Studios reached an agreement yesterday to place anti-smoking ads on new movie DVDs (rated G, PG or PG-13)..

July 12, 2008 - According to the deal reached between Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and Twentieth Century Fox, the anti-smoking announcement will be introduced in the opening minutes of DVDs of all new movies with smoking scenes. Dan Glickman, chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, said the industry’s intention was to notify parents “about smoking depictions in films so they can make informed decisions.” Reference: Anti-Smoking Announcements On New DVDs by Diane Smith,, 7/12/2008. Dr. Cornelia Pechmann: Teenagers are more likely to think smoking is "cool" after they've watched their Hollywood idols light up on screen - unless they've just seen an advertisement reminding them of the dangers of smoking. ( Movies May Be Contributing To Rise In Teen Smoking, UC Irvine Study Shows) Some related news briefs: July 26, 2007 July 25, 2007 and May 11, 2007. Click on image to enlarge..


Canada: a bill introduced to snuff out drive to recruit young smokers..

July 11, 2008 - MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis, from Winnipeg North a member for the New Democratic Party has proposed legislation to strengthen Canada's tobacco laws and to protect young Canadians from new and dangerous novelty tobacco products. The bill would amend the federal Tobacco Act and curb the marketing of cigarillos. In recent years, candy-flavored cigarillos and other novelty tobacco products have become a significant threat to Canadian youth. Health Canada data released at the end of May shows that sales of cigarillos have grown by over 300% per year between 2001 and 2006, from fewer than 50,000 units to over 80 million. The legislation closes loopholes by: requiring that cigarillos be sold in the same size packages as cigarettes, requiring cigarillos to carry the same type of health warnings as cigarettes, banning the use of candy, liquor and other flavorings and banning the sale of 'blunts', another novelty tobacco product. The Canadian Coalition for Action on Tobacco is national coalition of health organizations strongly back the bill and aspect speedy passage. References: Health Groups Applaud Bill to Protect Youth From Novelty Tobacco Products, Reuters, 6/16/2008 and NDP bill will snuff out drive to recruit young smokers, NDP, 6/16/2008. Related news briefs: Still sucking our youngsters in..; Quebec - Teens Switch from Cigarettes to Cigarillos.. Click on image to enlarge..

Philip Morris USA Black & Mild Cigars - a family of pipe tobacco cigars in many different flavors is the top selling cigar package in the U.S. (as of 9/2004 - ACNielson) and very popular amongst young African Americans.


Smoking ban starts in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya..

July 11, 2008 - Smoking ban starts in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya (a member of the FCTC) - they may be serious this time.. As of Wednesday, July 10, 2008 people who smoke in public in Kenya's capital Nairobi face a fine or up to six months in jail. Kenya's government has already implemented such bans in Mombasa and the Rift Valley town of Nakuru, saying it wants to cut the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The authorities say some 8,000 Kenyans die every year from smoking. Nairobi town clerk John Gakuo told a news conference first-time offenders will either be fined 2,000 shillings (about $30) or be jailed for six months.

Repeat offenders face a bigger fine or up to nine months in prison. Small local pubs would be exempted, Gakuo said, but restaurants must provide separate smoking areas if they want to let their customers light up. Last year a Kenyan court suspended a smoking ban ordered by the Health Ministry after it was challenged by the Kenyan unit of British American Tobacco Plc (about 80% market share) and a local manufacturer (probably Mastermind Tobacco Limited - TW). The two companies estimated that they would lose more than $10 million each if the legislation was enforced. The new law bans the sale of cigarettes to people under 18 years and selling tobacco in a packet of less than 10 cigarettes. It also forbids promoting tobacco by sponsoring sports, cultural, educational or entertainment activities and branding of buildings other than those owned or leased by manufacturers. Smoking earns the Kenyan government about five billion shillings (76 million dollars or 49 million euro) a year in taxes, but costs five times as much in disease, disability and death, according to official figures. References: Kenyan capital Nairobi starts smoking ban by Victor Adar, Reuters, 7/11/2008; Kenyan smoking ban due to take effect: official by AFP,, 7/7/2008.

Related news brief: British American Tobacco (BAT) 100 years in Africa..

Click on image to enlarge..

Fire - Safe Cigarettes for all 50 states - NOW..

July 10, 2008 - On July 1, 2008 three more states - Connecticut (signed into law July 10, 2007), Maryland (signed into law May 17, 2007), and Utah (signed into law March 2007) - as well as the District of Columbia (signed into law May 13, 2008), are implementing fire-safe cigarettes laws , which require that any cigarette manufactured or sold in these states must have a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended. The Coalition for fire-safe cigarettes has been calling for is calling for manufacturers to immediately produce and market only cigarettes that adhere to an established fire safety performance standard. So far Liggett plans cigarette fire safety compliance by January 2009. Cigarettes and lighted tobacco are the leading causes of fire deaths and the third leading cause of fire-related injuries in the United States. In Canada fire-safe cigarettes are required nationwide. Starting in January 2009 Australia may require all cigarettes manufactured and sold throughout Australia to be self-extinguishing. These fire-safe cigarettes are designed to stop burning when left unattended, but otherwise they have the same characteristics as other cigarettes. The Sofa Super Store, Charleston, SC fire in June 2007 that killed nine people most likely would not have been prevented by the use of fire-safe cigarettes. A report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) indicated someone probably ignited the fire by tossing a lit cigarette near trash and discarded furniture. More information can be found on the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes website. For more news briefs regarding fire-safe cigarettes do a random search. Click on image to enlarge.. (

Vote could be two years away to determine if island goes smoke-free..

September 22, 2008 - As reported back in October 17, 2007, the South Pacific island of Niue believes it can set an example by becoming the first country in the world to go smoke-free.

Sitaleki Finau, Niue's director of health, is backing a bill to prohibit smoking and the sale of tobacco in public areas and private homes. The bill has been presented to parliament, but the government has not yet signed up to it. Dr Finau said he expected a ban to face stiff opposition from the tobacco industry and other commercial interests. But he urged MPs to be bold and vote for it.

Dr Finau said the government would have to consider whether a ban infringed smokers' rights. "There has been mixed reaction," he said. "It's one of those difficult political issues, because there are commercial interests against it, and the government has to look at it in relation to tax. A tobacco-free country sounds pretty straightforward and simple, but there are some complex issues involved."

NO date has been set for a vote, which could be two years away.

Reference: World's smallest state aims to become the first smoke-free paradise island by Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent - The Independent, 7/9/2008.

Click on image to enlarge..

Northern Ireland raising age for sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 joining the other three United Kingdom (UK) countries.

July 10, 2008 - Northern Ireland raising age for sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 joining the other three United Kingdom (UK) countries (1 Oct 2007). (The UK is a union of four constituent countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.) Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has announce, effective September 1, 2008, that the legal age at which people can buy tobacco products will rise from 16 to 18. Mr. McGimpsey: "It is clear that we must do all we can to deter our children and young people from taking up the smoking habit. I understand that raising the age of sale will not, in itself, solve the problems of children's smoking. It is one step along the way. "Education programmes and promotional campaigns, highlighting the dangers of smoking, will of course continue." Reference: Tobacco buying age to rise to 18, BBC News, 6/30/2008. Related news brief: Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products.. Northern Ireland's Five Year Tobacco Action Plan. The European Union, in which the UK is a member, has in place a ban on the sale of oral snuff. (

National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) launches initiative to educate legislators..

July 9, 2008 - National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) launches initiative to educate legislators about the negative aspects of further increases to cigarette and tobacco tax rates.. According to the group's most recent NATO E-News bulletin, this effort involved mailing a personalized letter to more than 7,100 state legislators and all 50 state governors warning them that an increasing number of states that have raised cigarette and tobacco taxes in the past 18 months have either collected less tax revenue than before the latest tax increase or collected far less than the estimated amount of additional revenue. This initiative by NATO will include articles to be published in industry trade publications including CSP magazine. NATO also will send letters-to-the-editor to newspapers around the country with the goal of informing elected officials and the public about the need to focus on taxing other products. To view a copy of the letter. Reference: NATO Launches Tax Initiative Letter urges legislators, govs to look beyond tobacco for revenue, CSP Daily News, 7/7/2008. Related news brief: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco launches web site to help retailers and other opponents fight tobacco taxes.

Japan - photos can be used to fool the age-verification cameras on some vending machines..

July 9, 2008 - Starting in July 2008, companies owning cigarette vending machines can be prosecuted for the sale of tobacco to anyone under the legal age. The vending machines can employ an advanced facial recognition system to determine if the purchaser is of legal age to purchase cigarettes. It has been found that these machines treated underage people as adults and allowed them to purchase cigarettes when they showed wide-photos of older people to the machine. Of Japan’s more than 500,000 cigarette vending machines, around 4,800 (less than 1%) are equipped with age-verification cameras. The rest are outfitted with readers that check Ireland_ASH.jpg Reference: Yen portraits fool age-verification cameras,, 7/8/2008. Click on image to enlarge..

Cigarettes, bras and Bull semen: Just a few things the US exports to Iran..

July 9, 2008 - Despite increasingly tough rhetoric toward Iran, which Bush has called part of an "axis of evil," the value of U.S. exports to Iran has reportedly increased tenfold since George Bush took office. While there are reportedly strict rules about what the U.S. can ship over there, they apparently aren't too limited--US tobacco companies have reportedly exported $158 million worth of cigarettes to the nation since 2000, more than any other product. A couple other examples: the U.S. has also sold Iran about $12.6 million worth of bull semen and at least $101,000 worth of bras. Reference: US ships cigarettes, bras, more to Iran by Sharon Theimer, Associated Press Writer, Yahoo Finance, 7/8/2008. Related article: Health Professionals Criticize U.S. Tobacco Export Policy by CLYDE H. FARNSWORTH, SPECIAL , 7/20/1989.

Sen. John McCain, USA Republican candidate for president


UK to be tobacco free by 2035..

July 8, 2008 - A report launched at the British Medical Association conference in Edinburgh called for a range of measures to rid United Kingdom of smoking. The major emphasis throughout was concerned with protecting young people, the future leaders, from the ravages of nicotine addiction and to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle. During this time British Government's Dept of Health has released a consultation paper entitled, The Future of Tobacco Control to trigger a 12-week national debate. Reference: BMA urges tougher tobacco rules by Nick Triggle, BBC News, Edinburgh, 7/6/2008. Click on image to enlarge.. - INCOMPLETE in process..


Altadis USA to sell Nat Sherman premium cigars..

July 8, 2008 - Nat Sherman International has appointed Altadis USA as the exclusive distributor of several of its cigars in the United States. The agreement includes the brands Nat Sherman Sauve, the Nat Sherman 489 and 1400 Series and the Omerta Nat Sherman Private Selection. Joel Sherman, president of Nat Sherman Inc.: due to recent changes in OTP (other tobacco products) taxing regulations, it has been increasingly difficult for us to give our cigars the attention they deserve. We have always enjoyed a warm relationship with Altadis USA, and this is a unique opportunity for both parties. Nat Sherman makes and sells premium cigars, cigarettes, pipes, tobacco, and smoking accessories (ashtrays, cigar cutters and cases, humidors, lighters) throughout the US and in more than 40 countries worldwide. Altadis USA created from the 2000 consolidation of HavaTampa Inc. and Consolidated Cigar Holdings is a leading cigar maker nationwide that generates more than half of its parent Altadis, S.A.'s worldwide cigar sales. Altadis USA's Spanish parent company was acquired by Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group in February 2008. Reference: Altadis USA to sell Nat Sherman cigars, Tobacco Reporter, 7/8/2008.
FYI: Altadis U.S.A. Sends Free Cigars to Troops, 4/17/2008.


How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..

July 8, 2008 - Chief Executive Hiroshi Kimura of Japan Tobacco, the world's third-largest cigarette maker and half-owned by the Japanese government, stated in a Reuters interview that most Japanese smokers would quit if the price of cigarettes were to triple, as could happen under a proposed tax scheme. Kimura: "If prices reached 1,000 yen ($9.34) a pack (e.g., Mild Seven, the most popular cigarette in Japan at present costs 300 yen ($2.80)), 80 to 90 percent of smokers would quit and the rest would probably cut back."

The company has already seen costs rise even as it grapples with a declining domestic market, where the population is shrinking and consumers are becoming more health-conscious, resulting in a market that has contracted for nine straight years. The company's overseas tobacco business more than doubled its operating profit to 205.3 billion yen in the past year, while profit from its domestic operations slipped 9 percent to 222 billion yen as the market shrank for a ninth straight year. Japan Tobacco last year acquired Britain's Gallaher Group for about $15 billion to vastly increase its international sales. Kimura said his company hoped to expand into Asia to take advantage of its huge population, with expansion into India, Indonesia and China being considered, but did not give details. Reference: RPT-INTERVIEW-Japan Tobacco: difficult to raise cigarette prices by Elaine Lies and Ritsuko Shimizu, Reuters Alert Net, 7/7/2008. Other related news brief: Vending Machines - Japanese protecting their children from becoming life-long nicotine addicts.. Click on image to enlarge..

Massachusetts cigarette tax jumps $1 per pack..

July 7, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill Tuesday, July 1, 2008, a day after House (approved by a 93-52 vote) and Senate (approved by a 26-9 vote) lawmakers rushed to approve the bill by the start of the new fiscal year. The increase brings Massachusetts' cigarette tax to $2.51 per pack. New York has the highest cigarette tax in the nation at $2.75 per pack. Supporters say the tax increase would help raise $174 million in revenues. They say the extra money will go to help cover the cost of the state's landmark health care law. Vermont's cigarette tax rate climbs by 20 cents to $1.99 per pack effective Tuesday, a jump that follows a 60-cents-per-pack increase in 2006. New Hampshire's cigarette tax, now $1.08 per pack, is slated to jump to $1.33 in October if it doesn't , generate at least $48 million in revenues between July 2008 and October 2008. Reference: Mass. cigarette tax jumps $1 per pack by Steve Leblanc, - Associated Press, 7/1/2008. Related news briefs: The primary reason to increase the tax on tobacco is to get smokers to quit and dissuade kids from starting.. and Massachusetts (MA) Likely to Increase Tobacco tax.. Click on image to enlarge.. (

Smokeless Tobacco Can Also Increase Cancer Risk..

July 7, 2008 - P. Boffetta, S. Hecht, N. Gray, P. Gupta and K Straif; Smokeless tobacco and cancer; The Lancet Oncology 9(7):667-675, 2008 - Abstract. The researchers sought to quantify the risk of smokeless tobacco after a number of studies differed on just how dangerous the products were. An assessment of eleven studies worldwide concluded that smokeless tobacco products (STP) lead to an 80% increase in risk of oral cancer, a 60% increase in risk of esophageal cancer, and a 60% increase in risk of pancreatic cancer. There also seem to be geographic differences in how these specific cancers are related to STP use. More than 50% of oral cancers in India and Sudan can be attributed to STPs specific to those countries, compared to only 4% of oral cancers in the USA. Sweden can blame 20% of esophageal and pancreatic cancer on STPs that are consumed there. Research from the USA suggests an 80% increase in lung cancer risk for STP users. One study found that men that quit smoking and switched to spit tobacco had about a 2.5 times increase risk of death from oral cavity and pharynx cancers than those who stopped using tobacco completely.

According to the authors, there is strong support from animal studies and research on cancer mechanisms that indicates an increase in cancer risk due to STPs. It was concluded that getting cigarette users to switch to STPs was not good public policy. More on SNUS use and untoward experiences. It should be remembered that the number of studies on smokeless tobacco is relatively slight compared to the wealth of literature published relating to smoking. (Marita Broadstock, NZHTA Report, volume 10 Number 1, February 2007) References: Smokeless Tobacco Can Also Increase Cancer Risk by Peter M. Crosta, Medical News Today, 7/3/2008 and Smokeless tobacco ups oral cancer risk 80 percent: WHO, Reuters, 7/1/2008. (