Iowa - cigarette sales fall by 36% after $1 bump in cigarette tax..

April 4, 2008 - The increase in sales tax to $1.36 a pack started mid-March of 2007. In 2006, Iowa businesses sold 5 billion cigarettes. In 2007, that number had dropped to 3.8 billion. For the 12 months from March 2007 to March 2008, the number was 3.02 billion. The state is making much more money on the cigarettes that are sold. In the 12 months before the tax increase, the state took in just less than $91 million in tax revenues from cigarettes. That revenue jumped to just over $219 million in the last 12 months. That's a 142 percent increase. A 10% increase in cigarette prices leads to a 4% decline in smoking. Half of the 4% decline typically comes from declines in smoking prevalence and half from decreased consumption. See related news brief: Iowa's cigarette tax is now $1.36 per pack.. (

New York State plans nation's highest cigarette tax..

April 3, 2008 - New York State plans nation's highest cigarette tax.. New York's government leaders have agreed to boost the state cigarette tax by $1.25 per pack to create the nation's highest state cigarette tax, officials said Wednesday (4/2/2008). New York's $2.75-per-pack tax would jump ahead of New Jersey for the highest state tax in the nation. New York has been ranked the 16th highest with a tax of $1.50 tax per pack. In New York, the average price of a pack of cigarettes is about $5.82 statewide. The first increase in the cigarette tax since 2002 was considered essential by many in Albany (the capital) as they tried to craft a 2008-09 budget with an estimated $5 billion deficit and declining revenue growth. Much of the cigarette tax revenue would be used for health programs, including those to help smokers quit and keep youths from starting. A 10% increase in cigarette prices leads to a 4% decline in smoking. Half of the 4% decline typically comes from declines in smoking prevalence and half from decreased consumption. See related news brief: Big tobacco tax hike ahead for New York State? Click on image to enlarge..

FDA regulation moves a step closer..

April 3, 2008 - FDA regulation moves a step closer.. The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce yesterday
completed a markup of legislation that would grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products. By a better than an 3-to-1 margin the committee approved the bill, H.R. 1108, the ‘Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act’, by a vote of 38 to 12. The legislation will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. This legislation is long overdue. We worry that the legislation will be flawed because the biggest player in the tobacco industry - Altria - Philip Morris USA (PM) has been directly involved in writing the bill.
As Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) has pointed out, "Poison peddlers shouldn’t get to decide how we as responsible legislators fight the war against their deadly products." Mike Szymanczyk now the CEO of Altria, Inc. tells investors they are directly involved in the process. Mr. Szymanczyk - PM owes their success to the ability to connect with adult tobacco consumers through the in-store experience and the development of one-to-one relationships using their database of 25 million adult cigarette smokers (Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008).

Regarding the in-store experience soon tobacco control people will want to take this aspect away and remove all tobacco promotions and keep any tobacco stock under the counter. While active in the process of writing the bill, PM has its sales force going around to c-stores demanding the majority of prime space behind the checkout counter for their products. Big 3 cigarette companies continue to compete for c-store space - the PM T-SET.. We all know the more cigarette marketing teens are exposed to in retail stores, the more likely they are to smoke, and that restricting these retail marketing practices would reduce youth smoking. Also, all the tobacco advertising in c-stores undermines attempts for adults to quit smoking. The bill has 220 backers in the House and 55 co-sponsors in the Senate, but it could face a presidential veto this year, the Wall Street Journal said. We just found out: 4/4/2008 - Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, has reportedly threatened to filibuster against the legislation. Related news briefs to the Tobacco Regulation Bill: April 1, 2008, March 28, 2008, March 13, 2008, December 7, 2007, October 5, 2007 and August 2, 2007. (


On Tuesday April 1, 1970 President Richard Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect in January 1,

April 1, 2008 - On Tuesday April 1, 1970 President Richard Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect in January 1, 1971.. Until then, names such as Lucky Strike, Chesterfield and Philip Morris had sponsored some of the most famous shows since the earliest days of broadcasting. In 1970, U.S. tobacco firms made more than 560 billion cigarettes. Annual output is now just under 490 billion, with about a quarter of those sold overseas. always one step ahead of tobacco control people This law and the one to strengthen the cigarette labeling law in 1969 also gave tobacco companies a comfortable margin to work in to increase their sales. In other words, as long tobacco companies’ ads and packaging carried the Surgeon General’s warning, they could face no other regulations in any state, and no state was allowed to prohibit any smoking in any area for health reasons. (A Brief History of Tobacco Use Adapted from’s "Tobacco Timeline" by Gene Borrio.) We wonder if history is repeating itself with the "Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act" under consideration now before the U.S. Congress. Especially with Philip Morris USA being a co-sponsored of this legislation and now with so many concessions being granted. UST Inc., the biggest U.S. maker of smokeless tobacco products and the North American unit of Swedish Match AB which also sells smokeless tobacco announced they would support the bill. The bill was amended to give smokeless companies the ability to give away free samples to adults under limited circumstances which hadn't been allowed in earlier versions of the bill. Some small tobacco companies were expected soon to announce they were supporting the House bill. The move comes after they won a promise of changes including extra time before certain regulations would apply to them.( Support Grows for Tobacco Bill By Anna Wilde Mathews, The Wall Street Journal, 4/1/2008) The National Association of Convenience Stores dropped it's opposition to the bill after promised concessions including an agreement that stores found to have sold tobacco to underage consumers could have some fines reduced if they had training programs in place to educate staff about age requirement. ( Retailer Concerns Addressed? Group withdraws opposition to House FDA tobacco regulation bill, April 1, 2008) See related news brief: Lack of Credibility - Reynolds American's Campaign to Derail the Federal Tobacco Regulation Bill.. Recently, Dr. Brad Rodu and cronies now representing Star Scientific made fools of the tobacco control people in the State of Maine. Click on image to enlarge..

Nova Scotia to start enforcing a law that bans smoking in vehicles with children in them..

April 1, 20008 - Nova Scotia to start enforcing a law that bans smoking in vehicles with children in them.. The law, which takes effect April 1, prohibits smoking in a motor vehicle when a person younger than 19 is present. The fine is $394.50. "This legislation is another important step in protecting the health of all Nova Scotians," said Barry Barnet, minister of health promotion and protection. "Children and young people are susceptible to the effects of second hand smoke, especially in an enclosed space such as a car." In December 2007, Nova Scotia became the first province to introduce such as ban, after the town of Wolfville in the province passed a municipal law banning the practice in November 2007. Nova Scotia's smoking rates have decreased to 20 per cent of the population from 30 per cent since the province's Tobacco Control Strategy began in 2001, the government said. Related news briefs: Nova Scotia to Ban Smoking in Cars with Kids..

The New Philip Morris International (PMI) and the Marlboro Man is finally free to roam the globe unfettered by the legal and marketing shackles of the

March 31, 2008 - The New Philip Morris International (PMI) and the Marlboro Man is finally free to roam the globe unfettered by the legal and marketing shackles of the U.S. domestic market.. Benefits for both the slimmer Altria and the new international company will be realized, but I think the international division will flourish on its own thanks to its leadership position in the international cigarette market and the strength and marketing potential of its global brand. PMI's is the world's leading tobacco company and the third most profitable international consumer goods company. It generated revenue in excess of $55 billion and operating profit of roughly $8.9 billion in fiscal 2007. The company sells its products in some 160 countries and owns seven of the top 15 brands in the world, including Marlboro, Parliament, Virginia Slims, and L&M. In all, PMI held a 15.6% share of the international cigarette market in 2007. The company is especially strong in the higher-margin premium segment of the market, where it estimates that it held a 52.4% share (excluding China) in 2007. According to Business Week's annual rankings report, "The Best Global Brands 2007," the Marlboro brand was worth a cool $21.3 billion, placing it 14th on the list, and ahead of such household names as American Express and PepsiCo. In 2007, Marlboro's volume of 311 billion units was larger than the next three best selling international brands combined. It also outsells the total combined volume of all of British American Tobacco's global drive brands. PMI has already created a number of new Marlboro-branded products targeted at local markets. The number of cigarettes that Philip Morris, a division of Altria , sold in 2006: U.S./Canada: 184 billion, Asia Pacific: 197 billion, Eastern Europe: 229 billion and Western Europe: 242 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, big tobacco companies are aiming squarely at developing countries, where populations are increasing and smoking is a status symbol. ( Smoking Around the World By Selena Maranjian, 2/22/2008. Some related news briefs concerned with the spin-off: March 28, 2008, March 12, 2008, March 9, 2008, February28, 2008, February 12, 2008, February 7, 2008, January 30, 2008, January 29, 2008, January 24, 2008, December 10, 2007, September 28, 2007, August 30, 2007 and April 20, 2007. Philip Morris International acquires Swedish SNUS manufacturer Rocker Production AB... (

Big tobacco tax hike ahead for New York State?

March 31, 2008 - Big tobacco tax hike ahead for New York State?Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders huddled behind closed doors and inched toward a budget deal on Sunday that could include increasing cigarette taxes by at least $1.25 per pack. Those familiar with the talks said the enhanced tax would be on top of the current $1.50 tax per pack upstate and $3 per pack in New York City, making New York the leader in such surcharges on smokers. The tax, as proposed, would reap about $265 million more in revenues, although an overall financial plan was still in flux late Sunday. They said the plans are to be printed into budget bills to be voted on as soon as today (3/31/2008). Also, the deal involves changing the way snuff and other moist tobacco products are taxed to raise a few million dollars more. The products would become more expensive because they would be taxed based on weight as opposed to a percentage of the wholesale price. The increased tobacco taxes would go a long way toward helping the Legislature pay for $500 million in extra spending above Paterson's plan. As a result, school aid is expected to rise $1.8 billion to more than $21 billion. Health care spending would rise above Paterson's plan by between $235 million to $245 million, largely because lawmakers wanted to provide more Medicaid funds to nursing homes, hospitals, pharmacies and home care providers. At present New Jersey's $2.58 tax on a pack of cigarettes is the highest in the nation. Click on image to enlarge..