Florida - plaintiff drops case to avoid paying legal fees for Philip Morris USA..

January 16, 2010

- Background: In December 2006 the Florida Supreme Court breathed new life into a case against the tobacco industry that had worked its way through the courts since 1994. The case is known as the Engle case (landmark 1994 lawsuit filed by Dr. Howard Engle that produced a $145 billion judgment against cigarette makers six years later). On July 6, 2006, the Florida Supreme Court cleared the path for hundreds of thousands of Florida residents to file individual lawsuits against the nation's largest tobacco manufacturers for injuries sustained from smoking cigarettes. The Court set a strict deadline for injured persons to file a lawsuit: July 6, 2007; which is one year from the date the Court issued its opinion. The Court ruled that individual plaintiffs can use previous jury findings against the tobacco industry in the newly filed lawsuits. (Cigarette Makers Face Thousands of New Florida Lawsuits..; Dr. Howard A. Engle, the veteran pediatrician who lent his name to a landmark class action suit against Big Tobacco, dies..)

But "Plaintiffs who bring such flawed cases need to consider the risk of having to pay the company's legal fees and costs if they lose at trial," said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of Philip Morris USA, Richmond, Va. Garnick: "The company is committed to trying to recover the fees and costs it incurs in defending these cases, as Florida law allows."

A former smoker who filed suit against Philip Morris USA dropped his case after two days of trial to avoid having to pay the company's attorneys fees in the event he lost at trial. The plaintiff's decision in the Cohen case comes after two prior Engle plaintiffs who lost at trial paid the company $100,000 in legal fees and approximately $30,000 in costs, respectively.

Under a provision of Florida law, a defendant can send the plaintiff an offer of judgment for a specified amount to resolve the case. If the plaintiff refuses that offer and ultimately obtains a judgment that is at least 25% less than the defendant's original offer, the defendant may seek to recover its attorney fees and costs from the date of the offer.

In the Cohen case (J. Cohen v. Philip Morris USA), the company made an offer of judgment in the amount $1,000 on December 8, 2008. Cohen initially rejected the offer, but changed his mind after testifying at trial and has now accepted the offer.

As stated above, the Cohen case results from a 2006 Supreme Court decision that decertified a class action but allowed former class members to file individual lawsuits. The trial court in Cohen established a fundamentally unfair and unconstitutional trial plan that allowed the jury to rely on findings by a prior jury that have no connection to the plaintiff if the case.

Approximately 4,000 claims, or roughly half of those filed in the wake of the Florida Supreme Court's decision in Engle, are pending in federal court and have been put on hold pending a federal appeals court review of the constitutional issues that arise from allowing the plaintiff to rely on prior Engle jury findings. A hearing on these issues is scheduled for January 26, 2010, before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Related news briefs:
Florida - jury awards $300 million in ex-smoker's suit..;
92-year-old wins $1.9 million tobacco judgment over wife’s death..;

Reference: Smoker Extinguishes Suit
Plaintiff drops Engle case to avoid having to pay company's legal fees
, CSP Daily News, 1/14/2010.

Other related news briefs:
Philip Morris USA sees decline in health lawsuits..;
R.J. Reynolds to appeal plaintiff's award of $30 million..;
R.J. Reynolds loses Florida court trial - widow gets $30 million..;
Nik Modi, tobacco analyst with UBS: Supreme Court Case "was a coin flip..";
California Supreme Court rules consumers can file lawsuits against tobacco industry..;
First menthol-cigarette lawsuit in the world filed in Israel..;
Law Suit Filed Against Philip Morris USA, Inc. - Marlboro Lights..;
U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Big Tobacco..;
U.S. Supreme Court 2008-2009 term, Altria v Good (07-562)..;
U.S. Supreme Court: Good v. Altria Group,.;
Justices turn down smokers' lawsuit against tobacco companies..;

Finland - to end the consumption of tobacco products by 2040..

January 16, 2010 - We created a news brief on January 14, 2010 Finland - extends anti-tobacco law, restricting smoking in cars and ban on cigarette displays.

We were not sure if these new tobacco control measure had been implemented so we contacted Dr. Matti Rautalahti, Ylilääkäri - Chief Medical Officer. Suomen Syöpäyhdistys - Cancer Society of Finland.

We (Dr. Matti Rautalahti) find the new anti-tobacco measures (legislation) is still a proposal discussed in the Parliament.

Government proposal aims: To end the consumption of tobacco products in Finland..

Also, you'll find links to other reports on tobacco control in Finland.

Dr. Rautalahti tells us that Big Tobacco is fiercely fighting back, as we expected. They are most annoyed of the main aim of the newest amendment: to make Finland smoke-free by 2040 by decreasing the number of smokers so low that smoking becomes a very minor issue. But we quite certain that most of the proposals will be accepted and the new law passed later this spring.

Finland related news briefs:
Finland - extends anti-tobacco law, restricting smoking in cars and ban on cigarette displays..;
Finland - health officials devising more restrictions to fight tobacco use..;
Finland - government proposing ban on smoking when kids present and other tobacco control measures..;
Finland may ban smoking in cars carrying children..;
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..

Peru - health minister aims to rise tobacco tax..

January 15, 2010 - Peru's Health Minister, Óscar Ugarte, presented a bill that aims to rise the selective consumption tax (ISC) on tobacco and cigarettes from 30% to 200%.

Background: Peru became the 40th state to ratify World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Treaty on 30 November 2004. On March 13, 2006, the Peruvian Congress passed Law 28705, "Law of Prevention and Control of Risks Associated with Tobacco Consumption". Law 28705 entered into effect April 7, 2006. Prior to ratifying the WHO FCTC and passing Law 28705, the tobacco control effort in Peru had been restricted to efforts in individual cities, such as restrictions on the sale of tobacco to minors, and activities on tobacco control promoted in schools. However, regulations on the sale of tobacco products to minors were not enforced and the school programs were not successful as the teachers had not been trained in effective teaching approaches regarding tobacco.

Law 28705 promulgates the General Law for the prevention and control of the risks of tobacco consumption; object of the Law; measures related to the control of tobacco: prevention and protection: protection against exposure to smoking of tobacco, mandatory warning in closed spaces, information and education of the public; packaging and labeling of tobacco products, posters and advertising; clear warning of harm to health; prohibition of sale to minors; prohibition of use of terms such as 'light', 'ultra light' and the like; additional information and nicotine and tar content; commercialization; advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco; vigilance and application of sanctions; regulation of sanctions by the Executive Power; transitory and final provisions. Repeals Laws 25357, 26739, 26849 and 26957.
(24 articles; pp. 316197-199) (Prevalence of smoking and other smoking related behaviors reported by the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in four Peruvian cities, BMC Public Health 2008, 8(Suppl 1):S2)

WHO Smoking Prevalence Tobacco Economy - most data presented are not current. In Peru, it is nominally illegal to smoke in any public place (indoors), according to Law 25357. The ban is normally not enforced.
“We [Health Ministry] are proposing this increase in order to discourage the consumers from buying tobacco and cigarettes,” says Ugarte, who also thinks that “this will slowly reduce the demand of tobacco.”

The bill seeks to modify the Law 28705, proposing a total ban of smoking “in all workplaces, open or closed, and in open spaces too, either public or private.” The bill also proposes that any public place intended to entertaining, such as bars, pub, restaurants, discos, cafes and so on, must have a large sign with the phrase “Environment 100% free of tobacco smoke,” and to ban any tobacco advertising in public exhibitions and shows.

Reference: Peru's Health Ministry proposes a 200% tax on tobacco and cigarettes, Isabel Guerra, LivinginPeru.com, 1/13/2010.

South Africa - diffcult to enforce law against smoking in a vehicle when child younger than 12 is present..

January 15, 2010 - Cape Town Child Welfare and the National Council Against Smoking have again urged adults to refrain from smoking near children after an admission by Cape Town's traffic services that it was unable to enforce a law against smoking in a vehicle where a child younger than 12 was present.

Background: Vehicles have been found to be the most dangerous space for second-hand smoke levels. Kids exposed to smoke are at higher risk since they breathe in more air by weight than adults. Both the respiratory rate and heart rate are higher in children below the age of 13 than in adults. The younger the child, the greater the potential for exposure. Since the lungs of children are still developing, exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to ear infections, asthma, bronchopneumonia and other illnesses.

Two pieces of legislation that dramatically increase smoking fines and crack down on tobacco companies were signed into law, the South Africa's National Council Against Smoking stated on September 1, 2009. Map - South Africa.. The amendments also banned smoking in cars in which children younger than 12 are passengers and put a stop to the sale of products such as sweets and chocolates by cigarette vendors.

Cape Town Child Welfare chief executive Niresh Ramklass said on Tuesday, January 12th that with 700 000 vehicles on the roads the legislation was unenforceable, and issued an appeal: "Please consider the children's health. Secondary smoke (second hand smoke, SHS, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, sidestream smoke, involuntary smoking) is lethal for the child."

His comments followed a statement by city traffic services spokesperson Merle Lourens noting that traffic officers did not pay attention to people who smoked in cars with children. Lourens said officers focused on driving offences because these posed a greater danger.'We won't be able to stop people smoking' "I doubt if anybody is paying attention to people smoking in cars when there are children. We won't be able to stop people smoking," she said.

Tobacco control laws were strengthened in August, 2009 to include a ban on smoking in all places (including private homes) where children are present. Restaurant or bar owners who allow smoking in non-smoking areas face fines of up to R50 000 and the individual smoker can be fined R500.

National Council Against Smoking executive director Yussuf Saloojee said: "We accept that traffic officers have more urgent work, but during the stopping of vehicles and at roadblocks they should just check for smoking as a matter of routine." He agreed the law was difficult to enforce, but said it had "a great educational effect" .

About establishments that failed to comply, Saloojee said: "We need a proper survey. What we have is anecdotal evidence."

Reference: Is smoking law of no effect?, Aziz Hartley, IOL.co.za, 1/13/2010 (originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on January 13, 2010).

South Africa related news briefs:
South Africa - BAT wants court to lift ban on "one-to-one" communication with smokers..;
South Africa - new anti-smoking laws have to be enforced..;
Swedish Match finalizes sale of South African operation to PMI..;
South Africa - tobacco control legislation signed into law..; South Africa - survey of youngsters smoking and drinking hablits..;
Reynolds Tobacco is now providing coupons for a free can of Camel SNUS;
British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..;
BAT Marketing Tobacco Products Using Text Messaging...

Smokeless Tobacco products with up to 700% more flavor additives than candy..

Our Children Our Future
January 15, 2010 - Dr. James Pankow - “The bottom line for our paper is that the flavorant levels in the smokeless products are in general markedly higher than in popular wintergreen and menthol flavored tobacco products,” said Pankow. “Moreover, the amount of wintergreen flavorant could by itself pose serious health risks to some consumers.”

Recently, smokeless tobacco giant Swedish Match has been accused of adding a substance to moist snuff or 'snus' known as E500, to purposely increase the amount of so-called ‘free’ nicotine – which increases dependency increase user dependency and, in turn, boosts sales of their products. (Swedish Match accused of adding substance to moist snuff (snus) to purposely increase user dependency and in turn, boosts sales..)

PAPER: Levels of mint and wintergreen flavorants: Smokeless tobacco products vs. confectionery products, Chen C, Isabelle LM, Pickworth WB, Pankow JF,
Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, , Portland, OR 97207, United States, Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jan 11, 2010, ABSTRACT...

The paper discusses measurements of methyl salicylate (wintergreen) and menthol flavorants in a large number of smokeless tobacco products. “The bottom line for our paper is that the flavorant levels in the smokeless products are in general markedly higher than in popular wintergreen and menthol flavored tobacco products,” said Pankow. “Moreover, the amount of wintergreen flavorant could by itself pose serious health risks to some consumers.”

Click on image to enlarge..

Some directly related news briefs:
C-store update - let's ban all flavored tobacco products..;
Internet, Flavors everywhere - snuff being marketed to kids as hip, cool and healthy..;
U.S. - flavored cigarettes illegal - now how about all tobacco products..;
For our children ban all flavored tobacco products..;
Camel Dissolvables - can they be considered candy-like..;
STOP the Release of Dissolvable Tobacco Products..;
We must stop the launch of dissolvable tobacco products..;
STOP - the Proliferation of Flavored Tobacco Products...

Comments on paper from healthcare professionls:

Donald Austin, president of the Oregon Public Health Association
“Chronic salicylate toxicity can occur from long term exposure to moderate doses of salicylates, from common sources such as aspirin. An international guideline limits the daily ingestion of methyl salicylate when used as a flavorant, such as in candies, but Professor Pankow and his team have shown that certain smokeless tobacco products contain methyl salicylate far in excess of that amount. Tobacco companies already disregard many serious health hazards posed by the use of their products. Do they ignore the international safety limits and the risk of chronic salicylate poisoning out of ignorance, or out of cynicism and contempt for their customers? They should not be allowed to expose tobacco users to additional toxic risks from flavoring additives.”

Brett Hamilton, executive director of Tobacco Free Coalition of Oregon
"Flavored tobacco products are a major concern because they are sure to lure even more kids into tobacco use and addiction. These new products no doubt appeal to kids because of their candy-like forms and flavors. In spite of promises by the tobacco industry, smokeless tobacco products continue to be marketed in a wide variety of kid-friendly candy and fruit flavors.”

Channing Robertson, professor at Stanford University and member of the World Health Organization (WHO) study group on Tobacco Product Regulation
“Pankow and his collaborators provide compelling evidence that the tobacco industry continues its quest to manufacture terribly addictive and hazardous products that are particularly attractive to young people. By flavoring a product to mask its otherwise appallingly disgusting taste, these companies extend their reach into the marketplace to sustain and often grow their addicted consumer base thereby perpetuating their business of raining disease and death on those who in the end would choose to stop using these products could they readily do so.”

Reference: Portland State University researchers find Smokeless Tobacco products with up to 700% more flavor additives than candy, Portland State University, 1/2010..


In Process: US. Federal District court judge makes serious error regarding the import of e-cigarettes..

January 15, 2010 - Judge Richard Leon for the U.S. District Court for Washington DC on Thursday, January 14th granted a preliminary injunction barring the Obama administration from trying to regulate electronic cigarettes and prevent them from being imported into the United States.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: SMOKING EVERYWHERE, INC., Plaintiff and SOTTERA, INC., d/b/a NJOY, Intervenor-Plaintiff v. U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, et aI., Defendants. Civil Case No. 09-771 (RJL) MEMORANDUM OPINION (January H, 2014) [# 2 and 24]

At issue in the case was whether e-cigarettes were ''drug devices" as claimed by the FDA or whether they were "tobacco products" as claimed by Smoking Everywhere and Njoy. If e-cigarettes were "drug devices", the FDA would have the authority to ban them. If, however, e-cigarettes were "tobacco products" then the FDA would not have the authority to ban the importation of e-cigarettes.

Judge Leon decided that e-cigarettes, under the facts of the case before him, were "tobacco products" under the current law. Accordingly, the FDA had no right to outright ban them.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon of the District of Columbia found that the agency had overstepped its bounds by trying to regulate so called e-cigarettes as “drug-device combinations” instead of as a tobacco product under the recently passed Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Judge Leon’s ruling included a court order instructing the FDA to release detained shipments of electronic cigarettes and to halt further detainments of the devices pending the completion of a full trial.

A set back for public health

a Federal District Judge today ordered the FDA to cease detaining shipments, preventing them from entering the United States, and that the products may not be regulated as drug delivery devices.

Matthew L. Myers, president of the antismoking advocacy group Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the ruling opened “a gaping loophole” in the F.D.A.’s ability to regulate non-tobacco products containing nicotine.
"This is a misguided and mind-boggling decision by the court," said National Research Center for Women & Families President Diana Zuckerman. "Nicotine is an addictive drug, and therefore e-cigarettes are a drug delivery system."

References: Judge OKs imports of e-cigarettes, blasts FDA, Jeremy Pelofsky and Susan Heavey, Reuters, 1/14/2010; District Court Rules That FDA Cannot Regulate E-Cigarettes as Drug-Device Combination Products; FDA Detention Decisions Are Reviewable by Courts, by Peter M. Jaensch, FDA Law Blog, 1/14/2010; Federal Court Deals Blow to Public Health in Ruling FDA Cannot Regulate E-Cigarettes as Drugs or Medical Devices, Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 1/14/2010.


California - state high court denies tobacco companies appeal..

January 14, 2010 - The state Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 13th denied tobacco companies' appeals of a San Francisco jury's award of $2.85 million in damages to the family of a woman who died of lung cancer after smoking cigarettes for 26 years. Leslie Whiteley of Ojai (Ventura County) sued Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds before her death in 2000 at age 40.

She testified that she started smoking at 13, using her lunch money to buy cigarettes, and paid little attention to the warning labels because tobacco companies promoted the benefits of smoking and the government allowed the sales. She smoked two packs a day until she was diagnosed with cancer in 1998.

A jury awarded Whiteley and her husband $1.7 million in compensation and $20 million in punitive damages four months before she died. It was the nation's first verdict in favor of a smoker who took up the habit after 1965, when the government first required warnings on cigarette packages.

A state appeals court granted the companies a new trial in 2004, citing a law that immunized them from damages for harm caused by their products between 1988 and 1998. A second jury awarded Whiteley's family $2.85 million in 2007. The companies appealed, arguing that they weren't responsible for statements by industry groups like the Tobacco Institute in the 1970s and 1980s that scientific research was still inconclusive about the health risks of smoking.

A state appeals court upheld the verdict in October, saying Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds were among a small group of companies that funded and bankrolled the industry groups and influenced their research. The companies never contradicted the trade groups' "false or misleading statements" and engaged in their own "campaign of deception" during the same period to keep smokers addicted, the court said.

The state's high court unanimously denied review of the companies' appeal Wednesday, January 13th.

More background - the case of Whiteley vs. R.J. Reynolds.

Reference: State high court denies tobacco company appeals, Bob Egelko (begelko@sfchronicle.com), Article appeared on page C-3 of the San Francisco Chronicle, 1/14/2010.

Leslie Whiteley, shown in 1975, started smoking as a teen. She died in 2000 at age 40.
Photo: Associated Press


January 14, 2010 - WASHINGTON , Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO )

In ruling today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may not regulate electronic cigarettes as drugs or medical devices, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has ignored decades of precedent and put America's consumers at unnecessary risk. If upheld, Judge Leon's decision opens a gaping loophole in the protection FDA has provided against the sale and distribution of non-tobacco products that a manufacturer laces with unregulated quantities of nicotine. For years, the FDA has stringently regulated all products containing nicotine when sold to consumers in any form other than a traditional tobacco product because of nicotine's dangerous and addictive impact.

Judge Leon's decision also ignores the common sense distinction that FDA has long drawn between traditional tobacco products that contain nicotine, such as cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipes, and a host of non-tobacco products, ranging from toothpaste to lollipops to water, in which manufacturers have added nicotine, a highly addictive substance.

We urge the government to appeal this ruling in order to protect public health. It is important to note that even if today's ruling is upheld, this ruling leaves open the possibility that the FDA can regulate electronic cigarettes under the new law granting the agency the power to regulate tobacco products. Like other consumer products, electronic cigarettes should be regulated to protect public health before they are permitted to be sold to consumers.

Judge Leon's decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by two e-cigarette manufacturers that challenged the FDA's jurisdiction over these products and the agency's attempt to prohibit their importation under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Electronic cigarettes have not been tested for safety or approved by any government agency for sale in the United States, yet manufacturers have been marketing and selling these products in stores and shopping mall kiosks throughout the U.S., as well as on the Internet.

Electronic cigarettes, which are manufactured primarily in China, pose several serious potential risks to public health. First, there is no credible scientific evidence that these products are safe for human consumption or that they are effective at helping smokers or other tobacco users quit, as some manufacturers have claimed. In contrast to tobacco cessation products that have been approved by the FDA, there are no controls on the amount or potency of the nicotine or other substances in electronic cigarettes. Last year, the FDA announced that a laboratory analysis of electronic cigarette samples found that they contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze

Second, these products risk deterring current smokers from quitting by providing an alternative source of nicotine in places where smoking is not allowed. They also provide an unproven and unapproved alternative to smoking cessation therapies that have been approved by the FDA as safe and effective. Smokers concerned about their health should utilize approved smoking cessation medications and counseling rather than unapproved products. As the World Health Organization has concluded, until electronic cigarette manufacturers have conducted the necessary scientific studies and gone through the appropriate regulatory process, "WHO does not consider it to be a legitimate therapy for smokers trying to quit."

Third, these products could serve as a pathway to nicotine addiction for children, leading them to smoke cigarettes and use other tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes have been marketed in youth-friendly candy and fruit flavors including bubblegum, cookies and cream, and cola. These products are also readily accessible to youth because they are widely sold in shopping malls and over the Internet and because they are not traditional tobacco products, they are not subject to age verification laws.

Reefrence: Federal Court Deals Blow to Public Health in Ruling FDA Cannot Regulate E-Cigarettes as Drugs or Medical Devices, SOURCE: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, PR Newswire, 1/14/2010.

Canada - study finds the tobacco tax decrease implemented in February 1994 had no impact on tobacco consumption or promotion..

In 1994, Canada reduced tobacco taxes in response to concerns about smuggling, causing the real price of cigarettes to fall by one-third. Teenage smoking increased from 16% to 20% A HEC Montr Deal 1994-1995 Statistics Canada Survey on Smoking in Canada found that the major tax decreases implemented in February 1994 had no significant impact on tobacco consumption or promotion, even among the youth.

In comparing the evolution of tobacco use in the five provinces having decreased taxes and the five who did not in 1994, Statistics Canada was never able to detect the slightest significant difference, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that decreasing taxes has no effect. In certain cases, it was even observed that provinces where taxes were not lowered saw a weaker decrease in rates of tobacco use than other provinces. "The time has come to put this myth to rest and to decrease excessive tobacco taxes in order to eliminate once and for all, and as quickly as possible, the scourge of contraband tobacco endured far too long because of the unproven and unfounded fear that it would encourage people to smoke. For this, the contraband market is currently doing fine on its own by selling cheap cigarettes to kids in high school courtyards."

After thoroughly examining the data collected from the 12,000 Canadians who participated in this major survey, Jean-Fran Ecois Ouellet, associate professor at HEC Montr Deal concludes that "based on the data collected by Statistics Canada, randomness is as good a way as any in determining if a Canadian will change his smoking patterns based on decreased tobacco tax. Particularly noteworthy, the absence of difference is observed equally in the general sample population as in the youth respondent population." The study can be downloaded at .

In another Canadian study it was found that young adults are sensitive to cigarette prices. Reductions in cigarette prices will lead to increased smoking initiation among this group. It was concluded that tobacco taxation should be an effective strategy to reduce smoking initiation among young adults.

Reference: Major tobacco tax reduction in 1994: No impact on smoking rate says HEC Montr Deal, CanadianBusiness.com, 1/13/2010.

UAE to increase the price of cigarettes, graphic images on packs and more..

January 14, 2010 - As a recent of the introduction of the federal anti-tobacco law the UAE (United Arab Emirates) will make smoking more expensive as it plans to increase the price of tobacco and tobacco products, a senior health official said yesterday.

Dr Wedad Al Maidour, head of the tobacco control team, said it is coordinating with the ministry of finance to make the habit costlier for smokers. A pack of cigarettes on average currently costs Dh7 (1.90 USD) across the emirates.

She said it will be difficult to impose an additional levy on tobacco, but that the team hopes to make it more expensive for smokers at the check-out counters of shops. Studies have shown that whenever there is an increase in cigarette price there is a drop in smoking among teenagers.

Another deterrent to smoking is that half of cigarette packets will be covered with graphic images to send home the message that smoking kills. Currently the packs only carry a warning that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and heart diseases.
"In the UAE we plan for 50 per cent of the pack to carry the graphics," she said, but noted they will not be pictures of decaying lungs. "[One] will show a snake and [one] a child with a face mask,' she said (the snake is designed to show that smoking is deadly).

The director-general said the law which prohibits smoking in a car with a child is unique to the UAE.

Dr Salem Al Dermaki, acting director-general of the Ministry of Health, said relevant departments will work in tandem to implement the laws, noting that legal experts are working on drafting the bylaws. The director-general said the law which prohibits smoking in a car with a child is unique to the UAE.

He said coffee shops and shisha shops will be given a grace period of two years to move out of residential areas. "It will be taken on a case-to-case basis," he said, as the ministry will check how a shisha shop is affecting people nearby.

He said that for those who do not take the message to stop smoking seriously there will be strong deterrents in place. "Smoke if you wish but you cannot harm others," he said, adding that the laws will protect the most vulnerable in the society, the children. "This Federal law supports all local authorities," he said. He also said the ministry will clamp down hard on advertisements that encourage smoking.

A TIMELINE is provided that documents tobacco control activities within the UAE.

Reference: Tobacco prices to rise in bid to curb smoking by Mahmood Saberi, Gulf News, 1/13/2010.

UAE related news briefs:
UAE - conference presentation, risk of shisha use severe..;
UAE - enforcement of the new tobacco control law not clear yet..;
UAE - Khalifa issues federal anti-tobacco law..;
UAE - doctors say national smoking ban needed for the sake of young people..;
United Arab Emirates - Despite Ban, Shisha Habit Spreading in Public..;
Sharjah Emirate, UAE - earn monetary rewards for quiting smoking..;
Dubai, UAE customs blocks e-cigarette shipment..;
UAE - graphic warnings on cigarette packs..;
UAE new tobacco ban proposed..;
UAE - Quadruple Cigarette Price - Prevent Kids from Smoking...

Dr. Andrew Hyland - **VIDEO** Banning Smoking in Public Places..

January 14, 2010

Andrew Hyland, Ph.D.
Banning Smoking in Public Places..


Australia - ban on federal health department employees taking smoking breaks..

January 14, 2010 - A ban on federal Health Department employees taking cigarette breaks has been criticised as a heavy-handed measure that may be difficult to legally enforce. From February 1, employees will be banned from smoking during work hours or "when representing the department in any capacity," according to a memo sent to staff at Christmas. The policy directive was issued by the secretary of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, Jane Halton.

Staff will be permitted to smoke only during meal breaks, but not within 15 metres (49.21 feet) of the workplace, in a move aimed at improving their health and the "professional reputation of the department," the memo said.

Anti-smoking campaigners are hopeful the policy will be the first step towards a nationwide ban on public servants taking cigarette breaks.

The president of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, said the directive was "excessive and heavy handed." Nick Duggal, a solicitor specialising in employment laws with TressCox Lawyers, said the policy had legal "question marks."

Ms Halton's memo said the ban was a "lawful and reasonable" direction under the and breaches would be dealt with "in the same manner as any other potential breach of the APS code of conduct." The memo offered support to those wanting to quit smoking.

New South Wales (NSW) public servants were allowed to take "reasonable" cigarette breaks under the award, said the assistant general secretary of the Public Service Association NSW, Steve Turner. "Smoking is an addiction. If you're going to get draconian about it you better start paying for the courses to help remove the addiction," Mr Turner said.

The chief executive officer of Action on Smoking and Health, Anne Jones, said that while unwritten policies banning cigarette breaks were common, this was much more explicit. "It's unusual and it will be interesting to see how many others might follow it," she said.

The deputy national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, Nadine Flood, said the policy was "well intentioned" but "ill considered."

Similar bans were instituted last year at the federal Department of Innovation and the ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services, Ms Flood said. "Rather than focus on the positive support they are offering employees to quit, they have also started by threatening disciplinary action," she said.

Reference: Draconian (exceedingly harsh; very severe) smoke ban questioned, NATASHA WALLACE, Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, theAge.com.au, 1/13/2010.

Taiwan - soon smokers will need to carry ashtrays..

January 14, 2010 - On November 30, 2009 we reported that Taiwan plans to ban people from smoking while walking and riding motorbikes next year.

Smokers who don’t carry an ashtray with them to discard their cigarette butts and ash could face fines of up to NT$6,000 (188.85 USD), reports said Tuesday, January 12th. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is also planning to ban smoking while riding a motorcycle.

If people are smoking in a place where no ashtray or trash can is available, they have to carry an ashtray, a bag or a box with them to deposit their cigarette butts and the ash, or they will face fines ranging from NT$1,200 (37.77 USD) to NT$6,000 (188.85 USD), the EPA said.

Last year, the EPA entrusted the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research with the task to study public opinion about smoking and its pollution. According to the results of the survey presented Tuesday, January 12th 53.2 percent of respondents wanted tougher action and higher fines against dropping cigarette butts on the street. The EPA said 57.9 percent opposed smoking while walking outside, while 84.4 percent wanted a ban on smoking while driving or riding a motorcycle. The survey produced 1,067 valid responses by citizens aged 15 and over, the EPA said.

The government’s environmental department wants to include the proposals in future amendments of environmental and public hygiene legislation. Trash from cigarettes should be treated in the same way as other garbage, the EPA said, adding local government regulations might also be changed to include the new anti-smoking measures. Banning motorcyclists from smoking while riding would form the centerpiece of the new campaign, according to the EPA.

Taiwan introduced an indoor smoking ban a year ago, covering airports and railway stations as well as restaurants and offices with three or more staff.

Lung cancer has long been a leading cause of death in Taiwan, which has about five million smokers out of a total population of 23 million, according to the government.

Reference: Taiwan wants smokers to carry ashtrays, Taiwan News, Staff Writer, 1/10/2009.

Taiwan related news briefs:
Taiwan - cigarette consumption decreasing..;
Taiwan - smokers appear on TV cartoons, also sports programs and movies..;
Taiwan - plans to ban people from smoking while walking and riding motorbike next year..;
Taiwan - Taipei quit smoking booths around city..;
Taiwan - smoking ban takes effect - THESE PEOPLE ARE SERIOUS..;
Taiwan lawmakers fail to raise tobacco tax..;


Finland - extends anti-tobacco law, restricting smoking in cars and ban on cigarette displays..

January 14, 2010 - Finland has extended its anti-tobacco laws, introducing a ban on cigarette displays in shops and restricting smoking in cars.

see VIDEO..

Back in October 2009, the Finnish government proposed a ban on smoking when kids present and other tobacco control measures... Also being considered was that retailers would have two years to stop displaying tobacco products.

We are not sure of the final version of the ban of smoking with kids in the car. At one it was felt the ban would not be enforced by fines as these would clash with privacy legislation.

Finland's Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko has stated: ”Our goal is to have a tobacco-free Finland by the year 2040. We want no new smokers. (Finland - health officials devising more restrictions to fight tobacco use..)

Reference: Kicking the habit in Finland, BBC, 1/14/2010.

Finland related news briefs:
Finland - health officials devising more restrictions to fight tobacco use..;
Finland - government proposing ban on smoking when kids present and other tobacco control measures..;
Finland may ban smoking in cars carrying children..;
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..

C-store update - changes c-stores, Camel Orbs, free Marlboro t-shirts, etc..

January 11, 2010

Lots of changes are starting to take place in convenience stores. It seems like tobacco companies are trying to demonstrate that they can clean up their act and there's no need for the FDA's Tobacco Center to get involved.

Here's an example - more information will be coming soon. Some Marlboro Lights now come with a message concerned with if you decide to quit.

-Click to enlarge..-

Camel Dissolvables: In the Columbus, Ohio area - a market test site for Camel Dissolvables. Some tobacco control people seems to think Camel is pulling some Orbs. But they are not clear if only at Speedway stores or all of the them. Here are the results of a check of some convenience stores in the area.

After calling several Speedways in the area, here are the answers I received:

Speedway 1 (Delaware, OH): They pulled them off the shelves yesterday. She thought this particular product had been discontinued and they'd be sending out new in the future.
Speedway 2 (Delaware, OH): They still sell Orbs and Sticks.
Speedway 3 (Columbus, OH): They were pulled from the shelf and had already been picked up. There was nothing wrong with them... They just wanted to change them a little bit to make them better.
Speedway 4 (Columbus, OH): They still sell them.
Speedway 5 (Columbus, OH): They still sell them, but they are out right now.
Speedway 6 (Dublin, OH): They still sell them.
Speedway 7 (Dublin, OH): They're still going to have them, but they were going to "switch some stuff out." He thought they may be changing the label.

We'll keep you informed as we learn more.

Regarding tobacco merchandise.. U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. in a recent decision concluded that "there is no way to limit the distribution of these items to adults only" and that, if there were, adults would become "walking advertisements" for the idea that "tobacco use is widely accepted, which is extremely important to children and adolescents."

Philip Morris USA is offering a free t-shirt to people on their mailing list. Mike Szymanczyk, Chairman of the Board, CEO of Altria, Inc. has stated that Philip Morris owes their success to the ability to connect with adult tobacco consumers through the in-store experience and the development of one-to-one relationships using their database of 25 million adult cigarette smokers (Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008) We're sure some of these individuals have quit smoking.

-Click to enlarge..-

Also, Marlboro underpants sold in Nigeria..

More from Columbus, Ohio - I think I have told you before about non-tobacco-users trying the dissolvables. One of our non-smoking senators tried the sticks in front of us, a non-smoking cameraman from a TV station said he tried the Orbs for about 15 minutes, and in a tobacco prevention coalition meeting, one of the advocates tried an Orb for about 5 minutes. Why? I think it’s because they look so much like other benign products and because of their novelty. If non-smoking adults who really should know better do this, what about kids????

I saw a Camel Snus sign hanging from the ceiling of a convenience store the other day, and beside the price it said “Wallet-friendly.” I guess they are trying to position it as a cheap alternative.

Ohio Behaviorial Risk Factor Surveillance System for 2010 - will have separate questions asking whether people used Snus and whether people used Orbs, Strips, Sticks or Lozenges.

Camel new Break Free promotion:

-Click to enlarge..-

A couple related images:
Break Free - Make A You Turn
Camel dissolvables evolution

Update Marlboro SNUS expanding test market..

Previous c-store update..

NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..

January 13, 2010 - U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Manufacturing Company and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands filed a lawsuit against the city in December over a law approved by the City Council last year that bans the sale of favored tobacco products in the five boroughs. (New York City - ban on flavored tobacco products becomes law..)

In response to the suit, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, health care advocates and several members of the City Council gathered at City Hall today to let “big tobacco” know they wouldn’t be backing down, settling or negotiating anytime soon.

“What we did was legally right, but, more importantly, it was morally right, and we are not going to let this lawsuit threaten us,” said Quinn, who compared the tobacco product’s packaging to a tube of lip gloss. “Tobacco yet again has shown itself to be nothing but greedy and only interested in hurting the public health of New Yorkers.”

The lawsuit alleges the city overstepped its authority by going further than Congress and the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations. Federal law “does not permit a municipality to impose such sweeping regulation of tobacco products,” the complaint filed by the tobacco companies states.

Just weeks before the City Council approved its law, federal officials approved a ban on the sale of flavored cigarettes. The city then went a step further by banning the sale of chewing tobacco, cigars and cigarillos as well. It is this step big tobacco alleges is unconstitutional.

Health care advocates disagree, arguing Congress’s actions encouraged municipalities to create their own regulations.

Because of the packaging and the location of advertisements in corner stores and bodegas, said city officials, these flavored tobacco products can seem as appealing as candy to young adults and children. The products’ flavors, which range from cookie dough to grape to lemon-lime, don’t help either, they said.

“They have created what appears to be to children a smooth seamless transition from candy to tobacco products,” said Joanne Koldare, director of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke Free City. “But we’re onto them.”

According to the council, teen use of cigars and cigarillos has almost tripled in recent years. In 2001, 5 percent of students smoked only cigars and cigarillos. In 2007, 14 percent did.

Neither federal regulation nor the city’s bill affects the sale of menthol cigarettes.

Reference: Big Tobacco Takes on Council by Courtney Gross, Gotham Gazette, 1/12/2010.

NYC directly related:
New York City - ban on flavored tobacco products becomes law..;
New York City bans the sale of flavored tobacco products..;
New York City - Mayor Bloomberg pushing ahead to ban smoking in city parks and beaches..;
New York City - all retailers selling tobacco will be required to post warning signs..;
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.;
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...

Ireland - harder to quit when switching to low tar cigarettes..

January 13, 2010 - Smokers who switch to a low-tar, 'light' or 'mild' brand of cigarette have about a 50pc lower chance of quitting the habit, new research shows.
So-called low-tar cigarettes may seem like the healthier option but when smoked, they deliver amounts of tar, nicotine, and other substances that are comparable with regular cigarettes.

PAPER: Switching to “lighter” cigarettes and quitting smoking H A Tindle, S Shiffman, A M Hartman, J E Bost Tob Control 2009;18:485-490, ABSTRACT..

The research comes as thousands of Ireland's smokers -- who still make up 29pc of the population -- embark on a new year drive to break free from their addiction. The findings on quitting among switchers are based on almost 31,000 smokers who were quizzed about whether they had switched to a milder/low-tar brand, and their reasons for doing so. They were also asked if they had attempted to give up smoking altogether during the previous 12 months, and whether they had managed to keep it up.

The total sample, undertaken in the United States, included more than 29,000 people who were current smokers and almost 2,000 who had given up for at least 90 days. In all, 12,000 people (38pc) had switched to a lighter brand, with one in four citing flavour as the primary reason. Forty-three per cent offered reasons for switching that included a desire to give up smoking altogether. Those who switched brands were 58pc more likely to have attempted to give up smoking than those who stuck with their original brand.

But the switchers who attempted to quit were actually 60pc less likely to be successful, the journal Tobacco Control reported.

In the entire study group -- including those who tried to quit and those who did not -- the overall odds of giving up smoking were 46pc lower among those who switched to a lighter cigarette.

Good tips for quitting include: Set a date to stop and stick to it; write down all the reasons you want to stop smoking. Keep your list somewhere handy to use as a reminder if you are tempted; keep a diary for a day or two -- record all the times and places you smoke, with a note of how much you needed each cigarette; get help -- let friends and family know you're quitting; quit together -- find others who would like to give up smoking and support each other; one day at a time -- concentrate on getting through each day without a cigarette.

Reference: Switching to low tar is not the answer to kicking habit by Eilish O'Regan, Indepednent.ie, 1/11/2010; Switching cigarettes may hinder smokers’ attempts to quit, Stop Smoking, 11/2009.

Some Ireland related news briefs:
Ireland - after 2004 smoking ban decline in maternal smoking rates as well as lower risk for preterm births..;
Ireland - cancer society urges government to increase cigarette tax..;
Ireland - increase fine for cigarettes imported illegally..;
Ireland - roll your own cigarettes making a comeback..;
Ireland - lots of smokers - lots of sickness - resulting in premature death - THIS HAS TO STOP..;
Ireland - people responding well to the ban on cigarette displays..;
Ireland - Prof Clancy not enough spent on prevention..;
Ireland - tobacco vendors must register by October 1, 2009..;
Children - exposed to cigarette smoke in cars have greater chance of respiratory distress..;
Ireland - tobacco companies not helping small retailers - display ban..;
Tobacco control initiatives starting Wednesday, July 1, 2009..;
Ireland - Office of Tobacco Control 2008 annual report - Positive..;
Ireland - modest penalty for cigarette smuggling..;
Ireland - to amend tobacco legislation to to include pictoral warnings..;
Ireland - as of July 1, 2009 no advertising or display of tobacco products will be permitted in retail outlets..;
Ireland - cigarette tax abandoned over smuggling fears..;
Ireland - may raise tax on cigarettes as part of emergency budget..;
Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..;
Ireland - further provisions of the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 are to be commenced on 1 July 2009.;
Ireland - 80% of smokers want a ban on tobacco advertising in shops to stop youngsters starting the habit..;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Ireland - reduction in admissions for acute coronary syndrome...


South Carolina - among the worst states in the nation in smoking prevention efforts..

January 12, 2010 - South Carolina (SC) ranks among the worst states in the nation in smoking prevention efforts, according to a new report, just as lawmakers return to Columbia today, Tuesday January 12th with raising the state's lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax a top issue along with a resolution to censure Governor Mark Sanford.

State of tobacco control - 2009.. According to this report, South Carolina is one of six states to score all "F's" for their efforts on tobacco prevention and control spending, smoke-free air laws and rules, taxing cigarettes and helping smokers kick the habit. The other states with all failing grades were Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.

All of those issues have been wrapped up in the 10-year push by anti-smoking and public health care groups to raise South Carolina's 7-cent per pack cigarette tax ( unchanged since 1977). Last year the House passed a bill to raise the tax 50 cents a pack, but questions about where the estimated $147 million would be spent split the General Assembly.
"That's our biggest issue, what to do with the money," said Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler. "What is going to happen with Medicaid? You talk about a budget buster."

The new issue could change this year's debate - the potential cost of health care reform legislation under debate in Congress, which could add $1 billion to S.C. Medicaid costs in the decade after passage, according to some estimates.

Votes during in the past two years have shown a majority of lawmakers in both houses agree the tax should be raised by 50 cents per pack, but Governor Sanford's veto has proved an obstacle to final passage. Sanford has threatened to veto any cigarette tax increase that does not include an equivalent tax cut, and Peeler said the Senate likely could not reach the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. But Sanford spokesman Ben Fox said a federal health care bill might make a difference.

Sanford will oppose the federal bill, Fox said, but "wouldn't put a blanket prohibition on (using cigarette tax revenue) without seeing how it plays out."

Reference: South Carolina gets straight 'F's' for anti-smoking efforts by John O'Connor, The State, Miami Herald, 1/12/2010.

Related news briefs:
South Carolina - most residents support raising the tobacco tax..;
South Carolina - with Gov. Sanford still in office most likely no tobacco tax increase in 2010..;
South Carolina - low cigarette pricing, smuggling, higher insurance premiums, etc..;
Lexington County, South Carolina has a workplace smoking ban..;
South Carolina - governor disappears, maybe its time to slip through a cigarette tax..;
South Carolina - next legislative session starts June 16th..;
South Carolina - lawmakers may disappoint again on cigarette tax increase..;
SC tobacco tax increase - doubt exists maybe NOT this year..;
South Carolina - can we expect a tobacco tax increase this year??;
South Carolina a magnet for cigarette black market..;
South Carolina - legislators eager to pass cigarette tax increase - the odds are against them??;
South Carolina to spend NO money on tobacco prevention..;
South Carolina (SC) will NOT devote any resources to anti-smoking programs..;
In 2008 will the politicians do what's right for the State of South Carolina??;
South Carolina - Tobacco Tax Increase Killed - State House Fails to Override Governor's Veto..
Tobacco Tax Increase – What’s Wrong with South Carolina??


Tobacco giants, Philip Morris USA and Reynolds American smokeless tobacco..

January 12, 2010 - The pursuit of a reduced-risk niche for smokeless-tobacco products has put archrivals Reynolds American Inc. and Philip Morris USA on the same lobbying path.

It is impossible to limit the use of a tobacco product to a particular group of individuals. Professor John Britton, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, a proponent of SNUS as a harm reduction solution has concluded "It's their (tobacco companies) job to sell as much tobacco as possible, so they will be targeting non-smokers rather than current ones, that's the worry."

How do they know these tobacco products will even be used by cigarette smokers?? Murray S. Kessler, former vice-chair at Altria and prior to that the chairman and CEO of smokeless tobacco company UST Inc., has stated that "Nine out of 10 smokers that try smokeless still reject the product."

Based on the data we have gathered sales of snus have been poor.

It's not likely the manufacturers will collaborate on their efforts to convince the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to position smokeless tobacco as part of a potential middle ground between cigarettes and nicotine-cessation products such as gum and patches.

"There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that smokers are able to switch to smokeless tobacco and remain switched," Dr.Thomas Glynn, the Director of Cancer Science and Trends at the American Cancer Society (Snusing: the new way to give up smoking, Susie Rushton, The Independent, October 9, 2007) "There is no evidence smokeless tobacco can help people quit smoking. There are no studies we would consider sufficient." Dr. Terry Pechacek, Associate Director of Science at the Centers for Disease Control Office on Smoking and Health. (SNUS the BUMP, Nordic Reach (The Scandinavian Lifestyle Quarterly}, No.17 Volume XIX, 2007, p53)Dr. Gunilla Bolinder, Director of Education at Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital points out, "To sing the praises of SNUS is a deathblow to over 20 years of hard tobacco preventive work. SNUS only saves the life of the tobacco industry" (SNUS gets the thumbs-down NEWS-24 1/31/2007).

In recent years, the manufacturers have bought their way into highly competitive marketplace positions in moist snuff.

Reynolds is considered as the industry leader in innovative smokeless products, while Philip Morris is dipping its toes with Marlboro Snus in test markets.

Still, having the top two U.S. cigarette companies pushing for regulatory changes may lend itself to more clout together than either could get on its own. "This is truly historic, as the largest tobacco companies are now advocating regulatory policies to reduce cigarette consumption, disease and death," said Bill Godshall, the executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania. The group is among the leading advocates for promoting smokeless products as a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes. "I'm extremely pleased they've decided to prioritize consumer health over short-term cigarette revenue and profit."

See related news brief: Commentary: Philip Morris pushes smokeless tobacco for only for those who refuse to quit smoking..

Reference: Tobacco rivals lobby for smokeless tobacco by Richard Craver, Winston Salem Journal, 1/11/2010.

North Carolina - no longer has all failing grades on discouraging tobacco use..

January 12, 2010 - North Carolina no longer has all failing grades on discouraging tobacco use – but don't attribute the change to the new ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

The American Lung Association gave a "C" and three "Fs" to North Carolina in its annual State of Tobacco Control report of the 50 states and federal government released Tuesday. North Carolina had all "Fs" one year ago.

The report gave North Carolina an "F" on smoke-free air because there are no statewide smoking restrictions for most private work sites, stores and recreation areas.

The state got the "C" for better smoking cessation programs for Medicaid patients and state employees. North Carolina also received failing grades for its cigarette tax and spending on tobacco control programs.

Reference: Report: N.C. still gets mostly Fs on tobacco control, Associated Press - WRAL.com, 1/12/2010.

Related North Carolina smoking ban news briefs:
North Carolina - smoking ban forces smokers outside in the cold..;
North Carolina - some hookah bars owners stay open after smoking ban begins..;
North Carolina (NC) - beginning in January 2010 fire safe cigarettes (FSC), smoking ban in public places..;
North Carolina - smoking ban simple details, January 2, 2010..;
North Carolina - smoking ban does not allow hookah bars to operate - RIGHT..;
North Carolina smoking ban includes banning hookah bars..;
North Carolina Governor Purdue signs smoking ban law..;
North Carolina - legislators approve smoking ban..;
North Carolina - smoking ban scaled back again..;
North Carolina Senate Health Committee votes for stricter smoking ban..;
North Carolina House poised to pass smoking ban..;
North Carolina - ban on smoking in public places passes 1st test...

Marlboro SNUS market test being expanded..

January 12, 2010 - For the first time since early 2009, Altria Group's Philip Morris USA (PM USA) expanded the trial of its Marlboro Snus smokeless, spitless tobacco product this past November 2009. Marlboro Snus will now (or soon) be available in select markets in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, and Colorado. (Altria to Expand Marlboro Snus Test, Convenience Store News, 11/9/2009)

This expansion plan was first hinted at by Michael E. Szymanczyk, chairman and chief executive of Altria Group, during the Barclays Capital Back-to-School Consumer Conference in September, where he revealed the product would enter new markets in the fall. (Altria - more Barclays Conference - comments menthol cigarettes..)

Marlboro Snus has been in test market since 2007 - started in August 2007 Marlboro SNUS was introduced in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and came in 4-varieties: rich, mild, mint and spice. Initially it was felt, Philip Morris USA might roll out Marlboro SNUS nationally three to six months after the start of the test market in Dallas, TX. The company has received feedback from initial tests and made some changes to the product. New Marlboro Snus includes smaller packaging that contains six pouches, available in Mild and Peppermint flavors (down from 4-flavors), down from 12 pouches, along with a larger pouch size, according to a spokesman.

The Marlboro Snus test was previously expanded at the beginning of this year when it entered Phoenix. It also expanded in March 2008 to cover Indianapolis, where the company's initial snus product - Taboka - was tested in 2007, and later discontinued when the Marlboro-branded product entered the market.

Meanwhile, new Copenhagen Wintergreen moist smokeless tobacco, by Altria's U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. (USSTC), hit shelves nationwide last week. And Altria's John Middleton will roll out a no-tip cigarillo style of its Black & Mild cigar in the Southeast US this month. (Altria expecting Copenhagen Wintergreen to have big impact..)

Also in Altria's cigarette business, there are plans for two line extensions under the Marlboro Special Blend brand that will be available nationwide early next year.

Reference: United States Altria to expands product base in the US, TobaccoInternational.com, 12/2009.

Malta - e-cigarettes fall under smoking ban..

January 12, 2010 - More than a year after MaltaToday revealed that the Health Ministry had classified the tobacco-free ‘e-cigarette’ as a tobacco product, a legal notice has established that even these devices will fall under the smoking ban. The legal notice states that any “device which is intended as a substitute to a conventional tobacco product” shall fall under the Tobacco (Smoking Control) Act.

According to the legal notice, any device bearing the word ‘cigarette’ or ‘tobacco’ which is intended as a substitute to a conventional tobacco product shall be deemed as a tobacco device.
It further stipulates that “all tobacco devices are to comply with the provisions of the Tobacco Act”, which means that they cannot be freely advertised, that they cannot be smoked in enclosed public spaces and that they can only be used by adults over the age of 18.

Click on image to enlarge..

The e-cigarette (electronic) is a tobacco-free device that is used to replicate the sensation of a traditional cigarette by means of an electronic simulation. Containing neither tobacco, nor tar, it is a nuisance-free solution for passive smokers but does contain the addicting drug nicotine.

Reference: Non-tobacco ‘e-cigarettes’ will also fall prey to smoking ban, David Darmanin, Malta Today, 1/10/2010.

Malta - related news brief:
Malta - full indoors smoking ban by 2013..;
Malta - adults smoking less but girls are smoking more..;
Malta - April 2004 Smoking Ban A Success..

Malta - full indoors smoking ban by 2013..

January 11, 2010 - The Maltese government has published a legal notice to ban smoking inside ‘designated smoking rooms’, which previously allowed smokers to get their fix inside public places. Designated rooms are enclosed spaces inside restaurants and bars, which according to law must be totally separate from non-smoking areas, have walls from floor to ceiling and be situated in such a manner that they do not require non-smokers to pass through them.

But the 2004 legal notice that contains these criteria has now been revoked, and new conditions for designated smoking rooms will be in accordance with criteria established by the Superintendent of Public Health, to be published shortly in the government gazette.

After 1 January, 2013, it will no longer be lawful for any person to smoke or allow smoking in a designated smoking room. Owners of establishments have to notify the Superintendent of Public Health by March 2010 of the existence of any designated smoking room.

Reference: Full indoors smoking ban by 2013, Malta Today, 1/10/2010.

Malta - related news brief:
Malta - adults smoking less but girls are smoking more..;
Malta - April 2004 Smoking Ban A Success..

Graubünden, Switzerland - smoker ban leads to drop in heart attacks..

January 11, 2010 - Heart disease and stroke is Switzerland’s number one cause of death and it is estimated that smoking increases the risk by 100 per cent, while the risk of death from undiagnosed coronary heart disease is increased by 300 per cent. Furthermore, there is overwhelming consensus among medical and scientific authorities that passive smoking is a major cause of disease in non-smokers, including coronary heart disease and cardiac death as well as lung cancer. (WORLD HEART FEDERATION URGES GENEVA TO VOTE FOR SMOKING BAN, 2/2/2008)

A ban on smoking in restaurants and bars in eastern Switzerland could have led to fewer heart attacks since its introduction, according to a recent medical study.

These first Swiss results come after similar findings in other countries, and constitute yet another indication that cigarettes play an important role in cardiac disease.

The smoking ban was introduced in canton Graubünden (Switzerland consists of 26 cantons - like counties) in March 2008. According to the study’s authors, although there is no clear correlation between the ban and cases of acute myocardial infarction [heart attacks], these fell 22 percent from March 2008 to February 2009 compared with 2006 and 2007.

In the two years before smoke-free legislation was introduced in Graubünden, 229 and 242 patients respectively from all over the canton were treated in Chur for acute myocardial infarction. After the ban, that number fell to 183 cases.

According to the lead author of the study, Piero Bonetti, the decrease is due mainly to fewer heart attacks among non-smokers. Passive smoking is believed to increase the risk of heart disease for this category by up to 30 per cent.

The other beneficiaries included people with a history of coronary disease and holidaymakers. Bonetti, a cardiologist in Chur, thinks this last category is influenced because people benefit quickly from being away from passive smoke.

But the study, which is published online by the Swiss Medical Weekly, does not establish direct causality between the smoking ban and heart disease. “Proving causality is impossible because there are only two ways of showing that,” admits Bonetti.

One solution would be to lift the smoking ban and see what happens. The other would be to study another population elsewhere with the same living conditions, but where no smoking ban has been implemented. “There have been no similar studies in Switzerland,” Bonetti told swissinfo.ch.

“The first study to show this was carried out in Helena, Montana where a smoking ban was lifted after six months. When it was first introduced, the incidence [of acute myocardial infarction] fell and when the ban was dropped, the number of cases rose again.” (Public smoking ban slashes heart attacks, by Shaoni Bhattacharya, NewScientist.com, 4/1/2003)

But Bonetti says that while causality cannot be proven, there is a strong case for a link between the ban and the number of heart attacks, especially given the lack of other obvious culprits.

“The strongest argument for causality is that more than ten studies worldwide have come up with similar results,” he said. “If you take all these studies together, you get an average decrease of 17 percent in the first year after a ban is implemented.” (Don't patronize places where people are smoking..)

The Institute of Medicine, one of the national academies in the United States, which carried out a so-called meta-analysis of these foreign studies, said this consistent data leads to the conclusion that smoking bans lead to fewer heart attacks. But it also pointed out that other factors associated with a ban such as education, information and outreach programmes can also have an impact. (U.S. IOM - like former Surgeon General Carmona stated there is no safe level of secondhand smoke..)

Some of those studies have also shown that the longer a ban has been in place, the higher the benefits.

Bonetti says the Graubünden study will continue, with data collection ongoing. Indications are that the first year results will be at least confirmed if not bettered. “It’s important to show this kind of results in a Swiss context even though similar studies have been done elsewhere,” he told swissinfo.ch. "You need local data to convince people that change is necessary.”

Around half of Swiss children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, particularly at home, warns the International Union against Cancer (UICC). The UICC says 700 million children regularly breathe second-hand smoke. (Campaigners call for end to passive smoking)

Reference: Smoking ban linked to drop in heart attacks, Scott Capper, swissinfo.ch, 1/9/2010.

Related news briefs:
Switzerland - Davidoff sponsored Swiss Indoor Tennis Tournament begins..;
Switzerland - Imperial Tobacco sponsorship major televised European tennis event..;
Geneva, Switzerland - ban on smoking in public places returns..;
Switzerland - unified program to ban smoking in buildings open to the public..;
Switzerland could join EU requiring sale of only self-extinguishing cigarettes...