Oregon - loophole in law - increasing number of kids trying out water pipes..

December 11, 2010 - The Oregon Public Health Division is worried about a new trend: Increasing numbers of Oregon teenagers and young adults are trying out water pipes with flavored tobaccos called shisha (Hookah, Hooka, Shisha or Sheesha, and Narghile) and socializing in hookah lounges where smoking is the main activity.

So far, the statewide hookah bar scene is concentrated heavily in the Portland area.

Stephanie Young-Peterson, tobacco prevention coordinator for Lane County, says the proliferation of hookah bars and lounges happens because of a loophole in Oregon’s smoke-free workplace law. “These places are using the ‘smoke shop exemption’ in order to become certified to allow smoking on their premises,” Young-Peterson said. “The exemption says that if 75 percent of the gross revenue of the business comes from the sale of tobacco products and smoking instruments, smoking inside the building can be allowed.”

Another loophole: Why does R.J. Reynolds Tobacco keep on selecting Portland, OR as a test site..
Other requirements imposed on smoke shops by state law include prohibiting entry to people younger than 18, posting signs at every entrance and exit stating that smoking occurs somewhere on the premises, not allowing lottery or other social games or betting, not selling alcoholic beverages and being a stand-alone business not attached to any other buildings.

The original smoke shop exemption was intended to accommodate old-fashioned cigar and tobacco shops “where someone occasionally might want to try a sample” but not linger there specifically to smoke, Young-Peterson said. “But these new businesses understand the exemption and know how to get around it. They’re creating a bar or club atmosphere that targets 18- to 25-year-olds — and even younger kids because research shows they’re not really enforcing the age limits — and that’s what creates so much concern.

From 2008 to 2009, cigarette use had dropped by about 1 percent among 11th-graders in Oregon, according to a clean air compliance study by the Oregon Tobacco Prevention and Education Program of the state Public Health Division. During the same period, hookah use jumped by 3 percent. As part of the study, the Environmental Protection Agency sent people with monitoring equipment into 10 hookah lounges to take air samples; peak fine particle air pollution levels ranged from unhealthy to very unhealthy and, in one case, hazardous.

The shisha used in hookahs comes in dozens of flavors, which mask the taste of the tobacco and makes it seem less like smoking, she said. “But there is a high risk of becoming addicted and then turning to cigarettes, because they are more convenient and accessible. There’s a real misunderstanding, especially among young people, about the dangers of this activity.” (England - smoking a shisha pipe just as bad as smoking tobacco..; Dangers of hookah (waterpipe) smoking - Harvard Mental Health Letter..)

The come-on to the younger crowd is unmistakable, based on many lounges’ online presentations. Al Narah’s Hookah Lounge Website opens to a golden orange page with a picture of a long-haired woman, seen from the back, arms raised above her head and hands pressed together. A series of messages flash past ending with, “We invite you to enter a place filled with exotic and seductive aroma.”

Reference: Hooked on the hooka A loophole in Oregon law contributes to an increase in the popularity of tobacco use by Randi Bjornstad, RegisterGuard.com, 12/6/2010.

Oregon - some related news briefs:
Oregon - smoking rates drop except for those with low-income levels..;
Oregon - e-cigarette distributor Smoking Everywhere will halt sales in Oregon..;
Oregon Supreme Court rejects smoker's $100 million damage award..;
In Process: Oregon - online cigarette marketer not immune from state laws..;
Oregon - residents are smoking less though ranked 35th in tobacco control spending..;
Oregon - one-year later, smoke-free law is a success..;
Orgeon - files lawsuit against e-cigarette company..;
Oregon - electronic (e) cigarettes sales prohibited until approved by FDA..;
Oregon - cigarette butt law passed in State House..;
Oregon - House passes bill to increase the tax on smokeless tobacco..;
Will the Oregon cigarette butt law pass this year..;
Portland, Oregon - Camel ORBS - candy-like tobacco tablets..;
Why does R.J. Reynolds Tobacco keep on selecting Portland, OR as a test site..;
Oregon - STOP Tobacco Companies from passing out free smokeless tobacco..;
Oregon Governor wants cigarette vendings machines banned..;
Oregon January 1, 2009 Smoking Ban Expanded..;
Oregon - smoking ban to expand, prepares for Camel Dissolvables..

Africa American cigarette smokers may increase risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

December 11, 2010 - The research, which is one of the largest studies to examine the impact of smoking on the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in an African-American population, builds on previous studies which found that cigarette smoking may be associated with an increased risk of RA. (Smoking Raises Arthritis Risk and Makes It Harder to Treat, Jennifer Davis, ArthritisToday.org, 10/17/2009)

“[Rheumatoid arthritis] epidemiology has been largely understudied in the African-American population, Ted Mikuls, MD, MSPH, a lead author of the study, stated in a press release. “The aim of our study was to bridge the knowledge gap by determining whether smoking contributes to RA risk in African-Americans and define the extent to which this association is affected by genetic risk.”

PAPER: Associations of cigarette smoking with rheumatoid arthritis in African Americans, Ted R. Mikuls1, et al., Arthritis & Rheumatism 62(12):3560-3568, December 2010, abstract...

The study evaluated 605 participants with RA and 255 healthy controls from the Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluations of African-Americans with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (CLEAR) I and CLEAR II study groups. The investigators analyzed smoking status, cumulative smoking exposure and genetic risk factors. The risk of RA is reportedly more pronounced among individuals positive for the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE), according to the press release.

Dr. Mikuls stated: “We found a two-fold increase in RA risk among African-Americans who were heavy smokers, and this risk increased to more than fourfold in the presence of SE alleles. Our results suggest that roughly one in six new cases of RA occurring in African-Americans could be prevented through smoking cessation or by limiting cumulative smoking exposure to less than 10 pack-years.

African American: Statistics on Health Disparities Among African Americans Among African Americans, as with other U.S. populations, the prevalence of smoking declines as education level increases. In 2008, smoking rates were over 3.4 times higher among African American males over age 25 who had less than a high school education (34.5%) compared to those with a college education (10.1%). Smoking rates are also much higher in African American females over age 25 years old who have less than a high school education (23.2%) compared to those with a college education (9.5%) (African Americans, American Lung Association)

Reference: Cigarette smoking may increase RA risk in African-Americans, OrthoSuperSite.com, 12/10/2010.

Phuket, Thailand - no smoking in crowded outside areas starting January 1, 2011..

December 10, 2010 - Tourists from China, Korea and Indonesia are likely to be dismayed at a new order banning smoking outdoors at Phuket's popular Cape Promthep and around the lagoon at nearby Nai Harn. In a progressive move towards better health, Phuket's first ban on smoking in an outdoor area will go into action from January 1, 2011. The notion is to prevent non-smokers inhaling smoke or deadly air exhaled by smokers.

People who puff despite the ban will incur a 2000 baht (66.51 USD) fine. However, the countries where Phuket has most to lose also happen to be the ones showing a greatest increase in arrivals: China, Indonesia, Korea, and Russia. Only in Russia are authorities reacting, producing packs with ''smoking kills'' warnings this year for the first time.

Phuket already bans smoking in air-conditioned premises, including restaurants.

Tobacco Consumption Control in Thailand

Reference: Phuket Sun Sets on Smoking Tourists by Pathomporn Kaenkrachang, PhuketWan.com, 12/10/2010.

Some other Thailand news briefs:
WTO panel order Thailand to set up uniform taxes on both foreign and locally made cigarettes..;
Thailand - health authorities want to close smoking areas at airport..;
Thailand - EU free-trade agreement (FTA) stuck over alcohol and tobacco..;
Thailand govt - wants to ban the growing of Burley and Oriental tobacco..;
Thailand - more measures put in place to protect non-smokers..;
Thailand - number of no-smoking zones expanded..;
Thailand - PMI likely breached the Foreign Business Act..;
Thai Tobacco Monopoly withdraws products from Tabinfo Asia 2009..;
Thailand - organizer of international tobacco exhibition fined..;
Thailand - hand-rolled cigarettes more popular and other matters..;
WTO - "DS 371" Philippines versus Thailand on cigarette customs valuation..;
Thailand - Tobacco Expo organizers and guests must obey all tobacco control laws..;
Thailand unit of Philip Morris International faces charges that it violated custom tax rules..;
Thailand - hosting major tobacco promotion event in November 2009..;
Thailand Tobacco Monoploly - union concerned about privatization..;
Thailand - monks sickly from tobacco smoking and/or smoke exposure..;
Philippines - Thai cigarette import rules..;
Thailand - cigarette and liquor prices are expected to rise once new measures for calculating excise taxes take effect..;
Congratulations.. Thailand Joins Developed World With Total Ban On Smoking..;
Discouraging Tobacco Use - Horrific Images on the Packaging..

- Thailand is a member of Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)..

Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine - January 1, 2011 restrict smokers in restaurants to closed-off rooms..

Click to enlarge..
December 10, 2010 - As of January 1, 2011, smoking will be banned in indoor workplaces and public places in Ukraine, however the law allows for these areas to have designated smoking rooms. The haze of smoke that greets visitors to many Kyiv restaurants could soon clear a bit as authorities plan next year to introduce a new recommendation to encourage restaurants, cafes and bars to restrict smoking to closed-off rooms.

The move to clean up Kyiv’s restaurants – most of which currently allow smoking – has been championed by public health advocates and non-smokers. But experts say that the measure falls short. Health officials say that only a complete ban on indoor smoking in public places can prevent the damage caused by inhaling second-hand smoke, a major cause of disease and premature death for non-smokers. The medical consensus is that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

Moreover, many nations that have adopted stiff indoor smoking bans have found them to be successful and popular, while not harming businesses such as restaurants and pubs. Smokers, in short, adjust to the restrictions and even smoke less – which polls show most of them want to do anyway.

A new law has been passed that bans smoking at bus stops and underground crossings and requires all restaurants to designate at least half of their space for non-smokers, but this law is not yet being enforced, and people's behavior has changed little.

The Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) has approved in principle a bill to ban advertising, sponsorship and promotion of sale of tobacco products. The document is aimed at bringing the Law on Advertising, Law on Measures to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use and its Harmful Effects on Human Health and the Code of Administrative Offences in line with the WHO Tobacco Convention on Tobacco Control, ratified by the Ukrainian parliament on March 15, 2006.

In particular, MPs (Members of Parliament) propose a ban on all tobacco advertising, and advertising of signs for the goods and services, and other objects of intellectual property law under which these products are produced.
Additionally, it is also expected to ban sponsorship of television and radio programmes, theater and concert, sports and other activities with using signs for goods and services, and other objects of intellectual property law under which tobacco products are manufactured, except for advertising in specialized publications and special exhibitions.

The lawmakers also want that the advertising of any goods or services must contain no images of tobacco products or the process of their smoking.

VIDEO - Ukraine Protesters Seek Ban on Beer and Cigarette Advertising, NTD Television, 11/18/2010.

On September 27, Ukraine released its Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) results.
Highlights from the GATS Ukraine survey are as follows:
* In Ukraine 28.8 percent of adults (11.5 million) currently smoke tobacco (50.0 percent men; 11.2 percent women).
* Although 86.3 percent of adults believe inhaling other people's smoke causes serious illness, 32.8 percent of adults inhaled secondhand smoke daily or almost daily. In the venues of restaurants or cafes, 64.1 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke. (Note: As of January 1, 2011, smoking will be banned in indoor workplaces and public places in Ukraine, however the law allows for these areas to have designated smoking rooms.)
* 45.1 percent of adults noticed cigarette marketing in advertisements, sponsorship, or promotions. Though tobacco advertising is banned on television, radio and on outdoor billboards in Ukraine, other forms of marketing are allowed, including tobacco sponsorship and promotion.
* 67.9 of current smokers are interested in quitting and 40.5 percent of smokers attempted to quit in the past year.
Every year some 100,000 Ukrainians die prematurely from diseases caused by smoking. The Ukrainian Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports estimate that 68% of young boys and 64% of girls drink alcohol.

Meanwhile, according to surveys conducted this autumn, the Ukrainians have been massively giving up smoking. For example, in 2005 as many as 62% of men smoked daily, and in 2010 - 45%, while the number of female smokers for 5 years decreased by almost half - from 17% to 9%.

The warning messages on Ukrainian cigarette packets

Ukraine: Overview

Economics of Tobacco Taxation in Ukraine - 2008: "If tax represents 70 percent of the retail price, the number of smokers would decline by almost 2 million, and about 1 million tobacco-related deaths would be avoided. At the same time, the government would collect an additional UAH 5.8 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) in excise tax revenue per year."

References: Experts: Partial ban on indoor smoking in public places is ineffective remedy, Irina Sandul (sandul@kyivpost.com), KyivPost.com, 12/10/2010, Ukraine to ban cigarette advertizing, MIGnews.com.ua, 12/1/2010).

Ukraine related news briefs:
Ukraine - President Victor Yushchenko accused of being close with tobacco industry..;
Ukraine - President Yushchenko vetoes bill to hike tobacco products tax..;
Ukraine - enforcement of smoking ban, 28,000 people fined..;
Ukraine - lost cigarettes flooding Europe..

Florida - tobacco cases clog dockets of courts..

The problem is how to manage 3,800 tobacco cases when each one will take a year to get to trial and another two to three weeks to try. By one Jacksonville lawyer’s estimate, the process will take 760 years. So Tuesday, December 7th tobacco company attorneys and lawyers for thousands of sick smokers met with the two federal judges overseeing the cases to discuss ways to move the process along.

“It’s a huge number of cases for us to be trying to deal with on top of our regular criminal and civil caseload,” said U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan. “We’re going to do the best we can. We understand these are important matters to the people involved. But our resources are limited.”

The cases are the result of a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision that broke up a state class-action lawsuit after a jury awarded smokers $145 billion for specified illnesses resulting from their addiction. The court gave sick smokers a year to file individual claims against tobacco companies. (Cigarette Makers Face Thousands of New Florida Lawsuits..)

Jacksonville attorney Woody Wilner filed nearly 4,000 claims in federal court. An appeals court ruled in July that federal trial judges must determine the meaning of the class-action jury’s findings before deciding whether there’s relevance in establishing individual smokers’ claims. (Florida - individual cases against big tobacco can move forward, can rely on Engle jury findings..)

At the Duval County Courthouse, where about 600 state claims are pending, Chief Circuit Judge Donald Moran has appointed a judge to oversee nothing but the tobacco docket. Circuit Judge Charles Arnold can call in other state judges to help with trials.

Corrigan and U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard asked the attorneys Tuesday for suggestions on expediting the claims, but answers were hard to come by. The only thing the two sides agreed on was to schedule 10 cases for trial to get the ball rolling. But they don’t agree on which 10 cases. An initial list has changed, Wilner said, because some of his clients have died without survivors.

Kenneth Reilly, attorney for Philip Morris USA, told the judges any proposal would have to take into account the tobacco companies’ right to defend themselves.

Wilner proposed bringing in a special master, but Reilly said the tobacco companies oppose that idea because special masters usually try to broker a global settlement, which isn’t an option for his clients. Wilner also has proposed dropping 499 of his federal claims and trying them in state court, he said. The tobacco companies accused him of shopping for the possibility of a more favorable outcome.

Reference: Jacksonville tobacco cases clog dockets of courts No easy way to process the 3,000 smokers’ suits against companies by Paul Pinkham (paul.pinkham@jacksonville.com), Jacksonville.com, 12/7/2010.

Some related news briefs from Florida court cases:
Florida - jury snaps tobacco’s recent winning streak with an $80 million award..;
Florida - jury returns verdict in favor of Philip Morris USA, 5th consecutive time..;
Florida is tide turning? - 4th time in 2-weeks Philip Morris USA wins court cases..;
Florida - PM USA to challenge verdict in the Piendle v. RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris USA case..;
Florida - tobacco companies ordered to pay $2.2 million to widow of smoker..;
Florida - individual cases against big tobacco can move forward, can rely on Engle jury findings..;
Florida - jury awards smoker $21M from Philp Morris USA.;
Florida - can big tobacco survive all these lawsuits they continue to lose??;
Florida - big tobacco loses another case..;
Florida - jury awards $26.6 million to smoker's widow..;
Florida - 9 year old case, appeals court upholds $24.8 million award..;
Florida - $300 million jury award to former smoker overturned..;
Florida - jury awards $300 million in ex-smoker's suit..;
Florida - tobacco companies ask court to block ruling..;
Florida - plaintiff drops case to avoid paying legal fees for Philip Morris USA..;
R.J. Reynolds to appeal plaintiff's award of $30 million..;
R.J. Reynolds loses Florida court trial - widow gets $30 million..;
Broward County Florida jury awards widow of smoker $1.5 million...

Canada - federal govt health minister, "not in bed with big tobacco.."

December 9, 2010 - Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq declared Thursday, December 9th the federal government is "not in bed with big tobacco" — and pledged to unveil an aggressive anti-smoking communications strategy within weeks that may include bigger and more graphic health warnings on cigarette packages.

Aglukkaq made the comments after a rough day of testimony at parliamentary hearings on why the Conservative government has yet to follow through on a long-running plan — first conceived in 2004 and almost unveiled earlier this year — to force tobacco companies to update health warnings.

Background: After more than six years of study, design and focus groups, the federal government has halted its plan to require tobacco companies to update the warnings on the side of cigarette packages with larger and more grotesque images. (Canada - Health Canada shelves update of graphic warning messages to concentrate on the problem of contraband tobacco..) Health Canada told provinces and territories that its tobacco strategy will instead concentrate on the problem of contraband cigarettes, an issue that has been highlighted by the tobacco industry. (Canada - action must be taken to control the illicit cigarette problem..)

Development of new warning labels - according to a document from Health Canada detailing the total estimated expenditures reveals that the ministry spent $3.15 million on public opinion research, contracts and other miscellaneous expenses. (Canada - millions lost in revamping cigarettes graphic warnings..)

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

In 2000, Canada became the first country to put graphic warning labels on cigarette packages. Canada’s ranking for cigarette package health warnings has dropped from 1st in 2001, to 8th in 2008 to 15th in 2010. (Canadian Cancer Society releases report on health warnings on cigarette packages..)

Alberta, Canada - family of anti-smoking activists wants her photo on cigarette packs..
"I have not shelved that project," Aglukkaq told reporters, saying she wanted to re-examine the entire anti-tobacco marketing plan so a social media component could be developed.

"You can't just put all your resources into one initiative. It has to be much broader. A lot has changed since the studies were conducted. We now have Twitter. We now have Facebook. We have a number of social media outlets that we can make use of."

The health minister reiterated the same message in the House of Commons, after the NDP (New Democratic Party of Canada) and Liberals wanted to know why the labelling renewal project was stalled. According to departmental records introduced this week to the health committee of the House of Commons, Health Canada informed Imperial Tobacco in May that the project was "suspended."

"The government had a choice to tell big tobacco to get lost. It had a choice to put the health of Canadians ahead of the commercial interests of big tobacco," added Liberal health critic Ujjal Dosanjh.

Aglukkaq shot back, saying the federal government "is committed to reducing youth smoking, helping Canadians quit smoking, and addressing the pressure of contraband tobacco. We are taking action. Shortly after the election, we introduced tobacco legislation which is now in effect, so we are demonstrating our leadership in this area."

"Provincial and territorial governments remain puzzled as to why the initiative to renew health warnings was stopped at the last minute with no consultation. The background work on this initiative . . . had been completed, and there was no hint of concern or reluctance on the part of Health Canada officials as that work progressed," testified Dr. Robert Strang of Nova Scotia's Department of Health Promotion and Protection.

More comments from tobacco control professionals on why they can not understand why the update of pictorial warnings was halted. - see 1st reference.

There's certainly good reason to discourage people from smoking. The Canadian Cancer Society says on average, 395 Canadians will die from lung cancer every week. Health Canada says cigarette smoking is the single most important preventable cause of lung cancer, accounting for 85 per cent of all new cases of lung cancer in Canada.

Besides the human cost, the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta website notes that each year, tobacco use costs the Canadian economy an estimated $17 billion and the Alberta economy $1.8 billion. Additional societal costs arise from lost income due to premature death, disability, worker absenteeism, reduced productivity, and tobacco subsidies. "In fact, it has been estimated that it costs employers about $2,565 more annually to employ a smoker than to employ a non-smoker," says the website.

References: We're 'not in bed with big tobacco': federal health minister by Sarah Schmidt, Postmedia News, Vancover Sun, 12/10/2010; Time for Canada to be a leader again, Lethbridge Herald Opinon, 12/11/2010.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Mental Health in Children..

December 9, 2010 - Children who breathe secondhand smoke (shs, passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, ets, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke) are more likely to struggle with mental health problems, especially hyperactivity and "bad" behavior, according to the study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

PAPER: Objectively Measured Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Mental Health in Children
Evidence From the Scottish Health Survey, Mark Hamer, PhD; Tamsin Ford, PhD; Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD; Samantha Dockray, PhD; G. David Batty, PhD, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Published online December 6, 2010, ABSTRACT..

"We know that exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a lot of physical health problems in children, although the mental health side has not been explored," Mark Hamer of University College London told Reuters Health in an e-mail.

In the United States, two of every three children between the ages of three and 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke. Meanwhile, one in five children aged nine to 17 have been diagnosed with some kind of mental or addictive disorder, according to the U.S. department of Health and Human Services.

Hamer and his colleagues studied 901 nonsmoking British children between the ages of 4 to 8, measuring levels of a byproduct of cigarette fumes in the childrens' saliva to gauge smoke exposure and having parents fill out a questionnaire about the childrens' emotional, behavioral and social problems. The more secondhand smoke a child took in, on average, the poorer their mental health -- particularly for hyperactivity and conduct disorder, or so-called "bad" behavior, the study said.
Overall, about three percent of all children received "abnormal" scores of 20 or more on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, a 40-point scale with the highest scores representing the poorest mental health.

Compared to the 101 children who breathed in the least secondhand smoke, the 361 with the most exposure scored an average of 44 percent higher on the questionnaire -- 9.2 versus 6.4. Children were most likely to breathe secondhand smoke in their own homes.

The gap remained after researchers accounted for other factors that could affect mental health such as asthma, physical activity and the families' income and housing situations, although they noted that some unmeasured factor also couldn't be ruled out.

Michael Weitzman at New York University Medical Center, who was not involved in the study, said the results strengthen the evidence that secondhand smoke, and possibly prenatal exposure to tobacco, causes mental health problems in children. "Many people now recognize that childrens' secondhand smoke exposure increases their risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ear infections and asthma," he told Reuters Health in an e-mail. "But secondhand smoke also poses a huge burden on the quality of life of children, their families and the larger society due to increased child mental health problems."

New Study - children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke..

Reference: Secondhand smoke tied to childrens' poor mental health, Reporting by Lynne Peeples at Reuters Health; editing by Elaine Lies), Reuters, 12/8/2010.

Bulgaria - health minister will work for implementing full smoking ban in public places..

December 9, 2010 -
Bulgaria's Health Minister Prepares Concept for Better Healthcare.. Health Minister, Dr. Stefan Konstantinov, as part of the better health care program announced he will work for implementing full smoking ban on public places.

Konstantinov said he was preparing a legislative amendment that he hoped would be backed by the majority of the parliament.

Bulgaria briefly implemented a smoking ban on June 1 but, owing to fears about its negative effects on an already troubled economy, the ban was replaced by restrictions that allowed smoking in separate, designated sections of railroad stations, airports, ports and bus stations, and within separate sections of large restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Owners of restaurants, clubs and coffee shops of less than 50 square meters in size were free to decide whether or not to allow smoking.

Reference: Bulgaria's Health Minister Prepares Concept for Better Healthcare, Novinite.com, 12/8/2010.

Bulgaria - related news briefs:
Bulgaria - tobacco growers seeking more subsidies..;
Greece/Bulgaria - governments opposed to WHO's attempt to ban blended tobacco..;
Bulgaria - tobacco companies back effort to reduce illicit cigarette trade.;
Bulgaria - Mayor of Town of Kyustendil - non-smokers should pay less for health insurance..;
Bulgaria - smoking ban beginning January 1, 2011 - do they know which smoking ban applies??;
Bulgaria - Director of the Customs Agency announced Bulgaria ranks 1st in Europe in seizure of contraband cigarettes..;
Bulgaria - smoking rate down, knowledge of dangers of tobacco use gaining..;
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;

India - will delay for a year the use of scarier pictorial warnings on cigarette and bidi packs..

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December 9, 2010 - Faced with major tobacco firms halting production over implementation of pictorial warnings (India - revised pictorial warnings on tobacco products will be implemented from December 1, 2010..), the Union (India's) Cabinet on Tuesday, December 7th decided that the current pictures will remain in place for another year.
(India - cigarettes and bidis manufacturers halt production seek clarification on pictorial health warnings..)

Till then, the ineffective pictorial warnings of the scorpion, lung x-ray and diseased lungs will stay on tobacco packs. The decision to defer use of scarier pictorial warnings on cigarette and bidi packs till December 2011 hasn't gone down well with civil society. The black scorpion on bidi packs and cancer-affected lungs on cigarette packets was to be replaced by a more graphic cancerous mouth in keeping with a ministry of health and family welfare notification. The pictorial warnings are to be rotated every year.

Tobacco majors have argued that they have large unsold stocks and must be allowed to expend these before the warnings are changed. They threatened to maintain the current halt on fresh production -- a move that can impact the labour intensive industry including cultivators. Tobacco companies have also demanded the duration of any set of pictorial warnings must be for two-three years instead of just a year. According to agency reports, the tobacco firms may now restart production. Activists accused the Cabinet of taking a "partisan stand and giving into the arm-twisting tactics of the tobacco industry giants such as ITC (formerly Indian Tobacco Company) and GPI (Godfrey Phillips India Ltd.), choosing to ignore the public health".

Calling the decision shocking and unexpected, public health advocates, civil society and tobacco control activists condemned the government for buckling under pressure from the tobacco industry yet again. Activists have strongly decried the arbitrary backtracking by the government and blatant disregard to the Supreme Court's directive of implementing the packaging and labelling rules, including the rotation of pack warnings every 12 months.

"This is yet another promise broken, leading to a complete loss of confidence and faith in the current leadership. Even the Supreme Court in the gutka case ruling on Tuesday pointed out that the government has been a mute spectator in the fight against the tobacco industry, whose products are creating a huge public health menace," said Alok Mukhopadhyay, chief executive of Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI).

Research -- published in the New England Journal of Medicine -- shows that smoking kills nearly 1 million Indians a year, or one in 10 of all deaths from any cause. Nearly 70% of smoking deaths occur at productive working ages -- and more than half among illiterates. Smokers of cigarrates -- that contain about four times more tobacco than bidis -- lose about eight years of life as compared to six years for bidi smokers.

References: Cigarette packs to carry same pics for another year, The Times of India, 12/8/2010; Govt draws flak for 'giving into tobacco lobby', Kounteya Sinha, The Times of India, 12/9/2010; Scarier pictorial images on cigarette packs deferred by a year, Indian Express.com,12/9/2010.

India - some related news briefs:
*India - cigarettes and bidis manufacturers halt production seek clarification on pictorial health warnings..;
*India - Tobacco Board warns farmers against planting unauthorized crop..;
*India - revised pictorial warnings on tobacco products will be implemented from December 1, 2010..;
*India - captions with pictorial warnings should use local languages..:
*India - 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...

U.S. Surgeon General's Report: ' How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease..'

December 9, 2010 - On Thursday, December 9, 2010, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced the publication of “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease.” This report reveals new scientific findings about how deadly cigarettes are and how quickly they can damage your body. The report claims even one cigarette or inhaling someone else’s second-hand smoke could block your arteries and provoke an immediate heart attack.

Secondhand (environmental,involuntary, passive) Smoke: Blood Vessel Damage Within Minutes..;

U.S. IOM - like former Surgeon General Carmona stated there is no safe level of secondhand smoke..;

Social Smoking Still Dangerous to Your Health...

Though lung cancer takes years to develop, poisoning from tobacco smoke and damage at the cellular level begins immediately as over 7000 chemicals spread through the body with every puff.

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin warned “one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack”. She also said that it could trigger someone else’s. “I advise people to try to avoid being around smoking any way that you can.”

VIDEO: A Report of the Surgeon General:
How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease

Over 440,000 Americans die from tobacco-caused diseases every year. Approximately 20% of all adults smoke (46 million) and countless millions are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. The government goal of dropping the smoking rate to 12 percent by this year is way off and has been revised as the goal for 2020.

Reference: First US Surgeon General Report Outlines Smoking Dangers by Maya Jackson Randall, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 12/9/2010.

France - Smoking is more prevalent in French women than male counterparts..

December 9, 2010 - The prevalence of smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke among men in France has fallen by more than 15 per cent since the mid 1980s, but over the same 20-year period has increased among women.

As a result, investigators from the World Health Organization French MONICA (MONItoring trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease) centre say the divergent smoking trends predict changes in death rates from coronary heart disease in French men and women since 1985 - estimated as a decline in men of 10-15 per cent, but an increase among women of 0.1-3.6 per cent.

PAPER: Characteristics of current smokers, former smokers, and second-hand exposure and evolution between 1985 and 2007, Tilloy, Emmanuelle; Cottel, Dominique; Ruidavets, Jean-Bernard; Arveiler, Dominique; Ducimetière, Pierre; Bongard, Vanina; Haas, Bernadette; Ferrières, Jean; Wagner, Aline; Bingham, Annie; Amouyel, Philippe; Dallongeville, Jean, European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation. 17(6):730-736, December 2010.

Aims: The aim of this study was to assess trends in the prevalence of adult smoking habits between 1985–1987 and 2005–2007 in three distinct areas of France and their contribution to coronary heart disease (CHD) death rates.

Methods: Participants were recruited as part of the French Monitoring trends and determinants in Cardiovascular disease survey in 1985–1987 (n=3760), 1995–1997 (n=3347), and 2005–2007 (n=3573). They were randomly selected from electoral rolls after stratification for sex, 10-year age group (35–64 years), and town size. Smoking habits were analyzed by questioning the participants about earlier or current consumption, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, age at first cigarette, pipe tobacco and cigarillo consumption, quit attempts, age at quitting, and second-hand exposure. Predicted CHD death rates as a function of smoking were predicted with the SCORE risk equation.

Results: In men, a significant decrease in tobacco exposure (from 40 to 24.3%) between 1985–1987 and 2005–2007 was observed. In women, the prevalence of current smokers increased from 18.9 to 20% and that of former smokers rose from 8.7 to 25.5%. In both men and women, average daily cigarette consumption and second-hand exposure to smoke fell between 1995–1997 and 2005–2007. Predicted CHD death rates as a function of smoking trends decreased in men (range 10–15%) but increased in women (range 0.1–3.6%).

Conclusion: This study found divergent trends in the prevalence of smoking in men and women aged between 35 and 64 years over the period of 1985 to 2007. These changes may have contributed to the decline in CHD death in men but not in women.

Commenting on the results of the study investigator Dr Jean Dallongeville from the INSERM Institut Pasteur in Lille, France, said: "Men have reduced their exposure to tobacco from 40 to 24.3 per cent, representing a predicted fall in deaths from coronary heart disease. By contrast, women have increased their exposure resulting in a rise in the predicted heart disease death estimate. These results, he said, may partly explain the decline in coronary heart disease mortality in men over the study period, but not seen in women, but he acknowledged the effect of other factors on trends in heart disease mortality.

CVD (cardiovascular disease) is the main cause of death in women in all countries of Europe and is the main cause of death in men in all countries except France, the Netherlands and Spain. (Cardiovascular disease in Europe, European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation: August 2009)

Reference: Smoking is more prevalent in French women than male counterparts, Source: World Health Organization, The Medical News, 12/8/2010.

France - a few related news briefs:
France - National Committee on Tobacco Control has banned all forms of tobacco advertising ..;
France - parliament member proposes to impose new taxes on tobacco..;
France - BAT cuts cigarettes prices, also Drum - fine-cut handrolling tobacco (shag);
France - decree signed, graphic warnings on cigarette packs next year..;
France - number of cigarettes sold starts to rise again..;
France - anti-smoking shock ad aimed at teens..;
France - some smokers are flaunting the ban on smoking..;
Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008..;
French researchers announced a striking 15% decrease in admissions of patients with myocardial infarction to emergency wards since the public ban on smoking came into effect..;
France - cheaper cigarettes close by in Belgium...

No more smoke breaks - Gulf of Mexico oil spill blamed on cigarette break..

December 9, 2010 - The explosion which caused the Gulf of Mexico oil spill took place shortly after a man who was monitoring vital safety equipment decided to leave his workstation for a cigarette break. Joseph E Keith, an employee of the Halliburton subsidiary Sperry Sun, told investigators that he failed to realise that the well was filling with dangerous levels of crude oil and natural gas because he was in the canteen, having a smoke and a cup of coffee.

By the time Mr Keith had resumed watching his monitors, which were tracking pressure levels on the Deepwater Horizon rig, the safety gauges had returned to normal, according to testimony he gave to the joint Coast Guard-Interior Department panel in Houston.

Not long afterwards, a huge explosion on the BP rig killed 11 people, injured 17 others, and caused oil to begin leaking into the Gulf. Over the ensuing three months, some 206 million gallons were released, in what is believed to be the worst accidental spill in history.

Reference: Smoking kills: Spill blamed on cigarette break Deepwater Horizon safety official admits he missed warning signs before explosion By Guy Adams in Los Angeles, Independent.co.uk, 12/9/2010.

Alberta, Canada - family of anti-smoking activists wants her photo on cigarette packs..

During fight to survive lung cancer..

December 9, 2010 - The family of an Alberta anti-smoking activist, Barb Tarbox, is pushing to have a photo of the woman on her deathbed used on cigarette packages in Canada.

CTV News Video Clip..

Tarbox, who died of lung cancer in 2003 at 41 years old, spent her final days as the poster child for Alberta's anti-smoking movement. Before she was confined to a hospital bed, Tarbox spent almost every waking moment lecturing students and working for anti-smoking groups.

A similar health warning using the same photo of Tarbox was recently proposed for American cigarette packages by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Her husband Pat Tarbox: "It is very disheartening to know that Barb's warning may not see the light of day in Canada while (possibly) appearing on millions of cigarette packages in the United States."

U.S. may use image on cigarette packs of a dying Canadian lung cancer patient - Barb Tarbox - but tobacco companies would fight it - too realistic..;

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

Graphic Warnings cigarette packs: Canada revising warnings, U.S. pictorial warnings within 4-years...
VIDEO - Barb Tarbox - speaking about her lung cancer patient..

Pat Tarbox said the image of his wife in her final moments is the first time a real person would be used on cigarette packaging, and that it's a message that will reach children and adults. Meanwhile, he's calling on all Canadians to contact the Prime Minister's office or Health Canada to get the issue back on the agenda.

Health Canada has invested millions of dollars in the development of the new health warnings including 60 focus groups held across the country. Research has revealed that the current health warnings have lost their impact over time.

Tobacco is the leading avoidable cause of premature death in Canada—resulting in 37,000 deaths annually (population: 33,739,900 - 2009, Source: World Bank).

Reference: Family of Barb Tarbox wants her deathbed image on cigarette packs, ctvcalgary.ca, 12/8/2010.

Canada - millions lost in revamping cigarettes graphic warnings..

December 8, 2010 - After more than six years of study, design and focus groups, the federal government has halted its plan to require tobacco companies to update the warnings on the side of cigarette packages with larger and more grotesque images.
Health Canada told provinces and territories attending a closed-door meeting in Newfoundland two weeks ago that its tobacco strategy will instead concentrate on the problem of contraband cigarettes, an issue that has been highlighted by the tobacco industry.

September 28, 2010 - Canada - Health Canada shelves update of graphic warning messages to concentrate on the problem of contraband tobacco..)

August 15, 2010 - Health Canada - why delay in new round of cigarette pack pictorial warnings??

September 3, 2009 - Graphic Warnings cigarette packs: Canada revising warnings, U.S. pictorial warnings within 4-years..

Development of new labels - according to a document from Health Canada detailing the total estimated expenditures reveals that the ministry spent $3.15 million on public opinion research, contracts and other miscellaneous expenses. The government also spent $496,000 to develop a national Quitline, a 1-800 number that would appear on cigarette packages.

The new labels were supposed to increase in size from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of each cigarette package.

In 2000, Canada became the first country to put graphic warning labels on cigarette packages. In the years since, many other countries, including Uruguay and Mexico, have brought in warnings that are far more graphic and disturbing than Canada’s — and cover up to 80 per cent of the package. "The problem with Canada … is that we’ve had the same warnings on packs for almost 10 years now," said Dave Hammond, a professor at the University of Waterloo who consulted for Health Canada on the development of the new labels. "We’ve fallen off the pace. What were once the best warnings in the world are now looking stale and very old. "We don’t run the same TV advertisement for 10 years," said Hammond. "Nor should you have the same health warning for 10 years."

Canada's graphic health warnings..

Reference: Nixed cigarette labels revamp cost millions by Nicholas Stein, CBC News, 12/7/2010.

UST-Altria - family of smokeless tobacco user wins five million dollar settlement..

December 8, 2010 - The nation's largest smokeless tobacco company agreed to settle for $5 million a lawsuit brought by the family of a decades-long user who died of mouth cancer at age 42. The settlement—which was reached a while ago but recently finalized in court—is highly unusual because experts say that no jury verdict has ever been rendered against the tobacco industry for harm allegedly caused by smokeless tobacco, which users place between their lips and gums.

The lawsuit accused UST Inc. of wrongful death in the 2003 demise of Bobby Hill, a 42-year-old North Carolina man who had started using Skoal and Copenhagen—the company's flagship brands—at age 13.

UST was acquired by Altria Group Inc. last year. An Altria spokesman said that the settlement was reached before Altria's acquisition of UST and that Altria "was honoring the terms." The spokesman added, "We have no intention of settling cases like these in the future."

In a regulatory filing, Altria said other such suits are pending against UST. It isn't clear how many suits are pending.

Plaintiff attorney Antonio Ponvert III said Mr. Hill became addicted in the 1970s, a time when smokeless products carried no health warnings. "The fact that he was addicted as a child took away any personal responsibility defense, and the absence of any label meant they couldn't say, 'We warned you,"' said Mr. Ponvert.

Key evidence.. Among the evidence that Mr. Ponvert obtained during discovery were about 60 letters from children to UST. He said the letters, written in the 1970s and 1980s, came from authors who identified themselves as child users of smokeless tobacco. In some cases, the children asked the company to keep its prices low so that they could continue affording it. Mr. Ponvert said the company's letters back to the children often included free cans of smokeless tobacco. "And this was at a time when there was federal and state legislation prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors," Mr. Ponvert said. (Plaintiffs’ attorneys Antonio Ponvert III and Christopher Bernard had to wade through a half-million pages of tobacco company documents during the discovery process.)

Altria wouldn't comment on the letters, the rationale behind UST's decision to settle or any other events preceding Altria's acquisition of UST last year.

Since the late 1980s, smokeless tobacco has carried a warning label. And since June of this year, smokeless products must rotate through the following warnings: This product can cause mouth cancer; This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss; This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes; Smokeless tobacco is addictive.

In one case that went to trial back in the 1980s, involving a teenage user of smokeless tobacco who died of mouth cancer, a jury ruled in favor of UST.

The settlement comes as the tobacco industry tries to weaken proposals for tougher warning labels on its products and markets chewing tobacco as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes, Ponvert said.

Mark Gottlieb, director of the Tobacco Products Liability Project at Northeastern University in Boston, said he believes it's the first case of its kind and predicted more lawsuits involving smokeless tobacco.

References: Smokeless-Tobacco Maker Settles Suit by KEVIN HELLIKER (kevin.helliker@wsj.com), David Kesmodel contributed to this article, The Wall Street Journal, 12/8/2010; Skoal, Copenhagen to pay $5M in cancer lawsuit (AP), Chicago Press Release, 12/8/2010; Canton man's family gets $5M in tobacco lawsuit, staff and wire reports, Asheville Citizen-Times.com, 12/8/2010; Tobacco Company Pays $5M In Groundbreaking Case
Settlement is nation’s first involving smokeless product
by THOMAS B. SCHEFFEY, CTLawTribune.com, 12/13/2010.

Baguio City, Philippines - “Hundred Percent Smoke-Free City” campaign..

December 7, 2010 - The City Health Services Office (HSO), in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) launched the advocacy on the Environmentally Sustainable Healthy Urban Transport (ESHUT) and the 100% Smoke-free Baguio City during the flag raising ceremony at the City Hall Grounds last Monday, December 5th.

City Health officer Dr. Florence Reyes stressed that the advocacy is in line with Republic Act 9211 or the Clean Air Act and the Comprehensive Anti-smoking ordinance of Baguio. 'If Davao and Roxas can make their city smoking-free, then we can also do it here in Baguio,' Reyes said.

The ordinance bans smoking in all public places, including pedestrian overpasses and public utility vehicles, but some councilors said that the law has not been enforced to the letter. In fact, many city employees sneaked out of City Hall for cigarette breaks when the program was being reintroduced.

City HSO chief epidemiologist Dr. Donna Tubera affirmed that six of the top 10 leading causes of death in the city are smoking related including lung cancer, colon cancer, cardiovascular diseases, heart diseases, pneumonia and bronchitis. Study shows also shows that there is no safe level of second hand smoke. Though we have enough laws to protect us from such hazard, a concerted effort from all sector of society is still needed for the advocacy, Tubera stressed.

In line with the advocacy, the HSO will be tapping the assistance of the government agencies, the transport sector, the academe and the communities through the 128 barangays in achieving a 100% smoke free Baguio City.

The campaign will also involve the posting of no-smoking signs and the use of the graphical warning signs on all public utility vehicles and terminals, government agencies, including the city government offices. According to Tubera, studies have proven that the posting of no-smoking signs shows a 50 percent (smokers-quitting) effectivity rate.

Cigarette firms have objected to a Department of Health directive that requires them to post graphic photos of lung cancer victims on the packs or boxes of their tobacco products. (At the Republic level there is an ongoing battle to get graphic warnings on cigarette packs.) Reyes said the government also rejected an offer made by a top cigarette firm to donate ash trays that distill cigarette smoke in areas designated as smoking zones. “We do not want to dilute our program by sending the wrong signals. We can't have a cigarette company run our anti-smoking drive,” she said.

Teenagers belonging to the group “Saleng” have been touring a skit about the impact of smoking on a man they call “Mr. X.” Local officials said the images they display could be used as template for the anti-smoking posters. The group flashed pictures of Mr. X's psoriasis (a chronic skin disease characterized by red patches and scales) at age 21, his stomach ulcers at 22, and his underdeveloped sperm cell, resulting in infertility at 25. They also held up pictures of Mr. X's premature aging at 27, his osteoporosis at 38, and his lung cancer at 40. These images form the “smoker's body,” which Reyes described as “a monster's body.

References: Baguio launches ESHUT, "100% Smoke Free Baguio City" campaign by Lito Dar, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), 12/7/2010; Baguio to show graphic images of cancer illness to discourage smoking
by Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon, Inquirer.net, 12/7/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - lawmaker proposes bill to use graphic warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - cigarette butts disposal is a major problem in the Philippines..;
Philippines - PMFTC Inc. urges govt to extend existing tobacco tax on products..;
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..;
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...

Actor Michael Douglas - fighting for his life with Stage 4 Throat Cancer..

December 7, 2010 - Michael Kirk Douglas, a U.S. actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards, first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2009.

Mr. Douglas was warned time and time again to stop the use of tobacco but would not listen. Now he is fighting for his life with advanced Stage 4 throat cancer. Michael Douglas and Throat Cancer FAQ Michael Douglas Has Stage IV Throat Cancer; Experts Weigh In by Daniel J. DeNoon, WebMD Health News, 9/1/2010. The stage 4 throat cancer is an advanced stage, where the throat cancer survival rate is rather low.

VIDEO - Stage 4 Throat Cancer: What's the Prognosis for Michael Douglas? by Chris Gentilviso, Time Newsfeed, September 1, 2010.

Federal Court of Appeals - e-cigarettes - rules against the FDA..

December 7, 2010 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in an opinion said today the FDA can only regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. The ruling means the government can oversee the marketing of the products, not restrict their sale. (No. 10-5032 SOTTERA, INC., DOING BUSINESS AS NJOY, APPELLEE v. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION, ET AL., APPELLANTS)

The appeals court unanimously (3-judges) upheld an injunction against the FDA’s attempt to ban them or regulate them more strictly as drugs.

February 2, 2010 - U.S. FDA appealing a federal judge's ruling on e-cigarettes.;
January 31, 2010 - U.S. FDA - judge's ruling regarding e-cigarettes must be appealed - ASAP..

A nebuliser is a device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. The e-cigarette consists of a battery, a heating element and a cartridge that contains a liquid suspension with nicotine. When a user inhales from the cartridge, the liquid is heated and the vaporized liquid can be inhaled. How can both not be devices to administer a substance? Nicotine is a highly addicting, highly toxic substance that has been shown to enhance the growth of an existing cancer and also, in itself is carcinogenic. (PAPER: Nicotine in cigarettes linked to breast cancer..)

Nicotine is very poisonous and ingesting even the smallest amount can cause extreme fatigue, vomiting, a rapid yet weak pulse, and possibly nervous breakdowns, even death. (FDA: Electronic cigarettes contain toxic chemicals..; E-cigarettes - scientists want more safety studies before use..)

The e-cigarettes user inhales various flavors of nicotine (that may isolated from tobacco or synthetically made). The Halo Electronic Cigarettes web site states that Chinese smoke juice (nicotine) is notorious for being manufactured using Pesticide-Grade Nicotine, and Industrial-Grade Propylene Glycol. These contaminated ingredients pose an increasing and unnecessary risk to electronic cigarette users throughout the world. More from Halo: The e-liquid industry is flooded with inferior made juice from overseas, from companies that care little about the safety of their customers. It is notorious for being manufactured using inferior grades of Nicotine, Glycerin and Propylene Glycol. These low-grade ingredients pose an increasing and unnecessary risk to electronic cigarette users throughout the world.

From Ruyan e-cigarettes flavors: regular tobacco, marlboro, mint, almond, chocolate, cherry, regular, menthol, Apple and strawberry. They have surveyed a number of electronic cigarette smokers and the overwhelming favorites are menthol and, believe it or not, strawberry. More: Philip Morris - Ruyan Group - e-cigarettes..

The federal appellate court's opinion is an embarrassment for the United States and a set back for the effort to prevent youngsters from becoming nicotine addicts never able to reach their full potential. The New York State Assembly has voted overwhelmingly 125-0 to ban e-cigarettes [e-cigs]; a product which has already been banned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and New Zealand, restricted in Finland, Malaysia, and Singapore, pending restriction in the UK as a drug, and the subject of law suits by attorneys general in several states, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). (New York Moves Towards Total E-Cigarette Ban, Tobacco Facts, 4/29/2010) Even Russia has proposed to ban electronic cigarettes - until the manufacturers have carried out clinical studies and toxicity analysis.
(Russia - electronic cigarettes to be banned..)

The FDA is “studying the opinion and considering next steps,” Jeffrey Ventura, a spokesman for the agency, said in an e-mailed statement.

Non-profit health organizations such as The American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, have called for e-cigarettes to be removed from the market.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, criticized the decision. “This ruling invites the creation of a wild west of products containing highly addictive nicotine, an alarming prospect for public health,” the group said in an e-mailed statement. “We urge the government to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The American Heart Association.. “We’re gravely concerned about the implications of today’s ruling,” association chief executive Nancy Brown said in a statement. “The appeals court has cleared the way for the industry to peddle these products to consumers without any scrutiny as to their safety or efficacy.

Reference: FDA Loses Appeal, Can't Regulate Electronic Cigarettes as Drug, Court Says by Don Jeffrey (djeffrey1@bloomberg.net), editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella (drovella@bloomberg.net), Bloomberg.com, 12/7/2010; E-Cigarettes Win Appeals Ruling by DUFF WILSON, The New York Times, 12/7/2010.

Some e-cigarette news briefs:
E-cigarettes - a device for delivery of variable amounts of vaporized nicotine..;
U.S. e-cigarette imports banned indefinitely - ASH..;
THIS MUST STOP - e-cigarette company asking active duty soldiers to buy their product..;
Electronic cigarettes - study finds not an effective nicotine delivery system..;
U.S. - federal appeals court, import of e-cigarettes on hold again..;
U.S. FDA appealing a federal judge's ruling on e-cigarettes..;
U.S. FDA - judges ruling regarding e-cigarettes must be appealed - ASAP..;
California - attorney general thinks e-cigarette distributor is targeting minors..;
E-cigarettes - scientists want more safety studies before use..;
In Process: US. Federal District court judge makes serious error regarding the import of e-cigarettes..;
New Jersey assemblywoman wants to limit electronic (e) cigarettes..;
"Smoking Everywhere", an electronic cigarettes retailer sued..;
Dubai, UAE customs blocks e-cigarette shipment..;
Connecticut AG Blumnethal wants to ban e-cigarettes..;
Orgeon - files lawsuit against e-cigarette company..;
Saudi Arabia - banning sales of electronic (e) cigarettes..;
Smoking Everywhere - e-cigarette distributor..;
Oregon - electronic (e) cigarettes sales prohibited until approved by FDA..;
Israel bans electronic (e) cigarettes..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
FDA: Electronic cigarettes contain toxic chemicals..;
e-cigarettes - Company sues FDA for blocking imports of product..;
e-cigarettes - FDA approval needed prior to marketing..;
E-cigarettes need to establish efficacy and safety - FIRST..;