Orange County, Florida - receives $6.6 million grant to prevent tobacco usage..

March 20, 2010 - The Orange County Health Department got a boost in resources through a major wellness initiative on Friday, March 19th.

Click here to listen to Audio/VIDEO report..

Each day in the U.S., about 4,000 children ages 12 to 17 try their first cigarette, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention is an uphill battle for health officials, and the Orange County Health Department just received a $6.6 million federal grant to prevent tobacco usage. The grant is part of first lady Michelle Obama’s platform on the prevention of childhood obesity and tobacco usage.

U.S. Surgeon Gen. Dr. Regina Benjamin was on hand for the announcement on Friday.
“Orange County, Fla., has just over 1 million people, and every day someone dies from lung cancer,” Benjamin said.

Health officials said they realize the changes won’t happen overnight, but working with partners they can improve the health of central Floridians.

Reference: Local County Given $6.6M Grant For Smoking Prevention Orange County Health Department Given Federal Grant To Prevent Tobacco Usage,, 3/19/2010.

WHO - sesssion on global pact on cigarette smuggling stalled..

March 20, 2010 - We are all counting on World Health Organization (WHO) to provide solution to control the booming worldwide cigarette smuggling (illicit, illegal, contraband) problem. The Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products is being held through Sunday, March 21st. (WHO - 4th session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products..)

Now we find that the global pact to halt smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products, which costs governments up to $40 billion a year in lost taxes, has become bogged down over ways to trace products, officials said on Friday, March 19th.

The agreement would also ban duty-free sales of cigarettes, popular with international air travellers, but which health campaigners claim are often diverted into illicit trade. The aim is to reach agreement in Geneva by Sunday ahead of a meeting in November in Uruguay where the pact could be adopted.

But by Friday, debate had not even begun on duty-free sales.

Campaigners have accused multinational tobacco companies and duty-free lobbyists of trying to derail the week-long negotiations being held among officials from 168 countries under the auspices of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"There is a consensus that track-and-trace measures are needed to combat traffic in illicit products," Vijay Trivedi, policy advisor to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) secretariat, told Reuters. "The devil lies in the detail," he said.

The closed-door talks have stumbled over discussions of details, mainly a "tracking-and-tracing" system for tobacco products at the heart of the new treaty, formally a protocol to the 2005 Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The draft treaty would require countries to license tobacco manufacturers and retailers and set up the tracing regime with a global data base. Within three years of adoption, all unit packets of cigarettes would have to be marked with unique serial numbers.

"Having a licensing system on a global scale would be a significant improvement in combating illicit trade and would wipe out a significant portion of smuggling," a Western government official at the talks told Reuters.

The 2005 treaty obliges governments to protect their populations from exposure to tobacco smoke and reduce demand through price and tax measures, regulating packaging and labelling of tobacco products and curbing tobacco advertising and sponsorship.

For further detail see reference..

Reference: WHO global pact against tobacco smuggling stalled by Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, 3/19/2010.

Florida - 9 year old case, appeals court upholds $24.8 million award..

March 20, 2010 - A 9-year-old products liability case produced a major victory over tobacco companies Wednesday, March 17th when the 3rd District Court of Appeal (DCA) upheld a $24.8 million award to a man who died of cancer shortly after trial. The appellate panel offered no legal reasoning in its unsigned one-paragraph decision in John Lukacs' case against cigarette makers Philip Morris USA, Brown & Williamson and Liggett Group.

The unanimous opinion by Judges Richard Suarez, Angel CortiƱas and Vance Salter is the first appellate ruling upholding a verdict since the Florida Supreme Court dismantled a smoker class action and opened the door to individual trials. (Cigarette Makers Face Thousands of New Florida Lawsuits..)

The case was filed on behalf of eminent domain lawyer John Lukacs, who was covered by the so-called Engle class action that pitted Florida smokers against the nation's five largest cigarette companies. The state's high court ejected a Miami jury's landmark $145 billion award and dismantled the class in 2006. Background: The original Florida lawsuit was filed in 1994 by a Miami Beach pediatrician, Dr. Howard Engle, who had smoked for decades and couldn't quit. The class of smokers was estimated at up to 700,000 when the giant $145 billion award was issued in 2000. (Dr. Howard A. Engle, the veteran pediatrician who lent his name to a landmark class action suit against Big Tobacco, dies..

With Lukacs dying, his attorneys sued and pushed for a quick trial in 2002 instead of forcing their cancer-ridden client to wait for the Supreme Court ruling.
"He wanted his day in court, and the only way to obtain his day in court was to try the case before the Florida Supreme Court made its decision," said Alters Boldt Brown Rash special counsel Bruce Rogow, who argued the appeal for Lukacs' family.

The jury awarded Lukacs' widow, Yolanda, a total of $37.5 million in 2002. The award was later reduced to $24.8 million.

Lukacs v. Philip Morris, Inc., et al.- Background, award $37.5 million, June 11, 2002..

Tobacco attorneys appealed, challenging trial decisions and insisting smoker trials could not proceed without a Supreme Court directive.

The 3rd DCA decision cited the Supreme Court ruling, which allowed smokers to pursue individual lawsuits and offer the original jury's findings as fact. New juries are advised to accept that smoking causes cancer and other illnesses, cigarettes are addictive and tobacco companies defrauded consumers by misleading them.

Miami attorney Stuart Ratzan, whose firm Ratzan Rubio is involved in more than 100 smoker cases statewide, called it "one more in what's been a series of victories."
"They're in big trouble," he said. "This is a quick pronouncement by an appellate court. When the victories continue to come one after the next in every layer of our justice system, the end is near."

About 8,000 smoker lawsuits are pending in state courts. Most were filed to meet a one-year deadline set in the Supreme Court ruling. (Cigarette Makers Face Thousands of New Florida Lawsuits..)

Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking for subsidiary Philip Morris. "We are in the process of considering our options for further review."

Reference: Fla. Court Upholds $24 Million Verdict Against Tobacco Companies, Jose Pagliery, Daily Business Review,, 3/19/2010.

Some related news briefs in Florida:
Florida - $300 million jury award to former smoker overturned..;
Florida - jury awards $300 million in ex-smoker's suit..;
Florida - tobacco companies ask court to block ruling..;
Florida - plaintiff drops case to avoid paying legal fees for Philip Morris USA..;
R.J. Reynolds to appeal plaintiff's award of $30 million..;
R.J. Reynolds loses Florida court trial - widow gets $30 million..;
Broward County Florida jury awards widow of smoker $1.5 million..

Indonesia - second largest Muslim organization launched a fatwa against smoking..

Philip Morris Int'l Tops On Asian Smokers

March 19, 2010 - Muhammadiyah, the second largest Muslim organization in Indonesia has launched a fatwa (a ruling) against smoking, saying that smoking is haram, or "morally wrong". A tough stance from the moderate Muslim organization, that counts about 40 million members and in Indonesia - the most populous Muslim country in the world - is second only to Nahdlatul Ulama (NU, with 60 million followers). The religious edict, moreover, goes to hit the tobacco industry, one of the most important economic activities in the country in turnover and as a source of employment. Indonesia's cigarette industry supports around four million workers and farmers combined.

Muhammadiyah has been criticised for accepting money from the New York-based anti-smoking Bloomberg Initiative - the implication being that foreign money influenced the fatwa.

Back in January 2009 Indonesia's top Islamic body (Ulemas Council - MUI) issued a fatwa (a ruling) placing more limited restrictions on tobacco use. "MUI has issued an edict which states that smoking is forbidden for children, pregnant women, MUI members and for those in public places," Amin Suma, chairman of the Edict Commission of MUI said. (Indonesia - tobacco farmers reject Islamic council's edict..; Indonesia - Ulema Council - debate results is split on smoking..)

The two organizations maintain, usually, a moderate position in relation to controversial issues such as jihad, Islamic terrorism, morals, code of ethics and clothing. Precisely for this reason Indonesian public opinion is "surprised" by the announcement of the Muhammadiyah. The central committee and executive arms of the Muslim movement has in fact declared "morally illicit" (haram), the vice of smoking.

The ban on cigarettes was written on paper in a "fatwa" identified by the initials 6/SMOTT/III/2010, which also contains the reasons why smoking is wrong. Above all the will to propose models of healthy lifestyles and to help preserve the environment. Together with the health and ecological aspects, the edict is motivated by the desire to strengthen the souls "weakened" by wrong behaviours and lifestyles.

Professor Yunahar Ilyas, a leading member of the Muhammadiyah, confirms that smoking is a "bad habit" that leads people to other worse "situations", including physical weakness, and pushes the frustrated to suicide.

Ahmad Zaenuddin, Head of Muhammadiyah in Jakarta said: “We issued the fatwa because we believed those tobacco advertisements were targeting children and teenagers. This could ruin the country’s future generations. The children will follow the lifestyle of their favorite public figures and TV stars. This is one of the dangers of tobacco advertising, because they use actors who can capture the young people’s attention.”

Tulus Abadi, chairman of the Indonesian Consumers’ Foundation (YLKI) and chief advocate at the National Commission for Tobacco Control said: “Around 60 percent of children in Indonesia are exposed to cigarettes.” Cigarettes are readily available in Indonesia, retailing at less than $1 a pack, which is among the cheapest in the region.

The position of the second largest Muslim organization in the country strikes at the heart of the tobacco industry, a major economic resources of Indonesia. The magnates of smoking, in fact, are among the main tax contributors. The sector also provides employment to many people, the majority originating from poor areas and agricultural land. Even sporting events and music will suffer a severe blow: cigarettes, in fact, are among the principal sponsors. A collapse of business in the tobacco sector - caused by the fatwa - would limit their resources to invest in entertainment and in sports.

The impact of smoking on Indonesian health is extreme. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over sixty percent of the country's male citizens smoke daily.
And around four hundred thousand Indonesians die, every year, from smoking-related diseases.

Letter: Smoking kills a nation, Jakarta Post.

Indonesia is one of 4 countries in the whole wide world that have not ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which entered into force in February 2005. Muhammadiyah wants the Indonesia Government to ratify this soon.

References: Indonesian Islamic organization issues a fatwa against smoking by Mathias Hariyadi,, 3/10/2010; Indonesia's fatwa against smoking, Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Radio Australia, 3/17/2010; Indonesia – Controvesy Over Smoking Fatwa,, March 2010.

Indonesia related news briefs:
Indonesia - 18 tons of illegal cigarettes destroyed..;
Indonesia - Government to limit cigarette production..;
Indonesia - BAT, Bentoel shareholders approve planned merger..;
Indonesia - another protest rejecting the new cigarette excise tax..;
Indonesia - workers from small cigarette producers protest excise tax increase..;
Indonesia - cigarette industry has pledged to stage a demonstration to protest a government plan to increase excise tax.;
Indonesia - the last paradise for a puff in Southeast Asia..;
Indonesia - trade minister officials want to meet with US counterparts to discuss ban on clove cigarettes..;
Indonesia - PT BAT Indonesia to merge with PT Bentoel International Investama Terbuka..;
Indonesia - missing tobacco regulation in approved Health Law..;
Indonesia - section on tobacco in health bill disappears..;
Indonesia - Constitutional Court by close vote rules that tobacco ads can continue..;
Indonesia - parent smoking can negatively affect the nutrition of children..;
Indonesia - new council member suspect in cigarette fraud case..;
Indonesia - an NGO commission assists cigarettes must be banned in films..
Indonesia - a paradise for tobacco companies..
Indonesia - after buying cigarettes very little left for food..;
Indonesia - will they ratify the first world public health treaty..;
Indonesia - last paradise to smoke in public places in Southeast Asia..;
Indonesia - Industry minister to close tobacco to new foreign investment..;
Indonesia Finance Ministry to cap tax deductions for tobacco companies..;
Indonesia - Smoking hits poor families the hardest, making the poor even poorer..;
Indonesia - Cigarette makers defy crisis, grows stronger..;
Indonesia - government may raise cigarette excise tax next year..;
WHO - Indonesia is crying out for your help..;
Indonesia - dispute with U.S. over banning the use of clove in cigarettes..;
Indonesia 'cash cow' for Philip Morris International..;
Tobacco industry has long targeted young people as "replacement smokers";
Indonesia - district court dismisses request to ratify FCTC..;
Asean Countries - Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Tobacco..; Indonesia - farmers hold rally protest tobacco controls..;
Indonesia - tobacco farmers reject Islamic council's edict..;
Indonesia - Ulema Council - debate results is split on smoking..;
Indonesia - Withdraw Sponsorhip of Another Rock Concert..;
Indonesia to increase tax on tobacco products..;
Semarang, Indonesia - Cigarette Smoking Areas to be Prepared..;
Jakarta, Indonesia - Malls help enforce non-smoking ban..;
Indonesia - federal anti-smoking laws in one year - MAYBE..;
Indonesia - NGO's (non-government organizations) Demand the Government Ratify WHO's FCTC.;
Indonesia to raise cigarette tax by 6 to 7% in 2009..;
Surabaya, Indonesia - anti-smoking bylaw 10/2009 - FOR REAL??
Indonesians smoking more than ever before..;
Indonesia further rise in the excise tax would hurt the cigarette industry..;
Alicia Keys - Jakarta Concert (July 31st) tobacco companies forced to withdraw sponsorship.. and
Most Indonesians support moves to ban tobacco advertisements...


Republic of the Philippines - results of the WHO adult tobacco survey..

March 19, 2010 - About 17.3 million Filipinos aged 15 years old and above are tobacco
smokers with at least 13.8 million smoking daily, the Philippine Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) showed. (Philippine estimated population of about 92 million people, the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country.)

The survey is the first study on the prevalence of smoking in the country, Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said Thursday, March 18th.

Of the 9,705 individuals from rural and urban areas aged 15 years and older (representing 61.3 million Filipinos) polled in 2009, 28.3 percent (representing 17.3 million Filipinos) were tobacco smokers. About 22.5 percent (or 13.8 million Filipinos) of the total number of smokers, smoked every day, the study showed.

This despite that 94 percent of the surveyed smokers said they were aware smoking causes serious illness such as lung cancer, heart attack and stroke.

Of the daily smokers 18 to 34 years old, the average age they began to puff on a cigarette was 17.4, the study found.

Almost half of those surveyed, 48.8 percent, said they were exposed to cigarette smoke at home and 54 percent said that someone smokes at least monthly in their homes. The survey found that 55.3 percent or 28 million Filipinos who used public transport were exposed to second hand smoking, followed by Filipinos who work indoors, 13.9 percent; and those who visited government buildings, 25.5 percent.

Despite the ban against advertisements of tobacco use and smoking, the survey found that about 75 percent of Filipinos notice more and find enticing cigarette advertisements.

“With the results, we aim to have cigarette manufacturers to put graphic health warnings on half of the packaging of their products, enforce the ban on tobacco advertisements, and work for 100 percent smoke free environments—at homes, public places and indoors,” said Cabral.

“In Germany, Finland and the US, second hand smoke is classified as a Class A carcinogen grouped with asbestos and Radon that mere exposure to it means serious public hazard. Filipinos should be made aware of this, especially those who are smoking at home because not only are you encouraging future smokers, you expose your family to cancer,” said Doctor Susan Mercado, regional adviser of WHO Tobacco Free initiative.

Tobacco is an addiction that can be prevented if there is good implementation of laws coupled with a cessation intervention program to assist those who want to quit smoking, such as those installed in Singapore where only nine percent of the population smoke.

Doctor Soe Nyunt-U, WHO Representative in the Philippines, said that the Philippines, which is among the top 14 countries with high prevalence of tobacco use, must reduce by 10 percent the number of smokers in the country over the next five years. To do this, he said there is a need for a clear legislation mandating manufacturers to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, instead of textual warnings that are less effective in making smokers quit or enforcing warning of the ill effects of tobacco among the young who wanted to try smoking. He said that by September 2008, the Philippines, as a signatory of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), should have passed the law on picture-based warnings on tobacco products.

“We are against a very strong industry that will use all its resources to prevent legislative advance of this measures, such as the ratification of the FCTC. The manufacturers can comply with these because the products they export to to Thailand, for example, include picture-based health messages on the bad effects of smoking. But they would not do that because they know that it is an effective measure to reduce those who would attempt to smoke and make smokers quit as seen in other countries,” said Soe.

Doctor Maricar Limpin, executive director of non-profit Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Aliance Philippines (FCAP), said there should be strict enforcement of the ban on tobacco ads, which promote smoking among the youth. “Those ads on sari-sari stores are supposedly banned by 2007. These glamorous ads is playing a big role in the continuous perception of smoking as something ‘in’ or ‘cool’ and lures the youth to try it,” said Limpin. Limpin challenged the next president to institute measures to reduce the number of Filipino smokers and to pass relevant laws such as the imposition of a uniform taxation scheme on sin products that would discourage smokers from lighting cigarettes.

Reference: Over 17M Filipinos are smokers, study shows by Anna Valmero,, 3/18/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
WTO delays verdict on cigarette confrontation between Thailand and the Philippines..;
SEATCA - Gates funding for research on improving tobacco control tax systems..;
Philippines - PMI - FTC merger may lead smokers continuing to smoke and lure children into a life of nicotine addiction..;
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..;;
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...


New Zealand - study quit-smoking products that are acceptabe and effective..

Just 10 percent of people who use nicotine replacement therapy stop smoking long-term. therapy (NRT) stop smoking long-term.

So researchers are trying to find quit-smoking products that are acceptable and effective to add to the existing range of state-funded nicotine replacement therapy and the drug Zyban - to boost a smoker's chance of quitting the habit permanently.

The study compared "snus" oral tobacco sachets and Zonnic oral nicotine (peppermint or fruit flavoured sachets), with the currently available nicotine gum. 63 smokers used each product for a fortnight (14 days). (Reynolds American Inc. acquire Niconovum that markets nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products under the Zonnic brand name.)

PAPER: Randomized crossover trial of the acceptability of snus, nicotine gum, and Zonnic therapy for smoking reduction in heavy smokers, Brent Caldwell (, Carl Burgess and Julian Crane, University of Otago, Department of Medicine, Wellington, New Zealand, * Nicotine & Tobacco Research 12(2):179-183, 2010, ABSTRACT..

Subjects preferred snus and Zonnic, which both had significantly fewer gastrointestinal side-effects than gum and resulted in greater reductions in smoking," Dr Caldwell said. "[Zonnic and snus] look like attractive and effective options to help smokers reduce smoking or quit as they're easy to take, people like the impact and they suppress withdrawal symptoms."

One of the study's participants, a 70-year-old man who subsequently stopped smoking without any quit-smoking products, said he didn't particularly like any of the trial therapies, although he disliked snus the least. We wonder why the researchers did not encourage the other subjects to just quit "cold turkey." (The Global Research Neglect of Unassisted Smoking Cessation: Causes and Consequences, Simon Chapman and Ross MacKenzie, PLOS Medicine 2/9/2010)

The study's publication coincides with the parliamentary inquiry into the tobacco industry and the effect of smoking on Maori.

The researchers are now recruiting smokers for a trial to test the effectiveness of a nicotine mouth spray. Dr Caldwell said smokers using patches doubled their chance of quitting if they also used a Nasal nicotine spray.

Reference: Smokers back new tobacco pouch to help quit the habit by Martin Johnston,

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - smoking ban results in decrease in heart attacks..;
New Zealand - BAT attends Maori Affairs select committee meeting on tobacco..;
New Zealanders want cigarettes banned by 2020..;
New Zealand - Maori women - almost 50% smoke..;
New Zealand - more and more teenagers turned off by smoking..;
New Zealand - loophole in the law banning tobacco sponsorship..;
New Zealand - University of Auckland to go smokefree - 1st university in country..;
New Zealand - smoking ban in bars results in less smoking at home..;
New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..;
New Zealand - graphic warnings cigarette maker selects less offensive images..;
New Zealand - Maori committee to investigate smoking..;
New Zealand - Tairawhiti Board wants tobacco sold only on prescription..;
New Zealand - health researchers calling on government to ban importation of tobacco..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..;
New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..;
BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..;
New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..;
Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Smokefree NZ within 10 years..;
By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..


U.S. FDA publishes rule to protect our children that restrict advertising and marketing of tobacco products..

March 19, 2010 - U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced a final tobacco ruling Wednesday that restricts the sale, distribution, and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to protect children and adolescents. Published March 19, 2010, the new rules becomes effective June 22, 2010, and has the force and effect of law.

Click here to view the FDA "Protecting Kids from Tobacco" webpage.

The ruling is designed to "help our kids stay healthy by making it harder to target them," according to U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. According to Sebelius, every day nearly 4,000 kids under age 18 try their first cigarette, and 1,000 of those children become daily smokers. "Part of the reason is that despite a ban on direct marketing to young Americans, tobacco companies have still found ways to reach out to them," she claimed. "I don't think it's any accident that the three brands that spend the most on advertising—Marlboro, Camel and Newport—are preferred at higher rates by children than adults."

According to HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh: the regulations secure cooperation of manufacturers and retailers and establish a uniform federal standard for sales, distribution and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. "The regulations also strengthen enforcement, and the FDA will become responsible for ensuring that retailers are in compliance as part of its growing public health mission," Koh said during a press conference.

The rules are part of broad new powers Congress granted to the FDA last year, when it passed landmark legislation to regulate the $89 billion tobacco industry. The law prevents the FDA from banning nicotine or tobacco, but it gives the agency vast authority to regulate the ingredients in tobacco products and the way they are distributed, sold and marketed.

FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg outlined the rules, which give the FDA the authority to:
* Prohibit the sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to people younger than 18.
* Prohibit the sale of cigarette packages with fewer than 20 cigarettes.
* Prohibit the sale of cigarette and smokeless tobacco in vending machines, self-service displays or other impersonal modes of sales, except under very limited conditions.
* Restrict free samples of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products.

Hamburg said the ruling also means the FDA has additional authority over marketing and merchandising of tobacco-related products.

The ruling:
* Prohibits tobacco brand name sponsorship of any athletic, musical, or other social or cultural event, or any team or entry in those events.
* Prohibits gifts or other items in exchange for buying cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products.
* Requires that audio ads use only words with no music or sound effects.
* Prohibits the sale or distribution of items, such as hats and tee shirts, with tobacco brands or logos.

In addition, the agency is weighing whether to issue an additional rule for outdoor advertising, such as billboards.

Hamburg said the FDA will contract with states to carry out tobacco retailer inspections, issue a small business compliance guide and an action plan to help enforce restrictions, and embark on a large outreach effort to further educate audiences about changes in the sales, distribution and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. "So these are all important new activities that will make a real and enduring difference, and importantly address the deep concerns about the problem of youth smoking in this country."

As for enforcement, Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products said the FDA will participate in inspection of retail establishments and will work with states to assist in inspections and enforcement. "Violations of these rules could engender warning letters, civil money penalties, seizure, non-tobacco sale orders, injunctions—even criminal penalties, of course depending upon the severity of the infraction," he said.

In the first legal challenge to the new law, a U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. in January knocked down two of the rules. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard, the country's second- and third-largest tobacco producers, argued that certain provisions violated their First Amendment rights to free speech. They filed a complaint in Kentucky, the state with the highest number of adult smokers. (Federal judge - upheld most of law that regulates tobacco but struck down limits on advertising..) The FDA is appealing that part of the ruling. While the appeal is pending, the agency has not said whether it will enforce the rule regarding the use of color and imagery in advertising.

Anti-smoking groups and public health organizations argue that tobacco companies, which spend $35 million each day on marketing, have continued to direct advertising to teens and children in subtle ways. The 'Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act' now awaiting the president's signature will bar the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from serving as the delivery service for online cigarette and smokeless sellers.

References: New FDA rules will greatly restrict tobacco advertising and sales by Lyndsey Layton - Washington Post Staff Writer, The Washington Pots, 32/19/2010; Better to Burn Out FDA targets tobacco use by minors, while Congress tackles Internet sales by Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 3/19/2010.

New Zealand - smoking ban results in decrease in heart attacks..

Click to enlarge..
March 18, 2010 - The study in New Zealand showed that, three years after a smoking ban on all workplaces was introduced, hospital admissions for heart attacks among men and women aged 55-74 fell by 9 percent. This figure rose to 13 percent for 55-74 year olds who had never smoked.

PAPER: Assessing the effects of the introduction of the New Zealand Smokefree Environment Act 2003 on Acute Myocardial Infarction hospital admissions in Christchurch, New Zealand, Ross Barnett Jamie Pearce Graham Moon John Elliott Pauline Barnett, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Volume 33 Issue 6, Pages 515 - 520, Published Online: 8 Dec 2009, ABSTRACT.. (New Zealand introduced a complete ban on smoking in restaurants and bars in December 2004. This ban has been well accepted by the public, with a clear majority showing support five months after its introduction (69% in April 2005).)

Overall, the research showed heart attacks among people aged 30 and over fell by an average of 5 per cent in the three years following the ban.

The study, involving scientists from the University of Edinburgh, examined trends in acute heart attacks following a change in legislation. The ruling, which updates a previous law in which smoking was outlawed in some public places, makes smoking illegal in all workplaces including bars and restaurants.

Researchers also found that heart attacks were reduced for ex-smokers of all ages, and that there was a greater decrease in hospital admissions for men compared with women.

In addition, the study found that people in more affluent neighbourhoods benefited more from the ban than those in poorer areas. This may be because they visit cafes and restaurants more often or because they are more likely to use the smoking ban as an incentive to quit.

Dr Jamie Pearce, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, who took part in the study, said: "This short-term research indicates a link between a smoking ban in bars and restaurants and a reduction in severe heart attacks. However, more work is needed to look at the effects of the ban in greater detail."

Reference: Older Non-Smokers Gain Most from Tobacco Ban, Study Suggests,
Science Daily, 3/16/2010.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - BAT attends Maori Affairs select committee meeting on tobacco..;
New Zealanders want cigarettes banned by 2020..;
New Zealand - Maori women - almost 50% smoke..;
New Zealand - more and more teenagers turned off by smoking..;
New Zealand - loophole in the law banning tobacco sponsorship..;
New Zealand - University of Auckland to go smokefree - 1st university in country..;
New Zealand - smoking ban in bars results in less smoking at home..;
New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..;
New Zealand - graphic warnings cigarette maker selects less offensive images..;
New Zealand - Maori committee to investigate smoking..;
New Zealand - Tairawhiti Board wants tobacco sold only on prescription..;
New Zealand - health researchers calling on government to ban importation of tobacco..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..;
New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..;
BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..;
New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..;
Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Smokefree NZ within 10 years..;
By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..

Kick Butts Day Wednesday, March 24, 2010..

March 18, 2010 - Kick Butts Day is back, with new opportunities to take action in 2010!

On March 24, thousands of youth in every state and around the world will STAND OUT … SPEAK UP … and SEIZE CONTROL AGAINST BIG TOBACCO.

Kick Butts Day is a day of activism that empowers youth to take action against tobacco use at more than 2,000 events from coast to coast. In 2010, we are looking forward to an even bigger and better Kick Butts Day.

Information on Kick Butts Day

Kick Butts Day is the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids' annual celebration of youth leadership and activism.

Related news brief: Kick Butts Day Wednesday, March 25, 2009...


Wales - One in five women in Wales smoke while pregnant..

March 18, 2010 - WALES has the highest rates of women who smoke during their pregnancy in the United Kingdom (UK), shocking figures reveal today. Despite the social taboo, the figures from anti-smoking charity ASH Wales show one-in-five women continue to smoke throughout pregnancy.

Midwives said many young women are smoking while pregnant because they believe they will have smaller “doll-like” babies. Helen Rogers, the Royal College of Midwives’ board secretary for Wales, said: “Years ago women thought if they continued to smoke they wouldn’t put on as much weight and they would have smaller babies that are easier to deliver.

“I thought that thinking had been educated out of existence but it hasn’t – there are a lot of teenagers who, to be in with the in- crowd, are smoking. “They are getting pregnant and continuing to smoke because their peers are smoking. “It’s about keeping pretty, keeping slim and having tiny, doll-like babies. No matter how much midwives say smoking is bad, it’s very hard to get that message through.” She added: “I think maybe we thought we had cracked smoking and we’ve taken our eye off the ball.”

Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to a wide range of health problems in babies – including a low birth weight and an increased risk of asthma. But smoking also increases the risk of still-birth or the death of a baby in the first four weeks of life by a third and almost a quarter of cot deaths are due to maternal smoking. Women who smoke have more complications in pregnancy and labour – including up to two-and- a-half times the risk of an ectopic pregnancy – and are twice as likely to have premature births.

Tanya Buchanan, chief executive of ASH Wales, said: “We need to ensure that pregnant women who smoke have specific cessation and prevention programmes tailored to their needs, have appropriate referral interventions, midwives trained in tobacco cessation, and access to effective and equitable cessation services and products to support them in quitting for the benefit of their health and that of their child.

“While Stop Smoking Wales is trialling a number of initiatives to engage more effectively with pregnant smokers, it remains the case that there is currently a lack of systematic service delivery to support pregnant smokers to quit right across Wales.

“Although it can be hard to give up smoking, the benefits of quitting can be felt immediately and, as a mother, you are giving your child the best possible start in life and the chance of a healthier future.”

It is estimated smoking causes around 6,000 deaths every year in Wales, and costs the NHS £1.5bn to treat smoking-related illnesses each year. On average smokers need five attempts before they are successful in quitting the habit.

Dr Tony Jewell, Wales’ chief medical officer, said: “We are determined to do all we can to educate people about the dangers of smoking so they don’t start in the first place, and to provide help and support for smokers to quit.

“Health professionals, including GPs and midwives, offer advice and support to pregnant women to give up smoking for their benefit and the benefit of the unborn child. “Stop Smoking Wales, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, provides specialist advice and behavioural support to help smokers wanting to give up, either in groups or one-to-one.

“Smoking cessation during pregnancy is a priority area.”

Reference: One in five women in Wales smoke while pregnant by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail,, 3/16/2010.

Some related news brief - United Kingdom (UK) - pregnancy:
Scotland - self-reporting of smoking by pregnant women underestimates true number of pregnant smokers..;
Smoking during pregnancy and postnatal environment - socioeconomic inequalities..;
England - program to pay pregnant women not to smoke seems hopeful..;
England - pregnant women getting paid to stop smoking..;
Smoking mothers can impair a baby's ability to respond to external stimuli may increase risk of SIDS..;


South Carolina - cigarette tax, State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex speaks up..

March 18, 2010 - This state has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation of 7 cents a pack — unchanged since 1977.

Burning the midnight oil Wednesday night, March 17th the South Carolina House members continued their battle over the budget before wrapping up Thursday morning. House members voted 106-12 to keep a 30-cent cigarette tax increase in the budget.

Thursday morning, March 18th at the State House State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex called the 30-cent increase woefully inadequate. Rex called on the State Senate to do what the House was unable or unwilling to do and that is to raise the state cigarette tax to the national average of $1.34 a pack. Rex says the $240 million in revenue generated by the tax increase would be a win-win for education and health care.

Rex says the health care jobs that would be created would be in the range of 20,000. Rex repeated his earlier proposal that when the economy recovers and education funding reaches at least 2008 levels, he would like to see the entire revenue stream from the cigarette tax go toward health care.

Rex says he understands that their is concern from legislators and citizens who live in border counties that a substantial hike in the cigarette tax would hurt commerce, but he says evidence from other states prove otherwise.

Rex says a higher cigarette tax would not only create a much needed source of revenue for the state, but it would also lead to the creation of a healthier South Carolina.

Rex says he understands that ultimately the source of revenue from the higher tax will slowly diminish as more and more people choose not to light up.

Rex to SC Senate: “Raise cigarette tax to national average”
by Tom Hayes in Economy, Education, Health & Medicine, Politics & Government, South Carolina Radio Network, 3/18/2010.

Related news briefs:
South Carolina - among the worst states in the nation in smoking prevention efforts..;
South Carolina - among the worst states in the nation in smoking prevention efforts..;
South Carolina - most residents support raising the tobacco tax..;
South Carolina - with Gov. Sanford still in office most likely no tobacco tax increase in 2010..;
South Carolina - low cigarette pricing, smuggling, higher insurance premiums, etc..;
Lexington County, South Carolina has a workplace smoking ban..;
South Carolina - governor disappears, maybe its time to slip through a cigarette tax..;
South Carolina - next legislative session starts June 16th..;
South Carolina - lawmakers may disappoint again on cigarette tax increase..;
SC tobacco tax increase - doubt exists maybe NOT this year..;
South Carolina - can we expect a tobacco tax increase this year??;
South Carolina a magnet for cigarette black market..;
South Carolina - legislators eager to pass cigarette tax increase - the odds are against them??;
South Carolina to spend NO money on tobacco prevention..;
South Carolina (SC) will NOT devote any resources to anti-smoking programs..;
In 2008 will the politicians do what's right for the State of South Carolina??;
South Carolina - Tobacco Tax Increase Killed - State House Fails to Override Governor's Veto..
Tobacco Tax Increase – What’s Wrong with South Carolina??


U.S. House passed PACT Act again now awaits presidential signature and it's law..

Our Children Our Future

March 18, 2010 - Yesterday, March 17th the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act again so, the next step is presidential signature and its law.

The Senate on March 11th unanimously passed the bill voting to ban the U.S. Postal Service from mailing tobacco products. The Senate's sudden and bipartisan passage of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act thrilled anti-smoking advocates. (U.S. Senate - unanimously passes the PACT Act..)

Congress passed legislation long advocated by The Association for Convenience & Petroleum Retailing (NACS) to ensure that Internet tobacco retailers are held to the same high standards as convenience retailers. By a 387-25 vote, the House passed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) yesterday, which addresses the long-standing convenience store industry concern of tax evasion via remote sellers of tobacco products.

With the Senate previously passing the legislation on March 13, the bill now will be sent to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

“Our industry is one step away from ending a 10-plus-year battle to close loopholes that placed significant competitive disadvantages on convenience retailers,” said NACS Senior Vice President of Government Relations Lyle Beckwith. “The PACT Act allows our industry to compete on equal footing for not just the sale of individual products, but for customers.”

The Senate bill was authored by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and the House version was authored by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).

Once it is signed into law, the PACT Act will significantly strengthen federal laws that apply to online cigarette sales. Among other things, the Act will:
* Expressly require Internet sellers pay state and local taxes before they send tobacco products to consumers,
* Impose federal age verification requirements for online sales,
* Broaden the reporting requirements of the Jenkins Act and upgrade violations of the Jenkins Act from a misdemeanor to a felony,
* Empower federal prosecutors and the States to bring actions in federal court to prevent and restrain violations, and
* Bar the U.S. Postal Service from serving as the delivery service for online cigarette and smokeless sellers.

“We applaud Congress for standing up for Americans taxpayers and small businesses and look forward to working with the Administration to get this bill signed into law,” said Beckwith.

House Vote On Passage: S. 1147: PACT Act, March 17 2010, 4:37pm.

Reference: Congress Passes NACS Priority Issue: Regulate Internet Tobacco, NACS, 3/18/2010.

Some PACT related news briefs:
U.S. Senate - unanimously passes the PACT Act..;
Disappointment - U.S. legislators from New York State are delaying passage of PACT Act..;
NATO - urging retailers to call their U.S.Senators to get the PACT Act passed..;
U.S. let's get the PACT bill passed by congress and then signed into law..;
NY State - Seneca Indians - lobbying against the PACT act.;
U.S. - Senate Judiciary Committee Approves PACT ACT..;
U.S. - Senate Committee scheduled to vote on PACT..;
Web-Based Companies must stop selling flavored cigarettes..;
Internet, Flavors everywhere - snuff being marketed to kids as hip, cool and healthy..;
U.S. customs officials bar imports bearing the Philip Morris USA trademark..;
Let's Get It Passed - Prevent All Tobacco Trafficking Act of 2009..;
U.S - PACT legislation passed by House..;
U.S. - PACT Legislation to be considered by House this month..;
We must get the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of the tobacco delivery business..;
PACT Legislation now in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee..;
U.S. House Passes Bill to Prevent Tobacco Delivery By Mail..;
We must get the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of the tobacco delivery business..
Protect Our Children - Make it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product...

South Africa - smoking more cigars as cigarette usage declines..

March 18, 2010 - Successful South Africans are smoking more cigars as cigarette usage declines. The young entrepreneur smokes mainly cigars, he says, “because it shows people that I am now able to afford the finer things in life." says businessman Ncapayi. Most good quality cigars on sale in South Africa range in price from US$ 6 to $50 each. New cigar smokers: young, black and very successful.

Yet South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. As the nation’s slums expand, so do its lavish suburbs, where people pay many millions of rands for opulent houses. While millions of citizens earn less than a dollar a day, South Africa is also home to the most millionaires (in dollars) on the continent.

The increase in cigar consumption in South Africa is happening along with a drastic drop in cigarette smoking, as the government intensifies what’s already some of the world’s toughest anti-smoking legislation. Smoking in public is illegal in South Africa, and higher taxes on tobacco products make cigarettes too expensive for many South Africans. Deterrents such as these have helped drive cigarette smoking in the country down to the lowest rates in modern times.

Yet, the National Council Against Smoking wants even stricter anti-smoking regulations and higher tobacco taxes. But it acknowledges that while almost 40 percent of South African adults smoked cigarettes in the mid-1990s – about 17 million people – now just over 20 percent are regular cigarette smokers – about seven million people.

Growing numbers of South African women smoking small cigars called cigarillos.

According to the US National Cancer Institute, regularly smoking cigars poses serious health risks, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus and throat. Experts say lung disease is lower among cigar smokers than among cigarette users, because cigar smokers typically don’t inhale the smoke but rather “taste” it in their mouths. But they warn that cigar smoking can cause mouth and throat cancer.

Reference: Luxury Cigars in Demand in South Africa as Cigarette Smoking Plummets, Darren Taylor | Johannesburg, South Africa, (Voice of America), 3/15/2010.

South Africa related news briefs:
South Africa - smoking rates remain high much more work still needed..;
South Africa - difficult to enforce law against smoking in a vehicle when child younger than 12 is present..;
South Africa - BAT wants court to lift ban on "one-to-one" communication with smokers..;
South Africa - new anti-smoking laws have to be enforced..;
Swedish Match finalizes sale of South African operation to PMI..;
South Africa - tobacco control legislation signed into law..; South Africa - survey of youngsters smoking and drinking hablits..;
Reynolds Tobacco is now providing coupons for a free can of Camel SNUS;
British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..;
BAT Marketing Tobacco Products Using Text Messaging...

South Africa is currently divided into nine provinces. Johannesburg is in Gauteng province, the richest in South Africa with the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Africa below the Sahara.


Star Scientific - continue incurring losses on its smokeless-tobacco products..

March 18, 2010 - Star Scientific again has turned to investors with deep pockets for money, raising $13.8 million through a half-dozen private sales of stock and warrants this month. The Henrico County-based company also disclosed that it plans to begin test-marketing a food product to help ex-smokers and quitters maintain balanced metabolism. The company provided few details but said the food product won't contain nicotine.

Star expects to continue incurring losses on its smokeless-tobacco products for the foreseeable future, it disclosed yesterday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said its private stock sales this month should support its operations through the first quarter of next year.

Star lost $22.8 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $708,000 in 2009, the SEC filing showed. That compares with a net loss of $18.3 million, or 20 cents a share, on revenue of $451,000 in 2008.

During 2009, Star got $25 million from selling stock and the exercise of warrants and options to buy stock. In 2008, it raised $16.5 million that way.

The company disclosed that it cut and restructured its sales force because of slower-than-expected sales of its dissolvable nicotine products.

As part of that effort, Star said, it limited day-to-day activity of its sales force and is focusing on marketing to individual stores and consumers in Virginia and adjoining states.

The company boosted its research and development spending last year to $1.8 million from $300,000, including $1.4 million for the food product it plans to test-market this year. It said its ability to continue research work will depend on whether it can obtain funding, as well as on the outcome of its patent-infringement lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Last year, a federal district court jury ruled that Reynolds had not infringed on any of Star's patents, but Star is appealing. Meanwhile, Reynolds is demanding Star pay $35 million to cover lawyers' fees. (Star Scientifiic denied new trial in patent infringement - files appeal..)

Reference: Private stock sales boost tobacco company Star Scientific by David Ress, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/18/2010.

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


WTO delays verdict on cigarette confrontation between Thailand and the Philippines..

March 18, 2010 - The World Trade Organization (WTO) pushed back its verdict on the cigarette tax row [set of circumstances to confront] between the Thailand and the Philippines.

Trade assistant secretary Jose Antonio Buencamino told reporters on Monday said the panel formed by the WTO has sought a one-month extension on the release of its report on the issue. The verdict is now expected to be released by end-April. Buencamino said the panel sought for an extension to give it time to review the facts presented on the case. "It's a fact-intensive case," said Buencamino.

When the WTO panel releases its interim report, the parties have 2 to 3 weeks to appeal before the WTO's dispute settlement board (DSB) makes the final decision. The DSB normally adopts the recommendations of the panel.

Buencamino said the Philippines does not intend to appeal the panel's verdict. "We made a good pleading," said Buencamino.

Based on his estimates, the final report should be out end of May.

The case stemmed from Bangkok's decision to slap a bond on imports from Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc., making the multinational firm's cigarettes more expensive in Thailand.

Philip Morris, which has manufacturing plants in Batangas and Subic [in the Philippines], has already reduced its exports to Thailand by 20% due to the tax issue. The Philippine government's position is that Bangkok's policy promotes discrimination and protectionism.

The case has been on-going since 2006.

Reference: WTO puts off Thailand-Philippines cigarette tax row verdict,, 3/15/2010.

Related news briefs:
Thailand - PMI likely breached the Foreign Business Act..;
WTO - "DS 371" Philippines versus Thailand on cigarette customs valuation..;
Philippines - Thai cigarette import rules..;
Thailand unit of Philip Morris International faces charges that it violated custom tax rules..;

American Samoa - smoking ban under planned new legislation..

American Samoa flag..
March 17, 2010 - American Samoa - Smoking will be banned in workplaces, buses and taxis, restaurants and all public places in American Samoa under planned new legislation. A person who smokes in a no smoking zone would be subject to a fifty US dollar fine.

The owner or manager of a public place or place of employment who fails to comply with the no smoking law would be fined 100 dollars for a first violation and 200 for each addiitonal violation within one year.

The legislation also provides that a person or business operator who repeatedly violates the proposed law could have any government issued licences revoked.

Reference: Smoking ban planned in American Samoa, Radio New Zealand International, 3/8/2010.

Japan Tobacco - "Zerostyle Mint" - new smokeless product..

March 17, 2010 - Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) (TSE: 2914) announced today, March 17th the launch of a new smokeless tobacco product "Zerostyle Mint," with sales beginning exclusively in Tokyo in mid-May 2010. Tobacco has rich history and is available in a large number of varieties. In different parts of the world, smokeless tobacco including snuff(*1) and chewing tobacco are consumed in addition to cigarettes. While the majority of consumers in Japan are smoking cigarettes, demand is increasing for tobacco products.

“Zerostyle Mint” is a new style snuff tobacco product. The new product does not require a flame, and thus is smokeless, allowing consumers to use it in a variety of locations, being considerate to neighbors at the same time. Through the introduction of the new menthol product, the company believes that it is offering a wider variety of tobacco categories for consumers to choose from.

Product Components:
“Zerostyle Mint” is a new style snuff tobacco product. The new product does not require a flame, and thus is smokeless, allowing consumers to use it in a variety of locations, being considerate to neighbors at the same time. Through the introduction of the new menthol product, the company believes that it is offering a wider variety of tobacco categories for consumers to choose from.

Zerostyle Mint” applies JT's original technology which includes airflow control through the body of the product, as well as a tobacco leaf and flavoring combination. The new product combines the fresh and sweet scent of peppermint with the aroma and flavor of tobacco, which can be consumed without using a flame.

About Zerostyle Mint
Taste : Menthol
Price : 300yen (3.32 USD) / One product unit and two refill cartridges
About Zerostyle Mint, Refill Cartridges
Taste : Menthol
Price : 400yen (4.42 USD)/ Four refill cartridges

Reference: JT to Launch New Style of Smokeless Tobacco Product “Zerostyle Mint” , Japan Tobacco Inc., 3/17/2010.


Japan Tobacco Seeks to Expand Production in India ..

March 17, 2010 - Japan Tobacco Inc. (JTI), the world’s third-largest publicly traded cigarette maker by volume, wants to expand production in India as the smoking rate declines in its home market. The company has been waiting for government approval to make additional investments in its venture in India since June 2008, Executive Deputy President Masakazu Shimizu said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. “It’s to expand production and sales locally,” he said, declining to provide details or the planned investment amount.

The Tokyo-based maker of Mild Seven cigarettes is boosting overseas sales as a declining smoking rate and higher taxes stifle demand in its home market. India has about 120 million smokers, more than four times the number in Japan.

“Our expansion has been delayed as there are two sides in Indian politics: one wants to promote foreign investment, the other wants to curb it,” Shimizu, 56, said.

India may prohibit foreign direct investment in tobacco companies, the Economic Times reported Feb. 18, citing unidentified government officials. (India - government set to ban foreign direct investment in tobacco..)

Japan Tobacco wants to raise its stake in JT International India Private Ltd. to 74 percent from 50 percent, according to the company.

Tobacco Taxes: The Japanese government will raise tobacco taxes for the first time in four years in October as it tries to discourage smoking. The government will raise the duty by 3.5 yen per cigarette with tobacco companies able to charge an extra 1.5 yen. “Overall demand may plunge by 20 percent because of the tax increase,” Shimizu said. Japan Tobacco will raise the price of some brands by more than 100 yen a pack to help offset falling demand, he said. (Japan Tobacco - reacts angrily to governments decision to raise cigarette tax..)

JTI, which is 50 percent government owned, trails Altria Group Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc. in production volume.

Reference: Japan Tobacco Seeks to Expand Production in India (Update1), by Naoko Fujimura ( and Shunichi Ozasa (, Editors: Fergus Maguire, Frank Longid,, 3/16/2010.


Champix (Chantix) - Canada class-action lawsuit started..

See directly relate news briefs: Champix (Chantix) - more serious psychiatric reactions and death..; also - Smoking Cessation - Chantix (Champix) vs. Cold Turkey..
March 17, 2010 - Three B.C. women have started a class-action lawsuit against Pfizer Inc. and its Canadian subsidiary, claiming that the smoking-cessation drug Champix causes depression and suicidal tendencies.

One of the women, Patricia Clow, from Victoria, is the mother of Heidi Clow, 22, who committed suicide on Oct. 4, 2009, while taking Champix, according to the writ of summons filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Feb. 10, 2010.

The second plaintiff is Alicia Pickering, of Sechelt, who alleges in the writ that she became depressed and catatonic after taking Champix for just three weeks. She took a leave of absence from work, contemplated suicide and was ultimately hospitalized, all of which she attributes to the drug. "If it saves even one soul from suffering the way I have, it'll be worth it. I am outraged that this drug remains on the market," Alicia said in a press release.

"I can tell you that she was only on Champix for a few weeks. In fact, after just a few days she started to feel the effects. That's a fairly typical response. It doesn't take that long for people to be severely impacted," David Klein, one of two lawyers representing the class-action suit said.

Nicole McIvor, from Princeton, is the third plaintiff. She says that while on Champix she attempted suicide by trying to smash her car into an oncoming logging truck.

Champix is the brand name for the drug varenicline tartrate, and is sold in the United States under the brand name Chantix.

Sales of the drug started in Canada in April 2007, and within a year there had been 226 Canadian cases of neuropsychiatric adverse events reported to Health Canada, of a total of 708,534 prescriptions filled.

A warning was added to the drug cautioning family members to monitor people taking Champix for depression and suicidal behaviour. "Champix was sold in Europe and the United States for about a year before it was put on sale in Canada, and in that year there were reports of psychiatric side effects and suicide, and yet the warnings are very mild on the Canadian product," Klein said.

"The [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] required a stronger warning in the United States last year — what's referred to as a black box warning — and Pfizer hasn't put it on the Canadian label. The warnings on stronger in the United States, on the same product, by the same company."

Pfizer has not yet filed a statement of defence in the class action suit.

Reference: Three B.C.women file class action lawsuit over Pfizer quit-smoking drug by TRACY SHERLOCK, Vancouver Sun, 3/16/2010.

Related news briefs:
Champix (Chantix) - more serious psychiatric reactions and death..;
Smoking Cessation - Chantix (Champix) vs. Cold Turkey..;
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..;


C-store Update - Marlboro SNUS, Grizzly, Copenhagen, Skoal..

March 17, 2010 - Click on any image to enlarge..

Marlboro SNUS (now has gone national):

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

Grizzly - One dollar off on certain line extensions until the end of May..

Two new Copenhagen line extensions coming..

Skoal Slim Cans.. (will need to improve on image) Altria’s U.S. Smokeless unit has launched a new “slim can” of snuff in pouches, CEO Michael Szymanczyk said at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference in Boca Raton, Florida in February 2010. (Altria - new marketing strategy with emphasis on Marlboro SNUS..)

Red Seal is back, 1st launched in 1997 in the value-priced category..

Camel SNUS - c-store sign with new slogan - "Boldly Go Every Where."

Previous c-store update..

Israel - Knesset member bill eliminate nicotine from cigarettes..

March 16, 2010 - Kadima MK (member of the Knesset, Knesset is Israel's legislature) Yoel Hasson tabled a private member’s bill on Monday, March 15th that, if passed, would be the world’s first law barring the sale of tobacco products containing addictive substances such as nicotine, or other substances, such as menthol and ammonia, that make nicotine more addictive, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

If tobacco were not addictive, the smoking rate would quickly decline (from the present 23 percent). People already addicted to nicotine who felt the need for it would be able to get it through other “delivery systems,” such as nicotine chewing gum, skin patches and other forms, but not through tobacco, the bill states.

Hasson’s bill is due to go to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to get the go-ahead. The Health Ministry has reportedly not yet discussed the issue and whether to endorse it.

The idea of tobacco without addictive or addiction-promoting substances was first proposed in 2000 by Amos Hausner, a veteran Jerusalem lawyer and head of the Israel Council for the Prevention of Smoking, during a session of the Gillon Committee hearings on how to reduce the prevalence of smoking.

Hasson, who is chairman of the Knesset State Control Committee, was a partner with Likud MK Gilad Erdan in initiating the 2007 law that put major responsibility for anti-smoking enforcement on the owners and managers of public places (in addition to municipal inspectors), and significantly increased fines against violators. Hausner told the Post on Monday that Hasson’s bill was “revolutionary” in smoking prevention and cessation.

“Most new smokers are youngsters who smoke fewer than 100 and already get addicted. We want to prevent them from starting to smoke. At present, it is not illegal for children to smoke – it’s only illegal to sell them tobacco. Today, consumers have no [option] of smoking cigarettes that are not addictive. They are harmful without the nicotine and can harm others by exposing them to smoke, but with such a law, they will at least not be addictive,” Hausner explained.

The bill would allow a two-year delay for companies to prepare and for addicted smokers to assuage their nicotine addiction with replacement products.

Hasson noted that smoking causes the death of some 10,000 Israelis each year. This figure is more than the total number of victims of road accidents, war, terror and crime. Tobacco addiction, thanks to its nicotine content, has often been compared to addiction to hard drugs, including cocaine and heroin, the sale of which is illegal. Thus, under the bill, substances in tobacco products that cause addiction would be illegal as well.

Reference: Bill may ban addictive tobacco products by JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH, Jerusalem Post (JP), 3/16/2010.

Israel - related news briefs:
Israeli study - are non-smokers smarter than smokers?;
Israel - Professor Connolly advises completely bar smoking in public places..;
Israel - 10,000 die each year from smoking (8,664 smokers and approximately 1500 from secondhand smoke..;
Israel - may initiate a bill to bar smoking in vehicles with kids.. Do it for YURI..;
Israel bans electronic (e) cigarettes..;
Israel - first menthol-cigarette lawsuit in the world filed in Israel..;
Israel - sucking tobacco' illegally imported under ministries' noses..;