St. Louis, Missouri - study ventilation systems and “voluntary” smoke-free policies do not protect employees and customers from exposure to nicotine..

September 10, 2010 - Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that ventilation systems and “voluntary” smoke-free policies do not protect employees and customers from exposure to nicotine in the air. Exposure to secondhand smoke (shs, passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, ets, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke) is an established cause of cancer, heart disease and serious lung ailments, according to the U.S. surgeon general

Researchers analyzed nicotine levels in randomly selected bars and restaurants in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, and in hair samples from employees of the monitored venues. Ten bars and 10 restaurants participated in the study. Sixteen of the venues allowed smoking indoors, and four were smoke-free. Seventy-eight employees at the bars and restaurants provided hair samples and answered survey questions.

Passive sampling devices collected nicotine in each venue for seven working days during June, July and August 2009. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which has expertise in this type of monitoring, analyzed the samples. Since airborne nicotine can only come from cigarette smoke, it is a reliable, scientifically accepted marker for assessing secondhand smoke exposure. While concentrations do not directly translate to health risk, a finding of nicotine indicates the presence of a carcinogenic and toxic mixture.

Although none of the restaurant or bar venues in the study were below level of detection, median airborne nicotine levels were 31 times higher in venues where smoking is allowed, compared with those that are voluntarily smoke-free. And, not surprisingly, as the percentage of smoking clients rose, so did the nicotine concentrations.

An interesting finding was that ventilation systems, a topic of debate in St. Louis, were not only ineffective, but restaurants and bars that had them actually had higher nicotine concentrations in the air than restaurants that didn't have them, but where the number of patrons who smoked was similar.

This confirms the U.S. surgeon general’s statement that “cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.”
(The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General - June 27, 2006)

Hair nicotine was found in all bar and restaurant employees tested, both nonsmokers and smokers alike, although the concentration was higher for employees who smoke.
Employees in both smoke and smoke-free venues, however, reported smoking-related symptoms despite their smoking status, including coughing, shortness of breath and excess phlegm. Sensory health concerns for both smoking and non-smoking employees included red or irritated eyes, scratchy throat and runny nose.

Study author Joaquin Barnoya, MD, research assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, says that the cardiovascular system is very sensitive to even low doses of tobacco smoke. “Some of the effects of secondhand smoke on the cardiovascular system in nonsmokers are comparable to the effects of active smoking,” Barnoya says. “These effects occur within a half hour of exposure.”

In response to a questionnaire given to employees as part of the study, 62 percent of respondents stated a preference for working in a smoke-free environment. More than half of non-smoking employees questioned said that all restaurants, bars and nightclubs should be smoke-free, with a third of smoking employees in agreement. Of employee responders who smoke, more than half said that smoke-free legislation would help them quit, while 70 percent of former smokers said that smoke-free workplace legislation would help them remain nonsmokers.

Results of the study were presented Sept. 8 at a conference held at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

St. Louis County voters on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 simultaneously made most public places in the county and in the city smoke-free effective January 2, 2011.

Reference: Secondhand smoke: Ventilation systems are not the answer, says new study by Lee Phillion, Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) Newsroom, 9/8/2010.

Missouri - some related news briefs:
St. Louis, Missouri - lawsuit by hospitals after 12 years to go to trial January 2011..;
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 until 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...


St. Louis, Missouri - lawsuit by hospitals after 12 years to go to trial January 2011..

September 10, 2010 - Hospitals in St. Louis are expecting to finally go to trial against the tobacco industry next January in what is expected to be one of the longest civil trials in city history.

Due to the fact that the trial may last six to seven months, the court has sent out surveys to 6,000 potential jurors to find 12 people who can commit for such a long time. The court is hoping to pull together a pool of about 600 from the surveys and then begin sorting out those based on biases.

More than 30 hospitals are seeking $1 billion from cigarette makers, claiming their products caused serious, preventable illnesses that the hospitals were forced to treat. They say the money will go towards recovering funds spent on treating uninsured patients and those who did not pay their medical bills, going back to 1993. The cigarette companies argue that because the hospitals did not suffer direct damage from cigarettes, they should not be allowed to collect money for other people’s problems. The case could be precedent-setting for similar cases around the country.

Both sides have been going through pretrial arguments for nearly 12 years, since the hospitals first filed their lawsuit in November 1998. (CITY OF ST. LOUIS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANY, INC., et al., Defendants. No. 4:98CV02087 ERW, July 2, 1999))
In 2001, Judge Michael Calvin ruled that the case was worthy of a jury trial, but it has been stalled in the “discovery” stage ever since, as the two sides battle to produce admissible evidence.

Experts expect it to set precedents for similar cases across the country, as it is the only one of its kind to leap some legal hurdles that killed more than 160 similar cases in courts across the country.

The hospitals are seeking to recover losses for patients treated since 1993, which is potentially $1 billion.

Initially, the plaintiffs were 44 hospitals, including most of the major facilities in St. Louis, plus the city itself on behalf of its clinics and the now-closed City Hospital. Nearly a dozen have since dropped out for various reasons.

References: 12-Year-Long Lawsuit by Hospitals against Tobacco Companies Inches Towards Jury Selection, Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky,, 9/8/20-10; Giant jury pool considered for big-stakes St. Louis trial by HEATHER RATCLIFFE (,, 9/3/2010.


North Carolina - nine sentenced in cigarette-smuggling ring..

September 10, 2010 - You can't have a truly effective tobacco control program until you can control the flow of illegal (illicit, smuggled, contraband, black market) tobacco products such as cigarettes.

Nine people have been sentenced on federal charges that they smuggled cigarettes from North Carolina throughout the northeast U.S. in effort to evade state taxes.

Prosecutors said that three suppliers – Ghassan Dahir, 51, of Raleigh, Darrel Brigman, 64, of Kannapolis, and Nicholas Oxendine, 32, of Rowland – sold cigarettes with total retail value of $4.2 million over six years. They also created counterfeit tax stamps that other states require as proof that taxes have been paid, prosecutors said.

The six buyers, identified as two women and four men from Connecticut and Pennsylvania, transported the cigarettes in large vans throughout the northeast and sold them without paying taxes. Prosecutors said that Oxendine deposited profits from the scheme in different accounts in amounts just under $10,000 in an effort to avoid triggering a review of the transactions.

"Those who traffic in contraband cigarettes pose a danger to our financial infrastructure," Jeannine A. Hammet, a criminal investigations agent with the Internal Revenue Service, said in a statement.

Chief U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan on Wednesday handed down the following sentences:
* Dahir: 20 months in prison, $500,000 in restitution
* Brigman: three years on probation, $250,000 in restitution
* Oxendine: 16 months in prison, $250,000 in restitution
* Ana Rodriguez: six-and-a-half years in prison, nearly $5.2 million in restitution
* Salcedo: two-and-a-half years in prison, $60,000 in restitution
* Alphonso Rodriguez, 24, of Danbury, Conn.: six months in prison, $20,000 in restitution
* Carlos Rodriguez, 25, of Danbury, Conn.: six months in prison, $20,000 in restitution
* Heidi Rodriguez, 29, of Bethel, Conn.: three years on probation, $20,000 in restitution
* Willard Perez, 27, of Bethel, Conn.: 16 months in prison, $20,000 in restitution

The case was investigated by the IRS and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives.

The ATF has investigated several high-profile cigarette smuggling cases in North Carolina in the past few years. The state General Assembly has considered legislation requiring tax stamps in effort to snuff out cigarette smuggling. (North Carolina - may restore tax stamp to reduce smuggling..)

Directly related: U.S. - East Coast Cigarette Smuggling - on going..

Reference: Nine sentenced in cigarette-smuggling ring, Web Editor: Anne Johnson,, 9/10/2010.

A few related news briefs:
U.S. - East Coast Cigarette Smuggling - on going..;
South Carolina - low cigarette pricing, smuggling, higher insurance premiums, etc..;
Rhode Island - c-store, another case of selling cigarettes that lack state tax stamp..;
Rhode Island retailers finding ways to avoid paying tobacco tax...


E-cigarettes - finally U.S. FDA gets tough with distributors..

September 10, 2010 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today, September 9th issued warning letters to five electronic cigarette distributors for various violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) including unsubstantiated claims and poor manufacturing practices. ‘The companies receiving warning letters today [Thursday] are: E-CigaretteDirect LLC, Ruyan America Inc., Gamucci America (Smokey Bayou Inc.), E-Cig Technology Inc. and Johnson Creek Enterprises LLC.’

Also today, in a letter to the Electronic Cigarette Association, FDA said the agency intends to regulate electronic cigarette and related products in a manner consistent with its mission of protecting the public health. The letter outlines the regulatory pathway for marketing drug products in compliance with the FDCA.

See the FDA Release (links provide a lot of useful information): FDA acts against 5 electronic cigarette distributors

Background: The FDA in February 2010 won a temporary delay of a U.S. judge’s ruling that the agency lacks authority to regulate the products as drugs or medical devices and must allow e-cigarettes to be imported. A panel of three appeals court judges temporarily stayed the lower court ruling in order to give them more time to consider the FDA's arguments.

NO. 10-5032
On Appeal From the United States District Court For the District of Columbia
Civil Action No. 09-cv-0771 (RJL)

Directly related news brief: In Process: US. Federal District court judge makes serious error regarding the import of e-cigarettes..; U.S. FDA - judges ruling regarding e-cigarettes must be appealed - ASAP..; U.S. FDA appealing a federal judge's ruling on e-cigarettes.; U.S. - federal appeals court, import of e-cigarettes on hold again..; THIS MUST STOP - e-cigarette company asking active duty soldiers to buy their product..; ; U.S. e-cigarette imports banned indefinitely - ASH...
For a drug product to gain FDA approval, a company must demonstrate to the agency that the product is safe and effective for its intended use. The company must also demonstrate that manufacturing methods are adequate to preserve the strength, quality and purity of the product. But is an e-cigarette a drug.... We agree with policy adopted on June 14, 2010 by the American Medical Association (AMA) that recommends that electronic cigarettes be classified as drug delivery devices, subject to the same FDA regulations as all other drug delivery devices. Additional policy adopted supports prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes that are not FDA approved. (US AMA policy - e-cigarettes FDA should treat as a drug delivery device..)

Michael Levy, director of the agency’s Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance: “Although these products are frequently marketed to help consumers quit smoking, the FDA has not evaluated them for safety or effectiveness.”

Click to enlarge..
E-cigarettes are smokeless devices that deliver nicotine to the user. They consist of three integrated parts: the nicotine cartridge, the vaporizer and a lithium ion battery. The battery powers the cartridge and releases the nicotine by heating, rather than burning like a conventional cigarettes. They are available in fruit and candy flavors. Little independent research has been conducted into their ingredients and health impacts, but they are commercially promoted by vendors as a safe alternative to cigarettes.

References: FDA Sends Warning Letters to Electronic Cigarette Makers by MELLY ALAZRAKI, Daily Finance, 9/9/2010; E-Cigarettes Violate Drug, Device Rules, FDA Says by Molly Peterson (Editors: Neil Gross, Jeffrey Tannenbaum), Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/9/2010.

Santa Monica, California - new 25-foot rule takes effect Thursday, September 9, 2010..

Santa Monica is a leader in protecting its residents and visitors from the harms of second-hand smoke. Our goal is to educate all of our residents, businesses and visitors about our smoke-free rules so we can all enjoy a more healthy community.

Smoking is now prohibited in residential common areas, as well as all of these places..

September 9, 2010 - Smokers in Santa Monica are no longer allowed to light up while on balconies or porches near homes.

The Santa Monica City Council strengthened the city's protections against second-hand smoke by adopting an ordinance Aug. 10 that expands the smoke-free outdoor areas at multi-unit residential properties to a 25-foot radius around all doors, windows, and vents. This includes all private balconies, patios, porches, and decks within the 25-foot radius and also covers areas on neighboring properties that are within 25 feet of a door, window or vent. (Santa Monica, California - City Council expands smoking ban to multi-unit residential balconies and porches..)

Existing city law already prohibits smoking in common areas that are usable by more than one unit of the property - such as yards, walkways and play areas.

Under the law, a person who smokes in a restricted area is subject to a court-ordered payment of $100 for the first offense. Subsequent violations carry payments of $200 and $500 respectively, according to the city attorney's office. Any person can bring a case to court.

The law also requires landlords and homeowners' associations to do two things:
Post at least one conspicuous sign in the common area notifying residents of the law and the remedy; and Give notice by Dec. 1 to all affected units of the new covered locations and the remedies for violations.

For information and for downloadable signs and notices,

Reference: Smoking ban on residential balconies, porches takes effect, Argonaut Newspaper, 9/9/2010.


Australians least sympathetic to those with lung cancer study finds..

September 10, 2010 - Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States, with 90 percent of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80 percent of lung cancer deaths among women attributed to smoking. (Tobacco Facts, National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health)

A study to be released today (August 29, 2010) shows Australians are the world's least sympathetic to those with lung cancer. Nearly one third of survey respondents said they have less sympathy towards sufferers because lung cancer is linked to smoking.

The research included a survey of 16,000 people in 16 different countries.

Australia just edged out Brazil (28 per cent), then Great Britain (24 per cent) in terms of reduced sympathy levels. Argentinians were the most sympathetic, with just 10 per cent reporting feeling less compassion.

Japan and Norway both had the highest percentage of people whose residents believed lung cancer is the biggest killer in their country.

More than 9,100 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer each year and the number of new lung cancer cases for men is projected to increase by 17 percent, from 5,384 in 2001 to 6,301 in 2011.

While lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Australia many respondents considered it to be third worst.

Lung Cancer Service chair David Ball says the findings show Australians wrongly assume most sufferers of lung cancer still smoke. "In fact, the predominant proportion of patients, about 60 per cent are ex-smokers," he said. "So these are people who may have given up five or 10, or 20 years ago, so they've done the right thing, but they're still at risk. These are people I think who do deserve sympathy."

About 20 per cent of lung cancer sufferers have never smoked.

Dr Ball says the misconception that every sufferer is a chronic smoker is damaging. "If you look at the amount of money that's ploughed into lung cancer research, it's a tiny fraction of what goes into breast cancer research, and yet there's more suffering and more years of life lost due to lung cancer," he said. "It just doesn't balance out."

The study's release coincides with Lung Cancer Tree Planting Day, with events in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Reference: Australians least sympathetic on lung cancer, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)/Australian Associated Press (AAP), 8/29/2010.

New York State - U.S. District Judge extends order blocking state from collecting taxes, hearing Sept 14th..

September 9, 2010 - U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara had granted a request by two western New York tribes for a court order that would stop the state from imposing a $4.35 per-pack sales tax on cigarettes sold by reservation retailers starting Wednesday, September 1, 2010. (New York State - Seneca Nation and other Indian Tribes get injunction from federal judge delaying tax collection on cigarettes..)

The same federal judge Tuesday, September 7th extended his order blocking the state from taxing two Indian nations' cigarette sales to non-Indian customers while legal challenges to the state's plans continued to mount. U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara scheduled a hearing for September 14 on a lawsuit by the Seneca and Cayuga nations which seeks to prevent the state from imposing its $4.35-per-pack sales tax on cigarettes destined for reservation smokeshops.

In the meantime, the judge extended a temporary order issued last week barring collections at least through next week's hearing. The order had been set to expire September 13.

Also Tuesday, the Oneida Indian Nation of central New York began its own federal challenge of the state tax law, filing a case in New York's northern judicial district, where the St. Regis Mohawk tribe also has a lawsuit pending.

State tax officials had planned to tax reservation sales to non-Native customers beginning Sept. 1 as a way to bring in $110 million in revenue this fiscal year and $200 million a year after that.

TODAY - A five-judge panel from the state appellate court will consider the tax-collection issue in more depth next Thursday, September 9th said Margaret A. Murphy, the Buffalo attorney who persuaded Green to reinstate the restraining order Wednesday. (New York State - cigarette tax collection from Native American sales pushed off until 5-judge panel decides..) It is not clear how soon a decision will be issued.

Indian nations oppose the plan as an attack on tribal sovereignty and treaty rights.

The state's last attempts to tax reservation sales, in 1997, led protesters to set fires that stopped traffic on the New York State Thruway where it runs through the Senecas' Cattaraugus territory.

The current efforts seek to keep tax officials off the reservations by having cigarette wholesalers prepay the sales taxes before supplying Native American stores. Wholesalers would pass along the charge to tribal retailers, who in turn would have to raise their prices and lose their competitive edge over off-reservation convenience stores.

Although Arcara's order covers only the two western New York tribes, a separate order by a state judge continues to bar the tax for all nine New York tribes in the tax-free cigarette business. A five-judge appellate panel in Rochester is scheduled to take up that case Thursday.

The state case was brought by a Seneca retailer and a non-Indian cigarette wholesaler. The wholesaler said he would lose business if forced to collect the tax on cigarettes he supplies to reservation stores.

Reference: Federal judge extends order barring state tax on some cigarette sales by 2 NY Indian nations by Carolyn Thompson,, 9/8/2010.

Some related news briefs:
New York State - cigarette tax collection from Native American sales pushed off until 5-judge panel decides..;
New York State - Seneca Nation and other Indian Tribes get injunction from federal judge delaying tax collection on cigarettes..;
New York State - Governor Patterson will not tax cigarettes sold among Native Americans..;
New York - Senecas asking for Bloomberg to resign over remarks he made..;
New York State - Seneca Indian Nation files sued to block enforcement of a plan to collect cigarette taxes..;


Czech Republic - cigarette sales down for 1st half of 2010 after price increases..

September 9, 2010 - The year 2010 will apparently be worse for cigarette producers and sellers in the Czech Republic than last year because the January VAT hike followed by the February increase of excise duty on cigarettes has cut their consumption, according to Philip Morris's half-yearly report.

The tobacco market increased by 8.5 percent in January to March this year, but Q2 saw a drop of almost 6 percent, CTK has learnt from the report of the biggest producer of tobacco products in the Czech Republic. Cigarette consumption is expected to be lower also during the remaining months of the year, according to the report.

Tobacco producers say that raising taxes on cigarettes aimed at regulating the consumption of these harmful products and bringing in money to the state fails to have the required effect and boosts the black cigarette market instead.

Smoking opponents, however, say that the price of cigarettes is low in the Czech Republic compared to the rest of Europe, which is the reason for their still high consumption.

The Czech Republic is not doing very good in preventing children from smoking..Czech children worst in cigarette smoking in world..

Philip Morris's estimate of cigarette sales in the Czech Republic last year is 21.7 billion units, up 35 percent on the year. Adjusted for the effect of stocking up on cigarettes, the entire market would fall by 6 percent last year. In the second quarter 2010 Philip Morris' L&M cigarettes increased its market share in the Czech Republic. (Highlights - PMI q2 2010 earnings report..)

According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, average daily consumption of cigarettes increased by around a fifth to nearly six cigarettes per person between 1989 and 2008. Statisticians started recording cigarette consumption back in 1955 and since that time it has grown by almost 60 percent.

According to a survey published recently by the European Commission (EC), around 26 percent of people smoke in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, the two countries being slightly below the European Union (EU) average of 29 percent.

Czech cigarette consumption per person and year (units of cigarettes):
year 1955 1989 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
consumption 1337 1776 1882 1664 1893 2192 2243 2275 2338 2345 2107

Reference: Cigarette sales down in 2010 after price hike, Prague Daily Monitor, 9/6/2010.

Related news brief:
Czech Republic - some restaurants go smoke free as of July 1, 2010..;
Czech Republic - Philip Morris decides not to pass on tax increase to smokers..;
Czech Republic - crackdown on tobacco use long way off..;
Czech Republic - new penal code weakens laws against illegal cigartte production..;
Czech Republic - pubs and restaurants allow smoking or Do NOT allow smoking..;
Czech children worst in cigarette smoking in world..;
Czech Republic - Philip Morris profits dropping 2-years in a row..


Spain - doctors call for tobacco sales banned in vending machine in bars and from kiosks..

September 9, 2010 - Doctors in Spain have called for tobacco sales to be banned in [vending] machines in bars and from kiosks, and they want the police to be given the power to fine those who break the law.

Background: The government had hoped to tighten the rules on smoking in public places this year (2010), but Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez said on Tuesday, May 25th that tougher restrictions are unlikely to be in place before the beginning of 2011. Spain - tougher smoking restrictions not until 2011..

The modifications to the 2005 tobacco law is now at the amendment state in parliament and the Government has the objective of it coming into effect on January 1, 2011.
The National Committee for the Prevention of Tobacco Addiction also want smoking to be banned in childrens’ parks and on pavements close to colleges and hospital across the country.

The doctors consider that the numerous points of sale increases the accessibility of tobacco to youngsters, and want to see the number of hotel rooms made available for smokers in the forthcoming new legislation to be reduced from 30% to 15%. They are concerned too about smoking on terraces in cases where there are obstacles which stop the free circulation of the air.

Tobacco is considered to kill some 50,000 people in Spain each year, with 1,000 of the victims workers in the hostelry sector.

Reference: Doctors call for tighter tobacco sales restrictions in Spain by h.b.,, 9/1/2010.

Spain - related news briefs:
Spain - the Basque Governing Council gives green to the latest anti-smoking bill..:
Spain - ban smoking legislation wins unanimous support in parliament..;
Spain - tougher smoking restrictions not until 2011..;
Spain - Indonesia`s clove cigarettes popular in Spain..;
Spain - health minister believes society mature enough to accept total smoking ban..;
Spain - cigarette sales are up - so what else is new!!;
Spain - zero tolerence smoking ban this year or next??:
Spain - in June 2010 government will present a law to congress to ban smoking in closed public places..;
Spain - government postpones debate on tougher smoking legislation..;
Spain - smoking ban to be implemented on January 1, 2010 still being delayed..;
Spain - still some hesitation on total smoking ban for country..;
Spain - hotel and catering industry protests plan to ban smoking next year..;
Spain - hopes next year to expand ban on smoking in enclosed public places..;
Spain - impact of 2006 law banning smoking in public places..;
Spain - ready for expansion and enforcement of Anti-Smoking Act..;
Spain - ready for full smoking ban in public places..;
Spain - ban smoking public places - a lot of talk no action..;
Spain plans gruesome images on cigarette packs sometime in future...


Pennsylvania’s indoor smoking ban in public places turns 2 on Saturday, September 11, 2010..

September 9, 2010 - The law bans cigarettes, cigars and pipe smoking inside public places including restaurants, office buildings, schools, sports arenas, theaters and bus and train stations. The amended Clean Indoor Air Act introduced by state Senator Stewart Greenleaf, as Senate Bill 246 and signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell on June 13, 2008. (Finally Pennsylvania's Smoking Ban Takes Effect Today..)

Directly related news brief: Pennsylvania - September 11th, one year after smoking ban took effect..

Contrary to the fears of some bar-restaurant owners, it doesn’t seem to have caused many smokers to kick their habit of going out to eat or drink. “Business has actually increased because of it, so I can’t complain too much,” said Stephen Weinstock, owner of Stocks on Second in Harrisburg. Jack Hench, owner of Ye Olde Ale House in Hampden Twownship, was one who worried the ban would hurt sales. Yet Hench, a nonsmoker, also realized that cigarette smoke made it impossible to see across his establishment on Friday nights. His customers like it better without the smoke, it turns out. “I would have to say, out of all honesty, it has been better, business-wise,” he said.

State police enforce the ban at eating and drinking establishments. The number of citations and warnings are falling, Capt. Thomas Butler said. Statewide, there were 133 citations and 146 warning letters during the first six months of the year, Butler said. That’s down from 150 citations and 229 warning letters during the last six months of 2009. Those punitive actions are for allowing smoking as well as violating related laws covering such requirements as having proper signage. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is responsible for enforcing the ban at most other sites and has issued nine citations, a spokeswoman said.

On a sad note: Pennsylvania remains the only state in the nation without a tax on smokeless tobacco. It and Florida don't tax cigars.

Reference: Smoking ban hasn't burned eateries, DAVID WENNER, The Patriot-News, 9/7/2010.

Pennsylvania - related news briefs:
Pennsylvania - appellate court sides with R.J. Reynolds for running ad in Rolling Stones Magazine in 2007..;
Pennsylvania - no state tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco products..;
Pennsylvania - Republican legislators still refuse to tax tobacco products other than cigarettes..;
Pennsylvania - September 11th, one year after smoking ban took effect..;
More evidence - Casino workers face greater chance of disease..;
Pennsylvania may begin to tax OTPs - do it by Weight..;
Pennsylvania - Judge rules Camel Ads Violated Ban On Cartoons..;
Pennsylvania Smoking Ban - Lots of Exceptions..;
Pennsylvania - Cigarette Vending Machines NO Longer Wanted..;
Finally Pennsylvania's Smoking Ban Takes Effect Today..;
Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania wants to pay for providing health insurance;
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is proposing an excise tax on tobacco...


Spain - the Basque Governing Council gives green to the latest anti-smoking bill..

The Basque Govt. seal..

September 7, 2010 - On Tuesday, the Basque Government will give its approval for a new law intended to ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces, such as bars and restaurants, a href=">Euskal Irrati Telebista (EITB) can reveal.

Parliament will also consider the addition of further clauses for banning smoking in vehicles where children are travelling as well as in public playgrounds. With this new law, Euskadi will become the first 'smoke-free' community of the State. (Euskal Herria (the Basque Country), the Land of the Basque People)

The Basque Councilor for Employment and Social Affairs, Gemma Zabaleta revealed that the government expected widespread consensus regarding the new legislation, including from those within the catering industry with whom they will meet shortly.

Zabaleta added that the law represented an effort, already made in other countries in the EU, to carry out the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and the European Parliament for providing maximum protection to the health of all citizens.

Once the new law is passed by the Basque Parliament it is expected to come into force at the start of 2011. A survey carried out by the Basque Government revealed that 61% of Basques were in favour of a ban on smoking.

See reference to see where the ban will come into effect..

In cases where there is a lack of notification regarding the effects of smoking or the where the sale of tobacco is commercialised, these will be considered minor infractions or offences. The publication and/or promotion of all products containing tobacco for the purpose of consumption will be considered serious infractions.

Reference: Basque bars and restaurants will be smoke-free from 2011, Staff, 9/7/2010.

Spain - related news briefs:
Spain - ban smoking legislation wins unanimous support in parliament..;
Spain - tougher smoking restrictions not until 2011..;
Spain - Indonesia`s clove cigarettes popular in Spain..;
Spain - health minister believes society mature enough to accept total smoking ban..;
Spain - cigarette sales are up - so what else is new!!;
Spain - zero tolerence smoking ban this year or next??:
Spain - in June 2010 government will present a law to congress to ban smoking in closed public places..;
Spain - government postpones debate on tougher smoking legislation..;
Spain - smoking ban to be implemented on January 1, 2010 still being delayed..;
Spain - still some hesitation on total smoking ban for country..;
Spain - hotel and catering industry protests plan to ban smoking next year..;
Spain - hopes next year to expand ban on smoking in enclosed public places..;
Spain - impact of 2006 law banning smoking in public places..;
Spain - ready for expansion and enforcement of Anti-Smoking Act..;
Spain - ready for full smoking ban in public places..;
Spain - ban smoking public places - a lot of talk no action..;
Spain plans gruesome images on cigarette packs sometime in future...


Japan - smokers stocking up on cigarettes before October 1st tax hike..

September 8, 2010 - Demand for cigarettes has soared ahead of the scheduled tobacco tax hike on October 1, 2010 and tobacco companies and convenience stores are trying to cash in as consumers stock up before prices rise.

Plans are being made for after the tax hike as well--drugstores are expanding their lineup of products to help people kick the habit, while Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) plans to remodel its products to prevent a sharp decline in sales.

The price of most cigarette brands will be raised by 60 yen (0.71 USD) to 140 yen (1.67 USD) per 20-cigarette pack, the highest increase ever. JT's major brand, Mild Seven, will be raised from 300 yen (3.57 USD) to 410 yen (4.88 USD), and Philip Morris Japan's Marlboro will go from 320 yen (3.81 USD) to 440 yen (5.24 USD).

The upcoming price increase will be the largest ever for cigarettes in this country. JT expects cigarettes sales in September to be double the average amount for that month.

Sales are expected to peak in late September, when many company employees receive their salaries at the end of the month. Tobacco manufacturers and retail shops are promoting cigarette sales. Convenience stores are particularly desperate, as cigarettes are one of their major sources of revenue. "[Sales of cigarettes] account for about 22 percent of our total sales," an official of FamilyMart Co. said.

Giving discounts on cigarettes is banned by law. Therefore, convenience store operators including Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Lawson Inc. and FamilyMart are conducting sales campaigns in cooperation with tobacco companies, offering lighters, bags and other gifts to customers who purchase certain amounts of certain brands.

To prevent its stock from running out, Circle K Sunkus Co. is distributing leaflets urging consumers to make reservations to buy cigarettes. However, the current surge in demand may eat into future demand, and tobacco-related industries are concerned cigarette sales will drop sharply after the tax hike.

Based on overseas examples of tobacco tax hikes, JT projects cigarette sales will drop by 25 percent over the year through the end of September 2011 from the previous year. Many people also buy coffee, alcoholic drinks or magazines when they purchase cigarettes at convenience stores, so these retailers fear lower cigarette sales may affect their overall performance.

Some convenience stores are preparing to sell candy and chewing gum at a discount, believing smokers will substitute such items for cigarettes.

In an effort to boost its cigarette sales, JT plans to remodel Mild Seven and other key brands over several years, changing their package designs to make them look more sophisticated. "Cigarettes will become luxury items after the tobacco tax hike. We're willing to invest to make our products worthy of their price," JT President Mitsuomi Koizumi said. (Japan Tobacco (JT) - Mild Seven adding a new menthol and redsigning 15 varieties to keep domestic market sharegrowth..)

JT also plans to develop new products, following the success of the company's popular Zero Style Mint smokeless tobacco, which has been in short supply due to its extreme popularity. (Japan Tobacco, Inc. Zero Style Mint, company says it is selling well..)

Antismoking goods also strong.. The scheduled tobacco tax hike has given a boost to businesses targeting people trying to quit smoking. At Sugi Holdings Co., a major drugstore chain headquartered in Aichi Prefecture, sales of nicotine gum and e-cigarettes increased 50 percent in May and June from the same period last year.

The increase followed JT's application to the Finance Ministry on April 28 to raise the tobacco tax.

An increasing number of customers have asked store clerks about effective ways to stop smoking, the company said. In response, Sugi Holdings plans to have pharmacists offer counseling services in some of its stores in Osaka and Aichi prefectures for people who want to quit smoking.

In late August, Tokyo-headquartered Cocokara Fine Holdings Inc., which operates the Seijo chain of drugstores, set up a section for nicotine gum and other smoking cessation aids in some of its major stores.

Reference: Smokers stock up before tax hike, Mamoru Kurihara / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer, Daily, 9/7/2010.

Japan - some related news briefs:
Japan - nation's first smoke-free beach opens for season in Kanagawa Prefecture..:
Osaka, Japan - smoking ban in taxis from July 2010..;
Japan - people more aware of dangers of smoking cigarettes - dangers to smokers and those around them..;
Japan - 7 governors consider measures against passive smoking..;
Japan, Kanagawa Prefecture to ban smoking on beaches..;
Japan - Health Ministry set to urge all local governments to go smoke-free..;
Japan - TASPO (tobacco passport) cards to confirm legal age of cigarette purchaser..;
Tokyo, Japan - smokers find haven on smoke-free streets..;
Japan Tobacco - reacts angrily to governments decision to raise cigarette tax..;
Japan - tax increase, a pack of 20 cigarettes will increase by an average of 33%..;
Japan - cigarette taxes increase may be less than expected..;
Japan - prime minister calls for tobacco tax increase..;
Japan Tobacco growing popularity of its British cigarette brands..;
Japan - new government administration considering raising cigarette taxes..;
Japan - plaintiffs have slim chance of winning against big tobacco..;
Japan - convenience store sales fell in June 2009..;
Japan - tobacco control people upset with smoker-only cafes..;
Japan - Tokyo smoking cafes, people with children, those under 20 NOT allowed..;
Japan - Kanagawa - bans smoking in public places starting April 2010..;
Japan shelves tobacco tax hike for 2009..;
Japan - Ruling party plans tobacco tax hike in 2009..;
Japan Tobacco Starts Petition To Fight Tax Increase..;
How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..;
Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices..;
Japanese tobacco giants focus on point-of-sales cigarette purchases..;
Japan - photos can be used to fool the age-verification cameras on some vending machines..;
Vending Machines - Japanese protecting their children from becoming life-long nicotine addicts...

CRE states that the FDA Tobacco Advisory Committee is in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act ..

September 8, 2010 - The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE), a regulatory watchdog managed by former White House Office of Management and Budget regulatory officials, has issued a scathing report on FDA non-compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

Central to CRE's arguments is the fact that FDA is dominating the advisory committee by controlling the production of key studies. CRE has called these illegal actions to the attention of FDA a number of times but FDA continues to act outside the law because they conclude that since the product in question is tobacco that the normal rules of fair play do not apply.

On September 27 FDA is to announce a Menthol Subcommittee which will review scientific studies dealing with menthol. CRE has expressed the concern that FDA will continue to work outside the law regarding the operation of this subcommittee. More specifically, FDA will write the report and submit it to the Menthol subcommittee for an up or down vote as it did for the Constituents subcommittee —clearly using a group of outside scientists as a ruse for its preconceived views on the science.

Following the FDA advisory meeting of July 15 and 16 we reported that Credit Suisse said that, "It appears that the FDA will create a report sub-committee to draft the final recommendation before a full committee vote on it but we do not know yet, if the draft will be developed publicly. Independent of the recommendation we still do not believe that the FDA would ultimately ban menthol," the brokerage said. The final menthol recommendation is expected in March 2011.

FDA CTP SAC - 2nd Meeting - July 15, 16, 2010 plus..
HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has an office dedicated to the enforcement of Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), why has it not acted? Feel free to contact the Advisory Committee Oversight and Management Staff (ACOMS), FDA at 301-796-8220 or the Center for Tobacco Products 240-276-1717

CRE understands that elements of the tobacco industry were supportive of FDA regulation of its products; as the old saying goes: "you had better be sure what you wish for – you may get it". (Tobacco Fed Regs is Philip Morris running the show..)

TPSAC (Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee) is going to review every major regulation dealing with the tobacco industry for years to come. It is essential that it begin its operations on a sound footing, meaning compliance with FACA and the Data Quality Act – the former a statutory mandate for fairness in its governance and the latter a statutory mandate to utilize sound science.

See related articles including FDA Week.

See an entire Interactive Public Docket dedicated to the FDA Tobacco Advisory Committee. (A Public Participation Forum for the FDA Tobacco Advisory Committee)

For additional information, call the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness at 202.265.2383 or email Jim Tozzi at

Reference: Center for Regulatory Effectiveness States that the FDA Tobacco Advisory Committee is in Violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, SOURCE Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, PR Newswire, 9/7/2010.


Poland - proposed cigarette tax higher than tobacco companies expected..

September 8, 2010 - Tobacco companies are shocked at government proposals to raise tobacco duty by 7.5 percent in 2011, almost 6 percent more than originally expected.

Primary government consultations with tobacco representatives resulted in a duty hike amounting to 1.8 percent, from 146.83 zloty (36.93 euro, 47.05 USD) per 1000 cigarettes to 149.59 zloty (37.62 euro, 47.92 USD).

The outcry from tobacco concerns comes after cabinet proposals to raise duty on cigarettes by as much as 7.5 percent.

According to Krzysztof Kepinski, head of government relations at British American Tobacco, such a hike would raise the price of a packet of cigarettes by as much as 0.90 zloty (0.23 euro, 0.29 USD).

The increase in duty will also be bolstered by the planned 1 percent VAT hike. “Experience shows that too many hikes do not necessarily guarantee higher revenue,” Philip Morris Polska board member Michal Mierzejewski says, hinting that sales will not necessarily rise along with price hikes.

The Finance Ministry expects budget revenue from the tobacco hikes to amount to 220 million zloty (55.3 million euro) in 2011, a 4 percent increase on 2010. The ministry is also expecting a 2.5 percent increase in illegal tobacco trade.

However, the Finance Ministry has announced that exact cigarette prices for 2011 will not be set until 1 October 2010, as the duty will depend on the zloty-euro exchange rate on that date. (jb)

Reference: Tobacco companies hard hit by duty and VAT hikes, Source: Puls Biznesu,, 9/8/2010.

Poland - related news briefs:
VIDEO - Poland is frontline in EU battle with tobacco smugglers..;
Poland - attempt to introduce smoking ban in public places fails..;
Poland - lower house weakens smoking ban..;
Poland - disappointment , full parliament sends smoking ban bill back to committee to weaken bill..;
Poland - pubs and restaurants fear bankruptcy if smoking ban becomes law..;
Poland - lower house of parliament (Sejm) will vote Friday, February 12th on smoking ban..;
Poland - son suing Philip Morris Polska and Zakłady Przemysłu Tytoniowego over death of his mother..;
Poland to ban smoking in indoor public places, in passenger cars if children present and prohibit display of cigarettes..;

Philippines - anti-smoking group files case to push for graphic warnings on cigarette packs..

Dr. Juan Flavier..
September 8 Dr. Juan Flavier, sought on Tuesday, September 7th a declaratory relief from the Makati Regional Trial Court over an administrative order (AO) which required tobacco
manufacturers to put graphic warnings on the harmful effects of tobacco products on cigarette packs.

April 7, 2010 - Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..

May 25, 2010 - Philippines - Department of Health wants health warnings on cigarette packs within 90 days..

June 4, 2010 - Philippines - tobacco firms claim graphic warnings on cigarette packs are illegal..

July 7, 2010 - Philippines - tobacco industry has obtained temporary relief from placing graphic warnings on cigarette packs..

August 23, 2010 - Philippines - tobacco companies don't want warnings on cigarette packs..

August 26, 2010 - Philippines - injunction regarding picture health warnings on cigarette packs nationwide..
The petitioners want the court to clarify the extent of the Department of Health’s authority to issue an AO that seeks to promote the people’s right to health information.

“(We) pray that the Honorable Court make a judicial determination of the construction of the Tobacco Regulation Act in relation to DOH AO No. 2010-0013 and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its guidelines,” they said in their 40-page petition.

In separate cases, two tobacco companies have managed to secure injunctions from some, but not from all courts, by saying that the DOH could not issue an administrative order promoting the public’s right to health because of a provision in the Tobacco Regulation Act (TRA).

“The pivotal issue in this case is whether Section 13 (g) of the TRA precludes the DOH from issuing the AO,” said lawyers Leo Battad and Jose Jose of the UP Office of Legal Aid, counsel for the petitioners.
Section 13 (g) of the TRA requires that no other printed warnings, except the health warning and the message required shall be placed on cigarette packs.

In the petition, the lawyers argued that Section 13(G) of the TRA did not curtail the right and duty of the DOH to issue regulations protecting the right to health and health information through AO 2010-0013. They added that the requirement of graphic health information under the AO complements Section 13(G) of the TRA.

Reference: Flavier, anti-smoke groups file case to push graphic warnings on cigarette packs by Tina Santos, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 9/7/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - bill would require 75% of locally-grown tobacco in cigarettes..;
Philippines - lawmaker files bill to make cigarette-makers share in the health costs of smoking..;
Philippines - House of Representatives turns down proposal to hke tax on cigarettes by 400%..;
Philippines - PMI warehouse opens - former smokers that no longer have a voice are upset..;
Philippines - injunction regarding picture health warnings on cigarette packs nationwide..;
Philippines - more and more women dying of lung cancer..;
Philippines - tobacco companies don't want warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - President Aquino has stated he will prioritize increase in the tax on cigarettes..;
Philippines - DOH pushing for hefty tax increase on cigarettes..;
Philippines - Muslim council says smoking is forbidden..;
Philippines - PMFTC has 90% of the tobacco market..;
Philippines - Philip Morris report sales higher than annual 2-3% growth..;
Philippines - National Tobacco Assoc. will oppose any move to reduce demand for tobacco unless govt..;
Philippines - tobacco industry has obtained temporary relief from placing graphic warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - govt agencies and employees barred from unnessary interaction with tobacco industry..;
Philippines - Filipino Muslims forbidden to smoke, trade cigarettes..;
Philippine congress proclaims Aquino 15th president..;
Philippines - tobacco firms claim graphic warnings on cigarette packs are illegal..;
Philippines - new president smokes but this should not slow tobacco prevention activities..:
Philippines - Department of Health wants health warnings on cigarette packs within 90 days..;
Philippines - health groups want more protection from the dangers of tobacco..;
Philippines - DOH warns government agencies to avoid partnerships or accepting donations from tobacco manufacturers..;
Philip Morris Philippines..;
Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - PMI - FTC merger may lead smokers continuing to smoke and lure children into a life of nicotine addiction..;
Philippines - PMI and Fortune Tobacco Corp. form new company called PMFTC..;
Philippines - Tanauan City names street Philip Morris..;
Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..;
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...

Malaysia - horrific graphic warnings on cigarette packs, cartons..

September 8, 2010 - The author, Harmon Leon believes that Malaysia's grapic warning on cigarette packs takes the horrific cake when it comes to all-time graphic, stomach-churning, near vomit-inducing cigarette warning labels. Since June 2009, all cigarettes on sale must have pictorial warnings covering 40% of the front and 60% of the back, in the country's two main languages, Malay and English.

On May 31, 2008, the Malaysian Minister of Health announced that pictoral warnings would appear on cigarette packages in that country and on September 15, 2008, the 6 required images were gazetted.

On January 1, 2009, each manufacturer must ensure that 2-brands display the warning messages and by March 1, 2009, all brands must display these warnings. From March 2009, all cigarette packs sold in Malaysia have to carry graphic pictures to warn people of the dangers of smoking. On June 1, 2009, all cigarettes without the new warnings must be removed from the market. (source: Dr. Mohamad Haniki Nik Mohamed)

a href="">Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings...
I couldn't bring myself to print some of the most disgusting examples (shriveled fetus, anyone?) but even the less disturbing stuff is still pretty disturbing. The author presents a few Malaysian cigarette warnings with grotesque imagery that you can never unsee - click on reference below to view examples of images.

One quarter of the respondents in Malaysia said the labels have no effect in preventing them from smoking or stopping smoking. What more disgusting of a deterrent do these people need? The Kennedy assassination? Nude Dick Cheney?

Reference: Horrific Malaysian Cigarette Labels Should Eradicate Smoking, Harmon Leon, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/7/2010.

Malaysia - some related news briefs:
Malaysia - one out of three packets of cigarettes was smuggled;
Malaysia - doing a better job of seizing smuggled cigarettes..;
Malaysia - best way to get teenage girls to stop smoking is through education..;
Malaysia - ban on 14-stick cigarette packs delayed worry about increase in illicit cigarettes..;
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...

Bulgaria - as part of a bid to increase government revenues finance minister proposing tax hikes on certain cigarettes..

September 7, 2010 - The Bulgarian Ministry of Finance (Simeon Djankov - image below.) has published proposals for adjustments in the tax system in a bid to increase revenue for the 2011 state budget.

The proposals, posted at the Ministry's website, do not involve an overall increase in taxation rates, but introduces greater levy burdens for some cases.

Key proposed innovations include a unified VAT for the tourist sector, a new offshore tax, as well as increases in the rates for fuels and some tobacco products.
Some of the amendments to the tax legislation are motivated by the Ministry of Finance with the need to harmonize Bulgarian regulations with EU norms. This includes the tourism VAT rate, which at present is 7% for organized groups and a regular 20% rate for self-organized tourists. The proposal is for a 14% unified rate for all tourist transactions, which will guarantee equality for all tourists.

The increase in fuel excise also follows an agreement with the EU. The proposal for regular gasoline is BGN 710 per 1000 l instead of the current BGN 685.

The excise for cigarettes will also be adjusted, with cigarettes up to 8 cm (filter excluded) taxed at the regular rate, cigarettes 8-11 cm taxed at a double rate, and products 11-14 cm at a triple rate.

Directly related news briefs: April 1, 2010 - Bulgaria - every increase in excise duty on cigarettes consumption goes down.;
March 31 2010 - Bulgaria - grace period over, increase in tobacco tax starts Thursday, April 1, 2010...
A 10% tax will be levied at the source for offshore transactions to reduce tax evasion and money laundering.

A major innovation is proposed in the field of depreciation (amortization), which sees the speed of depreciation of assets decreased. This will increase the value of companies' assets and so the amounts taxable.

Reference: Bulgaria to Up Some Taxes to Boost 2011 Revenue,, 9/7/2010.

Bulgaria - cigarette smuggling news briefs:
Bulgartabac - 1st half 2010 - Bulgarian Tobacco Company Registers Huge Profit Increase..;
Bulgaria - customs agents find large scale cigarette contraband.. ;
Bulgaria - customs intercepts 6-tons of smuggled tobacco headed for Romania..;
Bulgaria - were the cigarettes contraband or not..Moldova says NO..;
Bulgaria - Italian authorities arrest 2-Bulgarians smuggling cigarettes..;
Bulgaria - do producers support contraband cigarettes??;
Bulgaria - illegal trade in cigarettes will reach 40% of total trade in 2010..;
Bulgaria -two cigarette smuggling attempts busted on Serbian border..;
Bulgaria - police busts major cigarette contraband ring..;
Bulgaria - MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators..;
Bulgaria and others - smoking ban, increased cigarette taxes, smuggling..;
Bulgaria - cigarette contraband, government loses BGN 920M yearly..;
Bulgaria - one third of the tobacco products sold are illicit..;
PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..;
WHO FCTC Protocol to Prevent Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Won't Be Completed Until End of 2010..;


MMWR - Vital Signs: Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke --- United States, 1999--2008..

September 7, 2010 - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) - September 7, 2010 / 59(Early Release);7-12

Secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, exacerbated asthma, respiratory symptoms, and decreased lung function in children.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 1999--2008 were analyzed to determine the proportion of the nonsmoking population with serum cotinine (the primary nicotine metabolite) levels ≥0.05 ng/mL, by age, sex, race/ethnicity, household income level, and to determine whether the household included a person who smoked inside the home.

Secondhand smoke exposure has declined in the United States, but 88 million nonsmokers aged ≥3 years are still exposed, progress in reducing exposure has slowed, and disparities in exposure persist, with children being among the most exposed. Nearly all nonsmokers who live with someone who smokes inside their home are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Read Report: Vital Signs: Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke --- United States, 1999--2008..

MMWR - Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years --- United States, 2009..

September 7, 2010 - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) - September 7, 2010 / 59(Early Release);1-6

Previous declines in smoking prevalence in the United States have stalled during the past 5 years; the burden of cigarette smoking continues to be high, especially in persons living below the federal poverty level and with low educational attainment.

Sustained, adequately funded, comprehensive tobacco control programs could reduce adult smoking.

Read Report: Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years --- United States, 2009..

Finland - ban on smoking on terraces of private apartments overturned..

September 7, 2010 - Finland has been a real disappointment when it comes to tobacco control. Based on what Finns were saying it was felt they consumption of tobacco would end by 2040.. It doesn't look like this will happen based on the the new tobacco act approved by the President of Finland.

To underscore the weakness of tobacco control an administrative court in the Finnish city of Hämeenlinna (about 70 miles north of Helsinki) has overturned a ban that the municipality of Pirkkala imposed on smoking on the terrace of a private rental apartment, according to an Esmerk Finnish News story.

The municipality banned smoking on the patio of a privately-owned building on the grounds that cigarette smoke could pose a health risk to residents in the neighboring apartment.

The administrative court ruled that while the smoke tests carried out by health inspectors were appropriate, a ban that applied to the whole courtyard was too strict.

Reference: Terrace smoking ban too strict, Tobacco Reporter, 9/7/2010.

Finland - some related news briefs:
Finland - president approves new tobacco act, not as strong as people hoped..;
Finland - Philip Morris destroys 20 million cigarettes - not self-extinguishing..;
Finland - govt can not prevent people from smoking in cars when kids are present..;
Finland - proposal for plain cigarette packaging surfaces again..;
Finland - parliament will soon vote on anti-smoking bill..;
Finland - anti-smoking bill will end smoking altogether..;
Finland - to end the consumption of tobacco products by 2040..;
Finland - extends anti-tobacco law, restricting smoking in cars and ban on cigarette displays..;
Finland - health officials devising more restrictions to fight tobacco use..;
Finland - government proposing ban on smoking when kids present and other tobacco control measures..;
Finland may ban smoking in cars carrying children..;
Finland - Court of Appeals Hears Cigarette Liability Case, Decision Spring 2010..;
Finland banning shops from displaying cigarettes..;
Finland - proposal to ban tobacco display, total ban on SNUS..;
European Health Commissioner reprimands Astrid Thors for snus liberation campaign..;
Aland Islands Dispute Over Sale of SNUS On Board Ships Threatens Finland's Ratification of the EU's Treaty of Lisbon (The Reform Treaty)..;
Finnish Ferry Goes Swedish Over Snus Ban..;
EU Takes Finland to Court Again For NOT Banning the Use of Oral Tobacco..