New South Wales - comply with tobacco laws too costly - NOT TRUE..

May 30, 2009 - A report, by Deloitte, predicts it will cost between $6000 and $10,000 for each convenience store to comply with the New South Wales government's new tobacco display regulations.

Under the tough laws, retailers will be forced to hide packets of cigarettes behind their counters so they are not visible to customers.

However, some insiders believe that in many cases, tobacco companies will pay for the new display cases. University of Sydney public health professor Simon Chapman said tobacco companies paid for most, if not all, the cigarette storage units in stores.

"This would have to be one of the more ludicrous pieces of desperate, last-ditch research I've heard of," Professor Chapman said. "The tobacco industry are obviously desperate not to see [the legislation] happen because they know out of sight is out of mind. This is not a game, this is about saving lives." How much could it possibly cost to place cigarette packs out of sight of customers. The tobacco companies along with those in retail outlets should be given a choice either comply with the laws or they'll be forced to go to generic packaging. (Plain Packaging and Misleading Information, David Hammond, Tobacco Labelling Resource Centre, University of Waterloo (Canada); Kill the tobacco industry, or it will keep killing, Simon Chapman and Becky Freeman, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10/2/2008.) André Calantzopoulos, the Chief Operating Officer of Philip Morris International (PMI), has stated that PMI is strongly opposed to generic packaging. (London, Tobacco Conference, 6/27/2008)

The new laws also ban supermarkets from displaying cigarettes within six months, ban advertising from appearing on vending machines and ban people from smoking in cars carrying children.

Australian Association of Convenience Stores executive director David Killeen, who commissioned the Deloitte report, said the government had failed to address the financial impact of the regulations on store owners. Killeen said the new regulations and construction costs, estimated at $127 million across the state, would cause job losses and even the closure of shops. "Some stores won't be able to afford it and some will find they will lose sales, which will mean they will have to reduce their employment costs," he told the Sun-Herald. Killeen acknowledged that tobacco companies paid for retail displays in many, but not all, convenience stores.

A spokesman for Jodi McKay, Minister assisting the Minister for Health (cancer), said the government was consulting retailers on the new tobacco control regulations before they are introduced on July 1.

Reference: Tough tobacco laws "too costly",, 5/25/2009.

Related news brief: More New South Wales - Sweeping Anti-Tobacco Measures...


Australia - will the federal tax on cigarettes increase..

May 30, 2009 - The 2009 to 2010 Australian federal budget was released on 12 May 2009 by the Treasurer of Australia, Wayne Swan. Swan has commented that the budget will be tougher than in previous years. "Projected government revenue has fallen by $200 billion since the last budget because of the global economic crisis."

In his response to the budget Malcolm Turnbull, opposition leader, presented the opposition's anti-tobacco plan that would push up the price of a packet of cigarettes by 12.5 per cent (about a 6 percent increase), from $13.85 to $14.85 - or about three cents a cigarette. Currently taxes on a packet of 20 cigarettes are $4.86.

Maurice Swanson, tobacco control spokesperson for the Heart Foundation, said the "Tobacco tax, which has not increased in real terms for a decade, has been shown to reduce smoking rates significantly."

Professor Harry Clarke: "There are good public health and public finance reasons to support an increase in tobacco taxes."

Of the 2.8 million Australians who currently smoke everyday at most about 42,000 to 84,000 will quit. This is a worthwhile response at least in terms of health outcomes particularly as it is likely to be concentrated among younger smokers who will substantially improve their lifetime health by quitting. Health benefits for those who 'cut back' but do not quit are less clear-cut since there is evidence that those who cutback 'compensate' in their smoking behaviour by puffing harder to gain the levels of nicotine that their brains have adapted to. Smoking harder, of course, means a higher intake of the deadly carcinogens that accompany nicotine intake. This emphasises that there is no safe level of smoking.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon says the Liberals' (the opposition party) suggestion to increase tobacco taxes is a good idea.

A 12.5 per cent tax hike on cigarettes would help people quit smoking and boost Government revenue, Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says. The coalition has said it would replace the Rudd government's forecast $1.9 billion in savings from paring back access to the private health insurance rebate with a 12.5 per cent increase in the tobacco excise - a tax of three cents per cigarette.

But Ms Roxon said Mr Turnbull was inconsistent for suggesting a rise in tobacco taxes after the coalition blocked in the Senate government measures to increase taxes on pre-mixed alcoholic drinks.

The Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd has rejected Malcolm Turnbull's tobacco tax hike.

References: Tobacco tax proposal deserves support, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News, 5/26/2009. 12.5 per cent cigarette tax hike to help more quit: Roxon, The Courier-Mail, 5/17/2009; Government, Opposition set sights on vice with higher taxes on cigarettes, alcohol by Cathy Alexander, The Daily Telegrapgh, 5/17/2009.

Related news briefs: Australia - increase tobacco tax 50% - 74% of smokers would try to quit..; Australia - call for tobacco tax increase to fight chronic diseases..

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Croatia - adjusting to new smoking ban..

May 30, 2009 - Croatia now has one of the strictest anti-tobacco laws in the Balkan Region. and not everyone is happy about it. As of Wednesday, May 6, 2009 Croatia began enforcing a ban on smoking in most indoor areas threatening the estimated one-quarter of its population which lights up with stiff fines. (Balkan Countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia.) The anti-tobacco laws echoes standards adopted by the European Union which Croatia hopes to join by 2011. In Croatia, some 32 percent of the 4.4 million inhabitants are smokers, according to survey figures the health ministry cited this month.

Thirty to 40 percent of all adults in the Balkans are inveterate (hard-nosed, long established, deep-rooted) cigarette smokers and World Health Organization (WHO) considers a major cause of premature death.

Zlatko Puntijar, head of the national restaurant association: "Managers are affected by both the economic crisis and the new law," forecasting that some businesses could be threatened with closure at the end of the summer when cooler temperatures force customers inside. Cafes, bars and nightclubs are expected to be the worst - this industry has around 16,000 owners and employees some 100,000 people. The drop in business figures will maybe not be so important for the time being, but in autumn it will certainly be enormous." Puntijar again: "Introducing the smoking ban began 30 years ago in America, three years ago in Austria, while Croatia adopted the smoking ban six months ago. Croatia needs a longer period to adapt and for the citizens to adapt to the new law, as well as the caterers.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce is preparing a Constitutional lawsuit against Croatia, because the same conditions for all caterers have not been introduced. Those objects which do not have terraces, where smoking is allowed, cannot host smokers. Research showed a drop of business with small retail sale businesses between 15 and 20 percent, while 17 percent less bread is sold.

References: Tough anti-smoking measures split Croatiaby Rusmir Smajilhodzic, Agence France Presse (AFP) - Yahoo Health, 5/28/2009; Caterers Will Sue Croatia Over Smoking Ban by Dunja Medaković, javno, 5/28/2009.

Related news briefs: Croatia begins enforcing smoking ban on May 6, 2009..; Croatia cigarette prices to go up April 1, 2009...; Croatia - ban in smoking in public places goes in effect.., Croatia - A ban on smoking went into effect on October 27, 2008.., Croatia Aims at More Stringent Anti-smoking Laws...

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Jordan - fast-food restaurants smoke free as of Jine 1, 2009..

May 30, 2009 - The Ministry of Health issued a circular banning smoking in shopping malls starting March 1,2009 while restaurants were given until June 2009.

Jordan's fast-food restaurants will officially become smoke-free zones as of June 1, 2009. In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, the Health Ministry said the decision was taken in collaboration with the Jordan Restaurants Association (JRA), as part of a plan to declare all restaurants smoke-free by the end of this year.

JRA President Zeid Goussous said the association is still conducting a study on the impact of the law before implementing it in tourist restaurants, noting that they “still need more time to study its effect on business. It is easier to implement the law in fast-food restaurants,” Goussous told The Jordan Times yesterday, adding that the decision and the implementation mechanism will depend on the results of the study. We might have a separate area for smokers in big restaurants, while the small ones can decide either to be smoke-free or not.”

The ministry has requested the JRA to provide it with the implementation mechanism by the end of the year, the statement added.

The Public Health Law was amended last year to prohibit smoking in public and private institutions and all public facilities. The ban includes hospitals, healthcare centres, schools, cinemas, theatres, libraries, museums, public and nongovernmental buildings, public transport vehicles, airports, closed playgrounds, lecture halls and any other location to be determined by the health minister.

The law was first implemented on March 1 in the Queen Alia International Airport and shopping malls.

Reference: Fast-food restaurants to become smoke-free zones as of June 1 by Khetam Malkawi, The Jordan Times, 5/29/2009.

Related news briefs: Jordan - restaurant owners want smoking ban postponed..; Jordan - law to ban smoking in public places - ENFORCEMENT...

WHO - Indonesia is crying out for your help...

May 29, 2008 - Indonesia can no longer — and must no longer — hide behind the lame excuse that cigarette companies hold cigarettes have on us or we risk undermining out own future.

In Indonesia tobacco use has increased almost sixfold, from 35 billion cigarettes consumed in 1971 to 202 billion in 2004. According to the World Health Organization 2008 data, Indonesia is the third biggest consumer of cigarettes in the world.

No image is more disturbing than that of a young boy or girl lighting up a cigarette. According to a global youth tobacco survey conducted by the World Health Organization in 2006, 14.4 percent of Indonesian students between the ages of 13 and 15 smoked cigarettes.

A separate survey in 2007 found that 41.5 percent of Indonesian students started to smoke because they claim that they were influenced by cigarette ads. Is it any wonder that cigarette companies in Indonesia spend billions of dollars in advertising and sponsoring youth-oriented events.

Indonesia has 63 million smokers, and the World Health Organization’s Global Youth Tobacco Survey of 2006 reported that more than 1 in 10 students aged 13 to 15 smoked cigarettes. The same survey also reported that 6 in 10 students were passive smokers, while a survey the year before by the Ministry of Health said a staggering 43 million children were exposed to smoke from the people around them. A number of studies also show that the age most Indonesians start smoking is as young as 10 years old.

Indonesia is one of two countries that still allow cigarette advertising. The other is Zimbabwe, which like Indonesia is one of the largest tobacco exporters in the world.

Once hooked on nicotine, these young people become customers for life, in the process contributing to the coffers of the cigarette companies, while putting their health and lives in jeopardy.

The National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas Anak) has urged the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission to halt the airing of tobacco ads on World No Tobacco Day, which falls on Sunday. Not only must the commission accede to this very modest request, it should ban all cigarette advertising permanently. We must remove this social evil from our midst if we are to protect our youth and ensure that the next generation is not subject to severe health issues.

Children are the most vulnerable members of society and deserve protection from harm. It is the moral duty of the government as well as society at large to ensure that we do not corrupt young minds and expose them to habits and vices that do irreparable harm.

The huge profits earned from the sale of cigarettes have only enriched the companies that produce this deadly product and the tobacco czars, who are among the richest individuals in the country. In fact, among the 15 richest men in Indonesia, three have made their fortunes from cigarettes, according to the latest GlobeAsia 150 Richest Indonesians list.

To tackle this social evil, we must start with curtailing demand and that means banning all cigarette advertising. The government must also raise taxes on cigarettes so it becomes prohibitive for children and young people to buy the product. This must also include stopping the practice of selling cigarette sticks individually.

Although tobacco companies and even government officials often claim that millions of jobs and livelihoods depend on the industry, empirical evidence suggests otherwise. Research has proven that incomes of tobacco farmers have barely moved in the last three decades. Workers employed in cigarette factories still earn meager wages and perform backbreaking work hand-rolling cigarettes.

References: Tobacco Seducing More Young People, Hera Diani, JakartaGlobe, 5/29/2009; We Must Act Now To Stop Kids Smoking, JakartaGlobe, 5/29/2009; Puffing Away in Public, Ade Mardiyati, JakartaGlobe, 5/29/2009.

Related news briefs: Indonesia - 1st 3-months of 2009 cigarette sales up 11.5%; Indonesia - dispute with U.S. over banning the use of clove in cigarettes..; Indonesia 'cash cow' for Philip Morris International..; Tobacco industry has long targeted young people as "replacement smokers"; Indonesia - district court dismisses request to ratify FCTC..; Asean Countries - Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Tobacco..; Indonesia - farmers hold rally protest tobacco controls..; Indonesia - tobacco farmers reject Islamic council's edict..; Indonesia - Ulema Council - debate results is split on smoking..; Indonesia - Withdraw Sponsorhip of Another Rock Concert..; Indonesia to increase tax on tobacco products..; Semarang, Indonesia - Cigarette Smoking Areas to be Prepared..; Jakarta, Indonesia - Malls help enforce non-smoking ban..; Indonesia - federal anti-smoking laws in one year - MAYBE..; Indonesia - NGO's (non-government organizations) Demand the Government Ratify WHO's FCTC.; Indonesia to raise cigarette tax by 6 to 7% in 2009..; Surabaya, Indonesia - anti-smoking bylaw 10/2009 - FOR REAL??; Indonesians smoking more than ever before..; Indonesia further rise in the excise tax would hurt the cigarette industry..; Alicia Keys - Jakarta Concert (July 31st) tobacco companies forced to withdraw sponsorship.. and Most Indonesians support moves to ban tobacco advertisements...


Nicogel - cigarette alternative to be sold in 10 Asian countries by year-end.

May 29, 2009 - Dermtek Sdn Bhd, the exclusive distributor of Nicogel for Asia, will use Malaysia as its production hub. We are looking at Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, India, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam. We will start by repackaging the gels into sachets and sell it directly to these countries.

Nicogel, which is applied to the skin (transdermal delivery system), will be useful for smokers who are in no-smoking zones, such as in an airplane, restaurant, or cinema. It is also useful for those who want to quit smoking.

The company, which imports the gels from the UK and then repackages it into sachets in its plant in Shah Alam, also has high hopes for the Malaysian market.

They are expecting to sell one million Nicogel sachets by year-end. So far, we have sold less than 200,000 sachets.

Reference: Dermtek aims to light up sales of cigarette alternative in Asia by Goh Thean Eu, Business Times, 5/29/2009.

Related news brief: Tobacco Products When You Can't Smoke..

Indonesia - 1st 3-months of 2009 cigarette sales up 11.5%

May 29, 2009 - Cigarette sales in Indonesia during the first three months of this year, at 59.6 billion, were 11.5 percent higher than those of the first quarter of 2008, according to a report in The Jakarta Post quoting figures from Sampoerna.

About 60 per cent of the first quarter sales comprised machine-rolled clove cigarettes, about 32 per cent comprised hand-rolled clove cigarettes and about eight per cent comprised machine-rolled non-clove cigarettes.

Sales of Sampoerna products increased by 2.5 percent to 18.1 billion, but the company’s market share fell 0.7 percentage points to 24.3 percent.

Philip Morris’ market share increased 0.2 percentage points to 4.7 percent, but the combined market share of Sampoerna and Philip Morris, which owns Sampoerna, fell by 0.5 percentage points to 29 percent.

Reference: Sharp rise in Indonesia’s cigarette sales, Indonesia News Blog, 5/29/2009.

Related news briefs: Indonesia - dispute with U.S. over banning the use of clove in cigarettes..; Indonesia 'cash cow' for Philip Morris International..; Tobacco industry has long targeted young people as "replacement smokers"; Indonesia - district court dismisses request to ratify FCTC..; Asean Countries - Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Tobacco..; Indonesia - farmers hold rally protest tobacco controls..; Indonesia - tobacco farmers reject Islamic council's edict..; Indonesia - Ulema Council - debate results is split on smoking..; Indonesia - Withdraw Sponsorhip of Another Rock Concert..; Indonesia to increase tax on tobacco products..; Semarang, Indonesia - Cigarette Smoking Areas to be Prepared..; Jakarta, Indonesia - Malls help enforce non-smoking ban..; Indonesia - federal anti-smoking laws in one year - MAYBE..; Indonesia - NGO's (non-government organizations) Demand the Government Ratify WHO's FCTC.; Indonesia to raise cigarette tax by 6 to 7% in 2009..; Surabaya, Indonesia - anti-smoking bylaw 10/2009 - FOR REAL??; Indonesians smoking more than ever before..; Indonesia further rise in the excise tax would hurt the cigarette industry..; Alicia Keys - Jakarta Concert (July 31st) tobacco companies forced to withdraw sponsorship.. and Most Indonesians support moves to ban tobacco advertisements...


PMI - opens its new Research & Development Campus in Switzerland...

May 29, 2009 - 28th May, 2009 – At an official ceremony today, Philip Morris International (PMI) officially opened its new Research & Development Campus, home to more than 400 scientists, specialists and administrative staff.

PMI has invested over CHF120 million [1 CHF = 0.936 USD] developing the new campus, which brings together laboratories and employees previously spread across three locations in Neuchâtel and Fribourg. The 36,500 square meter campus comprises three independent laboratory and office sections all encased in a single glass structure. Meeting areas, terraces, gardens and social meeting points create an environment which fosters interaction and innovation.

At today’s event, held at the lakeside building on Quai Jeanrenaud, officials from the federal and cantonal authorities (Switzerland consists of 26 cantons and each is member state of the federal state of Switzerland.) and the city of Neuchâtel joined PMI Chief Operating Officer, André Calantzopoulos, in celebrating this milestone for the company.

“PMI has been established in Neuchâtel for 46 years, and this new building reinforces our commitment to the city and the canton,” said Mr. Calantzopoulos. “I would like to thank the city and cantonal authorities for their support in helping us realize the completion of this important project. One of the company’s primary goals is to reduce the harm caused by tobacco products by researching and developing products with the potential to reduce the risk of tobacco-related disease. The investment in this new state-of-the-art facility will help us achieve that objective.”

Here are some specific examples of how PMI is aggressively targeting young people around the world, grouped by category (though some examples also fall under other categories of promotion): Philip Morris International World Tour 2008-2009..

Reference: Philip Morris International unveils new CHF 120 million Research & Development Campus in Neuchâtel, Philip Morris International / Neuchâtel /, 5/28/2009.

South Australia - bill will be introduced to fine kids for smoking..

May 28, 2009 - South Australia (SA) - a BILL will be introduced to Parliament next week to ban children from smoking and fine them $315 if caught smoking. In SA it is an offense to sell cigarettes to minors and a police officer or teacher can confiscate tobacco from children. But Liberal MP Iain Evans, who is introducing the Bill, says a gap exists in the laws. "You walk up and down the mall and you always see a lot of underage people smoking . . . and currently they commit no offense," Mr Evans said. If passed, the legislation would target all children under 18. Fines however, can only be given to children over 15.

Substance Abuse Minister Jane Lomax-Smith said: "It's already an offence in SA to sell or supply cigarettes to people under the age of 18 and we support that position."

While it is an offense for children to smoke in Tasmania, the introduction of a fine would be an Australian-first.

Reference: Plans to fine South Australian teenage smokers by KIM WHEATLEY,, 5/29/2009.

Related news briefs: Why NOT make it illegal for kids to smoke??; Illegal for teenagers under 18 to possess tobacco products...

U.S. - Cash-strapped states cut smoking-prevention funds..

May 28, 2009 - Cash-strapped state governments are slashing funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in a move anti-tobacco groups say could backfire, costing taxpayers later for treatment of tobacco-related illnesses among people who might've quit.

In Vermont, a recently adopted state budget reduced funding for anti-tobacco efforts by $1.9 million from the previous year, which critics say will force cutbacks in youth smoking-prevention activities and at hospitals that offer in-person smoking-cessation counseling and nicotine-replacement therapy. In Vermont, for example, the state estimates that it saves up to $5 million annually in Medicaid expenses as an indirect result of its quit-smoking initiatives.

Other states have made similar cuts, or are contemplating them:

_In Washington state, lawmakers cut $22 million from tobacco prevention programs for the next two years, which will reduce paid public service announcements on radio and TV and force curtailment of a quit line.

_In Maryland, the state slashed funding for tobacco control in the fiscal year beginning July 1 from $16.7 million last year to $4.6 million.

_In Colorado, where lawmakers dipped into a cash reserve from the 1998 tobacco industry settlement and imposed a sales tax on cigarettes to help balance the state budget, funding for tobacco education and cessation programs was cut by $6 million.

"You're seeing disproportionate cuts to tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and it's a foolish strategy," said Thomas Carr, manager for national policy for the American Lung Association. "It may solve the budget deficit now, but it increases your costs in the long run, because of the costs tobacco use imposes on state economies in health care costs and lost productivity."

Smokers wanting to quit are calling state-run hotlines in record numbers these days, in part because of skyrocketing taxes on cigarettes, according to Fisher. On April 1, the federal tax on cigarettes jumped to $1.00 per pack, and some states are jacking up their taxes on tobacco, as well.

Reference: Strapped states cut smoking-prevention funds by By JOHN CURRAN (Associated Press writers Colleen Slevin in Denver and Curt Woodward in Olympia, Wash., contributed to this report), Associated Press, 5/26/2008.

A couple related news brief: Smokers now more motivated to quit..; Quit-smoking hotlines are being swamped...

Click on image to enlarge..Sperrin Lakeland Trust.


EU launches new anti-smoking TV campaign..

May 28, 2009 - The European Commission is launching the second phase of its "HELP for a life without tobacco" campaign to mark the World No Tobacco Day. On Sunday, May 31st, three new anti-smoking TV spots will be shown on over 100 TV channels across Europe for one month and repeated during September, said the commission.

The TV spots, developed with young people, use humor to deliver three serious messages: Don't start smoking, how to quit smoking and dangers of second-hand smoking.

"Today, a third of all Europeans are smokers and although we have seen a decrease in recent years, we must continue to prevent young people from taking up this deadly habit. I hope our efforts to de-glamorise tobacco through pictorial warnings and engaging young people through the HELP campaign will lead to a new generation that says no to tobacco," said European Union (EU) Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.

Tobacco remains the largest single cause of premature death and disease in the EU, causing more than 650,000 premature deaths in the region each year, which corresponds to about 1,800 deaths a day.

Reference: EU launches new anti-smoking TV campaign, Editor: Bi Mingxin,, 5/28/2009.

U.S. Department of Defense is endorsing the observance of World No Tobacco Day..

May 28, 2009 - For the first time, the Department of Defense (DOD) is endorsing the observance of World No Tobacco Day by encouraging service members to participate.

The effort is part of DOD's multiyear tobacco cessation campaign, Quit Tobacco--Make Everyone Proud.

"On Memorial Day, when we reflect on the sacrifices our fallen heroes made so that we can live free, it seems that World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) comes at a perfect time," said Capt. David Arday, a physician and U.S. Public Health Service officer and chairman of the DOD Alcohol and Tobacco Advisory Committee.

"Freedom from tobacco addiction is not a sacrifice; it's a way to live our lives to honor those who gave us our freedom," he said. "This is a great opportunity for servicemen and women to connect to others on their installation, across the country and around the globe in a worldwide event to take a public stand and make a personal commitment in the fight against tobacco."

Health promotions staff members at installations are encouraging their patients and clients to sign the online pledge at and accept the challenge to become tobacco free on WNTD.

There are free promotional and informational items available to order or download online to help stage events, plus specially designed e-cards visitors can send to encourage friends and family to give up tobacco. Military personnel also can use the e-card to announce their intention to quit.

The campaign headquarters at offers the latest high-tech ways to connect with others on the road to becoming tobacco free. The site has launched a Twitter page at, and anyone who signs up can follow the site's activities and news, including tobacco and other related health information.

Visitors can take advantage of other social networking opportunities, such as being a friend at MySpace, tuning in to the videos and making comments at the YouTube page and becoming a fan of the campaign's Facebook page. On Facebook, there's a new feature that allows users to announce to others they've quit and to congratulate friends and family who've make the commitment to quit tobacco.

For those who want their own private area to concentrate on tobacco cessation, the campaign Web site offers users "My Quit Space," where they can create a customized quit plan and calendar. Blogging options include starting a private blog or publishing it for others to read and make comments.

The site has gone mobile, which is perfect for the enlisted community. Users can point their mobile browsers to, the new mobile ucanquit2 Web site, to find cessation programs across America to help them quit tobacco and access important tobacco cessation news.

Getting support from others is an important weapon in winning the battle against tobacco, which is recognized as an obstacle to optimal readiness and performance for the armed services.

"Committing to participate in World No Tobacco Day on Sunday, May 31, 2009 is a one-day test run for what could be the beginning of a tobacco-free lifestyle for servicemen and women," Captain Arday said.

Also visit Tricare's special Web page geared to quit tobacco efforts at

Reference: DOD officials promote 'World No Tobacco Day', U.S Air Force, 5/28/2009.


Florida's Governor signs tobacco tax increase into law..

May 28, 2009 - TALLAHASSEE - Governor Charlie Crist signed into law a $1-per-pack cigarette tax hike Wednesday - the biggest of its kind in Florida history -- saying he hopes to kill the habit that results in thousands of deaths every year.

"I view it more as a health issue than a tax issue," said Crist, a Republican who broke with a career-long opposition to tax increases. " Ronald Reagan used to say if you want to kill something, tax it. It wouldn't be bad if we killed smoking. It would save a lot of lives."

As of July 1, 2009 Florida's new cigarette tax is $1.34 per pack. An equivalent increase applies to smokeless and pipe tobacco, but not cigars. The extra $1 tax is expected to generate more than $900 million a year, to be used to offset Medicaid costs and fund cancer research.

With the increase, Florida's cigarette tax goes from sixth-lowest in the nation to slightly above the national average of $1.23 a pack. Still, Florida's Deep South neighbors have some of the lowest levies in the nation. Among them: Georgia (37 cents), Alabama (42 cents) and South Carolina (7 cents).

Higher cigarette taxes mean teenagers will never pick up the habit, and addicted adults might quit, said Brenda Olsen, an American Lung Association lobbyist. Though Florida's tax has remained flat for two decades, smoking rates have steadily declined. About 19 percent of adults, or less than 2 million Floridians over 18, smoke.

Still, smoking is linked to 28,600 deaths a year in Florida and requires $6 billion to treat tobacco-related illnesses, state analysts say.

David Sutton, a spokesperson for Altria Group Inc., the parent company of Philip Morris, told the newspaper that Florida's tax hike would prompt many consumers to seek tax-free ways to buy their smokes, whether on an Indian reservation or the Internet. "Obviously, it's a big hit to our consumers and to retailers as well," he said. "You've got a very difficult economy out there." We have to make sure the PACT legislation that just passed in the House, flys through the Senate and becomes law. This will prevent the mailing of all tobacco products by the US Postal Service. Read More: U.S - PACT legislation passed by House...

Reference: Crist signs cigarette-tax hike, calls it a 'health issue', Josh Hafenbrack | Tallahassee Bureau, Orlando Sentinel, 5/27/2009; A View to a Kill Florida's Crist signs tobacco "execution order"; other states mulling tax increases, Convenience Store / Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 5/28/2009.

Archive: Florida tobacco tax increase 2009: Florida Governor Charlie Crist stated he will allow a $1-a-pack tax to become law..; Florida legislature pass budget with tobacco tax hike..;; Florida - House may accept Senate's $1-per-pack increase in a cigarette tax..; Florida senate votes 39-0 to raise tobacco tax..; Florida cigar makers fuming over possible tax increase..; Florida - besides tobacco tax increase Senate wants to restrict tax-free sales..; Florida Senate panel backs tobacco tax hike..; Florida tobacco tax hike gets 1st critical vote today.., Tobacco Free Florida Week - 2/27/2009 - 3/7/2009.., Florida's $2.3 billion deficit - increase tax on cigarettes???; States Need Quick Influx of Revenue – Think Tobacco Tax..; Times are Tough Save Money Quit Smoking...


India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..

May 28, 2009 - India - this is definite - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented effective Sunday, May 31, 2008 - WHO World NO Tobacco Day.

Starting Sunday, several three-member police squads will be doing the rounds in Chennai (capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is India's fourth largest metropolitan city, known as 'Gateway to South India'), covering petty shops and retail outlets to check whether pictorial warnings against smoking are printed on tobacco packs, mandatory as per specifications provided by the Union health ministry. Each team will comprise a police official, health officer and school headmaster. Violations would attract fines, with or without imprisonment, commissioner of police K Radhakrishnan said here on Monday.

According to the cigarette and tobacco products (packaging and labeling) rules issued by the Union government, all cigarette and tobacco packs should carry pictorial messages and a revised statuary warning, Smoking kills and tobacco causes cancer' on 40% of the principal display area ( Smoking is injurious to health' was the earlier warning that customers have been used to for years).

"If this (instructions) is not followed, the manufacturer can be fined up to Rs 5,000 with or without two years imprisonment. The dealer or seller can be fined up to Rs 1,000 [1000 India Rupees = 21.01USD] with or without a year's imprisonment. If the offence is repeated, the fine amount will be raised to Rs 10,000 [10,000 India Rupees = 210.13USD] for the manufacturer with or without five years' imprisonment, and up to Rs 3,000 [3,000 India Rupees = 63.03USD] for the dealer or seller with or without two years' imprisonment," said director of public health Dr S Elango.

So far, more than 9,600 people have been fined for smoking in public places and this has resulted in an income generation of Rs 11.44 lakh for the state government.

Reference: No pictorial warning? Beware of the squad, The Times of India, 5/26/2009.


Switzerland - unified program to ban smoking in buildings open to the public..

May 27, 2009 - A coalition of 40 health organisations has launched an initiative to ban smoking in all buildings open to the public across Switzerland. At present, about half of the country's 26 cantons (states within Switzerland) already have rules regulating smoking in bars and restaurants, but proponents of the campaign say the country's laws are too disjointed and do not go far enough. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union.

The new law, if passed, would make any room open to the public smoke free, including those in restaurants, bars, schools and hospitals. Workplaces would also ban smoking inside. The regulations would cover all of Switzerland.

The alliance, which includes groups like the Swiss Cancer League, numerous medical groups and worker associations like Travail.Suisse, has until November 2010 to collect 100,000 signatures needed to force a nationwide vote on the issue.

Doing so should not present any problems, proponents say, because much of the Swiss population already supports moves to make areas smoke free. According to a survey of 640 people by the research and marketing firm DemoScope, the initiative would pass overwhelmingly with a 68 per cent majority if residents were asked to cast their votes today.

On a nationwide level, parliament last year approved a limited ban that allows for smoking rooms, or fumoirs, in some restaurants. Cantons reserve the authority to make tighter rules, which often consider the size of an establishment.

Thierry Carrel, a cardiovascular surgeon, noted that an aggressive law against smoking in public spaces in Italy has produced significant results. In Rome the number of heart attacks has dropped 11% for people aged 35-64 since the law passed in 2005. Similar results were found in other areas with smoking bans, including Ireland, Scotland, France and the United States. Were the same measures to be introduced in Switzerland, Carrel says the country could expect upward of 3,300 fewer coronary events like heart attacks each year.

Reference: Initiative aims to stub out smoking nationwide,, 5/25/2009.

U.S. - Midwest States smoking bans do not hurt business.

May 27, 2009 - Lost jobs in Wisconsin was an argument used against a statewide smoking ban that will go into effect next year. Other Midwest states such as Minnesota and Ohio say smoking bans don’t hurt business.

Before Minnesota and Ohio approved their bans, restaurant and bar owners said they’d lose business if customers weren’t allowed to smoke. But researchers from those states who tracked employment data over three years found job loss was very minimal, not even statistically relevant.

In Wisconsin, opposition to the smoking ban extended beyond restaurants and bars. When Wisconsin lawmakers passed a smoking ban earlier this month, Senator Bob Jauch argued unsuccessfully to allow motels to have smoking rooms. The Democrat represents northern Wisconsin. Jauch: “Those along the border will be economically hit and hurt because someone will go to Minnesota.” he said.

Although there are only predictions of what economic impact a statewide smoking ban will have, there are community examples. In Madison, public health officials noted that there was more liquor licenses sold after the city’s ban was enacted in 2005.

Maureen Busalacchi from Smoke Free Wisconsin says clean air laws can actually improve business. “The population continues to grow of nonsmokers. And these are the environments that most people like. And our surveys show even a majority of smokers support smoke free air laws.”

When Wisconsin’s smoking ban takes effect in 2010 it will apply to all businesses; except for existing tobacco stores and cigar bars.

Reference: Other Midwest states say smoking bans don’t hurt business by By Shamane Mills/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram, 5/26/2009.

Wisconsin related news briefs:Wisconsin Governor Doyle signs smoking ban..; Wisconsin - legislature passes smoing ban in restaurants, bars and other businesses..; Count Wisconsin as the 26th state to ban smoking..; Wisconsin may be the 26th state to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants..; Wisconsin - Increased Sales Tax Decrease in Smoking..; Wisconsin's achieves the lowest adult smoking prevalence ever..; The primary reason to increase the tax on tobacco is to get smokers to quit and dissuade kids from starting..; Wisconsin cigarette tax and tax on other tobacco products to increase January 1, 2008..;Wisconsin to Increase Tax on All Tobacco Products..; Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly (2-to-1) favor upping cigarette taxes by $1.25 a pack..


Hong Kong - bar owners an employees march to protest smoking ban starting July 1, 2009..

May 27, 2009 - Around 2,000 people took part in a protest march in Hong Kong Sunday, 5/24 calling for a blanket ban on smoking in bars and restaurants to be postponed. The protesters, mostly bar owners and employees, said they wanted the ban to be delayed for two years to allow the entertainment industry to cope with the effects of the economic crisis.

A smoking ban first came into effect for bars and restaurants in Hong Kong on January 1, 2007, but hundreds of bars along with nightclubs and karaoke lounges were exempted until July 2009. From July, smoking will be banned in all bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges and sauna parlors and operators claim the ban may force half the city’s entertainment premises out of business.

The city’s powerful entertainment industry lobby now wants a further delay, saying the timing of the ban will be devastating combined with the economic crisis and the current swine flu scare.

Anti-smoking campaigners have accused the city’s government of paying too much attention to the industry lobby and putting its interests ahead of concern over public health. Less than one in five adults smoke in Hong Kong, a wealthy city of 7 million which has a low smoking rate

Reference: 2,000 March in Hong Kong Protest Smoking Ban in Bars by Arthur Cheung, 5/24/2009.

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World NO Tobacco Day - May 31, 2009 - GET INVOLVED..

World No Tobacco Day - May 31, 2009

The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2009 is "Tobacco Health Warnings," with an emphasis on the picture warnings that have been shown to be particularly effective at making people aware of the health risks of tobacco use and convincing them to quit. More and more countries are fighting back against the epidemic of tobacco by requiring that packages of tobacco show the dangers of the product's use, as called for in guidelines to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Showing the truth, saving lives: the case for pictorial health warnings

Why use picture warnings? | The focus | What you can do

We all await the results of the study by the European Union aimed at developing better graphic images..

World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. The member states of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. It draws global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to its negative health effects. The day aims to reduce the 5.4 million yearly deaths from tobacco related health problems.

Previous World NO Tobacco Days..

We would like to suggest that the theme for 2010 be concerned with ENFORCEMENT of all the tobacco control measures that have been implemented around the world. -

Click on each image to enlarge..

U.S. - snuff out dissolvable smokeless-tobacco products before they can get a toehold ..

May 26, 2009 - Two senators are aiming to snuff out dissolvable smokeless-tobacco products before they can get a toehold in the U.S. market. U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio amendment to the proposed FDA regulation bill from Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., is stoking the debate regarding the viability and possible less-hazardous role of smokeless tobacco products. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley; U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

The senators have labeled as "tobacco candy" the three dissolvable products being test marketed by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The senators say that the dissolvable products are aimed at getting youths hooked on tobacco and nicotine. They said that some of the products are sold in containers "designed to resemble cell phones."
"There is no doubt that smokeless tobacco products are aimed squarely at children," Brown said. "We have a responsibility to protect children from suggestive marketing and dangerous products."

Reynolds counters that the products -- a pellet (Camel Orbs), a twisted stick the size of a toothpick (Camel Sticks) and a filmlike strip for the tongue (Camel Strips) -- are aimed at adult consumers who want to use a tobacco product in places where they can no longer smoke by federal and state law. 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."

In October, Reynolds introduced the first dissolvable product Camel Orbs in test markets in Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis and Portland, Ore. The products are made of finely milled tobacco and come in flavor styles called "fresh" and "mellow." They last from two to three minutes for the strips, 10 to 15 minutes for the orbs and 20 to 30 minutes for the sticks. The Camel Orbs container and the pellets look quite similar to candies such as Tic Tac. We hear that kids like the little Camel on the container.

Just like with Camel SNUS, Reynolds has tried just about every possible way to get a container of Camel Orbs in the hands of anyone that shows any interest.

The good senator from Oregon she ask Reynolds why they keep on selecting Portland, Oregon as a test market site - first for Camel SNUS and now with the Camel Dissolvables.

The senators' amendment was approved last week by a 15-8 vote, mostly along party lines, in the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension. Both North Carolina senators, Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Kay Hagan, voted against the amendment.

The Kennedy bill is expected to be dealt with in the Senate next week. Like the House version of the bill that was passed in April, it would impose restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco and allow the FDA to regulate the content of cigarettes.

By introducing the amendment, the senators may be providing the means for scientifically proving whether smokeless products are less hazardous than cigarettes.
Such a definitive test in the United States, which would be under the auspices of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory committee, has been requested for years by advocates on both sides of the issue.A report would be presented within two years to the FDA if it is given oversight of the industry. - why 2-years??

Julie Edwards, a spokeswoman for Merkley, said that unlike nicotine gum, which is meant to be used for a limited time with decreasing use of nicotine, "tobacco candy is meant to start or continue the addiction and may have even higher doses of nicotine than cigarettes." "We are talking about a product that hasn't been strenuously studied but is assumed to carry many of the same risks as chewing tobacco -- including the risk of cancer."

Both Reynolds officials and some smokeless-tobacco advocates dispute Edwards' statement on higher doses of nicotine in smokeless products.

Tommy Payne, the executive vice president of public affairs for Reynolds, said that the senators' amendment is part of an "abstinence-only strategy that only provides three options for smokers -- cigarettes, nicotine replacement or quitting cold turkey. Our smokeless products are part of a strategy aimed at harm reduction that is backed by scientists and elements of the antismoking advocacy groups," Payne said.
"Their intent with the dissolvable study could be beneficial to our efforts if the science reveals what we believe it will."

Reference: U.S. senators attack Reynolds' alternative They propose amendment to FDA tobacco bill to ban dissolvable smokeless products by Richard Craver, Winston=Salem Journal, 5/26/2009.

Related news briefs: Camel ORBS flavored candy shaped tobacco pellets..; Camel Orbs news from Columbus, OH test site..; Dissolving Tobacco Hits Columbus, OH Test Market - see VIDEO..; R.J. Reynolds Dissolvables - it looks like candy...

Some more related news briefs: 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..

Canada - federal government introduces legislation to ban flavored tobacco products..

For example Prime Time Little Cigars.
May 26, 2009 - The federal government plans to introduce legislation Tuesday, 5/26 that, if passed, would make good on a campaign promise to ban flavoured tobacco products that are considered appealing to children.

The bill, "An Act to Amend the Tobacco Act," also is expected to mandate that mini-cigars, called cigarillos, must be sold in packages of at least 20, and that all tobacco advertising and promotion in print and electronic media that may be viewed and read by young people is prohibited.

More details will be revealed when the bill is introduced in the House of Commons by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, but according to the Conservative party platform that was released during the fall 2008 election, the proposed measures will "help to prevent the exploitation of children by the tobacco industry."

The most recent statistics from the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, indicate that among youth aged 15 to 19, 33 per cent reported trying a cigarillo and 10 per cent said they had smoked one in the previous month.

Groups including Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the Canadian Medical Association have been pushing the federal government for new laws that would crack down on the sale and marketing of cigarillos. They argue the products, with flavours such as strawberry, vanilla, pina colada, chocolate mint, grape and cherry, are clearly aimed at youth and are appealing because they come in a variety of flavours, are affordable, and are sold in brightly-coloured packages that can look like markers, lip gloss, and music players. The groups also say the cigarillos, when sold individually or in small "kiddie packs," have no health warnings on them.

It is not yet known what flavours the government is aiming to ban but setting a minimum package size for cigarillos is aimed at ending the current practice of selling them individually. A single cigarillo can be purchased for less than $2 but a package of 20 will make the products more expensive and therefore less appealing to youth, according to Health Canada.

Reference: Feds set to outlaw tobacco flavours, 'kiddie packs' by Meagan Fitzpatrick, Canwest News Service, 5/25/2009.

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California - lawmakers may consider $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax hike..

May 26, 2009 - Next month lawmakers will consider a proposal to hike cigarette taxes by $1.50 per pack and raise $1.2 billion annually. During the last decade, cigarette makers have spent tens of millions of dollars to kill 14 straight attempts to make smokers pay more. (Forty-five states have raised tobacco taxes during the last decade, but not California.) But with the state facing a staggering $21.3-billion deficit and due to run out of cash in July, the tobacco tax could have a better chance of passing the Legislature. Given the serious budget shortfall we face, this is the year to pass the tobacco tax," said Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima). "It is needed now more than ever."

Padilla wrote the current proposal with Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), but even with Steinberg's support, it faces an uphill battle. The tobacco industry sees California as a crucial market and a trendsetter for anti-tobacco ideas that can spread through the country, said Beverly May, regional director of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, a Washington anti-smoking group.

"The tobacco companies view California very much as a battleground state," she said. "California is a state that they look at as important to do everything they can to have influence in any way they can." In 2006 voters defeated a $2.60-a- pack tobacco tax, Proposition 86, in a 48 to 52 percent vote. Opponents, primarily the tobacco industry, spent more than $65 million to campaign against it.

Despite California's health-conscious image and laws that ban smoking just about everywhere, including bars and beaches, the state's cigarette tax of 87 cents per pack is lower than such taxes in other states. In Rhode Island, where tobacco taxes are highest, the levy is $3.46 a pack.

This year, R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris USA, the two largest tobacco firms, are not among the groups that have sent letters to senators expressing opposition to the Steinberg-Padilla proposal. But senators have received statements of opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce, California Black Chamber of Commerce, the Black Chamber of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the California Taxpayers Assn. and the Neighborhood Market Assn.

According to records and interviews, all of those groups have received donations from Altria Group Inc., which owns Philip Morris. "It's very deceptive," said Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UC San Francisco. "The tobacco companies have a long history of giving money to groups representing businesses and ethnic minorities to buy their allegiance."

Reference: Lawmakers consider $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax hike Tobacco lobbyists have blocked previous attempts to increase the levy, one of the lowest in the country by Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, 5/25/2009.

Related news briefs: California - congratulations on the 20th anniversary of the tobaco control effort..; Besides federal tax increase - several states want to do the same...


Tobacco Update CyberConference: more spending money for low income consumers/worry entry of big tobacco in OTP..

May 26, 2009 - Nik Modi sector analyst at New York City-based UBS Securities LLC - CSPNetwork's Tobacco Update CyberConference.

Modi feels that low income consumers will have a little extra money to spend in a down economy. Food prices have come down slightly in the past year, and gasoline prices have nearly been cut in half, loosening the wallets of 60% of cigarette smokers—who make less than $40,000 annually. According to Modi, last year at this time gasoline prices were about $3.74 per gallon, and they are currently around $2.24, with the savings equating to the price of 209 packs of Marlboros or 142 tins of Copenhagen per year.

Modi also addressed the big question on most tobacco retailers' minds, how the federal excise tax (FET) increase will impact the industry. Based on historical price elasticity calculations, he said that he expects the tobacco industry to decline 8% to 10%, which would roughly be 4% to 6% worse than the normal trend rate of decline. After the next 12 months, Modi expects industry decline rates to return more or less to normalized levels, however.

Premium cigarette brands will likely be "less affected," since price gaps between premium and discount would narrow. This is particularly true as state excise taxes increase. A state excise tax of up to 50 cents means a price gap between premium and discount of 51.9%, but a $1.50 state tax narrows that substantially to 27%, which could lift the premium market share to as much as 94%.

Joe Teller, director of category management for Richmond, Va.-based Swedish Match was clear: Retailers should maintain control of their other tobacco product (OTP) category. He cautioned that cigarette companies entering the foray—with Altria Group Inc.'s purchase of UST Inc. earlier this year and Reynolds American Inc. purchasing Conwood Co. in 2006 and selling Camel Snus—could be a game changer. "These companies are used to doing whatever they can do to manage their brand share in the declining cigarette business," he said. "The last thing anybody wants to see is the OTP category turn into some version of cigarettes." Cigarette sales were up 2.4% in dollar sales, but down 6.1% in profits, according to the NACS survey.

While growth rates in can sales continued to be in the double digits for portion pouch (21.8%) and low price loose (10.8%), according to ACNielsen numbers. However, the decline of premium loose snuff (-4.2%) has held overall category growth down.

Reference: Taking Control of Tobacco Industry professionals share thoughts on the economy, taxes, staying in control by Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 5/26/2009.

Click on image to enlarge..


Camel ORBS flavored candy shaped tobacco pellets..

May 25, 2009 - R.J. Reynolds introduced Camel Orbs in Columbus, Indianapolis and Portland, Ore., earlier this year, and the company said early feedback has been positive. David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds said, Orbs “meet the societal expectation of no second-hand smoke, no spitting, and in the case of dissolvables, no litter.”

Shelly Kiser, director of advocacy for American Lung Association in Ohio and no great fan of Camel Orbs, needed a prop for her presentation on Camel Orbs to the Ohio School Nurses Association. All she needed was a prop so she headed to a Columbus gas station earlier this year and asked for a container of Orbs. They gave it to her for free.

For U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and public health advocate, it’s yet another diabolical strategy to get kids hooked on smoking. Brown, this week successfully added a measure calling for a quick Federal Drug Administration (FDA) study of Orbs and other dissolvable tobacco products to a larger bill that would, for the first time, put tobacco products under FDA regulatory authority. The bill, with the amendment, passed the committee last week and now awaits full U.S. Senate approval. It passed the House in April without this amendment.

Brown compares Orbs to candy - (see comparison with Tic Tac candies) -, and said the fact that the products can be passed off as breath mints is another way to lure kids into becoming tobacco addicts at a young age. “It is criminal to me that they market to children the way they do,” he said.

Brown cites studies indicating a single Orb has between 60 and 300 times the amount of tobacco contained in a single cigarette.

Greg Connolly, a professor of the practice of public health at Harvard University, calls Orb products “nicotine on training wheels.” R.J. Reynolds, Connolly said, “is just trying to expand the options for nicotine delivery products for the American public.” Smoking a cigarette for the first time, can be a deeply uncomfortable experience for a teenager, Connolly said. There’s the smoke, for one thing, as well as the coughing and the taste. By turning it into a mint-like product — in mint and cinnamon flavors — they’ve made nicotine addiction a more pleasurable experience, he said.

Connolly said Brown’s amendment would allow the FDA to begin the studies necessary to take Orbs off the market. Camel Orbs is the first of the dissolvable products to be tested marketed soon orbs will be followed by Camel flavored tobacco sticks and probably the worst Camel flavored edible tobacco strips like Listerine breath strips simply place the strip on your tongue and you guaranteed to be a nicotine addicts in just a couple of weeks or less. As pointed out by Dr. Connolly these nicotine dosage forms are easier to tolerate so kids will become possible life-long nicotine addicts at a much younger age compared with cigarette initiation. Test marketing of these dissolvables should be prevented until the quick FDA study is concluded.

Bill Godshall of a group called SmokeFree Pennsylvania counts himself as one of the defenders of Orbs. He compares the products to Nicorette or Commit Lozenges and cites studies indicating they are safer than cigarettes. Mr. Godshall should know that Nicroette or Committ Lozenges have undergone several safety and efficacy studies prior to getting an NDA (new drug approval)from the FDA. There is not a shred of scientific evidence showing that smokeless tobacco is effective in helping patients quit smoking. In the past, Dr. Brad Rodu is usually called upon to justify smokeless tobacco but by now this man must have lost his credibility after accepting millions from smokeless tobacco companies. Godshall may have something to do with Pennsylvania being the only state in the nation that does not tax tobacco products other than cigarettes.

Kiser said despite the fact that the products are only legal for adults, school nurses have reported finding packages of Orbs in the trash. To her, they’re dangerous because they can be consumed in front of parents and teachers without the adults knowing what’s going on. “Unless a parent knows the exact shape of it, they wouldn’t suspect anything,” she said.

Reynolds claims that it is the first major U.S. tobacco manufacturer to offer these dissolvable products.

Reference: Tobacco foes say new product a lure for minors Maker of Camel Orbs says smokeless, dissolvable tobacco is ‘hardly candy.’ by Jessica Wehrman, Dayton Daily News, 5/24/2009.

Related news briefs: Camel Orbs news from Columbus, OH test site..; Dissolving Tobacco Hits Columbus, OH Test Market - see VIDEO..; R.J. Reynolds Dissolvables - it looks like candy...

Some more related news briefs: 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..


Pakistan - Government must withdraw Statutory Regulatory Order..

May 25, 2009 - On the occasion of World NO Tobacco Day, May 31, 2009 the Pakistan Ministry of Health may announce the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) that promote smoking in designated areas withdrawn.

Pakistan shocked the international community in September 2008 when its Ministry of Health decided to legitimise the long-disputed smoking lounges by issuing guidelines for their establishment. The SRO projected the country in a negative limelight, given that Article 8 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the Guidelines adopted by the WHO FCTC Conference of Parties, makes it legally binding for all signatories to adopt and implement effective legislative measures for protection against exposure to tobacco smoke.

DG Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of Health, Shaheen Masud: Pakistan has an estimated population of Pakistan is 172.8 million , the sixth most populous country in the world. About 22-25 million Pakistanis smoke and most of them are poor, Masud said 54 percent smokers were male and 20 percent female, adding that prevalence of smoking was 33 percent among male and 4.7 percent among female. She said in addition to cigarette, tobacco was used in hookah, snuff, niswar, chewing tobacco and gutka. Sheesha smoking was fast emerging as a big threat, she said. She said Pakistan’s cigarette market was the 18th largest in the world and the country’s annual tobacco yield was 2,402 kg. She said two-thirds of the country’s population lived in rural areas where tobacco consumption was mainly in non-cigarette forms.

Masud said 57 tobacco manufacturers operated in Pakistan currently but the sector was dominated by and Lakson Tobacco Company. She said Lakson Tobacco Company (acquired by PMI) had 46.9 percent share of the tax-paying market and Pakistan Tobacco Company (owned by British American Tobaco - BAT) had 52 percent share of the same.

Masud said a boom in the tobacco business came over the last five years. “This shows an indirect evidence of the rising magnitude of tobacco consumption in Pakistan,” she said. She said tobacco was grown over 32,551 hectares (one hectare = 2.47 acres) of land and total cigarette consumption was around 80 billion units in the country.

Euromonitor - Tobacco in Pakistan.

References: Nothing but withdrawal of order to appease anti-smoking campaigners by Shahina Maqbool, International The News, 5/21/2009; Yearly media watch on tobacco control in Pakistan - 2008, Coalition for Tobacco Control..

Pakistan - related news briefs: Bloomberg Grant: Tobacco Reforms in Pakistan...

New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals..

May 24, 2009 - New York City Councilman Joel Rivera (D-Bronx) presided over a public hearing yesterday, 5/21 on two bills. One bill would ban flavored tobacco and the other would ban smoking outside hospitals. Both measures were enthusiastically supported by the city Health Department and a number of anti-smoking advocates.

The bills drew opposition from tobacco industry representatives. No vote was taken by the committee, although Rivera and other sponsors said the bills have strong support.

Rivera is the prime sponsor of the bill to ban flavored tobacco products, which he said are particularly attractive to teens. It would outlaw the sale of exotically flavored tobacco cigarettes and cigars, with the exception of menthol, mint or clove flavors. Health Department counsel Anne Pearson said the agency supports both bills, although she expressed concern that the ban on flavored tobacco exempts tobacco intended to be used in hookahs (water-filtrated pipes) that have become a trend with young people in neighborhoods such as the East Village and the lower East Side.

The prime sponsor of the ban on smoking outside hospitals is City Councilwoman Inez Dickens (D-Manhattan), who said the idea was proposed to officials at Harlem Hospital. Her bill would ban smoking on the grounds of a hospital, sidewalks adjacent to a hospital and within 15 feet of any hospital entrance.

A representative of Altria's tobacco companies, which includes Philip Morris, said regulation of tobacco products should be left to the federal government. And Audrey Silk of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (CLASH) said adults are being punished in the name of restricting tobacco sales to minors. <----- this is the way it should be -

Maine and New Jersey, have already have banned exotically flavored cigarettes and cigars.

References: City Council bills would ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals bY Frank Lombardi, New York DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU 5/22/2009;
Metro Briefing | New York: Manhattan: Ban Proposed For Candy-Flavored Tobacco by WINNIE HU (NYT); COMPILED BY JOHN SULLIVAN, The New York Times, 6/1/2006.

Click on image to enlarge..