Tobacco harm reduction chief spokespersons not concerned about kids..

At one time we were in agreement with these people since they were specifically targeting inveterate (hard-nosed, long established, deep-rooted) cigarette smokers that refuse to consider trying to quit smoking tobacco. Brad Rodu, DDS and William T. Godshall, MPH paper in the December 2006 issue of the Harm Reduction Journal entitled, "Tobacco Harm Reduction: An Alternate Cessation Strategy for Inveterate Smokers," or Dr. Corol Gartner and colleagues paper in the June 16, 2007 issue of The Lancet concluded that SNUS could produce a net health benefit in inveterate smokers. Dr. Rodu claims that 25 million of the 46 million current smokers in the U.S. are inveterate, “meaning that they are so addicted to nicotine that they cannot quit.” (Rodu B, Jansson C. Smokeless tobacco and oral cancer: a review of the risks and determinants. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med 2004;15(5):252-63.) GALLUP - Among the 21% of Americans who say they smoke, 74% say they would like to give up smoking.

Now it is obvious after observing how Camel SNUS was marketed it would be impossible to limit distribution of smokeless tobacco products to inveterate tobacco smokers. Tobacco companies have an entirely different goal in mind – they are already targeting a much younger crowd of young adults and any kids they can entice along the way - witness the tagline for Camel SNUS: "Pleasure for wherever." and examples of ads R.J. Reynolds placed in community newspapers. Professor John Britton, chair UK's Royal College of Physicians (RCP) tobacco advisory group, "It's their [tobacco companies] job to sell as much tobacco as possible, so they will be targeting non-smokers rather than current ones, that's the worry."

When asked Mr. Godshall how can we limit the distribution of smokeless tobacco products so they don't get in the mouths of kids. He responded: The 1992 Synar Amendment, and laws in every state (and many local jurisdictions) sharply reduced tobacco sales to youth, and the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement sharply reduced cigarette and smokeless tobacco advertising and promotions that had previously targeted youth. Meanwhile, tax hikes on cigarettes and other tobacco products have further reduced youth consumption of those tobacco products. Dr. Rodu like Godshall claims that the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (November 1998) takes care of the kids.

Synar Amendment (Public Health Service Act 398 in July 1992; Mike Synar was a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma) was suppose to stop kids from buying tobacco themselves. According to Dr. Joseph R. DiFranza of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, the federal government has failed to enforce the Synar Amendment. In 1998, 30 states reported no progress in reducing the number of merchants who continue to sell cigarettes to minors, while 16 states reported an increase in violations over the previous year. All 50 states ban tobacco sales to minors but compliance is poor in some states because laws are not enforced. Let's look closer at one state - South Carolina (SC). In South Carolina Synar inspections are a horrible joke from what we have been told. Each year the compliance rate increases as identified youth sales locations decline, with little or no corresponding decline in youth smoking rates. Underage youths can also obtain tobacco from noncommercial sources such as friends, relatives, older adolescents and adults.

The 1998 tobacco master settlement agreement designed to limit the marketing of smokeless tobacco to youth hasn’t been effective, according to a University of Georgia study by Dean Krugman, professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. At both the beginning and the end of the study period, roughly two-thirds of youth were exposed to smokeless tobacco advertising in magazines (66 and 64 percent, respectively). Krugman is especially concerned about the test marketing of Marlboro and Camel branded smokeless products, which he said will have an instant appeal to youth. “They’re testing products with brand names that have been overwhelmingly successful with young people,” Krugman said. “The power of those brands will create a built-in appeal for their smokeless products.” (Youth exposed to smokeless tobacco ads despite settlement…

Dissolvables: Saving the lives of cigarette smokers
by Brad Rodu, in a response to the Oregon state epidemiologist's concerned about the kids and again Portland was also a test site for Camel SNUS being a test site for the Camel dissolvables. The state's epidemiologist is concerned that dissolvables will be marketed to children. This is nonsense. First, R.J. Reynolds signed the 1998 master settlement with 46 states (including Oregon), agreeing not to "take any action, directly or indirectly, to target youth within
any settling state in the advertising, promotion or marketing of tobacco products."
Marlboro spent $26.1 million in the first nine months of 1999 on advertising in magazines with more than 15 percent youth readers. That is the most of any single brand, and a $5.2 million increase over 1998.

Tobacco companies are not living up to a 1998 agreement to stop promoting cigarettes to children, a study of advertising patterns in 38 national magazines has found.

The companies continue to buy space in youth-oriented magazines to advertise cigarette brands popular with youngsters, Charles King of the Harvard Business School and Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University said in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Kessler and Myers said the year after the agreement was signed, "the marketing expenditures of the cigarette companies actually rose 22 percent to a record $8.24 billion" and the use of "free gifts that appeal to young people skyrocket."

In 2006 R.J. Reynolds agreed to stop selling candy, fruit and alcohol
- flavored cigarettes in the United States, under an agreement with the attorneys general of 40 states.
In marketing these products to our youth, RJR violated the agreement it made with the states back in 1998 to stop targeting kids."

Dr. Rodu representing Star Scientific this time got Maine lawmakers to repeal a ban enacted on the sale of a tobacco lozenge product known as hard snuff.. Star Scientific's tobacco lozenges - Ariva® and Stonewall® Dissolvable Smokeless Tobacco Products. Lawmakers were told they had made a mistake. Star Scientific says the products are widely used by smokers to wean them from tobacco dependence. They also say their products are packaged so they are not attractive to minors. This NOT true.

On Rodu's harm reduction website - when we accessed the site one of the two major headings on the first page of the site is entitled "Reduce the harm from Nicotine use: Go smokeless." - NOT TRUE.. In fact, Indiana State lab tests reveal the nicotine content in Camel dissolvable products can be 60 to 300 percent higher than in one cigarette.

Calfornia attorney general filed a lawsuit in 2005 against UST (the only company to sign the Smokeless national settlement agreement. The suit alleged that UST had violated the 1998 national settlement by promoting Skoal brand through sponsorship of National Hot Rod Association drag racing events at which youths compete.

Now with smokeless tobacco dissolvables kids more than ever will be tempted to try these products. Just the nature of the delivery systems - a lozenge flavored like a little piece of candy, a toothpick loaded with flavoring to disguise the tobacco taste and possibly the worst, the film strips (for your tongue) just like Listerine breath strips - will be very appealing to youngsters. Kids instead of becoming addicted to nicotine at about 14 - will now become addicted at a much younger age. Look at this comparison of Camel Orbs with Tic Tacs - both are flavored, they both can pass for candies and come in attractive packaging..

In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever that we redouble efforts to care for our nation’s most precious resources: our children."


Minnesotans Support Tobacco Tax Increase even with federal tax increase..

March 19, 2009 - A new survey released today by ClearWay Minnesota(SM) found that an overwhelming majority (72 percent) of Minnesotans support increasing state tobacco taxes. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said the primary reason for their support is that higher taxes will encourage smokers to quit and prevent kids from becoming smokers, and 35 percent cited increased smoking-related health care costs as their primary reason. The survey was conducted by Minneapolis research firm Decision Resources, Ltd.

The survey found strong support for increasing tobacco taxes among all leading demographics, including geography, political and ideological affiliation, income, age and gender. For example, 78 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Minnesotans who identify as independents support a tax increase.

Support for an increase in the Minnesota state tax has not been diminished by the recently passed 62-cent per pack increase in the federal tax, which goes into effect on March 31, 2009. Forty-six percent of the survey respondents were already aware of the federal increase. Among those who weren't aware of the federal increase, after being informed, 80 percent said either that it made no difference in their opinion or it made them even more likely to support an increase in the state tax.

"Raising the price of tobacco products by increasing the tax is a win-win-win for Minnesota," said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of ClearWay Minnesota. "Higher tobacco taxes improve health and reduce health care costs by reducing smoking, raise much needed revenue and are overwhelmingly popular with Minnesotans."

Reference: New Poll: 72 Percent of Minnesotans Support Tobacco Tax Increase Support is widespread and strong throughout Minnesota, Clear Way Minnesota, 3/12/2009.

Australia - call for tobacco tax increase to fight chronic diseases..

March 19, 2009 - Health leaders are calling for a big tax increase to fight tobacco – after new figures showed Australia’s seven leading causes of death are all linked with smoking. The latest survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics* shows that the leading causes of death in the decade 1998-2007 were ischaemic heart disease, strokes, trachea/lung cancer, dementia/Alzheimers, chronic lower respiratory diseases, colorectal cancer and diabetes.

The tobacco tax, which has not increased in real terms for a decade, has been shown to reduce smoking rates significantly.

Increased tobacco tax would also raise much needed revenue for public health programs. Tens of thousands of Australians die each year from preventable diseases, yet less than two per cent of health system expenditure goes towards prevention programs.

Says Dr Matthew Peters, Chairman of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Australia: “Tobacco remains our number one preventable cause of death – and daylight is second.
Tobacco been long recognised as a major factor in Australia’s enduring top three causes of death – heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. And research in recent years has also linked both active and passive smoking with one of the conditions that’s just jumped from seventh to fourth place: dementia."

Tobacco kills more than 15,000 people a year in Australia – and leaves many more disabled or chronically ill. Many of these people would have been in the prime of their productive life, leaving young families and businesses decimated.

All evidence points to the effectiveness, including cost-effectiveness, of increasing taxes on tobacco and increasing investment in other measures to reduce smoking rates. Tax increases help people on low incomes – because the benefit of reduced smoking outweighs any increase in price they might pay.

With Australia’s decline in smoking prevalence threatening to stagnate, we urge the Australian government to take immediate steps to stem tobacco uptake and increase quitting.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Causes of Death, Australia, 2007.

Deaths from Tobacco Related Diseases.

Reference: Tobacco link with Australia's top 7 causes of death, ASH Australian media release, 3/19/2009.

Sweden - Regular tobacco (including SNUS) use falling..

March 19, 2009 - The number of regular smokers in Sweden has fallen by 200,000 in the last five years, with women comprising the largest part of the drop. The data comes from a large annual survey carried out by the the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet) and presented in an article in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper. The national public health survey has roughly 50,000 participants between the ages of 16 and 84-years-old.

The number of men using smokeless wet snuff (‘snus’) tobacco has fallen from 22 to 19 percent, while snus use among women has remained stable over the last five years at about 3 to 4 percent.

There has been a noticeable reduction in nearly all segments of society, with the exception of men with sickness or disability payments, which have shown a 19 percent increase in the incidence of habitual smoking.

Among women, the number of regular smokers had dropped from 19 to 14 percent, a reduction of 130,000 women. Men showed a reduction from 14 to 11 percent, or 70,000 individuals.

Women in Södermanland, Västmanland and on the Baltic island of Gotland smoke the most, while men from Skåne are the most prolific smokers, with 16 percent reporting they smoke on a daily basis. Women from Västerbotten and Kalmar counties smoke the least, with only 9 percent and 10 percent, respectively, smoking regularly.

Reference: Regular tobacco use falling, Tobacco Journal International, 3/16/2009.

South Dakota - extends smoking ban effective July 1, 2009..

March 19, 2009 - South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds says the need to protect people from secondhand smoke played a role in his decision to sign a measure that bans smoking in South Dakota's bars, video lottery casinos and Deadwood gambling halls. The new law, which takes effect July 1,2009 extends a ban that has outlawed smoking in most public places since 2002 (smoking ban in most workplaces - bars & casinos exempted). Beginning July 1st, smoking will be allowed only in motel rooms and a limited number of cigar bars and smoke shops.

Reference: SD governor signs ban on smoking in bars, casinos by CHET BROKAW, Associated Press, 3/19/2009.

Star Scientific - 2008 annual report/Stonewall vs other OTC NRTs..

March 18, 2009 - Annual Report 2008 - The company reported 2008 net sales of $0.5 million, which essentially were unchanged from net sales for 2007. However, volume sales of the company's two dissolvable smokeless tobacco products, Ariva® and Stonewall®, increased 7.8% in 2008 compared to 2007. Star reported a net loss for 2008 of $18.3 million compared to the 2007 net loss of $41.5 million.

As the company noted in a January 6, 2009 press release (Star Scientific Corporate Study Stonewall Lozenge in NRT.., its Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals subsidiary recently completed a study to determine the ability of Stonewall® dissolvable smokeless tobacco to relieve cigarette withdrawal symptoms when compared to an over-the-counter nicotine replacement product (NRT). Rock Creek applied to have the study results included in an abstract submission at the Society for Research in Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) -- Europe Conference to be held in Dublin, Ireland in April 2009, and was recently notified that the submission has been accepted. An abstract on lung cancer death rates that previously had been submitted and accepted also will be presented by Rock Creek at the conference.

Some related Star Scientific News briefs: Star Scientific Corporate Study Stonewall Lozenge in NRT..; Star Scientific Files Third Quarter Financial Report..; Star Scientific wants to augment sales of their tobacco lozenges..; Star Scientific , second quarter 2008, sales down 23.6%..;Star Scientific Applauds Recent State Legislation - Banning Smoking in Cars with Children..

Reference: Star Scientific Files Annual Financial Report, Star Scientific Inc., 3/16/2009.


North Carolina - economic burden of secondhand smoke..

March 18, 2009 - Secondhand smoke (passive smoking, sidestream smoke, involuntary smoking, ETS, environmental tobacco smoke) carries a $288.8 million price tag annually in North Carolina, according to a study released yesterday by the N.C. Division of Health and Human Services. The study, titled North Carolina's Secondhand Smoke Healthcare Cost Burden, also found that at least 107,067 North Carolinians are treated for conditions caused by secondhand smoke each year.

Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section of the N.C. Division of Public Health, will present the report findings to the North Carolina House Judiciary I Committee as they meet on Tuesday, March 17, to discuss House Bill 2, a bill to Prohibit Smoking in Public and Work Places. The author of the study said that the estimate is conservative because it does not consider other costs, such as lost productivity, long-term care and disability services not covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield N.C. or the impact on quality of life.

Dr. Plescia: "This study is based on the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report on secondhand smoke (The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke) and also on North Carolina-specific data. It provides the first-ever look at the health care costs related to secondhand smoke in North Carolina."

The study is modeled on one done in Minnesota by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. In North Carolina, Clinical Informatics at Blue Cross Blue Shield N.C. replicated the methodology, using North Carolina and national data. (Waters, Hugh, Nina L. Alesci, Steven S. Foldes, Jonathan Samet, The Economic Impact of Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke in Minnesota, American Journal of Public Health April 2009, Vol 99, No. 4, 754-759, ABSTRACT..)

U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke..

Related news briefs: North Carolina - ban on smoking in public places passes 1st test..; Virginia - smoking ban passes for most bars and restaurants..; North Carolina, the state that produces more tobacco...; Statewide Smoking Ban Fails to Clear North Carolina..

Reference: Second-hand smoke carries high health-price tag, study says, The Associated Press, 3/16/2009; Secondhand smoke costs NC $288.8 million annually, wbtv-channel3, 3/17/2009.

Click on image to enlarge.., Vermont QUIT Network.


Reynolds American - NC Governor's tobacco tax increase - Outrageous..

March 18, 2009 - Reynolds American Inc. today called N.C. Gov. Perdue's proposal to increase cigarette taxes by another $1.00 per pack an "outrageous attack on jobs in our state." "It is incomprehensible that the Governor would introduce a tax hike of this magnitude on top of the historic leap in the Federal tax on cigarettes effective April 1," said Tommy J. Payne, executive vice president of public affairs for Reynolds American Inc. "The Governor has placed as many as 50,000 tobacco-related jobs in our state at risk with this proposal.

"Maybe Washington, D.C., doesn't care about jobs in North Carolina, but we expect better judgment out of Raleigh," Payne said. "Surely the N.C. legislature will exhibit that good judgment and not dig our state into a bigger unemployment hole." If the Governor's proposal were to pass, on top of the April 1 Federal increase, cigarette prices in North Carolina would cost about 50 percent more than they did at the beginning of the year. The average retail price of a pack of cigarettes would be approaching $5.50 per pack if the state tax increases by $1, Payne said.

"Keep in mind that the majority of U.S. smokers are classified as poor or working poor," Payne said. "This is a huge tax increase on a segment of the population least able to afford it in today's economy."

Related news briefs: NC Governor calls for an increase in the tobacco tax..; Federal cigarette tax increase will hit the poor hardest...

Reference: Reynolds American Calls Gov. Perdue's Tobacco Tax Hike 'Outrageous', PRNewswire, 3/17/2009.


NC Governor calls for an increase in the tobacco tax..

March 17, 2009 - North Carolina - the state that produces more tobacco than any other state - Governor Beverly Perdue proposes a $1-per pack increase in the cigarette tax (increase in the cigarette tax from 35 cents per pack to $1.35) and a 5 percent tax on alcoholic beverages. The two so-called sin taxes would help generate more than $400 million for the state budget that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2010. Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight has said he supports an increase in both taxes.

State officials project a gap of more than $3 billion between planned spending for next year and revenue. Perdue does not have the power to write the state budget. The Legislature will review her plan as it approves its own budget by this summer and sends it to Perdue's desk for her signature.

North Carolina is also considering a ban on smoking in restaurants and workplaces. The federal government is raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 39 cents a pack to just over $1 on April 1, 2009.

Related news brief: North Carolina - may consider raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes...

Reference: Perdue wants sin tax to balance budget, WTVD-TV, 3/17.2009.

Click on image to enlarge..

FDA regulation the other shoe to drop..

March 17, 2009 - Convenience Store / Petroleum (CSP) Special Report: this is the fourth a four-part CSP Daily News series on how the industry is reacting to the federal excise tax on tobacco that begins in April.

With a new president and larger Democratic majorities in both Houses, the measure H.R. 1256 --known as The Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act --is revived and passage is all but certain. Two major players are not opposing this bill: Philip Morris USA and NACS (Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing). Asked about the resuscitated bill, NACS' senior vice president of government relations Lyle Beckwith reiterated the group's position that it would not oppose the bill-nor support it-as long as certain key provisions are maintained.

For Tobacco-Free Kids, the political environment on Capitol Hill is, for health advocates, controlled giddiness. After eight years of steady defeats, the anti-tobacco crusader is about to celebrate its biggest victory right on the heels of the SCHIP law, which raised federal taxes on almost all tobacco products to fund the State Children's Health Insurance Program. "Our hope is the bill will sharply reduce smoking and overall tobacco use," said Eric Lindblom, the group's director of policy research. "We don't see this as meaning the end of cigarettes or the right to smoke. But we do see this helping to further educate the public about the inherent risks of consuming tobacco products."

Alternative bill: Bill Godshall, executive director of Smokefree Pennsylvania, is lobbying on behalf of an alternative proposal, H.R. 1261, Youth Prevention and Tobacco Harm Reduction Act pushed by Reps. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) that in place of FDA, would create a new agency within the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to regulate tobacco products.

Our goal is to push smokeless," he said. "It is proven to be less harmful than cigarettes and the public needs to know it. Waxman's bill treats all tobacco as if they're equally bad, and that's just not the case."

Also endorsing the Buyer-McIntyre measure is R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which, in a PowerPoint presentation obtained by CSP Daily News, said that the proposal "encourages development of new tobacco products that have potential to reduce health risks (leading to ongoing demand for tobacco leaf)...(and includes) more reasonable regulation of advertising and merchandising of tobacco products." Aides to Sen. Richard M. Burr (R-N.C.) said he plans to introduce a similar bill in the Senate that would put regulation within the HHS instead of the FDA. According to an Associated Press report, he and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) are introducing a compromise bill that also would ban tobacco advertising in magazines and newspapers and prohibit the words "light," "mild," "ultra-light," "medium" and "low" from being used as descriptors of tobacco products.

Reference: CSP Special Report: Tobacco on Fire Pt. 4
FDA regulation the other shoe to drop, though alternative plans emerging
by Mitch Morrison, CSP Daily News, 3/12/2009.

Archive of Supporting Documentation: U.S. House committee approves FDA tobacco regulation bill..; U.S. House considers legislation for FDA to regulate tobacco..; U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce - legislation to regulate tobacco..; Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids - Need for FDA Regulation of Tobacco..; February 2009 - legislation FDA to regulate tobacco..; FDA Regulation Likely for Tobacco - Let's Do It RIGHT..; President--Elect Barack Obama and Tobacco..; Revise Senate's Version FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill..; FDA tobacco regulation - bill distorted in current form..; AWMA urges grassroots effort to defeat FDA tobacco regulation and SCHIP.."; More - Lorillard-Newport - FDA proposed tobacco regulation..; FDA Tobacco Regulation Bill Overwhelmingly Passed U.S. House..; House to Vote on FDA Regulation of Tobacco..; Bush administration opposes legislation to give FDA authority to regulate tobacco products...; With U.S. FDA tobacco regulations on the horizon Altria already preparing to circumvent the law..; Public health experts are questioning why menthol flavoring in cigarettes, received special protection as Congress tries to regulate tobacco..; Lorillard Tobacco opposes US FDA bill to regulate tobacco..; FDA regulation moves a step closer..; On Tuesday April 1, 1970 President Richard Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect in January 1,..; FDA regulatory control tobacco bill is voted forward..; Reject Proposed Legislation That Would Add Responsibility For Tobacco Regulation to the FDA..; FDA Head: 'No' to Tobacco Cigarettes too "inherently dangerous" to regulate; would "undermine mission."; Federal tobacco regulation backed...; On July 18, 2007, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee postponed a vote on the bill - which would for the first time allow...

Possible Tobacco Mergers/Acquisitions Involving Lorillard..

March 17, 2009 - UBS (a diversified global financial services company) analysts examined three possible situations down the road, and each one of them involved Lorillard, the maker of Newport — the best-selling menthol cigarette in the United States — as well as other brands like Kent, True, Old Gold, Maverick, Satin and Max.

Lorillard is the smallest of the Big Three tobacco giants (mainly because of its golden asset - Newport) and the only one that lacks a smokeless tobacco brand. (The others are Altria, maker of Marlboro purchased of UST (Skoal, Copenhagen)last year for $11 billion, and Reynolds American, maker of Camel, purchased Conwood (Grizzly).)

UBS believes the most compelling deal possibility from both a financial and strategic perspective would be the merger between Reynolds American and Lorrilard. The merger would “substantially strengthen” Reynolds’ cigarette portfolio through Lorillard’s Newport brand and also improve its per-pack profitability, which currently includes a high percentage of discount brands, UBS analysts said in a note to investors. UBS also expected substantial cost and even modest revenue synergies through the joining of both brands within the same retail trade contract.

The second most compelling possible deal would be Lorillard being taken over by Imperial Tobacco of Britain, the maker of brands like Davidoff and Gauloises Blondes, UBS says. Imperial has shown in the past that it is keen on expanding in the United States with recent acquisitions like Commonwealth, Altadis USA and Lignum-2. Adding Lorrilard would give it a stronger base in which to build and market its brands in the lucrative American market.

Even less likely, but still in the realm of possibility, would be for Lorillard to acquire Swedish Match, UBS says. The deal would diversify Lorillard’s product line from just cigarettes to other tobacco-related products like premium hand-rolled cigars, tobacco accessories and smokeless tobacco.

Reference: UBS Looks at Possible Tobacco Deals, Cyrus Sanati, The New York Times Deal Book, 3/6/2009.


Third Edition Tobacco Atlas..

PLEASE NOTE: Actually at this time (March 16, 2009) The Tobacco Atlas, 3rd Edition, was in revision. The files presented were in draft form only. Actual launch of Tobacco Atlas, 3rd Edition, August 25. 2009..

March 16, 2009 - The third edition of the "Tobacco Atlas" was released by India's Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on the second day of the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, Mumbai, India, March 8-12, 2009. (The conference, which has been organized every three years since the mid-1960s, gathers tobacco control researchers, activists and leaders. More than 2,000 delegates from across the world attended the conference at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai.) The American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation have jointly published the third edition of the "Tobacco Atlas"; the first edition was published in 2002 and second in 2006.

John R. Seffin, CEO of American Cancer Society (ACS), said the atlas was crucial to understanding the nature of the most preventable global health epidemic. We can utilise the information in the atlas to develop public health strategies and reduce tobacco use. We will save millions of lives."

Peter Baldini, chief executive officer of World Lung Foundation (WLF): The third edition of the document outlining the devastating impact of tobacco on global health and economies also provides vivid evidence that the health burden on account of tobacco use is shifting from high-income countries to their low and middle-income counterparts.

From the Atlas:

Tobacco use is expected to kill six million people worldwide and drain $500 billion from the global economy each year. In 2010, tobacco will kill six million people worldwide annually, 72 percent of whom will be in the low and middle income countries," says the atlas, which is a comprehensive volume of research on how the tobacco is devastating both global health and economies.

Tobacco's estimated $500 billion drain on the world economy exceeds the total combined annual expenditure on health in all low and middle income countries."

Ramadoss described the report as a "glaring piece of information to control tobacco menace across world. The rest of the world has to join the developing countries to get rid of tobacco problem."

According to the atlas, the tobacco industry has shifted its marketing and sales efforts to countries that have less effective public health policies and fewer resources in place.

Since 1960, the global tobacco production has increased 300 percent in low and middle resource countries while dropping more than 50 percent in high resource countries.

In India and China, over half a billion people are consuming tobacco.

In developing countries, smokers spend great sums of money in proportion to their incomes that could otherwise be spent on food, healthcare and other necessities."
In Bangladesh, if an average household bought food with the money normally spent on tobacco, more than 10 million people would no longer suffer from malnutrition and 350 children under age five could be saved each day, the report said.

In 2006, about 600 billion smuggled cigarettes made it to the market, representing an enormous missed tax opportunity for the governments.

At a time when food shortages are worrying experts, tobacco replaces potential food production on almost four million hectares (metric area measurement, one hectare equal to about 2.471 Acres or 107,637 square feet) of agricultural land, equal to all of the orange groves or banana plantations in the world, the report says.

To try to get a free copy of the atlas..

Tobacco Atlas Online..

Reference: Tobacco will annually kill six million people: Report, The Hindu, 3/9/2009.

Latest marketing ploy of tobacco companies: switch to smokeless..

March 16, 2009 - With more cities and states regulating where a smoker can lite up, the tobacco companies are using this as a marketing strategy to get smokers to switch to smokeless tobacco, avoid the laws regarding smoking and still get a kick of nicotine. Often the perception is that smokeless is less harmful than smoking and even it is as harmful, the user is only affecting himself, instead of harming others around him from secondhand smoke.

Lesions pictured in article:
Lesion 1
Lesion 2
Lesion 3
Lesion 4

Smokeless tobacco comes in two forms: a ground or shredded tobacco called Snuff and loose leaf called Chewing Tobacco. Chewing tobacco is sold in loose leaf, twist and plug forms. Snuff comes in moist, dry and sachet forms. The most popular form of ST today is moist snuff which has the highest levels of nicotine. Smokeless manufacturers manipulate the pH level of their product because the higher the pH level, the more alkaline the tobacco which increases absorption.

Nicotine is absorbed more slowly, at a higher amount and stays in the blood system longer than smoking a cigarette. One average size pinch or pouch, held in the mouth for 30 minutes delivers the same nicotine as 3 - 4 cigarettes.

Not only is smokeless potentially more addictive than smoking due to the high nicotine levels but it is not safe. Smokeless tobacco has 28 different carcinogens which can cause: cancers of the lip, tongue, cheeks, gums, roof & floor of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, stomach. other health effects include:

* 40 to 60% will develop precancerous lesions in the mouth called leukoplakia, which 2 – 6% will transform into cancer.
* Other problems: gum disease, receding gums, bad breath, stained teeth, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, tooth decay, transient hypertension, musculoskeletal injuries.
* Approximately 50% of ST users swallow ST juice which can cause heartburn.
* Using spit tobacco increases your heart rate and blood pressure within a few minutes. This can cause a buzz or rush, but the rise in pulse and blood pressure places an extra stress on your heart.

When quitting smokeless tobacco, the same withdrawal symptoms is seen as with quitting cigarettes. Nicotine replacement products have not been shown to be effective when quitting but this is possibly due to receiving an under dose replacement due to the high nicotine content of smokeless and may need to use more nicotine replacement. For a 3 can a week user, a 21 mg. patch may not be enough to avoid withdrawals, where two - 21 mg. patches may provide relief.

Myths about Snus and smokeless tobacco, VJ Sleight. StopSmokingStayQuit, 2/24/2009.

Reference: Latest marketing ploy of tobacco companies: switch to smokeless to quit smoking, Latest marketing ploy of tobacco companies: switch to smokeless to quit smoking VJ Sleight , LA Smoking Examiner,

Virginia smoking ban - FAQS (effective December 1, 2009)...

March 16, 2009 - Virginia smoking ban law - takes effect December 1, 2009..

The Virginia Department of Health provides answers to frequently asks questions.

Related news briefs:
Virginia smoking ban law - takes effect December 1, 2009..;
Virginia - smoking ban passes for most bars and restaurants..;
Possible Smoking Ban Law in Virginia..;
Shame on Virginia..;

U.S. - with increase in taxes will reduce smoking rates /prevent people from starting..

March 16, 2009 - A big hike in the federal tax on cigarettes taking effect on April 1 may prompt 1 million U.S. smokers to quit, according to public health experts.
Expansion of a popular public health insurance program for lower income children is being financed by an increase in the federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes of about $1.01 per pack, up from the current 39 cents. (President Obama To Sign SCHIP..)

Dr. Terry Pechacek of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health: "There is almost unanimous agreement across the scientific community and policymakers that raising the price of cigarettes in whatever fashion has a consistent effect on reducing smoking rates, increasing the quit rate among adult smokers and preventing the initiation of regular smoking by children and young adults."

Danny McGoldrick, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids advocacy group's vice president for research, said the formula is simple: as prices rise, fewer people buy cigarettes. McGoldrick forecast the tax hike will persuade just over 1 million current smokers to quit and prevent 2 million children from starting. These changes will avert about 905,000 smoking-related deaths and save $44.5 billion in healthcare expenses over time, McGoldrick predicted.

The industry is unhappy. Higher prices will lead to at least a 10 percent decline in cigarette sales and could put 117,000 people out of work, said Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets.

A check of c-store operators indicates lots of smokers are talking about quitting but just about all never mention they'll switch to a smokeless tobacco product( Nine Out of Ten Smokers Who Try Smokeless Still Reject the Product - the words of Murray Kessler, former UST's president and chief operating officer (now Vice Chair, Altria Group, Inc.).

Related news briefs: Will Federal tobacco tax increase hurt states from raising the tax on tobacco..; Tobacco Industry - Consequences of the SCHIP Federal Excise Tax Increases..; As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing..; C-stores adjusting to SCHIP tobacco price increases..; SCHIP increased tobacco tax will black market flourish..

Reference: Enough of the puff: tax may cut smoking rates by Will Dunham, Reuters, 3/15/2009.


R.J. Reynolds Smokeless so safe - not fair to tax.??

March 16, 2009 - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. worries that smokeless tobacco products such as their discount moist-snuff Grizzly brand or Camel Snus will create bigger bull's-eye for federal and state politicians looking to fill budget shortfalls with a larger tax on those products.

Marc Basnight, the North Carolina Senate president pro tem - An increase in the state's smokeless-tobacco tax is on the table. The amount of tax revenue that can be raised from smokeless tobacco is small compared with cigarettes. That's because compared with 20 percent of adult Americans who smoke cigarettes, about 6 percent of male adult Americans and less than 1 percent of female adult Americans use smokeless-tobacco products.

Grizzly had an 18 percent increase in cans sold last year (2008) to nearly 280 million. Grizzly's market share in shipments also rose 2.2 percentage points to 23.3 percent. "Snus makes up about 1 percent of smokeless-tobacco sales, so clearly it has a ways to go before having an impact," said Bill Godshall, the executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania. Reynolds has given away most of these cans of snus away free - either by given to the retailer or by way of various coupons to get item for free. (Is It Justified - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Adding Test Cities for Camel SNUS - Is It Justified??)

The federal government has spoken: "Tobacco products are not safe and cannot be made safe and there is no medically established public health benefit associated with tobacco" as written by Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush Administration.

Reynolds is plowing ahead with its smokeless-tobacco initiatives as part of what Susan Ivey, its chairwoman and chief executive, calls its transformation into becoming a "total tobacco company." (With the acquisition of UST, Inc. Altria considers themselves the premier tobacco company in the United States with leading brands in cigarettes (Marlboro), smokeless tobacco (Copenhagen, Skoal) and large machine-made cigars (Black&Mild).)

One initiative is running high-profile advertisements for Camel Snus recently in magazines such as Car & Driver, People, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated. By comparison, Reynolds has not run print ads for its cigarettes brands for the past 15 months.

The tag line for the Camel Snus ad is "Your cigarettes may get jealous." The company also is running special ads in test markets for next-generation smokeless products such as orbs, sticks and film strips similar to clean-breath products.

Dr. John Spangler, the director of the Tobacco Intervention program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine: "All tobacco products should be taxed at the same rate to discourage use. Smokeless and cigars are gateway products to teen and young adult smoking, and as such there should be strong disincentive by taxing as high as cigarettes to avoid youth uptake of the tobacco habit."

"There is no evidence smokeless tobacco can help people quit smoking. There are no studies we would consider sufficient." Dr. Terry Pechacek, Associate Director of Science at the Centers for Disease Control Office on Smoking and Health. (SNUS the BUMP, Nordic Reach (The Scandinavian Lifestyle Quarterly}, No.17 Volume XIX, 2007, p53).

Reference: Smokeless tobacco target for tax increase by Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 3/15/2009.


Scotland - small businesses given extra 2-years to remove tobacco displays..

March 16, 2009 - Small retailers are to be given an extra two years to remove tobacco displays from their shops, the Scottish Government has announced. Large retailers such as supermarkets will have until 2011 to implement the ban, and smaller retailers until 2013.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said the move was designed to minimise the impact on smaller businesses. A ban on cigarette displays at the point of sale is a key proposal in a recently published government bill.

Large retailers such as supermarkets will have until 2011 to implement the ban, and smaller retailers until 2013. Public Health Minister Shona Robison said the move was designed to minimise the impact on smaller businesses. Ms Robison said: "Point of sale marketing is a powerful tool - particularly among young people. I believe it's inappropriate for cigarettes to be promoted in this way and our bill proposes banning their display at point of sale. My aspiration is for Scotland to become smoke-free, but I also want it to be prosperous."

Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill is expected to become law later this year. Legislation to protect future generations from the devastating health effects of smoking is the main aim of bill published by the Scottish Government in February 2009.

Related news briefs: Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines.. - the 2-year extension for small businesses can be found in this earlier report.

Reference: Tobacco displays given more time, BBC News, 3/15/2009.

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