United Kingdom - Packaging people - tobacco display ban - Counterfeit cigarettes could thrive..

October 17, 2009 - Members of Parliament (MPs, House of Commons) voted on Monday (12 October) in favor of a ban on tobacco displays in shops and cigarette vending machines in a move that the government believes will help stop young people taking up smoking. (United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..)

Now that the bill has passed its third reading it will now go before the House of Lords. On May 6, 2009 the House of Lords voted to ban shop tobacco displays and restrict vending machine use.. Monday's vote in parliament will affect Northern Ireland, England and Wales. The Scottish parliament is also considering a ban, while Ireland introduced a similar ban in July this year.

Small retailers will have until 2013 to remove their cigarette displays, while larger retailers will be expected to make the changes by 2011. Vending machines will also be banned.

Counterfeit cigarettes could thrive under a new law forcing retailers to hide tobacco products under the counter, packaging and tobacco experts have warned.

While public health lobbyists have welcomed the ban, retailers have warned that it will increase costs and threaten smaller shops while the tobacco industry and some in the packaging sector have argued that it will offer an opportunity for counterfeiters to have a greater hold on the market.

Chesapeake marketing manager Bob Houghton said: "Our concern would be the reduction in required print quality which is likely to lead to higher rates of counterfeiting.
"There would also be significant costs associated with the move both for the print industry and the tobacco sector."

Christopher Ogden, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA), said: "We believe that organized crime will exploit the ban. The regulations will make it easier for rogue traders to hide and sell illicit, unregulated tobacco products."

However, others have argued that the ban could increase the importance of packaging as the key messenger of a brand's identity. Nick Verebelyi, head of 3D at design agency Design Bridge, said: "Packaging, regardless of whether the product ends up being restricted to under the counter sales is the only remaining way these brands can convey their differences."

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: "This will hit small stores, which lack the space and resources, particularly hard. The government is right to try to stop children smoking but banning displays in shops is just not the way."

The ban comes amid an ongoing debate on the merits or otherwise of plain cigarette packaging. Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson said in September that plain packaging would "take the glitz and glamour out of tobacco".

The TMA's Ogden responded, however, that plain packaging would "prevent tobacco manufacturers from providing consumers with information about products that are legally available in retail outlets".

Reference: Counterfeit pack warning over MPs' ban on cigarette displays, Josh Brooks (packagingnews.co.uk) PackagingNews.co.uk, 10/15.2009.

Some related news briefs:
UK - Retailer tells small shops to ignore tobacco industry 'scare tactics'..;
UK - Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) unhappy with tobacco displays ban..;
United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigaretet displays..;
JTI attacks UK government for plan to ban tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - 3rd reading of Public Health Bill including ban on tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - limiting access to cigarette vending machines not possible..;
Updated - England - tabacco display ban - the Lords got it right..;
Fewer Britons support the ban on smoking in pubs than in other public places..
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicians most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
England, House of Lords votes to ban shop tobacco dislays and restrict vending machine use..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use...


San Francisco - Philip Morris has dropped its lawsuit challenging San Francisco's prohibition on tobacco sales at pharmacies..

October 16, 2009 - The announcement Thursday, October 15th by the San Francisco city attorney's office follows a federal appeals court ruling denying the company's request for an injunction that would have kept it from enforcing the year-old law.

A spokesman for Altria Group Inc., parent company of Philip Morris, confirmed the suit had been dropped but had no further comment.

San Francisco officials passed the ban in 2008, noting the health problems associated with tobacco products.

City officials are still defending the law in a separate lawsuit brought by the Walgreens drugstore chain. A Superior Court judge dismissed that case, which is now on appeal.

Reference: Philip Morris drops challenge to SF tobacco ban, Associated Press, 10/15/2009.

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In Process: UK - Plain tobacco packaging still on agenda..

October 16, 2009 - Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) has welcomed a government commitment to keep plain tobacco packaging under review, following the announcement that cigarette displays will be removed from shops.

In a statement Ash said that prohibiting retail display is only half the battle and instead tobacco packaging should be standardised "so all attractive and promotional aspects are removed, save the brand name".

The body added that tobacco packaging, or "the silent salesman" as it is known in the industry, is even more important now that advertising, promotion and sponsorship is banned.

The statement follows the announcement today (9 December) by health secretary Alan Johnson that plans are in place to remove cigarette displays from shops and to prevent underage access to tobacco vending machines.

Regulations will come into force for larger retailers from October 2011 and not until 2013 for smaller businesses.

The government said that there needs to be more investigation into plain packaging and committed to keeping this under review to find out more before further action is taken.

Chris Ogden, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturer's Association (TMA) warned that a display ban could increase counterfeiting and illegal trade and added that there are more effective alternatives to prevent under 18s from accessing cigarettes.

"Proof of age schemes should be better supported, the law of underage sales more strongly enforced and the government should crack down on illegal trade in tobacco," Ogden added.

The TMA has warned that plain packaging could facilitate counterfeiting and potentially breach brands' intellectual property rights.

The Department of Health's consultation on the future of tobacco control elicited a strong response with over 96,000 responses.

UK - Retailer tells small shops to ignore tobacco industry 'scare tactics'..

October 16, 2009 - Responding to the vote to end the display of tobacco in shops and the Government’s draft regulations published yesterday October 12th, a prominent independent retailer accused the tobacco industry of misleading retailers, the public and politicians about the real impact of display bans.

Tobacco manufacturers have placed ads in the retail trade press warning shopkeepers that their businesses could close as a result of the proposed law.

But former North of England President of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, John McClery, has described information circulated by the tobacco industry about Government proposals to end the display of tobacco as "scare tactics".

Related news brief: Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigarette displays..

McClery visited Ireland at the invitation of the Smokefree Action Coalition to find out how the Irish have implemented their display ban, which came into effect on 1 July this year. Although he had long believed that a display ban would have little impact on legitimate adult tobacco sales he was surprised by the level of enthusiasm for the ban expressed by retailers.McClery said: “I was amazed at how enthusiastic retailers were. Complying with the legislation had not been expensive and sales to adults hadn’t been affected. "In the shops I went into, retailers were using the premium display space freed up from cigarettes for products that bring in a better profit. "One Dublin retailer told me ‘Tobacco doesn’t need advertising. We should have done it years ago.’ "

McClery walked through Dublin entering shops at random asking to speak to managers about how the new law was fitting in. Many retailers were promoting their own goods where once they had been obliged to promote cigarettes.

The owner of four outlets in the Supervalu franchise said: “If anything it has been good for business. There was a slight downward blip when the new law came in but that was compensated by a slight upward blip in fresh fruit sales. That suits me because we have better margins on fruit and veg. We’re not interested in selling to teenagers. We take that very seriously here.”

The manager of a nearby Spar added: “At the budget end of the market tobacco companies used to have price wars to capture each other’s customers. "It was retailers who would get caught in the middle and our margins would suffer. "Now those aggressive price promotions look a thing of the past.”

Independent retailer Mahesh Patel from West London also believes that the display ban is not something which retailers should fear but that it will provide opportunities for them to increase profits.

In a letter to Retail Express he wrote: “Less emphasis on tobacco sales in the future will allow independent retailers to expand what they stock and concentrate on items that will provide higher profit margins.

"At the moment margins on cigarettes are low, so the ban will give small retailers the opportunity to boost profits.”

Martin Dockrell, Director of Policy and Research at the health charity Action on Smoking and Health, has visited Ireland three times this summer to meet with small retailers. “Before the new law came in on 1 July, retailers were ready but apprehensive. Then they were relieved as they saw their customers came in just as they always did and tourists would ask just as they always did. Now it is striking how optimistic Irish retailers are. They get to sell more of the things people really need and they are doing very well from it.”

Reference: Retailer tells small shops to ignore tobacco industry 'scare tactics' “Ignore tobacco industry scare tactics.” says retailer, “Cigarette display ban could be good for business”, Christian Today, 10/13/2009.

Some related news briefs:
UK - Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) unhappy with tobacco displays ban..;
United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigaretet displays..;
JTI attacks UK government for plan to ban tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - 3rd reading of Public Health Bill including ban on tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - limiting access to cigarette vending machines not possible..;
Updated - England - tabacco display ban - the Lords got it right..;
Fewer Britons support the ban on smoking in pubs than in other public places..
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicians most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
England, House of Lords votes to ban shop tobacco dislays and restrict vending machine use..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use...

UK - Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) unhappy with tobacco displays ban..

October 16, 2009 - The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has slammed the United Kingdom (UK) government's plan for a tobacco display ban as the most costly and disruptive of its type in the world.

Draft regulations for the ban were published on Monday (12 October 2009) before the parliamentary debate on the issue.

In order to implement the new law banning tobacco displays, the government will require retailers to fit doors or flaps that only allow an area slightly larger than a sheet of A3 paper to be seen by a customer being served tobacco. This would mean that a typical small shop would be required to fit at least 20 separate doors or flaps to their existing unit, the ACS claimed.

In the Health Bill Report Stage Debate the government defeated an opposition attempt to remove the tobacco display ban from the proposed Health Bill in a whipped vote.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "The minister has proposed regulations that are the most inflexible of their type anywhere in the world. It makes a mockery of the repeated reassurances that ministers have made to Parliament and businesses that they will take a light touch approach to compliance."

The government's official estimate is that the cost of compliance will be £1,000 per store, although ministers have repeatedly suggested to MPs and media that the cost would be much lower for smaller stores.

Lowman added: "The technical challenges in fitting a solution to existing units that meet the ministers' demands could be insurmountable. This would mean retailers having to rip out and replace existing units and the costs will be far higher than previously suggested."

Lowman also questioned the evidence for why such an approach was necessary: "The evidence that a display ban affects smoking rates is weak, but there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that a tiny permitted display area during transactions is necessary for the policy to succeed.

"ACS will make a strong case to government that sets out how damaging their proposed approach to regulations is."

He also expressed disappointment at the outcome of the tobacco display ban vote: "We remain convinced that if MPs were presented with credible alternatives to this measure such as proper deterrents to those that are complicit in giving tobacco to children and effective measures to tackle the illegal trade in communities, they would agree that the display ban is unnecessary."

Reference: ACS slams government's plan for tobacco display ban, TalkingRetail.com, 10/13/2009.

Some related news briefs:
United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigaretet displays..;
JTI attacks UK government for plan to ban tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - 3rd reading of Public Health Bill including ban on tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - limiting access to cigarette vending machines not possible..;
Updated - England - tabacco display ban - the Lords got it right..;
Fewer Britons support the ban on smoking in pubs than in other public places..
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicians most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
England, House of Lords votes to ban shop tobacco dislays and restrict vending machine use..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use...


New York City bans the sale of flavored tobacco products..

October 16, 2009 - The City Council voted, on Wednesday, October 14th to expand on the Food and Drug Administration’s action to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes by banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products in New York City. The bill (Intro 433-A Flavored Tobacco) was approved by a vote of 46 to 1.

The New York ban restricts all flavored tobacco products such as little cigars, chewing tobacco and cigarillos, to close off loopholes through adding flavoring agents to products, city officials said in the report. This legislation does not apply to tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen flavors.

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

A spokesperson for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told Examiner.com the mayor supports the legislation, which now goes to his desk. If it is signed into law, any New York City tobacco retailer, including convenience stores, found selling flavored tobacco will be subject to a $2,000 fine for the first offense, and subsequent offenses could result in a loss of its business license. Mayor Bloomberg has 10 days to decide to sign or veto the measure. If signed, the ban could go into effect in 120 days.

"No matter how you mask it, smoking tobacco, flavored or not, has irrevocable health effects. Companies are profiting by gambling on the lives of children and young adults, and it's simply unconscionable," Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said in the report. "Our legislation will protect New Yorkers from harmful products disguised with attractive wrapping or sweet flavors and prevent the beginning of an addictive and useless habit."

She added: "Anyone who tells you that these bubblegum, cookie dough, chocolate chip, little cigarillos shaped like a pink lip gloss -- don't tell me that's not targeted at a young girl. These are not being bought by 50-year-old women, the data shows that."

Among public high school students in NYC who smoke, the percentage who smoke cigars and cigarillos only, has nearly tripled since 2001. A single cigar can contain as much tobacco as five cigarettes and some small cigars are practically indistinguishable from cigarettes, but cost significantly less. Flavored products are often targeted to children through the use of multi-color images, packaging and youth-oriented messaging.

The bill's sponsor, Council member Joel Rivera, said these brands are the latest rendition of Joe Camel -- the R. J. Reynolds character allegedly aimed at kids who was banned in the 1990s.

The lone dissenter Council member Lewis Fidler admitted he smoked a grape cigar from time to time, Fidler said the law was written too broadly, and there was no evidence that people start smoking by opting for flavored tobacco. It is illegal already, he added, to sell these products to kids. "If we wanted to truly affect the market for young people, we would tax it, and we would make the tax significant enough to make an economic disincentive for it to be used for blunts or any other purpose," said Fidler.

Letter from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) has sent to New York City Council members opposing the bill banning flavored tobacco products.

Back in May 2009 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. (New York City Council ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals..)

Reference: Going Beyond Federal Action, NYC Council Votes To Bar Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products In New York City, THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
CITY HALL, NEW YORK, NY 10007, Release# 099-2009, 10/15/2009; City Council bills would ban candy-flavored tobacco, smoking outside of hospitals by Frank Lombardi, DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU, 5/22/2009; New York City to Ban Flavored Tobacco, Convenience Store News, 10/15/2009; New York City To Ban Flavored Cigars by Andrew Nagy, CigarAficionado.com, 10/14/2009; NYC passes flavored tobacco ban, Examiner.com, 10/14/2009.

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candy flavored


FDA ban of flavored cigarette rolling papers..

Click to enlarge:
October 15, 2009 - BBK Tobacco & Foods (BBK), doing business as HBI International, has files a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's ban on flavored cigarette rolling papers that are sold in separate packages according to most recent issue of NATO E-News from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets.

HBI's mission is to help smokers better enjoy smoking by both distributing and producing the best RYO (roll your own cigarettes) & MYO (make your own cigarettes) products.

"HBI is only seeking to protect its brands, namely Juicy Jays and Skunk," a company representative told NATO. Juicy Jay's - it is the #1 selling brand of flavored roll-your-own products in the world. It is part of the Rolling Supreme family of rolling papers. They were the first mass marketed flavored rolling paper and currently have more than thirty flavors available.

In late September, Moorpark, Calif.-based Kretek International Inc., importer and distributor of Djarum clove cigars, filed a request for declaratory judgment against the FDA in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

In its lawsuit, BBK argued that while the new FDA law bans flavored cigarettes and the components parts of a flavored cigarette, such as the tobacco, paper and filter, the law does not mention that the ban extends to flavored cigarette rolling papers packaged separately. The FDA overstepped its authority to regulate flavored cigarettes by banning the flavored rolling papers that are sold separately.

BBK, a distributor and seller of flavored papers, said the FDA is trying to "expand its authority to regulate cigarettes containing 'characterizing flavors' under the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act." The act, signed on June 22, provides that "a cigarette or any of its component parts...shall not contain, as a constituent or additive, an artificial or natural flavor," but allegedly made no mention of flavored papers that are sold separately.

According to BBK Tobacco, the act's definition of cigarette includes products that contain tobacco. Flavored paper sold separately does not include tobacco, BBK Tobacco argued, and therefore should not be included in the act. The company says its sales of flavored papers comprise a "significant portion" of annual profits, and the act has had a "devastating impact" on its business.

It seeks an order declaring that U.S. agencies "have no authority to regulate flavored papers sold separately under the act," plus an injunction blocking the government from banning the papers.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are also named as defendants.

Reference: Rolling Papers vs. Court Documents
BBK/HBI files suit against FDA to protect products sold separately from tobacco
, CSP (Convenience Store / Petroleum) Daily News, 10/15/2009.

U.S. IOM - like former Surgeon General Carmona stated there is no safe level of secondhand smoke..

October 15, 2009 - WASHINGTON – A major report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) confirms what health officials long have believed: Bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and other gathering spots reduce the risk of heart attacks among nonsmokers.

"If you have heart disease, you really need to stay away from secondhand smoke (SHS, second hand, sidestream smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, passive smoke, involuntary smoking). It's an immediate threat to your life," declared Dr. Neal Benowitz of the University of California, San Francisco, who co-wrote Thursday's report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

More than 126 million nonsmoking people in the U.S. are regularly exposed to someone else's tobacco smoke. The surgeon general in 2006 cited "overwhelming scientific evidence" that tens of thousands die each year as a result, from heart disease, lung cancer and a list of other illnesses.

Yet smoking bans have remained a hard sell, as lawmakers and business owners debate whether such prohibitions are worth the anger of smoking customers or employees.

From the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation
U.S. 100% Smokefree Laws in Workplaces and Restaurants and Bars as of October 2, 2009.

Click on image to enlarge..

"The evidence is clear," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, Head of the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, which requested the study. "Smoke-free laws don't hurt business ... but they prevent heart attacks in nonsmokers."

Among the report's conclusions: While heavier exposure to secondhand smoke is worse, there's no safe level. It also cited "compelling" if circumstantial evidence that even less than an hour's exposure might be enough to push someone already at risk of a heart attack over the edge.

That's because within minutes, the smoke's pollution-like small particles and other substances can start constricting blood vessels and increasing blood's propensity to clot — key heart attack factors. Yet many people don't know they have heart disease until their first heart attack, making it important for everyone to avoid secondhand smoke, Benowitz said. "Even if you think you're perfectly healthy, secondhand smoke could be a potential threat to you," he said.

Many of the IOM committee members initially were skeptical they'd find much benefit from the bans, said statistician Stephen Feinberg of Carnegie Mellon University. He proclaimed himself "the resident skeptic" who changed his mind. "There was a clear and consistent effect of smoking bans," he said.

Since New York led the way in 2003, 21 states plus the District of Columbia now have what the CDC calls comprehensive laws banning smoking in both public and private workplaces, restaurants and bars — with no exception for ventilated smoking areas. Some other states have less restrictive laws.

That means 41 percent of people in the country are as protected in public from secondhand smoke as possible, Frieden said. The report found just 5 percent of the world's population was covered by comprehensive smoke-free laws.

While the public mostly connects smoking with lung cancer, heart disease is a more immediate consequence. About a third of all heart attacks in the U.S. are related to smoking, Frieden said.

How much do bans help? That depends on how existing bans were studied and how much secondhand smoke exposure different populations have. Some heavily exposed nonsmokers have the same risk of heart damage as people who smoke up to nine cigarettes a day, said Dr. Lynn Goldman, an environmental health specialist at Johns Hopkins University who led the Institute of Medicine committee.

Her team reviewed 11 key studies of smoking bans in parts of the U.S., Canada, Italy and Scotland. Those studies found drops in the number of heart attacks that ranged from 6 percent to 47 percent.

Some of the benefit may be to smokers who at least cut back because of public or workplace smoking bans, and may even quit at home, too. But two studies — one in Monroe, Ind., and another in Scotland — as well as a 52-country study of secondhand smoke's heart effects focused particularly on nonsmokers, to reassure that the bans do help them, Goldman said.

The impact can be quick.

Helena, Mont., for example, recorded 16 percent fewer heart attack hospitalizations in the six months after its ban went into effect than in the same months during previous years, while nearby areas that had no smoking ban saw heart attacks rise. More dramatically, heart attack hospitalizations dropped 41 percent in the three years after Pueblo, Colo., banned workplace smoking.

The institute is part of the National Academies, an independent organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on scientific matters.

To view report: Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence...

Some related news briefs:
U.S. Institute of Medicine: Report - Secondhand-Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence..;
Secondhand smoke exposure and liver disease..;
England - ban on public smoking results in a fall in heart attack by 10%..;
Pregnant women exposed to passive smoke greater chance of child will have respiratory distress..;
More evidence - Casino workers face greater chance of disease..;
Tobacco smoke exposure on college campuses..;
New York City - nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke..;
Exposure to smoke changed cardiovascular function, particularly in men..;
Don't patronize places where people are smoking..;
Smoking bans lower heart attacks..;
U.S. - Children Remain Especially Vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke;
Massachusettes - Smoking ban drop in fatal heart attacks..;
Nicotine Dependence in Kids Exposed to Second-Hand Smoke...

Reference: IOM Report: Smoking bans protect nonsmokers' hearts, Associated Press, 10/15/2009.


Chile's anti-tobacco law ineffective..

October 15, 2009 - Chileans are still the heaviest smokers despite a strict anti-tobacco law. When a strict anti-tobacco law came into effect three years ago (Monday, August 14, 2006), Maria Eugenia Avila scoffed. She had no intention of quitting the two packs a day she was delightfully smoking. She just stopped going to malls. “I flee from places where I can’t smoke and I cover the horrible warnings on the packs. I love smoking and I suffer with this law and all its prohibitions. But no law is going to make me quit,” the 47-year-old kindergarten teacher said, while puffing away on a habit that costs her nearly $150 a month.

Three years into the tobacco-control legislation, Chileans are far from kicking the habit. Smoking among Chileans has remained fairly stable, dropping slightly from 42.6 percent in 2006, to 41.2 percent in 2008, with a perilous upward trend among women (currently 37.4 percent) and teenagers (35.4 percent, particularly females), according to the latest government survey on tobacco consumption.

This makes Chileans the heaviest smokers in the region. Another “smoker” country is Argentina, but it lags behind with smokers making up 30 percent of its population, according to the World Health Organization. Slightly more than 16 percent of Brazilians and about 19 percent of Mexicans smoke, while in the United States, 23 percent of the overall population are smokers. Map South America - Chile...

After ratifying the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, in August 2006, Chile enacted new legislation that set strict regulations on cigarette consumption, advertising and sales. Among other things, the new law banned tobacco advertising in the media, on .cl dominion websites and near schools. It also prohibited selling cigarettes to minors or within a 100-meter radius of schools. (Anti-smoking law takes effect in Chile, Xinhua News Agency, People.com.CN, 8/15/2009)

The legislation also established mandatory smoking and non-smoking areas in restaurants and bars and prohibited all smoking in transportation services, schools, gas stations, elevators, health clinics, airports, theaters, gyms, supermarkets, malls and government offices. And lastly, it mandated that all cigarette packs should carry warnings that take up half of both sides.

But the law had several fundamental flaws. It didn’t raise taxes on cigarette consumption, it did little in terms of prevention other than put warnings on cigarette packs, it failed to impose 100 percent smoke-free policies on all closed precincts and lacked treatment programs for quitters, said Maria Teresa Valenzuela, a tobacco expert at the University of Chile’s School of Medicine.

Maria Teresa Valenzuela: “The law didn’t include these things because of the enormous pressure from the tobacco industry, which was tremendously aggressive during the discussion of the bill. Its strategy was without a doubt to block any measures that could hinder tobacco consumption, especially raising taxes.”

Chiletabacos, owned by British American Tobacco (BAT), virtually monopolizes the industry, controlling 96 percent of the market. It pays $600 million in tax revenues every year and several former cabinet ministers sit on its board of directors. Philip Morris, which represents 4 percent of the Chilean tobacco market, brought a suit against BAT on July 14, 2009 for practicing unfair market strategies, allowing the company to have a large monopoly of Chile’s tobacco sales. Philip Morris markets locally the tobacco blends Marlboro and L&M, competing with Belmont and Derby, Chiletobaco’s top selling brands.

Treating patients with tobacco-related illnesses costs $1.1 billion, according to the Health Ministry, which says that every year there are more than 16,000 tobacco-related deaths in Chile. This is more than 18 percent of total deaths in the country.

Although Chile’s law complies with the Framework Convention, it falls short of WHO recommendations. First and foremost, it did not raise taxes on cigarette sales, now at 60.4 percent. This is one of the highest in the region, along with Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay. However, more could be done, say tobacco control advocates.

A Pan American Health Organization study has found that increasing taxes by 10 percent could reduce cigarette consumption by 2.2 percent in the short-run and 4.5 percent in the long-run.

Fines aren’t terribly high, either. For tobacco companies, infringing on the law carries a fine ranging from $6,800 to $67,000. Places that don’t comply with the law pay fines between $67 to $1,600, while smoking in a non-authorized area carries a fine of $100.

Currently, the frequently underfunded and understaffed regional sanitation authorities are in charge of enforcing the law, but they can only report non-compliance, not take legal action against infringers. The sanitation officials report infractions to the courts, who then levy a fine. But with other urgent matters to deal with, having the sanitation officials supervise whether someone is smoking in a non-smoking area is clearly not a priority.

Prevention is also weak. Some education programs geared at students have been put in place, but they are not extensive, nor are there public information campaigns. Most prevention is through the warnings on cigarette packs, which don’t seem to be having much impact in spite of the very explicit messages that smoking kills and causes heart failure and other damage, and even bad breath.

For the Health Ministry, it is too early to measure any long-term effects of the law. But what it has done, said Marisol Acuna, responsible for tobacco issues at the ministry’s public policy division, is jump start a cultural and social trend that should gradually lower smoking rates in the future.

“People are now capable of demanding that others not smoke in non-authorized places. And smokers have also changed their behavior: they now ask others for permission to smoke or go outside to smoke, and in general, respect non-smoking areas. That is a good sign, but if we want to reach out to the group that has the highest smoking rate (19 to 34 years old), raising taxes is a strategy that must be considered,” she said.

The Health Ministry is aiming to reduce smoking by next year to 30 percent of the general population and to 20 percent of teenagers, but this goal seems practically impossible unless major changes are made to the law.

“The current law was a good start but it needs to be perfected,” said Lezak Shallat, a tobacco control advocate, “especially eliminating the loopholes that keep many people, especially workers, involuntarily under clouds of secondhand smoke.”

Tobacco in Chile..

Reference: No smoking in Chile? No way. Chileans are still the heaviest smokers in the region despite a strict anti-tobacco law. by Pascale Bonnefoy, GlobalPost, 10/13/2009.

Click on images to enlarge, 1st image the Coat-of-Arms for Chile..

Canada Ontario/Quebec - make it illegal for minors to possess tobacco products..

October 15, 2009 - The latest study of cigarette butts collected around high schools in Ontario and Quebec suggests more teens are buying their smokes on the black market, prompting a call to make tobacco possession illegal (illicit, black market, smuggled) for those under age 19.

The study commissioned by the Canadian Convenience Stores Association and the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco, released Wednesday, found 30 percent of butts gathered near Ontario high schools were contraband, up from 26 percent last year.

We reported on September 9, 2009 Canada - nearly one in five packs of cigarettes smoked by Canadian teen smokers are contraband products - these values are even higher. .

The numbers were even higher in Quebec, where 45 percent of the cigarette butts collected near high schools were contraband, up nine percentage points from 2008.

The figures for both provinces are the highest recorded since the studies near school yards were first done in 2007, said coalition spokesman Gary Grant, a retired Toronto police officer.

"One out of every three high school kids in Ontario who is smoking is choosing to buy his cigarettes from, basically, a criminal," Grant said in an interview..

It isn't just the teens that are attracted by the much lower prices for the illegal cigarettes, which often sell for about $1 dollar a pack instead of the usual retail price of about $8 for 20 cigarettes. Grant: "About 50 per cent of all cigarettes being smoked in Ontario and Quebec are contraband, so adults are fueling this industry just as much as kids."

"But the (kids) are the ones most vulnerable, and the reason that it's so attractive to them is because they can't buy them in the stores."

While it's illegal for people under age 19 to buy cigarettes, it's not illegal for them to possess them.

Teens often gather just off school property to smoke, something authorities could easily deal with if possession of tobacco was illegal for the students, Grant said.
"You don't see them huddled around a case of beer or a few bottles of rye at lunch time because the government has made it illegal not only to purchase alcohol under age 19, but to possess it and consume it," said Grant.

Grant: "I believe that most kids would stop buying cigarettes of all kinds, never mind just contraband, if they couldn't possess them and smoke them."

The figures show teens are increasingly the target of criminals who sell illegal cigarettes, said Grant, adding the wide availability of contraband smokes is short-circuiting the government's anti-smoking efforts.

"There's this huge disconnect," he said. "The kids themselves have no trouble smoking and there's nothing in place to stop them. If you can't buy it, why can you smoke it?"

Grant said when one of the first charges was laid last year against an Ontario motorist for smoking with a minor in the car, the teenage passenger got out and lit a cigarette while the driver was getting a ticket for exposing the youngster to second-hand smoke.

The study examined nearly 20,000 cigarette butts collected outside 110 Ontario high schools and 14,000 butts found outside 75 Quebec high schools.

Suburbs around Toronto had the highest rates of contraband cigarettes being smoked by teens, with nearly half the butts in Newmarket being illegal, compared with 43 percent in Mississauga and 42 percent in Aurora.

About 23 percent of butts found around Toronto high schools were contraband, compared with 41 percent in the Montreal area. However, 83 percent of the cigarette butts collected around schools in Chateaugay were contraband, as were 52 percent of those in Laval.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) say most of the illegal cigarettes sold are smuggled into Canada though the Akwesasne reserve, which straddles the Canada-U.S. border near Cornwall, Ont. Location of Akwesasne Reserve in New York State.. Akwesasne cigarette smuggling routes.. More on the smuggling problem..

Reference: Researchers find teens Ont. and Que. buying more black market cigarettes by Keith Leslie - Canadian Press, 10/14/2009.

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...

Click on image to enlarge, Gary Grant from the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco..


American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation - smokefree lists, maps and data..

October 15, 2009 - American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation has tracked, collected and analyzed tobacco control ordinances, by-laws, and Board of Health regulations since the early 1980s.

Their smokefree lists, maps and data have recently been updated as of October 2, 2009.

Lots of good information - Take a look..

Internet, Flavors everywhere - snuff being marketed to kids as hip, cool and healthy..

Click on image to learn more about these products.
October 14, 2009 - Snuff is being marketed to tweens, teens and college students, both female and male, as hip, cool and healthy. It’s available for a nominal cost with a simple Internet click online. Yet, it’s anything but harmless, according to an area ear, nose and throat specialist, who is concerned that in any form, nicotine is extremely addictive. And what makes snuff so dangerous is that it doesn’t fall under any federal regulations, according to a local tobacco expert.

PASS THIS LAW.. - In the U.S. Senator Herb Kohl is sponsoring a bill which would clamp down on illegal tobacco sales. H.R. 1676, the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (the PACT Act) of 2009, was passed 397-11 by the House of Representatives on Thursday, 5/21/2009. 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..)

“The manufacturers have made nasal snuff innocuous,” said Newmark (Dr. Zephron Newmark, an ENT specialist with Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, PA). “They’ve made it into a pleasant experience that’s discreet and doesn’t hurt. If you remember the first cigarette you ever smoked, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. You probably coughed and hated the taste. But for some people, there is a genetic component that allowed them to become addicted to the nicotine. Now, snuff will still allow you to become addicted to the nicotine and probably at an even earlier age.”

These inhalants could lead to other cancers, most notably of the nose and lungs and even bladder, he said. Even sinus cancer is a possibility, he said, stating that other dangers of nasal snuff remain an unknown.

Nasal snuff is a finely ground, flavored tobacco, taken in the non-offensive form of a simple sniff into the nostrils. Snuff began as the tobacco choice of royalty and the elite in 17th century Europe, before being provided to the masses. Still popular in Europe today, snuff is now gaining popularity in the U.S.

The most popular use of snuff is to take just a pinch between your thumb and forefinger and sniff it lightly into the nose. This provides a pleasant aroma, lasting 15 to 20 minutes, as well as a noticeable nicotine lift.

Apart from flavors, dry snuff also comes in a range of textures and moisture levels, from very fine to coarse, and from toast (very dry) to very moist. Often drier snuffs are ground finer.

The aromas/flavors are appealing, ranging from fruity favorites like raspberry, cherry and blueberry to drinks like brandy maple, whiskey and honey, bourbon, cola champagne and wine and cheese to the unusual like violet and sandalwood.

The snuff comes in unique and easy to conceal tins and containers, such as glass and plastic vials and wooden boxes. The product reportedly provides an energy boost as some contain guarana, an herb, and glucose, as well as mints like spearmint and peppermint.

“These products are aimed specifically at the younger market,” said Delonti (Tony Delonti, a member of the local chapter of the American Lung Association who also serves on the Luzerne County Tobacco Free Coalition). “And they are marketed on the Internet. Who is more astute at getting online than today’s youth? And there is no mechanism in place to check a purchaser’s age.”

Another nasal snuff product. Toque (pronounced took) one brand of nasal snuff comes in 16 flavors of the tobacco powder including toast & marmalade, toffee, grapefruit, cherry, blueberry, raspberry, peppermint, espresso, whiskey & honey and peanut butter. Besides the powder form this snuff comes in mini-bullets with most of the same flavors. (Nasal snuff another harm reduction product..)

Reference: Snuff turns a new leaf Today’s smokeless tobacco is just as addictive and marketed to the young by Geri Anne Kaikowski (gkaikowski@timesleader.com), Times Leader (Northeastern Pennsylvania's Home Page), 10/14/2009.

Can the Tobacco Industry be trusted - it's our children..

October 14, 2009 - The tobacco industry has side stepped laws banning advertising and promotion by skilfully marketing cigarettes to reel in smokers according to a new study yesterday (Monday, October 12th).

PAPER: Making the Pack the Hero, Tobacco Industry Response to Marketing Restrictions in the UK: Findings from a Long-Term Audit, Crawford Moodie and Gerard B. Hastings, Journal International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction Friday, September 18, 2009, ABSTRACT..

Between 2003 and 2005 the Tobacco Advertising and Promotions Act (TAPA) outlawed all tobacco advertising. Since then the tobacco industry has invested heavily in their packaging, with cleverly marketed new brand names, colors, sizes, shapes and materials to attract new smokers and help keep existing smokers from switching brands.

The researchers monitored retail, marketing and tobacco industry magazines to identify new packaging. Then they tracked three different categories of packaging.
1) Value based packaging is used to communicate value for money so offers larger or smaller packs at cheaper prices.
2) Image based packaging uses new pictures, colours and designs that appeals to target groups. Floral patterns, images such as racing cars, holograms, silver and gold colours have all been introduced to packs since the ban.
3) Innovation based packaging involves the pack itself being changed, with new packs switching from cardboard to metal, having side openings, or being hexagonal shaped.

The researchers cite the introduction of picture warnings on packs as an example of where they believe pack design has been altered to undermine the anti-tobacco images.

In the four months after the graphic pictures were added the tobacco industry went into overdrive adding more new distracting images to packs during that period than for the previous four years. These measures are all designed to make tobacco appear glamorous and desirable despite more than 114,000 people in the UK dying each year from smoking-related diseases including cancers.

Professor Gerard Hastings, lead researcher based at the Institute for Social Marketing at the University of Stirling, said: "Tobacco packaging is no longer the 'silent salesman' it once was, now it shouts loudly. These screams for attention are used to defy advertising bans and drown out health warnings. The industry will fight tenaciously but the only consistent and effective policy response is generic packaging.

"Contrary to the public pronouncements of the tobacco industry, the pack is an important promotional tool that is being used more aggressively and effectively as other channels are removed and health warnings are strengthened."

Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: "Marketing tobacco hasn't stopped simply because we don't see cigarettes advertised in our magazines and on billboards or TV. The tobacco industry has simply adapted its marketing skills to attract customers with packaging.

"The advertising ban was bought in to protect children from tobacco promotion. The slick designs and attractive branding used to promote tobacco should no longer be allowed in the UK. The harsh reality is that half of all long term smokers will die from this deadly addiction. We urge the government to close the loophole and enforce plain packaging for all tobacco products."

Reference: Tobacco Research Reveals The Packet Racket, Medical News Today, 10/13/2009.

United Kingdom, Britain British Isles and Northern Ireland..

Wisconsin - almost last state to require fire-safe cigarettes..

October 14, 2009 - Governor Jim Doyle signed the bill a year-and-a-half ago and the law took effect on October 1, 2009.

Fire-safe cigarettes.. are designed to snuff themselves out if they’re not smoked for a certain length of time. The idea is to prevent fires started by cigarettes that are left smoldering.

Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, tried for five years to require fire-safe cigarettes, soon after New York became the first state to mandate it. Now, every state but Wyoming has similar laws on the books although some won’t actually take effect until next year or 2011.

The National Fire Protection Association says 800 Americans die each year from fires caused by smoking materials.

But not all smokers are crazy about the new cigarettes. Milwaukee tobacco retailer Jeff Steinbock says some of his customers complain that the new smokes don’t taste as good and they have to keep lighting them up because they go out too quickly.
Steinbock says it’s another case of blaming the product instead of people for their irresponsible behavior.

R.J. Reynolds will begin producing only fire-safe cigarettes at the end of 2009 and Phillip Morris hopes to make all of its cigarettes fire-safe by the first half of 2010

Reference: Wisconsin is next-to-last state to require fire-safe cigarettes, River Falls Journal, 10/12/2009.

Wisconsin related news briefs:
Wisconsin - government anti-smoking programs cut from $15.3 million a year to $6.9 million..;
Wisconsin - tobacco taxes to go up tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1, 2009..;
U.S. - Midwest States smoking bans do not hurt business..;
Wisconsin Governor Doyle signs smoking ban..;
Wisconsin - legislature passes smoking 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..

Indonesia - section on tobacco in health bill disappears..

October 14, 2009 - A section regulating tobacco as an addictive substance in the newly passed Health Law has been removed despite approvals from the legislative and executive branch, a former lawmaker has revealed on Wednesday, October 14th.

A plenary session of the House of Representatives on Monday, September 14th approved four bills, a new record for a legislature scrambling to make good on its lawmaking duties. With only about a third of lawmakers attending, the House endorsed the anti-narcotics, health, immigration and hajj bills in short order.

Hakim Sorimuda Pohan, a former member of the drafting committee of the health law who was no longer elected for the 2009-2014 term said on Wednesday during a discussion on “Corruption on Health Law” in Jakarta, that Section 2 of Article 113 could not be found in the final document at the House of Representatives.

The missing section was written as follow: ”Addictive substance as referred in section (1) includes tobacco; solid, liquid, and gas products that contain tobacco which are addictive and could harm its users and or their immediate surroundings.”

Hakim said the change could come from the legislative or the executive branch and said the Health Department have denied any knowledge about the change. Hakim said exclusion of the section is a criminal offense, and should be thoroughly investigated to bring the perpetrator(s) to justice.

Kartono Muhammad a health expert which was also a member of the drafting team said punishment should remain to be imposed to the perpetrators although the section could be automatically re-incorporated into the article. Chairman of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (Yayasan lembaga Konsumen Indonesia) Tulus Abadi said this is the first time such crime was uncovered. While a researcher from the Political Corruption Division of the Indonesia Corruption Watch, Abdullah Dahlan said the section could automatically be restored into the Law, as it has been passed during the house plenary session.

State Secretary Hatta Radjasa said Tuesday the law, passed by the House of Representatives last month, was already missing the sub-article when his office received it. He said he had contacted the Health Ministry and the Justice and Human Rights. “The way it works is, the State Secretariat receives endorsed bills signed by the House speaker to be submitted to the President. Then we do a check to see if the document is in line with agreements reached by the government and the House.” A bill only becomes law once the president has signed it.

Meanwhile, the former chairwoman of the house's health bill special committee, Ribka Tjiptaning, said the committee was not responsible for the missing clause. "Up until the plenary session, the clause was still there. The clause never went missing,” she said. (hdt)

Reference: Tobacco Disappears From Health Law, Cigarettes News Online, 10/2009; President, House responsible for missing health law clause scandal; Indonesia House Headed for Overtime, Indonesia This Day, 9/14/2009; Govt denies involvement in missing tobacco article, Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, 10/13/2009.

Indonesia related news briefs:
Indonesia - Constitutional Court by close vote rules that tobacco ads can continue..;
Indonesia - parent smoking can negatively affect the nutrition of children..;
Indonesia - new council member suspect in cigarette fraud case..;
Indonesia - an NGO commission assists cigarettes must be banned in films..
Indonesia - a paradise for tobacco companies..
Indonesia - after buying cigarettes very little left for food..;
Indonesia - will they ratify the first world public health treaty..;
Indonesia - last paradise to smoke in public places in Southeast Asia..;
Indonesia - Industry minister to close tobacco to new foreign investment..;
Indonesia Finance Ministry to cap tax deductions for tobacco companies..;
Indonesia - Smoking hits poor families the hardest, making the poor even poorer..;
Indonesia - Cigarette makers defy crisis, grows stronger..;
Indonesia - government may raise cigarette excise tax next year..;
WHO - Indonesia is crying out for your help..;
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...

Lorillard to Release Third Quarter 2009 Results on Monday, October 26, 2009..

October 14, 2009 - A conference call for analysts and investors will begin at 10:00 am Eastern Time on October 26, 2009 which will be hosted by Martin L. Orlowsky, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and David H. Taylor, Executive Vice President, Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer. Investors can participate in the conference call by dialing (888) 713-4211 (domestic) or (617) 213-4864 (international). The passcode for this event is: 36076042.

The news release and a live webcast of the conference call will also be available under the Investor Relations part of Lorillard's website at www.lorillard.com.

The conference will be available for replay in its entirety through November 2, 2009. If you wish to listen to the replay of this conference call, please visit Lorillard's website at www.lorillard.com or dial (888) 286-8010 (domestic) or (617) 801-6888 (international) and enter passcode: 15043732.

Reference: Lorillard to Release Third Quarter 2009 Results on Monday, October 26, 2009, Lorillard, 10/13/2009.

Namibia - Tobacco Products Control Bill passes National Assmebly..

October 13, 2009 - The National Assembly adopted the Tobacco Products Control Bill with one amendment on Thursday, October 8th the last sitting day of the year. Namibia map..

On September 20, 2009 we reported that the Tobacco Products Control Bill was tabled by Health Minister Richard Kamwi.

The Bill will now go to the National Council, the House of Review. In a moment of rare agreement between the opposition and the benches of the ruling Swapo Party, Members agreed to a small, but important change of words in Clause 3, which originally stipulated that a member of the umbrella labour movement NUNW, should sit on one of the supervisory boards to be created once the bill is promulgated.
Tsudao Gurirab of the official opposition party CoD proposed that the words should be changed to “a member of organised labour” and thus would avoid the name of a specific labour union. “For the first the Member talks sense and I agree,” said Deputy Health Minister Petrina Haingura. The House then adopted the amendment and the Tobacco Products Control Bill was passed.

Parliament went into recess about five weeks earlier than planned because MPs wanted to go and campaign for the upcoming elections. The National Assembly will again convene on February 9 next year, which is also the Day of the Constitution in Namibia. It will then be 20 years since the Constituent Assembly had adopted the final draft of the country’s Constitution in 1990.

Reference: Parliament passes Tobacco Bill by BRIGITTE WEIDLICH, The Namibian, 10/12/2009.

Nunavut Territory - highest rate of smoking in Canada..

October 13, 2009 - Nunavut territory has the highest rate of smoking in Canada: 53 per cent of people over the age of 12 surveyed by Statistics Canada reported lighting up daily — even though cigarettes here can cost $16 a pack. A pack-a-day habit in the North can cost $6,000 a year, a price magnified in families with three or four smokers. “It’s taking money out of their food budgets,” says Dr. Ron Aspinall, a family physician who works in the Nunavut hamlet of Rankin Inlet.

Nunavut (meaning "our land") is the largest and newest federal territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999 via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, though the actual boundaries had been established in 1993. Nunavut is both the least populated and the geographically largest of the provinces and territories of Canada. It has a population of 29,474, mostly Inuit, spread over an area the size of Western Europe. Inuit (meaning "man" or "person") is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, and Alaska.
Nunavut’s smoking rate is more than double the national average (22 per cent) and is considerably higher than those in the Northwest Territories (36 per cent) and Yukon (30 per cent).

NU = Nunavut

Among Nunavut’s Inuit, 85 per cent of the territory’s population, the rates are even worse. The 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey found that 64 per cent of the territory’s Inuit over the age of 15 light up daily; another eight per cent called themselves occasional smokers.

The tobacco problem is shared by Inuit across Canada and by many First Nations communities.

Lung cancer rates among Canada’s Inuit are the highest in the world. Lung cancer is now responsible for half of all cancer deaths in Nunavut.

Nunavut’s newborns and infants are the most unhealthy in the country, in part because of the staggering number of pregnant women who smoke, (Nunavut Territory has the highest rate of babies born pre-term in Canada..) Infant mortality in the territory is three times the Canadian average.

Nunavut’s mothers are the youngest in the country with an average age of 24.7; the teen pregnancy rate is eight times the national average. It means many pregnancies are unplanned. And expectant mothers addicted to nicotine often find it difficult to give up cigarettes when a major new stress has just been added to their lives.

The territory already has a tough set of anti-smoking laws. In 2004, Nunavut’s Tobacco Control Act made the territory one of the first jurisdictions to ban smoking in public places, including bars. The law made it illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under 19, banned cigarette vending machines, and eliminated most tobacco retail displays.

Reference: Extreme smoking in Nunavut ‘Someone always has a cigarette’ by Andrew Duffy, The Ottawa Citizen, 10/10/2009.

Related news briefs: Canada - more governments encouraged to ban sales of tobacco in pharmacies..; Canada's Yukon passes comprehensive smoking ban..; Tobacco displays are on their way out in an increasing number of countries...


CA Governor Schwarzeneggar vetoes E cigarette ban in California..

October 13, 2009 - The "Terminator" has just terminated a bill that would have outlawed the electronic (e) cigarette. With a bold and decisive stroke of his pen, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may have put to rest a bill that would have banned the electronic cigarette from the state of California (CA). This action by the Governor has put this bill back in the hands of lawmakers to either try to get to a 2/3 majority to override the veto or re-write the bill so that it just regulates the age restrictions, which would have likely passed and been signed without any problems.

"We do not mind regulation" states Tiffany Ellis of E Cigarettes National, "We just do not want them banned, and like the Governor stated, it should be left to the discretion of the adult choosing to use them, not policy makers." Like Ellis, most suppliers and retailers claim that they do not mind regulation and age restrictions, but strongly oppose any bans to the e cigarettes that they use and market to the public.

The message sent to the lawmakers by the Governor was clear and explained his motives in full concerning the rights of the people and current litigation on the matter in a federal court or law. Below is a copy of the message sent back to state lawmakers. you can read the official message here.

On October 11, Governor Schwarzeneggar vetoed Assembly Bill 574 which would have banned smoking on hospital grounds. He commented that hospitals have their own authority to prohibit smoking as the reason for his veto.

Governor's message to California lawmakers..

FDA: Electronic cigarettes contain toxic chemicals..

Reference: Arnold Schwarzenegger Vetoes E Cigarette Ban Bill In California
The "Terminator" has just terminated a bill that would have outlawed the electronic cigarette
, by Marlin J. Sanders, OfficialWire.com, 10/12/2009.


United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..

October 13, 2009 - The removal of cigarettes from public display is a step closer after MPs (members of parliament) said vending machines should be banned and shops should keep stocks out of sight.

MPs supported a backbench amendment to outlaw cigarette vending machines in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own separate bill. The vending machine amendment to the government's Health Bill was passed by the Commons without going to a vote. Health campaigners welcomed the step, calling it a "brave move". The bill passed its third reading and will now go before the House of Lords.

The vending machine ban was proposed by the former Labour minister Ian McCartney, who said it would "change history". Mr McCartney said vending machines gave young children access to cigarettes and condemned them as an "outrageous loophole in our country's safeguards" against tobacco. Peter Hollins, British Heart Foundation: consigning vending machines to the scrapheap will cut off an easy supply of cigarettes to children. "This policy must be carried out across the UK as soon as possible."

He said tobacco was still "the only product in Britain that can be sold legally, which routinely kills and injures its customers".

The Conservatives had questioned the wisdom of banning shops from putting cigarettes on public display during a recession, when many smaller retailers were suffering from a lack of business. Newsagents say the proposal could cost them £250m in lost sales. Tory backbencher Philip Davies said: "This is the nanny state gone mad. On every conceivable level this particular ban is wrong. "It goes against the principle of individual responsibility, free choice and people making their own decisions." Mr Davies said it was "completely false" to suggest people would be more likely to buy cigarettes because they were displayed in shops. He argued: "As someone who was a retailer for 12 years, can I tell you that tobacco is not an impulse purchase in the same way that cream cakes are."

But health minister Gillian Merron said the ban would help to stop new generations taking up smoking. She said: "The tobacco industry constantly recruits young people to replace those who give up smoking or die each year. "We are of course aware of how the current economic climate is affecting small business which is why we will not commence the effect of this legislation until 2011 for larger stores and 2013 for smaller shops."

Ms Merron said she was opposed to an outright ban on vending machines but the Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, said he would not oppose Mr McCartney's measure in the Lords. He said: "The remaining amendments that have been voted through go over to the other place (the Lords) in a well-drafted and legally workable form. "I will watch with interest how his proposals are received in another place but the government will not seek to overturn them," he added.

The chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), Deborah Arnott, said the vending machine ban had "made a strong Bill even stronger". It was the most "significant step forward" in public health since the ban on smoking in public places, she added.

The Scottish Parliament is considering a similar ban on vending machines and public displays of tobacco.

Reference: MPs approve cigarette vending ban, BBC, 10/13/2009.

Some related news briefs:
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigaretet displays..;
JTI attacks UK government for plan to ban tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - 3rd reading of Public Health Bill including ban on tobacco displays..
United Kingdom - limiting access to cigarette vending machines not possible..;
Updated - England - tabacco display ban - the Lords got it right..;
Fewer Britons support the ban on smoking in pubs than in other public places..
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicians most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
England, House of Lords votes to ban shop tobacco dislays and restrict vending machine use..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
UK - Strategies to be implemented to prevent underage tobacco use...