Swedish Match (SM) - second quarter 2008 tax free sales increased..

In the second quarter Swedish Match said snuff earnings in Scandinavia improved significantly year-on-year. Tax-free (sales) and Norway compensated for lower volumes in Sweden - (caused by a rise in the excise tax on snuff in 2008. We must get the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of the tobacco delivery business.. Once accomplished it will address the problem of illegal sales of tobacco to children over the internet and by phone. The State of Ohio has started collecting the tax on phone and online tobacco sales.

Swedish Match (Svenska Tandsticks) has not signed onto the Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (STMSA) U.S. Smokeless Tobacco (USST) is the only signatory. The states have approached Swedish Match several times about joining the STMSA, but SM always responds that it voluntarily adheres to the marketing and advertising restrictions in the STMSA. Red Man promotion of an auto racing event would be a STMS Agreement violation because it combines advertising for SM's sponsorship of auto racing and Red Man Moist Snuff. But SM is not subject to the same restrains on marketing as USST and cigarette manufacturers since they did not sign settlement. SM's latest promotion with their discount Longhorn moist snuff is a sweepstakes giving a way a Toyota Tundra or a Triton Bass Boat. In the U.S. SM's share of the moist snuff was 11.8 percent for the year up to June 14, 2008 (from the Q2 - report access provided above.)

Secondhand smoke seems everywhere in China..

July 18, 2008 - It has been reported that half of youths who do not smoke suffer from second-hand (environmental, side-stream, ETS) smoke (involuntary or passive smoking) either at home or public venues. Preparing for the 29th Olympic Games in May 2008, Beijing health chiefs banned smoking in public places, including sports, venues, government offices, transport stations, schools and hospitals, and recruited 100,000 inspectors to ensure Beijing the ban was observed during the Games. The regulation gave the inspectors powers to fine errant smokers 10 yuan (1.47USD) if they lit up illegally, but no fines had yet been issued. It is believed a policy of persuasion and education was more feasible in stopping people smoking illegally. Lighters are banned from Olympic venues, and smoking is entirely banned in the National Aquatics Center, or the "Water Cube". In October 2007 Beijing banned smoking in taxis and extended to other public places in May. Restaurants, bars, karaoke venues and massage parlors are exempted, but these establishments are required to provide separate smoking and non-smoking areas. 25% (300 million) of the Chinese population smoke - one third of the world's
smokers. About 54 million Chinese suffered from "passive smoking" and 1 million people died of smoking-related diseases each year. Smoking is the biggest contributing factor to cancer deaths in China, where 500 million are affected by second-hand smoke.

China is a member of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The government has pledged that all types of tobacco advertising and promotions will have to disappear by 2011.

Licensed production in China of Philip Morris International's Marlboro brand starts this summer in China.

Beijing goes softly on enforcing smoking ban - Special report: 2008 Olympic Games
, 7/18/2008.

Click image at top to enlarge.. (TobaccoWatch.org)

Ireland - further provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 are to be commenced on 1 July 2009. .

July 17, 2008 - Ms Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Health Promotion and Food Safety, today (Wednesday, 9th July 2008) announced that further provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 are to be commenced on 1 July 2009. The key provisions being commenced are:

  • ban on all in-store/point-of-sale advertising of tobacco products,
  • ban on the display of tobacco products in retail premises,
  • introduction of a closed container / dispenser provision,
  • tighter controls on the location and operation of tobacco vending machines,
  • introduction of a retail register for tobacco retailers.
A survey showed that four in five smokers want a ban on tobacco advertising in shops to stop youngsters starting the habit.

Reference: Minister Wallace announces date for removal of all point-of-sale advertising for tobacco products, Dept. of Health & Children, 7/9/2008.


July, 2008 - 2008 Second Quarter Financial Results:

Swedish Match Q2 tops forecast, sticks to outlook..

Atria Group, Inc. will host a live audio webcast on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Listen Mode Only..

Philip Morris International Inc. will
host a live audio webcast www.pmintl.com on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. Listen Mode Only..

Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) will webcast (at http://www.ReynoldsAmerican.com) a conference call at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 30, 2008. Listen Mode Only..

UST Inc. will audio webcast at www.ustinc.com on Thursday, July 24, 2008 starting at 9 a.m. Eastern time. During the webcast, CEO Kessler also will answer questions from the investment community. The webcast will be in a listen-only mode.

Lorillard Inc. announced that it will release second quarter 2008 earnings on Monday, July 28, 2008. A conference call for analysts and investors will begin at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 28, 2008. The news release and a live webcast of the conference call will be available under the Investor Relations part of Lorillard's website at www.lorillard.com.


QANTAS decides to reintroduce (as of July 1, 2008) cigarette sales on board international flights..

July 17, 2008 - This overturns the airline's decision 10 years ago to remove cigarettes from its in-flight duty free range. Qantas management has written to attendants directing them to display the cigarettes prominently on the in-flight duty-free trolley carts. Australian tobacco legislation prohibits cigarettes from being advertised or listed in duty free catalogues. Health groups have received several complaints from Qantas staff, who are concerned at having to push tobacco products as part of their job.

Quit Victoria
has described the decision as "backwards" and a "greedy cash grab" at the expense of people's health. Qantas Group general manager of customer product and services Lesley Grant said other airlines including British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic sold cigarettes in-flight. Reference: Qantas: the smoking kangaroo? by Jill Stark, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7/17/2008.

Will anti-smoking groups in Australia apply enough pressure to get this decision reversed??

Click on image to enlarge..

New Brunswick to ban smoking in cars with children or youth present..

July 16, 2008 - New Brunswick wants to join other Canadian provinces that outlawed smoking in vehicles while driving with children and youths. That list those provinces that have banned smoking in cars includes
Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Ontario. The New Brunswick government is mulling the idea, as is Prince Edward Island. Kenneth Maybee, president of the New Brunswick Lung Association, has stated that smoke in a confined space, such as a car, is 23-times more powerful than outside. Nova Scotia was the first province to ban smoking in vehicles with children, which some critics liken to child abuse. The law there, which applies to children under the age of 19, took effect April 1, 2008 and involves a fine of nearly $400. Ontario just passed its bill last month, with the support of all three parties. "This is about protection of our most vulnerable citizens - children who do not have a voice," Ontario Health Promotion Minister Margarett Best said at the time. Drivers and passengers in Ontario will be fined up to $250 if they don't butt out in cars carrying children under the age of 16. There are also calls for government to restrict tobacco marketing to children, by clamping down on new tobacco products like cigarellos and snus, a fruit-flavoured chew. Reference: MLAs want smoking banned in vehicles by Quentin Casey, Telegraph-Journal, 7/14/2008.

Surveys of smokers have found that 90% of smokers support a ban on smoking in cars when children are present. This is a no-brainer- let's get it done for the better health of every kid.


EU wants higher tax on tobacco products..

July 16, 2008 - The European Commission today (7/16/2008) proposed a gradual increase through 2014 in taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to try to persuade tobacco users to quit. The plan to harmonize taxes across the 27-nation bloc would hit eastern European smokers hardest where taxes are much lower. A pack of 20 cigarettes costs on average 8.12 euros ($13) in Britain, nearly seven times more than the 1.19 euros ($1.90) price tag in one of the EU's poorest nations, Latvia. The new directive will require that taxes account for 63% of the cigarette price, up from the current level of 57%. The tax must amount to at least 90 euros ($144) from the sale of 1,000 cigarettes instead of 64 euros ($102) at present. That would see cigarette prices in Poland increase by nearly a half although there would be no change to prices in Britain, France, Germany and Ireland where tobacco taxes are already high. The proposal eliminates tax loopholes for cigars, cigarillos and pipe tobacco that allow these products to be sold at a lower tax rate than cigarettes and fine tobacco. "Today's proposal supports the E.U. policy to reduce tobacco consumption and narrow the differences in price levels of tobacco products within the E.U.," said Laszlo Kovacs, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union. The proposal will need the backing of EU governments and the European Parliament before it could be adopted by the end of 2009 at the earliest.

References: EU Commission Proposes Gradual Increase in Tobacco Taxes by Matthew Dalton, Dow Jones Newswire, 7/16/2008 and European Union calls for tobacco tax hike by Kimberly Chow, Associated Press – Forbes.com, 7/16/2008.

"Tobacco taxation has been the strongest tobacco reduction measure that exists in the world today." Lynn Greaves, Vice President of the Saskatchewan Coalition for Tobacco Reduction..

The European Union has in place a ban on the sale of oral snuff.

Two Factors Highly Predictive of Youth Smoking..

July 16, 2008 - Kids who can get their hands easily on cigarettes -- say from friends or close acquaintances -- are more likely to end up with a regular smoking habit, a new study of sixth-graders finds. (Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H., et al., Perceived Accessibility as a Predictor of Youth Smoking, Annals of Family Medicine July/August 2008)

Sixth graders' answers to two questions – "Do you have friends who smoke?" and "Would it be easy for you to get a cigarette?" – predict becoming a regular smoker by the tenth grade. In this prospective study of 1,195 Massachusetts students, researchers found the perception that cigarettes were easy to obtain increased the risk for smoking initiation and regular tobacco use among respondents. Having peers who smoke increased the impact of perceived accessibility. The authors conclude that youths who have peer smokers and perceive easy access may be at high risk for higher levels of smoking and may warrant greater attention in clinical and public health settings. They recommend clinicians routinely ask youths about their perceptions of the accessibility of tobacco and exposure to peer smokers.

Reference: Youth Smoking Predicted By Perceived Access To Cigarettes, Medical News Today, 7/15/2008.

Click on image to enlarge..

JIST Smoking Devices..

July 15, 2009 -
Jist smoking devices contain no tobacco, are battery powered and rechargeable, come in various flavors and doesn't effect the health of those around you.

JIST uses microelectronic technology to turn liquid into smoke-like harmless and
odorless vapor.

It produces no second-hand smoke and contains none of the tar or pollutants found in traditional smoking products. This makes JIST an environmentally-friendly lifestyle choice for people concerned about the air and others around them.

The flavor refills include: Tobacco, Cigarette, Mint, Chocolate, Coffee, Apple, Cherry, and many more to come.

JIST web site

JIST To Launch With Series Of Indoor Smoking Devices
, Medical News Today, 7/15/2008.

Click on image to enlarge..


Tobacco industry 'at odds' with public health..

July 15, 2008 - Irish MEP (member European Parliament) Avril Doyle has voiced concern about tobacco companies increasingly “peddling their trade” outside EU member states. Speaking at a news conference in parliament on Tuesday, 7/14/2008, she also called for “complete transparency” by public figures, including MEPs, on any “donations” they receive from the tobacco industry. She said the industry was a “potent enemy” for those who seek to support a smoke-free environment and should be excluded from influencing public health policies. “Increasingly, we are seeing those involved in the industry move from the west to what might be called weaker democracies, in trying to compensate for falling tobacco sales in places like EU countries,” she said. “Despite this, the message we should be sending to the industry is that the days of peddling their trade are over. EU Health Commissioner
Androulla Vassiliou commented, “We have to protect public health policies from commercial and vested interests, regardless of the actions of the tobacco industry. David Byrne, former EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection: "While in office, I refused to meet the tobacco industry because any such meetings tend to legitimize the activities of the tobacco industry, which manufactures and sells the only consumer product that kills half of its consumers." Reference: Tobacco industry 'at odds' with public health by Martin Banks, Parliament.com, 7/15/2008.

Meanwhile in the states we find the long awaited federal tobacco legislation being considered represents the results of a negotiation between the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Philip Morris (PM).
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. PM is already preparing to manipulate the system for their own benefit.

Click on image to enlarge..

C-store update: Camel SNUS, Newport, Skoal and Copenhagen..

July 14, 2008 -

RJR has tried just about every possible approach to get tobacco users to try Camel SNUS. Here's the latest - they hire people to come into c-stores and tape a coupon for a free can of Camel SNUS to the back of all RJR cigarette packs in stock. This promotion must be part of RJR's education and public awareness program.

In Raleigh a pack of Newport sells for $3.74 (state tax 35 cents - 7th lowest) - then PM insists that their menthols must sells at the same price and RJR insists that Kool sell at 10 cents less. This one store has an agreement with RJR that no pack of cigarettes can sell for less than Doral at $2.99. The owner would like to sell deep discount brands $2/pack but he would lose the incentive he gets from RJR.

Premium moist snuff: Skoal Copenhagen (now selling for $4.69 can - the same for Conwood's - Kodiak) special coming 2-cans for $6.00 - buyer can pick the 2-cans. The special where the 2-cans are already packaged do not go over as well.

Skoal ad from Popular Mechanics 12/2007

Last c-store store update..

Most Indonesians support moves to ban tobacco advertisements..

July 14, 2008 - About 88 percent of the 1,200 people surveyed in eight cities on Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi islands said the country should ban the advertisements and join the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Indonesia, the world's fifth-largest tobacco market, is the only nation in Asia which has not signed or ratified the the FCTC - a global anti-tobacco treaty. Limited restrictions on advertising or sales to young people (as young as 5)have helped H.M. Sampoerna, Philip Morris International (PMI) Inc.'s local unit (Altria paid about $5 billion to acquire a 97 percent stake in Sampoerna in 2005 - PMI spinoff from Altria) and PT Gudang Garam become Asia's second-and third-biggest cigarette producers. Market share first-quarter 2008, Clove-flavored cigarettes, known as kretek, dominate sales in this Southeast Asian nation. These cigarettes account for about 90 percent of the cigarettes sold each year in Indonesia, according to Gappri, an industry association, which estimates that 141 million of the country's 238 million people are smokers.

Kretek cigarettes
contain large amounts of both tar (30mg) and nicotine (1.8mg). PMI introduced the clove-flavored, filtered Marlboro Mix 9 in July, 2007. (Leo Burnett, a unit of Publicis Groupe SA, the world's fourth-biggest advertising firm, will help market this product.) In 2007 the government expected to receive 42 trillion rupiah, or $4.75 billion (6% of revenue), of taxes from cigarette production and sales this year, said Anwar Suprijadi, the Finance Ministry's director general for customs and excise. The Indonesian tobacco industry supports 600,000 workers and 3.5 million tobacco and clove farmers, according to the Cigarette Producers Union in Jakarta. (An unwitting endorsement for Indonesian tobacco by Arijit Ghosh and Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Bloomberg News, 6/6/2007) Primary Reference: Most Indonesians Say Tobacco Ads Should Be Banned, Survey Finds by Arijit Ghosh and Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Bloomberg News, 7/8/2008. Related news briefs: May, 13, 2008, January 29, 2008, July 21, 2007 and June 18, 2007. Click on image to enlarge..

North Carolina (NC) lawmakers wonder why over 30% of high school students don't graduate??

July 13, 2008 - Governor Easley, in his last year in office, released his recommended state budget adjustments for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, which would have increased tax on cigarettes and alcohol. The increase in the cigarette tax from 35 cents per pack (7th lowest in U.S.) to 55 cents (12th lowest in U.S.) would have started on September 1, 2008 so that about $100 million could be generated to help pay for a proposed average 7-percent increase for teachers and to boost the state's struggling effort to reform its mental health care system. It turned out to be a "win-win" situation for the state the last time NC raised taxes on cigarettes (in mid-2006) cigarette sales fell but revenues from the additional tax increased. North Carolina educators still make less than the national average. State tobacco control people chimed in that the increase in the cigarette tax proposed by Easley should be much higher. But legislative leaders did not have much of an appetite to raise taxes or fees in an election year. Some argue the increase in the cigarette tax would be unfair to the poor in the state but this is the exact group the increase in taxes is targeting. It's a know fact that with the increase in cost on cigarettes will result in kids deciding not to use tobacco and smokers more likely to quit. In this difficult economic times there's even a greater chance the smoker would want to quit and put the money saved in doing a better job providing for his(her) family. The final budget called for about a 3% increase for teachers. During negotiations Easley accused legislative of seeking to "shaft" public school teachers in favor of a tax cut benefiting the wealthy. Taxes, raises may stymie budget by By Michael Biesecker, The News & Observer, 6/30/2008) In New York where the tax on cigarettes was just raised calls to the quit line along with requests for nicotine patches have surged. ( Cigarette Tax Increase Brings a Surge in 311 Calls by Sewell Chan, NY Times, 7/14/2008) References: Easley's $21.5 Billion Budget Would Increase Cigarette, Alcohol Taxes by the Associated Press, May 12, 2008 and NC General Assembly Gives Initial Budget OK, MSNBC, 7/7/2008. Click on image to enlarge.. (tobaccowatch.org)