C-store update - the battle for market share is on..

January 17, 2009 - Since acquiring UST the Philip Morris (PM) salesperson is now even more aggressive - young female African American - tells owner the UST sales force will only be handling returns. (UST is one of the few tobacco companies that will give credit for expired products). We wonder if Altria will reduce the size of UST's sales force like they did after the acquisition of John Middleton - Black&Mild Cigars. We know Altria Group Inc., expects to lay off 34 UST employees in mid-March, including two vice presidents and two senior vice presidents and close the UST Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, which employs 350, by the end of the year.

The PM rep looks over the checkout counter area and points out the signage she wants removed. Click on image below to enlarge - bullet-proof glass to the right of checkout counter to be removed: Camel SNUS display, Bailey's Cigarettes sign (upper right corner) and an American Spirit cigarettes sign (lower right corner). Once the store owner signed the PM Retail Leaders Agreement, PM has control of the area around the checkout counter.

The previous C-store update pointed out that PM will be reducing the price of UST's Copenhagen and Skoal Moist Snuff one dollar starting February 1, 2009.

Reynolds American/Conwood is responding by introducing two new flavors of Grizzly and having a special promotion patron gets a free lighter with purchase. Conwood's Kodiak, that competes at the premium moist snuff level with Altria/UST's Skoal and Copenhagen, price will be reduced one dollar.

Take a look at our Camel Snus sign with a digital display below - click on image to enlarge. The c-store owner asked the RJR salesperson if he needed the sign any longer. The salesman indicated the sign will no longer be used (e.g. sign specifies 20-pouches now each can has only 15-pouches) and the store owner could keep it.

We are predicting that the test marketing of SNUS products in the U.S. and Canada will fail. Tobacco companies were in agreement for SNUS to catch on and be a strong seller it's going to require more public awareness and education. But even programs to station a person in c-stores passing out coupons for a free can of Camel SNUS or flooding the market with free cans of Camel SNUS doesn''t seem to work.

Previous C-Store Update.

American Lung Association - Annual Report: The State of Tobacco Control

January 17, 2009 - Convenience Store / Petroleum (CSP) Daily News - The State of Tobacco Control Anti-tobacco health group releases annual report..

U.S. States Considering Tobacco Tax Increase..

January 17, 2009 - A number of states are facing shortfalls in their budgets for fiscal year 2009. Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush Administration tells us, "Tobacco products are not safe and cannot be made safe and there is no medically established public health benefit associated with tobacco."

State governments should feel obligated to continue to raise the tax on cigarette products to convince smokers to quit, prevent people like youngsters from starting and to raise money to reduce the shortfall they will continue to experience. (States Need Quick Influx of Revenue – Think Tobacco Tax..; Tax the hell out of all tobacco products until they disappear..)

Illinois Also - Lawmaker wants smoke tax to go up, Kevin Lee, Springfield Bureau, The Times, 1/16/2009.

Mississippi Also - Advocates support new tax on cigarettes.

Kentucky Also - Kentucky considering increase in cigarette tax..; Cigarette Tax Increase Gets Support From Unlikely Source; Ky. governor hopeful lawmakers can balance budget.

Georgia Also - Georgia Lawmaker Proposes Cigarette Tax Increase; Fight to increase cigarette tax kicks off
Bill would hike price $1 a pack; congressional leaders want to cut spending instead

Arkansas Also - Cigarette Tax Main Issue At Forum.

Other recent announcements: Virginia, South Carolina, Utah.

Butt out of tobacco biz, N.C. pastors tell Burr..

January 16, 2009 - Four conservative religious leaders from North Carolina Thursday called on Sen. Richard Burr to drop his opposition to a tobacco regulation bill - Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act - he blocked last year. The measure Burr opposes would let the Food and Drug Administration regulate cigarettes and tobacco products, possibly leading to better labeling and, the ministers say, almost certainly saving lives.

The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming support, but a threat from Senator Burr to block it and a veto threat from the White House helped stall it in the Senate. In fact, Senator Burr and the White House did the people a favor because the measure being considered was written with the wishes of Altria - Philip Morris in mind. As stated so clearly by Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), "Poison peddlers shouldn’t get to decide how we as responsible legislators fight the war against their deadly products."

Rather than give the FDA the mission of regulating tobacco, Burr said the task should be given to other federal agencies. He said he was working on legislation that would put “a new regulatory map in place.”

The bill must be revised before moving forward in the Senate.

Reference: Butt out of tobacco biz, pastors tell Burr by Mark Binker, news-record.com, 1/16/2009.

Image - Richard Burr, senior U.S Senator from NC - Republican.

U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Expand SCHIP..

January 16, 2009 - The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted (12-7) on January 15, 2009, to expand the States Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional four million uninsured children. The vote comes one day after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported similar legislation.

If the bill becomes law, it will be effective April 1, 2009, and assesses a floor stocks tax on all manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers for the tobacco products (except large cigars) in inventory on April 1, 2009, with the floor stocks payable by August 1, 2009.

The legislation lost support from some Republicans who had worked closely with Democrats on the issue in 2007 (SCHIP was passed and signed into law (original sponsor Senator Ted Kennedy) on August 5, 1997. The program was authorized for 10 years. Congress extended the program temporarily through March 31, 2009) Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the legislation this time failed to include provisions from two years ago designed to keep higher-income families out of the program.

The program is designed to provide health care to children in families unable to afford health insurance but who earn too much to qualify for the Medicaid health care program for the poor.

Tax increase on tobacco products.

More on SCHIP history..

References: Children's health debate moves to Senate by KEVIN FREKING - Associated Press Writer, 1/15/2009; House Passes 2009 SCHIP Bill Senate expected to move quickly; legislation to be paid for with tobacco hike, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 1/15/2009.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: SCHIP Expansion approved by U.S. House of Representatives..; U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..;
SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..;
Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the SCHIP..
AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..
U.S. Federal tax increase on tobacco - try it again..
U.S. House fails to override SCHIP expansion veto..
Congress Sends An Extension of the SCHIP to President Bush..
Bush vetoes 2nd bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)...
Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
Bush's SCHIP veto stands..
US edges closer to federal tax hike on tobacco products...
Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...

Click on image to enlarge.., image Kids for Saving Earth..

Japan Tobacco International to invest USD $200 million Turkey..

January 16, 2009 - The Turkish unit of Japan Tobacco International (JTI), plans to invest $200 million between 2009-2011, the company's general manager Bilgehan Anlas said on Wednesday. JTI is one of the 50 largest private companies operating in Turkey. Turkey is the world's eighth-biggest cigarette market, with Turks smoking 103 billion cigarettes a year.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, JTI Turkey General Manager Bilgehan Anlaş said they expected to overcome the negative effects of the ongoing global financial crisis with further incentives for customers. Underlining that JTI has long been an investor in Turkey, Anlaş said the company wants to begin new, innovative projects and invest long term in the country, an offensive move against the problems thrown up by the crisis. He said in a statement the company aimed to increase its tax payments to $2.1 billion in 2009 from $1.7 billion last year.

Regarding the company's 2008 performance and expectations for 2009, he said JTI Turkey had grown in 2008 despite the financial turmoil. JTI produces the Camel, Winston and Monte Carlo cigarette brands for the Turkish market. The company participated in the tender for the privatization of the tobacco division of Turkey's alcohol and tobacco monopoly TEKEL last year but failed to win. February 2008 British American Tobacco paid $1.7 billion for Tekel, giving it 36 percent of the cigarette market in Turkey.

Turkey's ban on pubic smoking went into effect on Monday, May 19, 2008..

Euromonitor: More - Tobacco in Turkey.

References: TURKEY: Japanese Tobacco to Invest USD 200 mln in Turkey, TZ, SEEurope, 1/15/2009;
RPT-JTI Turkey says to invest $200 mln over three years
,, Yahoo News - Reuters, 1/15/2009


Baltimore, MD bans inexpensive single cigar sales..

January 15, 2009 - Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced a new city rule that inexpensive cigars must be sold in packets of five or more. Black & Mild is the most popular brand of cigars for smokers 12 and older. Nearly a quarter of 18- to 24-year-old blacks in the Baltimore smoke B&M cigars. http://goodhealth.freeservers.com/Black_Mild_sign_c-store_12_12_2008.JPG Black&Mild Single Cigars..

Single cigars often cost as little as 50 cents at city corner stores, and people often empty them and refill them with marijuana.

The new regulation, which will go effect October 1, 2009 includes cigars that cost $2.50 each or less. After an initial warning, stores selling single cigars would get a $100 fine. The legislation would carry a $150 first-time fine for violators, according to the report. Dixon said she plans to introduce a bill in the City Council to require enforcement and tougher penalties for violating the legislation, which will be enforced by the health department.

The city's health commissioner, Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, proposed a draft of the regulation in May. He noted yesterday that the new rule makes cigar sales consistent with the regulations requiring cigarettes be sold in packs of 20. Sharfstein - “These cigars pose every bit of the risk that cigarettes do”. The city’s code authorizes the health commissioner to abate nuisances, which Dixon said is defined as “any health or safety hazard.”

A similar cigar ban has been approved in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Reference: City sets rule against individual cigar sales Cheap smokes would have to be sold by fives, to discourage kids... by Annie Linskey | annie.linskey@baltsun.com, Baltimore Sun, 1/15/20090; Baltimore to ban sale of single, cheap cigars by Sara Michael, Baltimore Examiner Staff Writer 1/15/09.

Related news brief: John Middleton challenges ban on single cigar sales..; Canadian Cancer Society calls for federal ban on flavored cigars..


Camel Tobacco Dissolvables - Natl Assoc of Attorneys General - wait and see!!

January 15, 2009 - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (RJR) plans to start test marketing in 3-cities - Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio and Portland, Oregon - dissolvable tobacco products. Each product in convenient user-friendly dosage form containing amounts of the nicotine to render the user a slave to this addictive substance for many years to come. The orbs and sticks products will have their debut in January 2009 and the strips in the second quarter of 2009.
The National Association of Attorneys General want to take a wait and see approach to see how these products are marketed. Our point of view - the dosage forms alone market these products to kids. Each product in convenient user-friendly form: 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. Nicotine has a negative impact on the developing adolescent brain.. Take a look at the top image from a c-store in Columbus, OH - the display is conveniently located in view of any person that walks into the store.

Sticks (twisted) can be placed in the mouth like a toothpick or broken into a pieces that are placed between the upper lip and gum. Toothpicks can come in various flavors: bacon flavored, cinnamon flavored, natural mint flavored. Broken pieces of toothpicks can be swallowed and can be deadly if puncture the small intestine. Pres. Warren G. Harding was an inveterate toothpick user - some believe that a small puncture in his intestine caused his death..

Strips - edible film strips have exploded on the market beginning in early 2005. Consumers are lining up for the chance to stick out their tongue. We all know how youngsters like to be hip and be part of the latest cool fad. Retail sales of edible film were expected to hit at least $350 million by 2008 says James Rossman, a former maker of edible film. Listerine pocketpaks broke the market wide open. Little green patches of film that melt instantly on your tongue, releasing bursts of minty breath freshener strong enough to wipe out all signs of that garlic shrimp you had for lunch. Now everything from sushi to Sudafed is showing up on store shelves all wrapped in melt-in-your mouth film. (It's On The Tip Of Your Tongue
As more medicines take the form of "edible film," the market is exploding
, Business Week, July 31, 2006)

A Camel Dissolvable Stick dissolves after 10 minutes, Orbs are about the same, though they’re a pellet lasting about 15 minutes, while Strips dissolve after three minutes.

Camel Dissolvable Products at a Glance..

All three dissolvable products will be priced in-line with Camel Snus and promoted through point-of-sale signage, direct-mail promotions, print advertisements and sampling at places such as bars and clubs, David Howard said -- an RJR spokesman. (Convenience Store News - R.J. Reynolds' Snus Goes National)

A few related news briefs:STOP the Release of Dissolvable Tobacco Products..; We must stop the launch of dissolvable tobacco products..; Reynolds America moving ahead with dissolvable tobacco products..; STOP - the Proliferation of Flavored Tobacco Products..; R.J. Reynolds Dissolvables - it looks like candy.. and Snus News & Other Tobacco Products: STOP - the Proliferation of Flavored Tobacco Products..

Click on image to enlarge..


Detroit Area Hiller's Markets to STOP Selling Tobacco Products..

January 15, 2009 - Hiller's Markets Inc. will stop selling cigarettes at its seven Metro Detroit stores to protect the health of its customers, the Southfield-based company announced this morning, Wednesday, January 14, 2009.

Hiller's Markets joins the growing list of retail outlets (convenience stores, groceries and pharmacies) choosing NOT sell tobacco products. The owners of these stores are putting the health of the community they serve ahead of selling a dangerous product that may be the only product on the market which, when used correctly, can kill you. Note: Hiller's slogan "The way it should be.." Some examples: San Francisco, Boston, Wegmans Food Markets and DeCicco Markets..

CEO Jim Hiller said the decision was a difficult one. He said that although he wants to provide customers with a variety of items, smoking is an unhealthy habit and it's in the best interest of customers for the company to stop selling cigarettes. "I've agonized over this decision," he said. "My personal beliefs are intertwined with my business ethos and to continue to sell cigarettes runs contrary to my personal commitment to this community and its future."

Hiller estimated about 10 percent of his customers are smokers, and said his stores generate between $200,000 to $250,000 in cigarette sales annually.

Hiller's is a family-owned grocer and was founded in 1941. Hiller’s operates seven groceries, including a new 52,000 square-foot store in Union Lake; others are located in Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield, Northville, Plymouth, Berkley and Commerce Township. Many company employees have been at Hiller’s for decades – symbolizing the quality behind the brand. Hiller has always been guided by the societal impact of store activities and corporate decisions.

Tobacco-related illness is responsible for an estimated 14,522 deaths in Michigan each year, said Laura Bertalan of the American Lung Association.

References: Hiller's Markets to stop selling cigarettes by Jennifer Youssef, The Detroit News, 1/14/2009; Hiller's Markets end cigarette sales by Greta Guest, Free Press Business Writer, (2008 photo of CEO Bill Hiller by ERIC SEALS/Detroit Free Press) 1/14/2009.

Click on image to enlarge..


SCHIP Expansion approved by U.S. House of Representatives..

January 14, 2009 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted to more than double funding for a government health program for low-income children, taking the first step in President-elect Barack Obama’s promise to ensure medical coverage for all kids. The vote was 289-139 to add $32.3 billion over 4½ years to the program. Congress in 2007 twice passed similar legislation that President George W. Bush vetoed, saying it would encourage families that can afford private coverage to drop it. If approved by the Senate, it may become one of the first measures signed by Obama after he takes office Jan. 20.

“Ensuring that every child in America has access to affordable health care is not just good economic policy, but a moral obligation,” Obama said in a statement. “It is a universal value to protect our children from sickness and harm,” said Andrea Weinstein, chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever that we redouble efforts to care for our nation’s most precious resources: its children."(Jewish groups urge Senate to pass SCHIP by Eric Fingerhut, JTA, 1/15/2009)

The additional money would bring the U.S. government’s share of spending for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), to about $11 billion a year. Democrats in Congress have said they want to act quickly to expand coverage because the recession has made it harder for families to maintain health insurance. The measure would allow an additional 4 million children to enroll. The House version is similar to a measure the Senate Finance Committee will consider tomorrow, Thursday, January 15, 2009.

Tax increase on tobacco products.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..;
SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..;
Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the SCHIP..
AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..
U.S. Federal tax increase on tobacco - try it again..
U.S. House fails to override SCHIP expansion veto..
Congress Sends An Extension of the SCHIP to President Bush..
Bush vetoes 2nd bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)...
Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
Bush's SCHIP veto stands..
US edges closer to federal tax hike on tobacco products...
Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...

Reference: Children’s Health Plan Clears House in Boost to Obama (Update2) by Aliza Marcus and Christopher Stern, Bloomberg.com, 1/14/2009.

Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy Alters Maternal and Fetal Thyroid Function..

January 14, 2009 - The influence of cigarette smoking on thyroid function was studied in two groups of women at different stages of pregnancy – one in the first trimester and the other in the third trimester. In both groups it was found that smoking during pregnancy is associated with changes in the mothers' thyroid hormone levels. Co-author, Dr. Bijay Vaidya, Ph.D. said that optimal maternal thyroid function during pregnancy is vital for a successful pregnancy outcome. The adverse outcomes associated with thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy include increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight and impaired neuropsychological development of the baby.

Also measured thyroid hormone levels in the umbilical cord of babies born to smoking mothers and found that smoking-related changes in thyroid function extend to the fetus. Dr. Vaidya believes that impaired thyroid function in the fetus could have potentially harmful biological consequences.

The study also found that in mothers who stopped smoking during pregnancy their thyroid hormone levels were comparable to levels found in non-smokers, which suggests that changes in thyroid function are rapidly reversible.

PAPER: Beverley Shields, Anita Hill, Mary Bilous, Beatrice Knight, Andrew T Hattersley, Rudy W Bilous, and Bijay Vaidya, Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is associated with alterations in maternal and fetal thyroid function, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, published online on November 18, 2008, ABSTRACT..

More - Tobacco Use and Pregnancy.

Reference: Smoking During Pregnancy May Impair Thyroid Function Of Mom And Fetus, Science Daily, 1/13/2009.

Other news briefs: Smoking rampant among pregnant women in Alberta..; Tobacco a threat to pregnant women and children in developing world...

Commonwealth Brands Inc., the fourth-biggest cigarette maker in the United States, is introducing two Davidoff Slim cigarette styles (Davidoff Slims Lights and Davidoff Slims Menthol Lights)to the United States this February 2009. Commonwealth Brands is owned by Imperial Tobacco PLC.

Introduction of Davidoff Slims follows the successful spring 2008 launch of Davidoff Premium Line cigarettes in the U.S. market. In the last year, Davidoff Slims cigarette volumes have grown by nearly 25% across the globe and now account for nearly one-fifth of the brand's total annual volumes, the company said. Davidoff cigarettes are one of the leading luxury cigarette brands in the world, and Imperial Tobacco's key global strategic brand. Davidoff cigarettes are already well-established in more than 100 countries as well as travel retail and duty free.

Support for Davidoff Slims in the United States includes a customized slims program set up to include media, point-of-sale and direct mail.

Some other Ultra-Slims: C-store update: Virginia Super Slims "Purse Pack"..; Gallaher targets teenage girls with 'super slim' Silk Cut cigarettes.. and of course, "light and luscious" Camel No. 9 .

Reference: Davidoff Introduces Two Slims Styles to U.S. Positioned as the ultra-premium slims brand in category, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 1/14/2009.

Related news briefs: Look for Imperial's Davidoff cigarettes to take market share from Marlboro cigarettes..; Davidoff Cigarettes Takes Award for ‘Best Packaging & Design’..; Imperial Tobacco Gets Approval to Sell Brands in U.S..; Can we expect more non-American Tobacco Manufacturers in the U.S.??.

U.S. Congress gets ready to pass expansion of SCHIP..

January 14, 2009 - Moving quickly to try to give President-elect Barack Obama an early victory on an important healthcare issue, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) program and increase taxes on tobacco products to pay for it.

The bill is similar to legislation twice vetoed by President George W. Bush who opposed raising tobacco taxes and argued that the bill, which at the time received broad bipartisan support, would push children into government-run health care instead of private plans.

The latest bill aims to provide healthcare coverage for more than 11 million children and pay for it by raising the cigarette tax to $1 a pack from the current 39 cents. Taxes on cigars and other tobacco products would rise as well. The bill currently covers 6.7 million children in low and moderate income families unable to afford private insurance.

The Senate is also moving fast to act on legislation. The Senate Finance Committee plans to draft its version of the bill on Thursday, January 15, 2009 . That bill also would finance the expanded program through higher tobacco taxes.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: SCHIP expansion legislation time to try again..;
Congressional Democrats have scrapped plans for another vote on expansion of the SCHIP..
AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP..
U.S. Federal tax increase on tobacco - try it again..
U.S. House fails to override SCHIP expansion veto..
Congress Sends An Extension of the SCHIP to President Bush..
Bush vetoes 2nd bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)...
Revised State Children's Health Insurance (S-CHIP) Bill..
Bush's SCHIP veto stands..
US edges closer to federal tax hike on tobacco products...
Lawmakers in Washington are working to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) before it expires on September 30, 2007...


Rock Hill, South Carolina Bans Indoor Smoking - it's official..

January 13, 2009 - ROCK HILL, S.C. became the first city in the Charlotte-area to ban smoking. On Monday night by a vote of 5 to 2 the city voted to ban smoking in all indoor public places. That includes restaurants, bars, and workplaces. The city called the ban the "right thing to do" because of the dangers from second-hand smoke.

The ban will start May 1, 2009. York county, where Rock Hill is located, is considering a similar ban.

See related news brief: Cities/Counties South Carolina Smoking Bans, Latest Could Be Rock Hill..

Reference: Rock Hill Bans Indoor Smoking, wsoctv, Monday, January 12, 2009 – updated: 11:15 pm EST January 12, 2009.


17 countries in the world ban indoor smoking - ENFORCEMENT..

Laissez faire (opposes governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond) attitude both about the health effects of smoking and the need for strong government regulation of the tobacco industry.

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia - Councils responsible for Sydney's beaches have not fined one smoker, four years after the ban was introduced. (Cigarette beach ban goes up in smoke in Sydney, The Australian, 1/11/2009.

Netherlands - Clean Air Netherlands, says the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants that began July 1, 2008 has so far been a failure. It maintains a majority of bars are not observing the new legislation because the authorities are not enforcing it strictly enough. (Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced.."

Scotland - 800 shops have been subject to "test purchasing" stings by trading standards teams across the country since October 2007, when the minimum cigarettes sales age was increased from 16 to 18. The Scotsman has found that 24 per cent of those targeted sold cigarettes to youngsters. The children used in the stings were as young as 14 – four years below the minimum age for sales. Several councils are planning to launch fresh operations this year, and shopkeepers who flout the law face on-the-spot fines and being barred from selling cigarettes under proposed new legislation to be launched this spring 2009. Quarter of shops break law by selling cigarettes to children by Michael Howie, The Scotsman, 1/9/2009.

In Italy, nearly as many people smoke as did before Rome passed a law in 2005 prohibiting smoking in cafés, according to the Health Ministry.

In July, a federal court in Germany, after a slew of lawsuits from restaurateurs, ruled that one-room pubs don't have to offer separate rooms for smokers and nonsmokers.

Spain banned smoking in public places in 2006, but the law contains loopholes and is loosely enforced. In practice, people can smoke in most bars, and most restaurants allow smoking for fear of a backlash from consumers.

References: Europe's Smoking Culture Lingers, Despite Bans by CHRISTINA PASSARIELLO, Almut Schoenfeld and David Crawford in Berlin and Thomas Catan in Madrid contributed to this article, The Wall Street Journal, 1/2/2009;

Cities/Counties South Carolina Smokng Bans, Latest Could Be Rock Hill..

January 12, 2009 - On Monday night, January 12, 2009 Rock Hill likely will become the first city in the Charlotte, NC region to ban smoking in all indoor public spaces, including restaurants, bars and other workplaces. The Rock Hill City Council will vote Monday night on a smoking ban. A first reading in December passed 5-2 and Mayor Doug Echols expects the measure will pass "without serious opposition." If approved, the Rock Hill ordinance could go into effect as early as May 1, 2009.

Rock Hill is the largest South Carolina city without a smoking ban. At least 21 cities and counties in South Carolina have passed no-smoking ordinances -- many since the S.C. Supreme Court last March allowed towns, cities and counties to enact the laws. More - Municipal Association of South Carolina..

In North Carolina House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, has stated, "Smoking is obviously dangerous, no one is debating that. But I have real concerns about a smoking ban bill that would not respect the rights of property owners and private employers," said Stam, an attorney who does not smoke. "We can't afford to criminalize hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who are addicted to smoking." North Carolina still produces nearly 200 billion cigarettes annually.

Reference: Smoking bans on the rise Rock Hill to be first in region; will N.C. follow? by Dan Huntley, The Charlotte Observer, 1/11/2009.

South Carolina related news briefs: South Carolina - legislators eager to pass cigarette tax increase - the odds are against them??; South Carolina to spend NO money on tobacco prevention..; South Carolina (SC) will NOT devote any resources to anti-smoking programs..; In 2008 will the politicians do what's right for the State of South Carolina??; South Carolina - Tobacco Tax Increase Killed - State House Fails to Override Governor's Veto.. and Tobacco Tax Increase – What’s Wrong with South Carolina??

South Carolina - legislators eager to pass cigarette tax increase - the odds are against them??

January 12, 2009 - South Carolina legislators eager to raise the cigarette tax in 2009. Even Governor Sanford agrees with the idea of raising the cigarette tax. But again like last year - the lawmakers disagree on how the money should be spent.

Republican representatives Dan Cooper of Piedmont and Brian White of Anderson said, “They want to tax it to ban it and at the same time rely on the money for health care,” White said. “Do you want people to quit smoking, or do you want a source of funding?” More Cooper: Legislators should not try to prevent smoking through “nanny state” laws, Cooper said, noting his opposition to seat belt laws because of his personal freedom values. Cooper said cigarette laws could open the door forobesity laws, since both would involve health hazards.

At present, South Carolina spends NO money on tobacco prevention..

Cooper said he is concerned about the possible economic effect of the tax on convenience stores near South Carolina’s borders with Georgia and North Carolina but would reluctantly accept a 25-cent increase that didn’t increase the size of government. Georgia and North Carolina levy cigarette taxes of 37 cents and 35 cents, respectively, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. South Carolina now has the lowest cigarette tax in the nation, 7 cents per pack.

If South Carolina raised its cigarette tax by 50 cents, to make it 57 cents per pack, there would be nine states with lower taxes (Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia), according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. Idaho levies a 57-cent per pack tax.

Related news briefs: South Carolina to spend NO money on tobacco prevention..; South Carolina (SC) will NOT devote any resources to anti-smoking programs..; In 2008 will the politicians do what's right for the State of South Carolina??; South Carolina - Tobacco Tax Increase Killed - State House Fails to Override Governor's Veto.. and Tobacco Tax Increase – What’s Wrong with South Carolina??

Reference: Cigarette tax increase coming this year to S.C., legislators say by Mike Ellis, independentmail.com, 1/10/2009.


Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008..

January 12, 2009 - Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008, research by British American Tobacco (BAT) shows. BAT France said 54.4 billion cigarettes were sold in 2008 in France, down 2.3 percent from 2007. In 1998, almost 85 billion cigarettes were sold in France. BAT cited bans on smoking in bars and public places as well as high prices as factors encouraging the formerly smoking-mad French to stub out their cigarettes for good. The price of cigarettes, which are heavily taxed, has risen steadily in recent years. The average price of a packet was EUR 5.30 (USD 7.11) last year, up from EUR 2.96 (USD 3.97) a decade earlier.

BAT France's head of institutional relations, Yves Trevilly,"It is clear that from the moment that prices go up in France, people will cross the border where they can get cigarettes more cheaply." He said almost one in four cigarettes smoked in France last year was bought abroad, mainly in Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium.

French health authorities have told the National Sanitary Institute that there was a 15 percent decrease in admissions of patients with heart attack and stroke to hospitals since the smoking ban in restaurants, hotels and casinos was implemented January 2007. (France: Heart Attack Rates Drop Following National Smoking Ban, Medical News Today, 2/29/2008)

Reference: Smoking ban in cafes puts French off cigarettes, Reuters, 1/6/2009 and Cigarette sales at record low, Tobacco Journal International, 1/7/2009.


Judge dismisses General Tobacco challenge to tobacco settlement..

January 12, 2009 - U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman has dismissed a challenge by General Tobacco (GT), the sixth-largest tobacco company in the U.S. and maker of GT-One brand cigarettes, to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the states and 19 tobacco product makers saying there's no legal basis for attacking the compact. October 30, 2008 - GT filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky., seeking more than $1 billion in damages. It also asked the court to stop states from penalizing the company for not making payments while the lawsuit was pending in U.S. District Court. The settlement separated participants into two camps — original participants and subsequent participants. General Tobacco, which was a latecomer to the settlement, said it is unfairly required to pay millions more because it signed on to the agreement later than 19 other companies.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman ruled Tuesday. January 6, 2009 that the lawsuit, brought by General Tobacco, failed on all fronts because the company couldn't prove the settlement amounted to either a conspiracy or anti-competitive behavior by the government.

Reference: Federal judge dismisses lawsuit challenging tobacco master settlement by BRETT BARROUQUERE - Associated Press Writer - Chicago Tribune, 1/6/2009; Likely ruling a blow to General Tobacco
Company expected to lose its suit for $1 billion damages
by Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 12/12/2008.

Related news briefs: General Tobacco lays off nearly 25% of work force..; General Tobacco Sues 52 U.S Attorneys General and 19 Tobacco Companies..; N.C.'s General Tobacco Appoints New Sales Head..; General Tobacco completes move to Mayodan, N.C.. and General Tobacco (GT) could “potentially” come out with a snus product in the future..


45 years ago - January 11, 1964 - Luther Terry, Surgeon General Report..

January 11,2009 - January 11, 1964, the U.S. Surgeon General, through his Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health, released the report “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States.”

After reviewing over 7,000 medical journal articles, the report made by U.S. Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry stated, “Cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action."

This report is considered that first widely-publicized report by the federal government that cigarette smoking is harmful to the health of humans. 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 - the American Medical Association.

More - The 1964 Report on Smoking and Health..

Reference: 45 years ago: U.S. makes first health warning on smokin by William Atkins, iTWIRE, 1/12/2009.

Taiwan - smoking ban takes effect - THESE PEOPLE ARE SERIOUS..

January 11, 2009 - Taiwan - a new ban targeting indoor public area takes effect today, January 11, 2009 after an 18-month grace period expired. The amended Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act passed the legislature in June 2007.

According to the revisions to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act, smoking in indoor workplaces manned by three or more people and in the majority of other public indoor spaces could result in a fine of up to NT$50,000 (USD$1,508.32) for the businesses and NT$10,000 (USD$301.66) for the individuals involved. Airports have closed their smoking rooms and local air carriers are barred from selling cigarettes to passengers during flights under the new law. The law also bans cigarette advertisements and cigarette promotional activities. Although the law stipulates no smoking in homes where there are children under three or pregnant woman, it does not dictate any punishment for violators. Cigarette vendors are not allowed to sell the product to persons under 18 years of age, to display cigarettes on shelves that are accessible to consumers, or to place cigarettes in automatic vending machines. Also, the law requires that prominent "no smoking" signs be posted at the entrances of the specified establishments.

Taiwan became the 17th country in the world (Ireland, the 1st, banned indoor smoking in 2004), to ban smoking indoors at public facilities by law, prohibiting smoking in theaters, restaurants, office buildings and public establishments, in the first step toward a government goal to make the country smoke-free. Some establishments such as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and nursing homes for the elderly are allowed to have special smoking areas. However, these establishments are likely to prohibit smoking altogether in light of the strict requirements for setting up smoking rooms.

In a bid to discourage violations of the ban, health authorities are offering rewards to people who report such violations. Dozens fined for smoking violations..

In addition to implementing the indoor smoking ban, the Cabinet-level Department of Health is currently lobbying the Legislative Yuan to pass a bill to increase the health tax on tobacco products. Taiwan lawmakers fail to raise tobacco tax..

John Tung Foundation, the leader in Taiwan's anti- smoking campaign.

References: Indoor smoking ban takes effect
Health authorities are expected to target hotels, KTVs, Internet cafes and chain restaurants in first wave of inspections
, Central News, Taiwan News, 1/11/2009; Indoor smoking ban enforced,By Dimitri Bruyas,The China Post, 1/12/2009.