Students from Bulgaria smoke more than most other European countries..

March 27, 2009 - Bulgarian students are more often drunk and smoke a lot more than the majority of their European fellows in other countries. The European School and Research Project On Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) 2007 survey report was presented on late Thursday, 3/26/2009. The main purpose of ESPAD is to collect comparable data on substance use among 15-16 year old European students in order to monitor trend within as well as between countries. The 2007 ESPAD Report..

Smoking is an area for concern as 40 percent of Bulgarian students (some examples: Austria 45 percent, Latvia 41 percent, Czech Republic 41 percent, Armenia 7 percent) had smoked within a 30 day period before the survey, which is way above the European average. The survey showed that 24 percent of students in Bulgaria have tried illegal drugs with the prevalence rates for cannabis (22 percent) and other drugs (9 percent) both being close to the European average.

Alcohol abuse is also prevalent amongst Bulgarian youths with 45 percent of school students reporting being drunk at least once a year, which is again above the EU average.

Reference: Bulgarian Kids Smoking ‘Above EU Average’,, 3/27/2009.

Related news briefs: Bulgaria - 1 in 3 youths smoke / half of pregnant women smoke.., PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..; Philip Morris International (PMI) was truly happy they had been back in the Bulgarian cigarette market for a year and had already had 6.8% of market..; WHO FCTC Protocol to Prevent Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Won't Be Completed Until End of 2010..; WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008..; Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike...


Teton, Wyoming smoking ban approved..

March 26, 2009 - Teton District Board of Health unanimously approved a countywide smoking ban (Teton District Smokefree Air Rule of 2009). The rule is designed to “protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment.” It applies to all public areas, including bars, restaurants, buildings used by the general public, and common areas of hotels, motels and sports arenas.

Among exemptions are private residences, except when childcare is involved, and hotel and motel rooms rented to guests. Private clubs also are excluded, except when the public is invited for an event. The board also included a caveat for tobacco shops such as Tobacco Row.

A person or business owner violating the rule faces a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $750 or jail time. The rule takes affect 60 days from Tuesday – the end of May 2009.

Cheyenne - thanks to the city council's leadership, the residents, workers, and visitors of Wyoming's capital city will be enjoying 100% smokefree air in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars, starting August 15, 2006.
(Cheyenne is going 100% smokefree!) In late 2005, Laramie passed a smoking ban which covers all enclosed areas of public places and places of employment, including restaurants and bars.

Wyoming: On February 14, 2009, the Wyoming House of Representatives defeated a statewide ban on smoking by preventing the bill from being introduced. Two-thirds of Wyoming voters support a ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars, according to a new statewide poll.

Reference: Health board bans smokes by Traci Angel, Jackson Hole, Wyo., jhnews&, 3/25/2009.

Click on image to enlarge..


Norfolk, VA - cracking down on illegal cigarette sales..

March 26, 2009 - The City of Norfolk, Virginia is cracking down on illegal cigarette sales that officials say are costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

The city created a task force to inspect convenience stores and tobacco shops selling the unstamped products.

Illegal cigarette sales undermines the potential effectiveness of higher tobacco taxes reducing government revenues and encouraging adults to continue smoke and children (kids) to start smoking cigarettes. The availability of low-cost (cheap)illegal cigarettes has particular implications for vulnerable populations such as young people and the economically disadvantaged.

The effort began last year and 11 stores have been busted in the last month and a half. Not only were illegal cigarettes found, so was drug paraphernalia crack pipes, baggies, scales and code violations, city officials said. One shop owner also is accused of selling Viagra and bootleg CDs. The effort has intensified as the city looks for ways to cut its $35 million budget shortfall, officials say. Norfolk’s commissioner of the revenue says she has seen a 34% decline in the number of cigarette stamps sold to dealers. She believes over the course of the fiscal year the city's lost $750,000.

The task force is made up of city workers, members of the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Officials say Norfolk is the only city in Virginia with this kind of task force.

Reference: Norfolk cracks down on illegal cigarette sales by 13News, 3/26/2009.

Australia - providing cigarette ingredients to smokers won't help them quit..

March 26, 2009 - In 2000, then federal health minister Michael Wooldridge convinced the three major tobacco companies to voluntarily disclose their cigarette ingredients to allow the government to post the information online. (Australian Cigarette Ingredient Disclosure.

Late last year, the federal Department of Health and Ageing engaged the Ipsos-Eureka Social Research Institute to assess the public health value of disclosing cigarette ingredients and emissions data, as proposed by some health groups.

They found the agreement negotiated by Dr. Wooldridge was unlikely to have directly promoted or protected the health of Australians. "In research with smokers, non-smokers, and tobacco control stakeholders, the currently disclosed emissions and ingredient information was seen to be incomprehensible, uninteresting, incomplete and difficult to access," the January 2009 report states. "Most members of the public had not and did not intend to access the information (and) providing members of the public with the disclosed information did not seem to discourage them from smoking."

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Jan McLucas yesterday (March 25, 2009) said the Government would await a report from the National Preventative Health Taskforce before taking any further action on smoking.

Reference: Smokers don't care about labels, Sean Parnell, FOI editor, The Australian, 3/26/2009.

Japan - Kanagawa - bans smoking in public places starting April 2010..

March 26, 2009 - The Kanagawa prefectural assembly on Tuesday approved an ordinance calling for a ban on smoking in public facilities such as hospitals, schools and government offices and requires restaurants and hotels to choose between becoming nonsmoking or creating separate smoking areas in a bid to prevent passive smoking. Kanagawa is the first of Japan’s 47 prefectures to regulate smoking in public places, including spaces operated by the private sector. (Kanagawa, with its capital of Yokohama, lies southeast of Tokyo and is Japan’s second-largest prefecture in terms of population with nearly 9 million people.)

The prefecture compiled a draft for the ordinance after seeking opinions and comments from the public and submit it to the prefectural assembly within the current fiscal year through March 2009.

The ordinance was toned down from Kanagawa Gov Shigefumi Matsuzawa’s original call for a total ban on smoking in public places, exempting small restaurants and hotels and suspending penalties for some violators for one year. The ordinance will come into force in April 2010. The ordinance classifies public facilities into two categories. One category includes schools, gymnasiums and outdoor sports arenas, hospitals and clinics, theaters, horse and cycle racetracks, department stores and shopping centers, central and local government offices, public transportation facilities such as railway stations and bus terminals, financial institutions, museums and social welfare facilities.

The second category covers restaurants and bars, hotels and ryokan inns, game halls including pachinko parlors, amusement arcades and karaoke boxes, and service facilities such as barber shops and beauty parlors.

The ordinance imposes a smoking ban on facilities in the first category and requires those in the second category to choose between becoming nonsmoking or creating separate smoking areas. Among facilities in the second category, restaurants and bars with floor spaces of up to 100 square meters, and hotels, ryokan inns and game halls with floor spaces of up to 700 square meters are exempt from the ordinance. The measure only requires operators of such small-scale facilities to ‘‘make efforts’’ to establish separate smoking and nonsmoking areas.

For violators, the ordinance sets fines of 20,000 yen ($203) for facility operators and 2,000 yen ($20.30) for smokers. Penalties will be imposed on first-category facilities immediately after the ordinance comes into force and for second-category places a year later.

In 2007 the overall rate of smokers in Japan slid to a new record of 26 percent of the adult population from 26.3 percent a year ago and has steadily dropped since 1996. The rate among Japanese men declined to 40.2 percent from 41.3 percent a year ago, but the rate among women edged up to 12.7 percent from 12.4 percent. (Japan's smoking rate declines to record low in 2007Associated Press - International Herald Tribune, 10/17/2007)

Japan’s health ministry will recommend smoking be banned in hospitals and on public transport, the Yomiuri newspaper said, without citing anyone. A total of 60 municipalities, whose residents make up 10 percent of Japan's population, have some form of regulation to ban or discourage people from smoking in public or tossing their cigarette butts on the ground, according to Japan Tobacco Inc. (MUNICIPALITIES TRY TO CURB PUFFERS Tokyo patrols snuff out public smoking by MINORU MATSUTANI - Kyodo News, The Japan Times, 1/6/2006.

Reference: Kanagawa adopts anti-smoking ordinance; 1st among 47 prefectures, Japan Today, 3/25/2009.

Related news briefs: Japan shelves tobacco tax hike for 2009.., Japan - Ruling party plans tobacco tax hike in 2009..; 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..

Maryland - leaning toward taxing moist snuff based on weight NOT price..

March 25, 2009 - Leaders in both houses of the General Assembly are backing a tax change on a product known as moist snuff that is being pushed by tobacco giant Philip Morris - and opposed by an unusual coalition of other tobacco interests (such as R.J. Reynolds and health advocates.

The measure would change the way the tins of moist snuff are taxed, from a 15 percent levy on the package's wholesale price to a 75 cent tax per ounce of tobacco. The state health department says that adjustment would benefit producers of higher-priced or "premium" snuff such as Skoal, while increasing the tax on "value" brands such as Grizzly, manufactured by Conwood Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc.

Maryland Senate Bill 825 - Moist Snuff - Taxation and Regulation.

Reference: Snuff makes strange bedfellows
Proposal to change taxes puts cancer society, R.J. Reynolds on same side
by Gadi Dechter, 3/25/2009; Maryland May Change Tax Formula on Chewing Tobacco, Convenience Store News, 1/26/2009.

New Hamsphire - votes down bill to ban smoking in cars when children are present..

March 25, 2009 - House lawmakers yesterday voted down a bill that would ban adults from smoking cigarettes in cars in which children are riding. The bill failed on a narrow vote of 184-167. (The legislation was decided on a "division" vote, meaning that it's impossible to know how any one lawmaker voted or to see the partisan breakdown on the bill.)

The debate on the smoking-in-the-car bill pitted medical evidence on the dangers of secondhand smoke against philosophical questions about the rights of individuals to partake in legal activities and practical concerns about how police officers would enforce such a law.

Representative Mary Griffin of Windham, the sponsor said she took issue with the idea that the bill represented "undue intrusion into parental privacy." "On the contrary, there is a long-established legal prohibition against endangering the welfare of a child."

She reeled off a list of ailments associated with inhaling cigarette smoke, such as asthma and cancer, and she cited a 2006 Harvard School of Public Health study that found cigarettes smoked in cars can generate hazardous levels of smoke in only a few minutes. She said that other states, including Arkansas and Louisiana, have banned smoking in cars with young children. Adults, Griffin said, get to make lifestyle choices, but children don't. "Our infants must be given the right to survive," she said.

Banning smoking when children are in the home or car is a no-brainer - even Philip Morris agrees. On the website of Philip Morris, for example, this cigarette producer admits that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as well as Otits Media (painful middle ear infections) are just two documented health consequences for infants and children due to secondhand cigarette smoke exposure.

Toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke..

Related news briefs: Will Maryland ban smoking in cars when small children present.., Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..; Further evidence - STOP smoking in the presence of your children..;ASH Calls for a Debate in England on Banning Smoking in Cars with Kids; Among children with asthma, exposure to ETS is related to increased child behavior problems among boys..; U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke..; Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present.. and Vehicles Most Dangerous Space for Second-Hand Smoke Levels... For others - do a random search.

Reference: Parents can still smoke while driving
House votes down children's health bill
by LAUREN R. DORGAN, Concord Monitor, 3/25/2009.

Ontario Businessmen - want government to crack down on illegal cigarettes..

March 25, 2009 - The Ontario Korean Businessman's Association (OKBA -represents 2,500 business owners in Ontario) is calling on the Federal Government to move immediately to crack down on the illegal cigarette trade. Jong Sil (John) Yoon, OKBA President - "Many of our stores are seeing reductions of 50% or more in their business because of the illegal trade. Consumers who used to come in to buy cigarettes would usually pick up other items at the same time. We are losing those sales because those consumers are now buying their cigarettes in a back alley or from the trunk of a car." Members of the OKBA were in Ottawa for meetings with Members of Parliament to discuss their concerns about the impact of the illegal trade on the future of their business.

Illegal cigarettes are sold for as little as $5-6 for 200, whereas the same number of legal cigarettes costs upwards of $70, putting law abiding business owners at a severe competitive disadvantage. "Purchases of illegal tobacco in Ontario have grown from 23% of the market in 2006, to 32% in 2007, to almost 50% today. How much market share can organized crime control before someone takes notice?" asked Yoon.

The OKBA expressed frustration that the only government action on tobacco sales involves ever greater restrictions on the sale of legal tobacco products in their stores. Illegal cigarettes are sold for as little as $5-6 for 200, whereas the same number of legal cigarettes costs upwards of $70, putting law abiding business owners at a severe competitive disadvantage.

"Purchases of illegal tobacco in Ontario have grown from 23% of the market in 2006, to 32% in 2007, to almost 50% today. How much market share can organized crime control before someone takes notice?" asked Yoon.

The OKBA expressed frustration that the only government action on tobacco sales involves ever greater restrictions on the sale of legal tobacco products in their stores. "We abide by all the rules and regulations, whether they deal with advertising, display bans, or tax collection. We do so at a significant cost that comes directly out of our bottom line, and in some cases, involves a redesign of our stores. We absorb these costs because it is the right thing to do, but wonder why the government imposes these additional costs on our operations while illegal product flows into our communities without any regulatory oversight or taxation," stated Yoon.

Reference: Ontario Korean Businessman's Association Calls for Immediate Government Action on Illegal Tobacco, CNW Group, 3/25/2009.

Related news briefs: Imperial Tobacco Canada - slow illegal cigarettes/sue tobacco companies.., As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing.., Taxes to fund SCHIP may slow illegal cigarettes into Canada.., Canada - Obama visit - help STOP cigarette smuggling from U.S..; Canada economic recession losing billions in unpaid tobacco taxes..; Canada - Police arrest 46 in tobacco crackdown..; Imperial Tobacco Survey - Canadian Illegal Tobacco Trade..; Canada - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband ..; Canada tobacco firms admit aiding smuggling...


Imperial Tobacco Canada - slow illegal cigarettes/sue tobacco companies..

March 25, 2009 - Ontario's Attorney General Chris Bentley has introduced new legislation that, if passed, could allow the provincial government to seek billions of dollars in damages from the three big Canadian cigarette manufacturers: Imperial Tobacco; Rothmans, Benson and Hedges; and JTI-Macdonald. Imperial Tobacco Canada stated today, (March 24, 2009) that Ontario's lawmakers should take a stand against
illegal tobacco in Ontario rather than legislation such as the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act.

In 2008, the Canadian federal and provincial governments together lost
approximately $2.4 billion in taxes and that number is growing as the sale of
illegal cigarettes grows. The federal government's share was $1.1 billion. In
December, the Ontario Auditor General reported that the estimated tax loss for
Ontario in 2006-2007 was $500 million.

Imperial Tobacco Canada believes that if Ontario moves forward with a lawsuit, it will take years to resolve and will cost Ontario taxpayers millions of dollars. A similar action in British Columbia has cost BC tens of millions of dollars and it is still not over.

Reference: Ontario's Healthcare Cost Recovery Act Misses the Mark, Benjamin Kemball, president and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada, CNW Telbec, 3/24/2009.

Related news briefs: As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing.., Taxes to fund SCHIP may slow illegal cigarettes into Canada.., Canada - Obama visit - help STOP cigarette smuggling from U.S..; Canada economic recession losing billions in unpaid tobacco taxes..; Canada - Police arrest 46 in tobacco crackdown..; Imperial Tobacco Survey - Canadian Illegal Tobacco Trade..; Canada - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband ..; Canada tobacco firms admit aiding smuggling...

Lorillard files law suit against S&M Brands (Bailey Cigarettes)..

March 25, 2009 -Lorillard Tobacco Co. alleges in a lawsuit filed in a Richmond, Va., (in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia) after allegedly discovering that S&M Brands Inc. (based in Keysville, Va.) "formulated and implemented a plan and scheme" to use Lorillard's Newport marks to advertise and promote its Bailey's menthol cigarettes.

The suit says these acts likely will cause irreparable injury to Lorillard's goodwill and reputation. Specifically, Lorillard alleges that S&M used its Newport font and color schemes in its advertising for Bailey's. The complaint alleges trademark infringement, counterfeiting and unfair competition. Lorillard, Greensboro, N.C.-based, seeks an order enjoining defendant S&M Brands Inc. from using the marks. It also wants compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and costs, and disgorgement of S&M's profits.

Newport cigarettes, which Lorillard introduced in 1956, have become the nation's leading brand of menthol cigarettes and the second-best-selling cigarette brand overall, according to the lawsuit.

S&M is attempting to "trade off the resounding consumer goodwill of the Newport marks and Lorillard's Newport brand products," the complaint says. Lorillard says S&M's actions could cause smokers to look less favorably on the Newport marks and Newport brand cigarettes because the marks are being used to sell a "lower quality product." "Consumers dissatisfied with [S&M]'s Bailey's cigarettes may then avoid Newport brand cigarettes," the suit says.

Lorillard maintains that S&M's (Steve and Mac Bailey - father and son) actions were deliberate, intentional and in bad faith.

Reference: Competitor Copied Newport Marks, Lorillard Says by JOE HYLKEMA, Andrews Publications Correspondent,


Racial Differences in Incident Heart Failure among Young Adults..

March 24, 2009 - Incident heart failure before 50 years of age is substantially more common among blacks than among whites. Blacks tend to develop heart failure 20 years earlier than whites, a long-running study shows.

Amongst blacks who were current smokers 80.4% used menthol cigarettes in the past month in 2005-2006. (National Survey on Drug Use and Health Cigarette Use Amongst Blacks 2005-2006) - nearly one-fourth of blacks aged 12 or older were current smokers (i.e. - used cigarettes in the past month)

PAPER: Racial Differences in Incident Heart Failure among Young Adults Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Ph.D., M.D., Mark J. Pletcher, M.D., M.P.H., Feng Lin, M.S., Eric Vittinghoff, Ph.D., Julius M. Gardin, M.D., Alexander Arynchyn, M.D., Cora E. Lewis, M.D., O. Dale Williams, Ph.D., and Stephen B. Hulley, M.D., M.P.H., New England Journal of Medicine 360(12): 1179-1190, ABSTRACT...

Black men who smoke are 48 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than white male smokers have found a possible ...

E-cigarettes need to establish efficacy and safety - FIRST..

March 24, 2009 - New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg is asking the government to prevent the sale of so-called "electronic cigarettes" until more is known about them.

E-cigarettes are marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking and as a way to kick the habit. They are smokeless and battery-powered, releasing a nicotine vapor into the lungs. Senator Lautenberg wrote the FDA Monday (3/23/2009) warning that there have been no clinical studies verifying such claims or assessing their long-term health effects.

Approval of e-cigarettes by the FDA is needed to justify its efficacy and safety prior to selling the product in the United States. New products containing nicotine have been pushed to the marketplace in recent months without the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Already with the growing nationwide push to ban indoor smoking, some e-cigarette manufacturers have been selling their product as legal to use in restaurants, bars, shopping malls and airplanes. Lautenberg: "I believe the FDA must take immediate action to take these products off the market" until they can be tested."

E-Cigarettes Lack Evidence of Health Benefits..

An FDA spokeswoman says the agency will respond directly to the senator regarding his concerns.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauded Senator Frank Lautenberg's call for the Food and Drug Administration to exert its authority and immediately remove e-cigarettes from the market..

Reference: US Senator: Pull plug on electronic cigarettesby KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press, 3/24/2009.

South Carolina a magnet for cigarette black market..

March 24, 2009 - Since 1977, the state's tax has stayed at 7 cents per pack. That's 10 cents less than the next lowest state (Missouri) and $2.68 per pack less than the state with the highest tax (New York). Considering that the average tax nationwide is $1.21, buying cigarettes in South Carolina and trucking them to another state can be very lucrative.

There are two ways smugglers operate, said Earl Woodham, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in North and South Carolina. Smugglers buy lots of cigarettes at discount stores, usually in North or South Carolina which do not place stamps on packs making them untraceable. They take the cigarettes to places like New York City where smokers not only pay $2.75 per pack in taxes, but an additional $1.50 in taxes from the city for a total of $4.25 per pack. And that doesn't include the federal taxes and the cost of the cigarettes.

The other way smugglers operate is to steal trailer loads of cigarettes and take them to higher taxing states, he said. There are estimates that smugglers can make a $1 million from a tractor trailer load of stolen cigarettes.

Woodham said the smuggling problems won't change even if South Carolina adds a proposed 50 cent per pack tax. The difference is still so great that the state would need to raise it to $4 per pack to stop the black market trade to New York.

Reference: South Carolina a magnet for cigarette black market,, 3/23/2009.

More on cigarette black market: As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing..

South Carolina attempts to increase tobacco tax.. 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??

Smokers hesitate to buy cigarette cartons..

March 24, 2009 - Smokers have all but stopped purchasing cigarettes by the carton in Rogers, Ark., retailers told The Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Instead, they buy packs of cigarettes in Rogers with which to get by until they can drive to Missouri, 25 miles north, where cigarettes are less expensive, by as much as $10 per carton. Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - Arkansas governor signs tobacco tax increase.. Wednesday, February 18, 2009. On March 1, Arkansas also raised the tax on other tobacco products by 36% on the selling price, up from 32%, for a total rate of 68%.

Vicky Rasnick, owner of a Jiffy Kwick convenience store in Rogers, said her cigarette sales are down about 50% so far in March. "It's awful," she told the newspaper. "Our carton sales are almost none. I've been here 22 years, and this is the worst I've seen it. This month is the single biggest hit we've ever had."

The cost of a carton of cigarettes has jumped by about $10, if not more, so far in March, said the report. Arkansas implemented a new $5.60 per carton tax on March 1, after House Bill 1204 was passed by the Legislature on February 12 and became Act 180. Adding to the burden, major cigarette manufacturers are raising prices at the wholesale level. Then federal government's new $6.17 per carton excise tax goes into effect on April 1, 2009.

Prices per carton at the Jiffy Kwick ranged from $38.99 for Sonoma to $50.49 for Marlboro, before sales taxes, the report added.

Ismail and Jodi Qasem plan to close their Balila Smoke Shop at 2500 N. 17th St. in Rogers at the end of the month. They have owned the shop since August. "I'm going to go bankrupt," Jodi Qasem told the paper. "This is our life savings right here. We were doing fine. Then it just went boom. The manufacturers started raising all the prices."

On March 9, Phillip Morris USA raised the price of Marlboro, its most popular brand, and eight other brands by $7.10 per carton. That's on top of a 90 cent per carton increase last month, bringing the price for a carton of Marlboros to more than $50 in northwestern Arkansas. Phillip Morris increased the price on 10 other brands, including Merit and Saratoga, by $8.07 per carton March 9. That move came after a $1.80 per carton increase February 9 on those 10 brands.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which makes Camel and Kool cigarettes, raised its carton prices March 16. The increases vary from a minimum of $4.10 per carton for some brands to $7.80 for others.

Missouri has the second-lowest state tax on cigarettes in the country, the report said. It charges $1.70 per carton in state taxes, compared with $11.50 per carton in Arkansas, which is 60 cents below the national average. Theoretically, that should make the average carton of cigarettes about $10 cheaper in Missouri.

Related news briefs: C-stores adjusting to SCHIP tobacco price increases..,
, As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing.., Besides federal tax increase - several states want to do the same.., FDA regulation the other shoe to drop...

Reference: Packing It In? Arkansas retailers reporting sharp decline in cigarette carton sales, CSP (Convenience Store Petroleum) Daily News, 3/24/2009.

Dissolving Tobacco Hits Columbus, OH Test Market - see VIDEO..

March 24, 2009 - COLUMBUS, Ohio - has had it fill of being a test site for smokeless tobacco products. We wonder why the good people have not revolted yet..

First it was R.J. Reynolds' (RJR) Camel SNUS, then Lorillard's Triumph SNUS (SNUS made by Swedish Match) followed by Liggett's Grand Prix Snus NOW one of the three test sites (others Portland, OR, Indianapolis, IN)for test marketing Camel Dissolvable products. We now know why RJR selects Portland, Oregon.

We have no problem with inveterate tobacco smokers (smokers who are either unable or unwilling to quit) from using smokeless tobacco products. But it is impossible to limit distribution to only this group of individuals. Our children our future leader will be the ones that will suffer resulting in a life of being totally dependent on nicotine never able to achieve their full potential. You can see the way tobacco companies such as as RJR are promoting and distributing these products they are not being selective on how this is done.

Columbus is a test market for the product—dissolvable tobacco—little orbs, sticks and tiny pouches that dissolve in your mouth. The new product that’s advertised as cold, fresh and refreshing sounds like a soft drink or gum. But, it’s not gum and doctors think what’s in it could kill you.

The ad says you pop it under your lip, wait for the tingle and enjoy the taste for 30 minutes. There’s no smoke or cigarette, but plenty of nicotine. Take a look is it a Camel ORBs or Tic Tacs - both are flavored, look like candy and have attractive packaging. “The brain doesn’t know if it’s a cigarette or a lozenge or a strip you’re getting the nicotine from. You addict the exact same way,“ said Dr. Robert Crane, former chairman of Smoke Free Ohio. “Do you think big tobacco is trying to create a new generation of addicts?“ NBC 4‘s Colleen Marshall asked. “They’ve been trying to create generations of addicts successfully for the last hundred years and we have not been able to stop them,“ Crane said. But the tobacco companies will tell you the new products are alternatives to cigarettes and for smokers who can no longer light up in public, they offer relief.

David Howard, spokesman for RJ Reynolds tobacco company: These are marketed to adult tobacco consumers—an informed decision without bothering others, there is no second hand smoke, there’s no spitting and there’s no litter.“

“They may be safer for adult smokers. It melts in your mouth and not in your lungs. However, for kids, this is a much more dangerous first hook into nicotine and therein lies the rub,“ Crane said. Crane also said kids are more vulnerable than ever. Because the administration of Gov. Ted Strickland redirected the $230 million anti-tobacco fund to provide state budget relief.

But, state health officials said they do have anti-smoking programs. “We have a number of efforts. We have our quit line, many grants to hospitals through our community grant program and also do enforcement of smoke free Ohio,“ said Dr. Alvin Jackson, director of the Ohio Department of Health.

But, will it be enough to combat the campaign that includes a massive free handout of the new smoke free tobacco products? “Every time we find a way to stop them in one arena, they go around,“ Jackson said.

Reference: Dissolving Tobacco Hits Columbus Test Market by Denise Yost - Managing Editor,, 3/23/2009.

A few related news briefs: Portland, Oregon - Camel ORBS - candy-like tobacco tablets.., U.S. - A contradiction H.R. 1261 Youth Prevention and Tobacco Harm Reduction.., R.J. Reynolds Smokeless so safe - not fair to tax.??, U.S. group acknowledged that smokeless-tobacco products are an option for reducing health risks for tobacco users.., Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity.., Nasal snuff another harm reduction product.., Why does R.J. Reynolds Tobacco keep on selecting Portland, OR as a test site.., Camel Tobacco Dissolvables - Natl Assoc of Attorneys General - wait and see!!, 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..


NYC can move forward with reservation cigarette lawsuit..

March 23, 2009 - Judge Carol Bagley Amon of Federal District Court for the Eastern District in Brooklyn ruled today, March 17, 2009 that the stores were not protected from the City’s lawsuit by sovereign immunity, which can bar lawsuits against certain Indian tribes and tribal businesses. The lawsuit filed in federal court back in September 2008 accuses the small cluster of shops on the Poospatuck Indian Reservation of breaking state and federal law by selling massive quantities of cigarettes to bootleggers, who then smuggle the cartons off the reservation and resell them throughout the New York City metropolitan area.

The court found that the cigarette sellers located on the Poospatuck Reservation in Mastic, Long Island, did not meet the factors that are necessary to show that the cigarette businesses were operating as part of the tribe’s own economic activity, in part because the store owners, not the tribe itself, profited from the businesses.

The tax losses from the sales by the eight businesses named in the lawsuit alone amount to $195 million for the City and an additional $525 million for the Stat
The cigarettes are sold in the City, not only giving rise to the tax losses described above but injuring legitimate businesses and undercutting smoking prevention programs.

The ruling was announced by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Finance Commissioner Martha Stark and Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo Monday in the City’s case against cigarette dealers located on a Long Island Indian reservation that serves as a major source of bootlegged cigarettes into New York City.

Reference: Judge: NYC can move forward with reservation cigarette lawsuit; rejects 'sovereignty' defense by Michael A. Harris - NY Government Examiner,, 3/17/2009.

NC Senators - alternative tobacco regulation bill..

March 23, 2009 - North Carolina's two senators, Republican Sen. Richard Burr and first-year Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, have submitted joint legislation called the Federal Tobacco Act of 2009 (Burr-Hagan Bill) that would protect the state's tobacco interests from stringent oversight and save tobacco company billions.

Burr and Hagan want to create a separate agency that they say would do a better job of monitoring the tobacco industry than the FDA. The House Energy & Commerce Committee approved alternative legislation H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act (the Waxman Bill), by a vote of 39 to 13 earlier in March. This legislation will give U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate the marketing and sales of tobacco.

Tobacco directly employs more than 47,000 people in North Carolina, according to a 2006 study by Duke University. The state agriculture agency estimates the crop has a $7 billion annual impact. In 2005, nearly 24,000 people in North Carolina died from smoking related illnesses.

Under the Burr-Hagan bill, a new agency would restrict some advertising and require a list of ingredients on cigarette and smokeless tobacco packaging. It would not restrict the products' content. The new agency envisioned by Burr and Hagan would cost about $100 million a year, far less than the hundreds of millions a year that would eventually go to the FDA to regulate tobacco under the Waxman bill. Both versions impose fees on tobacco companies to pay for the regulation.

Tobacco groups and employees have given $355,000 in campaign contributions to Burr since he first got elected to Congress in 1995, election records shows. That's second only to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, from tobacco-growing Kentucky, who has accepted $390,000 from the industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Burr's top overall contributor, with $194,000 in donations, is R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and its parent company, which is based in the senator's hometown, Winston-Salem. (Burr key tobacco funds recipient by Lisa Zagaroli, Charlotte Observer, 3/22/2009.) Kay Hagan's is from nearby Greensboro, NC - she received $19,450 from tobacco contributors in 2008. She has stopped short of saying she would filibuster FDA regulation.

Reference: Burr, Hagan join on tobacco Their bill fights tougher regulation by Barbara Barrett - Washington Correspondent, The News & Observer, 3/14/2009.

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...

Portland, Oregon - Camel ORBS - candy-like tobacco tablets..

March 23, 2009 - They may look like mints but they’re loaded with nicotine. They’re called Orbs, the first dissolvable tobacco product introduced by a major tobacco company, R.J. Reynolds. The tablets hit the Portland market in January, the same month the city became smoke free in restaurants and bars.

Oregon Partnership, a nonprofit group that works to prevent drug abuse among teens says the Orbs are a danger to young people.

The tablets have some teenagers doing a double take. "It just looks like a normal mint and if it weren't in that container it would be easy to pass of as a regular mint," said Alex Hailey. “It's a tobacco product with nicotine it's addictive unfortunately kids will probably be attracted to it," said Pete Schulberg. A comparison of Camel Orbs with Tic Tacs which one is the candy - both are flavored and presented in attractive packaging.

But Reynolds denies marketing to kids, saying Orbs are meant for adults. The products are marked with warnings, it may cause mouth cancer and it’s not a safe alternative to cigarettes. While the products may be less harmful because they are smoke-free, they still contain nicotine and can be addictive, no matter what your age.

Comments regarding this article: *-Um I would just like to say, I tried one of these hyped up mints. They are the nastiest thing I have EVER tried, could not have been in mouth 3 seconds. **-This is an obvious attempt to set the hook at a young age so RJ Reynolds has another generation of addicts to fill their coffers and personally it pisses me off.

A few related news briefs:U.S. - A contradiction H.R. 1261 Youth Prevention and Tobacco Harm Reduction.., R.J. Reynolds Smokeless so safe - not fair to tax.??, U.S. group acknowledged that smokeless-tobacco products are an option for reducing health risks for tobacco users.., Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity.., Nasal snuff another harm reduction product.., Why does R.J. Reynolds Tobacco keep on selecting Portland, OR as a test site.., Camel Tobacco Dissolvables - Natl Assoc of Attorneys General - wait and see!!, 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..

Reference: Some say candy-like tobacco tablets a danger to teens, By JANE SMITH, KGW Staff, 3/20/2009.


Lorillard - essentially a one-product company - Newport cigarettes..

March 23, 2009 - Barron's online (week of March 23, 2009) - One of the most valuable and lucrative, if controversial, consumer products in the world is Newport cigarettes. Newport's manufacturer, Lorillard, essentially is a one-product company. It has a market value of more than $10 billion, roughly equal to that of Heinz (HNZ) or Campbell Soup (CPB). Newport, gives Lorillard 94% of its revenue, 92% of its volumes, 34% share of all menthol cigarette sales in the US, as well as an overall domestic tobacco market share of 10%. Menthol Market Share Comparison..

While smaller than rivals Reynolds American (RAI) and Altria (MO), Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard has the highest profit margins in the U.S. cigarette industry. It also has one of the best growth outlooks, thanks to the strength of the Newport menthol brand, which is popular with black and Hispanic smokers, particularly in the Northeast.

Lorillard Inc could be a takeover target, perhaps at a "sizable" premium to its current share price, according to the latest issue of Barron's. Possible Tobacco Mergers/Acquisitions Involving Lorillard.. - March 17, 2009.

There lately has been talk that Reynolds (RAI.N), maker of the Camel (a growth brand - R.J. Reynolds focuses its investment in Camel and Pall Mall to accelerate the brands' market-share growth and to drive the brands for long-term, accelerated growth and profit.), Winston and Kool brands (both are support brands - R.J. Reynolds will put limited marketing support behind these brands and focus on balancing the brands' scale and long-term profit.), might buy Lorillard for a sizable premium above the recent share price of $61," Barron's reports in its March 23 issue. It said Reynolds and Lorillard declined to comment.

Barron's also reports that, "If Lorillard does go on the block, there could a bidding war that includes Reynolds, Britain's Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and perhaps even Philip Morris International."

The article said that even if Lorillard is not a takeover target, its shares may be undervalued. "Lorillard has the best developed-market tobacco business in the world," David Adelman, the cigarette analyst at Morgan Stanley, was quoted as saying.

Lorillard cannot do what some competitors have done and focus on overseas for growth. In 1977 Lorillard sold the rights for international sales of its cigarette brands to British American Tobacco (BAT). (

Reference: Barron's Online (March 23, 2009) Will Lorillard Meet Its Match? Lorillard's thriving Newport cigarette brand makes the company an attractive takeover target. Why Reynolds may be interested, by Andrew Bary, Barron's pgs: 23 and 24, 3/23/2009 Lorillard could be takeover target - Barron's, Reporting by Paul Thomasch; editing by Richard Chang, Reuters, 2/22/2009.

Tobacco tax increases still appealing..

March 22, 2009 - Budget shortfalls are pushing more than 20 states to look to tobacco for revenue, even those that have long been loath to touch cigarette taxes. Tobacco lobbyists have argued that a 62-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax that will go into effect in April overburdens smokers and will drive down state collections. But the federal increase does not seem to have derailed state efforts, in part because smokers cannot avoid it by crossing state lines.

In the South, where such taxes have been lower than in the rest of the country, Arkansas has nearly doubled its tax, to $1.15 a pack, and Kentucky’s will double, to 60 cents, on April 1. Mississippi’s tax on cigarettes, at 18 cents a pack the nation’s third-lowest, has not been raised since 1985. With the federal stimulus package passed cigarette tax had lost momentum. But with Gov. Haley Barbour (a former tobacco lobbyist, non-longer opposed to an increase, state lawmakers have gone from giving little thought to a tobacco tax increase to arguing over how much the tax should go up and where the money should go.

Increases are also under consideration in other tobacco-growing states like North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. With estimated state budget shortfalls nearing $50 billion, opponents of smoking see an opportunity to make headway with the most reluctant lawmakers.

States whose cigarette taxes are already high are also considering increases. In Oregon, now at $1.18 a pack, Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski has proposed a 60-cent increase. In New Jersey, Gov. Jon Corzine is asking the Legislature for a 12.5-cent increase over the current $2.58. New York has the highest state tax on cigarettes, $2.75 a pack.

A 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by 3 percent to 5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and deters young people from picking up the smoking habit.

Reference: States Look at Tobacco to Balance the Budget by SHAILA DEWAN, The New York Times, 3/20/2009.

Click on image to enlarge..


Camel SNUS - magazine ads..

March 22, 2009 - As part of Reynolds America's initiatives to move ahead with its smokeless-tobacco products they have started again advertising Camel SNUS. Magazines where Reynolds mentioned that ads could be found include: Sports Illustrated, People, Rolling Stone and Car & Driver. (Reynolds has not run print ads for its cigarettes brands for the past 15 months.

Click to see examples of ads appearing in these magazine.

Here's some examples of ads Reynolds has run in entertainment sections of community newspapers.

As an added treat for our loyal readers - here's the cover (front and back) of CSP independent magazine (published five times a year) for March 2009. You've seen the badgers clerks where in c-stores already.

Click on images to enlarge..