Korea - smoking rates fall for men and women..

August 22, 2008 - Smoking among Democratic People's Republic of Korea (South Korea) adult males continues to fall amid cigarette tax hikes and anti-smoking campaigns. South Korea's smoking rate for adult males stood at 40.4 percent in the first half of this year, down 1.4 percentage points from last year, according to a survey of 2,000 adult males conducted by Gallup Korea on behalf of the Health Ministry. (The smoking rate peaked at 79.3 percent in 1980, fell to the 50-percent mark for the first time in March 2007 and slid to 45.9 percent in September the same year. Health officials predict it will drop to the upper-30-percent range by the end of 2008.)

The rate for females, which rose to 4.6 percent last year, dropped to 3.7 percent in the first half of the year.

The tapering of male adult smoking was attributed largely to an increase in cigarette prices. In December 2004, the government slapped an additional 500 won tax ($0.53) per cigarette pack. Currently, most cigarettes in South Korea cost between 2,000 won ($1.87) and 3,000 won ($2.82) per pack.

The ministry added that its continued anti-smoking ad campaign and counseling programs have contributed to raising public awareness about smoking's negative effects on health.

Reference: Smoking Rate Among Male Adults Falls to 40%, The Korea Times, 8/21/2008.

South Korea has signed and ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) - the global anti-tobacco treaty.


Indonesia further rise in the excise tax would hurt the cigarette industry..

Lawmakers may not increase excise tax on cigarettes. Indonesia ranks fifth among countries with the highest tobacco consumption globally. Over 62% of Indonesian adult males smoke regularly. "Tobacco taxation has been the strongest tobacco reduction measure that exists in the world today." (Lynn Greaves, VP of the Saskatchewan Coalition for Tobacco Reduction) Opponents argue that an increase in excise tax will harm millions who depend on the tobacco industry for a living.

The Indonesian tobacco industry supports 600,000 workers and 3.5 million tobacco and clove farmers, according to the Cigarette Producers Union in Jakarta. Analysts believe the livelihoods of 12 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on the country's tobacco and cigarette sector. Finance Ministry's Director General of Customs and Excise Anwar Surpijadi said he was concerned a further rise in the excise would hurt the cigarette industry and risk the jobs of its millions of workers.

Cigarette prices (maybe lowest in the world) in Indonesia are much lower on average than those of neighboring countries. A pack of Marlboro sells for Rp 9,000 (98 cents); a pack of cigarettes in Malaysia US$2, while in Singapore about US$7.

Indonesians spend on average 2.5 times more on tobacco than on education, and 3.2 times more on tobacco than on health. Traditionally viewed as unacceptable practice, smoking among Indonesian women is now seen as modern and trendy, especially in large cities. "The monthly cigarette consumption of people on low incomes is equal to 15 times what they spend on meat, or eight times what they spend on education" said researcher Abdillah Ahsan in a study he reported.

The World Health Organization and the World Bank must step in and help these people. There is a need to develop and implement alternative industries other than tobacco. Indonesia now is a haven for the tobacco industry. Philip Morris International (PMI) back in March of 2005 purchased an Indonesian company PT HM Sampoerna.)

Related news brief: Most Indonesians support moves to ban tobacco advertisements..

References: Govt may not raise tobacco excise by Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, 8/20/2008; Excise tax hike will not kill off industry by Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, 08/01/2008; The relevance and prospects of advancing tobacco control in Indonesia, A. Achadi et al., Health Policy , Volume 72 , Issue 3 , Pages 333 - 349.

Related information: Making the New Indonesia Work for the Poor, Box 3.6 (pg44) Tobacco damages poor households' finances as well as their health, World Bank, 11/2006.

Indonesia, is the only nation in Asia which has NOT signed or ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) - the global anti-tobacco treaty.


The New Camel SNUS Cooler..

August 21, 2008 - The new Camel SNUS cooler has arrived. On June 2, 2008 we reported that the original cooler took up too much room and would be replaced with a smaller cooler small enough to be placed on the shelf next to other tobacco products.

There's also a new advertising display for Camel SNUS. Camel SNUS, even though more cans have been given away then sold, is now part of the Camel Family.

Had a chance to talk with the Lorillard saleman today. Recently there was some mention of sales of Lorillard's Triumph SNUS (8/18/2008). The salesman told me that Triumph SNUS sales have gone poorly and it doesn't cost Lorillard anything to sell this pouch tobacco. Swedish Match makes the stuff and Lorillard sends them 50% of the profit - if there is any.

Imperial Tobacco Groups' Davidoff cigarettes are now available in c-stores in Raleigh. Initially a few packs were given away free. These cigarettes are priced one dollar higher than Marlboro Light - this is a surprise. Look for Imperial's Davidoff cigarettes to take market share from Marlboro cigarettes..
Davidoff cigarette sign - front door c-store.

Click on image to enlarge..

Tourney SNUS Speedway SuperAmerica c-stores..

Liggett, subsidiary of Vector Group Ltd., has sold a private label brand cigarettes called Tourney to Speedway SuperAmerica stores, their largest single customer, since May 27, 1988.

Tourney SNUS is most likely very similar to Liggett's
Grand Prix SNUS.

Grand Prix SNUS is being manufactured in Sweden under an agreement with Snusab, a Stockholm-based manufacturer of premium SNUS products.

For more product information on Tourney SNUS.

Click on image to enlarge..

1847 - Swedish Snus by Philip Morris International..

August 20, 2008 - In October 2006, Philip Morris International acquired Swedish SNUS manufacturer Rocker Production AB..

1847 By Philip Morris is the first release for the Swedish market. Comes in a unique exclusive metal can with embossed details. Available both in original and white portions (The white-portion snus results in a slightly dryer pouch product with a longer-lasting flavor.)


Click on image to enlarge..

Egypt - warning pictures on cigarette packs - INEFFECTIVE...

August 20, 2008 - It has already been found that instead of deterring smokers, the new set of warning pictures printed on cigarette packs are driving up the sales of metal cigarette boxes, Ibrahim El Embaby, head of the Tobacco Industry Division of the Industries Union, told local press.

According to the new tobacco law, which was approved by the People’s Assembly (PA) last June, a detailed health warning has to cover 50 percent of the pack on both sides. In addition to warning labels, cigarette packs now feature pictures explaining the side effects of smoking: a dying man in an oxygen mask, and a limp cigarette in reference to impotence, among others.

Related news brief:
Egypt's fledgling anti-tobacco program to place images and warnings on cigarette packs..

Reference: New tobacco law ineffective, says Industries Union by Safaa Abdoun, DailyNews-Egypt, 8/18/2008.

Egypt has ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.


Uganda - smoking ban NOT enforced..

August 20, 2008 - Back in August 2004, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, then Water, Lands and Environment minister, just after signing the law banning smoking in public told police: " “Now that the law is here, if you find someone or people smoking in public places, just arrest them." But little has changed in 4-years, Ugandans continue to puff away wherever they please following failure by the responsible government agencies to implement the directive.

In Kampala, 16 per cent of the boys were said to have admitted smoking against 14 per cent of the girl population interviewed.

Some analysts have argued that because of the financial benefits the government reaps from tobacco trade, it is unlikely that they will come hard on public smokers. Uganda’s leading cigarette maker, BAT Uganda, was the sixth highest taxpayer in the 2006/07 financial year with Shs49.8 billion, accounting for nearly two per cent of the country’s total tax collections that year.

Reference: A ban going up in smoke by Kakaire A. Kirunda, DailyMonitor.co.ug, 8/19/2008.

Good paper, a little outdated, the work of Philip Karugaba Uganda lawyer and leading anti-tobacco activist.

Related news brief: British American Tobacco - 100 years in Africa..

Uganda has ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.


Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..

August 19, 2008 - Dave Gomez, Philip Morris Philippines (PMI)public affairs and communications manager said they are organizing the Eraserheads reunion concert, not sponsoring it. He said the reunion concert will push through as he assured Eraserheads fans that the event is not a violation of the law. One of the processes that Eraserheads fans go through to register is to give Philip Morris some personal information, including name, address, home phone, cellular phone numbers, and e-mail address. Eraserheads fans would then be included on the tobacco company's mailing list, they are making themselves easy targets for tobacco advertisement and promotional materials.

Regarding the registration process PMI is using "devious advertising tactics" to promote the Marlboro brand in the guise of organizing a reunion concert of Philippines rock band legend said FCAP (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance - Philippines) executive director Dr. Maricar Limpin.
(Philip Morris' advertising tactics devious, says tobacco control group by ANGELO GUTIERREZ, abs-cbnNEWS.com, 8/16/2008.)

Dr. Limpin said at a press conference with DOH Undersecretary Alex Padilla that the reunion concert would be the first since a Section 25 of RA 9211 took effect July 1, 2008 - no tobacco sponsorship of all sports, concert, cultural, and art events beginning July 1, 2008.

Reference: Philip Morris won't postpone Eheads concert With Michelle Orosa, ABS-CBN News, 8/9/2008.

Related news briefs: Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event.ion the Philippines.. and STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines...

AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..

August 19, 2008 - Members of the American Wholesale and Marketers Association (AWMA) are urged to send letters to congressional lawmakers regarding legislation that will hurt their industry and adversely impact business in their districts and states.

The first is legislation to provide Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory authority over tobacco. HR 1108, the House version of legislation to provide broad regulatory authority over tobacco products to the FDA, has already been approved by that body. In the Senate, similar legislation – S. 625 – has already been approved by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and is awaiting floor consideration.

Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., has promised to drag out debate, offer amendments, and do whatever he can to ensure “a full and lengthy debate and lengthy amendment process,” should the bill (HR 1108) come to the floor. Burr, when questioned about the reasons for his opposition to the bill. “I haven’t opposed regulation of tobacco, I’ve just opposed putting it at the FDA,” he added. (Tar Heel Senator Vows to Block Tobacco Regulation Bill by Drew Armstrong, CQ TODAY – REGULATORY POLICY, 8/14/2008.)

AWMA has also learned that Congress may be poised to again consider legislation in early Fall that would increase the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on tobacco to finance a significant expansion of the children’s health insurance program known as SCHIP. Say NO to Higher Cigarette Taxes! - sponsored by Philip Morris USA.

Reference: AWMA Urges Grassroots Effort to Combat FDA and Tobacco Legislation
SCHIP Bill with FET Increase on Tobacco under Consideration Again
AWMA Update, 8/2008.

Many more news briefs on both pieces of legislation - do a random search. Click on image to enlarge..

Wales - still easy for youngsters to buy cigarettes..

August 18, 2008 - An Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Wales survey, of more than 100 underage smokers (average age is just 14) in the South Wales valleys and Cardiff, found that many are buying smuggled tobacco or are being sold individual cigarettes by shopkeepers who are breaking the law (despite the age limit on tobacco being raised from 16 to 18).

What is striking about this survey is the ease in which young people can feed their deadly habit. For instance, one in five children can buy cigarettes from vending machines, more than eight out of 10 are buying cigarettes from their peers in school and more than one in 10 can buy tobacco from ice cream vans, burger vans and private dwellings. The latest figures, from 2006, suggest that 23% of 15-year-old girls and 12% of boys smoke regularly.

This survey followed a report by the Welsh Heads of Trading Standards in Wales - The Report on Underage Sales of Tobacco in Wales 2007-08 - which found that children were able to buy cigarettes in up to a quarter of shops and supermarkets tested.

ASH Wales today, 8/18/2008 called on the Assembly Government to take a lead and consider licensing retailers to sell tobacco in the same way they are licensed to sell alcohol, which also has an 18 age limit.

Reference: Teenagers Smoking 'Up to 200 Cigarettes a Week' by Madeleine Brindley Health Editor, Western Mail, 8/18/2008.

Click on image to enlarge..

Couple patents color-coded cigarettes of differing lengths..

August 18, 2008 - A Whitman, Mass., couple have patented Steppin' Outs, a pack of 20 color-coded cigarettes in three different sizes; green for regular, yellow for midsized and red for small-sized cigarettes. The idea is that smokers can either gradually reduce their intake in order to quit, or those who don't can still have a shorter smoke break without wasting most of a cigarette. In Massachusetts, Steppin' Outs would sell for about half the cost for a regular pack of cigarettes, now at about $7 said Dean Roberts, the inventor with his wife, Michelle.

Once the marketing company is selected they will then make a formal proposal to major cigarette companies for the sale or licensing of Steppin' Outs, they said.

Reference: Smokin' Idea - Couple patents color-coded cigarettes of differing lengths, CSP Daily News, 8/12/2008.

Philip Morris International has Marlboro Intense cigarettes designed to appeal to employees who are forced to take quick outdoor cigarette breaks while at work, initially introduced in Turkey.

Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..

August 17, 2008 - Anti-tobacco advocates (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP)) called on the government Friday, 8/15/208, to investigate cigarette maker Philip Morris International (PMI) for allegedly flouting the law banning it from advertising its products.

The health department has backed FCAP, saying PMI could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event.

Related news brief: STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines...

Reference: Anti-smoking group ask for probe of tobacco company by Kristine L. Alave, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/15/2008.

A "report card" on tobacco use and control by Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance-Philippines (FCAP) estimates 35,845 Filipinos die every year of smoking-related diseases. Based on this figure, 179,225 Filipino smokers will die in five years or 358,450 people in 10 years.(RP responds slowly to tobacco epidemic; 35,000 die yearly by ANGELO L. GUTIERREZ, abs-cbnNEWS.com, 8/17/2008)

Candy cigarettes predispose children to smoke..

August 17, 2008 - CONFECTIONERY cigarettes designed to appeal to children are making a return to stores in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, despite being banned in the state almost a decade ago (since 1999). The French Catcher "cigarettes", made from chocolate, individually wrapped in white cigarette paper and packaged in retro-style soft-top cartons similar to those used for real cigarettes, are being imported and distributed by a Hornsby company, Universal Candy. Universal Candy's owner, said he stopped importing Catcher "months ago". However, consignments may have been distributed to wholesalers in the states (Victoria and Queensland) where the ban does not apply and sent back to NSW.

A study led by Dr. Jonathan Klein of the University of Rochester, School of Medicine in a sample of 25,887 U.S. adults showed a statistical link between a history with fake cigarettes and adult experiences with real smokes—22 percent of current or former smokers had also regularly consumed candy cigarettes, while only 14 percent of those who have never smoked had eaten or played with candy cigarettes often or very often. (Study Links Candy Cigarettes to Smoking by Robin Lloyd, Live Science, 6/18/2007.)

Reference: Banned, but choc cigarettes creep back by Kelly Burke Consumer Affairs Reporter, The Sydney Morning Herald, 8/16/2008.

BAT using illegal tactics to get African youths to start smoking..

August 17, 2008 - British American Tobacco (BAT) is breaking its own marketing code covering the sale of cigarettes to youngsters in the African countries of Nigeria, Malawi and Mauritius.

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria urged the federal government to investigate on-going ‘Experience Freshness’ secret parties being organized by BAT to promote its Pall Mall cigarette brand. An investigation revealed that invitations cards were given out secretly to youths in secondary and tertiary institutions, adding that while there were no checks at the gate on age limits, young people, especially the girls, were encouraged to attend. At parties there were free cigarettes at the gate and young persons were compelled to light and smoke cigarettes before entering, while there were many more sticks given out during the course of the party.

In July, an investigation by British businessman, Duncan Bannatyne, broadcast by the BBC, discovered tactics used by BAT which circumvent bans on advertising and raise the profile of cigarettes in countries where less than 10% of the population smoke and where smoking is still considered taboo. In Malawi and Nigeria, Bannatyne discovered posters that BAT had produced depicting single cigarettes and showing the price of a single cigarette.

References: Group seeks probe of ‘smoking’ parties, Daily Champion, 8/17/2008 and Tobacco giant 'breaks youth code', BBC, 6/28/2008.

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that the number of smoking-related deaths in Africa will double in the next 20 years to 200,000.

Nigeria and Mauritius have ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Public Health Treaty.