Romania - one-third of cigarette market - smuggled cigarettes..

October 23, 2010 - BUCHAREST (Romania), October 21 – Around one in every three cigarettes Romanian smokers buy this year will be a smuggled product, according to a market survey quoted by local news agency Mediafax on Thursday, Octber 21st. Smuggled cigarettes accounted for 24.4% of the Romanian cigarette market in September, compared to 21.3% in July, a survey conducted by local company Novel research showed, Mediafax reported.

Cigarette producers say the rise in the sales of contraband cigarettes is due to the austerity measures recently adopted by the Romanian government. Among these measures was a hike in the value-added tax rate to 24% from 19% as of July 1.

Adrian Popa, head of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, British American Tobacco: "The significant decrease in illicit trade in cigarettes in only six months, to 21.3% in July 2010, from 36.2% in January 2010, has proved authorities' capacity to deal with this phenomenon." Popa also said that the survey by Novel research clearly showed that the austerity measures had triggered an increase in cigarette smuggling between July and September. According to Popa, the government will lose an estimated 180 million euro ($252 million) in taxes and excises because of cigarette smuggling.

The average price of a pack of contraband cigarettes in Romania is 7.8 lei ($2.5/1.8 euro), 3.1 lei lower than the price legally sold cigarettes. Most contraband cigarettes sold in Romania come from Moldova - 31.5%, Ukraine - 24%, and Serbia - 21.7%. Overall, these three countries account for 77% of the total contraband cigarette market in Romania.

The Romanian government banned the sale of tobacco and alcohol in duty free shops as of April this year but cigarette producers have said they doubt the ban would hinder contraband in any way, Mediafax reported but cigarette producers have said they doubt the ban would hinder contraband in any way, Mediafax reported. (Romania slowly cancels duty free activity – only five years left for existing stores,, 5/21/2010)

(1 euro = 4.3152 Romanian lei)
(1 USD = 3.0762 Romanian lei)

Reference: Smuggling To Feed One-third of Romania's 2010 Cigarette Market,, 10/21/2010.

Some Romania related news briefs:
Romania - new strategy coming to cracking down on cigarette smuggling..;
Romania - cigarette smuggling decreased in March 2010..;
Romania - PMI suspends cigarette production for two-weeks starting February 19th..;
Romania to increase excise tax on cigarettes April 1, 2009..;
Congratulations are in order: Netherlands, Romania & Alberta..;

Denver, CO - smoking banned on hospital grounds so smokers smoking/littering in surrounding neighborhoods..

October 23, 2010 - The Denver City Council on Monday, October 18th agreed on an 11 to 2 vote to continue to ban smoking in areas surrounding hospitals. The council approved the ban on a trial basis in August of 2008. It was scheduled to sunset in November, but Councilwoman Carol Boigon convinced her colleagues to continue the ban despite complaints from some that the ban pushes smoking into residential areas. The ordinance, supported by hospitals, imposes a $300 fine for those smoking in the right of ways, such as sidewalks and medians, surrounding hospitals. (Denver council opposed "Personhood Amendment," continues ban on smoking near hospitals by Christopher N. Osher, The Denver Post, 10/19/2010)

The ordinance required smokers to move away from hospitals to light up. The legislation has drawn a criticism from an unlikely source. Dr. Charles Brantigan says he does not support a hospital smoking ban because he sees evidence of smokers by his house and along the streets of the Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center campus in North Denver. "If you walk up the street, the whole area is littered with cigarette butts," Brantigan said. "This is the 21st Avenue ashtray."

Brantigan called the ordinance unenforceable, saying police are not going to write tickets for such a minor offense. "It's a problem with people smoking outside the hospital and littering," Councilwoman Carol Boigan, who sponsored the ordinance, said. Boigan says private hospitals have largely utilized their security guards to ask people to stop smoking on hospital grounds.

She did say Denver Health Medical Center officials have asked to meet with police to come up with a strategy for better enforcement. Many patients or others walking near the sidewalk may not have an idea the law is in place.

Reference: VIDEO - Denver continues hospital smoking bans ,, 10/22/2010.


RAI - highlights q3 2010 earnings report..

October 22, 2010 - Susan M. Ivey - Chairman, President and CEO of Reynolds American, President of RAI. Ivey, 51, said she would retire as chairwoman on October 31, 2010 then as chief executive, president and member of the board of directors on February 28, 2011.

Increases in adjusted earnings and margins were driven by gains in our operating company's powerful key brands, all of which posted record consumer uptake market share in the third quarter. Reynolds' market share was unchanged at 28.2 percent compared with a year ago.

Ivey noted that the expansion of R.J. Reynolds' field trade-marketing organization to serve American Snuff, through a services agreement has been largely completed. This change gives both companies greater speed to market, provides stronger support for the retail trade, and gives the company's brand a strong retail presence, and will significantly benefit American Snuff brand.

Reynolds American - consolidating smoking plants, expanding smokeless plants..

R.J. Reynolds - cigarette growth brands:
Camel and Pall Mall, the lower-cost cigarette option, represent 55 percent of Reynolds' 20.1 billion in cigarette volume during the quarter. Overall volume, however, was down 2.5 percent from a year ago. Reynolds said that higher prices and increased sales of Camel and Pall Mall helped offset lower cigarette-shipment volumes. Although Camel remains the brand face of Reynolds, Pall Mall continued its notable climb. Camel's market share was 8 percent, compared with 7.7 percent a year ago. By comparison, Pall Mall's market share was 7.8 percent, compared with 5 percent a year ago. Pall Mall is the nation's fourth largest and fastest growing major cigarette brand.

For the first nine months, R.J. Reynolds’ cigarette shipment volume was down 5.1 percent, but down only 2.2 percent excluding private-label brands. By comparison, industry volume declined 3.5 percent from the prior-year period.

Pulse promotions used in marketing Pall Mall, i.e., lower the price for a short period and the raise it. They see around a 50% retention rate after the price is raised.

“Camel’s menthol styles, which utilize R.J. Reynolds’ capsule technology, are contributing to Camel’s strong performance,” Delen (Chairman, President and CEO, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco) said. “These styles offer adult smokers fresh menthol flavor when they choose, and are appealing to competitive menthol smokers.” Camel Crush also enhanced the brand’s share performance in the menthol segment. Using the same capsule technology, this style offers adult smokers the choice of regular or menthol with each cigarette. Including Camel Crush, Camel’s third-quarter menthol market share increased 0.5 percentage points to 1.9 percent.

Smokeless tobacco, American Snuff and R.J.Reynolds (Camel Snus, Camel Dissolvables)..

American Snuff continued to show gains in total moist-snuff shipment volume, increasing 1.2 percent in the third quarter from the prior-year quarter, and gaining 5.0 percent in the first nine months from the prior-year period. American Snuff’s total moist-snuff share of shipments of 29.2 percent was down 0.7 percentage points in the third quarter.

Levels of competitive promotional shipments and changes in the largest competitor’s returned-goods reporting continued to distort industry moist-snuff shipments. Industry shipments were up 8.6 percent in the third quarter.

Grizzly, the company’s flagship brand, increased third-quarter shipment volume by 2.3 percent in the third quarter. “As we anticipated, the upgrade to the Grizzly family’s packaging and addition of embossed metal lids in April has helped the brand return to growth.

Grizzly's market share shrank 0.3 percentage points to 25.3 percent as Altria raised its marketing of Copenhagen during the quarter. However, Grizzly's shipment volume rose 1.8 percent to 82.5 million cans.

Grizzly continued to capture share in the rapidly growing pouch segment, which represents almost 9 percent of total moist-snuff category sales. Grizzly accounted for 23.6 percent of all pouch sales in the third quarter, and has the No. 1 wintergreen pouch style in the marketplace.

American Snuff’s premium brand, Kodiak, remained relatively stable in the third quarter, with share of shipments of 3.6 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from the prior-year quarter. Kodiak’s volume was down 5.2 percent in the third quarter, but for the first nine months it was in line with the prior-year period.

Camel Dip, the company’s newest premium introduction, remained relatively stable in the third quarter. American Snuff continues to evaluate opportunities to strengthen Camel Dip’s marketplace performance.

“Camel SNUS, the brand’s first modern smoke-free product, is holding steady on a volume basis even with lower promotional levels,” Delen said. “Two new styles — Robust and Winterchill — were introduced in the third quarter, and they are attracting additional interest.” Packed in larger pouches, the new styles offer adult tobacco consumers a richer, more full bodied tobacco taste, as well as smoke-free, spit-free convenience. All four Camel SNUS styles are being sold in select stores nationwide.

R.J. Reynolds continues to gain valuable consumer insights on Camel’s new line of
innovative dissolvable tobacco products — Orbs, Sticks and Strips. These insights will help the company as it continues to refine its dissolvable product offerings.

RAI’s Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company subsidiary continued to deliver excellent results in the third quarter, with its Natural American Spirit brand again driving gains in earnings and volume, with record market share. Santa Fe hit a record market share, marching towards the one share point area. And we see double-digit volume and double-digit earnings growth at Santa Fe. And so, despite the economy this uniquely positioned super-premium all natural product is continuing its growth trend.

References: Earnings Call Transcript; Reynolds posts profit, Source: Winston-Salem Journal, by Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, N.C., 10/22/2010.

PMI - q3 2010 highlights..

October 22, 2010 - Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products through its subsidiaries and affiliates. The Company's products are sold in approximately 160 countries. PMI's portfolio comprises both international and local brands. Its portfolio comprises both international and local brands, which include Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris and Red & White. The Company divides its markets into four geographic regions: The European Union (EU); The Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMA); The Asia Region, and The Latin America and Canada Region.

Hermann Waldemer, Chief Financial Officer. As anticipated, our third quarter results were adversely impacted by various timing issues, in particular relating to Japan. More than half our organic volume decline in the quarter was attributable to the payback for the previously disclosed 3.4 billion unit build up of stocks at our distributor in Japan during the second quarter this year. (Japan - smokers stocking up on cigarettes before October 1st tax hike..) The lower sales to Japan also drove an unfavorable geographic mix in the quarter. We do however remain very competitive in this important market, where Marlboro is growing shares behind innovative line extensions, such as Marlboro Black Menthol and Marlboro Ice Blast, which reached a combined market share of 2% in the quarter.

We continue to face a difficult environment in both Greece and Turkey, resulting from the significant tax increases that occurred earlier this year. Industry volume in these markets was down by 8% and 6% respectively in the third quarter, and the widening of price gaps has led to consumer down-trading and an unfavorable product mix.

In the quarter, PMI’s cigarette shipment volume of 229.2 billion units was up by 4.5%. In the EU, cigarette shipment volume decreased by 4.6%, predominantly due to lower total markets. In EEMA (Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa)
cigarette shipment volume declined by 3.3%, primarily due to: Turkey, reflecting the continuing unfavorable impact of a significant excise tax increase in January 2010; and Ukraine, reflecting the unfavorable impact of inventory movements and tax-driven price increases in January and July, 2010; partly offset by increases in
Russia and North Africa, mainly in Algeria.

In Asia, PMI’s cigarette shipment volume increased by 28.8%, primarily reflecting growth in Indonesia, Korea and Pakistan, as well as the favorable impact of the PMFTC Inc. business combination in the Philippines of 16.2 billion units. This was partially offset by the timing of shipments in Japan, reflecting the payback of the distributor inventory build-up in the second quarter of 2010 in anticipation of increased trade and consumer purchases ahead of the October 1, 2010, tax increase.

In Latin America & Canada, cigarette shipment volume decreased by 1.7%, due mainly to unfavorable trade inventory movements in Colombia following the tax-driven price increase in July and a decline in the tax-paid market. On an organic basis, which excludes acquisitions, PMI’s cigarette shipment volume was down by
2.9% in the quarter and by 1.6% year-to-date.

Total cigarette shipments of Marlboro of 75.9 billion units were down by 1.2% in the quarter, or by a moderate 0.8% on a year-to-date basis, due primarily to a decrease in the EU, mainly reflecting: a share decline in Germany, lower share in Greece, driven by excise tax and VAT-driven price increases, and unfavorable distributor inventory movements in Italy; a slight decrease in EEMA of 0.2%, primarily due to Turkey, partially offset by robust growth in North Africa; an essentially flat performance in Asia, led by growth in Korea and the Philippines, offset by Japan; and growth in Latin America and Canada of 0.8%, driven by Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.

Total cigarette shipments of L&M of 22.9 billion units were down by 2.0%, with shipment growth in the EU, primarily in Greece, and Asia, more than offset by EEMA, primarily due to declines in Russia, Turkey
and Ukraine. Due mainly to double-digit declines in shipments in Spain and Ukraine, partially offset by growth in Germany, Poland and Russia, total cigarette shipments of Chesterfield of 9.3 billion units declined by 1.4%. Total cigarette shipments of Parliament of 9.1 billion units were down by 5.0%, due primarily to declines in Japan and Turkey, partially offset by growth in Korea and Russia.

Total cigarette shipments of Lark of 6.7 billion units decreased by 10.2%, due primarily to declines in Japan, partially offset by growth in Turkey.

Total cigarette shipments of Bond Street of 11.6 billion units increased by 2.5%, driven by doubledigit growth in Russia, partly offset by Turkey and Ukraine.

Total shipment volume of other tobacco products (OTP), in cigarette equivalent units, grew by 64.0%, benefitting from the acquisition of Swedish Match South Africa (Proprietary) Limited. Excluding acquisitions, shipment volume of OTP was down by 0.9%, primarily due to lower volume in Poland, reflecting the impact of the excise tax alignment of pipe tobacco to roll-your-own in the first quarter of 2009.

Total shipment volume for cigarettes and OTP was up by 5.5%, or down by 2.8% excluding acquisitions. On a year-to-date basis, total shipment volume for cigarettes and OTP was up by 5.4% and down by 1.7% excluding acquisitions.

PMI’s market share performance in the quarter was stable, or registered growth, in a number of markets, including Argentina, Belgium, Egypt, France, Greece, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Reference: PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL INC. (PMI) REPORTS 2010 THIRD-QUARTER RESULTS; INCREASES 2010 EPS GUIDANCE; Philip Morris Management Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript transcript;
Philip Morris Management Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript - Q&A. questions and answers

Bulgaria - smoking rate down, knowledge of dangers of tobacco use gaining..

Click to enlarge..
October 22, 2010 - The smoking rate in Bulgaria, which has been traditionally high compared to other European countries, has decreased by 5 percentage points, according to a study. The report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health and released Thursday, shows that 56% of Bulgarians aged 15-65 have not smoked during the last month, which is with 5 percentage points than what was registered last year.

The study concentrated on the level of information Bulgarian citizens have on various health hazards. 77% of people interviewed stated that they feel well informed about the risks of smoking. More than 60% of Bulgarians have stated that they are ready to observe the ban on smoking at public places and work offices.

Bulgaria has one of the highest smokers rates in the EU at some 39% of people declaring themselves daily smokers, topped only by Greece at 42%.

Other interesting information from the report includes the fact that some 14% of Bulgarians aged 15-65 have tried some form of drug at least once, most frequently marijuana, hashish, amphetamines and ecstasy.

Reference: Bulgarians Smoke Less than Before - Study, (Sofia News Agency), 10/21/2010.

Bulgaria - related news briefs:
Bulgaria - another tobacco tax increase in the draft 2011 budget..;
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 Bulgaria;


Western Australia - resources for enforcement of tobacco control measures needed..

October 22, 2010 - Western Australia (WA) tough anti-smoking laws are failing to be enforced by councils (local government associations) amid growing concerns about the cost and drain on resources.

We have a tremendous amount respect for the Government of Western Australia for putting in place strong tobacco control measures to protect the health of their citizens, especially their children. Besides educating people on the importance of the new measures a procedure must be in place for enforcement. (Congratulations Western Australia (WA) - September 22, 2010 stricter anti-smoking laws in effect..)

Background: Laws passed by the state government last year, which come into effect on September 22, 2010 have tightened restrictions in WA. Bans include: tobacco product displays in retail premises (with exemption for specialist tobacco retailers); smoking in outdoor eating areas (with some exemptions; smoking in cars with children under 17 years present; smoking near children's playground equipment; smoking between the flags at the beach; forcing staff to work in designated smoking areas.

Western Australia - strict anti-smoking laws come into effect on September, 22, 2010..
Under the rules, which came into force a month ago today, councils are responsible for enforcing the ban on smoking in restaurant and cafe alfresco areas, near playground equipment and between the flags at beaches. The ban on smoking in cars carrying children under 17 is monitored only by police, who pass on details of offenders to the Health Department to determine and issue penalties.

This week, the City of Melville (Local Government Area in the southern suburbs of the Western Australian capital city of Perth) joined a growing chorus of councils highlighting the impost [imposted as a result of] of the laws on resources, with councillors voting to write to local MPs (members of parliament) highlighting the cost implications and lobbying for any funding it deemed necessary.

The council, in the Alfred Cove electorate of MP Janet Woollard, who fashioned the laws, has said that depending on the level of compliance, it might have to spend $100,000 a year on an extra ranger and car. New signs at its 139 playgrounds would cost an estimated $30,000. The council has not fined anyone since the laws came into effect. It relies on voluntary compliance but will respond to complaints.

A survey of Stirling, Wanneroo, Joondalup, Swan, Rockingham and Fremantle councils also found none had issued fines. "While the new bans make sense from a health perspective, the city does not have the capacity to employ additional staff for the sole purpose of patrolling and enforcing the new smoking laws," Fremantle health and building services co-ordinator Matthew Piggott said.

A Health Department spokeswoman said it would provide advice and help to councils on a case-by-case basis. She said the laws were an extension of long-standing smoking restrictions, which have required minimal council resources to ensure compliance.

Dr Woollard said enforcement was always intended to be through self-regulation and education and she believed councils could enforce the laws using existing resources. Shadow health minister Roger Cook said the lack of preparation was now showing in the councils' sentiment and funding calls should be met.

Reference: Smoking ban 'too costly' for council, BEATRICE THOMAS,, 10/22/2010.

Western Australia related news briefs:
Congratulations Western Australia (WA) - September 22, 2010 stricter anti-smoking laws in effect..;
Western Australia - September 22, 2010 stricter anti-smoking laws in effect..;
Western Australia - even in outdoor, well-ventilated areas, second-hand smoke presented a health risk..;
Western Australia - strict anti-smoking laws come into effect on September, 22, 2010..;
Smoking during pregnancy - potentially negative effect on reproductive health in the next generation..;
Australia - social cost of smoking $31 billion to economy..;
Western Australia - kids no longer interested in smoking..;
Western Australia - added sweetners make cigarettes easier to tolerate..;
Western Australia - major tobacco companies were worried about tobacco controls...

PAPER: Harm reduction cigarettes can be more harmful; than conventional brands..

October 22, 2010 - To reduce the toxicity of cigarette smoke, tobacco companies have introduced "harm reduction cigarettes," often marketed as safer than conventional brands. But stem cell scientists at the University of California, Riverside have found that even sidestream smoke (which burns off the tip of a cigarette) from harm reduction cigarettes impairs growth of human embryonic stem cells more than sidestream smoke from a conventional brand.

PAPER: Comparison of the Toxicity of Smoke from Conventional and Harm Reduction Cigarettes Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Sabrina Lin, Shawn Fonteno, Jo-Hao Weng and Prue Talbot (, Toxicological Sciences 118(1): 202-212, 2010. ABSTRACT..

"Harm reduction products are not necessarily safer than their conventional counterparts," said Prue Talbot, the director of UC Riverside's Stem Cell Center and the research team leader. "Our analyses show there is significant toxicity in harm reduction products, and our data show that reduction of carcinogens in harm reduction mainstream smoke does not necessarily reduce the toxicity of unfiltered sidestream smoke."

"Embryonic stem cells provide the best model currently available for evaluating the effects of environmental toxicants on prenatal stages of development, which are usually the most sensitive to chemical stress," said Talbot, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience.

Her group also found that sidestream smoke was consistently more potent to the embryonic stem cells than mainstream smoke, regardless of whether the cigarette brand was harm reduction or conventional. "This information should be valuable to potential users of harm reduction cigarettes and should be taken into account when establishing policies regarding the sale, advertising, and use of harm reduction products," Talbot said.

Talbot's research team examined the following harm-reduction cigarette brands: Marlboro Lights, Advance Premium Lights, and Quest. The team used Marlboro Red cigarettes to represent conventional brands.

Tobacco smoke is comprised of both mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke. The latter is the major component of secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke, and is inhaled by passive smokers (involuntary smoking>.

Harm reduction cigarettes are made using complex filters or by genetically altering tobacco plants to reduce nicotine concentration.

Reference: Harm reduction cigarettes can be more harmful than conventional brands, researchers report Prue Talbot's lab at UC Riverside studied the effect of cigarette smoke on human embryonic stem cells, EurekAlert, 10/20/2010.


Altria - RAI - q3 2010 - increased earnings..

October 22, 2010 - More to come on the q3 2010 business results for Altria and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) - look for a news brief on each..

Despite lower cigarette volumes, both Altria Group Inc. and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) reported increased third-quarter earnings. Altria's net earnings increased 28.2% versus the prior-year period to $1.1 billion, due primarily to higher operating income, and higher earnings from Altria's equity investment in brewer SABMiller.

According to Thilo Wrede, research analyst for Credit Suisse, Richmond, Va.-based Altria's domestic cigarette business, Philip Morris USA, recorded the best adjusted profit growth since first-quarter 2009, with a 9% gain year on year--despite cigarette volumes being down 2.4%. "The company's focus on Marlboro continues to pay off as the brand's 70 [basis point] share gain almost offset the 80 [basis point; (1% change = 100 basis points - TW)] loss for other brands," Wrede said in a report.

Smokeless tobacco was also a driver in earnings, with Altria's smokeless business, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., growing an adjusted operating companies income (OCI) of 36.5%, as Copenhagen volume increased 19.3%. Wrede said that growth was likely due to the continued benefit from line extensions. "Pricing for the business declined 5% year on year, comparable to the 2Q10 price decline as the discounted price for the line extensions continues to have an impact."

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based RAI beat analysts' expectations, according to a Reuters report, and raised the low end of its full-year earnings forecast. RAI, which makes Camel cigarettes and Grizzly smokeless tobacco, said profit was $381 million, compared with $362 million a year earlier, according to the report.

While RAI's cigarette market share increased 0.2 share points to 27.9%, volume fell 2.5%, according to a MarketWatch report. Wrede said the company continues to reduce its private-label brands, which accounted for only 0.3% market share at the end of the quarter, compared to 0.6% at the end of the second quarter. "Assuming that the remaining private-label products will have been stopped by the end of the year, we think it is feasible for RAI to maintain its market share for the full year and grow it when excluding the SKU reductions."

He said RAI delivered the second highest adjusted earnings before interest and taxes margin since at least the first quarter of 2006, with the 30.4% being driven by moderate cigarette pricing and strong moist smokeless tobacco pricing.

RAI's smokeless tobacco volumes grew only 1.2%, pressured by aggressive pricing from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. "[RAI's] American Snuff had the upper hand in pricing compared to USSTC, but the pressure from the competition will most likely continue to impact the volume," Wrede reported.

Reference: Altria, Reynolds Rise Smokeless contributes to earnings for third quarter, CSP Daily News, 10/22/2010.

Altria - U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. - encouraging tobacco users to vote their way..

October 22, 2010 -

Back on September 25, 2010 we reported that Altria's tobacco operating companies have launched a voter education and awareness campaign for their adult tobacco consumers. (Altria believes outcome of U.S. November 2, 2010 election will benefit big tobacco..)

Mike Szymanczyk CEO of Altria, Inc. has stated on many occasions that Philip Morris owes their success: to the ability to connect with adult tobacco consumers through the in-store experience and the development of one-to-one relationships using their database of 25 million adult cigarette smokers(Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008).

We are sure some of these 25 million have stopped using tobacco but are still bombarded with coupons and other special offers enticing them to come back. For example here's a promotion for getting a coupon every week when purchasing Skoal smokeless tobacco. Skoal comes in a variety of flavors: Wintergreen, Straight, Mint, Cherry, Classic, Spearmint, Berry Blend, Vanilla Blend, Apple Blend, Peach Blend, Citrus Blend.

India - govt releases results of GAT Survey..

Educate your children..
October 21, 2010 - The Union (inside India they refer to the country as the Union) Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that while livelihood of tobacco growing farmers cannot be endangered, we must work towards moving farmers and farm workers out of the tobacco industry. ‘We cannot indefinitely tolerate a public health hazard in the name of protecting livelihoods’, the Minister said after releasing the report of the first Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) – India 2010, here today.

GATS India provides information on both, tobacco smoking and use of smokeless tobacco along with varied dimensions of tobacco use including use of different tobacco products, frequency of use, age at the time of initiation and the like. Additionally the report throws light on the other aspects of tobacco use like, exposure to second-hand smoke; cessation; the economies of tobacco; exposure to media messages on tobacco use; and knowledge of health impact of tobacco use.

GATS India Highlights
· Current tobacco use in any form: 34.6% of adults; 47.9% of males and 20.3% of females
· Current tobacco smokers: 14.0% of adults: 24.3% of males and 2.9% of females
· Current cigarette smokers: 5.7% of adults: 10.3% of males and 0.8% of females.
· Current bidi smokers: 9.2% of adults: 16.0% of males and 1.9% of females.
· Current users of smokeless tobacco: 25.9% of adults: 32.9% of males and 18.4% of females.
· Among daily tobacco users, 60.2% consumed tobacco within half an hour of waking up
· Average age at initiation of tobacco use was 17.8 with 25.8% of females starting tobacco use before the age of 15
· Among minors (age 15-17), 9.6% consumed tobacco in some form and most of them were able to purchase tobacco products.
· Five in ten current smokers (46.6%) and users of smokeless tobacco (45.2%) planned to quit or at lease thought of quitting
· Among smokers and users of smokeless tobacco who visited a health care provider, 46.3% of smokers and 26.7% of users of smokeless tobacco were advised to quit by a health care provider
· About five in ten adults (52.3%) were exposed to second-hand smoke at home and 29.0% at public places(mainly in public transport and restaurants)
· About two in three adults (64.5%) noticed advertisement or promotion of tobacco products.
· Three in five current tobacco users (61.1%) noticed the health warning on tobacco packages and one in three current tobacco users (31.5%) thought of quitting tobacco because of the warning label.

Recommendations: In view of the high prevalence of tobacco use in the country, there should be a national effort to prevent any further increase in the prevalence of tobacco use, especially among the vulnerable groups such as females, youth and children. There should also be targeted programmes addressing different types of tobacco use and different user groups with special focus on cessation. There is a need to further strengthen the implementation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, at national, state and sub-state levels. Establishment of a comprehensive implementation and regulatory structure at the national and state level is required.

India makes critical decision on education that will help convince children not to use tobacco. The government on Thursday, April 1st brought into force a new law that makes education free and compulsory for every child from age 6 to 14—the latest government initiative aimed at harnessing the economic potential of its young population. About a third of India's 1.2 billion people are under the age of 14, one of the highest ratios in the world. (Joining hands in the interest of children, Kapil Sibal, The Hindu, 1/31/2010)

More on recommendations see reference..

Reference: Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad releases First Global Adult Tobacco Survey, Govt Press Information Bureau, 10/19/2010.

India - some news briefs:
*India - bank doesn't employ tobacco users and tobacco users must pay more for bank loans...;
*India - govt keen to help tobacco farmers grow alternative crops..;
*Mumba, India - tobacco companies not following the law when advertizing..;
*PAPER: India community based study - why youth smoke..;
*India - high court rules in favor of tobacco companies that violated cigarettes with pictorial warnings rule..;
*India - study emphasizes the need to integrate tobacco control in medical curriculum..;
*India - more on govt ban on foreign direct investment..;
*India - Barakat Food will import and distribute Imperial's Davidoff Cigarettes..;
*India - more on ban on foreign direct investment - more insight on tobacco market..;
*India - increasing taxes on cigarettes and bidis to save lives..;
*India - cabinet decided to bar foreign direct investment in cigarette manufacturing..;
*India - captions with pictorial warnings should use local languages..;
*ndia - pictorial warning will appear on every tobacco pack sold from June 1 , 2010..;
*India - government set to ban foreign direct investment in tobacco..;
*India - despite tobacco control measure in place - tobacco sales increase..;
*India - still confusion pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*Mumbai, India - NGO activists want closure of hookah bars..;
*India - gutkha and bidi companies NOT pictorial warnings..;
*India - cigarette packs with pictorial warnings are here..; *ndia - NO graphic pictorial warnings yet..;
*India - Still no pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented from May 31 - no doubts about it..;
*India - will pictorial or graphic health warnings be implemented from May 30, 2009..;
*India - placing pictorial warnings on tobacco products delayed again..


Scotland - ASH publishes recommendations for a new Scottish tobacco control strategy..

Click to enlarge..
October 21, 2010 - Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland has published a report entitled, Beyond smoke-free that offers recommendations for a new Scottish tobacco control strategy.

It sets out what Scotland must do now as a nation to tackle the health inequalities which are fed by smoking. The recommendations have been developed by ASH Scotland, funded by Cancer Research UK, working with an advisory group of experts involving academics, tobacco control practitioners and NHS representatives, and in consultation with smoking cessation and prevention practitioners, service users, young people and others.

ASH Scotland: It is time for a new, comprehensive and evidence based tobacco control strategy, taking stock of how far we have come, and setting a clear agenda for the next five years.

One major component is Prevention: The aim: to continue to reduce significantly the number of young people who start smoking within all communities in Scotland.

15,000 young people take up smoking in Scotland each year. The Scottish Government's smoking prevention action plan 'Scotland's future is smoke-free' has been recognised as an excellent model. It must be fully implemented over the coming years, within the context of a holistic tobacco control strategy.

Scotland - related news briefs:
Scotland - approximtely one-third have quit smoking when being paid to do so..;
Scotland - Imperial Tobacco loses attempt to overturn ban on cigarette displays and removal of vending machines..;
Scotland - mainly shopkeepers oppose tobacco display ban..;
Scotland - smoking ban produced benefits for people (i.e., children) who are not exposed to occupational tobacco smoke..;
Scotland - 90% of Scots back law that prosecutes adults for buying cigarettes for children..;
Scotland, Grampian Region - latest word, NHS Grampian hospital smoking clampdown delayed..;
Scotland - bribing people to live a healthy lifestyle..;
Scotland - Imperial Tobacco in legal action to stop ban on cigarette displays and vending machine removal..;
Scotland - tobacco industry says massive increase in illegal cigarettes..;
PAPER: Scotland Unhealthy risk factors those with lack of education/ low income..;
Scotland - renewing efforts to stop pregnant women from smoking..;
Scotland - cigarette smoking quit attempts increase by 35%..;
Scotland - retailers can provide input on future to ban the display of tobacco..;
Scotland - campaigners want more to be done to protect young people from passive smoking..;
Scotland - government no plans to ban smoking in cars and public places used by children..;
Scotland - smokers will be banned from fostering or adopting children, comments from Professor Banzhaf..;
Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..;
Scotland - health minister urges smokers to quit..;
Scotland - some men beginning to lead a healthier lifestyle and therefore living longer..;
Scotland - self-reporting of smoking by pregnant women underestimates true number of pregnant smokers..;
Scotland - tobacco firms claim proposed display ban is unnecessary..;
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicans most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
Scotland - small businesses given extra 2-years to remove tobacco displays..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
Bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban..;
17 countries in the world ban indoor smoking - ENFORCEMENT..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
Definite Health Benefits of Smoking Bans..;
Northern Ireland raising age for sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 joining the other three United Kingdom (UK) countries..;
Scotland proposes to implement more measures to discourage tobacco use including the banning of tobacco displays..;
Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products...


Spain - movement - anti-smoking bill calls for all bars and restaurants to be totally smoke free..

October 21, 2010 - An anti-smoking bill passed by parliamentary commission calls for transforming all bars and restaurants into no-smoking zones, bringing Spain in line with the European Union's strictest anti-smoking nations and many U.S. states that bar smoking in enclosed public places. It's expected to pass the Senate and become law on January 2, 2011. (Why the 2nd and not the 1st - the law to take effect on January 2 - instead of a day earlier, the peak of Spain's weeklong spell of Christmas and New Year's festivities that draws huge crowds of Spaniards to bars and restaurants.)

The law also will make Spain a tougher place to smoke than many other European countries where bars and restaurants are still allowed to have smoking sections, and will prohibit smoking in outdoor places such as playgrounds and the grounds of schools and hospitals.

Background: The current legislation which has been in place since 2006 forbids smoking in the workplace and on public transport, but permits the smaller bars and restaurants to choose whether to allow smoking on the premises or not. If they do allow it, they must provide a separate closed-off area for smokers. The subject has been confused at best and when a stronger law was first discussed properly in 2009, a specific date to impose the smoking ban in 2010 was never decided upon.
Spain's main restaurant and bar federation predicted the law will lead to 145,000 lost jobs and a 10 percent decline in revenue for the sector, but the Health Ministry said similar laws put in place in recent years in nations ranging from Britain to France and Italy did not hurt business badly.

Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez noted that smokers will still be allowed to smoke on the open-air terraces of bars, and many Spanish bars have them, often setting up tables and chairs on the sidewalk. Other exceptions were provided for jails, psychiatric institutions and retirement homes.

Spain's National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking says up to 1,000 Spanish bar waiters die yearly from lung cancer, mainly from breathing in so much second hand smoke.

Many more lives would be saved eventually in Spain by making it more difficult for smokers to puff away almost anywhere, said Dr. Jose Carreras who heads the anti-smoking unit at Madrid's Hospital Carlos III. (Spain - doctors call for tobacco sales banned in vending machine in bars and from kiosks..)

The bill endorsed by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his governing Socialist Party next goes for debate in the Senate where it is likely to be approved quickly or sent back with minor changes for approval in the lower house.

There are 17 regional autonomous governments within Spain. The Basque region has a new anti-smoking law that if passed by parliament is expected to come into force at the start of 2011. (Spain - the Basque Governing Council gives green to the latest anti-smoking bill..)

Spain's smoking ban sparks controversy by Ciaran Giles Associated Press Writer (Associated Press Writers Jorge Sainz and Alan Clendenning and Associated Press Television News Producer Iain Sullivan in Madrid contributed to this report), Associated Press, 10/20/2010.

Spain - related news briefs:
Paper: Spain - cost of each pack of cigarettes up to $150..;
Spain - doctors call for tobacco sales banned in vending machine in bars and from kiosks..;
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...

Long Beach City, California - smoking banned – just about everywhere..

October 21, 2010 - The Long Beach City Council unanimously voted Tuesday, October 19th to ban smoking in all city parks and other outdoor areas, including picnic areas, playgrounds, sports or playing fields, walking paths, gardens, hiking trails, and bike paths. Smoking was already illegal on city beaches.

Directly related news brief: September 21, 2010 - Long Beach, California - smoking ban in all parks coming soon..

The ordinance, which had been recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission, exempts golf courses because of potential revenue loss and because smoking on courses isn't considered likely to affect children or crowds. The law also allows exemptions for activities such as filming or special events.

Violating the ordinance would be an infraction, not a misdemeanor or felony. Violators would face a $100 fine the first time, a $200 fine for a second violation within one year, and a $500 fine for all subsequent violations within one year of a previous offense.

A crowd of more than 30 people showed up at City Hall to support the smoking ban, including activists, parents and children. "As city leaders, I'm asking you to please take the lead and help our citizens, all of our citizens, lead healthier lives," said Claudette Powers of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Long Beach.

However, there were a few voices of dissent in the audience and on the council, notably from Councilman James Johnson. While he said that he supported the smoking ban, and he eventually voted for it, he first proposed Tobacco smoking banned – just about everywhere requiring that smoking tickets could on

However, there were a few voices of dissent in the audience and on the council, notably from Councilman James Johnson. While he said that he supported the smoking ban, and he eventually voted for it, he first proposed could only be given in parks that have signs. The ordinance doesn't require signs, which Johnson said was unjust to smokers. "If they're in a park and they don't know about this law, and they get a ticket, is this fair," Johnson said. Councilwoman Rae Gabelich joined with Johnson to vote for this change to the law, but the rest of the council voted against it.

Director of Health and Human Services Ron Arias said that temporary signs will be put up - permanent signs would cost more than $30,000, officials said - and that the city will conduct "a very intense education campaign" for the smoking law.

12-year-old Elizabeth Alvarado, a Hughes Middle School student, recounted how their park experience has been negatively affected by smokers. "There isn't a single time that I go that I don't see a person smoking, and I inhale it," she said.

Not all anti-smoking attempts have been successful. In May, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, that would have banned smoking at all state beaches.

Reference: City Council bans smoking in all Long Beach parks by Paul Eakins, Staff Writer, Long Beach
Press-Telegram, 10/19/2010.

Altria - highlights q3 2010 earnings report..

October 21, 2010 - "The Altria family of companies delivered excellent financial results in the third quarter of 2010, as adjusted diluted earnings per share in the quarter grew by 12.5% versus the comparable year-ago period," said Michael E. Szymanczyk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altria.

Altria's reporting segments are Cigarettes, manufactured by PM USA, Smokeless Products, manufactured by USSTC and PM USA, Cigars, manufactured by John Middleton Co.; Wine, produced and distributed by Ste. Michelle, and Financial Services, provided by Philip Morris Capital Corporation (PMCC).

Like other tobacco companies, Altria Group Inc. is focusing on cigarette alternatives such as cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco for sales growth as tax increases, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher.

Altria’s sales and distribution is now implementing a new retail platform to support plan future smokeless products initiatives. We believe that the smokeless tobacco category historically has not received the necessary space and merchandizing attention in retail stores, particularly in light of the strong category growth of the recent past. By offering fixtures to thousands of smokeless tobacco stores, retailers can improve category, merchandizing, reduce out-of-stocks, improve product freshness and help achieve the non-self service retail merchandizing objective of our tobacco companies.

In many cases, this new retail platform is also expected to benefit the machine-made large cigar category and help support continued growth in Middleton cigar businesses.

Cigarettes, manufactured by PM USA

Philip Morris USA’s reported domestic cigarette volume shipments during the three months to the end of September, at 36.6 billion, were down by 2.4 per cent on those of 2009’s third quarter. Meanwhile, PM USA’s cigarette shipments for the first nine months of 2010, at 107.2 billion, were down by 4.7 per cent on those of the first nine months of 2009. PM USA’s overall retail share was 49.6% in the third quarter, down one-tenth of a share point from the comparable year-ago period as Marlboro share gains were offset by share losses among PM USA’s non-support brands.

Marlboro shipments, at 31.8 billion, were down by 0.3 per cent, while shipments of the company’s other premium brands, at 2.8 billion, were down by 9.3 per cent. Shipments of discount brands, at 2.0 billion, were down by 21.0 per cent. Marlboro continue to perform very well as it grew its retail share for the three and nine-month periods by a strong seven-tenths and eight-tenths of a share point respectively versus the comparable year-ago periods.

Marlboro’s share of the retail market during the nine months to the end of September, at 42.7 per cent, was up by 0.8 of a percentage point on that of its share during the three months to the end of September 2009. The share of the company’s other premium brands dropped by 0.5 of a percentage point to 3.9 per cent, the share of its discount brands dropped by 0.4 of a percentage point to 3.4 per cent, and, overall, its share dropped by 0.1 of a percentage point to 50.0 per cent.

PM USA launched Marlboro Skyline Menthol earlier this month to continue building its position in the menthol segment.

Smokeless Products, manufactured by USSTC and PM USA

USSTC (acquired by Altria on January 6, 2009) and PM USA's combined reported domestic smokeless products shipment volume for the three months to the end of September, at 183.9 million cans and packs, was up by 16.4 per cent on that of the three months to the end of September 2009.

The smokeless tobacco category is growing at about 7 per cent a year, but still remains small compared with cigarettes. Altria said that volumes for its smokeless tobacco segment, which includes Copenhagen and Skoal, as well as Marlboro Snus, grew 16.4 percent in the third quarter and revenues excluding excise taxes increased about 11 percent to $363 million.

Shipments of Copenhagen were up by 19.3 per cent to 80.9 million, shipments of Skoal were up by 4.3 per cent to 69.8 million, and shipments of other brands were up by 42.8 per cent to 33.2 million.

USSTC and PM USA’s combined retailed share of the smokeless products category for the three and nine-month periods increased by 1.9 and 0.9 share points respectively. Copenhagen and Skoal’s combined third quarter retail share growth of 1.4 share points versus the year-ago period and retail share gains resulting from the national launch of Marlboro Snus drove the strong retail share results. Copenhagen grew its third quarter retail share by 2.3 share points versus the year-ago period to 25.5% behind continuing momentum from its new products of Long Cut Wintergreen Straight and Extra Long Cut Natural and other brand building programs. Skoal’s third quarter retail share was essentially the same as the second quarter of 2010, behind brand building initiatives launched earlier this year.

Marlboro Snus also strengthened its position in the marketplace after its national expansion earlier this year. PM USA continues to build awareness and trial for these new products and we are seeing increased interest among adult tobacco consumers. We are optimistic about the long-term prospects for these kinds of tobacco products. (In QandA session - no mention of Marlboro Snus.)

Meanwhile, smokeless shipments during the nine months to the end of September were up by 15.6 per cent to 551.9 million, with shipments of Copenhagen up 20.8 per cent to 244.9 million, shipments of Skoal up 5.0 per cent to 208.7 million, and shipments of other brands up 29.6 per cent to 98.3 million.

USSTC and PM USA's combined share of the domestic retail market during the nine months to the end of September, at 55.6 per cent, was up by 0.9 of a percentage point on that of their share during the first nine months of 2009.

Copenhagen’s share rose by 2.3 percentage points to 25.6 per cent, Skoal’s share fell by 1.1 percentage points to 22.7 per cent, and the share of the companies’ other brands fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 7.3 per cent.

Cigars, manufactured by John Middleton Co.

Middleton's reported domestic cigar volume shipments for the three months to the end of September, at 338 million, were down by 0.8 per cent on those of the three months to the end of September 2009. Within this total, shipments of Black & Mild fell by 0.2 per cent to 332 million. During the nine months to the end of September, cigar shipments, at 943 million, were down by 1.4 per cent, with shipments of Black & Mild down 0.8 per cent to 924 million.

After adjusting for changes in trade inventories, Middleton's shipment volumes for the three- and nine-months periods were estimated to be down four per cent and three per cent respectively. Middleton estimates that, overall, the US machine-made large cigars category's volume grew by about two per cent during the third quarter of 2010.

Middleton’s share of the retail market during the nine months to the end of September, at 28.7 per cent, was down by 1.5 percentage points, while Black & Mild’s share fell by 1.3 percentage points to 28.3 per cent.

We remain confident about Middleton’s long-term growth prospects, although the company’s third quarter adjusted operating companies’ income declined 12.2% versus the year-ago period. Middleton defended its position in a very competitive environment with brand building initiatives on Black & Mild. These initiatives successfully strengthen the brand’s position in the marketplace as it grew sequential retail share of the machine-made large cigar category from the second to the third quarter of 2010.

Altria Group CEO Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript; Q&A: Altria Group CEO Discusses Q3 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Kenya - should not amend tobacco control regulations to please BAT..

Designated smoking area..

October 20, 2010 - British American Tobacco (BAT) Kenya has declined to support charity organizations because of stringent tobacco control laws that have not only banned smoking in public places, but has also prohibited cigarette companies from advertising their products and sponsoring social or charity events. Kenyan Parliament in August 2007 passed the National Tobacco Control Act and then signed into law by President Kibaki in September 2007. The law took effect within 8-months (came into force on 8th July 2008) after signing and bans tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, increases cigarette taxes and takes other strong steps to reduce tobacco use. (Kenya - BAT declines to support charities - tobacco control laws..)

Now tobacco manufacturers are demanding that the government rescind some provisions of the Tobacco Control Act 2007, which banned smoking in undesignated public places. BAT says the regulations are choking its business and lowering profit margins. BAT Chairman Evanson Mwaniki said during a meeting with Trade Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere that the laws were bad for business. He observed that some of the clauses were not meant to protect public health, but tailored to restrict trade. Contending that, if the situation continues, then return for manufacturers would go down hence job cuts, salary downsizing and lower tax for the Exchequer (department in charge of revenue).

“The clauses that target advertisement and promotions are not good for business. Enforcement is also an issue since public smoking has only been banned selectively hence introducing a market imperfection,” Mwaniki countered.

Though Mwakwere was non committal as to whether the law will be reviewed, he nevertheless expressed a need for more dialogue to thrash out the contentious issues.
“We know there is a problem since even the attorney-general has pointed out glaring flaws in the regulations. But while his advice is there, City bylaws as well as related ministries have continued to defy it with reasonable reasons. We have to keep on the dialogue,” Mwakwere said.

Mwakwere observed that Government records indicate 87 per cent of Kenya’s smokers are adopting “the deadly habit” in their youth, owing to aggressive advertisements by the cigarette manufacturers in the mass media, hence reason enough to regulate the industry.

Anti-tobacco lobby groups including the Regulatory Body Kenya Tobacco Control Agency (KTCA) are watching the recent developments keenly in the belief that the tobacco sector could be setting the stage for amendments that would end up defeat the intentions of the regulations.

“Currently, the Government is spending Sh20 billion to treat tobacco related diseases in Kenya. In return, it is getting Sh5 billion as tax from tobacco manufacturers. There is no sense in saying taxes will go down if tobacco is regulated,” said KTCA Communications Manager Lucy Anaya. She said the regulations should stay “for the public good.”

She argued that the taxes from the industry compared with government’s expenditure on treating tobacco related diseases do not justify amendments, especially after WHO recently aired a warning that cigarettes are coming laced with lead, a poisonous metal. Lead, said Anaya, leads to insanity, blindness and impotence.

Reference: BAT contests restricted smoking regulations by MWANGI MUIRURI, Businessdailyafrica, 9/27/2010.

Kenya - related news briefs:
Kenya - do they have it together? - want to reduce smoking by 5% in 5-years..;
Kenya - BAT has started exporting tobacco from Kenya..;
Kenya - BAT trying to find ways to circumvent law that outlaws promotion of tobacco products..;
Kenya - educate public on harmful effects of smoking and enforce provisions of tobacco control act..
Kenya - public health officers will be involved in enforcement of smoking regulations..;
Kenya - smoking ban must be enforced - it's the law..;
Kenya - BAT declines to support charities - tobacco control laws..;
Kenya - discrepancies between local smoke-free regulations and Tobacco Control Act..;
Smoking ban starts in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya..;
British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..

African American groups - mixed feelings on the banning of menthol cigarettes..

October 20, 2010 - The FDA's deliberations over a possible ban on menthol cigarettes have touched off a firestorm of debate within the African American community, and among public health groups divided about how to wean black consumers from their heavy dependence on cigarettes spiked with the minty flavoring.

On Monday, October 18th the debate among African American organizations burst into the open after the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, joined ranks with the anti-smoking group, the American Legacy Foundation, in calling for a ban on menthol as a cigarette flavoring.

The NAACP's appeal came just days after three other African American groups -- the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives -- urged the FDA to reject a ban on mentholated cigarettes. Those groups, testifying before a recent meeting of the FDA's scientific advisory panel on tobacco products, expressed concern that banning mentholated cigarettes could spur an illicit market for the outlawed products in minority communities where they are favored. Such a trade in banned menthol cigarettes, in turn, would likely drive a range of illegal activity and put new burdens on law enforcement agencies, they warned.

This type of reasoning is similar to the comments tobacco companies make when a government is considering raising the tobacco tax.

We are in total agreement with the comments of Carol McGruder, co-chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. McGruder fumed: "We are in a state of disbelief that some of our Black leadership organizations ... continue to act as front groups for the predatory tobacco industry." She points out that, "Menthol is not just a flavorant; it makes it easier for our youth to start smoking; it keeps people smoking, and it inhibits them from quitting. Menthol makes the poison go down easier."

Smoking related disease: African Americans continue to have a disproportionately high burden of disease, disability, and death. Of the three leading causes of death in African Americans — heart disease, cancer, and stroke — smoking and other tobacco use are major contributors. African American smokers have the highest rates of tobacco-related diseases and deaths.

Each year, approximately 45,000 African Americans die from a preventable smoking-related disease, which represents over 10 percent of the estimated yearly smoking related deaths in the United States. If current trends continue, an estimated 1.6 million African Americans who are now under the age of 18 years will become regular smokers. About 500,000 of those smokers will die of a smoking-related disease.

Smoking is responsible for 87% of lung cancers. African American men are at least 50% more likely to develop lung cancer than white men. In general, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and African Americans are the most likely to develop cancer than any other racial or ethnic group.

It is estimated that nearly one-third of African American deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) are caused by smoking. African Americans have almost twice the risk of a first-time stroke.

African American teen smokers have a greater risk of developing long-term consequences from smoking than other ethnic groups, and are in danger of experiencing the negative effects of tobacco earlier in their lifetimes. (Moolchan, E, et al., “African-American teen smokers: issues to consider for cessation treatment,” Journal of the National Medical Association 92(12):558-62, December 2000.

After decades of marketing mentholated cigarettes in minority communities and blunting criticism by supporting minority causes, the tobacco companies have secured a huge following in minority communities, where rates of smoking remain stubbornly high. As many as 80% of African American smokers favor menthols, as do 30% of Latinos. By comparison, 22% of non-Latino whites smoke mentholated cigarettes. At least one large study, published in 2009, has found that those who smoke mentholated cigarettes find it harder to kick the habit than those who smoke unflavored tobacco.

Black Congressional Caucus: The banning of menthol cigarettes have even caused a rift in the Black Congressional Caucus which has strong financial ties to tobacco companies. Some members of the caucus argue that menthol cigarettes cause disproportionate harm to blacks and are pushing for a ban. The others are not so sure. Philip Morris alone has made annual contributions exceeding $250,000 to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation which has influenced those opinions. (Congressional Black Caucus - Menthol Exemption..)

On Monday, the NAACP's Defense and Education Fund cited that disproportionate tobacco marketing to minorities as a reason for its support of a ban. Joined by the National Africa-American Tobacco Prevention Network and the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, as well as by the Legacy Foundation, NAACP said the FDA "should help millions of Americans avoid tobacco-related death and disease" by banning menthol in cigarettes.

Reference: Much heated puffing among minority groups over menthol cigarette ban, Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 10/18/2010.

Some related news briefs:
Menthol May Be Nicotine's Partner In Addiction..;
Menthol cigarettes - if banned, how can this be accomplished??;
Menthol Cigarettes - smokers who started recently more likely to smoke menthols..;
Fitch Ratings - FDA menthol review - risk to tobacco industry..;
U.S. - Bill for FDA to regulate tobacco BAN MENTHOL..;
Menthol - More Than a Flavoring in Mentholated Cigarettes..;

Fairfax County, Virginia - ban on smoking in outdoor county-owned bus shelters..

After a public hearing Tuesday, October 19th the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a ban on smoking in county-owned bus shelters. Violators will be fined up to $25 under the ban, which takes effect December 1, 2010.
Fairfax County, Virginia The county will post no-smoking signs in its 214 bus shelters. Each sign costs $2. Fairfax police will be responsible for enforcing the ban.

The Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act requires state agencies and localities to consider reasonable no-smoking areas in any building they own or lease. The ban comes after the state's prohibition on smoking in restaurants, and the legislation repeals a section of the county code that requires restaurants to designate a percentage of their seating as no-smoking areas.

Supervisors sympathized with nonsmokers, who sometimes have to share the confined spaces with people who pass the time by smoking. "I had the uncomfortable situation of sitting in the bus shelter in the rain . . . covered in cigarette smoke," said Supervisor Jeff C. McKay (D-Lee), who rides the REX bus.

The ban does not require smokers to stand a minimum distance away from a bus shelter. "You could have somebody standing outside that line and have as much smoke coming into the shelter as if you were in the shelter," Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) said. That is because Fairfax has to work within state law, officials said. "Its not perfect, but it's a major step forward," McKay said.

Reference: Fairfax County bans smoking in bus shelters by Kafia A. Hosh, The Washington Post, 10/19/2010.

Virginia - related news briefs:
Virginia - most restaurants in compliance with smoking ban..;
Virginia - 1 of 3 teenagers identified smokeless tobacco products as candy or gum..;
Virginia - state Senate votes to tax smokeless tobacco by weight instead of by price..;
Virginia - tax on smokeless tobacco Altria clashes with Swedish Match..
Virginia - December 1, 2009 smoking ban goes into effect in most bars and restaurants..;
Virginia smoking ban - FAQS (effective December 1, 2009)..;
Virginia smoking ban law - takes effect December 1, 2009..;
Virginia - smoking ban passes for most bars and restaurants..;
Possible Smoking Ban Law in Virginia..;
Shame on Virginia..;