Philip Morris appeals tobacco ban at San Francisco pharmacies..

December 6, 2008 - Philip Morris USA is appealing a federal judge's decision to uphold a new San Francisco law banning tobacco sales by pharmacies. Jack Marshall, a spokesman for Philip Morris, says the nation's No. 1 cigarette maker filed a notice of appeal Friday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The company's lawsuit claims the city ban also violates its free speech rights by preventing it from advertising in pharmacies. Marshall says the suit also challenges the prohibition of tobacco product sales in pharmacies.

The appeal (filed a notice of appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco Friday afternoon, December 5, 2008 could take months to resolve) was filed hours after U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland turned down the company's request for an injunction. The law, which does not cover so-called "big-box" retail stores like Costco, went into effect Oct. 1.

Reference: Philip Morris appeals tobacco ban at pharmacies, Associated Press, 12/6/2008; Philip Morris Appealing Challenge To SF Tobacco Ban,, 12/5/2008; Philip Morris appeals its challenge to tobacco sales ban by Bay City News - SF Examiner, 12/5/2008.

Related news briefs: Federal Judge Denies Bid To Stop San Francisco Pharmacy Tobacco Ban..; Philip Morris USA request stop in San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales by pharmacies..; San Francisco - cigarette sales rise sharply in c-stores..; San Francisco files brief to oppose bid by PM USA to block the banning of tobacco sales in pharmacies..; Philip Morris challenges San Francisco pharmacy tobacco ban..; Walgreen: San Francisco’s Tobacco Ban Is Unfair..; San Francisco - All Tobacco Products Banned in All Pharmacies..; San Francisco critical vote - bar tobacco sales pharmacies.. and SAN FRANCISCO Ban on tobacco at drug stores..

Scandinavian Tobacco changes name to British American Tobacco Latvia

December 5, 2008 - Latvian tobacco products manufacturer Scandinavian Tobacco has changed its brand name to British American Tobacco Latvia, according to information from the Registry of Enterprises Lursoft. British American Tobacco (BAT) announced the acquisition of Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni , which owns Scandinavian Tobacco , last February.

The Latvian company accounts for more than 60 per cent of cigarette sales in Scandinavia and its cigarettes are sold in over 40 markets. The company is the leading market player in Denmark and Norway and commands close to one-third of the Swedish market.

Reference: Scandinavian Tobacco changes name,janoschkagroup, 12/5/2008.

Related news briefs: European Commission (EC) approves proposed acquisition of the cigarette business of Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni (STK) by British American Tobacco (BAT); EU extends review of British American Tobacco (BAT) and Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni (ST) tobacco deal..; British American Tobacco (BAT) reported group volume sales up for first quarter 2008.. and BAT to Acquire Most of Denmark's ST...

New Jersey bans flavored cigarettes..

December 5, 2008 - On October 1, 2008, New Jersey Governor Corzine approved P.L. 2008, c. 91, An Act Banning the Sale of Certain Flavored Cigarettes codified at N.J.S.A. 2A: 170-51.5 will take effect November 30, 2008.

The bill, S-613, prohibits the sale or distribution of cigarettes which have a characterizing flavor that is attractive to youth. Specifically, the bill prohibits any cigarettes which either as a whole or in part are flavored with natural or artificial flavors to produce distinctive fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, alcoholic beverage, herb or spice flavors, among others. The bill exempts menthol or clove cigarettes from the prohibition, and does not apply to cigars, cigarillos, pipe tobacco or smokeless tobacco. <----- Why limit ban to cigarettes alone?? - only protect New Jersey youth if they smoke cigarettes.. -

Enforcement: $250 for first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation, to be collected pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," in a summary proceeding before the municipal court having jurisdiction. A health or law enforcement officer may issue a summons. NJSA 2A:170-51.5 et seq.

Reference: Senate, No.613, State of New Jersey, 213th Legislature; State Laws on Tobacco in New Jersey, Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, updated 5/15/2009.

Related news briefs: New Jersey May Ban Certain Flavored Cigarettes..

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Dutch cafe owners protest smoking ban..

December 5, 2008 - Dutch (Netherlands, Holland) cafe owners took to the streets of The Hague on Saturday, 11/27/2008 in protest of a smoking ban which they claim has seen business drop by up to a third The protest was organized by "Save the Small Cafe Owners", a group which claims that it had 5,000 participants. However, police estimates put the number at around 1,500. Protesters brandished banners denouncing the "dictatorship" of Ab Klink, the Dutch health minister.

The cafe owners want the ban, which went into effect in July 2008, scrapped arguing they do not have the space nor the funds to build specially-ventilated smoking areas. "A cigarette is part of cafe culture," said Wiel Maessen, secretary for the cafe owners group. "The cafes are really struggling. Soon we will find ourselves having to ask for social welfare," added Marina Bosma from the western city of Leiden.

Some opposition lawmakers have lent their support to the cafe owners' complaints. Over the past few weeks many cafe owners have deliberately broken the law by placing ashtrays back on their tables. Some owners pool money to help fellow owners pay any fines.

Klink recently called on prosecutors to do more and step up their pursuit of cafe owners in breach of the law. Owners who continue to flout the smoking ban face fines of up to EUR 18,500 (USD 23,522.68) or even temporary closure.

The smokers all pay a certain amount of money when entering the pub so that the pub owner can pay the fine.

November 6, 2008 - -- Members of the Dutch Christian Democratic party, which is the largest in the Dutch coalition Cabinet, said they are asking Klink to lift the smoking ban for small bars near the borders with Germany and Belgium because the establishments are losing business to bars in the other countries that allow smoking inside. (Dutch party wants smoking ban exceptions,, 11/6/2008.

November 21, 2008 - Cafe and bar owners in the Dutch town of Tilburg have announced plans to photograph smoking inspectors and post the photographs on the internet. They say the move is not intended to pillory the inspectors but to let other cafe owners know who they are. The proprietors are members of an action group protesting against the smoking ban, which was introduced on1 July 2008. (Bar owners to photograph smoking inspectors,, 11/21/2008.

Reference: Dutch cafe owners rally against smoking ban, msn news, 11/29/2008.

Related news briefs: Netherlands the smoking ban must be enforced - Ab Klink, Health Minister...; Congratulations are in order: Netherlands, Romania & Alberta...


UST shareholders approve proposed buyout by Altria ..

December 5, 2008 - UST, INC. announced that earlier today, during a special shareholder meeting held in New York, a majority of its shares were voted to approve the company's acquisition by Altria Group Inc.**. The transaction, which is expected to close during the first full week of January 2009 and no later than January 7, calls for UST shareholders to receive $69.50 in cash for each share held of outstanding UST common stock. Upon closing, UST will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altria. On October 16, 2008, the companies announced that Altria's proposed acquisition of UST passed federal antitrust review.

"We are pleased that an overwhelming majority of shareholders agreed with the Board that this transaction is clearly in the best interests of shareholders," said Murray S. Kessler, UST chairman and chief executive officer. "With federal antitrust review and shareholder approval now secured, we look forward to closing the deal in early January."

Reference: UST Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Altria, Yahoo Finance, 12/4/2008.

Related news briefs (audit trail of events): Altria's Proposed Acquisition of UST Passes U.S. Regulatory Review..; Altria May Delay Purchase of UST Amid Tight Credit..; UST to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Altria..; Altria in advanced talks to buy UST, Inc..; Altria will continue to test Marlboro Smokeless Tobacco Products.. and Any interest Lorillard to acquire Swedish Match - NOT.

** - Altria owns approximately 28.5% of SABMiller (South African Breweries - Miller) plc.

Russia passes new restrictions on tobacco..

December 4, 2008 - Russia's Duma (the Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament) on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 approved legislation to lower tar and nicotine content in cigarettes and to place large health warnings on the packs. The legislation, which still must be approved by the upper house and signed by the president before taking effect, allows cigarette makers to continue to identify some brands as "light" or "low-tar."

The measure calls for the maximum amounts of tar and nicotine in cigarettes to be reduced by 15-20 percent and for health warnings to be no smaller than 30 percent of the pack's surface, a substantial increase from their current size.

The World Health Organization's tobacco control agreement has urged that such terms be prohibited, but the guidelines are not mandatory. Japan also has allowed the language to remain on cigarette packs.

The number of Russian smokers is among the highest in the world, with 42% of early deaths among men aged 35-69 caused by smoking. Every year, there are over 260,000 smoking-related deaths in Russia. (Third of Russians smoke, but half welcome public smoking ban) Russia already has banned smoking in government offices and some public places, and has required large restaurants to establish nonsmoking sections.

In 2001 Russia introduced its first law in more than 20 years that limits the use of tobacco. The law, signed by President Putin last July, came into force in January 2002. In the 1970s, smoking in trains and by doctors when working with patients was banned.

Reference: Russia passes new restrictions on tobacco, Yahoo News - Associated Press, 12/3/2008.

Euromonitor - Tobacco in Russia. Russia is the world’s third-biggest tobacco market, behind China, with 1.6 trillion cigarettes, and the United States, with 400 billion. It has an annual consumption of about 315 billion cigarettes. British consumption is about 57 billion cigarettes. (BAT plans to beat Philip Morris with Russian post deal, TimesOnline, 11/24/2005)

Related news briefs:British American Tobacco (BAT) Misleading Russian Consumers..; Russian State Duma (Parliament) ratified the framework convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control.. and WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008.

Russia (April 2008) has ratified the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.


Ontario to outlaw candy flavored cigars..

December 4, 2008 - The legislation to ban flavored cigarillos, which was co-sponsored by Liberal backbencher Dave Levac and New Democrat France Gelinas, was approved in near record time (being introduced on Thursday, 11/27/2008), especially considering that private member's bills rarely become law in Ontario.

The bill to outlaw flavored cigarillos and require that non-flavored cigarillos be sold in packages of 20 passed unanimously in a voice vote Thursday, 12/4/2008 but is not expected to be proclaimed into law for another few months.

Health Promotion Minister Margarett Best said it's clear that tobacco companies are targeting young people by selling cigarillos in 21 flavors, including peach and cherry, for just $1 each in 21 flavours, including peach and cherry, for just $1 each in colourful packaging designed to appeal to kids.

"Anything that prevents kids from lighting up in the first place is a good thing," Best said. "And I believe that these cigarillos are indeed something that is very troublesome."

Reference: Ontario passes private member's bill to outlaw candy-flavored cigarillos, by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press, 12/4/2008.

Related news briefs: Ontario poised to ban flavored cigarillos..; Canada: a bill introduced to snuff out drive to recruit young smokers..; Still sucking our youngsters in.. and Quebec - Teens Switch from Cigarettes to Cigarillos...

Will Michigan Pass Smoking Ban Before the End of Year..

December 4, 2008 - Public health officials and doctors on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 implored the Legislature to ban smoking inside bars, restaurants and other workplaces before adjourning for the year, saying lives are at stake.

"We know what will happen if we do nothing," Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski told reporters. "More people will get sick. We will spend more dollars on health care. We will have lost productivity. And there will be unnecessary deaths." Olszewski sent a letter urging passage of smoking-ban legislation to all 148 members of the Legislature. Nearly 80% of the public is behind the ban, said Greg Holzman, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Organizations representing physicians, medical students and hospitals also wrote to lawmakers. Dr. Dean Sienko, speaking on behalf of the Michigan State Medical Society and local health departments, said at a news conference that it's "inexcusable and unconscionable" to expose workers and patrons to secondhand smoke, a Class A carcinogen.

The Democratic-led House has passed legislation that would ban smoking at restaurants and bars but exempt Detroit casinos, smoke shops and others. The Republican-held Senate has voted to prohibit smoking at all workplaces with no exceptions.

More than 30 states have passed smoking bans, but Michigan legislators are at odds over carving out exemptions for some businesses. Smoke Free USA..

Reference: Health officials, doctors urge Michigan smoking ban by David Eggert, (Everything Michigan)- The Associated Press, 12/2/2008.

Related news briefs: Michigan Falls Short Again on Ban in Public Places.. and Michigan Senate Deals Blow To Smoking Ban...

Bigger duty-free allowance for EU citizens accept cigarettes..

December 4, 2008 - As of today (December 1, 2008), Europeans traveling home from non-EU countries have the right to bring into the bloc more duty free products, the European Commission announced.
unless those goods are cigarettes. Those traveling home by air or sea will be allowed to import into the EU tax free products worth up to €430 (USD 551.11), while the allowance for those traveling by other means will be €300 (USD 384.57).

The limit for cigarettes remains unchanged at 200, but EU states are now offered the possibility of reducing this figure to 40 if they decide the measure is needed to support health policies. So far, almost half the EU states – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Britain, Spain and the Czech Republic – have chosen to keep the limit of 200 cigarettes. The other EU countries will lower the limit to 40, while Greece and Hungary will only allow imports of 200 cigarettes for air travelers.

Reference: Bigger duty-free allowance for EU citizens by ELITSA VUCHEVA,, 12/1/2008 and Some EU states reduce duty-free allowance, Tobacco Reporter, 12/3/2008.

UK Planned Curbs On Smoking to be Axed..

December 3, 2008 - Brits (United Kingdom, Britain) new national tobacco control strategy placed on hold.

Isabel Oakeshott, Deputy Political Editor, Times Online reports measures to help cut smoking and drinking are expected to be shelved this week because of fears they will alienate voters during the recession. Ministers have decided they cannot justify some of the more draconian measures to reduce cigarette and alcohol sales during the economic downturn. A proposed ban on shops displaying tobacco, and steps to force tobacco manufacturers to remove logos from cigarette packs are expected to be abandoned, along with proposals to stop supermarkets discounting alcohol. The U-turn follows pressure from backbenchers (rear benches in the House of Commons where junior members of Parliament sit behind government officeholders and their counterparts in the opposition party) and trade groups, who argued that there was little evidence to show the steps would have health benefits.

Last night, Tuesday, 12/2/2008, the health department was examining whether any part of the proposed tobacco restrictions could be salvaged in time for Wednesday’s Queen’s speech, which sets out the legislative program. It is understood, however, that ministers have reluctantly conceded there is not enough evidence to support the tobacco proposals and have concluded it would “not be in the nation’s best interests” to press ahead. Some in the cabinet feared the crackdown, which included packaging cigarettes in plain “vanilla” boxes with no branding, would jar with the key message about shoring up the economy. Senior Labor sources say the legislative program is designed to appeal to “white van man”; that is, working-class swing voters who are more likely to smoke and drink. The government is still expected to press ahead with plans to ban so-called “happy hours” in pubs and clubs. http://www.timeson s/uk/health/articl e5258474.ece

Will the Brits even abandon the debate on banning smoking in cars when kids are present??

Related news briefs: British Considering Ban on Cigarette Displays..; Gruesome Photos on British Cigarette Packs..; Royal College of Physicians still pushing the use of SNUS.. and British considering banning logos on cigarette packs, other measures...

Reference: UK backing away from retail display ban, Tobacco Reporter, 12/2/2008.


Smokeless tobacco increases stroke risk ..

December 2, 2008 - Use of oral moist snuff, a type of smokeless tobacco, also known as snus, may increase the risk of fatal stroke. To figure out the risk of stroke among smokeless tobacco users, researchers from America examined data on 118,465 construction workers who attended health check-ups between 1978 and 1993 and completed questionnaires that included information on tobacco use. None of the participants ever smoked or had a history of stroke. The researchers monitored data regarding illness and death from stroke among participants from the city register.

During an average of 18 years of follow-up, 3,248 men suffered a stroke. Most of these (70 percent) were ischemic strokes due to restricted blood flow ischemic, whereas 17 percent were hemorrhagic or bleeding strokes. Thirteen percent of strokes were unspecified. Overall, 29 percent of the subjects had ever used snuff. The overall relative risk of stroke was not increased in these ever users of snuff. However, for fatal stroke, the relative risk of 27 percent was found to be higher among ever-users of snuff compared with never users. This was mainly driven by an increased 38 percent risk of fatal stroke among current users of snuff.

Further, a 71 percent increased risk of fatal ischemic stroke was found to be associated with current snuff use. No increased risk was observed for hemorrhagic stroke. The above findings suggest that snuff use may elevate the risk of fatal stroke, particularly of fatal ischemic stroke.

PAPER:Smokeless Tobacco and the Risk of Stroke Hergens, Maria-Pia (, Lambe, Mats, Pershagen, Goran, Terent, Andreas; Ye, Weimin, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Epidemiology 19(6):794-799, November 2008. ABSTRACT..

Reference: Smokeless tobacco increases stroke risk,, 12/2/2008.

A few related news briefs: Smokeless Tobacco Can Also Increase Cancer Risk..; Snus causes premature death.. and Karolinska Institution finds twice the risk of pancreatic cancer when using moist snuff (snus)...


Japan - Ruling party plans tobacco tax hike in 2009..

December 2, 2008 - The Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) plans to push for a tobacco tax hike for fiscal 2009 starting in April, reported the Japan Times on Thursday, November 27. 2008. The tax hike of JPY 3 (EUR 0.0253, USD 0.0321) per cigarette is part of a set of tax reform recommendations for next fiscal year. It sould be the first hike on tobacco since fiscal 2006, and would raise the price of a pack of cigarettes by around JPY 60 (EUR 0.5052, USD 0.6423). The LDP is looking to allocate some of the additional revenue to tobacco farmers, who will likely be hit by a slump in tobacco consumption, party sources said.

A pack of cigarettes usually sells for about JPY 300 (EUR 2.53 USD 3.22). A health study has found if the cigarette price was JPY 1,000 (EUR 8.44, USD 10.73) a pack would save 190,000 lives.

Reference: Ruling party plans tobacco tax hike, Tobacco Journal International, 11/28/2008.

Related news briefs: Japan Tobacco Starts Petition To Fight Tax Increase..; How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..; Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices.. and Japan Tobacco's (JTI) market share up in Japan in FY 2007 for 1st time since 1985...

Ontario poised to ban flavored cigarillos..

December 2, 2008 - Two members of the Ontario legislature (France GĂ©linas and Dave Levac) introduced a joint private member's bill on Thursday, 11/27/2008 that would ban the sale of single, flavored cigarillos (small cigar or cigarette wrapped in tobacco instead of paper) available in convenience stores for as little as $1 each. The bill would require that the cigarillos be sold in packages of no less than 20 and without the candy flavors clearly designed to appeal to teens.

Candy-flavored cigarillos come in peach, cherry, strawberry and vanilla and are packaged individually in a plastic tube resembling a felt marker or lip gloss. They may look harmless – there is no health warning on the package – but they are just as dangerous as cigarettes and represent the latest attempt by the tobacco industry to hook teenagers on smoking, say those seeking to ban their sale. For example Prime Time Little Cigars.

“This is the leading edge of a new generation of alternative tobacco products,” Michael Perley, director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, said at a news conference. The bill appears to be well on its way to a speedy passage into law. MPPs (members of provincial parliament) from all three political parties voted in support of the bill on Thursday. It passed second reading and has been referred to a government committee for debate.

Sale of the individual cigarillos could also be banned in other provinces. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said during the recent federal election campaign that the Conservatives will set a minimum package size and restrict the use of flavor in tobacco products. Quebec already bans the sale of single tobacco products.

Reference: Ontario poised to ban flavoured cigarillos by KAREN HOWLETT, Globe and Mail, 11/27/2008.

The Province of Ontario cares about their residents.

Related news briefs: Canada: a bill introduced to snuff out drive to recruit young smokers..; Still sucking our youngsters in.. and Quebec - Teens Switch from Cigarettes to Cigarillos...

Semarang, Indonesia - Cigarette Smoking Areas to be Prepared..

December 2, 2008 - TEMPO Interactive, Semarang:The implementation of the 2010 Provincial Regulation regarding Cigarette Smoking in Semarang will be followed by the construction of smoking areas in some government offices.

“So that non-smokers are not disturbed by smokers,” said Central Java Health Services head, Hartanto, yesterday (30/11). The Semarang city administration has already issued a regulation on non-smoking areas.

Early in November, 2008, Diponegoro University’s Community Health Faculty, Semarang, enforced this regulation.

Referenece: Cigarette Smoking Areas to Be Prepared,, 12/1/2008.

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Smokers living with kids are more likely to try to quit..

December 1, 2008 - Experts say the health risks to others can be a greater incentive for smokers to quit than the dangers it poses to themselves. According to a survey by the New York state Department of Health smokers living with kids are 76 percent more likely to try to quit because of the effect of smoke on others. The study also found that 42 percent of smokers with children don't allow smoking in their home, compared with 26 percent of smokers without children. It was also found that 60 percent of people living with children are more likely to want to quit smoking "a lot."

"People who won't quit smoking for themselves are generally more likely to quit smoking for their children," said Dr. Richard Daines, the health commissioner. The survey found that among New York's approximately 2.7 million smokers, about 1 million live with children in the household. Daines stated that parents who smoke around their kids may contribute to health problems like respiratory infections, ear infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Related news brief: Further evidence - STOP smoking in the presence of your children..

Reference: Smokers living with kids more likely to quit by Valerie Bauman, Associated Press, 11/30/2008.

British Considering Ban on Cigarette Displays..

December 1, 2008 - Background - on May 31, 2008 the British Government's Department of Health (DH) released a paper on the future of tobacco control for the United Kingdom. During this consultation, interested parties had 12-weeks period (until September 8, 2008) to provide comments that should be considered before formalizing a National Tobacco Strategy. One of the 4-main areas in developing this strategy was concerned with protecting children and young people from smoking.

One strategy the government is weighing is a ban on the display of cigarette packets in all stores, forcing shopkeepers to store them out of view. Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking group, says the government could introduce legislation calling for a ban as soon as Wednesday, December 3, 2008, when Parliament opens.

Attractive-looking packets, as packages are called in Britain, are one of the few remaining options tobacco companies have to appeal to smokers in the developed world, where cigarette advertising is heavily restricted. But bans against store displays are relatively rare. Iceland, Thailand, the British Virgin Islands and some Canadian provinces prohibit cigarette packets from being displayed in shops, the U.K. Department of Health said.

The tobacco industry such as London-based British American Tobacco (BAT) is concerned about the prospect of a new restriction, one which cigarette makers argue wouldn't cut smoking rates. BAT says the anti-smoking lobby is trying to freeze it out of the policy process. The U.K. and other governments should "consult properly with the well-run and responsible part of the tobacco industry," BAT Chief Executive Paul Adams said. (BAT cautions against WHO measures, Tobacco Journal International, 11/24/2008)

BAT and other tobacco companies are particularly worried about a World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) treaty that aims to exert more control over the industry. In the last meeting in November 2008 representatives from more than 150 countries met in Durban, South Africa, to discuss guidelines that would limit the ability of tobacco companies.

Reference: Out of Sight, Out of Mouth? As U.K. Considers Ban On Cigarette Displays, Industry Says Butt Out by Aaron O. Patrick, The Wall Street Journal, 12/1/2008.

A few related news briefs: More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..; More New South Wales - Sweeping Anti-Tobacco Measures..; "Please get tobacco out of our kids faces," Dr. Harley Stanton (elected as President of the Asia-Pacific Assoc. for the Control of Tobacco)..; Tobacco Display Ban Deadline of May 31, 2008 Looms in Ontario and Quebec..; Tobacco displays are on their way out in an increasing number of countries..; Ireland - 80% of smokers want a ban on tobacco advertising in shops to stop youngsters starting the habit.. and Nova Scotia (NS) - ban on point of sale tobacco advertising..
In the U.S the City of San Francisco has banned the sale of tobacco products in all pharmacies.. and some grocery-type stores have eliminated selling tobacco products.

Let It Continue..

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FTC Rescinds Guidance from 1966 on Tar and Nicotine Yields..

November 30,2008 - On November 26, 2008 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has annulled the guidance it issued 42 years ago which has allowed tobacco companies to make claims about tar and nicotine levels based on the Cambridge filter method.

The FTC said it voted 4-0 to rescind its guidance which allowed tobacco companies to put tar and nicotine figures on cigarette packages derived from the Cambridge filter method. The commission said the test method is flawed and that the figures were misleading as smokers tend to inhale more deeply when they smoke cigarettes with less tar and nicotine.

The resulting advertisements touting tar and nicotine levels could cause consumers to believe that lighter cigarettes were safer. "Our action today ensures that tobacco companies may not wrap their misleading tar and nicotine ratings in a cloak of government sponsorship," said Commissioner Jon Leibowitz. "The FTC will not be a smoke screen for tobacco companies’ shameful marketing practices."

The commission declined to weigh in on whether it would oppose the use of terms such as 'light' and 'ultra low,' saying that the Justice Department was already fighting that battle before the courts.

References: FTC Rescinds Guidance from 1966 on Statements Concerning Tar and Nicotine Yields and FTC annuls Cambridge method claims, Tobacco Journal International,