Tax the hell out of all tobacco products until they disappear..

July 26, 2008 - With the stumbling U.S. economy states are being forced to slash spending on services like education and health care and cutting jobs to close a $40 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year. (States Slammed by Tax Shortfalls by Conor Dougherty, Amy Merrick and Anton Troianovski, The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/2008)

The federal government has spoken: "Tobacco products are not safe and cannot be made safe and there is no medically established public health benefit associated with tobacco" as written by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services in a letter to Joe Barton, R-Texas the senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authority to regulate tobacco products..

When the FDA determines that a drug is not safe it is removed from the market and is no longer available for consumption to prevent more people from being adversely effected.

We must do the same for tobacco - all tobacco products. Taking a look at tobacco companies financial reports we learn that the tobacco market declines mainly from the impact of tax-driven pricing and implementation of indoor public smoking restrictions. Most analysts estimate that a 10% increase in cigarette prices would reduce overall consumption by between 3 and 5%. Simply raising the cost of cigarettes makes non-smokers less likely to start, according to the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Raising cigarette excise taxes has proven to deter youth from becoming addicted to tobacco and has motivated thousands of Americans to quit.

As pointed out by Lynn Greaves, VP of the Saskatchewan Coalition for Tobacco Reduction "Tobacco taxation has been the strongest tobacco reduction measure that exists in the world today."

The federal government has spoken we must get unsafe tobacco products out of the market place.

Related news brief: How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..

Click on image to enlarge..(

MEP calls for EU-wide tobacco ban by 2025..

July 26, 2008 - Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Avril Doyle has called for legislation to make it illegal to sell cigarettes and cigars within the European Union by 2025.

While the European Commission continues to try and drive its plan to raise tobacco taxes throughout the 27-nation bloc, Irish MEP Avril Doyle has called for legislation to make it illegal to sell cigarettes and cigars within the European Union by 2025. Doyle is the leader of the Irish faction within the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) which recently organised a conference aimed at developing ways of complying with the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Article 5.3. This obliges all countries that have signed up to outlaw lobbying by tobacco companies on any public health policies. Effectively this means that politicians will cease to talk to tobacco companies or their lobbyists on public health issues of any kind. Tobacco industry 'at odds' with public health.

MEP calls for EU-wide tobacco ban
by Doug Newhouse, 7/22/2008.

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

Tobacco One, Inc. canceled an agreement to purchase..

July 25, 2008 - Tobacco One, Inc. announced today that it has canceled an agreement to purchase a leading U.S. tobacco product manufacturer.
Tobacco One, Inc. announced today on June 3, 2008 that they have entered into an agreement to purchase a leading U.S. tobacco product manufacturer. On July 1, 2008, the company announced that it has purchased a regionally popular cigarette brand from a Mexico City businessman for cash plus common stock. Tobacco One, Inc. designs, creates, and brings to market innovative smoking products that consistently exceed our customers’ expectations. Reference: Tobacco One, Inc. Announces Cancelation of Acquisition of Tobacco Products Manufacturer for $9.5 Million, Business Wire News, 7/25/2008.


New South Wales - Big Tobacco Influencing Cabinet's Decision..

July 24, 2008 - New South Wales(NSW - Australia's most populous state) - the cabinet of Premier Morris Iemma(pronounced Yemma) is split on a proposal to ban cigarette packets from view in shops.

The tobacco amendment bill proposed in March 2008 required retailers to keep cigarette products below the counter or in drawers where they cannot be seen.
Storing tobacco out of sight will prevent people, particularly children, being able to see tobacco. Research shows that the point of sale display acts to promote and normalize smoking. Retailers should realize that 80% of their patrons that smoke even want a ban on tobacco advertising in shops to stop youngsters starting the habit.

The Minister Assisting the Health Minister (Cancer), Verity Firth, will take a plan to cabinet in the next two weeks which would see the ban introduced more than four years after it was announced by the previous minister, Frank Sartor in February 2004. But the cabinet is understood to be split on the proposal, with support from the Treasurer, Michael Costa, ( and Small Business Minister, Joe Tripodi (, questionable.

Philip Morris encourages retailers to complain to cabinet members, complains they'll lose market share unable to wrest the No. 1 spot from British American Tobacco. PM claims they would favor reducing the size of the displays but of course, they're not to be trusted. Imperial Tobacco is understood to have joined the fight against the proposal.

Reference: Hide-and-seek ban ignites tobacco lobby by Andrew Clennell State Political Editor,, 7/23/2008.

Let's support our partners. To email the NSW Premier to express your opinion: .

Anne Jones, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health(ASH) Australia has said that the cabinet was about to "overturn recommendations to protect children in favor of protecting tobacco pushers."

Adult smokers will still know where to find the stuff.

Click on image to enlarge..(

Three Chinese Cigarette Brands March into International markets..

July 24, 2008 - As part of the agreement to manufacture Marlboros in China - Philip Morris International would help promote three major domestic cigarette brands to the international market. As reported, the three brands include “Red Golden Dragon” of Wuhan Cigarette Factory, “Harmony” of Changsha Baisha Group and “Dubao” of Wuhu Cigarette Factory. The two parties have selected target markets for the three brands, but only Middle Europe, East Europe and Latin America were revealed.

Three Chinese Cigarette Brands to March into International markets
, 2008-01-31 Hefei.

$500 million provided to fight tobacco use around the world.

July 24, 2008 - New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates said yesterday that they will together provide $500 million to fight tobacco use around the world, especially in developing countries where smoking rates are rising.

Bloomberg has already given $125 million to the cause and will provide $250 million more. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it will spend $125 million over five years, including a $24 million grant to the Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use that Bloomberg created in 2005. The funds will be used to promote tobacco control programs, including media and educational campaigns, as well as programs to help people quit smoking and efforts to promote higher taxes on tobacco products.

Both British American Tobacco (BAT - #2 on the world scene and Philip Morris International #1 do not oppose the funding but mentioned harm reduction goals - this funding should be for the elimination of all tobacco products what ever the disguise. Nicotine addiction is as strong or even stronger than heroin or cocaine addiction. Do we want our children to be nicotine addicts never capable of reaching their full potential??

Reference: $500 Million Is Offered in Fight Against Tobacco,, 7/24/2008 and Gates, Bloomberg Pledge $500 Million for Antismoking Programs by Robert A. Guth (also Betsy McKay), The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/2008.

Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authoritiy to regulate tobacco products..

July 23, 2008 - Bush administration strongly opposes legislation to give federal health authorities the power to regulate tobacco products. This opposition was expressed in a July 21, 2008 letter to Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas from Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services. Barton is the senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which approved the bill on a lopsided 38-12 vote in April. At the time, 11 Republicans on the panel voted in favor of the legislation.

The letter is the strongest indication yet that the administration will try to block the broadly popular legislation, which is supported by majorities in both chambers, and lists both presidential contenders among its co-sponsors. Leavitt said in the letter that giving a public health agency like the FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products would send the wrong message. "Unlike the medical products FDA regulates, tobacco products cannot be made safe, and there is no medically established public health benefit associated with tobacco," he wrote. "Adding tobacco to FDA's regulatory responsibilities could also leave the public with the misperception that tobacco products are safe, or at least safer, with the FDA regulating them." Bush administration opposes tobacco regulation" by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer 7/22/2008.

The Bush administration opinion is similar to that of Dr. Alan Blum - a family medicine doc, director of the University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society. (Look for the section entitled, "The Marlboro Journal of Medicine" (6/24/2007) - make sure you look at the cartoon Dr. Blum put together with Matt Bors.)

We have we felt this 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. brags to investors they are directly involved in the legislation (Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008)

Many more news briefs on this subject of FDA tobacco regulation - use the random search capability to locate. (

Made-in-China Marlboros - a major mistake by Philip Morris International..

July 23, 2008 - The first commercial batch of made-in-China Marlboros were produced at the Changsha Cigarette Factory on July 18, according to a Tobacco China Online report. (China’s First Home-made Marlboro Cigarettes Come off Production Line,China RealNews, 7/22/2008.)

Look for fake Marlboro cigarettes to flood the world markets. About half of all fake imports into America and the EU now come from China. Tobacco factories just may produce the genuine Marlboro cigarettes during the day and knock out the illegal copies at night. The sale of fake drugs from China and other countries is expected to reach $75 billion by 2010, a 92% increase from 2005. (Fake drug sales could nearly double by 2010"Fake drug sales 'could nearly double by 2010 by Phil Taylor)

Philip Morris International has licensed production of its Marlboro cigarettes to China National Tobacco. Changsha Cigarette Factory of China Tobacco Hunan Industrial Corporation has established a partnership with Philip Morris to produce Marlboro cigarettes for the latter company. The factory plans to produce 1,000 cases of Marlboro cigarettes in August, 2008.

Marlboro’s move into China will take years, but it could ultimately be the biggest piece of the story for investors. Here's why: China has 350 million smokers, including 60% of the men there. Each year, they puff on 2.3 trillion cigarettes, or about two-fifths of the cigarettes smoked around the world, according to JPMorgan Chase analyst Erik Bloomquist. The Marlboro Man Speaks Chinese Now by Michael Brush, Columnist, MSN Money, 6/3/2008. (

Wisconsin's achieves the lowest adult smoking prevalence ever..

July 23, 2008 - Wisconsin's new adult smoking prevalence rate of 19.6 percent marks the lowest in Wisconsin's history. The new rate comes from the 2007 Wisconsin Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey. The telephone survey focused on state residents age 18 and older. The new adult prevalence rate of 19.6 percent is down from 24 percent in 2000. Currently, the national adult smoking rate is 20 percent. The survey also reports that more than 52 percent of those who smoke have tried to quit for one day or longer, and more than 83 percent report that the smoking policy at work does not allow smoking in any work areas. Wisconsin legislators are reminded that these advances are not permanent - only with their support and funding can anti-tobacco organizations continue to help smokers quit and discourage kids from starting in the first place. Reference:
Adult smoking hits record low in Wisconsin
,, 7/18/2008.

Related news briefs:
Wisconsin cigarette tax and tax on other tobacco products to increase January 1, 2008..

Wisconsin to Increase Tax on All Tobacco Products..

Seven of 10 smokers say they want to quit and almost all say they need help to do so.

Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly (2-to-1) favor upping cigarette taxes by $1.25 a pack.

Fire-safe cigarettes legislation signed into law April 8, 2008. Will become effective October 1, 2009.

Posted by Sam at 11:13 AM

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American Medical Association (AMA) should apologize..

July 22, 2008 - It's time for the AMA to apologize for the role it played in the deadly tobacco pandemic. After more than a century of institutional discrimination against blacks in the medical profession, the AMA has finally admitted its role in promoting such discrimination, issuing an apology for all the harm. Back in 1964, when the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Luther Terry, unequivocally warned the American public for the first time of the dangers of cigarette smoking, one major organization failed to support this stand. It was the AMA. The War on Smoking was joined. But the AMA was MIA. The physicians' group instead put its support behind the tobacco industry's efforts, a pre-emptive strike that funneled $18 million of tobacco money toward "research" managed by the AMA. The industry used this strategy to claim that the dangers of smoking were still an open question -- one being investigated by America's doctors. This conspiracy bought the AMA's silence for 14 crucial years following publication of the surgeon general's report, as hundreds of thousands of people, including disproportionately high numbers of African Americans, died and were disabled from smoking-related illnesses.

In November 1933 the journal of the AMA published its first advertisement for cigarettes (Chesterfield), a practice that continued for 20 years. Thanks to a more socially committed generation of physicians, the AMA came around, finally, by the late 1980s and began actively supporting anti-tobacco policies. Reference: Apology accepted, AMA -- now to the next sin After owning up to bias against blacks, it should admit its old ties with Big Tobacco by Howard Wolinsky and Dr. Alan Blum, Chicago Sun-Times, 7/21/2008 and Doctors, American Medical Association hawked cigarettes as healthy for consumers by Mike Adams,, 7/25/2007.

Greece May Have the Highest Cigarette Consumption Per Person in the World..

Greece , a member of the FCTC, will be running out of places to light up by 2010 as the government will finally enforce European Union guidelines banning smoking in many public places. Two previous laws, forcing businesses, bars, cafes, restaurants and taxis to limit smoking to designated areas has largely been ignored. Other government efforts—including bans on advertising and new warnings on cigarette packs—have done little to discourage smoking. In 2010 the government will also introduce heavy fines to anyone that does not abide by the regulations. Restaurants, bars and cafes will be fined 3,000 euros ($4743.30USD) while smokers will be fined 300 euros ($474.33USD). Greece's smoking population (45%) is among the highest in the world and easily outranks other European countries such as France where 38% of the population smoke.
One study has found that almost 9% of 14-year-old children smoke and over a quarter of 18-year-olds. According to a recent survey, the stricter measures, aimed at protecting smokers and non-smokers, have the backing of most Greeks. References: Once more unto the breach,, 5/13/2008 and Greek government plans to ban smoking by 2010,, 6/25/2008. Further reading: Smoking policy and prevalence in Greece: an overview, Constantine I. Vardavas and Anthony G. Kafatos, The European Journal of Public Health 17(2):211-213, 2007. - Incomplete..
(Hellenic Republic)

Niger - jail time if you light up in public places..

July 21, 2008 - Smokers in the desert state of Niger who break the newly enforced May 2006 anti-smoking laws by lighting up in public or at work, face punishments of up to three months in prison. (Niger signed the FCTC on June 28, 2004 and ratified the treaty on August 25, 2005.) Punishments for breaking the newly-enacted law will range from a 5,000 CFA franc ($12) fine to three months in prison, a government source told Reuters. The Niger government cites smoking as one of the leading health problems in the country, a uranium-producing nation that regularly faces droughts and needs food aid. As we know, many countries across the world are clamping down on the tobacco industry -- with bans on advertising, fines and even laws against actors smoking on television or in films -- but few have threatened smokers with prison.
Reference: Niger threatens illegal smokers with jail, Niamey, Reuters-Africa, 7/18/2008. Related news brief: People who smoke in public in Kenya's capital Nairobi face a fine or up to six months in jail.

Tighten restrictions on all tobacco advertising..

July 21, 2008 - On July 1, a cigarette advertising ban kicked in Alberta, requiring retailers to remove tobacco products from sales and store them out of sight. Advertising or promoting tobacco was also banned in places that sell the product. However, advertising outside those establishments is still above-board as long as required by law, the ad also includes a warning, advising readers of lung damage that can result from smoking. A couple weeks after the ban went into effect a full-page ad of JTI-MacDonald Corp. Export 'A' cigarettes ran in an Edmonton alternative weekly, pitching a "contemporary new look" with the "same classic taste." Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health. "Kids are going to see those ads. We know advertising has an impact on consumption and we know young people are particularly vulnerable." Hagen is calling on the provincial and federal governments to tighten restrictions on cigarette advertising. "There should be a full ban - it's high time for the federal government to live up to their global obligations and to serve the health of Canadians." Reference: Call for tighter restrictions on cigarette advertising by MICHELLE THOMPSON, SUN MEDIA - Canada, 7/21/2008. Macdonald is the same company that launched a cigarette in December 2007 in Canada with less tobacco smell.