Virginia - state Senate votes to tax smokeless tabacco by weight instead of by price..

March 6, 2010 - A state Senate bill to tax smokeless tobacco by weight instead of by price passed the House of Delegates yesterday by a 92-6 vote, and it now goes to the governor for approval or veto.

Back on February 20th we reported there was a muted clash over the excise tax on smokeless tobacco in Virginia between Altria and Swedish Match, both located in the Richmond area. Altria, with its relatively more expensive premium brands of snuff, wanted the tax based on weight. While Swedish Match with less costly brands wanted the tax based on percentage of price. (Virginia - tax on smokeless tobacco Altria clashes with Swedish Match..

The bill replaces the current tax of 10 percent of the price of moist snuff and loose-leaf chewing tobacco. For snuff, the new tax would be 18 cents per ounce. For loose-leaf tobacco, the new tax would be 21 cents per 3-ounce package. Larger packages would be taxed at a slightly lower per-ounce rate. The new rates should not significantly change the amount of revenue the state collects, an analysis by the state tax department said.

VIRGINIA Chewing tobacco tax bill goes to governor, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/5/2010.

Appleton, Wisconsin - will city get grant to fight dissolvable tobacco products seen as a threat to children..

March 5, 2010 - APPLETON, Wisconsin — City officials could know this week whether Appleton will receive $3 million in federal stimulus money to fight a new form of tobacco product seen as threatening children with nicotine addiction.

Directly related story:
NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..

The program focuses on preventing youth from using and getting addicted to nicotine embedded in dissolvable tobacco products. The products are made from finely ground tobacco and shaped to look like breath mints, chewing gum and toothpicks, Appleton Health Officer Kurt Eggebrecht said. "It could be very appealing to youth," he said.

The money is part of $8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requested by the state to help stop the flow of dissolvable tobacco products into Wisconsin. Appleton's grant would include $1 million for a media advertising blitz.

"We've done a good job of educating people on the harmful effects of cigarettes, but an unsuspecting user of the new dissolvable products may not realize they are getting hooked on nicotine," Eggebrecht said.

The state Department of Health Services would funnel the money as part of the federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work program. The state's grant application says dissolvable tobacco products "threaten to weaken the intended impact of Wisconsin's smoke-free air law," a ban on smoking in workplaces that takes effect July 5. Appleton enacted a smoke-free workplace ban in 2005.

In the past three years, the nation's two largest cigarette companies, R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris USA, have moved into the smokeless tobacco market as smoke-free laws sweep the nation and cigarette sales continue to fall.

A year ago, R.J. Reynolds debuted a new aspirin-sized tablet, called "Camel Orbs," that lets tobacco melt in the mouth. The dissolvable product was the first such product by a major tobacco company.

Reference: Appleton tries for $3 million grant from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fight Big Tobacco's new dissolvable tobacco products by Steve Wideman, Post-Crescent staff writer, 3/3/2010.

Wisconsin related news briefs:
Wisconsin - lawmakers defeat plan to eventually eliminate candy-flavored tobacco..;
Wisconsin - almost last state to require fire-safe cigarettes..;
Wisconsin - government anti-smoking programs cut from $15.3 million a year to $6.9 million..;
Wisconsin - tobacco taxes to go up tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1, 2009..;
U.S. - Midwest States smoking bans do not hurt business..;
Wisconsin Governor Doyle signs smoking ban..;
Wisconsin - legislature passes smoking ban in restaurants, bars and other businesses..;
Count Wisconsin as the 26th state to ban smoking..;
Wisconsin may be the 26th state to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants..;
Wisconsin - Increased Sales Tax Decrease in Smoking..;
Wisconsin's achieves the lowest adult smoking prevalence ever..;
The primary reason to increase the tax on tobacco is to get smokers to quit and dissuade kids from starting..;
Wisconsin cigarette tax and tax on other tobacco products to increase January 1, 2008..;
Wisconsin to Increase Tax on All Tobacco Products..;
Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly (2-to-1) favor upping cigarette taxes by $1.25 a pack..

Iran - surge in female smokers..

March 4, 2010 - The smoking rate among Iranian women is about 4.5%, jumping from 1.5% in the past years, a member of the anti-drug committee at the Health Ministry said here on Monday, March 1st.

Warning of the alarming rise in number of female smokers across the country, Hassan Azaripour said, "Smoking rate for men is still higher than women, but what is important is that smoking pattern is on the verge of change in developing countries, including Iran." According to Azaripour, women account for about 20-25 percent of smokers in developed countries, while the figure is between four and eight percent in developing states.

Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi has recently warned of the rising number of teenage smokers, saying that 80% of the country's smokers get into the habit under the age of 15. According to the official figures, smoking is responsible for 30% of cancer deaths and 90% of lung cancers.

And smoking age has been reduced to 13 in the country, although smokers are mostly over the age of 30.

Reference: Surge in Iranian female smokers, Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran, 3/2/2010.

Iran - news briefs:
Iran - 20% of fatalities caused by tobacco..;
Iran - 94% of drug seizures in world occur in Iran..;
Iran - over 45% of Iranians exposed to secondhand smoke..;
Iran - graphic warnings cigarette packs..;
Cigarettes, bras and Bull semen: Just a few things the US exports to Iran...


Thailand - number of no-smoking zones expanded..

Ministry of Public Health logo..
March 4, 2010 - According to the Public Health Ministry's announcement on February 27, smoking would be prohibited inside all public buildings, apart from open-air areas. Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport is the only public area where a smoking zone will be allowed inside. Educational institutes, petrol stations, offices and state agencies will be allowed to set up outside smoking areas.

Director of the Department of Diseases Control's Office of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control, Dr Churit Tengtriseng, said smoking inside condominium buildings would be totally banned in the future. At present, condominium residents are only allowed to smoke inside their rooms, while smoking on balconies is prohibited.

The ministerial announcement will go into effect in the next four months and those violating the law will be fined Bt2,000 (61.22 USD) each.

Jurin said the new measures were taken to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) - under which member countries are encouraged to ban tobacco advertising and create a smoke-free environment. (WHO FCTC - world health treaty's 5th anniversary..)

Churit, meanwhile, said the ministry would also take other measures such as making the images displayed on cigarette packages larger as well as adding new and more graphic illustrations. Lawbreakers can be reported at the 1600 hotline.

Smoke-free zones:
:Smoking is prohibited in health-care units, veterinary clinics, educational centres, religious centres, both inside and outside sports centres. Open-air smoking areas can be set up. Lawbreakers will be fined Bt2,000.
:Smoking is prohibited in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. A smoking zone inside the building can be set up. Lawbreakers will be fined Bt2,000.
: Smoking is prohibited inside educational institutes, offices, state agencies or petrol stations. Specific smoking areas can be set up outside. Lawbreakers will be fined Bt2,000.

Reference: Number of no-smoking zones expanded
by Pongphon Sarnsamak, Source: Public Health Ministry. The Nation, 3/3/2010.

Some other Thailand news briefs:
Thailand - PMI likely breached the Foreign Business Act..;
Thai Tobacco Monopoly withdraws products from Tabinfo Asia 2009..;
Thailand - organizer of international tobacco exhibition fined..;
Thailand - hand-rolled cigarettes more popular and other matters..;
WTO - "DS 371" Philippines versus Thailand on cigarette customs valuation..;
Thailand - Tobacco Expo organizers and guests must obey all tobacco control laws..;
Thailand unit of Philip Morris International faces charges that it violated custom tax rules..;
Thailand - hosting major tobacco promotion event in November 2009..;
Thailand Tobacco Monoploly - union concerned about privatization..;
Thailand - monks sickly from tobacco smoking and/or smoke exposure..;
Philippines - Thai cigarette import rules..;
Thailand - cigarette and liquor prices are expected to rise once new measures for calculating excise taxes take effect..;
Congratulations.. Thailand Joins Developed World With Total Ban On Smoking..;
Discouraging Tobacco Use - Horrific Images on the Packaging..


Swedish Match - launches General Snus Campaign in U.S..

March 4, 2010 - At the end of 2009, Swedish Match and Lorillard agreed to end their joint venture testing of Triumph snus in the US. Swedish Match indicated they would continue to market snus, primarily using the General brand. (More - Lorillard will launch new moist smokeless product in not-too-distant future..)

General Snus, the original Scandinavian snus introduced more than two centuries ago in Sweden, is now commanding a promotional army in the United States. Swedish Match has launched a multi-million-dollar campaign aimed at introducing the refrigerated pouches to upscale audiences in key U.S. markets and at high-end events, including the Sundance Film Festival and New York's Fashion Week.

Sold in chilled pouches that are placed inconspicuously under the user's upper lip, snus is a popular form of smokefree (and spitless) tobacco that is popular among white-collar professionals throughout Scandinavia, where it first originated in the early 19th century. While the category is still in its infancy in the United States, snus has experienced tremendous growth since its first introduction domestically in 2000, the company said. (NOT TRUE -
Dr. Gregory N. Connolly, a Harvard public health professor: “It is worth noting that for every pack of snus sold in the U.S., about 3,000 packs of lights are sold..” ; How's SNUS doing in the U.S. - will Susan Ivey tell us the truth??)

SNUS - General Information..
The Art of SNUSing..

The new General Snus campaign—with the theme "Satisfaction: the Original Pursuit" — kicked off last month at the Sundance Film Festival where Swedish Match staged a visible presence as the exclusive category sponsor. A similar effort will take place throughout New York's Fashion Week as well as at art shows and festivals in New York, Chicago and other major markets.

"In Scandinavia, snus has traditionally appealed to a higher-end demographic, which is why the focus of our General Snus 'Satisfaction' campaign is focused on reaching adult trendsetters," said Brian Gray, senior brand manager for Swedish Match. We are excited at the prospect of introducing this relatively new snus category to some of the country's more influential tastemakers. We believe that General Snus can command the category."

In addition to its presence at fashionable events, the General Snus campaign will target four major U.S. markets, New York, Chicago, Denver and Dallas, as well as popular ski destinations throughout the Rockies (Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge, Colo., Taos, N.M., Salt Lake City, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyo.). The emphasis will be on introducing the product to adult consumers, particularly patrons of bars, clubs and other entertainment venues as well as those professionals working in urban office buildings and office parks. The company will distribute as many as 500,000 samples.

The promotional campaign, which will take place throughout the first half of the year, also includes sponsorships of professional skiers and snowboarders as well as a major sweepstakes. More details on both elements of the campaign will be announced later. In addition, the company will undertake an email and social media campaign incorporating Facebook and Twitter in particular.

"General Snus is currently available in about 600 specialty tobacconist stores throughout the country as well as selected retailers," Gray said. "Our goal of this promotional campaign is to double that distribution within the first year, ultimately growing to more than1, 200 outlets. Given the fact that there are an ever-decreasing number of places where tobacco users can light up, we think that General Snus will provide a convenient and enjoyable alternative to smoking."

Some Swedish Match brands Red Man, Timber Wolf, and Longhorn. Swedish Match U.S. Sales is headquartered in Richmond, Va.

Swedish Match Launches General Snus Campaign Smokeless promotion targeting key upscale U.S. markets, CSP Daily News, 3/4/2010.


SEATCA - Gates funding for research on improving tobacco control tax systems..

March 4, 2010 - The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) will provide Southeast Asian policymakers with research-based evidence on improving tax systems for tobacco control in five targeted countries.

The research will be funded by a five-year US$7 million (RM23.7 million) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will focus on tobacco tax control in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Director of the Bangkok-based SEATCA, Bungon Ritthiphakdee said higher taxes on tobacco led to higher prices for tobacco products, which immediately discouraged non-smokers from starting and current smokers from continuing with their harmful habit.

"By 2014, we hope to see Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) governments having strengthened their tobacco tax systems. This would increase revenues from tobacco taxes while simultaneously having reduced tobacco consumption, thereby improving public health," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Asean is home to almost 574 million people and almost 31 per cent (about 125.8 million) of the adult population are smokers which is equivalent to about 10 per cent of the world's smoking population.

The region also accounts for almost 10 percent of smoking related deaths worldwide.

Reference: Tobacco Tax Control Project In Five Southeast Asian Countries, (Malaysian National News Agency), 3/2/2010.

Asean related news brief: Asean Countries - Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Tobacco..


U.S. - new national smoking cessation public service ad campaign..

March 4, 2010 - The New York state Department of Health, in conjunction with the American Legacy Foundation and the Ad Council, has launched a new national smoking cessation public service ad campaign. Sponsored by the National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation, the "EX" campaign aims to help 46 million Americans — including 2.5 million New Yorkers — quit smoking.

With "re-learn life without cigarettes" as its slogan, the EX campaign has launched three public service announcements, one to be aired on the radio and two to be run on television.

The campaign has three strategies for helping smokers to: re-learn their thinking on the behavioral aspects of smoking and how different smoking triggers can be overcome with practice and preparation; re-learn their knowledge of addiction and how medications can increase their chances of quitting; and re-learn ideas of how support from friends and family members can play a critical role in quitting.

The EX campaign also has a Web site,, for smokers to develop a virtual community.

Reference: State launches new smoking cessation ad campaign by Smita Bhooplapur,, 3/1/2010.

Hawaii - bars serving smokers despite ban - enforcement needed..

March 4, 2010 - With a cigar smoldering and the smoke wafting throughout, O'Toole's Irish Pub doesn't hide the fact it serves smokers. "I'm okay with that. I'm not proud of it. I'm just okay with it. It's an economic reality," said Bill Comerford, President of E&J Lounge Operating Co. which runs O'Toole's, Kelley O'Neil's and the Irish Rose Saloon.

Three years ago the state passed the no smoking bill prohibiting smoking indoors and within 20 feet of an entrance. Yet Comerford allows smoking at all three of his bars because he says it's up to police to enforce the law, not him. "I can't make an income without customers so it's not my business to throw customers out of my bar," said Comerford.

Comerford says he's still in compliance with law because he's placed the no smoking signs and stickers throughout his establishments and his employees advise the customers there is no smoking. But he also provides customers with an ash tray. So doesn't that send a mixed message?

VIDEO: Protest of Hawaii's Smoking Ban Smoke Free bars..

A group of bar owners (including Comerford) is asking for an exemption from the state's three-year-old workplace smoking ban. They want state lawmakers to allow bars to pay an annual fee starting at $1,000 to allow smoking in their establishments. Only stand-alone bars -- not restaurants -- would be able to apply for the exemption. Proposals to create exemptions from the state's workplace smoking ban have been introduced in each of the past three years since the ban took effect, but all of them died in the Legislature. (Read more: Bars Push For Smoking Ban Exemption, 2/9/2010)

Julian Lipsher, Program Coordinator for the Tobacco Prevention & Education Program with the State Department of Health, says the law was meant to be self-enforcing and the majority of the 400 bars on Oahu do comply. "For the most part people understand and comply with the law and its some creative interpretation of it that will need to be resolved," said Lipsher.

Since the law was passed only one ticket has been given to a smoker walking into a bar with a cigarette, but Lipsher expects changes soon that would give Department of Health employees the authority to ticket violators. ""When the administrative rules have been approved, and that should be shortly, there very well could be fines handed out," said Lipsher. "And that should solve the issue." Bars face a $100 fine for violating the no smoking law. The second offense is $200 and the third is $500. But it's difficult to catch them. An officer must prove the bar employee is not advising customers about the no smoking law, which would mean they officer would have to sit and observe employees in the bar. Some may argue hanging out in a bar may not be the best use of a police officer's time.

VIDEO: Bars: Going Smoke Free - It's Working..

Reference: Bars serving Hawaii smokers despite ban by Tim Sakahara, Hawaii News Now, 3/3/2010.

Hawaii - related news briefs:
Hawaii - tobacco tax increases help curtail local sales of cigarettes and cigars..;
Hawaii State Tax on Other Tobacco Products Increases 70 Percent;
Tobacco control initiatives starting Wednesday, July 1, 2009.;
Hawaii - cigarette and other tobacoo products tax increase..;
Hawaii may ban lipstick-sized packs of Virginia Slims...

Snuff (snus) just as addictive as cigarettes..

March 4, 2010 - People who use smokeless tobacco, or "snuff," are just as hooked on nicotine as cigarette smokers, if not more so, new research from Sweden shows. And those who smoke and use snuff may be especially nicotine-dependent, Dr. Ann Post of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and her colleagues found.

PAPER: Symptoms of nicotine dependence in a cohort of Swedish youths: a comparison between smokers, smokeless tobacco users and dual tobacco users; Ann Post ( 1 , Hans Gilljam 1 , Ingvar Rosendahl 2 , Sven Bremberg 1 & Maria Rosaria Galanti 1, 1 Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden 2 and STAD, Center for Dependence Disorders, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden, Addiction Online: 9 Feb 2010, ABSTRACT..

The researchers looked at more than 800 teen boys and girls who used tobacco, including 466 who only smoked cigarettes, 209 who only used snus (the traditional Swedish type of snuff), and 144 who used both. Eighty-seven percent of the entire group reported having symptoms of nicotine dependence. The average age of the study participants was around 18.

Post and her team looked at nine different symptoms of nicotine dependence, including using tobacco within a half-hour of waking up in the morning; using tobacco despite being sick; and trying to quit and failing. They also asked the study participants whether they'd experienced any of 12 different withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using tobacco, such as craving, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.

All but two of the nicotine dependence symptoms were more frequent among exclusive snus users than among smokers, the researchers found, while every symptom was more common among the dual users than the exclusive smokers. For example, around 70 percent of the exclusive smokers said they felt addicted to tobacco, compared to nearly 80 percent of the snus-only users and about 90 percent of the dual users.

The risk of withdrawal symptoms for exclusive snus users and exclusive smokers was fairly similar, but the snus plus tobacco users were two to five times as likely to experience these symptoms as exclusive smokers.

Eighty percent of both snus users and dual users said they had used tobacco on the day of the survey, the researchers note, compared to 56 percent of the smokers, "probably indicating a more advanced stage of progression toward regular use."

They also found that the snus-only users reported fewer quit attempts than the smokers.

"The findings in this study," the researchers say, "support the conclusion that smokeless tobacco in adolescence has a potential to induce nicotine dependence which is at least as high as for cigarette smoking."

Reference: Snuff just as addictive as cigarettes, Reuters Health, 2/25/2010.

A few related news briefs:
Snus does not save lives: quitting the use of tobacco does!;
One can Camel SNUS addicted to nicotine for life..;
Tobacco Products When You Can't Smoke..;
Our Kids are still our number one priority..;
Expert, Dr. Barry J. Boran, smokeless tobacco worse than cigarettes..;

Kids exposed to second hand smoke face blood vessel damage..

March 3, 2010 - Kids exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS, passive, involuntary, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, sidestream) face a higher risk of developing early signs of clogged arteries by the time they're 13, and are also more likely to have other risk factors for heart disease, Finnish researchers warn.

The authors of the new study (published in an upcoming issue of the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes) examined 494 children and found that those exposed to secondhand smoke between the ages of 8 and 13 were more likely to show thickening of blood vessel walls, a precursor to hardening -- clogging -- of arteries. The researchers also found that the kids who were exposed to the most tobacco smoke had higher levels of apolipoprotein B, which contributes to "bad" cholesterol, another heart disease risk factor.

"Although previous research has found that passive smoke may be harmful for blood vessels among adults, we did not know until this study that these specific effects also happen among children and adolescents," study author Dr. Katariina Kallio, research fellow at the Research Center of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at Finland's University of Turku, said in a news release from the American Heart Association. (U.S. IOM - like former Surgeon General Carmona stated there is no safe level of secondhand smoke..; Secondhand (environmental,involuntary, passive) Smoke: Blood Vessel Damage Within Minutes..)

"These findings suggest that children should not face exposure to tobacco smoke at all," Kallio said. "Even a little exposure to tobacco smoke may be harmful for blood vessels. We need to provide children a smoke-free environment.". According to Kallio, Finnish children are exposed to about the same level of secondhand smoke as U.S. kids.

More - Secondhand Smoke Starts Damaging Arteries in Childhood Passive exposure tied to blood vessel damage in 13-year-olds, research shows, Randy Dotinga, Health Day, 3/3/2010.
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Study - the more teens see cigarette ads, the greater the risk of taking a puff..

March 3, 2010 - A new study shows that the particular content of tobacco marketing resonates with youth and that the vivid imagery in tobacco advertising captures their interest, although teens typically are more resistant to the promotional seduction of other products.

“Cigarettes have created a brand for every personality trait,” said study lead author Reiner Hanewinkel, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Therapy and Health Research in Kiel, Germany. “If you are looking to project independence and masculinity, think of the lonely cowboy in the Marlboro ads,” added Hanewinkel, who collaborated with Dartmouth Medical School. “On the other hand, if you’re looking to project a desire for romantic relationships, and friendships are playing a role, then you will choose Lucky Strike if you are a man and Virginia Slims if you are a woman.”

Kids with high exposure to tobacco advertising were twice as likely to have tried smoking and three times as likely to have smoked in the past month, compared to those with low exposure. Exposure to tobacco advertising also was associated with higher intent to smoke in the future among the never-smokers, suggesting that it affects how adolescents perceive smoking even before they start.

The study, which appears online and in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, has relevance for the United States and other nations with partial advertising bans similar to Germany’s restrictions.

The 2008 survey involved 3,415 German schoolchildren, ages 10 to 17, in rural and urban areas. Students saw images (with all the writing and brand logos removed) of six cigarette ads and eight commercial products such as clothing, cars, candy and detergent.

With the brand information missing, researchers measured adolescents’ ad recognition by applying psychological assumptions about attention and memory. They inquired about how frequently students had viewed each ad image and asked about smoking habits and intentions.

“We were amazed at how often they had seen the images and could correctly recall the cigarette brand,” said study collaborator James Sargent, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth. “For example, 55 percent had seen the Lucky Strike image and almost one quarter correctly decoded the brand.”

After analyzing the data, the researchers assessed how likely nonsmokers were to try smoking. Researchers classified survey participants as current smokers if they reported smoking at least once a month.

“This is a well-done study. They controlled for all the things they needed to control for,” said Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education at the University of California, San Francisco. Among the outside variables was whether a parent or peers smoke. “It’s a nice contribution to the literature showing that cigarette advertising is very powerful,” Glantz said, noting the strong link between the amount of ad exposure and the level of youth response.

Reference: Cigarette Ads Fuel Teens’ Desire to Start Smoking by Susan Kreimer, Contributing Writer, Health Behavior News Service, 3/2/2010.

Wrightsville Beach, NC - board backs smoking ban on beach..

March 3, 2010 - Wrightsville, NC Beach board backs smoking ban on beach. A state law went into effect on January 2, 2010 that banned smoking in bars and restaurants also allows municipalities to enact their own stricter bans.

Alderwoman Susan Collins wonders how the smoking ban can be enforced. If the alcohol ban on the strand can't be enforced, she asked, how could smoking be stopped? She added that she didn't want to burden lifeguards by adding cigarette patrols to their duties. Town Manager Bob Simpson said the no-alcohol ban is enforced "to the best of our ability."

Alderwoman Lisa Weeks said a smoking ban would discourage smokers. "If we can deter half the people from smoking," she said, the effort would be worthwhile.

Mayor David Cignotti said that a public hearing should be set on the topic.

If family-friendly Wrightsville Beach passed a smoking ban for the strand, it would be the first beach town in North Carolina with such a policy, although Sally Malek, a tobacco coordinator with the N.C. Division of Public Health, said that Buncombe County has banned smoking on all county-owned property, including parks. Surfside City in South Carolina has a beach smoking ban, according to Erin Morrissette, the tobacco prevention coordinator for New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.

In North Carolina the tobacco industry has traditionally been one of the most important industries in North Carolina and a backbone of the state's agricultural heritage.

Reference: Wrightsville Beach board backs smoking ban on beach by Patricia E. Matson (, Star News Online, 3/1/2010.

Philip Morris USA - filed lawsuits against 8-retailers in New York and New Jersey..

March 3, 2010 - Philip Morris USA (PM USA) filed additional lawsuits today against eight retailers for selling counterfeit versions of the company’s Marlboro® brand cigarettes in New York and New Jersey. On Friday, January 22nd PM USA sued another New York retailer, accusing G.J. Smokes in Mastic (a town on New York's Long Island) of selling counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes. Back in November 2009 PM USA filed lawsuits against ten retailers selling counterfeit versions of the company’s Marlboro® brand cigarettes in New York and New Jersey. These lawsuits are part of the company’s on-going efforts to stop the sale of counterfeit cigarettes and the unauthorized use of PM USA’s trademarks.

Joe Murillo, vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services, speaking on behalf of PM USA, “Including the lawsuits filed today, PM USA has filed lawsuits against 35 retailers in New York and New Jersey since May 2009 for selling counterfeit Marlboro® brand cigarettes,” said Murillo. “Counterfeit cigarette sales undermine the value of PM USA’s trademarks and we will take the steps necessary to protect our brands,” added Murillo.

“These lawsuits highlight that counterfeit cigarette traffickers continue to operate in the New York metropolitan area,” said Joe Murillo, vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “This illegal activity hurts legitimate wholesale and retail businesses and for a number of reasons, including high cigarette excise taxes and New York State’s lack of effective cigarette excise tax enforcement, the New York metropolitan area is particularly vulnerable to this activity,” said Murillo.

The high cigarette excise taxes levied in New York and New Jersey provide counterfeit cigarette traffickers with the opportunity to make substantial illegal profits. Counterfeit cigarettes are almost always sold without the appropriate federal and state excise tax. The counterfeit cigarettes purchased from the retailers named in today’s suit bore no tax stamp or a counterfeit tax stamp. As a result, the applicable excise taxes were not paid.

PM USA continues to advocate for comprehensive solutions to New York’s complex counterfeit and contraband cigarette issues, including enactment of a law that would impose a deadline on the Department of Tax and Finance to begin tax collection on cigarettes sold to non-tribal members through Native American reservation outlets.

Philip Morris USA Sues New York and New Jersey Retailers Selling Counterfeit Cigarettes, Company Announcement. Philip Morris USA, 3/1/2010.

PM USA - NYC area, counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes related news briefs:
Philip Morris USA sued another New York retailer..;
Mastic NY man arrested illegally trafficking in untaxed cigarettes..;
NYC Area - more counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes seized..;
NYC - wins round in fight against Indian Tobacco Vendors..;
PM USA found more counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes in the NYC area..;
Philip Morris USA sues over counterfeit Marlboros..;
NYC can move forward with reservation cigarette lawsuit..;

California - AG Brown - Sante Fe Natural Tobacco Company must disclose its tobacco no safer/healthier than other tobacco products..

March 2, 2010 - California Attorney General (Jerry) Brown Secures Agreement with American Spirit Cigarettes Maker over Alleged Misleading Marketing of Organic Tobacco Products

Under the terms of the agreement, all advertisements will clearly and prominently feature the following warnings:
- For Natural American Spirit organic cigarettes: "Organic tobacco does NOT mean safer cigarettes."
- For Natural American Spirit organic roll-your-own or pouch tobacco: "Organic tobacco does NOT mean safer tobacco."

Attorneys general from 32 other states and the District of Columbia signed onto today's agreement.

Click to enlarge..
"Stamping an organic label on tobacco products is ultimately a distinction without a difference-organic or not, cigarettes are bad for your health," Brown said. "Today's settlement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company ensures that all future advertisements make it clear that organic tobacco is no safer or healthier."

Today's agreement follows Brown's contention that Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (Reynolds American (RAI) is the parent company of Santa Fe) may have misled consumers in advertising its "organic" or "100% organic" Natural American Spirit cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco and pouches, leading consumers to believe these products were less harmful than other tobacco products. There is currently no competent or reliable scientific evidence to support this conclusion.

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company has 30 days to meet these requirements, and all tobacco retailers selling these products must be contacted and instructed to dispose of old advertisements that do not feature these disclosures.

Organic tobacco is certified under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program. To receive organic certification, tobacco farmers have to follow a strict, labor-intensive growing regimen. Certified organic tobacco is grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers prohibited under the program.

Thirty-two other attorneys general signed onto Brown's agreement today from the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Additionally, the attorney general of the District of Columbia signed onto the agreement.

Brown's agreement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc. ASSURANCE OF VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE..

Reference: Brown Secures Agreement with American Spirit Cigarettes Maker over Alleged Misleading Marketing of Organic Tobacco Products, Office of CA Attorney General, 3/1/2010; Pure Poison Natural American Spirit’s Clean Carcinogen by Sharon Lerner,, 3/21/2000. Tuesday, Mar 21 2000.

OHIO - smoking complaints have dropped each year since the start of smoking ban..

March 2, 2010 - Nearly three years after enforcement began of a voter-approved smoking ban law a Franklin County 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. (OHIO - judge stops collection of fines against a bar accused of allowing customers to smoke..) The judge ruled that merely catching someone smoking in an establishment doesn’t prove that the business permits smoking in violation of the ban. The Ohio Department of Health has appealed the ruling. (Ohio - enforcement of existing smoking ban a must..)

Complaints against businesses alleging violations of Ohio’s smoking ban dropped sharply after the first few months of the ban and have declined with each successive year. A Dayton Daily News analysis of the nearly 49,000 complaints filed with the Ohio Department of Health since the ban took effect in May 2007 also shows that fewer than five fines have been levied for every 100 complaints filed.

State officials credit the decline in complaints to better compliance from bars and restaurants, as evidenced by the declining number of first-time violators. “We’re getting to the point where we have more (repeat violators) than initial violations,” said Mandy Burkett, chief of the health department’s indoor environments section.

Overall, the state logged 9,228 complaints in 2009 — down from 21,604 taken during an eight-month period in 2007. “The overwhelming response we get is very positive,” Burkett said. “The overall numbers indicate compliance is increasing.” She said compliance is up in part because business owners are hearing about inspections and fines of their peers. Iowa and Illinois — two states where similar bans were passed — also reported a decline in complaints after the first year.

Smoking complaints have dropped each year since ban State issues fewer fines but says complaints are down because most people obey the law
by Ken McCall (kmccall@DaytonDaily and Tom Beyerlein, Staff Writers, Dayton Daily News, 2/28/2010.

Some Ohio related news briefs:
OHIO - judge stops collection of fines against a bar accused of allowing customers to smoke..;
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...

Saudi Arabia - Shoura Council to provide advice on Anti-Smoking Law..i

March 2, 2010 - The 20-article Anti-Smoking Law which seeks a ban on cultivation and production of tobacco and tobacco derivatives in the Kingdom is to be looked at by the Shoura (Consultation) Council (primary function is to assess, interpret, and modify the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s system of laws, by-laws, contracts, and international agreements) on Sunday, February 28th paving the way for it to be referred for royal approval.

The law, which would see smoking prohibited in public places, mosque courtyards, places of education and sport, cultural and health institutions; banks, factories, and on land, sea and air transport, would leave tobacco farmers facing fines of up to SR20,000 (5,333.12 USD) and their produce being destroyed on the spot at the expense of the violators themselves.

Other articles in the proposed law would see increased customs tariffs on tobacco and tobacco derivatives in annual cumulative percentages of no more than 300 percent, pending decision from the Cabinet, while tobacco companies would be required to display warnings on cigarette packets, and the import and sale of imitation cigarette sweets would be banned.

The sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 18 would be illegal under the law, as would their sale from vending machines or their promotion through free or discount samples.

Sources said that the new proposed law covers cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, shisha (hubble-bubble pipes) and any other products with tobacco ingredients.

Euromonitor International, an independent information provider on business, industries and consumers worldwide, says the Saudi tobacco industry has seen continued growth in recent years due to the growth of the economy and an increasing population and rising consumer incomes. Euromonitor International - Tobacco in Saudi Arabia

According to the company, sales of tobacco in the Kingdom remained unchanged following Saudi Arabia’s signing of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2004 and the government’s subsequent decision to ban smoking in public places, a law that has not been effectively enforced, and despite a total ban on the local production of tobacco products the Kingdom still hosts multinational companies.

The Ministry of Health in 2003 estimated that the economic losses from a decline in productivity and early deaths caused by tobacco at $83 billion between 1961 and 2004. A study conducted by the Anti-Smoking Charitable Association revealed an "alarming increase" in the number of women who smoke. Women in the eastern provinces and Jeddah top the list. Additionally, 45% of women smokers are younger than 15. Also, a study conducted in 13 schools revealed that the percentage of students in secondary schools who smoke reached 38%. It also revealed that 27% of students began smoking in elementary school. (Saudi government spends billions on anti-smoking campaign with mixed results by Hussein Al Saleh in Riyadh,, 12/22/2009)

Reference: Shoura to discuss law against use of tobacco by Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, © The Saudi Gazette 2010 -, 2/27/2010.

Saudi Arabia - some related news briefs:
Saudi Arabia - number of smokers has increased..;
Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina) - possible healthier environment this year..;
Saudi Arabia - anti-smoking regulations approved in August 2003 not yet implemented..;
Saudi Arabia - rid country of public smoking zones..;
Saudi Arabia - bans use of cessation drugs Champix and Zyban..;
Saudi Arabia - banning sales of electronic (e) cigarettes..;
Saudi Arabia - smokers to pay higher health insurance premium..;
50 lashes for smoker on Saudia Arabian Airlines..;
Saudi court set to hear tobacco compensation case..;
Saudis to sue tobacco firms for more than $2.7 billion Ryadh, Saudi Arabia..

Washington, DC - tobacco tax hike results in decrease in revenue..

March 1, 2010 - The District of Columbia’s (DC) Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi learned a hard lesson this week after assessing the fiscal forecast for 2010: D.C. smokers weren’t happy with the city council after it upped the cost of cigarettes, and responded by depriving the District of millions in tax revenue.

According to a report released Wednesday, February 24th by Gandhi, that’s exactly what happened after the D.C. Council raised taxes on cigarettes from $2.00 to $2.50 a pack in mid 2009.

As predicted smokers would flee to Maryland ($2./pack) or Virginia $.30/pack) to buy their cigarettes. And according to a report released Wednesday by Gandhi, that’s exactly what happened after the D.C. Council raised taxes on cigarettes from $2.00 to $2.50 a pack in mid 2009.

In a report addressed to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Mayor Adrian Fenty, Gandhi wrote, “The 50-cent increase in the cigarette tax rate was projected to increase revenue but also decrease volume. Collections year-to-date point to a more severe drop in volume than projected. The estimate for cigarette tax revenue is revised downwards by $15.4 million in [fiscal year] 2010 and $15.2 million in [fiscal year] 2011.”

Annie Chen, the owner of North Sea China Restaurant on 18th St. NW, noticed the drop almost immediately: Since the tax increase was put into effect, Chen has sold smokes to her customers in Adams Morgan at a pre-increase price. “Some places sell for $8,” she slyly reminded me Wednesday night. “But we sell for $7.30. Otherwise you all go to Virginia and Maryland.”

North Sea doesn’t rely on cigarette sales — that’s what the food is for — but the extra revenue is significant enough that Chen would rather reduce her profit margin than lose customers. “I just want to make customers happy,” she said.

Reference: Washington cigarette tax hike results in decreased revenues as smokers buy outside city limits by Mike Riggs - The DC - The Daily Caller, 02/25/10.

District of Columbia - news briefs:
District of Columbia (D.C.) - council toughens smoking laws, proposal must be voted on a 2nd time..
Distrct of Columbia (D.C.) - to toughen smoking laws..;
District of Columbia - takes from tobacco fund to bridge budget gap..;
District of Columbia (D.C. Washington) to double tax on a pack of cigarettes to $2.00..

EC says Ireland can't set minimum prices for cigarettes, also more contraband cigarettes found..

March 1, 2010 - The Irish government says the agreement to set minimum prices for cigarettes with the tobacco manufacturers was made for the primary purpose of preventing low-cost selling of tobacco products in Ireland. By setting a minimum retail price for a packet of 20 cigarettes it undermines the ability of retailers to provide special cut-price offers on certain brands. (Ireland - Cigarette pricing rule a risk to free competition..)

The European Commission (EC) has questioned Ireland’s right to set minimum prices for cigarettes and other tobacco products. If the EC wins, as expected, its challenge against the Irish government this week cigarette prices in Ireland could fall. The commission has questioned Ireland’s right to set minimum prices for cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The EU’s 1995 Manufactured Tobacco Tax Directive permits importers and manufacturers of tobacco products to set maximum prices for their products.(COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 95/59/EC of 27 November 1995 on taxes other than turnover taxes which affect the consumption of manufactured tobacco) But Ireland’s 1986 Tobacco Products (Control of Advertising, Sponsorship and Sales Promotion) (No 2)Regulations prohibit the sale of cigarettes at less than 3 per cent below the average price. (S.I. No. 7/1986 — Tobacco Products (Control of Advertising, Sponsorship and Sales Promotion) Regulations, 1986.)

The government says minimum prices are necessary to protect public health by ensuring that tobacco products are not too cheap. It claims that the directive refers only to the setting of maximum prices, not minimum prices. But the commission is seeking a declaration that Ireland has breached its obligations under the 1995 directive. Similar cases are being pursued against France and Austria.

Last October, Juliane Kokott, the Advocate General at the European Court of Justice, found against Ireland and, while her opinion is not binding, the Advocate General’s views are generally followed. Kokott argued that setting a minimum price interfered with manufacturers’ freedom to set a maximum price, which could not be lower than the limit set by the state. She said EU states could increase the excise duty on tobacco products, and this was an appropriate way to protect public health. The Court of Justice will deliver its judgment on Thursday, March 4th.

The Revenue Commissioners collected an estimated €1.22 billion in excise duty from tobacco products last year, up from €1.17 billion in 2008.

In a separate development, customs officers last Tuesday, February 23rd seized cigarettes worth almost €12 million from business premises in . The 28 million cigarettes were hidden in bulk pallets of timber. The operation involved the Criminal Assets Bureau, the Naval Service and Air Corps and customs officers and police from both sides of the border. (DUNDALK: Dissident Republicans Suspected After Customs Seize €12m Of Contraband (illegal, illicit, smuggled) Cigarettes)

A statement from the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers’ Advisory Committee said: "Non Irish duty-paid cigarettes cost this country €526 million last year. That is an unacceptable loss of government revenue during recessionary times. The expected loss to the exchequer for 2010 is set to reach €616 million."

Reference: EU court ruling could cut cigarette prices by Kieron Wood, The, 2/28/2010.

Some Ireland related news briefs:
Ireland - ASH will never give up - get smoking out of cars (and homes) when kids are present..;
Ireland - harder to quit when switching to low tar cigarettes..;
Ireland - after 2004 smoking ban decline in maternal smoking rates as well as lower risk for preterm births..;
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...

FDA - Roster of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee..

March 1, 2010 - As required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“Tobacco Act”), FDA has established the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (“TPSAC”).

Present Roster of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee..

March 30-31: Agenda for Meeting of the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee..

Establishment of the TPSAC is critical to FDA’s timely implementation of the Tobacco Act because the TPSAC may (and in some cases must) be involved in a wide range of regulatory activities, including actions on premarket approvals, approvals of modified risk tobacco products, establishment of tobacco product standards, and establishment of good manufacturing practice requirements. In particular, “immediately upon the establishment of” the TPSAC, FDA must refer to it the politically and emotionally charged “issue of the impact of the use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health, including such use among children, African-Americans, Hispanics, and other racial and ethnic minorities.” FDCA Sec. 907(e). The TPSAC’s report and recommendations on this issue are due back to FDA within one year. The TPSAC must also consider the impact of dissolvable tobacco products on the public health, including their use by children, and report back to FDA within two years.

Reference: FDA Establishes Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee and Requests Nominations for Members by David B. Clissold & Ricardo Carvajal, FDA Law Blog, 8/26/2009.

Indiana - again statewide smoking ban passes house but ban still in doubt..

March 1, 2010 - Back on February 5, 2010 we reported that a bill to ban smoking in public places passed the house 73 to 26 earlier this week-but the Senate President Pro-tem David Long said the senate isn't ready to consider a ban. (Indiana - no statewide smoking ban this year for, "The ash tray of the Midwest"..)

Indianapolis - now we find a statewide smoking ban is on the table again at the Indiana Statehouse. The House of Representatives voted 54-44 Thursday to impose a statewide smoking ban with just two exceptions: casinos and pari-mutuel horse racing venues or racinos. "This is something we should have done three years ago, ladies and gentlemen. I don't think we can wait another year as has been quoted by the president Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate. That is why I want to send it back over there," said Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary).

Brown says secondhand smoke is not good for Indiana. It's certainly not good for Rep. John Bartlett, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2002. "It's a bad feeling. They have affairs for legislators and if I go in and they are smoking, I don't stay. I don't want cancer again and I hope no one in this House ever has to hear the doctor say you have cancer," he said.

Some lawmakers could not support the measure. "I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that would prohibit the men and women who died on foreign soil would prevent them from smoking in their VFW Hall if they want it to be that way so I am going to vote no," said Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel). "I do believe that we are violating the right of people to invest in a business and determine how they want to run that business if we allow a ban on smoking," said Rep. Phil Hinkle (R-Indianapolis).

The smoking ban passed by ten votes so the Senate will have the chance to concur with the changes or differ and send it to conference committee to iron out the differences between the bills that passed out of the House and the Senate.

Reference: Indiana House approves smoking ban, Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News,, 2/25/2010.

A few Indiana related news briefs:
Indiana - no statewide smoking ban this year for, "The ash tray of the Midwest"..;
Indiana - weak statewide smoke ban being considered..;
Indianapolis, Indiana - tobacco control people are furious - city used as test market again..;
Elkhart, Indiana - smoking ban stands no exemption for bars..;
Indiana - fire-safe cigarettes - July 1, 2009..;
Children in Indiana starting to use smokless tobacco products..;
Congratulations to the Great State of Indiana..;


President Obama - still needs a cigarette (coffin nails) once in a while??

March 1, 2010 - Can you believe this guy still has not totally given up tobacco.

Navy Capt. Dr. Jeff Kuhlman gave Obama his physical exam at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland Sunday morning, February 28th and recommended that the president "continue smoking cessation efforts." Obama will most likely use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for many months and still not be able to quit his dependence completely.

He's quick to mention that he never smokes in front of his kids but he should know that this not good enough, especially with his oldest daughter having asthma. Hasn't Obama heard about the dangers of third hand smoke. (New Study - children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke..)

Here's some comments from readers of the original article..
(1) What a freaking Sissy-Wuss! Cold Turkey is the only way to go but it takes *alls and self discipline, and this "leader" is lacking in both! Spend more time practicing deep breathing exercises and brisk walking. (2) Enough already! I know people who quit cold turkey and never went back to that filthy disgusting habit. I can't believe that someone like Obama, who is so disiplined in every other aspect of his life, is still going through therapy for this!

Reference: Obama using nicotine replacement therapy by Jordan Fabian, The Hill, February 28, 2010.

Related news briefs:
President Obama - time to get tobacco use out of your life forever..;
President Obama still trying to kick his addiction to tobacco..; Father's Day and Third-Hand Smoke..; Children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke...

Hong Kong - 50% increase in tax on tobacco products approved..

February 28, 2010 - The lobbying effort by health groups (Clear the Air (CTA), Department of Community Medicine, University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Dr Judith Mackay of the World Lung Foundation (WLF) in Hong Kong) calling for a sharp rise in tobacco taxes has paid off. (Hong Kong - cigarettes too cheap, tax only 61 and 66 percent of retail price..) There has been no tobacco tax increase in Hong Kong for 8 long years since early 2001.

In addition to a number of reports in support of an increase tax on tobacco products, Secretary of Health Dr. York Chow and the Food and Health Bureau have demonstrated to the Administration the importance of increased taxation as an important healthcare measure and they have refused to compromise on this important matter. (An open letter to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government

The Financial Secretary John Tsang today announced that the excise duty on tobacco products will be immediately increased by 50% to HK$ 24 (3.09 USD) per pack above the current levels of just over HK$ 16 (2.06 USD) per pack.

Whilst we have sought a 100% tax increase, Clear the Air estimates that the new increased tax will hopefully: Reduce current adult smoking significantly, Reduce current youth smoking by a significant amount and prevent our non smoking youth starting their addiction due to peer pressure.

The Hong Kong Administration must now capitalize on this tax increase and move towards making Hong Kong the world’s leading non smoking territory. World Health Organization: Tobacco taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use.

Reference: 50% Tobacco Tax Increase by webmaster, 2/25/2010.

Hong Kong related news briefs:
Hong Kong - cigarettes too cheap, tax only 61 and 66 percent of retail price..;
Hong Kong study - further proof, women have a harder time quitting cigarettes..;
Hong Kong - as of November 1st no tobacco advertising at newsstands - now display boxes..;
Member states of WHO's Western Pacific region agree to new tobacco control action plan..;
Hong Kong - Is the fixed-penalty fine for smoking offenses effective?;
Hong Kong - more unions are starting to enforce extended smoking ban..
Hong Kong - unions refuse to hand out penalty tickets for smoking..
Hong Kong - tobacco smokers may be prone to developing life-threatening complications from swine flu..;
Hong Kong - total smoking ban in full force no exceptions..
Hong Kong - total smoking ban in effect - Wednesday, July 1, 2009..;
Hong Kong - smoking statistics..;
Hong Kong - movie poster woman smoking - NOT ALLOWED..;
Hong Kong - bar owners an employees march to protest smoking ban starting July 1, 2009..;
Hong Kong - attempt to delay July 1, 2009 smoking ban fails..;
Hong Kong - cigarette smuggling soars after tax increase..;
Hong Kong - Tax on cigarettes pushed up by 50 percent..;
Honk Kong - smoking increase raise tobacco duties??;
Hong Kong - temporary smoking ban exemption ends July 1, 2009..;
Hong Kong - after smoking ban cigarette consumption up 14 percent..;
Hong Kong - public smoking ban - smoking rooms??;
Shanghai Tobacco's Golden Deer Cigarettes - Hong Kong..;
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