PAPER: Test of RA's NicoNovum Zonnic Nicotine Spray...



June 12, 2010 - In a study funded by Zonnic's Swedish manufacturer, NicoNovum AB, found that their nicotine mouth spray may help calm cigarette cravings faster than nicotine lozenges or chewing gum,

Reynolds American Inc.(RA) , second-largest U.S. tobacco company, has completed the acquisition of Niconovum AB, a Swedish-based nicotine replacement therapy company, purchasing all outstanding shares of the company for 310 million Swedish kronor,or approximately $44 million. Niconovum markets innovative nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products under the Zonnic brand name in Sweden and Denmark. Its nicotine gum, mouth spray and pouches use proprietary technology for nicotine delivery. Niconovum will be a separate operating company of Reynolds American. (Reynolds American Inc. completes acquisition of Niconovum AB.., 12/11/2009)

PAPER: A randomized trial of the effects of two novel nicotine replacement therapies on tobacco withdrawal symptoms and user satisfaction, Hayden McRobbie et al. ( h.j.mcrobbie@qmul.ac.uk), Addiction Volume 105 Issue 7, Pages 1290 - 1298, 2010, ABSTRACT..

The lead researcher, Dr. Hayden McRobbie, of The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in the United Kingdom, "the problem with current nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) is that they just can't compete with smoking." "After taking a puff of a cigarette, you get a hit of nicotine to the brain within around 20 seconds." The nicotine patch, on the other hand, can take up to three hours to deliver its full effect, he explained. Gum can take a half hour. And while new nasal sprays do work faster -- within 10 to 15 minutes -- they are reported as very unpleasant to use, McRobbie said.

The investigators found that the mouth spray began to significantly reduce cravings within about 5 minutes, compared to 10 minutes with the lozenge and 15 minutes with the gum. One hour after use, the extent of the reported craving relief was about the same between the three active nicotine replacement therapies. Participants also noted no differences in pleasantness of use of the products, or side effects, aside from a small increase in the frequency of hiccups with the mouth spray.

Zonnic's nicotine mouth spray is not yet available in the United States. And the researchers agree that more rigorous studies are needed to determine the product's long-term effects.

Reference: Nicotine mouth spray quickly curbs cravings, SOURCE: link.reuters.com/jaf49k, Reuters Health, 5/10/2010.

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South Africa Scores Big with Smoke-Free Policy at Soccer 2010 World Cup..




The Global Smokefree Partnership (GSP) congratulates the South African government on making the FIFA 2010 World Cup a smoke-free event.

According to the Ministry of Health, a smoking ban will be in place in all 10 official stadiums and public transportation to and from the venues in cities throughout South Africa during the 2010 World Cup. The health department has run a public education campaign, posted anti-smoking signs in stadiums and surrounding areas, and will deploy marshals to ensure compliance with the measure. Offenders who violate the smoking ban will be ejected from the premises.

From the Fan Guide, Responsible for content: The 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa..
Cigarettes - South Africa has strict tobacco control regulations in place. It is illegal to smoke in any indoor, enclosed or partially closed area open to the public. This includes public transport and restaurants. Should you wish to smoke, it is best to keep to designated smoking areas.

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Queensland, Australia - Gold Coast Council refuses to outlaw smoking at bus stop..


Queensland flag..


June 12, 2010 - GOLD Coast City Council has stubbed out plans to outlaw smoking at Southport bus stops after a report found a ban would cost ratepayers $600,000 a year and would be too hard to enforce.

Health Minister Paul Lucas..


Health Minister Paul Lucas said the decision was a 'cop-out'.

The Gold Coast encompases the area from the border of New South Wales almost up to Brisbane. Main locations include Coomera, Sanctuary Cove, Hope Island, Runaway Bay, Biggera Waters, Labrador, Southport, Ashmore, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Merrimac, Nerang, Tamborine Mountain, Robina, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach, Elanora, Currumbin, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads which is actually located in New South Wales.

But it has also cast a shadow over new laws the Minister introduced to allow local councils to ban smoking at pedestrian malls, bus stops and taxi ranks. The laws were introduced in January but as yet only Brisbane City and Ipswich City councils are considering bans in the Queen Street and Ipswich malls.

Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow wanted to use the legislation to crack down on children smoking in Scarborough Street. "I'm just so used to the council doing nothing," she said.

The council also slammed the State Government for shifting the cost for enforcing and advertising the ban to local governments. Costs would include hiring a police officer at $103 an hour to patrol with two council officers, and $180,000 of advertising. On-the-spot fines of $150 were not expected to cover the costs of introduction and enforcement.

"It is a cop-out for council to refuse to consider a ban at a major bus interchange when Queensland Rail has successfully managed to do it at train stations.

Mr Lucas said he was disappointed the council 'thinks it isn't its business to play its role in anti-smoking measures'.

On June 9th God Coast Council’s Community and Cultural Development Committee voted to employ a project officer for six months to assess ways of reducing smoking and butt litter in bus stops and malls. (Council to monitor smoking in bus stops and malls, Gold Coast City Council, 6/10/2010)

Reference: Coast cigarette ban choked, Melinda Marshall, GoldCoast.com.au, 6/12/2010.

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Massachusetts - City of Everett to ban tobacco sales in pharmacies..



June 11, 2010 - Starting next week on Tuesday, June 15th, smokers will find it a little less convenient to pick up a pack of cigarettes in Everett. Hoping to deliver another blow against smoking, the Board of Health on May 24 voted unanimously to ban the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. The regulation will impact four pharmacies in the City: Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Stop and Shop and Costco (a business establishment that includes a pharmacy).

The Board of Health was interested in sending a strong public health message to the retail pharmacies in the City: by allowing the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and retail stores with pharmacies a mixed message is sent to consumers who generally patronize these pharmacies for health care services.

Everett becomes the fifth Massachusetts community to bar the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. Boston led the way in December, 2008 when it became the second city in the country — the first was San Francisco — to adopt such a ban. The Boston ban, which took effect in February 2009, was part of a larger tightening by the city of its tobacco restrictions. Similar bans on tobacco sales in pharmacies followed in Needham, Uxbridge, and Newton, according to Jason Dodd, director of the 5-City Tobacco Control Collaborative, a partnership among the health boards of Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, and Somerville that works to develop and enforce anti-tobacco policies.

Boston is surrounded by the "Greater Boston" region and is bordered by the cities and towns of Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, Brookline, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Milton, and Quincy. (Boston..) Uxbridge is a suburban New England town in Worcester County, Massachusetts. (Uxbridge, Massachusetts..)
Reference: Everett board bans sale of tobacco in drugstores City bans tobacco sales in pharmacies by John Laidler, Boston.com, 6/10/2010.

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Philippine congress proclaims Aquino 15th president..


President Obama no longer smokes..
June 11, 2010 - The Philippine Congress proclaimed Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino as the Southeast Asian nation's 15th president Tuesday, June 8th formalizing the landslide victory of the son of deeply revered democracy icons. Aquino's late parents - opposition Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and ex-President Corazon Aquino - are revered for their opposition to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted by a 1986 "people power" revolt.

Click here for Election 2010 updates..

President Barack Obama congratulated Aquino during a telephone conversation, praising the country's first automated elections on May 10 as a "positive testament to the strength and vitality of democracy" in the former U.S. commonwealth. Aquino said he brought up both their smoking problems, for which the new Philippine leader has been criticized by both supporters and critics. "Mr. President, I understand we have the same issue with smoking," Aquino said he told Obama. "He said, 'Well I quit that already. I have quit. It's your sole problem. At the time that you decide to quit, I'll send the advice.'" Obama said last year that he couldn't quite break his 30-year smoking habit at times, and his doctor said in February that his smoking was still a struggle.

Aquino, a 50-year-old bachelor from one of the country's wealthiest landowning clans, will take his oath of office on June 30. He will replace Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who won a congressional seat in last month's elections after a nine-year presidency wracked by failed coup attempts and opposition impeachment bids for alleged election fraud, corruption and human rights abuses.

Reference: US, China welcome Aquino's victory in Philippines by JIM GOMEZ, Associated Press Writer, 6/10/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - tobacco firms claim graphic warnings on cigarette packs are illegal..;
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Philip Morris Philippines..;
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Philippines - Tanauan City names street Philip Morris..;
Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..;
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;
http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/philippines-thai-cigarette-import-rules.html;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
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New Jersey - governor has proposed eliminating state funding of tobacco control program..

June 11, 2010 - Governor Chris Christie has proposed eliminating state funding for the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program (CTCP). The program funds smoking treatment programs and tobacco control programs across the state.

If the Legislature doesn’t restore the money for the budget year that begins July 1, “New Jersey will be the worst state in the country when it comes to the support of tobacco-control programs. That’s an embarrassment," said Fred Jacobs, a former state health commissioner and the current chairman of anti-smoking organization NJ BREATHES.

State Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono will be there to make sure this will not happen., TobaccoWatch.org

New Jersey may lose up to $52.5 million in federal funding if the state refuses to fund the CTCP.

"After only 8 years of NJ QuitCenters, QuitLine, and QuitNet, the percent of ever-smokers who have quit in NJ jumped 10 percentage points. During the same time period, states like Mississippi and Tennessee - who woefully underfunded their tobacco programs - barely changed at all," said Marc L. Steinberg, Ph.D., Director of the Mercer County Tobacco Dependence Program. "Data from other states who have lost funding indicate that if our comprehensive tobacco control program is eliminated, our impressive achievements will regress."

Each smoker costs New Jersey almost $6,000 each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity. One QuitCenter can help 200 smokers per year for only $500 per successful quit, so New Jersey saves $1 million for each Quitcenter it funds.

Teen smoking has been cut in half, but the quit rate among teens has already slowed with decreasing CTCP funds in recent years.

Smoking takes 11,200 lives each year in New Jersey – a number that will increase without the CTCP.

References: New Jersey Poised to Win 'Race to the Bottom' in State Anti-Tobacco Funding, SOURCE: New Jersey BREATHES, PR Newswire, 6/10/2010; N.J. advocates ask Gov. Christie to keep anti-tobacco programs in budget, Susan K. Livio/Statehouse Bureau, NJ.com, 6/11/2010.

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Bulgaria - govt no more tobacco growers protests over subsides..



June 11, 2010 - The ruling center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party warned Thursday, June 10th they can reconsider giving tobacco growers BGN 116 M in State subsidies if the latter begin mass protests.


Background:
January 18, 2010 - Bulgaria - European Commission authorizes payment to tobacco producers for 2009 crop..;
December 23, 2009 - Bulgaria - government, tobacco growers reach subsidy agreement...
This statement was made by the Chair of the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee, Desislava Taneva, who was adamant the tobacco growers' demands for BGN 170 M are absurd and, most likely, politically motivated. Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, further asked the opposition to act with more responsibility and prevent protests.

Tobacco growers, who in Bulgaria are mostly from ethnic Turkish background, announced a day earlier that BGN 116 M would not be enough to subsidize their production; they need at least BGN 170 M, and warned about mass protests, even hunger strike.

The opposition ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) firmly denies being behind the farmers' discontent. They say the amount of BGN 116 M is really the maximum, but the updated budget does not list it as funding to be given precisely to tobacco growers.

IMAGE: The bulgarian government and the protesting tobacco workers have come to an agreement over subsidies, and all organized protests are to be ended. Photo by BGNES, 12/22/2009..

Reference: Bulgaria's GERB Issues Ultimatum for Tobacco Growers' Protests, Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency), 6/10/2010.

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Bulgaria is marking Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the 20th year since the internal coup at the Bulgarian Communist Party which led to the crumbling of the communist regime..
Read more...

Rwanda - bill to restrict public smoking tabled in parliament..






June 10, 2010 - The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, yesterday tabled a bill before parliament that seeks to restrict smoking in public places. The bill comes as a response to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which Rwanda ratified in 2005.

"Cigarette manufacturers have increased their advertisement and they target mostly women and children," Sezibera told lawmakers. "Tobacco has today become a global concern and this is why we are introducing a tobacco control law."

The minister told lawmakers that unfortunately, tobacco contains as much as 400 toxic substances and that research figures reveal that there are tobacco-related effects and 25 diseases that affect the lungs, the heart and blood veins.

According to the bill; 'No person shall smoke in any public place, including workplace, or in any part of a public place.' It lists the restricted areas being; offices and office buildings, court premises, factories, cinema halls, theatres, video houses when they are open to the public; hospitals, clinics and other health institutions, restaurants, hotels, bars or other eating places.

Other restricted areas include, children's homes, areas of residential houses and other premises with a commercial childcare activity, or for schooling or tutoring, places of worship, prisons, police stations and cells.

The bill also impose a ban on smoking from public service vehicles, aircrafts, passenger ships, commuter boats, trains, passengers vehicles, ferries or any other public conveyance and education facilities for attendees aged eighteen and below.

Bus stops and queues at bus stops, airports, air fields, ports, and other public transport terminals, indoor markets, shopping malls and retail and wholesale establishments will also be no smoking areas once the bill is passed into law.

The draft law however indicates that the manager or owner of any enclosed public place and other restricted premises may provide smoking areas within such a place provided they do not inconvenience non-smokers. However, MP Connie Bwiza expressed her reservations over the establishment of smoking areas saying that it would be isolating and stigmatizing smokers hence infringing on human rights.

The bill also calls for the enlightenment of the public on the dangers of smoking, discourage smoking and protect non-smokers from persuasion or inducements that may encourage them to take up the habit.

Following the minister's presentation, MPs (member of parliament) engaged in a heated debate with some calling for a total ban on smoking in the country. MP Constance Mukayuhi said that that the country generates very minimal revenue from tobacco. "The revenues generated from tobacco are very minimal compared to the damage it causes, yet this law does not say anything about treating intoxicated people," she said.

Abbas Mukama put to task the minister asking why he has not imposed a total ban on smoking yet he is in charge of safeguarding public health. "The minister should issue a law banning smoking and if the cabinet rejects it, parliament will take it on and initiate it," he proposed. Mukama's intervention received support from about 20 MPs who equally proposed a total ban on smoking.

A research conducted by the ministry revealed that approximately 880,000 Rwandans smoke. (Rwanda population: 2008 9,720,694.) Among these, 58.9% start smoking between at 11 and 15 years, while in academic institutions, between 5.9% of girls and 38.2% of boys smoke.

A recent report by WHO indicates that annually, tobacco smoking claims approximately four million lives world-wide

Reference: Rwanda: Anti-Smoking Bill Goes to Parliament, Edwin Musoni, The New Times - allAfrica.coma, 6/8/2010.

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Wisconsin - preparing residents for a more complete smoking ban starting in July 2010..


June 10, 2010 - A new ad campaign will help remind Wisconsin residents that the statewide smoking ban begins this summer.
Governor Jim Doyle signed a smoking ban Monday, May 18, 2009 making bars, restaurants and other workplaces smoke-free starting next summer, July 5, 2010.

Marathon County health leaders say less than half of the municipalities in the state have already passed smoking bans in their communities, so the transition will be a big change for Wisconsin smokers and business owners.

The smoking ban begins on July 5th across Wisconsin, which means all enclosed places of employment and public spaces will be required to become smoke free.

So Wisconsin health officials are issuing a series of print, Internet and radio ads to try to get the word out. The ads are directed toward the general public, so they aren't surprised when July 5th arrives.

"The main theme of the ads is that Wisconsin is better smoke free, and we certainly are.
And even here in Marathon County last year we had 128 deaths related to smoking," says Dot Kalmon, of the Marathon County Health Department's Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition.

Health leaders say cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease worldwide, and nearly 7000 people died from smoking related disease in Wisconsin last year. They say the ban will provide consistency across Wisconsin, to level the playing field for businesses, and they hope the ads will help people be prepared for the new changes and avoid unnecessary fines.

IMAGE: Governor Jim Doyle and Maureen Buscalacchi,Executive Director of Smoke Free Wisconsin..

Reference: State Launches Smoking Ban Ad Campaign, reporter Jennifer Kliese (jennifer.kliese@wsaw.com), Wausau.com (Wsaw.com), 6/9/2010.

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Egypt - Alexandria to be first no smoking city..

June 10, 2010 - Egypt, the biggest Arab consumer of cigarettes, is beginning an attempt to ban smoking in public places. The percentages of smokers among the age brackets of 25-44 and 45-46 years of age are 46.1 percent and 48.9 percent respectively. 56.2 percent of people who smoke shisha (hookah, argileh nargile, hubble-bubble, water pipe, hooka, goza, meassel, sheesha) do so at home, with 35.9 percent smoking at coffee shops. Passive smoking is a widespread phenomenon, according to the report, which said that 80 percent of Egyptians are exposed to passive smoking (secondhand smoke, shs, environmental tobacco smoke, ets, sidestream, involuntary) on public transportation, at restaurants, and even in health care establishments. (Egypt - comprehensive data on adult smoking consumption..)

Alexandria is to be Egypt's first no smoking city, beginning with a ban on lighting up in government buildings. And Egypt is a nation of smokers with traditional shisha water pipes found in many coffee shops, and persuading Egyptians to quit will be a challenge. It is common to find people puffing at cigarettes on the train, in office, even in hospitals.

Now in Alexandria that is set to change. The local authorities first plan to enforce an existing law - one that is usually flouted - prohibiting smoking in government buildings. They say that within two years, the ban will be extended to include cafes.

Dr Hassan Salam from the University of Alexandria is heading the research. "Smoking in Egypt is very common, unfortunately. Out of every 10 men, four smoke and more and more women are smoking now. "The statistics show that Egyptians smoke about 19 billion cigarettes a year. It's a big public health problem."

Bans on smoking in public places have now been successfully introduced around the world. But officials admit it will be a particular challenge to force Egyptians to quit.

They hope new restrictions will at least make them cut back - and that Alexandria can set an example for the rest of the country.

Reference: VIDEO - Egypt introduces Alexandria smoking ban by Yolande Knell, BBC News, Cairo, 6/10/2010.

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Switzerland - survey teens smoking less and 50% of smokers want to quit..


June 10, 2010 - According to a study commissioned by the Federal Health Office, 27 percent of the Swiss population aged 14-65 were smokers in 2009, the same percentage as in 2008, and a slight drop from the 33 percent in 2001. Ruth Hagen, spokeswoman for Addiction Info Switzerland: “The tendency to smoke is going down, so we are very glad about this because smoking is one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases and premature death.”

However, the number of 20 to 24-year-olds who smoke on a daily basis is on the rise; it went up three per cent from 2008 to 2009. In that age group, 28 percent smoke daily, with another 11 per cent lighting up regularly – meaning that 39 per cent of Swiss people in their early 20s smoke.

On the other hand, the youngest people surveyed seem less and less tempted by tobacco. In 2001, 31 percent of 14-19-year-olds said they smoked; by 2009 the figure had gone down to 22 percent.

“We believe that the discussion of the dangers of [passive] smoking certainly had an influence on the smoking prevalence these past few years,” said Hagen.

The survey also examined the habits of young people aged 16-19; in particular, those working as apprentices or attending vocational school compared with those attending secondary school. It found the number of smokers has gone down in both cases.

Men account for the majority of smokers - 31 percent of men have the habit - compared with 23 percent of women. That’s consistent with previous years. Whether male or female, many smokers would like to stop.

In 2009, half (51 per cent) of the smokers surveyed in Switzerland said that they wanted to quit – and 26 per cent said they planned to do so within the next six months.

A nationwide law aimed at stamping out passive smoking in public spaces in Switzerland came into force on Saturday, May 1, 2010. The legislation gives cantons (Switzerland consists of 26 cantons; each is member state of the federal state of Switzerland), which have differing approaches to the issue, minimum standards to apply. But some say that it does not go far enough.

Smoking is now forbidden in Swiss public spaces such as restaurants, bars, schools and theatres. However, catering establishments have the option of creating separate ventilated smoking rooms, and locales smaller than 80 square metres may become designated smokers’ dens.

“It is too early to measure possible consequences on tobacco sales,” Fran├žois Thoenen, spokesman for Philip Morris. “Generally, in countries having implemented smoking restrictions in indoor places accessible to the public, we experienced a decline of consumption of tobacco products, and afterwards, a stabilisation on a level slightly lower than before such restrictions.” Yet as Thoenen pointed out, there are other measures that can play a role – such as smoking cessation campaigns.

Mathieu Janin, spokesman for British American Tobacco Switzerland, has also noticed a reduction in the number of smokers. “Smoking is declining slightly every year. We lose an average of about 1.5 per cent each year, and this year we will lose a little bit more, I think, because of the new restrictions,” Janin told swissinfo.ch.

“Smoking also depends on the weather. If the weather is nice, people will smoke much more,” said Janin.

That’s if they start at all. The number of people in Switzerland who have never smoked has steadily risen since 2001. For 2009, that figure was a decade-high of 54 per cent.

Reference: Swiss start to cut back smoking habit, Susan Vogel-Misicka, swissinfo.ch, 6/7/2010.

Switzerland - some related news briefs:
Switzerland - May 1st start of nationwide law stamping out smoking in public places..;
Switzerland - three holes let smoker have cigarette outside..;
Graub├╝nden, Switzerland - smoker ban leads to drop in heart attacks..;
Switzerland - Davidoff sponsored Swiss Indoor Tennis Tournament begins..;
Switzerland - Imperial Tobacco sponsorship major televised European tennis event..;
Geneva, Switzerland - ban on smoking in public places returns..;
Switzerland - unified program to ban smoking in buildings open to the public..;
Switzerland could join EU requiring sale of only self-extinguishing cigarettes...
Read more...

Missouri - lowest tobacco tax in the nation with no increase in sight...


June 9, 2010 - On May 13, 2010 the South Carolina raised the cigarette tax by 50 cents a pack, ended the Palmetto State's status as having the lowest cigarette tax in the nation. Missouri now is the disgrace of the nation with the lowest cigarette tax at 17 cents per pack.(South Carolina - cigarette tax raised 50 cents to 57 cents/pack..) The State of Missouri deprives surrounding state governments of tobacco tax revenue it would get if its residents bought the cigarettes in their state.

Missouri lawmakers this year made deep cuts to the state budget that takes effect next month. They had to slash money for many social services and for various education programs, including Parents as Teachers and Career Ladder. Governor Jay Nixon has indicated he may slice up to $350 million more when he signs the budget into law.

Fellow Democrats have proposed ways to keep the budget-cutting knife out of Nixon's hand by enhancing revenue. One common suggestion is raising Missouri's cigarette tax, but that's not as easy as it sounds. Holding the line on taxes has been one of the few things that Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and the GOP-led General Assembly have agreed on during the past two legislative sessions. And that includes so-called "sin" taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and the like.

At a recent stop in St. Louis, Nixon expressed his opposition to raising the state's cigarette tax. "Missouri voters have twice rejected that in recent years," said Nixon. "There may be a time in which some groups want to push that forward and if so, it'd be interesting to look at."

But the governor indicated that's not likely to happen any time soon. A few House Democrats tried this year to persuade the majority to consider raising the cigarette tax. For the past two years, Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis has sponsored legislation to boost it from 17 cents to 33 cents a pack. "The first year, it got a hearing," said Nasheed. "And the second time that I sponsored the bill, they didn't even refer (it) to the committee."

And during the final days of session, fellow Democrat Mary Wynne Still of Columbia pushed for a cigarette tax hike by adding it onto a separate bill as an amendment. Her measure would have raised the tax by 12 cents a pack. But she never got the chance to present her amendment, as she was not recognized by the acting Speaker of the House the day before session ended. Proposals to raise any tax in Missouri have to withstand the scrutiny of the Hancock Amendment to the state constitution, which includes a provision requiring voter approval of tax hikes.

And as Nixon noted, Missouri voters have rejected two attempts in the past decade to raise the cigarette tax. Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt cites that as reason enough to leave the state's cigarette tax alone. "If it increases revenue by a certain amount, and that changes every year with the Hancock Amendment, it would have to go to a vote of the people," said Nixon.

But Nasheed contends her proposal would not have required a statewide vote. "If the increase on taxes for tobacco is at $90 million, then that's below the Hancock Amendment," said Nasheed. "And so if that being the case, we don't have to take it to a vote of the people."

The one unknown factor will be the influx of new lawmakers who will replace those leaving this year because of term limits. Will they be more open to raising the cigarette tax?

"I think it's probably more likely in a non-election year than an election year, and I believe that there is some evidence that that is the trend," said Marvin Overby, a political science professor at the University of Missouri - Columbia. But there's no guarantee that 2011 will be any different than 2010. Overby suggests lawmakers who are subject to term limits may tend to focus more on the next election.

Reference: Raising cigarette tax difficult in Missouri, Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio, 6/8/2010.

Missouri - some related news briefs:
Missouri - one of the most tobacco-friendly state in the U.S.A..;
Missouri - state wide smoking ban proposed..;
St. Louis City and County - voters approve smoking ban but NOT effective unitl January 2, 2011..;
Missouri - 2nd lowest cigarette tax and 4th highest smoking rate..;
Kansas City, Missouri - court upholds smoking ban..;
Missouri - fire-safe cigarettes delayed until January 2011..;
St. Louis County - joint statement;
Premium Cigar Store Owners Unite to Fight Proposed St. Louis County Smoking Ban Vote..;
Missouri - some cities becoming smoke free but NOT the state..;
West Saint (St.) Louis County - NO Smoking - firefighters or EMS personnel...
Read more...

Bulgaria - were the cigarettes contraband or not..Moldova says NO..


Moldova - coat-of_arms..
June 9, 2010 - The Customs in Moldova declared that the cigarettes seized by their Bulgarian counterparts in the Black Sea city of Varna are not contraband (illegal, illicit), but legal cargo.

The information was reported Tuesday, June 9th by Darik radio, citing local press and the spokesperson of the Moldavian Customs, who had informed the cigarettes in question have been manufactured by the Moldavian State tobacco company Tutun CTC. The Customs documents have been further verified by the Moldavian Center for Combating Economic Crime and Corruption. The spokesperson further informs the load had been also checked by Romanian Customs agents, who did not find anything wrong either. “This has been legal export and the Moldavian Customs have no comment and connection with contraband accusations of Bulgarian authorities," he said.

On Sunday, Bulgaria's Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, announced the seizing of the record-large contraband cigarettes, informing it was one of the most successful operations ever of the Bulgarian Customs Agency, conducted jointly with the EU anti-fraud office OLAF. The cigarettes are the Chinese Jin Ling brand, a generic version of the American “Camel.”

Surprisingly enough, in the wake of the Minister's words of praise, the Bulgarian daily “Trud” (Labor) published Monday an article, citing the Director of Border Police in Varna, Dimitar Vassilev, saying he did not know anything about contraband, and a ship with contraband cigarettes being at either of the 2 Varna ports, adding he was stunned by Djankov's words.

The cargo in question had been shipped by a company in Moldova with a final destination Egypt.

Reference: Moldova Customs Rebut Bulgaria's Contraband Claims, Novinite.com, 6/8/2010.

Bulgaria - related news briefs:
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding sales jumped by 15-20 percent..;
Bulgaria - full smoking ban in force for 3-days officially abolished..;
Bulgaria - confusion over which public smoking ban is in force..;
Bulgaria - WHO upset with Bulgaria's weakened smoking ban..;
Bulgaria - weakened smoking ban, just added minors can't be in disco clubs after 10pm..;
Bulgaria - final vote delayed on weakened smoking ban..;
Bulgaria - weakened smoking ban, second reading..;
Bulgaria - commission tightens smoking ban a little..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac buyer may be chosen by end of year..;
Bulgaria - prime minister not happy with giving tobacco growers subsidies..;
Bulgaria - to loosen smoking ban to start June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - finance minister comments may be good news for tobacco farmers..;
Bulgaria - parliament debates proposal to water down smoking ban..;
Bulgaria - majority of all Bulgarians - 78% are against the smoking ban delay..;
Bulgaria - every increase in excise duty on cigarettes consumption goes down..;
Bulgaria - grace period over, increase in tobacco tax starts Thursday, April 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - Italian authorities arrest 2-Bulgarians smuggling cigarettes..;
Bulgaria - tractor trailer loaded with contraband cigarettes seized in Ancona, Italy..;
Bulgaria - cigarette consumption down, cigarette tax collection up, seeking funds for technology to intercept contraband goods..;
Bulgaria - justifying why smoking ban won't go into effect on June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - Citigroup chosen as consultant for sale of Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - ruling party may delay smoking ban until 2011..;
Bulgaria - Finance Minister Djankov, "Less Smoking Is Good for Economy..";
Bulgaria - govt to weaken full smoking ban to be effective June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - do producers support contraband cigarettes??;
Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..;
Greek Farmers Renew Bulgaria Border Blockade..;
Bulgaria - leadership of tobacco fund to be replaced..;
Bulgaria - illegal trade in cigarettes will reach 40% of total trade in 2010..;
Bulgaria - limits on personal imports of tobacco products from outside the EU..;
Bulgaria - European Commission authorizes payment to tobacco producers for 2009 crop..;
Bulgaria -two cigarette smuggling attempts busted on Serbian border..;
Bulgaria - price of cigarettes increases..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac stays in the economy ministry, sold by middle of 2010, starting price 100,000,000 euro..;
Bulgaria - tobacco producers propose Bulgartabac transfer..;
Bulgaria - government, tobacco growers reach subsidy agreement..;
Bulgaria - start of steps leading to the privatization of the state-owned cigarette monopoly Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - police hold smoking protest over lack of bonuses..;
Bulgaria - police busts major cigarette contraband ring..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding” will be privatized in 2010..;
Bulgaria - MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators..;
Bulgartabac Chief - cigarette tax increase as of January 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria Bulgartabac Holding Sells 23% of Shares to Mutual Funds..;
Bulgaria - more than 70% of smokers want to quit..;
Bulgaria - cigarette taxes going up each year except 2011..;
Bulgaria - chair of the economic committee in parliament disapproves of planned raise in excise duties on cigarettes..;
Bulgaria and others - smoking ban, increased cigarette taxes, smuggling..;
Bulgaria - Cigarette excise duties will be increased next year..;
Bulgaria - cigarette contraband, government loses BGN 920M yearly..;
Bulgaria - one third of the tobacco products sold are illicit..;
Bulgaria - new government to speed-up Bulgartabac sale..;
Bulgaria - Fake Victory Light cigarettes..;
Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly may be up for sale..;
Bulgarian lawmakers vote to ban smoking in all publc places from June 2010..; Bulgarian tobacco company Sofia-BT exports increase by 541 percent..;
Does Russia own Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly, Bulgartabac..;
EU percent of adults smokers -highest Greece 1 , Bulgaria 2.. - lowest Slovenia..;
Bulgaria - 1 in 3 youths smoke / half of pregnant women smoke..;
PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..;
Philip Morris International (PMI) was truly happy they had been back in the Bulgarian cigarette market for a year and had already had 6.8% of market..;
WHO FCTC Protocol to Prevent Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Won't Be Completed Until End of 2010..;
WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008..;
Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike...
Bulgaria is marking Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the 20th year since the internal coup at the Bulgarian Communist Party which led to the crumbling of the communist regime..
Read more...

Japan Tobacco, Inc. Zero Style Mint, company says it is selling well..




June 9, 2010 - Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) started selling its Zerostyle Mint in the middle of May 2010 and the company hoped that it will catch on among people who want to smoke but do not want to bother others with second-hand fumes. (Japan Tobacco - sales begin on new smokeless tobacco product..)

In around two weeks after its launch, the company sold 650,000 packs of the product. A pack, containing one product unit and two refill cartridges, costs 300 yen.

JT said Tuesday, June 8th it will double its production capacity of the smokeless tobacco it introduced last month as the product has proved to be a smash hit amid tougher controls on smoking. Zerostyle Mint smokeless tobacco, which JT released exclusively in Tokyo, has been scarce in shops recently, the company said.

JT now plans to double its production capacity from the current 500,000 packs a month to 1 million packs by setting up a new manufacturing line at its factory in Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture. As a result, the supply shortage will be resolved by around fall, JT said.

The new snuff tobacco product has a replaceable cartridge containing tobacco leaves and a mouthpiece. A single cartridge usually lasts between half a day to one full day, JT said.

Reference: JT to double output of popular smokeless tobacco, JapanToday.com, 6/9/2010.

Related news briefs:
Japan Tobacco - sales begin on new smokeless tobacco product..;
Japan Tobacco - "Zerostyle Mint" - new smokeless product..;

Read more...

Fitch Ratings - Altria in 2010..

June 9, 2010 - Fitch expects a low single digit increase in Altria's net revenue excluding excise taxes in 2010 after Altria's challenging 2009 year. Altria's 2009 results were hampered in large part by the significant $0.62 per pack Federal Excise Tax (FET) increase on cigarettes which went into effect April 1, 2009. Operating income is anticipated to improve in the mid single digits as cost savings from rationalizing production and synergies from the UST acquisition are realized. Altria's 2010 results are likely to face continued headwinds in the form of state excise tax increases. States are grappling with substantial budget deficits, and tobacco excise tax increases face less political resistance than other revenue raising options state governments have.

Reference: Fitch Rates Altria's Proposed Sr Notes 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable, SOURCE: Fitch Ratings, TradingMarkets.com 6/8/2010.

Fitch Ratings - some related news briefs:
Fitch Ratings - FDA menthol review - risk to tobacco industry..;
Menthol cigarettes - if banned, how can this be accomplished??;
Fitch Ratings - review of events that could adversely affect the U.S. tobacco industry..;
Fitch Ratings - FDA oversight to favor big established brands..;
Fitch Ratings - U.S. cigarette sales volume declines..;
Fitch 2009 U.S. Tobacco Outlook..
Read more...

Swedish Match - Catch SNUS Collection GLOW now available..



June 22, 2010 - Catch Snus Collection was introduced last year (2009). The snus change taste three times during the year and each taste is available only for a limited period of time. First out this year is Mellow. “Many may raise their eyebrows when they hear snus and rhubarb in the same sentence, but with Catch Mellow we have really managed to produce a fresh snus giving spring-feelings under the lip,” says Robert Lundgren, product manager for Catch.

Catch Collection Mellow, has been available in shops from 1 February and remain so until week 20 when it is replaced by the next taste approach called Glow, with the taste of elderberry and lime. The third taste variety is called Ease and is flavored with ginger and orange. (Catch Collection Mellow - infused with a taste of rhubarb, Swedish Match, 2/1/2010). Catch Collection portion pouches are available in mini portions. A can contains 20 pouches and costs about SEK30 (30 Swedish Krona = 3.71238 US Dollar).

Catch Collection Glow has been available in stores since the middle of May and will be on sale until the week beginning August 16, when it will be replaced by Ease, with a ginger and orange flavor.

Our news brief February 10, 2010 entitled: More - Lorillard will launch new moist smokeless product in not-too-distant future.. indicates that Swedish Match sells its flagship snus brand General in the United States, as well as another brand called Catch. These were sold outside of the Lorillard joint venture and will continue to be sold in the United States. Swedish Match will also continue selling the moist smokeless tobacco products, such as its Red Man and Timberwolf brands, it already sells in the United States.

Reference:
Latest Catch snus has flavor of summer, Tobacco Reporter, 6/9/2010.
Read more...

NACS Magazine - New Rules for Tobacco Retailing..










June 9, 2010 - New Rules for Tobacco Retailing by Chris Blasinsky, NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Magazine, June 2010..

These regulations take effect on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 so if your stores are not operating in compliance already, you must do so as soon as possible.

Virtually all tobacco products are subject to the new regulations: cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco (including snuff). Notice that doesn’t include cigars, little cigars and pipe tobacco.

Some cigarette makers have made the move from paper wrappers for cigarettes to tobacco wrappers for cigars to avoid the new regulations. (Clove cigars close but not cigarettes..)

New Rules for Tobacco Retailing

Related news brief:
FDA CTR - Web Dialogue with retailers, tobacco-control executives and others one-sided..;
FDA CTR Draft Guidance for Industry..





Read more...

Brunei - An imam blasts tactics to keep people addicted to nicotine..

June 8, 2010 - Bandar Seri Begawan (the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Brunei) - religious authorities (An imam - Islamic leadership position, often the leader of a mosque and the community) blasted manipulative tactics that entice smokers to continue puffing with the aid of e-cigarettes and other new hi-tech tools claiming it is wrong to sell such products that violate Section (6) of the Tobacco Order 2005, that states the prohibition of fake tobacco products.

They claimed that such products are publicised as better in terms of health and the public is urged to be cautious against such cunning tactics. Cigarette firms and industries striving to continue their business are ensuring that their business is not in jeopardy. "They are getting cleverer in attracting smokers to continue their habit," the Imams said in their Friday sermon yesterday.

Those who bring, sell or offer to sell items that resembles tobacco products could be fined $10,000 (10,000 Brunei Dollar = 7,168.97 US Dollar).

The Ministry of Health (MoH) revealed that a total of $20.7 million (21,700,000 Brunei Dollar = 15,556,671 US Dollar) was spent on medicine to treat chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes in 2008, amounting to 51 percent of the total expenditure for medicines in 2008. The figures do not include hospital treatment expenditures, costs of intensive treatment, surgery and outpatient services and expenses needed to send patients overseas.

One must do physical exercises, control diet, reduce the intake of oily, extra-sweet and salty foods, drink lots of water and eat more fruits.

We must also ensure the Halalness of the food and not eat food that could jeopardise one's health. Islam prohibits food and drinks that could affect the individual like pork, liquor, misuse of drugs and so on.

Smoking leads to many diseases like cancer. The use of tobacco leads to death up to four million deaths i.e. one death for every 10 seconds.

Related news briefs:
Brunei - smoking top cause of cancer death..;
Brunei - national tobacco control panel to create smoke-free society..

As stated in Tobacco Order 2005, those found smoking in public places like government and private buildings, shopping complexes, food outlets, restaurant walkways, hospitals, schools, bus stations and stops, as well as markets and `Tamus' can be fined not more than $1,000 (1,000 Brunei Dollar = 716.897 US Dollar).

Since 1994, the government through the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) declared all government buildings at ministries and departments as non-smoking areas and such calls have been repeatedly stated in the PMO circulars.

Based on a survey conducted at the end of 2009 by the Ministry of Health, it was found that out of 41 government buildings, 14 buildings did not paste the no-smoking sign.

Cigarette butts were also found at 38 government buildings even though some government buildings provide a special smoking area equipped with comfortable seats and butts dumping site.

The government controls the selling of cigarettes. Health warnings are also put on every cigarette packet.

Those found selling cigarettes or tobacco products without licence could be fined up to $10,000. Those who sell cigarettes or tobacco products without health warnings could be slapped with a $20,000 fine and imprisonment.

A fine of $10,000 is imposed for those who sell cigarettes to teenagers aged below 18 years. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Reference: Imams Ire On E-Cigarettes, written by Azlan Othman, BruDirect.com, 6/5/2010.
Read more...

Children in smoke-free homes lower levels of nicotine metabolite..

June 8, 2010 - The children living in non-smoking homes in U.S. counties with smoke-free laws had 39% lower prevalence of cotinine in their blood, an indicator of tobacco smoke exposure, compared to those living in counties with no smoke-free laws.

PAPER: Smoke-free Air Laws and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Nonsmoking Youth
Melanie S. Dove, MPH, Douglas W. Dockery, ScD, Gregory N. Connolly, DMD, MPH, Pediatrics - published online June 7, 2010, ABSTRACT..

"The findings suggest that smoke-free laws are an effective strategy to protect both children and adults from exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke, passive smoking). In addition, interventions designed to reduce or prevent adults from smoking around children are needed," said Melanie Dove, who received her doctorate in environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in 2010 and led the study.

The HSPH researchers examined data from the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a cross-sectional survey designed to monitor the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population. They analyzed the cotinine levels in 11,486 nonsmoking youngsters, aged 3-19 years, from 117 counties, both with and without exposure to secondhand smoke in the home.

Over the past decade the number of state and local smoke-free laws in the nation has grown significantly. For example, the number of smoke-free laws in workplaces, restaurants and bars in the U.S. has increased from 0 in 1988 to 175 in 2006. Approximately 20 percent of the youth in the HSPH study lived with a smoker in the home. These children had the highest cotinine levels and could benefit the most from an intervention to reduce exposure, regardless of smoke-free laws that might be in place, say the researchers.

According to the 2006 Surgeon General's Report, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General, June 27, 2006.

Directly related news brief: England - decline in kids secondhand smoke exposure - we can do better..

Reference: Smoke-free air laws effective at protecting children from secondhand smoke, Physorg.com, 6/7/2010.
Read more...

Tobacco Update CyperConference (May 25, 2010) - Nik Modi, Tobacco Analyst..



June 7, 2010 - Nik Modi, tobacco analyst, UBS Securities LLC, New York.. Modi told listeners, "A year ago was a tough place for the tobacco consumer and the convenience store consumer, but "the industry held up remarkably well last year."

Said Modi: "Unemployment was high, especially on the construction side...savings rates were going significantly higher and people were spending less...gas prices were starting to rise as we saw the stock market starting to improve and investors were starting to buy risk assets, which is driving up the price of oil. And you had all the massive price shocks from the federal excise tax [FET], not to mention what was going on with the FDA." He said, "One year ago, when all of this was taking place, it sounded horrific, but we think price elasticity—relationships that have been prevalent for the last 30 or 40 years—will still hold up. And that's exactly what we saw."

According to Modi, retail cigarette prices last year were up 25%, volumes decreased about 8%, in line with the historical relationship. Also, the Big Three tobacco companies had significant profit growth in spite of the FET and the lower volumes. Profits increased by 10%. With price elasticity, "as long as this relationship holds up, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers can make more money as prices go higher."

In c-stores, a year ago, "it was a tough place to be for the low-income consumer.... We had deteriorating consumer confidence. What we're seeing now is a reversal.... I think that the high-income consumer this year is going to feel some pain because of the stock market, whereas the low-income consumer is going to see some relief. We're starting to see convenience store traffic already starting to come back into the positive, up 17.3%, and average visit frequency up 11.4%."

Consumer confidence is now rising for the lower-income consumer, much more than it has for the higher-income consumer, he said.

"We've seen an uptick in initiatives to tax products outside of cigarettes. Now, that may be some relief to many [c-store operators] who are saying finally some other categories are taking on the tax burden. But this isn't necessarily a good thing, because if your consumer is buying cigarettes and Mountain Dew, the fact that Mountain Dew prices are going up because of a sugar tax could impact your cigarette sales," said Modi. "So it's important to understand cross-elasticity between different categories."

He said he does not think menthol will get banned. It generates more than $14 million in tax revenue. "This is a meaningful amount of money for a government that is looking for money." If it is banned, a huge underground market will be formed, he added, and the scientific evidence "is just not conclusive."

Modi moved from the present to the future, offering some projections on the changing breakdown of tobacco products. Currently, on a national basis, cigarettes make up 79%, cigars 10% and smokeless 11% of the "profit pool." Assuming profits grow in line with category volume trends, cigarettes will be down 4%, cigars up 5% and smokeless up 7%. In 2015, cigarettes would be 69%, cigars would be 14% and smokeless would be 17%. By 2025, other tobacco products (OTP) could surpass cigarettes: cigarettes 45%, cigars 22% and smokeless 33%. "So there is definitely an evolution taking place in this industry," Modi said. "People are using the same amount of nicotine, they are just changing the delivery form."

He told retailers, "It's time to get ahead of that shift and make sure you're more of a total tobacco enterprise.... It's time to evolve at the retail level, which many of you are in the process of doing, but should probably think about accelerating."

Both manufacturers and retailers will be driving that shift, said Modi. "For the retailers out there that have the forward-looking knowledge and incentive to do it, it makes sense to do it before the major [tobacco companies] make them do it. We know the categories of smokeless and cigars are under-spaced. So there's an opportunity to change that. There are a lot of nonproductive SKUs across the entire tobacco category; the federal excise tax going up has made people cognizant of the cost of carrying those slow-turning inventories, so perhaps it makes sense to take a view on what brands they should be carrying and maybe accelerate some of that rationalization to free up more space for more productive assets."

A poll taken during the CyberConference asked, "Is your overall total tobacco category (cigarettes plus OTP) growing, declining or staying about the same in unit volume?" The responses: 78% said yes, it is growing; 14% said no, it is declining or staying the same; 7% said they were not sure.

Reference: Year of the FET Was Not Year of Defeat
First-half 2010 tobacco update reveals much for retailers to be optimistic about

by Greg Lindenberg, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 6/7/2010.

Some Modi related news briefs:
Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) -UBS Tobacco Survey - 2010..;
Tobacco analyst - c-store tobacco sales not as bad as could have been..;
Tobacco Update CyberConference: more spending money for low income consumers/worry entry of big tobacco in OTP..;
Nik Modi, tobacco analyst with UBS: Supreme Court Case "was a coin flip..";
Nik Modi, UBS analyst tobacco remains "economy resilient"..;
Tobacco Update (6/5/2008) presented by Nik Modi, UBS Tobacco Analyst..;
Altria's growth depends on the Marlboro name..;
Regarding smokeless tobacco (SNUS): "What on the surface looks promising could turn out to be a public health disaster,";

Read more...