New York City - smoking-related deaths drop by 17% in 8-years..



October 29, 2010 - Smoking-related deaths in New York dropped 17 percent in the past eight years and the number of smokers has fallen by nearly a third, according to the city's health department. It said the number of people dying from smoking-related illnesses has fallen to about 7,200 in 2009 from 8,700 in 2002, coinciding with a tough anti-smoking campaign by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (NY City - smokers kicking the addiction and living longer than ever..)

Bloomberg banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003 and he recently proposed expanding that ban to parks, beaches, boardwalks, pedestrian plazas and other outdoor public spaces. (New York City - City Council moves one step closer to extending smoking ban to parks and beaches..)

"We have reduced the number of adult smokers by 350,000 and prevented thousands of premature deaths," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement. "This is good news, but smoking still kills more than 7,000 New Yorkers each year, and thousands more will suffer smoking-induced strokes, heart attacks, debilitating lung diseases and cancers," he said.

Click to enlarge..

The city has also given out free nicotine patches and gum to 250,000 New Yorkers since 2003, helping 80,000 smokers quit, the department said. Graphic advertisements depicting damage to the body by smoking also convinced people to quit, it added.

Reference: NYC says smoking deaths drop 17 percent in eight years, Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Patricia Reaney, Reuters, 10/28/2010.

NYC directly related:
New York City - does it the RIGHT WAY, bans most forms of flavored tobacco products..;
New York City - City Council moves one step closer to extending smoking ban to parks and beaches..;
New York City - Poospatuck Reservation stores (2) caught selling cigarettes to bootleggers..;
New York City - smoking ban enforced, club fined and closed for letting patrons smoke inside..:
New York City - Mayor Bloomberg still mulling over smoking ban at NYC parks, beaches..;
New York City - Department of Health cracking down on smoking at outside areas at bars and other places....;
New York City - more on the anti-smoking signs lawsuit against Department of Health..;
New York City - Mayor Bloomberg still considering smoking ban in parks and beaches.. - Get It Done Already!!;
Big tobacco companies file lawsuit contesting NY City's anti-smoking signs..;
New York City - federal judge rejects plaintiffs attempt to stop the law that blocks the sale of flavored tobacco products..;
New York City - moving closer to closing a nighclub that flouted smoking ban..;
New York City - VIDEO: starting March 1, 2010 stores, anti-smoking signs..;
NYC Lawsuit against Online Cigarette Vendor Dismissed..;
NY City - smokers kicking the addiction and living longer than ever..;
NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..;
New York City - ban on flavored tobacco products becomes law..;
New York City bans the sale of flavored tobacco products..;
New York City - Mayor Bloomberg pushing ahead to ban smoking in city parks and beaches..;
New York City - all retailers selling tobacco will be required to post warning signs..;
New York City - to ask public opinion - smoking graphic warning signs; New York City - proposed pictorial warning signs to show the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use.;
New York City - may ban smoking in parks and beaches..;
New York City - can't sue Internet cigarette retailers for lost taxes..;
New CDC Chief Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH..;
New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals..;
New York - city and state officials back off plans to crack down on cigarette black market..;
New York City - nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke..;
New York City - cigarettes more than $10- a- pack..;
NYC can move forward with reservation cigarette lawsuit..;
Michael Rubens Bloomberg - ELF Award winner 2008;
NYC sues reservation smoke shops over bootlegging..;
NYC Fights Smoking With Reality Images in Matchbooks..;
NY City Can Proceed With Lawsuits Against 10 Online Cigarette Vendors..;
NYC Warns Parents of Smoking Lawsuits...

Read more...

PAPER: Graphic warnings deter young smokers..



October 29, 2010 -
Graphic images of the adverse health effects of smoking do deter young adult smokers and should be significantly increased in size, according to Otago University research.

Smokers aged between 18 and 30 are more likely to consider giving up cigarettes if branding on the front of packets is reduced and graphic health warnings are increased in size, the research said.

The research, led by Professor Janet Hoek from the Department of Marketing, surveyed 292 young adult smokers, the demographic with the highest smoking prevalence in New Zealand.

PAPER: Effects of dissuasive packaging on young adult smokers, Janet Hoek (janet.hoek@otago.ac.nz) et al., Tob Control doi:10.1136/tc.2010.037861, ABSTRACT..

The study presented young smokers with a variety of alternative cigarette packs, ranging from the status quo branding, with 30 per cent of the front carrying a pictorial health warning, to a plain pack with a picture of smoking-related disease covering 75 per cent of the pack front.

"The responses clearly show that as branding is reduced and health warnings increased in size, the product becomes increasingly less attractive to young adult smokers," Dr. Hoek said. "Plain cigarette packs featuring large graphic health warnings are significantly more likely to promote smoking cessation than the heavily branded packs that are still the status quo." The results are consistent with other international studies that indicate brand imagery reassures young smokers and can over-ride health messages, she said.

Dr. Hoek: "Our findings provide strong evidence that branding should be reduced and graphic health warnings should be increased so they cover at least 75 percent of the front-of-pack surface. Where branding is larger than health warnings, the dissuasive effect of the latter is diminished."

Across the ditch in Australia the Government looking at introducing legislation requiring plain packaging of cigarettes and larger health warnings by 2012.

"Larger warnings and plain packaging are keys to reducing smoking and New Zealand should follow Australia's lead in introducing these policies," Dr. Hoek said.

Prudence Stone, the director of the Smokefree Coalition, said the research was timely as the long-awaited report from the Maori Affairs select committee inquiry on tobacco is due to be presented to Parliament. "What we've been hoping for from the select committee is a recommendation to Government to go ahead with Australia to bring in plain packaging." She said the research will "galvanise" the view changes to packaging is required.

The impact of pictures on the effectiveness of tobacco warnings, Geoffrey T Fong, David Hammond and Sara C Hitchman, Bull World Health Organ. 2009 August; 87(8): 640–643.

New Zealand directly related news brief: New Zealand - graphic warnings cigarette maker selects less offensive images..

References: Graphic warnings deter young smokers - study, NZ Herald staff, nzherald.co.nz, 10/29/2010; Smoking Health Warnings Stage 3, NZ Ministry of Health, March 2006.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - non-smokers offered incentives to test cigarettes..;
New Zealand - phase out tobacco sales over the next decade..;
New Zealand - Scandinavian Tobacco granted clearance to merge its cigar and pipe tobacco businesses with Swedish Match..;
New Zealand - tobacco industry whistleblower addresses the Maori select committee..;
New Zealand - a third of patients seeking treatment in the ED were smokers..;
New Zealand - the majority of New Zealanders support an end to commercial tobacco sales by 2020 - can it happen??;
New Zealand - study revives interest in keeping tobacco hidden..;
New Zealand - health board says no to psychiatric hospital smoking ban..;
New Zealand - report on illicit trade and options to control growth of illicit trade..;
New Zealand - ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey - Dramatic youth smoking decline..;
New Zealand - plain cigarette and tobacco packs could turn teenagers off smoking..;
New Zealand - Tobacco companies target women..;
New Zealand - lobby group of small retailers formed to protest tobacco price hike..;
New Zealand - more than half of the people want to end tobacco sales by 2020..;
New Zealand - revenue department has begun a review of BAT financial transactions..;
New Zealand - increase in tobacco excise forced through Parliament by the Government..;
New Zealand - Christchurch prepares for meeting with tobacco select committee..;
New Zealand - biggest drop in smoking rates seen in a decade..;
New Zealand - Maori affairs committee continues to gather information..;
New Zealand - study quit-smoking products that are acceptabe and effective..;
New Zealand - smoking ban results in decrease in heart attacks..;
New Zealand - BAT attends Maori Affairs select committee meeting on tobacco..;
New Zealanders want cigarettes banned by 2020..;
New Zealand - Maori women - almost 50% smoke..;
New Zealand - more and more teenagers turned off by smoking..;
New Zealand - loophole in the law banning tobacco sponsorship..;
New Zealand - University of Auckland to go smokefree - 1st university in country..;
New Zealand - smoking ban in bars results in less smoking at home..;
New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..;
New Zealand - graphic warnings cigarette maker selects less offensive images..;
New Zealand - Maori committee to investigate smoking..;
New Zealand - Tairawhiti Board wants tobacco sold only on prescription..;
New Zealand - health researchers calling on government to ban importation of tobacco..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..;
New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..;
BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..;
New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..;
Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Smokefree NZ within 10 years..;
By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..
Read more...

Philippines - PMFTC Inc. urges govt to extend existing tobacco tax on products..

October 29, 2010 - The maker of the popular cigarette brands Philip Morris and Marlboro, PMFTC Inc., has urged the government to extend the expiring sin tax law by another five to six years instead of restructuring it. (This company, formed last February 2010 is aptly called PMFTC, which combines the initials of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. (PMPI) and Fortune Tobacco Corp. (FTC). Philippines - PMFTC has 90% of the tobacco market..)

Chris Nelson, PMFTC president explained that the government's revenues from the existing sin tax law, which allows an excise tax rate hike every two years, have been increasing and also a “success.” “Why discuss the restructuring when the law is proving to be successful?”

Nelson asked after the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) proposed to restructure the current excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products. (Lawmakers buck proposal on new 'sin' taxes by Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star, 10/22/2010)

The current law, Republic Act (RA) 9334, is expiring in 2011, which is sending legislators to scramble for their own House measures seeking to replace the old one.

As a proof of the sin tax law's success, Nelson noted that excise tax collection on tobacco products surpassed the government's target of P1.58 billion for September by 80 percent to P2.84 billion - 1.00 PHP = 0.0233 USD).

He also cited that government has collected P22.14 billion in revenues from tobacco products in January to September, which was 16 percent more than the target of P19.01 billion.

“Tobacco industry has given increases every two years. Why not focus on other areas that are declining because of [tax] leakages,” Nelson added. He also reminded that the campaign promise of President Aquino that he would not slap new taxes during his six-year presidency.

The NEDA is now under fire in the House of Representatives (House) for its proposal to impose new taxes, which would entail, among others, the restructuring of excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, to “meet fiscal balance in a sustained manner.” Rep. Victor Ortega said NEDA's proposal which will result in the adoption of a unitary rate for tobacco products is “highly oppressive” particularly for the tobacco industry, which has been generating income that is even beyond the government’s expected target. (CSL)

Philippines - House of Representatives turns down proposal to hke tax on cigarettes by 400%..;
Philippines - DOH pushing for hefty tax increase on cigarettes..

Reference: Philip Morris Favors 'Sin' Taxes Extension, MB.com.ph, 10/25/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - remarks at the Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health..;
Philippines - Commission on Human Rights (CHR) support placing graphic warnings on cigarette packs...;
Philippines - physicians told not to smoke and encourage their patients to quit..;
Philippines - Coloocan City smoking strictly prohibited in all public area..:
Philippines - anti-smoking group files case to push for graphic warnings on cigarette packs..;
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..;
http://snus-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/philippines-thai-cigarette-import-rules.html;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...
Filipino
Read more...

Philip Morris International Update on Its Medicago Inc. Holding..

October 29, 2010 - Philip Morris International Inc. announces that following the expiry on October 20, 2010 of 45,000,000 common share purchase warrants of Medicago Inc. (“Medicago”) held by Philip Morris Participations B.V. (PMP) a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of PMI, the current holding of PMP in Medicago now consists of 45,000,000 common shares. This represents 32.86% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Medicago, when calculated on a non-fully diluted basis. Based on Medicago’s most recent notification of the total number of common shares issued and outstanding PMI remains the largest shareholder.

PMP acquired the common shares of Medicago in October 2008 pursuant to a subscription agreement. The acquisition was made in support of PMI’s R & D objectives. PMP may, subject to market conditions and in accordance with applicable securities laws, make additional investments in or dispositions of securities of Medicago, including additional purchases of Medicago common shares. (Philip Morris International buys shares in biotechnology company - Medicago..)

Reference: Philip Morris International Update on Its Medicago Inc. Holding, © Business Wire 2010, PR-inside.com, 10/28/2010.

Read more...

Camel Dip - to be discontinued in most states..

October 29, 2010 -

First Marlboro, Now Camel; Reynolds Taking Camel Dip Off Shelves.. On Wednesday, October 27th Reynolds announced to the trade that Camel Dip would be discontinued in 11 of the 12 states the brand was launched into. (More on Camel Dip - a premium moist snuff..; ; RAI CEO comments on the launch of Camel Dip and Camel SNUS market..; Reynolds American to launch Camel Dip in June 2009..)

Comment on Camel Dip from RAI q3 2010 earnings report.. 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.

The product will remain stocked in Arizona. The company says it will be shifting its focus back towards Grizzly. The chart that can be found in the Reference below shows Camel’s LTM growth trends on a sequential basis (i.e. growth of units in 3Q 10 LTM vs. 2Q 10 LTM). The product was growing strongly through the pipeline fill phase (launched in 3Q 2009), but growth severely decelerated in the most recent period to 10%.

This is another Lesson/Indicator For Lorillard’s Smokeless Plans.. First Marlboro and now Camel have seen difficulties launching an MST brand using a cigarette equity. We believe these experiences should serve as an indicator that Lorillard will likely not pursue an entry into the MST market with a cigarette brand (ie Maverick or Newport). And if there’s anyone who should be aware of this, it’s current Lorillard CEO Murray Kessler (former CEO of UST).

Comments found in news brief: April 13, 2008 - Altria's growth depends on the Marlboro name..

Nik Modi, a UBS tobacco analyst has stated, "The Marlboro brand name is not as transferable as many originally believed." Modi points out that test of Marlboro moist smokeless tobacco in Atlanta is slowly slipping down hill. Their original entry Taboka failed and has been removed and Marlboro SNUS hasn't done much better.

We're reminded by the Chief Operating Officer of UST, Murray Kessler that "Nine out of 10 smokers that try smokeless still reject the product." Kesser continues, "Clearly Marlboro is a great cigarette brand. That said, history clearly shows that it is difficult to extend brands from one one category to another."

References: Camel Dip - It’s Hard To Put Cigarettes in a Tin, UBS Investment Research Picture of the Week Vol. 42, Nik Modi, UBS Tobacco Analyst, 10/29/2010; Camel Dip Dynamics Reynolds American refocusing product, pulling back in all states but Arizona by Greg Lindenberg, CSP Daily News, 11/1/2010.
Read more...

Lorillard - Newport - non-menthol may be a hit this time..


October 29, 2010 - As Lorillard Tobacco Co. prepares to launch Newport Non-Menthol cigarettes in early November, retailers seem ready for the new offering. According to "rough-math" research from UBS Securities LLC, the new cigarette could take as much as a 0.5% share of the total cigarette category (close to 5% of total Newport volumes) over the next 12 months.

"Factoring in an introductory, off-invoice discount of $1.65/pack (putting its effective wholesale price in line with Maverick), we estimate Newport Non-Menthol could generate about $100 million over the next 12 months," Nik Modi, an analyst with UBS, New York, wrote in a research note yesterday.

Although this is not Lorillard's first attempt at a non-menthol version of Newport, recent U.S. Food & Drug Administration (IFDA) scrutiny of menthol could make this launch "more meaningful," according to the report. The previous efforts were test marketed about 10 years ago, but a broader national launch wasn't pursued, the report states.

When Lorillard first announced the new non-menthol cigarette in August, the company said that it believes the new product will further strengthen its competitive position and its Newport brand family with the national introduction. It described the cigarette as a premium product with broad competitive consumer appeal that delivers the high-quality tobacco taste that adult smokers expect from Newport. (Lorillard to launch non-menthol variety of Newport in November 2010..)

"We are excited to leverage Newport, one of the most-recognized names in the cigarette industry," said Martin Orlowsky, chairman, president and chief executive officer at the time. "With the introduction of Newport Non-Menthol, Lorillard will be afforded greater opportunity to compete in the largest segment of the U.S. cigarette market, as the non-menthol category represents approximately 70% of total industry volume."

In other analysis from the UBS report, Modi said it is unlikely that Lorillard will foray into the moist smokeless tobacco (MST) category--despite now having Murray Kessler, former CEO of MST-maker UST Inc., at the helm. Explaining that launching a new MST product is "incredibly difficult," the report says Kessler understands the competitiveness of the category "better than anyone, which is why we ultimately do not believe Lorillard will launch its own MST product." (Kessler has been disappointed in the performance of snus products..)

Lorillard, Inc. is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the United States saw its net profit surge by 16.6% to $274m, while revenue rose by 12.6% to $1.07bn in the third quarter of 2010. The company said cigarette volumes were up by 5.8% to more than 10 billion cigarettes while #1 Philip Morris USA had a decline in volume of 2.4 percent and #2 Reynolds American had a decline in volume of 2.6 percent. Sales of Lorillard's lower-priced brands such as Maverick jumped 30.9% for the quarter. (Lorillard - highlights q3 2010 earnings report..)

Reference: Big Impact for Newport Non-Menthol?
Analyst predicts new Lorillard cigarette could generate about $100 million in first year
by Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, CSP (Convenience Store/Petroleum) Daily News, 10/29/2010.
Read more...

England - pregnant women in north almost nine times more likely to smoke..

Click on either image to enlarge..
October 28, 2010 - Pregnant women in the north of England are almost nine times more likely to smoke than those in the south, research showed today. Illustrating the link between smoking-related diseases and England's poorest communities, a survey by the Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO) found 33% of women in Blackpool, Lancashire, smoked while they were pregnant in 2008/09, compared with 4% in Richmond, Surrey.

Overall, nearly 15% or women who gave birth across England in the same period said they smoked during pregnancy.

While overall deaths from smoking-related diseases across England had fallen, "the significant proportion of women who reported smoking in pregnancy is a sign of our need to redouble our preventative efforts in primary and maternity care," London Health Observatory director Dr Bobbie Jacobson said. She called on local authorities and partnerships between the NHS and general practitioners to address the problem.

The APHO survey found there were 207 smoking related deaths per 100,000 people aged 35 and over in England during 2006-08. This was down from 216 deaths per 100,000 in 2004-06.

Smoking related deaths from lung cancer were highest in Middlesbrough, with the illness claiming 71 victims per 100,000 in 2006-08. This compared to 19 per 100,000 smokers dying from lung cancer in Guildford in the same period.

"There is clearly a mix of good and bad news," Dr Jacobson said. "The overall picture of falling death rates is encouraging and shows what can be achieved over time through clear plans to tackle the harm from smoking." But, she added "the north/south inequalities remain a stark reminder that the biggest burden of smoking-related ill health still falls on our poorest communities."

The survey was commissioned by the Department of Health, on behalf of APHO.

Reference: Northern women 'more likely to smoke while pregnant', London Evening Standard, 10/27/2010.

A few related news briefs:
Smoking during pregnancy and postnatal environment - socioeconomic inequalities..;
England - program to pay pregnant women not to smoke seems hopeful..;
U.K. women paid for stopping smoking when pregnant...
Read more...

New York State - federal judge, temporary restraining order extended until November 12, 2010..

October 28, 2010 - The chief of a Long Island-based Indian tribe thinks mediation -- rather than complex litigation involving dozens of lawyers -- is the way to settle the battle over New York State's effort to tax Indian cigarette sales. "We have always felt that only through negotiation will we have a true resolution of this case," Harry Wallace, chief of the Unkechauge Indian Nation, told The Buffalo News on Tuesday. "Absolutely, the case should go to mediation."

The State Attorney General's Office -- headed by gubernatorial candidate Andrew M. Cuomo -- does not agree.

Wallace commented in federal court after the latest in a series of legal arguments on the taxation issue before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Lawyers for the Unkechauge and St. Regis Mohawk tribes want the judge to block state officials from collecting taxes on cigarette sales to non-Indians. Several other Indian tribes, including the Seneca Nation, have similar cases pending in federal courts in Buffalo and Utica.

A temporary restraining order, which prohibits the state from taxing cigarette sales by businesses in the Unkechauge and St. Regis Mohawk tribes, was supposed to expire this Friday, but Arcara extended it until Nov. 12, 2010.

James F. Simermeyer, an attorney for the Unkechauges, asked the judge to send the case to a court-appointed mediator to see if an agreement can be negotiated, but the State Attorney General's Office opposed the request. "It's our view that this dispute is ill-suited to mediation," said Andrew D. Bing, a state lawyer. "Mediation has no reasonable chance to be productive."

The state has already prevailed on several important points in its Seneca Nation case before Arcara, and that would make it more difficult for mediation to be successful, Bing told the judge.

Arcara said he will consider the mediation request.

Bing estimated that the debt-ridden state could collect $500,000 a day if it is allowed to tax sales from Indian-owned businesses to non-Indians. He said the state strongly disagrees with tribal attorneys who claim the tax collections would destroy the right of tribes to govern themselves.

The state says it wants to collect $4.35 a pack from the Indian businesses, the same amount it now collects from non-Indian businesses such as convenience stores, drugstores and grocery stores.

Wallace said his tribe, which has fewer than 1,000 members, has "eliminated poverty" and sent many young people to college on full scholarships because of the Unkechauges' cigarette economy. "In our part of the state, this [taxation] law is going to send people to Pennsylvania or New Jersey to buy cigarettes," Wallace said. "New Jersey and Pennsylvania [business owners] will get rich."

According to Bing, the state believes that, if tribal cigarette sales are taxed, more New York State smokers will flock to convenience stores and other businesses that sell taxed cigarettes.

Reference: Mediation suggested to settle tax battle by Dan Herbeck, The Buffalo News, 10/26/2010.

Some related news briefs:
New York State - two federal judges continue to prevent the collection of taxes on cigarettes sold by Indians..;
New York State - federal judge, worried about the violence that may result extends indefinitely ban on state taxation of cigarette sales by Indians..;
New York State - tribal lawsuits may be merged within federal court..;
U.S. Supreme Court - rejects appeal from Indian merchant who wanted an Idaho Supreme Court ruling overturned..;
New York State - now the Oneida Indian Nation gets restraining order from federal judge.;
New York State - state court clears way for state to collect cigarette tax - on to federal court..;
New York State - U.S. District Judge extends order blocking state from collecting taxes, hearing Sept 14th..;
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..;
Read more...

British American Tobacco (BAT) - 2010 - 1st 9-months..

October 28, 2010 - British American Tobacco’s (BAT) cigarette volumes during the nine months to the end of September, at 526 billion, were down by 1.3 per cent on those of the nine months to the end of September 2009.

British American Tobacco said Wednesday, October 27th that it sold 1 percent fewer cigarettes in the first nine months of the year compared to a year ago, but revenue rose thanks to favorable currency movements and the acquisition in August 2009 of PT Bentoel in Indonesia.

Although total volume fell, sales of its top brands — four Global Drive Brands – Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall were up 8 percent. Volume sales of the company’s four Global Drive Brands grew by about eight per cent, an increase that was flattered by increased consumer purchases in Japan ahead of a significant excise driven price increase.

Organic volumes were about three per cent lower than they were last year as a result of market size declines and an increase in illicit trade in some markets. Volumes were also impacted by the loss of sales in Pakistan after the floods. (Organic growth is growth that comes from a company's existing businesses, as opposed to growth ... Inorganic growth · Mergers and acquisitions.)

Asia-Pacific volumes, at 141 billion, were up by 5.2 per cent; Americas volumes were down by 0.9 per cent to 110 billion; Western Europe volumes were down by 8.2 per cent to 90 billion; Eastern Europe volumes were down by 2.1 per cent to 93 billion; and Africa and Middle East volumes were down by 3.1 per cent to 92 billion.

The company reported that trading conditions continued to be challenging, with industry volumes markedly lower in a number of markets including Romania, Turkey, Pakistan, Germany and South Africa. In some markets, it said, there was down-trading to illicit products as a result of pressure on consumers’ disposable income, exacerbated by high excise increases. This particularly affected the low price segment.

Dunhill volumes were up by about 21 per cent, mainly as a result of brand migrations in Brazil and South Africa; Kent and Lucky Strike volumes each grew by about two per cent; and Pall Mall’s volumes increased by about seven per cent.

BAT reported that it had increased its overall market share across its top 40 markets.

“The challenging economic conditions, excise driven price increases and high unemployment have led to some softening of our volumes,” said chief executive, Paul Adams. “The recession’s impact on consumers is still with us and shows no signs of abating. “Despite this, we have increased market share in our largest markets, grown the Global Drive Brands and achieved good growth in revenue.

“We are on track for another year of good earnings growth.”

Reference: BAT says trading conditions still challenging, Tobacco Reporter, 10/27/2010
Read more...

New Zealand - non-smokers offered incentives to test cigarettes..

October 28, 2010 - The Ministry of Health is investigating a survey in which people were offered incentives to test cigarettes. The survey was set up by Colmar Brunton on behalf of British American Tobacco.

Lobby group Action on Smoking and Health director Ben Youdan says more than two dozen people laid complaints about the survey this week. Mr Youdan says they had been offered free cigarettes, a $40 incentive and Fly Buy points, in a breach of the Smoke-free Environments Act (1990). He says the invitation to participate in the survey did not discriminate between smokers and non-smokers.

British American Tobacco (BAT) says it is disappointed Colmar Brunton did not plan the survey in line with agreed on protocols which stipulate that participants must be existing smokers over the age of 18. The company will not confirm whether it has paid New Zealanders to test cigarettes before.

It seems these days BAT is always playing damage control: this second largest tobacco company in the world had to conduct damage limitation exercise after it emerged several employees had established fan sites on Facebook for the company's Lucky Strike and Dunhill brands, apparently without the company's knowledge. (Tobacco firms deny internet marketing tactic By Denis Campbell and Jamie Doward, NZHerald.co.nz, 10/11-2010)

The Ministry of Health is investigating, but says any suggestion of a possible prosecution is premature at this stage.

Colmar Brunton says it made a mistake in the wording of its invitation to participate in the cigarette tests and apologises for any offence. However, it says conducting cigarette tests with existing smokers is an established and legal practice in New Zealand.



Reference: Free cigarette offer for survey draws criticism, Radio New Zealand, 10/28/2010.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - phase out tobacco sales over the next decade..;
New Zealand - Scandinavian Tobacco granted clearance to merge its cigar and pipe tobacco businesses with Swedish Match..;
New Zealand - tobacco industry whistleblower addresses the Maori select committee..;
New Zealand - a third of patients seeking treatment in the ED were smokers..;
New Zealand - the majority of New Zealanders support an end to commercial tobacco sales by 2020 - can it happen??;
New Zealand - study revives interest in keeping tobacco hidden..;
New Zealand - health board says no to psychiatric hospital smoking ban..;
New Zealand - report on illicit trade and options to control growth of illicit trade..;
New Zealand - ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey - Dramatic youth smoking decline..;
New Zealand - plain cigarette and tobacco packs could turn teenagers off smoking..;
New Zealand - Tobacco companies target women..;
New Zealand - lobby group of small retailers formed to protest tobacco price hike..;
New Zealand - more than half of the people want to end tobacco sales by 2020..;
New Zealand - revenue department has begun a review of BAT financial transactions..;
New Zealand - increase in tobacco excise forced through Parliament by the Government..;
New Zealand - Christchurch prepares for meeting with tobacco select committee..;
New Zealand - biggest drop in smoking rates seen in a decade..;
New Zealand - Maori affairs committee continues to gather information..;
New Zealand - study quit-smoking products that are acceptabe and effective..;
New Zealand - smoking ban results in decrease in heart attacks..;
New Zealand - BAT attends Maori Affairs select committee meeting on tobacco..;
New Zealanders want cigarettes banned by 2020..;
New Zealand - Maori women - almost 50% smoke..;
New Zealand - more and more teenagers turned off by smoking..;
New Zealand - loophole in the law banning tobacco sponsorship..;
New Zealand - University of Auckland to go smokefree - 1st university in country..;
New Zealand - smoking ban in bars results in less smoking at home..;
New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..;
New Zealand - graphic warnings cigarette maker selects less offensive images..;
New Zealand - Maori committee to investigate smoking..;
New Zealand - Tairawhiti Board wants tobacco sold only on prescription..;
New Zealand - health researchers calling on government to ban importation of tobacco..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..;
New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..;
BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..;
New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..;
Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Smokefree NZ within 10 years..;
By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..

Read more...

Canada - c-store association applauds move by govt to focus on nation's tobacco contraband problem..


October 28, 2010 - Encouraged by recent reports that the Canadian federal and Quebec governments are shifting their focus on tobacco strategy to the problem of contraband, the Canadian Convenience Stores (c-store) Association (CCSA) applauded the move and reminded officials that their best approach is to stay away from any new regulations or taxation on legal tobacco that would weaken the fight against the manufacturing and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

Canada - Health Canada shelves update of graphic warning messages to concentrate on the problem of contraband tobacco...

The association, which represents 27,000 retailers nationwide, is asking the Federal and Provincial governments to adopt a freeze on new regulation or taxation of legal tobacco products until the authorities have significantly reduced the contraband tobacco rate to under 10% for a sustained period.

Canada - nearly one in five packs of cigarettes smoked by Canadian teen smokers are contraband products..; Canada - action must be taken to control the illicit cigarette problem..; Canada Ontario/Quebec - make it illegal for minors to possess tobacco products...

The CCSA advocates that most new tax or regulation on legal tobacco—like the recent Bill C-32 outlawing flavored cigarillos--is making the illicit market more attractive to smokers. "As history shows us, excessive taxes are the root cause of contraband tobacco, benefiting criminals and depriving governments and legal convenience stores of millions of dollars in income," said Gadbois.

Canada - study finds the tobacco tax decrease implemented in February 1994 had no impact on tobacco consumption or promotion...

The group emphasized that the contraband situation is far from being resolved. "Of the 400 illegal smoke shacks and more than 50 cigarette production factories operating in Canada without permits, none has yet to shut down," he said.

In an effort to put a "face" on contraband, the association is mailing a replica Ziploc baggie of 200 contraband cigarettes to all MPs and MPPs in Ontario and Quebec. "The visual of the baggies is a reminder to our leaders that every day illegal cigarettes are sold in smoke shacks, delivered to kids at school and sold out of the trunks of cars in parking lots in communities throughout their province," said Gadbois. "Illegal bags of cigarettes like this replica sell for as little as $15 with no age checks or government control. In comparison, a similar quantity of legal cigarettes sold by licensed and tax collecting store owners can cost close to $80. Is it any wonder why we have a growing problem that is affecting our communities on so many levels?"

The CCSA has developed a basic mission to promote corporate social responsibility and represent "Responsible Community Retailing" and has developed the We Expect ID world-class age-testing program for all employees in the channel. The CCSA works to promote and foster professional business practices, standards and ethics throughout the C-Store industry and provides training, education and guidance to its members.

Reference: Canadian C-stores Demand a Freeze on New Tobacco Regs, Taxes Applauds government shift in tobacco strategy to focus on contraband, CSP Daily News, 10/25/2010.

Canada - cigarette smuggling (illicit, illegal) related briefs:
Canada - Health Canada shelves update of graphic warning messages to concentrate on the problem of contraband tobacco..;
Canada - action must be taken to control the illicit cigarette problem..;
The New Big Tobacco: Inside Canada’s underground tobacco industry, a five-part series..;
Canada - federal govt announced new initiatives to combat cigarette smuggling..;
Canada - even federal servants smoke illegal cigarettes..;
Canada - tobacco firms settle cigarette smuggling case..;
Ontario - NO new measures to curb youth smoking..;
Ontario - don't cut provincial tobacco taxes to try to reduce contraband tobacco traffic..;
Canada - nearly one in five packs of cigarettes smoked by Canadian teen smokers are contraband products..;
Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey - 2008..;
Ontario, Canada - illegal cigarettes are everywhere..;
Canada - half of smokers have tried to quit..;
Canada - illegal cigarette trade - Imperial Tobacco President Kemball comments..;
Canada - Imperial Tobacco Head - Illegal Cigarettes..;
Imperial Tobacco - Canada Head - Canada growing crisis of illicit tobacco sales..; Imperial Canada - stop illegal tobacco sales rather than raisng tax on tobacco..; Canada - will higher tobacco prices lead to increase in illicit cigarettes..;
Canada - to launch an advertising campaign on the problem of tobacco smuggling..;
Nova Scotia - buying smuggled tobacco you encourage organized crime..; Ontario Businessmen - want government to crack down on illegal cigarettes..;
Imperial Tobacco Canada - slow illegal cigarettes/sue tobacco companies..;
As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing..; Canada - Obama visit - help STOP cigarette smuggling from U.S..;
Canada economic recession losing billions in unpaid tobacco taxes..;
Canada - Police arrest 46 in tobacco crackdown..;
Imperial Tobacco Survey - Canadian Illegal Tobacco Trade..;
Canada - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband...
Read more...

New York City - does it the RIGHT WAY, bans most forms of flavored tobacco products..





October 28, 2010 - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed legislation on Wednesday, October 27th to prohibit the sale of most forms of flavored tobacco products in New York City. The new law is more extensive than the federal Food and Drug Administration’s ban on candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes, which took effect last month.

Background:
October 14, 2009 - The City Council voted, on Wednesday, October 14th to expand on the Food and Drug Administration’s action to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes by banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco) in New York City. The bill (Intro 433-A Flavored Tobacco) was approved by a vote of 46 to 1.

The legislation covers “chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb or spice flavors,” but exempts “tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen flavors.”

New York City - ban on flavored tobacco products becomes law..

May 21, 2009 - New York City Councilman Joel Rivera (D-Bronx) presided over a public hearing yesterday, 5/21 on two bills. One bill would ban flavored tobacco and the other would ban smoking outside hospitals. Both measures were enthusiastically supported by the city Health Department and a number of anti-smoking advocates.

New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals..New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals...

While the city’s adult smoking rate has fallen — a development that the mayor has repeatedly trumpeted as a public health success — the Council said that the proportion of public high school students in the city who said they smoked only cigars and cigarillos had tripled since 2001. Flavored tobacco products are often marketed at the young.

Violators of the new city law may be fined up to $2,000 or have their tobacco-vending license suspended.

Reference: Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products Becomes City Law by SEWELL CHAN, The New York Times, 10/28/2010.

NYC directly related:
New York City - City Council moves one step closer to extending smoking ban to parks and beaches..;
New York City - Poospatuck Reservation stores (2) caught selling cigarettes to bootleggers..;
New York City - smoking ban enforced, club fined and closed for letting patrons smoke inside..:
New York City - Mayor Bloomberg still mulling over smoking ban at NYC parks, beaches..;
New York City - Department of Health cracking down on smoking at outside areas at bars and other places....;
New York City - more on the anti-smoking signs lawsuit against Department of Health..;
New York City - Mayor Bloomberg still considering smoking ban in parks and beaches.. - Get It Done Already!!;
Big tobacco companies file lawsuit contesting NY City's anti-smoking signs..;
New York City - federal judge rejects plaintiffs attempt to stop the law that blocks the sale of flavored tobacco products..;
New York City - moving closer to closing a nighclub that flouted smoking ban..;
New York City - VIDEO: starting March 1, 2010 stores, anti-smoking signs..;
NYC Lawsuit against Online Cigarette Vendor Dismissed..;
NY City - smokers kicking the addiction and living longer than ever..;
NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..;
New York City - ban on flavored tobacco products becomes law..;
New York City bans the sale of flavored tobacco products..;
New York City - Mayor Bloomberg pushing ahead to ban smoking in city parks and beaches..;
New York City - all retailers selling tobacco will be required to post warning signs..;
New York City - to ask public opinion - smoking graphic warning signs; New York City - proposed pictorial warning signs to show the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use.;
New York City - may ban smoking in parks and beaches..;
New York City - can't sue Internet cigarette retailers for lost taxes..;
New CDC Chief Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH..;
New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals..;
New York - city and state officials back off plans to crack down on cigarette black market..;
New York City - nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke..;
New York City - cigarettes more than $10- a- pack..;
NYC can move forward with reservation cigarette lawsuit..;
Michael Rubens Bloomberg - ELF Award winner 2008;
NYC sues reservation smoke shops over bootlegging..;
NYC Fights Smoking With Reality Images in Matchbooks..;
NY City Can Proceed With Lawsuits Against 10 Online Cigarette Vendors..;
NYC Warns Parents of Smoking Lawsuits...
Read more...

California - group that includes Reynolds Tobacco and Altria providing funding to try and defeat candidate for attorney general..

October 27, 2010 - California's Democratic attorney general candidate Kamala Harris announced on Monday, October 25th her campaign is taking legal action against an out-of-state Republican fundraising group.

Harris' campaign said in a statement that a "shadowy out-of-state group calling itself 'The Republican State Leadership Association'" began running a vicious ad attacking the San Francisco district attorney in her race against Republican Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley on Sunday, October 24th.

Her campaign alleges the Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee is pumping more than $1 million in funds from tobacco, oil, insurance and pharmaceutical companies into television attack ads "in an attempt to buy the Attorney General's Office in California."

The Republican committee is headed up by Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee under President George W. Bush. Karl Rove, the chief political strategist in the George W. Bush White House, also is reportedly affiliated with the organization. The group is backed by big business, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Reynolds Tobacco; Altria, the world's largest cigarette maker; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has donated about $7.2 million over six years, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Dan Morain, senior editor of the Bee, wrote, "The point it makes is clear: The person who holds the job of California attorney general matters, not just to Californians."

Harris' campaign officials, including campaign counsel James Sutton, held a news conference on Monday, October 25th to discuss who exactly they believe is behind the "shadow group," as they're calling it, and to announce that they are taking action against the group.

Altria helping smokers decide who to vote for: Altria - U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. - encouraging tobacco users to vote their way..; Altria believes outcome of U.S. November 2, 2010 election will benefit big tobacco...

Reference: Harris announces legal action against Republican group by JESSICA M. KARMASEK, LegalNewsline.com, 10/25/2010.
Read more...

Kansas City, MO - challenge to smoking ban fails..






October 27, 2010 - Kansas City has survived yet another challenge to its smoking ordinance. The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District issued a ruling today upholding a $50 fine against Georgia Carlson, the bartender of JC’s Sports Bar in the Northland.

Background: On April 8, 2008, voters in Kansas City, Missouri approved a smoking ordinance that eliminates smoking in bars and restaurants, in addition to all other enclosed workplaces except for casino gaming floors. This ordinance went into effect June 6, and enforcement began at 12:01 a.m. on June 21, when a temporary restraining order was lifted. The purpose of the smoking ordinance is to protect those working in Kansas City, Mo., from the dangers of secondhand or environmental tobacco smoke. (Kansas City, Mo., Smoking Ordinance.)

On January 21, 2009, a bartender at a small bar and billiard parlor in Kansas City (JC's Sports Bar) appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals from a decision of the Circuit Court of Jackson County upholding Kansas City's smoking ordinance and finding her guilty of violating it. (Press Release - KC Smoking Ban Appeal - BH Copy - 01-21-2009.

Under a ruling issued on June 23, 2009 by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Kansas City can continue to ban smoking from its bars and restaurants. The court affirmed Kansas City’s comprehensive smoking ban.

Kansas City, Missouri - court upholds smoking ban..

According to the ruling, a Kansas City food inspector, Aaron Nieft, entered the bar on April 10, 2009. He noticed several people smoking and told them to put out their cigarettes, which they did. He then reminded Carlson that Kansas City bans smoking in workplaces, including bars and restaurants. Carlson responded that the bar’s owner had instructed her to allow smoking despite the ordinance. Nieft then wrote her a notice of violation. Municipal court found her guilty, and a circuit court judge upheld that judgment.

Carlson appealed, arguing that Nieft was not a police officer and thus had no standing to give her a ticket.

The appeals court rejected that argument today, October 26th. It found Nieft was not acting as a police officer and did not try to arrest her. But he did have the authority to enforce the city’s health codes and issue a ticket, and there is nothing in state law or city ordinances that says police officers must in all instances issue violations. “Nieft had sufficient authority to issue Carlson’s violation notice…and there was sufficient evidence that Carlson violated the ordinance to support the judgment,” the ruling said.

Reference: KC smoking ban challenge loses by LYNN HORSLEY, The Kansas City Star, 10/26/2010.
Read more...

Malacca, Malaysia - smoke free zones to be expanded..

Tak nak! - Say NO..
October 27, 2010 - Malacca is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. PETALING JAYA: Workplaces with centralised air-conditioning are among those newly-included in the smoke-free areas designated by the Health Ministry, says its Deputy Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin .

"With ministry support, the Malacca government embarked on a Smoke-Free Malacca Initiative where smoking inside buildings within designated areas of the city are disallowed," she said, adding that more smoke-free areas would be expanded.

"Support and co-operation from media personnel, community leaders and members of the public are required to ensure the sustained success of the anti-tobacco move to protect public health."

Rosnah said the recent increases in tobacco tax and cigarette price hike are among measures to discourage smoking.

"Most of the new and strengthened anti-smoking actions by the government in the future would be those obligated and recommended by the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) that is an international treaty to which Malaysia is a party to since 2005."

"Many international research and local scientific studies by our ministry and academic groups have found the Tak Nak Merokok (Anti-Smoking)Campaign and cigarette price hikes have brought about significant impact to curb smoking, especially among children, youths and the poor."

VIDEO - Ministry of Health - Tak Nak Merokok Campaign (Anti-Smoking Campaign)

Rosnah said the World Bank Report 1999 said a 10 per cent increase in cigarette price would lead to four to eight per cent reduction in demand.

"Our ministry's own evaluation of the three waves of the Tak Nak Merokok campaign showed the nationwide level of message penetration, awareness, knowledge, positive change in attitude and change in behaviour among Malaysians, be it smokers, non-smokers and youths, is very high," she said.

"The third National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS3) by the ministry in 2006 also showed a drop in smoking prevalence. Hence, the actions by the government, especially the ministry all these years, have not been wasted."

On July 28, The Malay Mail reported the number of smokers fell by three per cent in the 10-year period between 1996 and 2006, according to the NHMS3. While the percentage might be small, Rosnah said achieving significant change in population behaviour, from smoking to quitting, would require fairly long periods as there were multiple internal and external factors to determine such prospects.

She said the final impact would take decades as there was a lag period of 20 to 30 years between tobacco use and health burdens.

According to the Tak Nak Merokok media campaign impact studies, 75 per cent of smokers exposed to it took action by engaging help from "Quit Smoking Services" and contacted the ministry's infoline, compared with only 31.6 per cent of the overall respondents.

The ministry confirmed there are now four million Malaysians addicted to smoking.

Reference: Smoke-free zones to be expanded by NADIRAH H. RODZI, mmail.com.my, 10/26/2010.
Read more...

Alberta, Canada - lawsuit against big tobacco should be filed within a year..


October 27, 2010 - Alberta Minister of Justice Alison Redford made the announcement Monday, October 25th that Alberta would become the fourth Canadian province to initiate litigation against big tobacco.

Background: Our news brief dated November 24, 2009 indicated that Alberta had joined Ontario, British Columbia (B.C.), Quebec and New Brunswick as provinces that have passed similar legislation allowing them to sue tobacco companies for health-care costs associated with tobacco-related diseases..

At this time Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, applauded the move, adding: "The Alberta government now has a tremendous opportunity to help offset the rising costs of health care while holding the tobacco industry accountable for its actions." Hagen also encouraged the government to launch a lawsuit as soon as possible.

Alberta joins some other provinces in suing tobacco companies..

Redford: "We are confident this action is the right thing to do. Some of the most costly illnesses to treat, such as cancer and heart disease, are caused by smoking," Redford told MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) during the first day of the legislature's fall session. "The litigation we plan to commence will seek to share this burden with the manufacturers of this product." Redford said she hasn't determined the value of Alberta's claim, saying only that it would be "a substantial amount of money."

But Hagen noted Ontario's lawsuit, filed last year, is seeking $50 billion from tobacco companies -- roughly the amount that province estimates it has spent on providing health care to smokers since the 1950s. "Based on that, proportionally Alberta's statement of claim should be at least $10 billion," he said. He suggested any settlement or judgment should include not just a monetary award, but also harsher restrictions on how tobacco products are sold and marketed.

Redford said Alberta's lawsuit should be filed within a year, but it's unclear how long the case could take or whether it will even see a courtroom. British Columbia, after nearly a decade of legal wrangling, is set to proceed with a trial next year. Some experts believe a successful outcome for the province in that case could force the tobacco industry to the settlement table with other provinces.

British Columbia, after nearly a decade of legal wrangling, is set to proceed with a trial next year. Some experts believe a successful outcome for the province in that case could force the tobacco industry to the settlement table with other provinces.

Redford: "We believe it's important for Alberta to begin this process now so that we're able to file our statement of claim and work collectively and jointly with other provinces to set the litigation strategy."

Reference: Billions at stake in Alta. tobacco lawsuit Province seeks to recover health-care costs by Keith Gerein, Edmonton Journal, 10/26/2010
Read more...

Germany - tobacco tax to increase incrementally over next 5-years..

Germany - coat-of-arms..
October 27, 2010 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government plans to raise tobacco taxes over the next five years, generating as much as 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in fresh revenue for the federal budget by 2015. Beginning next year, the government will raise a predicted 200 million euros through the tax, rising to 1 billion by 2015.

The tax on cigarettes, rolling and pipe tobacco would be levied from 2011 and make up for falling tobacco tax revenue as Germans smoke less, opt for cheaper brands or turn to smuggled products, the Finance Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement.

Merkel’s coalition, seeking to shrink the budget deficit with about 80 billion euros of cuts and revenue-raising measures, agreed late yesterday to water down planned cuts to energy subsidies for companies with the difference in part to be made up with the tobacco-tax increase. That prompted opposition criticism Merkel is shifting the tax burden from companies to taxpayers.

The tobacco-tax increase will take place incrementally from 2011 to prevent smokers from rushing to cheaper brands, the Finance Ministry said. It will also raise the levy on less-taxed products faster to avoid price distortions. A pack of 19 cigarettes will be taxed 4-8 cents more per year, while a 40 gram (1.4 ounces) pack of loose tobacco will be levied 12-14 cents a year.

“This is completely the wrong direction to take, both economically and ecologically,” Alexander Bonde, the opposition Greens’ budget spokesman in parliament, said on MDR Info. “The government has given up its plans under lobby pressure.”

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble had planned to recoup 1.5 billion euros annually from cutting subsidies for energy-intensive companies such as the chemicals industry, prompting the BDI industry lobby to warn that as many as 870,000 jobs were at risk. Schaeuble will instead raise about 500 million euros from the energy tax next year, Bild newspaper reported today. Germany’s VCI chemical-industry association welcomed the government decision as a return to “economic sanity,” according to an e-mailed statement.

1.00 EUR = 1.37840 USD

Reference: Germany to Raise Taxes on Tobacco, Cut Energy Subsidies Less Than Planned by Patrick Donahue (pdonahue1@bloomberg.net), Bloomberg.com, 10/25/2010.

Some Germany related news briefs:
Oktoberfest 2010 in Munich, Germany smokefree in 2011..;
Bavaria, Germany - Oktoberfest to be smokefree but not this year..;
Study - the more teens see cigarette ads, the greater the risk of taking a puff..;
Germany - Bavaria referendum on smoking in caf├ęs and beer halls on July 4, 2010..;
Germany - losing billions as smokers find cheaper places to buy cigarettes..;
Germany - smokers smoking less but it's costing more..;
Bavarians force referendum on smoking ban next year..;
Bavaria - court rules, looser implementation of smoking ban constitutional..;
Germany - beer sales are down smoking ban maybe partial blame..;
Bavaria - state's parliament loosened regulation on smoking ban..;
WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008..;
German sales rise in Germany amid moves to impose smoking ban..
Read more...