Malaysia - ban on 14-stick cigarette packs delayed worry about increase in illicit cigarettes..



May 29, 2010 - Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has confirmed a delay in banning small cigarette packets over concerns of rising illicit trade despite a tobacco company mulling a legal suit over the policy flip-flop. The government had earlier banned small pack cigarettes effective this June 1 but that deadline has been reportedly pushed to Jan 1, 2011. The health minister is concerned that the elimination of small packs of cigarettes will lead to an increase in illicit (illegal, contraband, smuggled) cigarettes.

Background: Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) today, April 7th lauded the Health Ministry's proposal to ban the sale of 14-stick cigarette packs beginning June 1, 2010 to deter youths, especially schoolchildren, from picking up the smoking habit, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. (Malaysia - Health Ministry's proposal to ban the sale of 14-stick cigarette packs beginning June 1, 2010..)

Malaysia - increase in number of women smoking.. In Malaysia, it is estimated that 50 percent of the male population smoke while women smokers comprise of about 20 percent of the world's more than 1 billion smokers.
The Customs Department estimates that more than 38 percent of cigarettes sold in Malaysia are illegal. (Malaysia - slight decrease in illicit cigarettes; JTI Malaysia q1 2010 market share increases..)

Liow said the government will only arrive at a decision on whether or not to go ahead with the original Cabinet directive to stop the sale of 14-stick packs in “a few months”. The minister noted that the exemption for regulations 9 and 16 of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004, which ban the manufacture and sale of cigarette packs with less than 20 sticks, only extends to the end of 2010.

Philip Morris (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (PMM) has threatened legal action over the government’s flip-flopping over the small pack ban. "British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT) is aware that the government has decided to defer the ban on 14-stick cigarette packs which is suppose to take effect on 1st June 2010,” BAT said in a statement. "BAT has not received formal notification from the government and are seeking clarification on this matter. As such, we are unable to provide further comments until we receive further clarification,” it added.

Reference: Tobacco firm fumes as Liow confirms policy U-turn by Yow Hong Chieh, themalaysianinsider.com, 5/27/2010.

Malaysia - some related news briefs:
Malaysia - slight decrease in illicit cigarettes; JTI Malaysia q1 2010 market share increases..;
Malaysia - Health Ministry's proposal to ban the sale of 14-stick cigarette packs beginning June 1, 2010..;
Malaysia - increase in number of women smoking..;
Malaysia - new strategy to penalize retailers who sell contraband cigarettes..;
Malaysia - youth and student smokers may not receive aid from government..;
Malaysia - two tobacco control regulations starting January 1, 2010..

Malaysia - about 368,000 teenager smokers in the country, 50-60 added per day..;
Malaysia - sale of cigarettes in packets of less than 20 prohibited as of June 1, 2010..;
Malaysia - stepping up efforts to curb the trade in illicit cigarettes..;
Malaysia - BAT plans to dispose of a parcel of industrial land..;
Malaysia - ban on cigarette sponsorship for sports will not be withdrawn..;
Malaysia - cigarette-shaped sweets packaged like cigarettes;
Malaysia - Penang consumer group ban cheap cigarettes and increase price on premium..;
Malaysia - Kelantin State Government may not promote staff who smoke..;
Malaysia - excise duty increased on tobacco - another increase could be coming this month..;
Malaysia - smoking limits your quality of life..;
Malaysia - smoking civil servants in Penang to receive free nicotine treatment..;
Malaysia - illicit cigarettes, BAT wants government to slow excise duty increases..;
Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
Malaysia student forced to smoke 40 cigarettes in two hours..
Malaysia - PSD and Cuepacs are at odds over the no-smoking rule at government de­­partments and agencies..;
Malaysia: Are tobacco control measures working? - WHO thinks so...;
Malaysia - slowdown in cigarette consumption..;
Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings..;
Malaysia to hike cigarette prices..;
Malaysia - 25% of all cigarettes sales are illegal...Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
Malaysia student forced to smoke 40 cigarettes in two hours..
Malaysia - PSD and Cuepacs are at odds over the no-smoking rule at government de­­partments and agencies..;
Malaysia: Are tobacco control measures working? - WHO thinks so...;
Malaysia - slowdown in cigarette consumption..;
Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings..;
Malaysia to hike cigarette prices..;
Malaysia - 25% of all cigarettes sales are illegal...

- Malaysia is a member of Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)..
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Pregnant women exposed to second-hand-smoke even if spouse goes outside the home to smoke..


May 28, 2010 - A study was carried out to determine whether spouses who only smoke cigarettes outside the home can reduce the secondhand smoke (SHS, involuntary smoking, passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, ets) exposure of non-smoking pregnant women to the levels of those with non-smoking spouses.

In this cross-sectional survey 896 non-smoking pregnant women in their 35th gestational week were included. Hair nicotine levels and the smoking behaviour of their spouses at home were assessed.

PAPER: Hair nicotine levels in non-smoking pregnant women whose spouses smoke outside of the home, Sang-Ho Yoo, Yu-Jin Paek (paek@hallym.ac.kr), Seong-Soo Kim, Do-Hoon Lee, Dong-Ki Seo, Moon-Woo Seong, Hye-Mi Chang, Seok-Tae Choi, Hyoung-June Im, Tob Control doi:10.1136/tc.2009.033134, ABSTRACT..

It was found that spouses who only smoked outside the home did not reduce the level of SHS exposure of pregnant women to the level of pregnant women with non-smoking spouses. A strategy based on the separation of pregnant women and the smoking activity of their spouses might be inadequate to protect pregnant women from SHS at home.

Exposure to active smoking and passive smoking has significant and lifelong effects on the fetus including cognitive development. Widespread exposure to passive smoking increases asthma, chest infections and a range of other health risks. Parental smoking increases risks to the health of children during infancy and childhood, as well as the likelihood of adolescent experimentation and regular smoking. (The impact of smoking on the family Harley J. Stanton, Jane Martin, Jack E Henningfield, Cuurent Pediatrics, Volume 15, Issue 7, Pages 590-598 (December 2005))

Pregnant women exposed to passive smoke greater chance of child will have respiratory distress..

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European Union - with 35% of 15 to 24-year olds smoking launches a new campaign..

May 28, 2010 - Ahead of the 2010 No Tobacco Day (Monday 31st May), the European Commission unveils the results of a Eurobarometer survey which shows that a strong majority of EU citizens support stronger tobacco control measures. For example, three in every four Europeans supports picture health warnings on tobacco packs and smoke free restaurants. The survey also shows, however, that nearly one in every three Europeans still smokes, despite the fact that tobacco kills half of its users.
(World No Tobacco Day 2010: the Commission reaffirms its commitment to fight against smoking, Europa Press Release, 5/27/2010) European Union..

The Commission is planning to launch an open consultation shortly with a view to revising the 2001 Tobacco Products Directive and is stepping up its tobacco control efforts throughout the EU. The European Commission has launched a £13.5 million (19.6 USD) anti-tobacco campaign targeting the young after a survey showed that 35% of 15 to 24-year-olds are smokers.

The UK figure is even higher at 40% - exceeded only by France and Spain (48%), Belgium (44%) and Bulgaria (42%), with 39% of the 15-24 category in Ireland admitting to smoking, according to the latest "Eurobarometer" poll, conducted last October.

EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli warned: "Tobacco kills 650,000 Europeans every year and many lives could be saved by reducing tobacco consumption. I am particularly concerned about smoking rates amongst young people - Europe cannot passively watch future generations smoke away their health."

The new campaign is timed to coincide with European "No Tobacco Day" next Monday, and involves anti-smoking messages targeting television, the internet and other sites accessible via mobile phones in a bid to "empower young people to take control of their health and lifestyles" said a Commission statement spokesman. He added: "The general motto is providing help and support for a life without tobacco by delivering comprehensive information on health and social problems related to tobacco consumption."

The figures reveal that 28% of all Britons still smoke, despite years of health warnings, compared with an EU average of 29%. In the survey, British male smokers admitted to smoking an average of nearly 16 cigarettes a day, compared with nearly 13 amongst female smokers.

Anti-smoking campaigns are backed by three-quarters of EU citizens, with 77% of Britons supporting explicit health warning pictures on cigarette packets, 67% in favour of a ban on cigarette advertising even in the shops that sell them and nearly a third of British smokers (32%) said they had tried to give up smoking at least once in the last year, but for 56% of them, the attempt failed within a week.

Unveiling the figures, Mr Dalli commented: "I am determined to do everything in my power to reduce tobacco consumption across Europe via upcoming revision of existing legislation on tobacco products and via measures that can contribute to a clear set of rules to support Europeans' health."

Current EU legislation dates from 2001, stipulating limits on the nicotine and tar content of cigarettes, written warnings on cigarette packets and a ban on the use of misleading descriptions of cigarette strengths, such as "light".

So far a dozen EU countries have introduced total bans on smoking in enclosed public places and work places, including bars and restaurants. They are Ireland, the UK, Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Sweden, Latvia, Finland, Slovenia, France, Lithuania and the Netherlands. Partial smoking bans are applied to the "hospitality" industry in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain and in most German regions.

The Commission says it is fully behind an EU plan agreed last November to achieve a "smoke-free Europe" by 2012. )European Union (EU) - “100 per cent smoke free environment”..)

Reference: EC launches £13.5m anti-smoking bid, The Press Association, 5/27/2010.
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Reynolds American - consolidating smoking plants, expanding smokeless plants..


May 28, 2010 - Reynolds American will close cigarette factories in Winston-Salem and Puerto Rico and move production to a facility in Tobaccoville, the company said today May 28th.

Cigarette manufacturing and employees will begin moving from R.J. Reynolds’ Whitaker Park plant to Tobaccoville this summer, according to a company news release. Whitaker Park will cease manufacturing in mid-2011.

Cigarette production at an R.J. Reynolds' affiliate in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, will be transferred to Tobaccoville by the end of August. About 60 manufacturing employees’ jobs in Yabucoa will be eliminated, and those employees will receive severance benefits. The company’s distribution operations in Puerto Rico are not affected by the plant closure.

Also, Reynolds' American Snuff Company LLC is expanding its smokeless tobacco processing and manufacturing capacity by investing in facilities in Memphis and Clarksville, Tenn.

Susan Ivey, Reynolds American’s chairman, president and CEO: Consolidating production into fewer and newer facilities will also facilitate cost-effective compliance with new federal regulation of the tobacco industry.”

Reference: Reynolds American to consolidate plants, Staff Reports, Greensboro News & Record, 5/28/2010.

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New Zealand - Tobacco companies target women..


May 28, 2010 - This research release comes ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Monday, May 31st..

Tobacco companies are finding ways to market their products to women despite advertising restrictions, according to new research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

PAPER: Marketing tobacco to New Zealand women: 8 ways to reflect on “World No Tobacco Day” Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jo Peace, Heather Gifford, George Thomson, Richard Edwards, Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 28-May-2010, Vol 123 No 1315.

A team of researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Whakauae Research for Maori Health and Development examined the ways that tobacco companies targeted women.

The research showed that by marketing female-oriented cigarette brand names like Vogue Bleue and Topaz with feminine colours, packaging and extra-slim cigarettes, companies were appealing to female smokers. Deceptive terms such as "subtle", "mild" and "mellow" are used to describe former light brands. Women are more likely to use these brands and this may delay them quitting the habit, the researchers said.

Some related news briefs:
Virginia Slims "Purse Pack" Available 1st Quarter 2009..;
Gallaher criticized for marketing cigarettes at young women..
Bangladesh - tobacco companies targeting women, also other developing countries..;
R.J. Reynolds - Camel No. 9 did ads target children and teens..;
Russsia - 73 percent of boys and 65 percent of girls smoke..;
Canadian survey - women unaware of all the dangers of smoking..;
Women Who Smoke Have Heart Attacks 14 Years Earlier...

Dr Heather Gifford of Whakauae Research Services says smoking is more serious for women than men before middle age. "It has negative health impacts on children; perinatal mortality, low birth weight and premature birth are just some of these effects.

In New Zealand, particularly with Maori women, 50% of whom still smoke.

Other methods highlighted by the research include advertising in imported fashion magazines and the marketing of menthol cigarettes, which women are more likely to smoke. The researchers concludes that advertising and sponsorship restrictions in the current law, set out by the Smokefree Environments Act, are inadequate and needed to be expanded.

Reference: Tobacco companies target women, TVNZ.co.nz, 5/28/2010.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - lobby group of small retailers formed to protest tobacco price hike..;
New Zealand - more than half of the people want to end tobacco sales by 2020..;
New Zealand - revenue department has begun a review of BAT financial transactions..;
New Zealand - increase in tobacco excise forced through Parliament by the Government..;
New Zealand - Christchurch prepares for meeting with tobacco select committee..;
New Zealand - biggest drop in smoking rates seen in a decade..;
New Zealand - Maori affairs committee continues to gather information..;
New Zealand - study quit-smoking products that are acceptabe and effective..;
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..
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Nigeria - State of Osun to implement tobacco control measures..



May 27, 2010 - Doesn't it seem forever we've been waiting for Nigeria to implement its National Tobacco Control Bill. The National Assembly is still foot-dragging on translating the all-encompassing National Tobacco Control Bill (NTCB) into law even with the overwhelming support that the bill engendered at the public hearing on July 20-21 last year. (Nigeria - parliament still debating new tobacco legislation..)

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the federal government to emulate Australia’s move to ban the promotion of tobacco. (Australia - tobacco tax increase now in force, next comes plain tobacco packaging..)

ERA/FoEN has commended the Osun State government for signing the Osun State Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places Bill 2009 into law. The agency said the decision is one of the most far-reaching efforts taken by any state in the country to safeguard public health. The bill prohibits smoking in cinemas, theatres or the stadia, medical establishments, hotels; offices, schools and public transportation, nursery institutions and lifts. Another major highlight of the bill is that it prohibits smoking in both private and public vehicles with a non- smoking occupant below 18. (Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels..)

In a statement in Lagos, the group said the Osun government had taken a lead and demonstrated its responsiveness to the well-being of its people and public health and should be emulated by other states.

ERA/FoEN Programme Manager, Akinbode Oluwafemi noted: Reiterating the group’s call for the National Assembly to expedite action on the NTCB, that Nigerians are dying by the seconds due to tobacco addiction while tobacco manufacturers smile to the banks. Every day that we delay the implementation of strict laws, there will be more deaths, more ill-heaths and the economy will suffer. The trend globally showed that only far-reaching laws can stop a gale of deaths spurred by tobacco smoke.
Tobacco currently kills 5.4 million people and if current trend continues it will kill about eight million by 2015, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Newspaper article - Daily Independent: Osun bans smoking in institutions, 5/20/2010..

Reference: Osun bans smoking in public by Collins Nweze, NigeriaNationalTobaccoControlBill.blogspot.com, 5/28/2010.

Nigeria - related news briefs:
Nigeria - call to emulate Australia's move to ban the promotion of tobacco..;
Africa - the increase in tobacco use must be prevented..;
Nigeria - parliament still debating new tobacco legislation..;
Nigeria - Customs Service Comptroller-General commended BATN..;
Nigeria - National Tobacco Control Bill - public hearing..;
Nigerian senator believes passage of anti-tobacco bill wil lead to unemployment..;
Nigeria - Senator claims anti-tobacco bill will lead to 400,000 job losses..;
Nigerian Lawsuit Against Tobacco Firms Adjourned Until January 2009..;
Nigeria House Passes Anti-smoking Bill..;
BAT using illegal tactics to get African youths to start smoking..;
British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..
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Indonesia - more on the 2-year old addicted to nicotine..


May 27, 2010 - First shocking pictures of smoking toddler Ardi Rizal - who throws tantrums if he can't puff 40 cigarettes a day.

See pictures of two year old smoking NOW..

The Sun told on Saturday how the two-year-old got hooked after dad Mohammed gave him a fag at 18 months. (Indonesia - addicted to nicotine at the age of two..)

Now he weighs 4st and trundles round on a toy truck blowing smoke rings - too unfit to run with other kids.

Mum Diana, 26, wept: "He's totally addicted. If he doesn't get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick."

Ardi will smoke only one brand and his habit costs his parents £3.78 (5.50 USD) a day in Musi Banyuasin, Indonesia. Officials have offered to buy the family a car if he quits. But fishmonger Mohammed, 30, said: "He looks pretty healthy to me. I don't see the problem."

Also - Indonesia - parents encourage 4-year old boy to continue smoking habit..

Reference: And you thought your two year old behaved badly by ALEX PEAKE, TheSun.co.uk, 5/26/2010.
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Scotland - cigarette smoking quit attempts increase by 35%









May 27, 2010 - More Scots are seeking help to try to give up smoking, according to new NHS statistics. (NHS Smoking Cessation Service Statistics (Scotland) 1st January to 31st December 2009, NHS - Statistical Publication Notice, 5/25/2010)

The number of attempts to quit totalled 69,882 in 2009, an increase of 35% compared to the previous year. About 38% managed to stop for a month and 15% for three months.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said there had been a "significant increase" in the number of people using NHS services to quit.

The figures, which cover January to December last year, show 59% of quit attempts were made by women and 41% by men. Smokers aged between 45-59 were the most likely to be trying to give up the habit, accounting for 30% of quit attempts. But the figure was lowest in the under-25 age group, at just 9%.

An estimated 6.5% of the smoking population made a quit attempt with an NHS smoking cessation service, compared to 4.8% in 2008. However data from previous years showed that only about 7% of people managed to give up for 12 months or more.

Ms Robison said the NHS invested about £11m (16m USD) every year in providing a range of smoking cessation services.

She added that new legislation will also ban the display of cigarettes in shops and sales from vending machines. (Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..)

"We're continuing to do all we can to make cigarettes less attractive and less available and, in particular, stopping children from starting to smoke in the first place," she said.

Reference: Number of attempts by Scots to quit smoking increases, BBC News, 5/25/2010.

Scotland - related news briefs:
Scotland - retailers can provide input on future to ban the display of tobacco..;
Scotland - campaigners want more to be done to protect young people from passive smoking..;
Scotland - government no plans to ban smoking in cars and public places used by children..;
Scotland - smokers will be banned from fostering or adopting children, comments from Professor Banzhaf..;
Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..;
Scotland - health minister urges smokers to quit..;
Scotland - some men beginning to lead a healthier lifestyle and therefore living longer..;
Scotland - self-reporting of smoking by pregnant women underestimates true number of pregnant smokers..;
Scotland - tobacco firms claim proposed display ban is unnecessary..;
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicans most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
Scotland - small businesses given extra 2-years to remove tobacco displays..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
Bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban..;
17 countries in the world ban indoor smoking - ENFORCEMENT..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
Definite Health Benefits of Smoking Bans..;
Northern Ireland raising age for sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 joining the other three United Kingdom (UK) countries..;
Scotland proposes to implement more measures to discourage tobacco use including the banning of tobacco displays..;
Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products...
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Smoking tobacco harmful - in-vitro fertilization outcomes..

May 27, 2010 - “Nargile (hookah, argileh, nargile, hubble-bubble, water pipe, hooka, shisha, goza, meassel, sheesha) smoke has harmful components similar to those found in cigarette smoke,” explain Antoine Hannoun and colleagues, from the American University of Beirut Medical Center. But while cigarette smoking significantly lowered clinical pregnancy rates compared with not smoking, smoking nargile (a water-pipe) had no deleterious effect on pregnancy rates.

PAPER: Effect of female nargile smoking on in vitro fertilization outcome, Antoine Hannoun, Anwar H. Nassara, Ihab M. Ustaa and Antoine Abu Musaa, European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 150(2 - June 2010) 171-174, 2010), ABSTRACT..

The team studied overall, clinical, and chemical pregnancy, multiple pregnancy, and miscarriage rates in 204 non-smoking women, 51 nargile smokers, and 42 cigarette smokers undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Nargile smokers were significantly younger than non-smokers, while cigarette smokers were nonsignificantly older than non-smokers.

Cigarette smokers had significantly lower clinical pregnancy rates than non-smokers, at 23.8 percent versus 43.6 percent, whereas there was no significant difference in clinical pregnancy rates between nargile smokers and non-smokers, at 51.0 percent versus 43.6 percent. Nargile smoking did not affect any of the other study outcomes.

One possible reason for the difference in the effect of cigarette and nargile smoke may have been the significantly younger age of the nargile smokers, suggest the researchers.

The authors conclude that the results need to be confirmed in prospective studies that would include larger number of women with more objective measures of nargile smoke exposure.

Reference: Conflicting evidence for effect of tobacco on IVF outcomes by Sarah Guy, MedWireNews, 5/24/2010.

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Tanzania - accepts donations from Alliance One, a leaf tobacco merchant....


May 27, 2010 - Between January and March this year, the company, through its Community Development Projects Committee had made donations worth 69.83m/- for various community development projects in tobacco growing areas and in other places within Tanzania.

Directly related: On May 15th Tanzania Leaf Tobacco Company (owned by Universal Corporation formerly called Universal Leaf Tobacco Co Inc of Richmond, VA) donated blankets, bed sheets and mattresses worth 17.4m/- to Mpanda District Hospital in pursuance of its corporate responsibility programme. (Tanzania - leaf tobacco company donates blankets to government hospital..)

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Alliance One International is a leading independent leaf tobacco merchant serving the world's largest cigarette manufacturers. The company selects, purchases, processes, packs, stores, and ships leaf tobacco. In certain developing markets, we also provide agronomy expertise and financing for the growing of leaf tobacco. Alliance One neither manufactures nor sells cigarettes or other consumer tobacco products (Alliance One)

Reference: Alliance One Tobacco donates to grassroots projects by DAILY NEWS Reporter, Tanzania Daily News - online edition, 5/26/2010.

Related news brief:
Tanzania - leaf tobacco company donates blankets to government hospital..;
Tanzania - too busy growing tobacco to think about tobacco control..;
Tanzania - call for public smoking areas..;
Tanzania - government will continue to support tobacco farming..

Read more...

FDA CTR - Web Dialogue with retailers, tobacco-control executives and others one-sided..


Click to enlarge any image..



May 27, 2010 - On Wednesday, May 26, 2010 from 10am-6pm EDT the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) held a Web Dialogue on the Development of Tobacco Retailer Education Campaign. CTP would like to have retailers be part of the community to protect kids.

Retailers were given the opportunity to "share ideas, offer recommendations [and] ask questions" about how the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) can better communicate with them.

By midday, there were 357 retailers, tobacco-control executives and others participating in the dialogue, but the discussion was decidedly one-sided. The CTP mostly thanked participants for their input and promised to take the information under advisement. As Kathleen Quinn, acting director of health communication and direction at the CTP put it, "The purpose of today's open dialogue was to see what channels and tactics are best to be used to reach retailers. It wasn't meant to answer detailed questions on the regulations."

Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets Inc. (NATO), participated in the all-day event, and told CSP Daily News, "I think the web conference is somewhat effective for retailers and others to give input to the FDA; however, it does not appear to be very effective in obtaining feedback or answers to question asked of the FDA."

The discussion particularly looked at rules that limit the sale, distribution and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which become effective on June 22, 2010. Among other things, the regulations:

* 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 cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in vending machines, self-service displays or other impersonal modes of sales, except in very limited situations.
* Prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limits distribution of smokeless tobacco products.
* Prohibit tobacco brand-name sponsorship of any athletic, musical or other social or cultural event, or any team or entry in those events.
* Prohibit gifts or other items in exchange for buying cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products.
* Require that audio ads use only words with no music or sound effects.
* Prohibit the sale or distribution of items, such as hats and t-shirts, with tobacco brands or logos.
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The various topics were blanketed under two agenda items, "Help Us Help You—Information You Need" and "Meeting Retailer Needs—Effective Channels and Messages."

One particular topic, "Sell Through of Cigarette Brands with Descriptors," drew in the more participants than any other (20 at press time). Briant explained that one of the primary questions being asked is on the ability to sell through, at the wholesale and retail level, cigarette brands with descriptors of "light," "mild," or "low."

"With the June 22nd effective date of the regulation prohibiting such descriptors, the industry needs a reply immediately on whether wholesalers and retailers can sell through their inventories," he said, "and that response has not been forthcoming from the FDA."

Briant suggested that beyond the "cut and paste" responses of the web dialogue, the FDA should have had an attorney who "has the authority to answer some of these conversations at the time they're raised, rather than having to wait for an indeterminate amount of time for an answer or response."

Briant said another concern was on point-of-sale advertising. A federal district court struck down the ban on color tobacco advertising, which the FDA has now appealed to the U.S. circuit court of appeals. "On that one, because the litigation is ongoing, they can't answer," he said.

Additional questions pertained to self-service bays, social media, text messaging, casinos and signage, among other topics. It was not immediately clear when the FDA hopes to have responses to retailer questions and concerns.

"I hope the answers will be forthcoming, because the industry needs to know the answers so we can comply with the law," Briant said. "We want to be compliant, but we need to know or be provided with accurate information in order to comply."

Briant said NATO will send its members sometime during the first week of June a memo with the best advice at that point and time of how retailers should comply with the regulations that go into effect June 22.

Reference: Tobacco Talk More than 300 retailers, others participate FDA web dialogue on tobacco by Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 5/27/2010.
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Louisiana - legislation to expand smoking ban involuntarily deferred..

May 26, 2010 - A House panel rejected a Senate-passed measure Tuesday, May 25th that would have banned smoking in Louisiana bars and casinos — likely ending the battle in the 2010 legislative session. The state Health and Welfare Committee voted 8-4 to involuntarily defer the legislation.

Smoking would be banned in casinos and bars under a bill approved Wednesday, May 12th by the Louisiana Senate. The Senate voted 23-12 for the measure.

The legislation next moves to the Louisiana House, where a less-stringent casino smoking bill died last week in a health committee. (Louisiana - legislature want to expand smoking ban to include casinos and bars..


SB348 died under heavy lobbying by casino and liquor industry representatives. They argued that a no-smoking requirement would lead to lost state and local revenues because of fewer patrons as well as employee layoffs at affected establishments because of less business.

Senate Bill 348 sponsor state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete, disputed the financial loss arguments, citing studies that showed revenue gains or no impact in other states where casino and bar smoking bans have been implemented.

Reference: Committee rejects smoking ban bill by MARSHA SHULER, Advocate Capitol News Bureau, 5/26/2010.

Louisiana - some related news briefs:
Louisiana - legislature want to expand smoking ban to include casinos and bars..;
Louisiana - further restrictions on smoking ban snuffed out..;
Louisiana - will smoking ban be expanded..;
Louisiana - increase in tobacco tax probably doomed..;
Read more...

BAT - Egyptian Hotel Association (EHA) in Cairo - non-smoking and smoking areas..



May 26, 2010 - British American Tobacco, Egypt (BAT), together with the Egyptian Hotel Association (EHA) in Cairo, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at providing hotel guests in Cairo with designated non-smoking and smoking areas.

Based on BAT's global Respecting Choices initiative, the agreement is the third of its kind spearheaded by the company in Egypt, beginning with a MoU signed with the South Sinai Governorate in February 2009 and followed by a similar partnership with the EHA in both Hurghada and Alexandria in late 2009. (Egypt is divided into 29 governorates (singular muhafazah). This designation replaces that of "province.")

"We have seen the success achieved by the project in Hurghada and Alexandria, and we are very excited about what it can accomplish in Cairo," says Mr. Waseem Mohiedin, President of the EHA in Cairo. "The partnership allows for us to cater to all of our guests, in a way that is convenient for both non-smokers and smokers."

The issue of public place smoking is an ongoing one, with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) a key component of the discussion. Through this project, clear signage will be available in outlets directing both non-smokers and smokers to their respective areas.

The "Respecting Choices" project, implemented by BAT in many countries worldwide, targets ETS through two methods: Segregation, which features both smoking and non-smoking areas in the same room, using airflow to limit the spread of smoke; and Separation, which features smoking rooms or lounges, using walls along with airflow techniques to prevent the smoke from spreading.

Also, in an effort to further expand forestation efforts within Egypt, British American Tobacco, Egypt (BAT), together with the 6th of October Governorate, have officially inaugurated the planting of 5,000 trees within the governorate. (BAT Egypt, 6th of October Governorate Launch Beautification Project, Zawya.com, 5/9/2010)

British American Tobacco Egypt's portfolio currently comprised of four brands - Rothmans, Kent, Viceroy and Dunhill has seen its market share steadily increase since its entry into the market in 2001.

British American Tobacco Revenue by Geographic Region - 2008..



Reference: BAT Egypt, Egyptian Hotel Association sign public place smoking MoU, Zawya.com, 5/24/2010.

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Egypt - comprehensive data on adult smoking consumption..;
Egypt - anti-smoking campaign faces challenges..;
Africa - can a tobacco-related cancer epidemic be prevented..;
Egypt, CAPMAS Study Graphic Photos on Cigarette Packs - NOT EFFECTIVE..;
Egypt - warning pictures on cigarette packs - INEFFECTIVE..;
Egypt's fledgling anti-tobacco program to place images and warnings on cigarette packs..;
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U.S. Burley tobacco growers - WHO FCTC articles elimination of American-style cigarettes..



May 26, 2010 - Burley tobacco growers in the United States sounded the alarm today, May 25th on proposed regulations originating out of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that could lead to a worldwide ban on blended, American-style cigarettes that contain burley tobacco.

Burley growers in the U.S. back in October 2009 had concerns about a Canada flavor-free cigarettes law they felt targeted Kentucky growers.

The rules were recommended by a Working Group of the FCTC for implementation under Articles 9 and 10 of the treaty, which has 168 signatories. Canada, Norway and the EU are spearheading the effort to eliminate American-style cigarettes from the global marketplace.

Background: The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) provides a framework for national, regional and international tobacco control measures. It is the first global public health treaty adopted by WHO which aims to address the serious health consequences of tobacco use through international action.

Article 9 of the FCTC deals with the testing, measuring and regulation of the contents and emissions of tobacco products, and Article 10 with disclosure to governments and the public of such contents and emissions. These are important components of tobacco control policy, but the issues raised by each are complex.
“The FCTC’s Working Group on Articles 9 and 10 have declared all out war on growers of burley tobacco,” said Roger Quarles, the president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, an organization representing burley growers in several tobacco states in America. “If adopted and implemented by the signatories to the FCTC, these overly broad guidelines will decimate burley growers in the United States. This is an issue of fairness, it’s an issue of jobs, and it’s an issue of global health bureaucrats running afoul of common sense.”

Leaders of the Working Group, particularly the delegation from Canada, have attempted to confuse the media and policymakers into believing that its FCTC regulatory agenda is largely focused on ridding the marketplace of tobacco products that have candy or confectionary flavor. Banning these types of products is a laudable goal shared by tobacco growers, and is something that has been accomplished in the United States, France and Australia without imposing undue hardships on the growers of burley tobacco.

“There is absolutely no defensible health reason for the WHO to single out American-style cigarettes,” Quarles continued. “This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to confuse the public and policymakers into believing that American-style cigarettes are somehow more attractive than non-blended cigarettes, which is patently untrue. Some consumers prefer blended; some prefer flue-cured products. Both products taste like tobacco; neither leave a candy-flavored or any other characterizing taste with consumers.”

The proposed guidelines originating from the FCTC extend to all ingredients, and would for all intents and purposes, eliminate blended products from the marketplace. These proposed guidelines are now open to comment from the signatories to the FCTC.

“It is our hope that reason will prevail at the WHO,” Quarles said. “While we agree that steps should be taken to reduce youth smoking by eliminating candy-flavored tobacco products, it would be devastating to the livelihoods of tobacco farmers everywhere in the world if these misguided and overly broad regulations are adopted as part of the FCTC. Therefore we call on the US Administration, congress and other governments around the world to adopt a common sense approach and reject these irrational and potentially devastating guidelines.”

Reference: Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s Proposed Regulatory Guidelines Could Lead to Global Ban on American-Style Cigarettes, Burley tobacco growers in the United States, Business Wire, 5/25/2010.
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UAE - tobacco control measures being introduced on the way to becoming a smoke-free nation..


May 25, 2010 - Senior UAE (United Arab Emirates) health officials have called for a total smoking ban in all public places even beaches. In another step towards making the UAE a tobacco smoke-free nation, officials are looking at banning smoking in public places such as beaches, a health ministry official said.

A draft of the proposed by-laws of the Federal National Tobacco Law should be ready by the end of this month. On January 6, 2010 President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued UAE the federal anti-tobacco law...

The proposed by-laws of the Federal National Tobacco Law include a clause prohibiting any indoor public places from creating designated smoking rooms. Earlier drafts of the law allowed specific establishments to create a special area for smokers within no-smoking buildings. Senior health officials warned that the law will be ineffective unless smoking is banned in these areas.

It is likely that smokers will be forced to move at least 25ft away from the building entrance to avoid smoke “blowing in the door”, Dr Wedad al Maidoor added.

The law also bans young people below the age of 18 from buying cigarettes and people smoking in cars where there are children younger than 12.

The government was also considering putting a stop to tobacco being grown. Tobacco farmers would be given time to change their crop and the government would look at compensating them, said Ministry of Health head of the tobacco control committee Dr Wedad Al Maidour. "There are a few tobacco farmers in Al Ain and Hatta," Dr Wedad al Maidoor, told Gulf News.

Dr Salim Adib, the head of public health and safety at the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, said the new anti-smoking law, set to be in place by the end of the year, did not go far enough. “We want to prevent the use of tobacco products in all public venues in the country. We want to fight this,” he told the National. “I don’t think we should accept anything less than what is happening in Western Europe.”

This public-space ban will not apply to shisha cafes, but they will be subject to stricter regulations, Dr Wedad al Maidoor, said. “They must not be in residential areas. They have two years to move. There will be other specifications, such as not allowing children inside, but these will be worked out in the by-law.” Shisha cafes will also have to adopt more abbreviated opening times and post warnings on shisha pipes.

The law will also put an end to all forms of tobacco advertising.

Dr Wedad al Maidoor, the head of the Ministry of Health’s National Tobacco Control Committee, indicated the right balance is needed to be struck to prevent harm to businesses and tourism.

If the by-laws do not meet with opposition, they could be in place by the end of the year, the head of the National Tobacco Control Committee said.

References: UAE health officials urge total smoking ban by Elsa Baxter, Arabian.business.com, 5/25/2010; Smoking may be banned on beaches in UAE The government was also considering putting a stop to tobacco being grown.., By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter, Gulfnews.com, 5/25/2010; Tough no-smoking law on its way, Mitya Underwood (
munderwood@thenational.ae), The National, 5/25/2010.

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United Arab Emirates (UAE) - protect your next generation - your children..;
UAE - smokers face tighter restrictions coming September 2010..;
UAE - cigarette manufactures complain cost of printing pictorial warnings too high..;
UAE - ban on the sale of single cigarettes will be implemented..;
UAE - national ban on smoking in public places delayed..;
UAE - with new law e-cigarettes may face ban..;
UAE - preventing the sale of tobacco products to youth..;
UAE to increase the price of cigarettes, graphic images on packs and more..;
UAE - conference presentation, risk of shisha use severe..;
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Chile - Ministry of Health proposes ban on e-cigarettes..




May 25, 2010 - Electronic cigarettes, which have experienced a small rise in popularity around the country in the last few years, will be banned in Chile come November if Congress passes regulations recently proposed by the Ministry of Health.

In Chile, over 18,000 people are consumers of the ersatz cigarette, which provides inhaled doses of nicotine by way of vaporized solution.

Although originally advertised as a healthier alternative to smoking normal cigarettes, international evidence has mounted against the supposed health benefits of the battery-powered device in recent years. Most researchers now believe that they are as dangerous as normal cigarettes.

Health Minister Jaime MaƱalich hopes the new regulations will be a step toward improving Chile’s public health. “The law will help us further control tobacco consumption and make a real impact on the health of Chileans,” said MaƱalich, later affirming that the cigarettes “are actually not a healthy alternative to stop nicotine addiction. We can’t help addicts by giving them another drug to be dependent on.”

Two companies in Chile sell the product: Free Smoke and Biosmoke. The former has invested US$1.5 million this year in advertising and sales in the country; the latter has invested US$1 million.

Reference: Chile’s Health Ministry Seeks To Prohibit Electronic Cigarettes Written by Santiago Times Staff
Monday, 24 May 2010 05:41 SOURCE: EL MERCURIO by Aaron Cantu (editor@santiagotimes.cl)

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Chile's anti-tobacco law ineffective..;
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Spain - tougher smoking restrictions not until 2011..


May 25, 2010 - The government had hoped to tighten the rules on smoking in public places this year, but Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said on Tuesday, May 25th that tougher restrictions are unlikely to be in place before the beginning of 2011.

She said reforms of a 2006 law that banned smoking in the workplace and Spain's metro, among other locations, would be presented to Congress at the beginning of June and debated the same month.

In 2006, Spain - one of Western Europe’s last bastions for those who love to light up - banned smoking in offices, public buildings and on public transport. It allowed bars and restaurants less than 100 sq meters in size - which make up about 80% of all such establishments - to make their own decision on whether to ban smoking, while larger venues were forced to have a separate designated smoking area. Few owners enforce the law or have installed nonsmoking sections. But unlike countries such as Ireland and France, prohibition has never really been taken seriously. (First effects of anti-smoking laws in Spain, News from Spain, Sunday, January 8, 2006)
"All of that would take us to the beginning of 2011 when this could reasonably be approved," Jimenez said at a presentation of national health statistics in Madrid.

Further restrictions face tough opposition from Spain's Hotel and Catering Federation, which said a full smoking ban would badly damage the industry, with sales projected to fall by 7 percent in restaurants and 10-15 percent in bars and cafes.

According to statistics presented by the health minister, 44.2 percent of Spaniards oppose tougher smoking restrictions, with 47.4 percent in favor and the rest undecided.

Jimenez said the proposed measures were necessary. "We're talking about a reform to public health ... smoking kills 161 people every day," she said.

Reference: Spain says smoking ban to be in place in 2011, reporting by Teresa Larraz, writing by Nigel Davies; editing by Steve Gutterman, 5/25/2010.

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More children - difference between tobacco packaging and packages of candy and gum??


May 25, 2010 - Slide Show: Candy or Tobacco..

Children may have a tough time telling the difference between tobacco products in brightly colored packaging and packages of candy and gum, according to a 9Wants to Know investigation.


U.S. - senator urges FDA to pull dissolvable tobacco products from test market sites..
TAKE THE TEST: Can you tell the difference between candy and tobacco?
"It's probably gum," said 5-year-old Peyton Maurer holding a box of Camel No. 9 cigarettes with bright pink and black packaging.

9NEWS showed a variety of tobacco products to young kids. The tobacco products are sold to adults from behind convenience store counters with the assistance of a store clerk.

"That's gum, that's green gum," 5-year-old Camden Maurer said as he held a forest green and blue tin of smokeless Camel Snus. Other kids in his Castle Rock neighborhood agreed. Peyton and Camden Maurer are the daughter and son of a 9NEWS employee.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) put one tobacco company on notice this year regarding pill-like tobacco pieces that dissolve in a person's mouth. In a letter to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco company, FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) Director Lawrence Deyton wrote, "CTP is concerned that children and adolescents may find dissolvable tobacco products particularly appealing, given the brightly colored packaging, candy-like appearance and easily concealable size of many of these products."

Former Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company account executive La Tanisha Wright says she worries tobacco companies are targeting young people. "When I would go into a store, I would say, 'Let's put some signs on the counter. Let's put signs near candy and toys.' If we're putting signs near candy and toys, who was that luring?" Wright said to 9Wants to Know.

Wright worked for Brown and Williamson, now owed by R.J. Reynolds, from 2001 to 2004 and says during her last months at the company she was giving documents to investigators. "I was secretly working against Brown and Williamson," she said.
"I called off from work and said I'm sick. I filled my company car up with documents... and met up at a secret location with [investigators,]" Wright said.

As part of the 1998 tobacco settlement, several tobacco companies promised to not market to young people. The U.S. Department of Justice said R.J. Reynolds violated the settlement in 2006. A spokesman for the company admits tobacco products are dangerous, but denies his company created products look like candy.

"Not our intention at all. We are developing and selling tobacco products to adult tobacco consumers," R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company spokesman David Howard said. "We don't want to market to youth, we don't market to youth. We don't believe youth should use tobacco products. That's a guiding principal of the company."

Howard points out that the products are behind a counter and are not self serve.

Wright, who spoke to community leaders on March 26 in Denver on behalf of the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network, says she does not agree with the denial. "The tobacco industry, in my opinion will never stop targeting kids, they will never stop," Wright said.

Reference: , Children think tobacco is gum, candy, posted by Dan Boniface and Jace Larson, 9News.com, 5/24/2010.
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FDA CTP Director speaks at Tobacco Merchants Association annual conference..


May 25, 2010 - Dr. Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products (CTR), said in a speech at an annual conference of the Tobacco Merchants Association, a trade group that his job "is to address this enormous toll of confusion, suffering and death caused by the current state of tobacco use in this country." Hundreds of tobacco-industry representatives, analysts, and some public-health advocates are attending the three-day conference, which focuses mainly on regulation of the industry.

Deyton said he would place strong emphasis on reducing the number of minors who become tobacco users. He said 4,000 kids begin smoking each day, on average, and 1,000 become regular users. He reiterated his concern that new, dissolvable forms of smokeless tobacco produced by companies such as Reynolds American Inc. are candy-like in their appearance.

Mr. Deyton said he's a fan of competition in industries and that he would be open-minded about new products that might reduce illness and death associated with tobacco use. He did not specify smokeless tobacco, but some tobacco companies have argued that the agency should permit them to market the products as being less dangerous than cigarettes. The tobacco law, however, creates a high bar for a company to be able to market a product as posing less harm to consumers than conventional tobacco products.

Mr. Deyton said the FDA had just begun a fact-finding effort to decide whether to add cigars to the list of tobacco products that it will closely regulate.

"We are examining the public health impact of other products" besides cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, he said, "but on no particular deadline."

Ann Gurkin, a securities analyst with Davenport & Co., the Richmond-based stock brokerage, said she was concerned that some of the discussions about menthol at the last meeting of the agency's scientific advisory board suggested the group was not focusing on the science about menthol in cigarettes.

Deyton said the FDA's regulatory decisions will be based on science and will seek to educate consumers about the risks of tobacco use.

References: Industry should cooperate with FDA, new tobacco chief says, JOHN REID BLACKWELL AND DAVID RESS, Richmond TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITERS, 5/25/2010; FDA Tobacco Regulator Promises Firm Approach, Open Mind by DAVID KESMODEL, The Wall Street Journal, 5/24/2010.
Read more...

U.S. Supreme Allows Ban On Actors/Actresses Smoking..


May 25, 2010 - The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a Colorado law that bans actors and actresses from smoking while performing their roles on stage. In December, the Colorado Supreme Court had approved the law 6-1 on the grounds that it did not violate the First Amendment right of free expression. The law is part of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.


Back on April 18, 2001 New York's Theatre Communications Group (TCG) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to rule in favor of three Colorado theater companies arguing that smoking within the context of a theatrical production is a First Amendment right of free expression. (Smoking within the context of a theatrical production should it be allowed??)
It will apply not only to plays but also opera. Carmen, one of the world’s most performed operas, is set in a cigarette factory and the lead is a cigarette seller.

Several Denver area theaters had appealed the decision, but the Supreme Court declined to take the case in a Monday decision.

Reference: U.S. Supreme Allows Ban On Actors/Actresses Smoking by Robert Welle, ALLVOICES.com, 5/24/2010.

Related news briefs:
Smoking within the context of a theatrical production should it be allowed??
Colorado - Denver theater company to take smoking ban case to U.S. Supreme Court..;
Colorado - Supreme Court upholds ban of smoking on stage..;
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Philippines - Department of Health wants health warnings on cigarette packs within 90 days..


May 25, 2010 - The Department of Health (DoH) on Monday, has stepped up the pressure on tobacco companies, ordering them to start printing in 90 days, explicit warnings on cigarette packs that would illustrate the ill effects of smoking.

DoH Secretary Esperanza Cabral said tobacco companies should comply with Administrative Order 13 which the health department issued on May 12. The order was issued in line with the country's commitment to an international treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of which the Philippines is a signatory. (Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..)

Ninety-six percent of Filipino smokers said graphic health warnings would most likely make them quit compared to bland text warnings, according to a recent study of the Council on Tobacco for Health and Air of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians. (Graphic health warnings may make smokers quit, says study by Jocelyn Uy, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/14/2008)

Cabral said the printing of graphic warnings on cigarette packs should have started in 2008, but this was opposed by tobacco firms, which until now, use only text in their "smoking warnings." in cigarette packs.

The DoH has come up with several designs that show the consequences of smoking, including cancer. Tobacco companies can choose which design they will print in their cigarette packs. The warnings are aimed at deterring smokers from continuing what is widely recognized as a hazardous vice.

Failure to comply with the DoH order will among others, mean closure of outlets where the products are distributed, including fines of about P5 million.

The government said previously that the cost of smoking-related diseases, estimated at P200 billion, is significantly higher than the yearly P30 billion in taxes raked in by the government from tobacco companies. Cigarette-smoking kills some 240 Filipinos a day.

According to Health Undersecretary Alex Padilla, tobacco companies with existing technology to print graphic warnings have 45 days from date of publication or until mid-July to comply. The newly merged Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. and Fortune Tobacco comprised 92 percent of the country’s tobacco industry. (Philippines - PMI - FTC merger may lead smokers continuing to smoke and lure children into a life of nicotine addiction..)

Tobacco companies are expected to lobby against the DoH order. The Philippine Tobacco Institute is already opposing the directive, citing Reublic Act 9211 or 2003 which allows tobacco firms to just print text warnings. On Sunday, May 23rd the Philippine Tobacco Institute (PTI) warned Health Secretary, Esperanza Cabral, that her plan to issue an administrative order to compel cigarette manufacturers to put picture-based warnings on cigarette packs would violate a law that regulates the tobacco industry. (
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t
, Philippine Star - Tobacco Reporter, 5/25/2010.)

In the Philippines June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month.

References: Tobacco firms told to print pics of smoking illnesses, abs-cbnNEWS.com, 5/24/2010; DOH ISSUES ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER No. 2010-0013 REQUIRING GRAPHIC HEALTH INFORMATION ON TOBACCO PACKAGING, Press Release, Department of Health, Republic of the Philippines, 5/24/2010; Noynoy won't quit smoking by Aurea Calica and Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star, 5/25/2010; Rotting teeth on cigarette packs? Health dep’t pushes picture warnings by Lilita Balane, abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak, 5/25/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - health groups want more protection from the dangers of tobacco..;
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Philip Morris Philippines..;
Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..;
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Philippines - PMI and Fortune Tobacco Corp. form new company called PMFTC..;
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http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/philippines-thai-cigarette-import-rules.html;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
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New Zealand - lobby group of small retailers formed to protest tobacco price hike..




May 24, 2010 - A lobby group of small retailers protesting the Government's tobacco price hike is receiving public relations support from Imperial Tobacco, the tobacco giant told a select committee last week. The Association of Community Retailers (ACR), set up late last month, had earlier rejected suggestions it was backed by tobacco cash and said it was entirely funded from its members. One of the ACR's coordinators, Denielle Boulieris, told another blogger, Rory McKinnon, earlier this month that the association does not have a relationship with tobacco companies.

On Wednesday, April 28thThe the New Zealand Parliament passed a law to raise the excise tax on cigarettes and tobacco over each of the next three years, which at the end of that period, is expected to increase revenue by NZ$205 million (149,076,006 USD) annually. (New Zealand - increase in tobacco excise forced through Parliament by the Government..)

But Imperial Tobacco's New Zealand sales and marketing director, Tony Meirs, last week told a Maori Affairs select committee the company was providing the ACR with public relations resources through Omeka Public Relations. Mr Meirs told the select committee the company wanted to support retailers in speaking out about regulations that would damage their business viability, according to a transcript provided to Mr McKinnon. "This is our way of helping those retailers protect their business against unnecessary regulations that will be ineffective. We're helping them to develop a voice," Mr Meirs said.

But Imperial Tobacco's New Zealand sales and marketing director, Tony Meirs, last week told a Maori Affairs select committee the company was providing the ACR with public relations resources through Omeka Public Relations. Mr Meirs told the select committee the company wanted to support retailers in speaking out about regulations that would damage their business viability, according to a transcript provided to Mr McKinnon. "This is our way of helping those retailers protect their business against unnecessary regulations that will be ineffective. We're helping them to develop a voice," Mr Meirs said. (Imperial Tobacco Address Maori Affairs Committee, Press Release: Imperial Tobacco, 5/15/2010)

ACR founding member Richard Green, who ran a tobacconist business in Palmerston North, told NZPA earlier this month the ACR grew out of the former Stay Displays coalition of retailers, a coalition that formed to fight a proposed ban on displaying tobacco products for sale.

New Zealand's tobacco industry provided by ASH NZ.

Reference: Tobacco giant backs retail protest, New Zealand Press Association (NZPA), stuff.co.nz, 5/23/2010

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