartabac, by Dnevnik.bg, The Sofia Echo, 2/26/2010.

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgaria - ruling party may delay smoking ban until 2011..;
Bulgaria - Finance Minister Djankov, "Less Smoking Is Good for Economy..";
Bulgaria - govt to weaken full smoking ban to be effective June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - do producers support contraband cigarettes??;
Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..;
Greek Farmers Renew Bulgaria Border Blockade..;
Bulgaria - leadership of tobacco fund to be replaced..;
Bulgaria - illegal trade in cigarettes will reach 40% of total trade in 2010..;
Bulgaria - limits on personal imports of tobacco products from outside the EU..;
Bulgaria - European Commission authorizes payment to tobacco producers for 2009 crop..;
Bulgaria -two cigarette smuggling attempts busted on Serbian border..;
Bulgaria - price of cigarettes increases..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac stays in the economy ministry, sold by middle of 2010, starting price 100,000,000 euro..;
Bulgaria - tobacco producers propose Bulgartabac transfer..;
Bulgaria - government, tobacco growers reach subsidy agreement..;
Bulgaria - start of steps leading to the privatization of the state-owned cigarette monopoly Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - police hold smoking protest over lack of bonuses..;
Bulgaria - police busts major cigarette contraband ring..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding” will be privatized in 2010..;
Bulgaria - MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators..;
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...

Florida - jury reduces $300 million verdict against Altria Group to $38.9 million..



February 25, 2010 - On Friday, February 5th a Broward Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey E. Streitfeld ruled the largest individual award to a former Florida smoker against the tobacco industry will not stand.

Judge Streitfeld has now reduced an almost $300 million verdict against Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA unit to $38.9 million in a lawsuit brought by a former smoker who suffers from emphysema. “The court found that the jury’s verdict was grossly excessive and unsupported by the evidence presented at trial,” the cigarette maker said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

A Fort Lauderdale jury last year awarded Cindy Naugle $56.6 million in compensatory damages and $244 million in punitive damages. The jury found Naugle was 10 percent responsible for her injuries and reduced the compensatory damages by that amount.
Naugle started smoking in 1968 when she was 20 years old.

Under Florida law, Naugle — the sister of former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle — can accept the reduced award or opt for a new trial on the damages award issue. But her attorney, Robert Kelley, said he will try to get a state appeals court to reverse Streitfeld's decision.

Philip Morris also intends to appeal the lower damage award, said Murray Garnick, associate general counsel and senior vice president at Philip Morris parent Altria Group Inc. Philip Morris also said it will appeal, saying that no damages were warranted.

The suit was one of about 4,000 filed after a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision decertifying a statewide class action. The court allowed smokers to sue individually and extended the time for them to do so.

The case is Lucinda Naugle v. Philip Morris USA, 07-036736, Broward County Circuit Court, Florida (Fort Lauderdale).

References: Altria’s Philip Morris Gets Verdict of Almost $300 Million Cut by Edvard Pettersson (epettersson@bloomberg.net), Bloomberg.com, 2/25/2010; $300M Smoker's Lawsuit Award Cut to $39M by AP / CURT ANDERSON, Time.com, 2/24/2010.

Related Naugle news briefs:
Florida - $300 million jury award to former smoker overturned..;
Florida - jury awards $300 million in ex-smoker's suit..;
Read more...

Quebec, Canada - turning immigrant kids into smokers..



February 25, 2010 - Quebec is turning immigrant children and teens into smokers, especially those who settle in disadvantaged inner-city neighbourhoods, a new study suggests. Most children who arrive in Canada from other countries do not smoke - what is known as the "healthy immigrant effect." However, almost one in three immigrant children end up smoking once they've lived here for 11 to 12 years, according to the study by researchers at the Université de Montréal and McGill University.

PAPER: Does the “Healthy Immigrant Effect” Extend to Smoking in Immigrant Children? Jennifer O'Loughlin, Ph.D., Katerina Maximova, M.A., Keely Fraser, M.Sc., Katherine Gray-Donald, Ph.D., Journal of Adolescent Health 46(3-March): 299-301, 2010, ABSTRACT: The “healthy immigrant effect” may apply to lifestyle-related behaviors in immigrant children. In a cross-sectional study of 1,959 children aged 9–12 years, the number of years lived in Canada was related to an increased risk of smoking among immigrant children. Interventions may be needed for immigrant children to prevent the adoption of unhealthy behaviors prevalent in their new host environments.

Contrary to popular perception, immigrant families who arrive here tend to be educated and healthy. They must pass a physical exam to be accepted into Canada and, as a general rule, most do not smoke. But soon after arriving in Canada, many immigrants move into poor neighbourhoods where smoking is more prevalent, O'Loughlin noted. Over time, the prevalence of smoking among immigrant children is equal to that of Quebec-born youth.

Université de Montréal and McGill University study follows a Statistics Canada survey two weeks ago, which reported that more teenagers in Quebec are turning to smoking. That survey found one in five teens age 15 to 19 lit up last year - an increase of three per cent from 2008. By comparison, the national smoking rate for that age group declined to 14 per cent from 15 per cent. (Quebec - survey finds more teenagers are smoking..)

Reference: Tobacco entices new kids on block Quebec study; Immigrant youths are often turned into smokers by AARON DERFEL, The Gazette, 2/23/2010.

Some Quebec related news briefs:
Quebec - survey finds more teenagers are smoking..;
Quebec - push to stop trade in illicit cigarettes..;
Canadian - McGill University - light smoking damages arteries, reducing bodies' ability to deal with physical stress.;
Canada Ontario/Quebec - make it illegal for minors to possess tobacco products..;
Quebec - intends to sue cigarette makers to recoup health costs..;
Congratulations to the Canadian Provinces of Quebec and Ontario for Eliminating the Display of Tobacco Signs and Tobacco Products in Retail Outlets.;
Quebec - Teens Switch from Cigarettes to Cigarillos..;

Read more...

Philippines - PMI - FTC merger may lead smokers continuing to smoke and lure children into a life of nicotine addiction..





February 25, 2010 - The Philippines two biggest cigarette companies, Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. and Fortune Tobacco Corp., announced their merger on Thursday, February 25th.





An anti-tobacco advocacy group expressed fears of intensified marketing efforts to lure more Filipino smokers [lure Filipino children to start using tobacco] as a result of this merger. "With the merger of the two companies, we expect intensified marketing of their cigarette products that will now cut across the rich and poor markets," Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP) said in a statement.

The multinational firm’s premium brand, Marlboro, is the best selling brand in its category, while the Lucio-Tan led firm’s "Fortune" brand is the market leader in the low-end segment.

"The consolidation of their strengths will most likely result [in an] increase in their hold on the market that will lead to more Filipinos suffering and dying from tobacco-related diseases," according to Maricar Limpin, FCAP Executive Director.
FCAP has been working to curb smoking, a habit that remains to be the country’s major killer.

Lim added that the merger between the multinational firm and the local firm will likely result in stronger public relations efforts that undermine the country’s laws on banning cigarette advertisements.

"Philip Morris and Fortune will bring into the merger their strength in public relations through the so-called corporate social responsibility [programs] that are meant only to promote their cigarette brands and companies," Limpin said.

"I hope our government officials, particularly in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) will see through this smokescreen," she stressed.

Reference: Anti-tobacco group expects intensified marketing with Philip Morris deal, abs-cbnNEWS.com, 2/25/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - PMI and Fortune Tobacco Corp. form new company called PMFTC..;
Philippines - Tanauan City names street Philip Morris..;
Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..;
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;
http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/philippines-thai-cigarette-import-rules.html;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...

Read more...

Philippines - PMI and Fortune Tobacco Corp. form new company called PMFTC..



February 25, 2010 - US-based tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) said Thursday, February 25th it has formed a new company in the Philippines with local rival Fortune Tobacco Corp. (FTC), owned by Chinese-Filipino tycoon Lucio Tan. Tan will become chairman of the new company, to be called PMFTC in a deal that will "unite" the two firms' Philippine distribution and manufacturing operations.

Philip Morris said the companies would transfer certain assets and liabilities to a new company that they will hold 50-50. Fortune Tobacco Chairman Lucio Tan will chair the board of the venture while Philip Morris will manage the operations day to day. Philip Morris called the venture a strong strategic fit, enabling it to expand its portfolio of brands in the Philippines, an "important cigarette market."

Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. (PMPI), which operates mainly in the premium brand market, and Tan's closely held Fortune Tobacco Corp. (FTC) did not give a monetary value on the deal. (Philip Morris is seeking to align business plans with Filipino smokers’ shift to lower-priced cigarettes.)




The merger would result in a company with a virtual monopoly on cigarettes that combines Fortune Tobacco's estimated 60% share of the cigarette market and Philip Morris's estimated 30% share.
(Image to the left provides the names of cigarettes FTC markets in the Philippines.)



"The Philippines is one of the largest global cigarette markets with an estimated 2009 volume of 85 billion cigarettes. The Philippines is the 15th largest consumer of cigarettes in the world, and the second largest in Southeast Asia, consuming as much as 80 billion sticks a year, according to the World Health Organization. FTC is one of the five largest privately-owned cigarette companies in the world," the Philip Morris statement said.

PMPI employs around 1,000 workers while Fortune Tobacco has around 4,000 employees. It is not yet clear whether the new venture will result in job losses.

Philip Morris International said it had a 15.4 percent share of the total international cigarette market outside of the United States in 2009.

"This transaction is a tremendous strategic fit for our business that will cement our leadership in South East Asia," said Matteo Pellegrini, president of Philip Morris in Asia.

Reporting for ANC on Thursday morning, ABS-CBN News' Ricky Carandang said the merger could be a move by Tan to sell in order to avoid internal problems. "The stories in the Chinese business community is that Mr. Tan is aging, he's ill, he's having succession problems, and therefore, rather than have his family fight over Fortune Tobacco, he has just decided to just sell this significant stake to Philip Morris," Carandang said. Carandang said this would be the first time for Tan to lose control of Fortune Tobacco, and that it may be the start of several changes in the firm. "The question now is whether this is just the first of other steps that will eventually lead to Philip Morris acquiring an even larger share of Fortune Tobacco," Carandang said.
References: Philip Morris, Fortune Tobacco form new RP company, Agence France-Presse (AFP), 2/25/2010; Philip Morris, Manila's Fortune Tobacco in venture, The Wall Street Journal - Market Watch, 2/25/2010; Philip Morris, Fortune Tobacco merge, abs-cbnNEWS.com, 2/25/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - Tanauan City names street Philip Morris..;
Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..;
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;
http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/philippines-thai-cigarette-import-rules.html;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...
Read more...

France - anti-smoking shock ad aimed at teens..


February 24, 2010 - PARIS: A SHOCK anti-smoking campaign showing teenagers in a submissive position with a cigarette between their lips has outraged child welfare groups and ministers. Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot has described the new series of ads as "inappropriate" and Family Minister Nadine Morano has called for them to be banned on public taste grounds.

Each of the three ads shows a teenager on their knees with a cigarette between their lips, at a man's waist height, looking submissively into his eyes. It comes with the slogan: "Smoking makes you a slave to tobacco." An anti-smoking campaign showing teenagers in a pose suggesting fellatio with a cigarette has caused an uproar in France, with critics arguing it plays down sexual abuse and distracts from real health threats.

The ad, sponsors, the Association for Nonsmokers' Rights said the posters showed neither rape nor abuse, but were meant to create a shock effect and have an impact on young smokers that more traditional campaigns lacked. It plans to publish the ads in newspapers and bars.

Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot told RTL: "Anti-smoking ads are allowed to shock - I don't have a problem with that - but there are better ways of doing it than this."

France has long battled teenage smoking. Despite a 2008 ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places and efforts to crack down on those who sell cigarettes to minors, the habit remains prevalent among the country's youth. Fully one-third of 17-year-olds here smoke, according to a recent study by the French Watchdog of Drugs and Addictions.

References: Calls for ban on anti-smoking adConnexionFrance.com, 2/24/2010; French Ad Shocks, but Will It Stop Young Smokers? by STEVEN ERLANGER, The New York Times, 2/23/2010.

A few related news briefs:
France - some smokers are flaunting the ban on smoking..;
Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008..;
French researchers announced a striking 15% decrease in admissions of patients with myocardial infarction to emergency wards since the public ban on smoking came into effect..;
France - cheaper cigarettes close by in Belgium...

A poster from the new campaign by French anti-smoking group, Les Droits des Non-fumeurs (Non-smokers' Rights). the organisation behind the campaign.

Read more...

Philippines - Tanauan City names street Philip Morris..


February 24, 2010 - A nongovernmental health group has taken the Tanauan City (in the province of Batangas) government to task for naming one of its streets after the American cigarette brand Philip Morris, which it described as a “product that has consistently contributed to 10 Filipino deaths a day.”


Quezon City-based Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP) threatened to sue Tanauan Mayor Sonia Torres-Aquino and members of the Sangguniang Bayan for giving the street that name.

The Tanauan City council recently passed a resolution naming a roadway in Barangay Pantay Bata “Philip Morris Street” in appreciation of the tobacco company’s “support for the town.”

The city hosts Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc., Philip Morris International’s only factory in the country.

In a statement yesterday, FCAP executive director Maricar Limpin said “putting up a street sign bearing the name of a cigarette brand was not only a violation of an existing law, but was utterly unmindful and insensitive to the health of Tanauan folk.”

To do so “would be a blatant violation of Republic Act No. 9211, the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2007, and a betrayal of the trust reposed on you by your constituents.”

Reference: City hit for naming street after cigarette by Jerry E. Esplanada, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2/24/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..;
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;
http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/philippines-thai-cigarette-import-rules.html;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...

Read more...

Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..


February 24, 2010 - "Speak up, nonsmokers! Let smokers around you know that you mind.” The call was made by Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, who is spearheading a campaign for “100 percent smoke-free workplaces” nationwide.



In a Department of Health (DOH) news release, Cabral reminded the public that smoking is strictly prohibited in all government offices, hospitals and health clinics, as well as schools, nationwide. Tobacco Control Act in 2003. Smoking is allowed only in designated and marked outdoor smoking areas, located at least 10 meters away from any place where people congregate or pass by. Smoking area signages must be prominently displayed.

These provisions are stipulated under the Civil Service Commission's Memorandum Circular No. 17 (Series of 2009). The policy is designed to “promote safe and healthy workplaces and to protect government workers from secondhand smoke, which can cause life threatening diseases,” Cabral said.

Workers exposed to second-hand smoke “have a 35-50 percent increased risk of heart disease. Constant exposure to secondhand smoke nearly doubles the risk of a heart attack. Moreover, workers exposed to secondhand smoke at work have a 25 percent elevated risk of lung cancer,” according to the DOH. “The effects of secondhand smoke on lung functions are similar to smoking a few sticks (of cigarettes) a day. It can cause emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma attacks,” the DOH added.

Cabral claimed “seven out of ten smokers want to quit smoking.” She hoped smoke-free policies would help smokers quit "by reducing environmental triggers and not allowing smoking to be the norm.” The anti-smoking campaign by DOH and anti-tobacco advocates in the country is “gaining momentum as many Filipinos are against exposure to secondhand smoke,” she added.

According to a DOH-commissioned Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, about 27 percent of Filipinos smoke. “The proportion of smokers to nonsmokers is about the same in Luzon and the Visayas, but slightly higher in Mindanao (30 percent),” said the SWS survey conducted in the last quarter of 2009. By income class, more smokers were found in the lowest income class E (31 percent), followed by class D, (26 percent) and the upper classes A, B and C, 21 percent. By sex, 46 percent of smokers were males while only 8 percent were females. By age, 30 percent of smokers belonged to the 35-44 age bracket, followed by 26 percent in the 18-24 age group, and 22 percent in the 55 and above group. By educational attainment, 20 percent of those who completed college and up to 32 percent of those with no formal education were smokers.

The SWS study also revealed that “only 57 percent of Filipinos said they have never smoked” and that “the average consumption is about 11 cigarette sticks per day.”

The majority of the survey respondents are “aware of tobacco regulation laws in the country.” They also “recognize the health benefits from laws enforcing smoke-free areas.”

“Opposition to secondhand smoke was pegged at 93 percent nationwide. It was strongest in the Visayas (95 percent), followed by Luzon (92 percent) and Mindanao (91 percent).




Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month.







Reference: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100224-255140/DOH-campaign-pushes-smoke-free-workplaces by Jerry E. Esplanada, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2/24/2009.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;
http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/philippines-thai-cigarette-import-rules.html;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...


Read more...

Scientific journal will no longer publish papers funded by tobacco companies..


February 24, 2010 - PLoS Medicine (Public Library of Science) a leading scientific journal will no longer publish research papers that receive any funding from tobacco companies, its editorial board said on Tuesday, February 23rd. PLoS Medicine editorial: While we continue to be interested in analyses of ways of reducing tobacco use, we will no longer be considering papers where support, in whole or in part, for the study or the researchers come from a tobacco company."

The magazine expressed concern at "the industry's longstanding attempts to distort the science of and deflect attention away from the harmful effects of smoking. "That the tobacco industry has behaved disreputably - denying the harms of its products, campaigning against smoking bans, marketing to young people and hiring public relations firms, consultants and front groups to enhance the public credibility of their work -- is well documented."

Its new policy would be effective immediately.

PLoS Medicine is a well regarded journal covering the full spectrum of the medical sciences and belongs to the U.S.-based, non-profit organization Public Library of Science.

According to the Tobacco Atlas produced by the World Lung Foundation and American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 6 million tobacco-related deaths in 2010 worldwide, rising to 7 million in 2020.

Reference: Medical journal bars tobacco-backed research papers, Reporting by Tan Ee Lyn; Editing by Ron Popeski, Reuters, 2/23/2010.
Read more...

Israeli study - are non-smokers smarter than smokers?


February 24, 2010 - Cigarette smokers have lower IQs than non-smokers, and the more a person smokes, the lower their IQ, a study in over 20,000 Israeli military recruits suggests.

PAPER: Cognitive test scores in male adolescent cigarette smokers compared to non-smokers: a population-based study, Mark Weiser (mweiser@netvision.net.il), Salman Zarka, Nomi Werbeloff, Efrat Kravitz & Gad Lubin, Addiction 105(2 - February 2010) 358-363, 2010 (published online: 17 Nov 2009), ABSTRACT..

To better understand the smoking-IQ relationship, the researchers looked at 20,211 18-year-old men recruited into the Israeli military. The group did not include anyone with major mental health problems, because these individuals are disqualified from military service.

According to the investigators, 28 percent of the study participants smoked at least one cigarette a day, around 3 percent said they were ex-smokers, and 68 percent had never smoked. The smokers had significantly lower intelligence test scores than non-smokers, and this remained true even after the researchers accounted for socioeconomic status as measured by how many years of formal education a recruit's father had completed.

The average IQ for non-smokers was about 101, while it was 94 for men who had started smoking before entering the military. IQ steadily dropped as the number of cigarettes smoked increased, from 98 for people who smoked one to five cigarettes daily to 90 for those who smoked more than a pack a day. IQ scores from 84 to 116 are considered to indicate average intelligence.

Recruits aren't allowed to smoke while intelligence tests are administered, the researchers note, so it's possible that withdrawal symptoms might affect smokers' scores. To address this issue, they also looked at IQ scores for men who were non-smokers when they were 18 but started smoking during their military service. These men also scored lower than never-smokers (97 points, on average), "indicating that nicotine withdrawal was probably not the cause of the difference," the researchers say.

The researchers also compared IQs for 70 pairs of brothers in the group in which one brother smoked and the other did not. Again, average IQs for the non-smoking sibling were higher than for the smokers.

The findings suggest that lower IQ individuals are more likely to choose to smoke, rather than that smoking makes people less intelligent, Weiser and his team conclude.

We must remember that Nicotine has a negative impact on the developing adolescent brain..

Reference: Are non-smokers smarter than smokers?, SOURCE: Addiction, February 2010, Reuters, 2/23/2010.

Photo - MacYapper blog..
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Idaho - state senator whose husband is a tobacco lobbyist snuffed out bill..


February 23, 2010 - An Idaho senator whose husband is a tobacco-company lobbyist snuffed out a bill Monday, February 22nd to ban the industry's latest products - dissolvable tobacco.

Sen. Melinda Smyser, R-Parma, changed her vote after members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee initially voted 5-4 for a bill that would bar dissolvable tobacco lozenges, strips and sticks now being tested by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Another company is already selling such lozenges here.

Smyser's switch killed the measure. Boise Democrat Elliot Werk, the measure's sponsor, compared dissolvable tobacco to candy, saying the attractively packaged products could get teens hooked on nicotine. Utah is considering a similar ban.

Smyser's husband, Skip Smyser, lobbies for Altria Group Inc., maker of Marlboro cigarettes and Skoal smokeless tobacco. Altria doesn't currently have dissolvable tobacco products on the market, but a company spokesman in Richmond, Va., declined to say whether it's developing similar items to those from rival R.J. Reynolds. "We don't comment on product development," said Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Altria's Philip Morris USA unit.

Altria CEO Michael Szymanczyk said those tobacco users are seeking smokeless tobacco that doesn’t require them to spit the way they must with moist snuff. That could mean a variety of “snus,” a traditional Swedish-style oral tobacco, “or other future products,” Szymanczyk said. He did not elaborate on those, though Altria researchers have for years explored dissolvable strips and inhalers. The company already sells a Marlboro-branded and Skoal snus. (Altria - new marketing strategy with emphasis on Marlboro SNUS..)

Smyser noted a possible conflict of interest, as is required by Senate rules, before her first vote to approve the measure. She said after the hearing that her husband's work didn't affect her change of heart but didn't explain why she switched sides.

"I'm just an individual person that makes my own decisions," Smyser told The Associated Press.

The committee debated the measure intensely, with several Republicans expressing skepticism. Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur D'Alene, argued dissolvable tobacco products actually reduce second-hand smoke. Smyser didn't speak up during the debate.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter appointed Smyser, the 51-year-old GOP activist from rural southwestern Idaho to the District 11 Senate seat in January 2009 to replace Brad Little, who was elevated to lieutenant governor. In addition to lobbying for Altria, her husband is a former state House and Senate member.

Altria is among companies hoping to increase their market share in smokeless tobacco products as tax hikes, health concerns, smoking bans and social stigma cut demand for cigarettes. In 2009, the industry estimates cigarette volumes fell about 8 percent, partly because of a 62-cents-per-pack federal tax increase that took effect in April.

R.J. Reynolds said it's pleased with initial testing of dissolvable tobacco products under its Camel brand in three cities: Portland, Ore., Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. David Howard, a spokesman, said the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company is merely responding to adult demand for new tobacco products and does not want to target teens.

"There is nothing, not one thing about them, that is anything like candy," he said.
Star Scientific Inc., formerly known as Star Tobacco and Pharmaceuticals, already sells small tobacco lozenges in Idaho retail stores under the Ariva and Stonewall brands.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked Star and R.J. Reynolds this month to produce research and marketing information about dissolvable tobacco products, saying they could be particularly appealing to young adults. (U.S. FDA - concerned that dissolvable tobacco products could draw in children and teenagers..)

Reference: ID senator changes mind, helps kill tobacco bill by SIMMI AUJLA - Associated Press Writer - Associated Press, 2/22/2010.

Related news brief:
Idaho - online cigarette marketer not immune from state laws..;
Eagle - 1st city in Idaho to ban smoking..;
Moscow, Idaho bans smoking in bars, private clubs..;
Read more...

Cuba - premium cigar sales down look to women to increase sales..

February 23, 2010 - Premium Cuban cigars (Habanos) - sales tumbled 8 percent to $360 million in 2009 and have fallen by more than a tenth in the past two years as the demand for luxury goods around the world has plunged. (The 8 percent sales drop in 2009 was preceded by a 3 percent fall, to $390 million, in 2008.)

Government-run tobacco company Habanos SA said Monday, February 22nd that sales were most sluggish last year in Spain, the top market for the island's coveted stogies, but one also ravaged by recession and rising unemployment. (France, Germany and Cuba itself are also top Habanos markets.) Habanos was founded in 1994 as a joint venture between Cuba and Madrid-based Altadis SA, part of the island's push to draw private, foreign investment after the collapse of the Soviet Union cost it island billions of dollars in annual subsidies and trade. Altadis has been acquired by Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group PLC. (In 2008 - Imperial Tobacco Group to Enhance Joint Venture Altadis Had With Habanos Cigars..)

A drop in international travel also hurt sales at airport duty free shops in Cuba and elsewhere, which account for as much as 23 percent of the company's total business, said Habanos Vice President Manuel Garcia. "This is not what we were expecting, not what we hoped for anyway," Garcia said during a news conference kicking off Cuba's five-day annual cigar festival.

To boost sales Cuba wants to develop a largely untapped market for its famous cigars -- women. They have created the Julieta, a smaller, milder version of the Romeo y Julieta cigar, aimed specifically at female smokers. Women now make up only 5 to 10 percent of customers for Habanos, the worldwide distributor of Cuban cigars, marketing director Ana Lopez told a news conference kicking off the annual Habanos cigar festival. The Julieta is an attempt to overcome perceptions among women that Cuban cigars are made up of "only strong tobacco for men," she said.

The U.S. market, the largest in the world with 230 to 250 million cigars smoked annually, is off limits to Habanos due to the U.S. trade embargo imposed against Cuba since 1962.

References:
Cuban Cigar Sales Plummeted 8 Pct in '09 amid sluggish demand, second straight year of big decline
by WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press, 2/22/2010; Cuba looks to women to boost sagging cigar sales, Reporting by Jeff Franks; Editing by Tom Brown and John O'Callaghan, Reuters, 2/22/2010.

Related news briefs:
Cuba - slashes tobacco land, demand for cigars down..;
Cuba Seeks World Heritage Designation for Cigar-Factory Readers..;
Tampa, FL - Hav-A-Tampa Cigar plant will close at the end of August..;
Habanos - after hurricanes can survive using tobacco reserves..;
Imperial Tobacco Group to Enhance Joint Venture Altadis Had With Habanos Cigars..;
Cuban cigar sales rose 7 percent to $402 million in 2007..;
Altadis (Alliance Tobacco Distributors) born from the merger of Spain's Tabacalera and France's Seita SA (F.STA) state tobacco monopolies...
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Smoking Cessation - Chantix (Champix) vs. Cold Turkey..


It has been about 30-days since Dr. Chapman released his paper on the need to consider "cold turkey" as a reliable method to quit smoking. Pharmaceutical companies that market smoking cessation products were probably hoping that the information would disappear never to be heard from again.

PAPER: The Global Research Neglect of Unassisted Smoking Cessation: Causes and Consequences, Simon Chapman and Ross MacKenzie, PLOS Medicine 2/9/2010, FULL TEXT.
Chantix, a Pfizer product, heavily promoted for use in smoking cessation has several negative side effects that can lead to serious medical problems and even death. In fact, Chantix (Champix) problems are surfacing at an alarming rate, making it one of the drugs most associated with severe adverse reaction reports according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Chantix is suspected of causing a “wide spectrum of injuries,” including serious accidents and falls, potentially lethal cardiac rhythm disturbances, severe skin reactions, acute myocardial infarction, seizures, diabetes, psychosis, aggression and suicide. The findings prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to ban pilots and air traffic controllers from using the drug. The FDA has said that after an analysis of cases of depression, suicidal thoughts and other unusual behavior in patients on the medication, the evidence appears stronger of an association of these cases with Chantix. As of July 2009, the most serious reports to the FDA involving Chantix were: 98 suicides in Chantix users and 188 attempted suicides.

Why would a person wanting to quit smoking introduce a foreign substance like Chantix into their body that could result in severe life threatening adverse reactions and even death. (Champix (Chantix) - the risks are greater then the benefits..)

On the other hand, study results from the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health and even the manufacturers of these assisted cessation products consistently show these products are not as effective as simple abstinence (cold turkey). In fact, cold turkey is statistically the most effective method for quitting smoking. (Abstinence is More Effective Than Nicotine Replacement Therapy by Vincent Triola, Associated Content (Health & Wellness), 10/222/2009) Chapman points out that research shows that two-thirds to three-quarters of ex-smokers stop unaided.

A 2007 paper in the American Journal of Public Health [97(8):1503-9] showed that of smokers who had quit successfully for 7-24 months, 75.7% had gone cold turkey; 8.6% had cut down then quit and 12.4% had used nicotine replacement therapy.

Related news briefs:
Chantix - Pfizer faces three lawsuits surely many more to come..;
Champix (Chantix) - the risks are greater then the benefits..;
Chantix - another wrongful death lawsuit filed..;
Anti-smoking drugs (non-nicotine) - Chantix and Zyban to carry mental health warnings..;
Another Chantix Warning in Canada..;
Operators of any form of transportation warned on the use of Pfizer's smoking-cessation drug Chantix..;
Pfizer Changes Chantix Label..;
Chantix Reports of Suicidal Thoughts and Aggressive and Erratic Behavior..;

Prevention is the most important component of public health.. - Dr. Sam Garten - M.S. Epidemiology.

Read more...

Public health groups file petition with U.S,. Supreme Court..



February 23, 2010 - On Friday, February 19th the U.S. federal govt and 3-cigarette makers separately asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a racketeering verdict against major tobacco companies that was upheld by an appeals court last year.

To coincide with the above request six public health groups (American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund) filed a petition asking the U. S. Supreme Court to authorize a trial court to require major cigarette manufacturers to pay for a broad public education campaign against smoking, as well as programs to help smokers quit. The groups also asked that the trial court be empowered to require the tobacco companies to forfeit profits they made during decades of illegal activity.

Reference: Health Groups Ask Supreme Court to Authorize Financial Penalties on Tobacco Companies for Decades of Wrongdoing, SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, PR Newswire - SunHerald.com, 2/22/2010.
Read more...

Bulgaria - ruling party may delay smoking ban until 2011..




February 23, 2010 - Bulgaria's ruling party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) may delay until 2011 the introduction of a new smoking ban in the country, which has the second highest percentage of smokers in the European Union.

The postponement in the introduction of the ban, initially set for June this year, aims to avoid hurting the tourist industry during times of crisis, according to the Finance Minister Simeon Djankov. (Bulgaria - govt to weaken full smoking ban to be effective June 1, 2010..) Djankov: “I hope that this is a temporary delay and the measure will be introduced in Bulgaria. This is the trend across Europe and not only Europe - smoking is forbidden in all public buildings.“ .

Under the proposed changes the owners of restaurants, clubs and coffee shops with an area less than 100 square meters, should decide if smoking would be allowed, while for larger establishments there must be a well-isolated smoking space. The full ban is to remain effective for all other public spaces.

The smoking ban was voted by the previous Parliament and is part of the Health Act amendments.

Bulgaria ranks second after Greece in the EU in terms of number of regular smokers as a percentage of the population, according to a Eurobarometer survey. The proportion of smokers is the highest in Greece (42%), followed by Bulgaria (39%), Latvia
(37%), Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (all 36%).


Reference: Bulgaria Delays Tough Smoking Ban till 2011, Novinite.com, 2/23/2010.

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgaria - Finance Minister Djankov, "Less Smoking Is Good for Economy..";
Bulgaria - govt to weaken full smoking ban to be effective June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - do producers support contraband cigarettes??;
Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..;
Greek Farmers Renew Bulgaria Border Blockade..;
Bulgaria - leadership of tobacco fund to be replaced..;
Bulgaria - illegal trade in cigarettes will reach 40% of total trade in 2010..;
Bulgaria - limits on personal imports of tobacco products from outside the EU..;
Bulgaria - European Commission authorizes payment to tobacco producers for 2009 crop..;
Bulgaria -two cigarette smuggling attempts busted on Serbian border..;
Bulgaria - price of cigarettes increases..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac stays in the economy ministry, sold by middle of 2010, starting price 100,000,000 euro..;
Bulgaria - tobacco producers propose Bulgartabac transfer..;
Bulgaria - government, tobacco growers reach subsidy agreement..;
Bulgaria - start of steps leading to the privatization of the state-owned cigarette monopoly Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - police hold smoking protest over lack of bonuses..;
Bulgaria - police busts major cigarette contraband ring..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding” will be privatized in 2010..;
Bulgaria - MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators..;
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..

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