2008 Highlights - tobaccowatch.org..

Disappointment with the sales of SNUS in the United States.
UST, Inc. Executives Very Disappointed in Sales of the Entire SNUS Segment..
Camel Snus sales have been weak at best but RJ Reynolds (RJR) said it will roll out Camel Snus nationwide beginning early next year. Philip Morris first SNUS entry Taboka Tobaccopaks had poor sales and was discontinued. Marlboro Snus (introduced in August 2007) being test marketed in Dallas and now also available in c-stores in Indianapolis have been poor. In addition Marlboro Smokeless Tobacco entry has not been widely accepted. Altria being financially disciplined in test marketing their smokeless products.. According to a Lorillard sales person sales of Triumph Snus (made by Swedish Match for Lorillard) have also been poor.

Dissolvable Tobacco Products - In January 2009 R.J. Reynolds Tobacco will start test marketing in 3-cities the first dissolvable tobacco products by a major company. Each product in convenient user-friendly dosage forms (a flavored pellet like a Tic Tac or Life Saver Holes, a flavored toothpick (is it peppermint toothpick or a peppermint toothpick laced with nicotine) and an edible film strip for your tongue just like Listerine pocketpaks) candy-like containing amounts of the nicotine to render the users (most likely kids) a slaves to this addictive substance for many years to come. STOP the Release of Dissolvable Tobacco Products..

EU Scientific Committee Concludes: Insufficent Evidence to Lift Ban on SNUS..

Altria Group, Inc. in December 2007 completed the acquisition John Middleton, a leading manufacturer of machine-made cigars such as Black & Mild. The Black & Mild Brand generates 23% of machine-made large cigarettes sales. Altria completes Middleton acquisition.. In March 2008 Altria cut the Middleton sales force indicating that John Middleton merchandising and promotional resources will be available through the PM USA sales organization." Middleton Sales Team Cut..

U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law does not preempt a state lawsuit brought by Maine smokers claiming that Altria, parent company of Philip Morris, fraudulently advertised health benefits of "light" cigarettes. U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Big Tobacco..

Altria Group, Inc. spins-off Philip Morris International
- The New Philip Morris International (PMI) and the Marlboro Man is finally free to roam the globe unfettered by the legal and marketing shackles of the U.S. domestic market..

Without the Philip Morris International that contributed about two-thirds of Altria's $13.2 billion in operating profit Altria is left with the challenge in finding a source of growth to offset the decline in U.S. cigarette sales Altria takes all required steps to acquire UST, Inc. The transaction is expected to close during the first full week of January 2009. UST shareholders approve proposed buyout by Altria ..

Philip Morris International completes buyout of Canadian cigarette maker Rothmans Inc.

All tobacco sales banned in pharmacies in San Francisco and Boston.
San Francisco - Judge threw out a Walgreens attempt to stop the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies..
; Boston bans cigarette sales in drug stores..

Wegmans a Rochester, N.Y.-based grocer’s decision to stop the sale of tobacco products at all 70 of its locations. Wegmans Food Markets and DeCicco Markets Praised..

Scandinavian Tobacco changes name to British American Tobacco Latvia.

Imperial Tobacco Gets Approval to Sell Brands in U.S..

FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill Overwhelmingly Passed U.S. House.. FDA tobacco regulation - bill distorted in current form..

Imperial tobacco completes acquisition of Altadis, S.A. (Alliance Tobacco Distributors) completed.

Tobacco control initiatives - positive(top 2):

Australia – the State of New South Wales (NSW) Former Premier MORRIS IEMMA: We're announcing the toughest and most sweeping reforms to tobacco laws in the nation and it's all about protecting the health of our children and our grandchildren." More New South Wales - Sweeping Anti-Tobacco Measures.. Tobacco control expert Professor Simon Chapman tells the ABC's Philippa McDonald tough new NSW laws are the biggest anti-smoking step in Australia since 1976.

Canada – the Province of Ontario: Ontario poised to ban flavored cigarillos..; Congratulations to the Canadian Provinces of Quebec and Ontario for Eliminating the Display of Tobacco Signs and Tobacco Products in Retail Outlets.; Canadian province of Ontario bans smoking in cars with kids under 16..

Tobacco Initiatives – Disappointments (4):

Indonesia, the world’s fifth largest cigarette market is the only Asian nation that has not signed or ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), WHO's first-ever international health treaty. The country has been reluctant to sign FCTC because of concern about the impact on the economy. The tobacco industry provides jobs for seven million people and contributes about 10% to the government coffers. Indonesia to increase tax on tobacco products..

Netherlands the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants that began July 1, 2008 has so far been a failure. Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced..

Britain new national tobacco control strategy placed on hold - measures to help cut smoking and drinking are expected to be shelved because of fears they will alienate voters during the recession. Even the matter of adults smoking in cars when kids are present, there are unlikely to be any further developments until the smokefree legislation is reviewed in 2010.

United States - A number of jurisdictions around the world such as Canadian provinces/territories and Australian states have already intervened to limit signs and displays of tobacco products and packaging at retail. Meanwhile in the U.S.A. - Philip Morris is hard at work competing for prime tobacco display space in c-stores around the country.

"Please get tobacco out of our kids faces," - Dr. Harley Stanton - elected as President of the Asia-Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco.