Missouri - 2nd lowest cigarette tax and 4th highest smoking rate..

September 26, 2009 - A new report shows Missouri ranking high nationwide in the percentage of smokers and low in the size of its cigarette tax. State Auditor Susan Montee compiled national rankings of states to show how Missouri rates in more than two dozen categories, including the economy, education, health, crime and transportation.

Missouri is neither best nor worst in anything. But it does have the second lowest cigarette tax, at 17 cents a pack. And it has the fourth highest smoking rate among adults, at 25 percent of the population.

Missouri's cigarette tax is higher only than South Carolina's. Its adult smoking rate is lower only than those in West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky.

Reference: Report shows Missouri near top in tobacco use, HeartlandConnection.com - Associated Press, 9/25/2009.

Missouri - related news briefs: Missouri - fire-safe cigarettes delayed until January 2011..; St. Louis County - joint statement; Premium Cigar Store Owners Unite to Fight Proposed St. Louis County Smoking Ban Vote..; Missouri - some cities becoming smoke free but NOT the state..; West Saint (St.) Louis County - NO Smoking - firefighters or EMS personnel...


South Australia - SMOKING will be banned on the grounds of all public hospitals from May 31, 2010..

September 25, 2009 - In South Australia (SA, S.A.) smoking will be banned on the grounds of all public hospitals from May 31, 2010. The introduction of the bans will coincide with World No Tobacco Day.

Nurses in uniform and patients in gowns have been a common sight smoking outside hospitals since lighting up indoors was banned in the 1970s. Under the new rules, staff and patients will be offered "at-cost", or free, nicotine replacement therapy but the blanket ban seems certain to push some smokers out to the footpaths.

In 2007, after Sydney hospitals implemented a similar ban, some patients in pyjamas and carrying drips and catheters chose to defy the order and smoke in the grounds, rather than with pedestrians. (Patients flout hospital smoking bans for hospital grounds, Daniel Dasey, Sydney Morning Herald, 7/8/2007)

SA Health chief executive Dr Tony Sherbon said the new policy would help protect staff, patients and visitors from passive smoking. Sherbon: "Smoking is responsible for around 1100 deaths in SA each year, and is the leading cause of preventable disease and death." The effects of smoking put a tremendous burden on our health system. Breathing in second-hand smoke can particularly affect vulnerable individuals such as young children, pregnant women and people who suffer from pre-existing respiratory conditions."

The new policy is the final nail in the coffin for smoking on hospital grounds. Dr Sherbon said any staff assessed as nicotine dependent would be offered counselling and discounted nicotine replacement therapy up to twice a year.

Inpatients were likely to be offered the therapy for free, until they were discharged. The clampdown on smoking began in the late 1960s when patients lost the right to smoke in bed. With concerns about the increased use of oxygen, which is highly flammable, smoking was moved to corridors and other designated areas in the 1970s, before being moved outside in the same decade.

Drug and Alcohol Services SA spokeswoman Marina Bowshall said she expected some people would quit because the new policy made smoking too hard for them. "There is evidence that when you introduce smoke-free areas, you do get a decrease in the number of people smoking in the community," she said yesterday.

"The SA public is strongly supportive of smoke-free areas and self-enforce.

"There won't be a heavy-handed approach."

Ms Bowshall said mental health and aged-care properties would be able to apply for exemptions from the ban for up to 12 months.

Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Elizabeth Dabars said her union had been consulted on the policy and members seemed supportive.

Quit SA manager David Edwards said even patients who chose not to quit would benefit from going without cigarettes for the duration of their hospital stay. "The SA Government should be congratulated for this," Mr Edwards said.

Royal Adelaide Hospital sterilising services worker Peter Fabbro said he would not mind the new rule because it would encourage healthier living. "I know that it will probably stop me from smoking as much as what I do now," he said yesterday. "It just makes it harder. "Most staff and patients will be happy with this, I think. But, at the end of the day, it is government land and if they really want to stop smoking at hospitals, they will."

The SmokeFree Australia coalition yesterday called for all Australian governments to make all workplaces smoke-free, including outdoors, after new studies showed smoke-free laws reduce heart attacks by even more than previously thought.

Reference: Smoking to be banned on public hospital grounds, JILL PENGELLEY, BEN HARVY, AdelaideNow.au, 9/25/2009.

Australia - hospitals related news brief: Australia - smoking bans must be enforced, especially at hospitals...


Ohio - don't cut spending on anti-tobacco programs it will cost the state much more in the long run ..

September 25, 2009 - Ohio is poised to reduce its spending on anti-tobacco programs from $40 million a year early this decade to nothing by the beginning of the next decade, anti-tobacco activists said yesterday while calling for cigarette taxes to be applied to other tobacco products.

Last year, state leaders dissolved a $264 million fund stocked with money from a multistate settlement with tobacco companies reached a decade earlier. At the same time, Gov. Ted Strickland's administration set aside a fraction of the money -- $6 million this year -- for the Ohio Department of Health to continue running some of the anti-smoking programs the foundation administered. The programs include a toll-free quit line, grants to local groups and an annual survey regarding tobacco use.

Most of the foundation's money was redesignated for social services, although a Franklin County judge last month blocked the diversion. The state is appealing the ruling.

A coalition of anti-smoking activists called Investing in Tobacco-Free Youth held a news conference at the Statehouse yesterday to decry the loss of funding. They said the state should tax chewing tobacco and newer tobacco products such as mints and dissolvable sticks that are loaded with nicotine at the same rate as cigarettes. That would yield about $50 million a year for anti-smoking programs, they said.

"Tobacco is getting easier to buy," said Shelly Kiser of the American Lung Association, a member of the coalition. "(Children) are not getting the information they need to make informed decisions about their health. That's a disaster for Ohio kids."

The Ohio Department of Health has no money set aside in next year's budget for tobacco prevention, spokesman Kristopher Weiss said. But he said the agency does expect to receive a $1.36 million federal grant for some programs and will look elsewhere in its budget for money to enforce the state's smoke-free law, which took effect in 2007.

Strickland opposes raising taxes on tobacco products at this time, spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said. Nor is the governor sympathetic to the call to put more money into anti-tobacco programs. "The governor believes that the best possible use of these limited state resources is to provide health-care options for children and adults and to fund child-welfare services at the county level," Wurst said.

Reference: Ohio State may stub out anti-smoking funds, by James Nash (nash@dispatch.com), THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/24/2009.

New Zealand - Maori committee to investigate smoking..

September 25, 2009 - Tobacco kills 5,000 Kiwis (New Zealanders) every single year, more than 100,000 New Zealanders in the last 25 years alone. It’s time New Zealanders held those people responsible for these tobacco deaths, accountable for their actions. While a quarter of all New Zealanders smoke, nearly half of Maori (about 16% of population) do, and a third (650 to 1000) of Maori deaths a year are due to tobacco.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira announced today, September 23rd the Maori Affairs parliamentary select committee would hold an inquiry into the impact of tobacco use on Maori. The committee would talk to "everybody, before we get to the tobacco companies", Mr Harawira said. There was a "very clear public record" of the serious negative effects of tobacco and the companies selling it must front up to the public, he said. (Maori Party drawing up a bill to ban smoking anywhere in New Zealand, NZherald.co.nz,2/22/2006)

Video interview with Maori Party MP Hone Harawira..

Maori Party co-leader and Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia told reporters a ban would be difficult but displays should be outlawed and tax on tobacco raised. "I'm already talking to the Government about those matters ... I think we're progressing." (Tobacco displays are a very devious and very potent form of marketing a killer product, normalising cigarettes in the eyes of vulnerable kids, and hooking them into buying smokes from a very young age; and banning displays works – we know that because when they did it in Saskatchewan, smoking rates actually dropped 25% in just 6 years.)

The announcement of the inquiry follows figures released to the committee early today by the Ministry of Health showing Maori women have the highest smoking prevalence (49.3 percent) followed by Maori men (41.5 percent). Young Maori were more likely to smoke and second-hand smoke exposure was higher among Maori than non-Maori.

Shane Bradbrook, Te Reo Marama director, said it was time for the tobacco industry to be accountable. There was no other industry operating in New Zealand or internationally that killed so many people and Maori were suffering out of proportion, he said.

The inquiry will look at the historical promotion of tobacco to Maori, the impact on Maori health, economic, social and cultural wellbeing, development aspirations, any benefits Maori received from tobacco use and what policy and legislative measures were needed. The inquiry will start in February. Submissions will close on January 29.

Reference: Harawira wants to smoke out tobacco company bosses, NZPA (New Zealand Press Association), 9/23/2009;
Tobacco Under Fire, Scoop Independent News, 9/23/2009; Maori committee to investigate smoking "This is a war against people who kill New Zealanders", NZPA, Dominion Post, 9/23/2009.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - Tairawhiti Board wants tobacco sold only on prescription..;
New Zealand - health researchers calling on government to ban importation of tobacco..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..;
New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..;
BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..;
New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..;
Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Smokefree NZ within 10 years..;
By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..

Image - the Maori logo..

Estonia will increase tax on alcohol and tobacco..

Estonia - Coat-of-Arms, click to enlarge:
September 25, 2009 - The Estonian government agreed yesterday, September 24th on principle on next the state budget 2010 and in order to cover spending in this budget, the state will increase the excise tax on alcohol and tobacco, Estonian dailies write.

It was agreed that the spending will amount to 89 billion kroons and the revenue volume will be 84 billion kroons. If the decision of the government is finalised, next year the excise tax on alcohol will increase by ten percent and excise tax on tobacco will be raised by 20 percent by the beginning of 2011. (1.00 Estonia Kroon = 0.0953559 USD)

Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi said that the tobacco excise tax has to increase by the beginning of 2011 by 20 percent as compared to the current level.

The Riigikogu (parliament of Estonia) decided already in summer that the tobacco excise tax will increase by 5 percent from January 1, 2010, i.e. by an average of 1 kroon per pack. A 20 percent tobacco excise tax increase means that by the beginning of 2011 latest, a pack of cigarettes will cost 4-5 kroons more than it does now. Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi did not rule out the possibility that the time schedule may be brought forward either.

Although the government hopes to get around 650 million kroons from raising alcohol and tobacco excise tax next year, Ligi hoped that the excise tax increase has a positive influence in this year’s budget context too. Earlier experience has shown that a month or two before the excise tax increase, the sale of alcohol and tobacco products will surge and thus, more excise tax will be collected. Ligi said that thus the excise tax increase will add a bit certainty that Estonia’s this year’s budget will fit into the criteria necessary to join the Euro.

Tobacco in Estonia..

Reference: Estonia will increase tax on alcohol and tobacco in 2010,
Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 9/25/2009.

U.S. customs officials bar imports bearing the Philip Morris USA trademark..

September 25, 2009 - The International Trade Commission has ordered U.S. customs officials to bar imports of import of counterfeit cigarettes bearing the trademarks of Philip Morris USA, the nation's No. 1 tobacco company said Thursday, September 24th.

Philip Morris, owned by Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc., said in a statement that the order will help stop Internet-based vendors from illegally importing cigarettes made abroad without trademark owners' permission and selling them in the United States. The company estimates more than 800 million cigarettes were sold to U.S. consumers by Internet sellers in 2008.

In March 2008, Philip Morris USA filed a complaint with the commission as part of an effort to end the trade of counterfeit, stolen and untaxed or under-taxed cigarettes. The company said Internet-based cigarette vendors are violating U.S. intellectual property laws and the Lanham Act.(Philip Morris USA Takes Action Against Internet-Based Cigarette Vendors)

The federal government and many states have raised cigarette taxes in recent years, driving up their overall cost to consumers. So-called gray-market vendors typically import counterfeit cigarettes and smokes intended for foreign markets and sell them to consumers more cheaply than legitimate products in part because they're untaxed.

Passage of the bill "Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (the PACT Act) of 2009," would clamp down on illegal tobacco sales. This bill was passed 397-11 by the U.S. House of Representatives (HR1676) on Thursday, 5/21/2009 and the companion bill (S1147) sponsored by of Senator Herb Kohl has been referred to the Judicial Commitee in the Senate. This legislation is extremely important, it will effectively end Internet and telephone tobacco smuggling by stopping shipments of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through the U.S. Postal Service. FedEx, UPS, and DHL have already agreed not to mail tobacco. (Let's Get It Passed - Prevent All Tobacco Trafficking Act of 2009..)

Gray market cigarettes are made with different materials and under different quality-control procedures than cigarettes sold in the U.S. and may not display the required health warnings, Philip Morris said in the complaint. Consumers also may be "disappointed and/or confused" by the differences between the gray market cigarettes and those Philip Morris sells in the U.S., it said.

Reference: International Trade Commission Blocks Illegal Internet Cigarette Sales Philip Morris USA prevails against overseas Internet cigarette sellers, Philip Morris USA, Business Wire, 9/24/2009.


Ireland - Prof Clancy not enough spent on prevention..

September 24, 2009 - Professor Luke Clancy, Director General of the Irish Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society (RIFTFS - a new institute set up by the government to look at all aspects of research on tobacco control) a physician has sharply criticised the Government over its work in disease prevention and accused it of abandoning key components of tobacco control. Prof Luke Clancy, a consultant respiratory physician: “Their credibility in prevention is low. Prevention as a whole gets a very poor show and that’s exemplified by the attitude to vaccination, which we know works, and which would have been a once-off price of €7 million, yet we can pay €54 billion and say it’s necessary to keep the banks happy.”

Prof Clancy; recent decisions by Health Minister Mary Harney about tobacco, which is linked with about 6,000 deaths in Ireland each year, also indicate little interest in disease prevention. RIFTFS set up to study tobacco use and control but has had its state funding cut. Clancy: “The present Minister has abandoned the research institute, adding that he also considered plans to wrap the Office of Tobacco Control into a larger organisation would “emasculate” (weaken) the agency.

“So the two pillars of the implementation of the Government’s own policy of creating a tobacco-free society have been taken apart by the present Minister, and this was before Bord Snip (cost-cutting). In my opinion, she has not shown any interest in prevention.”

Tackling tobacco dependence is recognised as a cost-effective exercise, explained Prof Clancy. “International figures show that to add one year of quality life by treatment of smoking dependence costs €3,000,” he said. “To add one year by mammography is about €45,000, and to add one year by cholesterol control costs about €100,000.”

Despite strong legislation, the prevalence of smoking in Ireland still remains at around 27 percent, and more resources now need to be put into a range of measures, including training of doctors in smoking cessation, said Prof Clancy, whose institute recently secured a €3 million European Framework grant, the largest award the funding programme has given to tobacco research.

“We have to do something about the people who smoke now,” he said. “Ireland has a very high reputation for its legislation on tobacco, but the prevalence of smoking has to be brought down.

“If people who smoke now don’t stop, there will be no reduction in lung cancer for 25 years, even if not one new person starts.”

Prof Clancy said current spending on smoking cessation in Ireland falls short of what has been shown to be required internationally. “They have looked at what it costs to get prevalence down in other countries and the best evidence is that you would need to spend about $20-$25 (€14-€17) per head, and the more you spend, the more you lower the prevalence,” he said.

In Ireland, less than €1 per head per annum is spent on tobacco control, according to Prof Clancy. He said the price of tobacco products here is high, but he would like to see it raised further.

Meanwhile, banning the sale of cigarettes completely is not on the cards at present, he said. “We should aspire to be a tobacco-free society, but it isn’t a matter of just waving a wand and saying let’s ban cigarettes and there will be no smoking,” he said. “Of course I’d like to see it, but it wouldn’t work at the moment. Tobacco use is an addiction, and even with the best will in the world most people wouldn’t be able to stop, and they would break the law. “So I wouldn’t expect Ireland to move on the banning of tobacco at present. It doesn’t mean it will never be banned.”

Prof Clancy will address the conference, A Blueprint for the Future – Prevention is the Cure, at Dublin Castle this weekend.

Prof Clancy related news brief: Children - exposed to cigarette smoke in cars have greater chance of respiratory distress.. - We totally agree with Dr. Clancy - Ireland should implement this prevention measure - get it done.

Reference: Fears for tobacco control strategy, CLAIRE O'CONNELL, IrishTimes.com, 9/22/2009.


Ontario - don't cut provincial tobacco taxes to try to reduce contraband tobacco traffic..

September 24, 2009 - The rampant contraband (illegal, illicit, smuggling) tobacco problem in Ontario needs a comprehensive solution, and cutting provincial tobacco taxes should not be part of the plan, according to the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco (OCAT).
(Forty-eight per cent of all cigarettes purchased in Ontario is illegal, while the figure for Quebec is 40 per cent.

Members of the group have unanimously rejected Bill 199, a private member's bill aimed at reducing taxation on tobacco in Ontario, which will be debated in the Legislature on Thursday, September 24, and are encouraging the government to develop and implement a provincial strategy to deal with the issue.

The most recent provincial Auditor General's report estimates Ontario is losing $500-million in taxes due to contraband tobacco. This represents lost revenue for Ontario's health care system, which affects everything from prevention through to long-term care. Michael Perley, director of OCAT: "What Ontarians need is a detailed plan of how the government will address the issue of contraband tobacco. A provincial anti-contraband strategy, which should include various enforcement and legislative initiatives, is long overdue and urgently needed to bring contraband under control."

Suggested measures include, among others:
- Banning the supply of raw materials required for manufacturing cigarettes to unlicensed retailers;
- Increased funding for enforcement and the active involvement of all levels of policing in Ontario in the search for and seizure of contraband;
- Progress toward shutting down unlicensed manufacturers in both Canada and the United States;
- A comprehensive public education campaign about the damage caused by contraband tobacco, particularly its impact on youth initiation and current smoking rates.

Studies from independent research groups, as well as the tobacco and retail industries, consistently show high (and increasing) levels of contraband sales across Ontario, with ongoing expansion into other provinces. Outside of Ontario, calls have been made by the retail industry to lower taxes on tobacco, and this is something to keep an eye on in this province, said Mr. Perley.

In 1994, the federal and some provincial governments, including Ontario, collectively reduced tobacco taxes by approximately 50 percent to address a smuggling problem fueled by the tobacco industry. The results of this initiative included an increase in smoking rates and youth initiation, a decrease in tobacco tax revenues, and 40,000 excess deaths according to a draft assessment by Health Canada.

"The tobacco industry was deeply involved in the cross-border smuggling that led to the tax cuts in the early 90's," said the Honourable Susan Whelan, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society's Ontario Division. "While partial justice has been obtained through the recent settlement with Rothmans Benson and Hedges and Imperial Tobacco Ltd., not a single industry executive has been held to account, and the financial penalties levied did not fit the crimes. The loss to the treasury, and most importantly the unnecessary loss of life, can never be recovered."

A reduction in taxes also flies in the face of research which shows tobacco tax increases to be the most effective tobacco control intervention available. "Research from both Europe and North America has consistently shown that tax increases directly lead to reductions in consumption, particularly among younger people, who are more price-sensitive than adults," said Dr. Marco di Buono, Director of Research of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

"Even if tobacco taxes in this province were reduced by 100 per cent, a carton of cigarettes would still sell for more than four times the cost of a bag of contraband," said Ontario Lung Association President George Habib. "And we would be left with even lower tax revenue for the public health system, more youth starting to smoke, and an increase in preventable and unnecessary disease and death."

The Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco was founded in 1992 by the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, the Non-Smokers' Rights Association, the Ontario Lung Association and the Ontario Medical Association to promote comprehensive tobacco control in Ontario.

Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco: Ontario Needs a Comprehensive Plan On Contraband Tobacco Reducing Tobacco Taxes is Ineffective and Unsound Strategy and Puts Public Health at Risk

Canada - cigarette smuggling related briefs:
Canada - nearly one in five packs of cigarettes smoked by Canadian teen smokers are contraband products..;
Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey - 2008..;
Ontario, Canada - illegal cigarettes are everywhere..;
Canada - half of smokers have tried to quit..;
Canada - illegal cigarette trade - Imperial Tobacco President Kemball comments..;
Canada - Imperial Tobacco Head - Illegal Cigarettes..;
Imperial Tobacco - Canada Head - Canada growing crisis of illicit tobacco sales..; Imperial Canada - stop illegal tobacco sales rather than raisng tax on tobacco..; Canada - will higher tobacco prices lead to increase in illicit cigarettes..;
Canada - to launch an advertising campaign on the problem of tobacco smuggling..;
Nova Scotia - buying smuggled tobacco you encourage organized crime..; Ontario Businessmen - want government to crack down on illegal cigarettes..;
Imperial Tobacco Canada - slow illegal cigarettes/sue tobacco companies..;
As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing..; 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...

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges - threatens to close factory in Quebec..

September 24, 2009 - Canadian tobacco heavyweight Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (RBH - an operating subsidiary of Rothmans, which is owned by Philip Morris International (PMI)) is threatening to close a Quebec factory employing more than 300 people if Ottawa doesn't narrow the scope of a bill aimed at stopping the manufacture of candy- and fruit-flavoured cigars and cigarettes.

The Harper government promised the legislation during last year's election campaign as a means of cracking down on tobacco products that appeal to children. But concerns over its Quebec impact are making Conservative Members of Parliament (MP) in that province eager to accommodate Rothmans.

Rothmans says the legislation, Bill C-32, is too broad and would also ban flavourings traditionally employed to make “American-blend” cigarettes in Canada for local and export markets. Far less popular with Canadians than Virginia tobacco cigarettes, an American blend of several tobaccos can include sweeteners or flavourings to dispel bitter or harsh tastes. These cigarettes, however, don't taste like candy or fruit.

Rothmans spokesman Bert Van Gossum: “The current wording of Bill C-32 puts the future of RBH's factory in Quebec City in jeopardy. RBH employs 750 people in Canada, including more than 300 in its Quebec factory alone.” Gossum: his company backs efforts to ban fruit- and candy-flavoured cigars and cigarettes, but says if the legislation isn't fixed it will undermine Rothmans's current business plan in Canada.

His company said a key motivation for Philip Morris's purchase last year of a 100-per-cent interest in Rothmans was to “take advantage of excess manufacturing capacity” in Canada, including the Quebec plant. The idea is to use this equipment to make Philip Morris International's global brands for export markets in addition to local sales.

Anti-smoking groups, however, say an amendment that allows additional flavouring would create a loophole that could be exploited by the tobacco industry to make cigarettes taste better.

Rob Cunningham Canadian Cancer Society senior policy analyst: “Because of advertising restrictions and better warnings, markets have declined, and they see flavours as a means to recruit kids and discourage quitting. That's why it's essential this bill not be weakened.” Mr. Cunningham said threatening job losses is a familiar tactic for the tobacco industry when confronted with new restrictions or laws. “But after laws were adopted those jobs remained in place.”

Bill C-32 passed the Commons earlier this year and is being studied by the Senate. Quebec Tory MP Maxime Bernier said in a posting on his blog yesterday that Conservatives from his province are going to press for changes to Bill C-32.

“We are going to try to raise this issue with our colleagues in other provinces so that the Senate adopts amendments that would exclude American blended cigarettes from the list of products that would be banned,” Mr. Bernier wrote.

Blended cigarettes manufactured by Rothmans at its Quebec plant include Rooftop, Gitanes, Gauloises and Carreras.

Josée Bellemare, spokeswoman for federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, defended Bill C-32's current scope. She said “American-style” cigarettes represent less than 1 per cent of all sold in Canada, and firms will get time to reformulate them without banned flavourings. “Less than half … actually contain flavourings that would be impacted by the bill.”

Reference: Amend tobacco bill or Quebeckers will lose jobs, U.S. firm warns, Steven Chase, Globe and Mail, 9/24/2009.

Bill C-32 related news briefs: Canadian House of Commons passes bill to prevent production of mini-cigars or cigarillos..; Canada - Bill C-32 to amend Tobacco Products Control Act...


Hawaii State Tax on Other Tobacco Products Increases 70 Percent..

September 24, 2009 - For Hawaii residents, the price of tobacco continues to rise. Starting on September 30 the state's wholesale tax on Other Tobacco Products (OTPs) such as chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco will significantly increase from 40 percent to 70 percent. Additionally, the tax on the wholesale price of cigars will rise from 40 percent to 50 percent, while the tax on smaller cigars will be taxed like cigarettes.

Julian Lipsher, program manager for the Department of Health's Tobacco Control Section: "For a typical tobacco user, it can cost approximately $2,555 a year to continue to support their nicotine addiction. In this economy those dollars could be better applied to family and household needs."

"Tobacco products are more expensive than ever before, which makes it a perfect time to quit," said Valerie Smalley, Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, Quit Coach. "For those who are thinking about or would like to learn more about quitting, the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline is a free, confidential resource, with qualified and trained Quit Coaches who are available to help guide users through the quitting process."

The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline recently released two new public service announcements that tout the message "imagine your life free from tobacco." The campaign seeks to empower tobacco users to quit by encouraging them take their health within their own control.

For residents who are considering quitting, the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) (or www.quitnowhawaii.org) provides over-the-phone assistance and free nicotine patches or gum, while supplies last, for eligible tobacco users who are uninsured, and assists those with coverage to work with their insurance company or community resources to receive free or reduced-cost nicotine replacement therapy. Hawaii Tobacco Quitline hours are from Monday to Sunday, 3 a.m. 9 p.m. Non-smokers can also call the Quitline to get help for a loved one.

The Department of Health is working in collaboration with community partners to educate and promote available tobacco cessation services and resources to better support those in their communities who are tackling nicotine addiction. There are more than 39 hospital and community-based tobacco cessation service providers that offer tobacco treatment programs across the state.

Reference: Hawaii State Tax on Other Tobacco Products Increases 70 Percent,
Crystal Yamasaki Reader Submitted, HonoluluAdvertiser.com, 9/23/2009.

Hawaii - related news briefs: Tobacco control initiatives starting Wednesday, July 1, 2009.; Hawaii - cigarette and other tobacoo products tax increase..; Hawaii may ban lipstick-sized packs of Virginia Slims...


Star Scientific - will use its low-nitrosamine tobacco curing process to formulate smokeless tobacco dissolvable smokeless products..

September 24, 2009 - Star Scientific, Inc. announced today that the company will utilize a novel, patented method for cultivation, curing and preparation of tobacco to formulate dissolvable smokeless tobacco products. This new curing process was the subject of a patent application filed in December, 2008. Its use has resulted in tobacco leaf with significantly lower levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) than previously achieved using the StarCured® curing process: the International Agency for Research on Cancer previously has reported on the low levels of nitrosamines in Star's products. The company believes that this novel process, as reflected in its patent application, will enable the company to achieve the lowest toxin levels anywhere in the world. Star plans to submit the products to the FDA for approval to market as "modified risk" tobacco products, under Section 911 of the new The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, once formulation and testing of the new product is completed in early 2010.

The company also formally nominated Dr. Wright (Curtis Wright, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer for Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Star Scientific's pharmaceutical division) for a position on the Scientific Advisory Committee that has been established by the FDA under the new legislation.

Late last week Star Scientific submitted comments to the FDA in response to the agency's request for input on the regulatory framework established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in June, 2009. The company's comments, focus on the need for tobacco product labeling that lists the levels of the most lethal carcinogens in the products in a way that is clear to adult tobacco users. Paul L. Perito, Star's chairman and president commented that "Adult tobacco users need to have access to information about the spectrum of harm associated with tobacco use in order to be able make informed choices about the products they purchase." Mr. Perito added that he hopes clear and accurate labeling will be one of the cornerstones of tobacco regulation policy.

Reference: Star Scientific Breaks New Ground, Plans FDA Filing for Approval of First 'Modified Risk' Tobacco Product; Nominates Curtis Wright, MD, MPH for FDA Advisory Committee, Press Release, Source: Star Scientific, Inc., 9/22/2009.

Some related Star Scientific news briefs:
Star Scientific - q2 2009 report..;
Star Scientific - Filing patent for zero-nitrosamine tobacco curing process..;
Star Scientific - 2008 annual report/Stonewall vs other OTC NRTs..;
Star Scientific Corporate Study Stonewall Lozenge in NRT..;
Star Scientific Files Third Quarter Financial Report..;
Star Scientific wants to augment sales of their tobacco lozenges..;
Star Scientific , second quarter 2008, sales down 23.6%..;
Star Scientific Applauds Recent State Legislation - Banning Smoking in Cars with Children..


Kretek International filed suit to prevent FDA from banning flavored cigars...

September 24, 2009 - Kretek International Inc.(KI) filed suit Wednesday in federal court to prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from banning flavored cigars. KI, the nation's top distributor of clove cigarettes (97 percent of U.S. market) is offering fans a new way to get their fix after the spice-flavored cigarettes were banned on September 22nd.

The suit comes a day after a ban on flavored cigarettes took effect and after FDA officials warned companies not to try to circumvent the ban by introducing little cigars or other products similar to cigarettes. John Geoghegan, Kretek's director of product development, said the company stopped importing flavored cigarettes several weeks ago.

The tobacco law allows the FDA to regulate cigars but requires the agency to first issue regulations deeming cigars to be subject to the law, a process that could take years. But Lawrence Deyton, director of FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, explained that the federal definition of a cigarette includes "any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper," suggesting certain cigars could immediately fall under the ban. (A cigar - any roll of tobacco wrapped in tobacco.)

A cigar is a tobacco leaf wrapped around a tobacco leaf filling. Kretek - noted that the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau classified its Djarum clove-flavored cigars as cigars under federal law in 2007. "The difference between cigarettes and cigars has been clearly defined by standing law for more than 30 years," the company said.

Mr. Geoghegan said Kretek has been importing clove-flavored cigars for several years, but because of the banning of market shipments of Djarum cigarettes, distributor and retailer focus on Kretek's cigars has taken additional prominence." He said the company didn't just start importing cigars to get around the ban on flavored cigarettes.

The New Clove Cigars..

An FDA-lawyer said the FDA would look at "little cigars" and similar products on a "case-by-case basis."

The word "kretek" is a term for the crackling sound of burning cloves.

Related news brief - Kretek International- U.S. - Importer tries to get around clove cigarettes ban...

Reference: Kretek Seeks to Head Off Ban on Flavored Cigars by JENNIFER CORBETT DOOREN (Alicia Mundy contributed to this article), The Wall Street Journal, 9/24/2009, also the expanded printed version of the same article, The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2009 - pg. B-2; Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar Kretek asks federal court to prevent FDA action against flavored cigars, CSP Daily News, 9/24/2009.

Los Angeles County - bans smoking at county parks, beaches, golf courses and other public spaces..

Click to enlarge:
September 23, 2009 - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Tuesday banning smoking at county parks, beaches, golf courses and other public spaces, with some exceptions.

The board voted 4-1, with Supervisor Don Knabe in opposition, to adopt the proposal at its meeting. The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who proposed the ban, supported the ordinance mostly for health reasons. Secondhand (SHS, passive smoking, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS) smoke leads to the deaths of 52,000 non-smokers, according to a memorandum presented to the board by the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

Under the ordinance, movie and photo shoots are exempt with a proper permit. Another exemption of the ban allows county golf courses, “contract-operated facilities,” to designate areas where smoking is permitted. The courses’ open spaces, such as the holes, are expected to remain open for smokers. Smoking will likely be banned at the driving ranges, putting greens or areas near buildings.

The financial impact on law enforcement is expected to be “minimal” since each park will include the smoking ban with other rules they enforce, officials said. The ban will turn offenses into misdemeanors that may include fines or short jail time, officials said.

About $36,000 is expected to be spent for signs and supplies at the parks, according to a county memo. An additional $12,750 is planned to fund an educational outreach campaign and smoking cessation classes.

Related news brief: L.A. bans smoking in parks...

Reference: Los Angeles County bans smoking at public parks, golf courses by admin (james.wagner@sgvn.com), CigarettesReviews.com, 9/23/2009.

New York City - all retailers selling tobacco will be required to post warning signs..

Click to enlarge:
September 23, 2009 - The New York City (NYC) Department of Health unanimously approved a measure Tuesday, September 22nd that will require all retailers selling tobacco to post health warning signs in stores.

Health officials say they want smokers to see warning signs featuring rotting lungs, like the one pictured above, every time they buy tobacco in the city.

The new signs will include information on how to quit.

"These signs are really going to be saving lives. They're going to provide adults who smoke and teens who are thinking about smoking with life-saving information about the hazards of tobacco use," said Anne Pearson of the City Bureau of Tobacco Control. "They are also going to give them resources to quit smoking if that is what they need to do."

Signs are expected to be up by December but the city will give stores a one- or two-month grace period before issuing fines ranging from $200 to $2,000. The measure affects about 12,000 retailers in the five boroughs. The proposal was initially to have stores post signs saying they do not sell to minors, but store retail groups objected. Most owners told NY1 have no problem with the new rule. "I agree because smoking kills the people," said one owner.

The city has slashed smoking rates by nearly 30 percent over the past several years, but with nearly a million New Yorkers still lighting up, some locals were not sure what difference the new signs will bring.

One of the nation's largest manufactures, Altria Group, owner of Philip Morris USA, said in a statement, "We strongly believe... that tobacco product warning policy should be uniform and consistent throughout the United States and that, therefore, such policies should be developed and promulgated exclusively at the national level."

As of Tuesday, it was not known any group will try to block the new rule in court.

Meanwhile, flavored cigarettes are now illegal.

To watch video click on reference below..

Reference: DOH Approves Warning Signs For Tobacco Sellers by NY1 News, 9/23/2009.

NYC directly related: New York City - to ask public opinion - smoking graphic warning signs; New York City - proposed pictorial warning signs to show the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use.; a few other related news briefs: New York City - may ban smoking in parks and beaches..; New York City - can't sue Internet cigarette retailers for lost taxes..; New CDC Chief Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH..; New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals..; New York - city and state officials back off plans to crack down on cigarette black market..; New York City - nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke..; New York City - cigarettes more than $10- a- pack..; NYC can move forward with reservation cigarette lawsuit..; Michael Rubens Bloomberg - ELF Award winner 2008; NYC sues reservation smoke shops over bootlegging..; NYC Fights Smoking With Reality Images in Matchbooks..; NY City Can Proceed With Lawsuits Against 10 Online Cigarette Vendors..; NYC Warns Parents of Smoking Lawsuits...


NHS - anti-smoking multimedia campaign starts..

Click to enlarge:
September 23, 2009 - An NHS trust in Birmingham has recruited the photographer Rankin to help with a new hard-hitting viral anti-smoking ad, part of a multimedia campaign that launches today, September 21st. (The National Health Service (NHS) is the name commonly used to refer to the four publicly funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom, collectively or individually, although only the health service in England uses the name 'National Health Service' without further qualification. A NHS trust provides services on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS) in England and NHS Wales.)

Rankin has co-directed the ad with Chris Cottam, which shows a smoker suffering an assault from an invisible assailant as he walks down the street. "Smoke and your body takes a beating," a voiceover says at the end of the minute-long film. "Fight back. Quit now."

The video will be shown on a mobile exhibition unit that will tour parts of Birmingham and also offer tests of patients' lung ages and carbon monoxide levels.

Rankin and Cottam's ad is also being distributed virally on YouTube and other websites as part of the marketing campaign surrounding the initiative.

The theme is also taken up on posters and leaflets that feature three different men who have been beaten up, with the slogans "Smoking: GBH to your insides", "When you smoke, it's your insides that get beaten up" and "Cigarettes attack you. But in ways you don't always see".

This campaign is being run by the Dr Foster agency, which was able to secure Rankin's services free of charge.

NHS Birmingham East and North is hoping the campaign will get through to "hard to reach" smokers – specifically white males aged 35-55 in the C2DE socio-economic category – living in the most deprived parts of the area. "People have been seeing stop smoking ads all their lives and everyone knows it's bad for them. It's old news," said Joanna Mawtus, creative director at Dr Foster. "Unless we give people a new perspective on it, they're not going to take any notice. We think this idea does that.

"In testing, people thought the images they were being confronted with were hard hitting, but also acknowledged that it's what they need to see in order to change. They're quite shocking, but then so is the damage smoking causes."

To view the anti-smoking ad click on the reference below.

Birmingham NHS Trust launches Rankin anti-smoking viral ad
, Chris Tryhorn, Guardian.co.uk, 9/21/2009.


Ryanair - smokeless cigarettes on flights - trial run..

September 23, 2009 - On August 3, 2009 we reported that 1Ryanair is allowing passengers to puff on "smokeless" cigarettes during flights.

Ryanair, the budget airline has returned to the days of puffing away on flights by allowing passengers to get their nicotine fix from smokeless cigarettes. Nicotine-loaded cigarettes that are apparently odourless and smokeless will be available from duty-free on board most planes as part of a month-long trial.

The substitutes look and feel like a real cigarette and deliver small amounts of nicotine through inhalation.

However, smoker Andrea Russell, 38, was not impressed by the substitutes saying it didn't give her the same feeling as smoking a real cigarette, although she agreed it could be comforting to hold the smokeless cigarette in her hands during a flight.

Iwana Falkiewecz, 28, agreed, saying she couldn't feel the usual rush from the substitute but it could be good enough if you were desperate for nicotine. 'It tastes quite weird but I guess it could be more pleasurable than other cigarettes as you are not actually inhaling all that smoke.'

When asked if she would consider buying a packet to smoke on board Ms Falkiewecz said: 'Why not? I guess if I was on a really long flight I might feel like I need a smoke, but as long as they are not too expensive.'

Ryanair ran a survey to see how many of its passengers would like to smoke on flights and Similar Smokeless Cigarettes are a direct response to 24,000 who said they would.

Chris Parsons, director of Similar Smokeless Cigarettes said he was delighted the airline was selling his product on board.

In another matter, Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair - Europe's largest budget carrier, insists that it will cost passengers for the use of toilets on his airplanes within two years. O'Leary also said the airline would also generate extra revenues by removing two out of the three toilets on its Boeing 737-800 jets and filling the space with up to six seats. Ryanair's Michael O'Leary defends pay-per-pee fee, Guardian.co.uk, 6/2/2009)

Reference: Ryanair introduces smokeless cigarettes on its flights by Sarah Gordon, DailyMail.co.uk, 9/22/2009.

1Ryanair operates a low-fares, scheduled passenger airline serving short-haul, point-to-point routes in Europe and Morocco.

FDA - first steps in the role of tobacco regulation....

September 23, 2009 - Federal ban on flavored cigarettes took effect on Tuesday, September 22nd marking one of the first visible signs of the Food and Drug Administration's new authority to regulate tobacco. The ban on manufacturing, importing, marketing and distribution includes candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored cigarettes, which health and federal authorities say are more appealing to youth. It does not include a ban on menthol or other flavored tobacco products like cigars -- issues that the FDA is studying.

Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products: "Candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular tobacco users." Citing research studies, Deyton said that 17-year-old smokers are three times as likely to use flavored cigarettes as smokers over the age of 25. FDA officials also said that almost 90 percent of adult smokers start smoking as teenagers and the ban will help stop more than 3,600 young people who start smoking daily.

The release provided by the FDA yesterday..

Several tobacco products other than cigarettes come in lots of different flavors, e.g., Altria's Middleton Black & Mild Cigars. Black & Mild, the top selling cigar package in the U.S. is very popular with young Americans. Black & Mild is the most popular brand of cigars for smokers 12 and older. Nearly a quarter of 18- to 24-year-old blacks in the Baltimore smoke these cigars. Flavors include: Mild, Apple, Mild FT Filter Tip, Mild Cherry-Vanilla, Cream, Vanilla and Wine.

Reference: Ban On Flavored Cigs Takes Effect FDA Uses New Authority To Regulate Tobacco, MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, AP Business Writer, Associated Press, 9/23/2009.

Tobacco Center (Center for Tobacco Products) related news briefs:
U.S. - flavored cigarettes illegal after Wednesday, September 22, 2009..;
FDA Moves Forward on Implementation of Tobacco Law..;
Dr. Lawrence Deyton to head FDA's Tobacco Center..;
U.S.- creating the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products..
U.S. FDA posts job for new tobacco czar..;
President Obama signs bill for FDA to regulate tobacco...


C-store update: flavored tobacco, camel dissolvables, Moist snuff, Camel Dip, etc..

September 22, 2009 - Effective today Tuesday, September 22, 2009, cigarettes that contain certain characterizing flavors are considered adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act , as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act are prohibited.. Now let's do the same for the Other Tobacco Products (OTP). Skoal a very popular moist snuff has many different flavored smokeless tobacco tastes to mask the tobacco taste. Skoal is available in a variety of flavors Wintergreen, Straight, Mint, Cherry, Classic, Spearmint, Berry Blend, Vanilla Blend, Apple Blend and Peach Blend (also Citrus Blend). Flavored pipe tobacco cigar brands like Middleton's Black & Mild Cigars, the top selling cigar package in the U.S. is very popular with young Americans. Several different flavors are available including Mild, Apple, Mild FT Filter Tip, Mild Cherry-Vanilla, Cream, Vanilla and Wine. The next C-store update will be devoted to OTPs that are flavored.

Camel dissolvables are now available at all 3-test marketing sites, i.e., Columbus, Ohio, Portland, Oregon Indianapolis, Indiana.

Click on image to enlarge..

Remember that Reynolds reportedly wants to determine which of the three products is most popular (Camel orbs, Camel sticks or Camel strips) , and among whom. Reynolds said the dissolvable products were developed in response to negative customer feedback in 2006 regarding other smokeless products: even the spitless Camel Snus ("snoose") must be removed from the mouth after consumption.

The company has said it will not advertise the dissolvables as less harmful than smoking. "The consumer should be aware...about the potential risks of each tobacco product. There are none that are safe and there are none that are without risks," said David Howard, a Reynolds spokesperson. (R.J. Reynolds Tests Dissolvable Camel-Branded Tobacco Products, News Summary, 10/9/2008)

When is a flavored tobacco product considered flavored.. As pointed out by Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids some tobacco companies may already be trying to circumvent the ban on flavored cigarettes. U.S. - Importer tries to get around clove cigarettes ban..

As stated above the tobacco regulations specify cigarettes that contain certain characterizing flavors are considered adulterated and are prohibited. "Characterizing flavor" can be defined as a distinguishable taste or aroma that is imparted to tobacco or tobacco smoke either prior to or during consumption.

Reynolds realizing OTPs may be next to have all flavored products declared illegal have altered the description for their dissolvable tobacco products on their website Under "How dissolvable tobacco is made?" This tobacco is combined with binders and non-characterizing flavoring, that complement the tobacco's natural taste.

Moist snuff - Altria Group Inc. plans to unveil a new version of Copenhagen this fall, one of several moves aimed at increasing the company's smokeless-tobacco sales amid tough competition from lower-priced brands like Conwood, the maker of value priced/discount brand - Grizzly.

The moist snuff category is divided into high-priced, premium brands (like Skoal, Copenhagen, Kodiak) and inexpensive brands in the price-value segment (like Grizzly). The real growth in this category is coming from the discount brands. For example, overall moist snuff volumes grew about 7% in 2007.

Grizzly (the nations number one moist snuff brand) in the second quarter of 2009 expanded its market share to 25.5 percent, up 2.2 percentage points. Conwood's overall market share was up 1.9 percent to 29.4 percent (Reynolds American Inc. Q2 2009 Earnings..) Grizzly's strength, note this product was launched only in 2001..

At the time Altria bought UST - UST commanded almost 58% of the U.S. smokeless tobacco market, as of the 26 weeks ended June 14,2009 according to the company's latest earnings report. (Within Altria UST is operates under the name U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co..)

Altria has slashed prices of Skoal and Copenhagen this year in an effort to compete better with discount moist-snuff brands such as Grizzly. Reynolds followed lowering the price of Kodiak by 72 cents a can April 1,2009 following the move by Altria to decrease distributors’ list price of Skoal and Copenhagen by 62 cents a can.

In the fall Altria will launch a long-cut wintergreen version of Copenhagen, a premium brand that will compete with Reynolds-American Inc.'s (RAI) fast-growing Grizzly long-cut wintergreen variety. Skoal has a similar product but Copenhagen does not. The new product could drive Copenhagen's share of the segment from 23% to 32%, according to a company spokesperson.

In the wake of the price cuts, the average U.S. price for premium moist snuff such as Skoal is about $4.15, compared with about $2.75 for discount brands such as Grizzly and Swedish Match AB's Timber Wolf brand, according to Morgan Stanley. That price gap of about 50% is down from about 100% in the second quarter of 2008. (Altria Growing Smokeless..)

Grizzly's market share is a bit higher than Skoal, though both are around 25%, according to analysts. Copenhagen's is about 24%. A challenge for Altria is that the total discount category now accounts for more than half of industry volume, compared with less than 10% in the mid-1990s. In February 2000 Skoal held a 39.5% share of the $2 billion smokeless tobacco market, ahead of sister UST brand Copenhagen with a 33.7% share, per A.C. Nielsen. Ten years ago, UST, Inc. owned more than 80% of the smokeless tobacco market.

Another factor is that with Skoal and Copenhagen - you have premium brands that have an actual expiration date (guaranteed freshness) where with Grizzly you have lower quality tobacco with a coded expiration date that is impossible for the customer to decipher.

Camel Dip
- In a test in Florida and Colorado, Reynolds is offering its new Camel Dip snuff to distributors for the same price its bigger competitor charges for Skoal and Copenhagen, said Bryan Stockdale, chief executive officer of Reynolds’ Conwood unit. A national expansion of Camel Dip may help the company reverse declining market share with Kodiak in higher-priced snuff, he said. Reynolds is testing its Camel version of moist snuff as part of an effort to boost sales of higher-priced products. While the Kodiak brand generates lower sales than less-expensive Grizzly, it’s about twice as profitable, Stockdale said. “If you can stabilize Kodiak and establish Camel, then you have growing premium and growing Grizzly,” said Stockdale, a 30-year Reynolds veteran and former senior vice president of marketing operations for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. cigarette division. “Camel showing the ability to grow in the moist segment is a big deal.”
(Reynolds May Introduce Camel Snuff to Go After Altria By Chris Burritt, SMPOSDT.net, 7/30/2009)

Click on image to enlarge..

More on Conwood's Grizzly.. To counter Altria's attempt to take market share from Grizzly. Conwood is having a sweepstakes - win over $100,000 in prizes.. You have to go to mygrizzly.com to register - then forever they have you on their mailing list.

Click on image to enlarge..

Conwood has just started a promotional where the consumer buys a can of Grizzly Straight and gets a deck of playing cards and a Grizzly poker chip. (So far we have only seen the promotion when a can of Grizzly Straight is purchased not a can of its best seller Grizzly Wintergreen.)

Click on image to enlarge..

Smoker signup signs in c-stores..
Most of you have probably seen these signs. This is another Philip Morris ploy to expand their list of smokers. A check is sent to the store owner after a certain number of people call.

Previous c-store update...

Lot more to relate but just don't have the time..

Here are a few additional images:
Conwood Tobacco Products..
R.J. Reynolds Smokeless Products..
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Products..

Western Australia - kids no longer interested in smoking..

September 21, 2009 - The number of 12- to 17-year-old West Australians (Western Australia, WA, W.A.) who smoke has dropped by more than two-thirds in the past 25 years, in a resounding victory for anti-smoking campaigns.

The 2008 Australian School Students Alcohol and Drug survey released today shows that less than five percent of 12- to 17-year-old West Australians now smoke regularly, down from 17.5 percent in 1984.

The proportion of students who have never smoked has also dramatically turned around. In 2008, almost 75 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds had never smoked, compared with almost 32 percent in 1984.

WA Health Minister Kim Hames said the impressive results showed the success of sustained anti-tobacco campaigning over 25 years.

Dr. Hames: "Only a few years ago nobody would have believed that regular smoking would be under 5 per cent in school children and under 15 per cent in adults, and that there would be legislation banning point-of-sale displays and smoking around children in cars."

"WA already has some of the lowest smoking rates in the country for adults and children and these results tell us that young people are getting the message.

"In 2008, only 4.8 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds had smoked in the past week, down from 6.1 per cent in 2005, and 17.5 percent in 1984.

"WA had the lowest smoking rates nationally among school children in 2005 and there can be little doubt that we continue to lead the nation in results."

Dr. Hames, said the smoking turnaround would save 40,000 lives in the next 40 years.

The survey showed a reduction in smoking across the majority of age groups with the biggest drop since 2005 seen in 16-year-olds, where the proportion reporting smoking in the past week decreased from 9.9 to 6.7 percent.

In 2008, girls were more likely to have smoked in the past week (5.1 per cent) or year (16.8 percent) than boys (4.6 and 14.9 percent), but significantly fewer girls had smoked in the past week or month compared to the 2005 survey.

Reference: Kids butt out as anti-smoking message hits home, CHRIS THOMSON, WA Today, 9/16/2009.

Western Australia related brief: Western Australia - added sweetners make cigarettes easier to tolerate..; Western Australia - major tobacco companies were worried about tobacco controls...


New Jersey - Senator Buono bill would ban smoking in public parks and beaches..

September 21, 2009 - Citing studies that document the health risks to non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS, passive smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, sidestream smoke, involuntary smoking), as well as environmental concerns, Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) said today she is introducing a bill to ban smoking at all state, county and municipal parks and beaches.

“While cigarette smoking has declined dramatically since the first Surgeon General’s report more than 40 years ago, tobacco continues to take a deadly toll,” Sen. Buono said. “A report on tobacco use in America by the Institute of Medicine (IM) of the National Academies found that among the 440,000 annual deaths caused by tobacco are 50,000 non-smokers killed by the smoking of others.” (ENDING THE TOBACCO PROBLEM: A BLUEPRINT FOR THE NATION)

Sen. Buono, chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, said the IM report points out smoking kills more people each year than AIDS, alcohol use, cocaine use, heroin use, homicides, suicides, motor vehicle accidents and fires, combined.

An avid runner, Senator Buono has drawn from her personal experiences running in public parks, prompting this legislation. "This issue has been on my agenda for a long time,” Sen. Buono said. “Now we have empirical data which support the passage of this public health and environmental protection measure.”

She said other cities and states have banned or are considering banning smoking in public parks and beaches. New York City’s health commissioner recently held a press conference with Mayor Bloomberg to announce a plan to ban smoking in public parks and city beaches.

A Stanford University study published in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, (JAWMA) in 2007, represents the first peer-reviewed publication providing evidence that levels of outdoor tobacco smoke (OTS) can be substantial under certain circumstances. Children who accompany a smoking parent or guardian outdoors can experience significant exposure to tobacco smoke, the study found. It also found that even short-term exposure to outdoor tobacco smoke for people who are at risk of coronary heart disease or have known coronary artery disease “might be life threatening.”

Senator Buono: “This in-depth study substantiates that even brief exposure within a few feet of someone smoking outdoors can be significant. That finding, which measures OTS and estimates its health risks, must guide outdoor tobacco control policy.

She said the IM report found restrictions on smoking in public protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke, help smokers quit or cut down on their smoking and reinforce non-smoking as a social norm.

Buono noted a similar ban limited to state parks and parts of state beaches, has been proposed in California, where the sponsors have cited the damage to the marine environment, in addition to the well-documented health risks to non-smokers. The sponsor of the California bill pointed out that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined cigarette butts are the most frequently found marine debris item in the United States. And wild fires caused by cigarettes have destroyed thousands of homes and property in California and caused literally billions of dollars in damage.

“Cigarettes are legal and adults have the right choose whether they want to smoke,” Sen. Buono said. “But they don’t have a right to impose upon the non-smoking public the health risks and environmental degradation caused by smoking. Our public parks and beaches are paid for by taxpayers and should be available for use by everyone without having to worry about being harmed by the hazards associated with secondhand smoke.”

Sen. Buono’s bill will be introduced when the Senate next convenes, and would apply to state, county and municipal parks and beaches.

A health and wellness advocate, Sen. Buono is the prime sponsor of Senate bill 1115 which would extend a business tax credit to provide employees with benefits that promote physical fitness and well-being. Sen. Buono is the prime sponsor of the bill, signed into law in 2005, which prohibits smoking in any building used as a student dormitory that is owned and operated by an institution of higher education. She is also the prime sponsor of the “Global Warming Response Act” signed into law in 2007.

Senator Buono was also instrumental in seeing that New Jersey banned flavored cigarettes...

Reference: Buono Bill Would Ban Smoking In Public Parks And Beaches by Matthew Reilly (mreilly@njleg.org), PolitickerNJ.com, 9/17/2009.

Related NJ news briefs: New Jersey town bans smoking on beach, boardwalk, sidewalk..; Seaside Heights, NJ - don't try smoking on our beaches...


Bulgaria - cigarette contraband, government loses BGN 920M yearly..

September 21, 2009 - The contraband of fuels and tobacco goods in Bulgaria amounts BGN 2,3 B each year. This has been announced Friday, September 18th by the chair of the Bulgarian association of Duty Free and Travel Retail Trade (ABTRT), Radostin Genov, as cited by the Bulgarian information agency BTA.

"Yearly, the government loses at least BGN 920 M (689.91USD) from cigarettes contraband, if the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, a former World Bank economist, is right that the illegal [illicit] import is 40% of the total amount", he explained.

In case that the amount of fuels smuggling in Bulgaria is 30% of the total market, as the Financial Ministry and the Customs Agency reported, the state is losing BGN 1,45 B a year, Genov added.

According to him, the duty free shops at all Bulgaria's ground borders were illegally closed by the government in 2008. The move was motivated by private interests, catered for by the previous government, Genov said, giving as examples Greece and Romania, where these shops still exist.

According to European Union rules, duty free shops can exist until 2017, he explained. There are cases in the Supreme Administrative Court against the closing of these shops, and they seem to go well for the owners of the shops, Genov added.

Reference: Fuel, Cigarette Contraband in Bulgaria Amounts to BGN 2,3 B, 9/18/2009.

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgaria - one third of the tobacco products sold are illicit..;
Bulgaria - new government to speed-up Bulgartabac sale..;
Bulgaria - Fake Victory Light cigarettes..;
Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly may be up for sale..;
Bulgarian lawmakers vote to ban smoking in all publc places from June 2010..; Bulgarian tobacco company Sofia-BT exports increase by 541 percent..;
Does Russia own Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly, Bulgartabac..;
EU percent of adults smokers -highest Greece 1 , Bulgaria 2.. - lowest Slovenia..;
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...

Finland may ban smoking in cars carrying children..

Click to enlarge:
September 21, 2009 - Finnish regional daily Etelä-Suomen Sanomat quoted its sources as saying Tuesday, September 15th that the government would propose banning smoking in cars carrying children, adding a bill would be handed to Parliament within a fortnight [14 days].

The paper added that the ban was part of a range of proposed amendments to the Act on Measures to Restrict Tobacco Smoking.

Etelä-Suomen Sanomat reported that the ban would not be enforced by fines as these would clash with privacy legislation. Ismo Tuominen, a civil servant at the health and social affairs ministry, was quoted as saying by the paper that the impact of the proposed law would be chiefly moral.

Reference: Finland to ban smoking in cars carrying children, but no fines, Helsinki Times, 9/15/2009.

Finland related news briefs: Finland - Court of Appeals Hears Cigarette Liability Case, Decision Spring 2010..;
Finland banning shops from displaying cigarettes..;
Finland - proposal to ban tobacco display, total ban on SNUS..;
European Health Commissioner reprimands Astrid Thors for snus liberation campaign..;
Aland Islands Dispute Over Sale of SNUS On Board Ships Threatens Finland's Ratification of the EU's Treaty of Lisbon (The Reform Treaty)..;
Finnish Ferry Goes Swedish Over Snus Ban.. and
EU Takes Finland to Court Again For NOT Banning the Use of Oral Tobacco..

Reynolds American, Inc. - Susan Ivey, Chairman, President & CEO to speak at North Carolina State University..

September 21, 2009 - Wednesday, September 23 - 4:30pm..


Indianapolis, Indiana - tobacco control people are furious - city used as test market again..

September 20, 2009 - Again R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (RJR) has selected Indianapolis, Indiana as one of the three cities (Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio and Portland, Oregon) to test market Camel dissolvable tobacco products. Each product in convenient user-friendly dosage forms containing amounts of the nicotine to render the user a slave to this addictive substance for many years to come. (Camel Tobacco Dissolvables - Natl Assoc of Attorneys General - wait and see!. In fact, the nicotine delivery of these products is said to be high: whereas a cigarette smoker typically takes in about 1 milligram of nicotine, the Camel Dissolvables are said to deliver about 0.6 to 3.1 mg of nicotine each. Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity...

Normally, it's easy to tell when people are getting their nicotine fix. But smoking laws are changing and people can't light up in as many places as they used to."So, the tobacco companies are coming up with alternative so people can still have their tobacco."

Karla Sneegas, Indiana Tobacco Prevention: "We aren't happy that individuals are being used as human guinea pigs." Indiana Tobacco Prevention is furious about the newest way to keep people from quitting, and that the dissolvable tobacco is on shelves in Indiana. "They don't know what the long term risks are."

Tobacco Prevention says companies have used Indianapolis as a test market for the last nine years because the area has a high smoking rate and lacks strong smoke free laws. For example:Philip Morris USA is introducing a smokeless product under its Marlboro brand name called Marlboro SNUS pouches (12-pouches per slidepak container).., C-stores in Columbus, OH, Indianapolis, IN, Kansas City, MO, Orlando, FL, and Raleigh, NC (and to the east of Greensboro, NC) should expect the arrival Camel SNUS..; Philip Morris USA (PM)To Also Test Marlboro Snus In Indianapolis...

Retailers say it's too early to tell if people are buying in on the new idea.

Reference: Indianapolis A Test Market For New Kind Of Tobacco, WXIN-TV (FOX59) - Indianapolis, 9/18/2009.

Related news briefs:
Children in Indiana starting to use smokeless tobacco products..