Borneo - smoking violation, the law does not discriminate between adults and minors..

March 13, 2010 - Three countries occupy parts of the island Borneo - Indonesia (most of it), Malaysia and Brunei.

Cigarettes are still sold to minors despite the law prohibiting such sales.

Whoever contravenes [go against, as of rules and law] sat certain places or the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 will be dealt with accordingly. “Regardless of age, those who got caught smoking in school or gazetted non-smoking areas will be fined,” warned a senior environmental health officer here, Simon Emang.
(Malaysia signed the WHO FCTC on 23 November 2003 and ratified it on 22 September 2005. The Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 came into force on 23 September 2004.)

He said the authority would not hesitate to act against those flouting the regulation, whether or not they had a lighted cigarette in their hand. Even if a cigarette stick was found in their trouser pockets or school bags, the offenders would be compounded for violating the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.

“Do not take age for granted because children will not be exempted from the penalty irrespective of where they get caught,” said Simon in an interview with the Borneo Post recently. Last year, according to him, 16 minors (under 18 years old) were caught puffing away near their schools. All were boys. The 16 were among the 70 smokers, including a woman in her 40s, apprehended during an ‘anti-smoking’ campaign by health enforcement officers.

“Forty of them were caught at Miri Hospital, three at shopping complexes, seven at a polyclinic, four at Miri Airport and the rest are minors,” said Simon who is from the Enforcement and Prosecution Unit of the Health Department.

The adult offenders were compounded RM250 each and the minors were fined RM50 each. Only 55 of them had settled the compounds.

On their anti-smoking operations, Simon said they conducted 15 in this division throughout last year.

The division has 79 no-smoking areas. Among them are hospitals, clinics, shopping complexes, airports, government offices, service counters, air-conditioned restaurants, bus terminals and houses of worship such as churches, mosques and temples.

Reference: Kids not exempted from penalty for puffing away by Mary Francis, The Borneo Post, 3/10/2010.


San Francisco - Walgreens tries to convince court it's a grocery store..

Click to enlarge..
March 13, 2010 - In a challenge to a San Francisco law that bans tobacco sales at drug stores, three California appeal court justices on Wednesday, March 10th looked like they wanted to avoid ruling on Walgreens' constitutional argument that the city is violating equal protection rights.

Instead, the First District Court of Appeal panel appeared more interested in whether a drug store that sells food is really a grocery store that would be exempt.

Walgreen Co. - company description: It operates more than 7,000 drugstores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, as well as two mail-order facilities. Prescription drugs account for about two-thirds of sales; the rest comes from general merchandise, over-the-counter medications, cosmetics, and groceries. (Company Dwescription: Walgreen Co. - Deerfield, IL United States)

The local ordinance, which took effect in 2008, bans tobacco sales in San Francisco at drug stores but not at supermarkets or stores like Costco. The city has contended that the sale of tobacco by health-promoting businesses sends a mixed message about cigarettes. (Walgreen: San Francisco’s Tobacco Ban Is Unfair..)

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch granted the city's demurrer (formal objection to an opponent's pleadings) to Walgreens' suit in 2008. (San Francisco - Judge threw out a Walgreens attempt to stop the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies..)

Right away on Wednesday, March 10th Justice William McGuiness pointed to Walgreens' complaint, which says that it meets the four necessary criteria for being classified as a grocery store. Soon after, Justice Stuart Pollak ran with that point. "If in fact Walgreens comes within each of four criteria of those who are exempted from the statute, the equal protection argument disappears," Pollak said.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Daniel Kolkey argued that exempting big box stores or grocery stores, which often also have pharmacies, is arbitrary and violates equal protection. In court papers in Walgreen Co. v. City and County of San Francisco, A123891, Walgreens contended that the ordinance would cost it nearly 9 percent of its nonpharmacy sales and millions of dollars in annual profits.

Wayne Snodgrass of the city attorney's office argued in court papers that the Board of Supervisors could rely on common experience -- the perception of drug stores and their health-promoting mission -- to form the rational basis for distinguishing them from grocery stores. In court, he also argued that the supervisors might have been trying to mitigate job losses at grocery stores or prevent Costco from relocating outside the city. "These types of concerns are the bread and butter of local government," Snodgrass said.

In trying to figure out whether there is a rational basis for letting Safeway sell cigarettes but not Walgreens, Pollak said, "what we're comparing is very ephemeral [short lived]." Given "modern marketing," he said, some stores are a cross between a drug store and a grocery store, and there's no clear line: "It's very hard to think of a product I can buy at Walgreens that I can't buy at Safeway and vice versa."

Kolkey urged the court "not to get hung up" on whether Walgreens counts as a grocery store since, he argued, it was clear that San Francisco intended to include the company in its drug store cigarette sales ban no matter what. "Throughout the legislative history, it was all about Walgreens," he said. "An ordinance designed to avoid an implied message doesn't pass the smell test. If it doesn't pass the smell test, it certainly doesn't pass the rational basis test."

Reference: Calif. Justices Wonder: Is Walgreens a Grocery Store?, Kate Moser, The Recorder,, 3/11/2010.

Some San Francisco related news briefs:
San Francisco - further smoking restrictions..;
San Francisco (SF) - launches new anti-smoking campaign..;
San Francisco may expand smoking ban..;
San Francisco - mulls proposal to reduce the number of stores that can sell tobacco..;
San Francisco - Philip Morris has dropped its lawsuit challenging San Francisco's prohibition on tobacco sales at pharmacies..;
San Francisco - Michael Jordan caught smoking on public golf course..;
San Francisco - cigarettes cost a little more starting today, October 1, 2009..;
San Francisco can enforce its ban on tobacco sales in drugstores..;
San Francisco - fight about selling tobacco products in drugstores has flared up..
San Francisco - Judge threw out a Walgreens attempt to stop the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies..;
Philip Morris appeals tobacco ban at San Francisco pharmacies;
Federal Judge Denies Bid To Stop San Francisco Pharmacy Tobacco Ban..;
Philip Morris USA request stop in San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales by pharmacies..;
San Francisco - cigarette sales rise sharply in c-stores..;
San Francisco files brief to oppose bid by PM USA to block the banning of tobacco sales in pharmacies..;
Philip Morris challenges San Francisco pharmacy tobacco ban..;
Walgreen: San Francisco’s Tobacco Ban Is Unfair..;
San Francisco - All Tobacco Products Banned in All Pharmacies..;
San Francisco critical vote - bar tobacco sales pharmacies..;
SAN FRANCISCO Ban on tobacco at drug stores sought...


Vermont - judge rules against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco..

March 12, 2010 - A Vermont judge on Thursday, March 11th found that some advertising claims made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. about its Eclipse brand were “deceptive and misleading.”

Vermont Superior Court Judge Dennis Pearson ruled that Winston-Salem-based Reynolds violated that state’s consumer protection laws by running ads between 2000 and 2007 claiming that certain products had reduced health risks.

Pearson’s ruling said Reynolds did not have scientific evidence to support claims that Eclipse cigarettes would reduce a smoker’s risk of developing cancer. According to the ruling, Reynolds stopped selling Eclipse products in the state in 2008.

A Vermont judge back on August 2008 ruled the state of Vermont can move forward in its lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co..

The suit was filed by Vermont’s attorney general in 2005.

Reference: Vermont judge rules against Reynolds Tobacco ads, The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area, 3/12/2010.

Lancashire, England - fellow that defied smoking ban gets out of jail..

England Counties Map..Lancs = Lancashire..
March 12, 2010 - Nick Hogan, 43, from Chorley, Lancashire County, walked free 11 days into a six-month sentence imposed by Bolton magistrates after donations from the public paid fine and costs he incurred for breaching the smoking ban. He defied the ban on the day it came into force (July 1,2007) when he organised a "mass light-up" in his two pubs, The Swan and Barristers, both in Bolton.

Hogan, a smoker, was originally fined £3,000 (4,548.00 USD) and ordered to pay £7,136 (10,818.18 USD) in costs but following his conviction he lost his job and was unable to keep up with the £125-a-week (189.500 USD) fine payments.

The campaign to pay Hogan's fines was launched by blogger Anna Raccoon with the help of fellow libertarian blogger Old Holborn who set up an account so people could donate online. Within 36 hours more than £5,000 (7,580.00 USD) had been raised and the campaign received a further boost when it was promoted by political blogger Guido Fawkes. By the end of last week donations totalled more than £9,000
(13,644.00 USD).

Mr Hogan was released today (national no-smoking day) from HMP Forest Bank in Salford after the sum owed was handed over in cash to the authorities. Speaking outside the prison, Hogan said: "I'm devastated to be sent to jail. The smoking ban has cost me my pub, my job and my liberty. I'd like to thank everyone who donated money to get me out of jail, and all the well-wishers who sent me cards and letters while I was behind bars. I can't thank them enough. It's wonderful to know that so many people feel as strongly as I do about the smoking ban and its impact on ordinary working people."'

Blogger Anna Raccoon said: "Nick Hogan is free because ordinary, hard-working members of the public, smokers and non-smokers alike, dug deep in their pockets to raise the money to return this man to his wife and home. The fact that so many people responded is a powerful message from the voting public that politicians would be well advised to heed."

Simon Clark, director of the smokers' lobby group Forest which supported the campaign, said: "We don't condone people breaking the law but we do condemn the draconian nature of the anti-smoking legislation that has resulted in a previously law-abiding man losing his business and going to jail. It's a scandal that landlords are not allowed to offer customers the choice of smoking and non-smoking facilities, as is the case throughout most of Europe, without the threat of imprisonment hanging over them."

References: Landlord who defied smoking ban freed from jail after punters pay his fine,, 3/11/2010; Jailed smoking ban martyr is freed by a mystery crusader's cash by David Wilkes, Mail Online, 3/11/2010.

U.S. Senate - unanimously passes the PACT Act..

Our Children Our Future

March 12, 2010 - The Senate late Thursday, March 11th unanimously passed a bill that could devastate the Seneca Nation's mail-order cigarette business, voting to ban the U.S. Postal Service from mailing tobacco products. The Senate's sudden and bipartisan passage of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act thrilled anti-smoking advocates while infuriating the Senecas, who say the bill could threaten as many as 1,000 jobs in Western New York.

The Senate passed the bill as part of its routine legislative work at the end of Thursday's session. The House in May passed a slightly different version of the legislation by a 397-11 margin. But instead of having the two chambers work out their differences in a conference committee, congressional sources said the House is expected to quickly pass the Senate version of the bill, sending it on to President Obama for his signature.

The main goal for passage of the PACT Act: to Protect Our Children - Make it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product..
Gretchen Leffler, regional vice president of the American Cancer Society in Western New York: "Can you imagine a piece of legislation that is so common sense, so painfully obvious that, even in Washington's partisan climate, it passes the U.S. Senate unanimously?" "That's what the PACT Act is."

Leffler praised New York's senators, Democrats Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, for standing firm in support of the bill. Gillibrand in particular has been the target of a Seneca Nation publicity campaign aimed at pressuring her to abandon her support for the legislation.

But Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr. lashed out at the Senate action and urged House members to stop the bill. "The PACT Act is being portrayed as a tool to fight cigarette smuggling," Snyder said. "In reality, it is about big tobacco protecting market share. This action will result in the death of legitimate, treaty-sanctioned Native American commerce, causing significant economic harm." He angrily noting that no senators stood up for Indian sovereignty by opposing the bill.
"We will not back down," Snyder added. "We will pursue an aggressive campaign of outreach and education to inform the voters of Western New York which political leaders stand with the Seneca Nation and those who don't." The tribe claims the bill would wreck its tobacco business because it relies on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver 70 percent of its products.

Private shippers could still ship tobacco products. However, many — including FedEx, UPS and DSL — have bowed to state pressure and refused to ship them.

In addition to banning the mailing of cigarettes, the PACT Act requires those selling cigarettes on the Internet to:
• Pay all federal, state, local or Tribal tobacco taxes and affix tax stamps before delivering any tobacco products to any customer.
• Register with the state where they are based and make periodic reports to state tax collection officials.
• Check the age and ID of customers both when they purchase tobacco and when the tobacco products are delivered.

Reference: Senate vote endangers Seneca mail-order cigarette business by Jerry Zremski, NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, The Buffalo News, 3/12/2010.

Some PACT related news briefs:
Disappointment - U.S. legislators from New York State are delaying passage of PACT Act..;
NATO - urging retailers to call their U.S.Senators to get the PACT Act passed..;
U.S. let's get the PACT bill passed by congress and then signed into law..;
NY State - Seneca Indians - lobbying against the PACT act.;
U.S. - Senate Judiciary Committee Approves PACT ACT..;
U.S. - Senate Committee scheduled to vote on PACT..;
Web-Based Companies must stop selling flavored cigarettes..;
Internet, Flavors everywhere - snuff being marketed to kids as hip, cool and healthy..;
U.S. customs officials bar imports bearing the Philip Morris USA trademark..;
Let's Get It Passed - Prevent All Tobacco Trafficking Act of 2009..;
U.S - PACT legislation passed by House..;
U.S. - PACT Legislation to be considered by House this month..;
We must get the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of the tobacco delivery business..;
PACT Legislation now in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee..;
U.S. House Passes Bill to Prevent Tobacco Delivery By Mail..;
We must get the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of the tobacco delivery business..
Protect Our Children - Make it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product...


Plattsburg, NY and other communities approve outside tobacco-free policy..

March 12, 2010 - Plattsburgh, N.Y. city councilors unanimously approved a tobacco-free policy for the City Beach, parks, recreation and multi-use paths.

The ban, passed at Thursday night's meeting, March 9th, would eliminate smoking in those public areas, which are highly traveled by families with children. "Besides the dangers of smoking, I think this is a good idea," said Councilor George Rabideau (R-Ward 3). He noted that besides the problem of second-hand smoke, the beach is often littered with discarded cigarette butts. "And some people flick their butts away, and they are still burning, and you have people walking on the beach barefoot."

Councilor Michael Kelly (D-Ward 2) said he has experienced a lit cigarette butt being flicked onto his blanket at the beach in the past. "I am happy to support this," he said.

Reference: Council approves no-smoking policy at City Beach [The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y., Bahavorial Health Central, 3/12/2010.

Other community leaders in New York State have have also voted to go smoke free. Gloversville Common Council on Tuesday, March 9th enacted a tobacco-free policy for all city parks. The ban is virtually identical to one passed in the Village of Fonda earlier this month. City council members voted on it after Sue Arminio, project coordinator for Project ACTION, made a presentation urging the council to enact the ban. Project ACTION is an anti-tobacco coalition.

PMI will manufacture and market Imperial's brands in Mexico..

March 12, 2010 - Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (Imperial) today announced that they have entered into a long-term agreement for the licensed manufacture and commercialization of Imperial’s brands in Mexico.

Imperial currently imports and distributes its West and Davidoff brands in Mexico. Philip Morris Mexico will now manufacture West in Mexico and will procure Davidoff from Imperial’s affiliate Commonwealth Brands Inc. Philip Morris Mexico will market and distribute both brands throughout the country.

Imperial Tobacco Group plc is the world's fourth largest international tobacco company, Number one in Britain with a market share of approximately 46% and Number 2 in Europe. (Imperial Tobacco Group - Interim Management Statement..)

Miroslaw Zielinski, President of the Latin America & Canada Region for PMI, said: “We are very pleased to have entered into this license agreement with Imperial. This is a very important step for PMI and we are committed to building on this opportunity in the future. The agreement will benefit both companies and allows Philip Morris Mexico to complement its portfolio by adding two quality brands - Davidoff and West - to the product range it offers to adult smokers.”

Graham Bolt, Imperial’s Regional Director Americas, said: “We are pleased that this agreement allows us to initiate our cooperation in Mexico. We are confident that Philip Morris Mexico’s strong manufacturing capabilities and the strength of their extensive distribution network will continue to provide adult smokers throughout the country with the high quality Imperial products they have come to expect. We look forward to this new partnership and continuing to build our brands in Mexico.”

The manufacture of West by PM Mexico and the procurement of Davidoff will begin in May 2010, and the marketing and distribution of both brands will commence in June 2010.

Euromonitor - Tobacco in Mexico..

Reference: Philip Morris International Inc. and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC Announce License Agreement in Mexico, Philip Morris International Inc., New York, 3/10/2010.


PMI - slide presentation South Korean Cigarette Market..

March 12, 2010 - Roman Militsyn, Managing Director of Philip Morris Korea, provides a review of South Korea's cigarette market dynamics at Citi Investment Research Asia Tobacco Field Trip on Wednesday, March 10, in Seoul, South Korea.

Slides - Roman Militsyn, Managing Director of Philip Morris Korea (PMI).

Philip Morris Korea..

France - number of cigarettes sold starts to rise again..

March 12, 2010 - The number of cigarettes sold in France has started to grow again, while sales of nicotine replacement treatments in pharmacies has plummeted. The Observatoire Français des Drogues et des Toxicomanes (OFDT) found in its annual report that tobacco sales rose 2% last year - and cigarette sales in particular grew by 2.6%.

France has 14 million smokers, or 22 percent of its population. About 72,000 deaths are linked to smoking annually. (France Bans Smoking in Cafes, Clubs, Rejects Sartre's Gauloises by Helene Fouquet and Jeremy van Loon,, 12/27/2007)

Between 2004 and 2008, the numbers remained relatively stable - despite government campaigns, a 30 centimes price rise last November and a ban on smoking in enclosed public places. The price rise in November was “Too small” and “Does not appear to have had an influence on sales” notes the OFDT. According to Bertrand Dautzenberg, president of the French Office for the Prevention of Tobacco addiction (OFT), “It was an increase demanded by the industry. It had been structurally conceived for people not to diminish their consumption.”

The report said cut-price cross-border cigarette sales - mostly in Belgium and Spain - had contributed to the 2009 increase.

The OFDT also found that sales of nicotine replacement products in pharmacies fell 21.5% in 2009, dropping to their lowest level since 2001.

The government is planning a new anti-smoking campaign in the coming months - including graphic images on cigarette packets showing the damage caused to the body.

References: Cigarette sales up patch sales down,, 3/12/2010; Tobacco sales in France are on the rise again, Réagir,, 3/12/2010.

France - a few related news briefs:
France - anti-smoking shock ad aimed at teens..;
France - some smokers are flaunting the ban on smoking..;
Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008..;
French researchers announced a striking 15% decrease in admissions of patients with myocardial infarction to emergency wards since the public ban on smoking came into effect..;
France - cheaper cigarettes close by in Belgium...


OHIO - Supreme Court to hear the appeal in its case seeking to preserve tobacco funds ..

March 11, 2010 - On January 21st the Legacy(SM) -- a national public health foundation devoted to tobacco cessation and prevention -- asked the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the appeal in its case seeking to preserve tobacco funds and the life-saving tobacco control programs they support in Ohio. (OHIO - Legacy Foundation asks Supreme Court to hear appeal..)

The Ohio Supreme Court has now made the decision to hear the appeal in Legacy's case seeking to preserve tobacco funds and the life-saving tobacco control programs they support in Ohio. The Court will review the December decision of the Ohio Court of Appeals of Franklin County, Tenth Appellate District reversing a lower court's order permanently enjoining the State from dissolving the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Endowment Fund. The December 2009 Court of Appeals' decision represented a major step backward in the effort spearheaded by Legacy and others to safeguard the state's tobacco prevention money for its intended purpose: to save Ohioans' lives.

Reference: Legacy(SM) Case for Tobacco Funds to be Heard by Ohio Supreme Court
Two-Year Long Battle For Tobacco Prevention And Cessation Programs To Be Determined by Highest Court

In reference see the timeline of activity related to the Ohio tobacco funding dispute.

Some Ohio related news briefs:
OHIO - smoking complaints have dropped each year since the start of smoking ban..
OHIO - judge stops collection of fines against a bar accused of allowing customers to smoke..;
OHIO - Legacy Foundation asks Supreme Court to hear appeal..;
OHIO - American Legacy Foundation will appeal decision to allow state to use tobacco funds..;
Ohio - enforcement of existing smoking ban a must..;
OHIO - appeals court rules state can use money set aside for tobacco prevention..;
OHIO - judge rules money can not be diverted from anti-tobacco fund..;
Ohio - state will provide NO funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs..;
Ohio - don't cut spending on anti-tobacco programs it will cost the state much more in the long run..;
Ohio youth are using cigars and smokeless tobacco products and it is a continuously growing problem...

India - pictorial warning will appear on every tobacco pack sold from June 1 , 2010..

Click to enlarge..
March 11, 2010 - A new pictorial warning will appear on every tobacco pack sold in India from June 1 and it sure isn't pretty. It's a picture that 98% people polled in seven states of India said will repulse tobacco users, in turn helping them to quit smoking or chewing tobacco.

The health ministry's latest notification, made on March 5, has chosen a gory picture of a rotting cancer-stricken mouth to appear on tobacco packs. In field tests in Orissa, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh by the Voluntary Health Association of India, 98% of the 734 people polled found the picture repulsive and perfect to help smokers quit.

The warning will cover 40% of the tobacco pack in all local languages with the message 'Tobacco Kills' and 'Tobacco Causes Cancer'.

Back in November 2009 there was still confusion regarding pictorial warnings on tobacco packs.

Pictorial warning was enforced on May 31, 2009 after the intervention of the Supreme Court. However, the pictorial warnings notified then were very mild and therefore found ineffective. The rules mandate that the pictorial warnings should be rotated every 12 months. (India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..)

"Pictures with shock value will make smokers quit. Earlier, warnings were feelgood. While one depicted a scorpion, the other two was an X-ray plate of a TB patient's chest and a photograph of a cigarette stub with a cross sign over it," a ministry official said.

Experts say mild pictorial warnings would defeat its purpose — to scare away smokers.
"The warnings can't be soft. It has to convey the ills of tobacco smoking and chewing," the official said.

According to researchers, smoking in India is more common among illiterate men than those who had at least completed primary education. Over 50% of tobacco deaths occur in illiterate men or women, with 80% of them residing in rural India. "Pictorial warning labels, that can convey risks of smoking to the large number of illiterate adults in India who smoke, might be a particularly effective strategy," the official said.

"International experience has taught us that warnings need to be big and scary and colourful. Only then do they catch the eye and deter people. In India, only 2% smokers quit," he added.

Presently, 9 lakh people (lakh - unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand (100000), nearly 2,200 per day, die every year in India due to tobacco related diseases. About 250 million people in India use tobacco products like gutka, cigarettes and bidis. Over 16% are cigarette smokers and 44% smoke bidis. The health ministry estimates that 40% of India's health problems stem from tobacco use.

Reference: From June 1, tobacco packs to carry scarier pictures, The Times of India, 3/11/2010.

India - some related news briefs:
*India - government set to ban foreign direct investment in tobacco..;
*India - despite tobacco control measure in place - tobacco sales increase..;
*India - still confusion pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*Mumbai, India - NGO activists want closure of hookah bars..;
*India - gutkha and bidi companies NOT pictorial warnings..;
*India - cigarette packs with pictorial warnings are here..; *ndia - NO graphic pictorial warnings yet..;
*India - Still no pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented from May 31 - no doubts about it..;
*India - will pictorial or graphic health warnings be implemented from May 30, 2009..;
*India - placing pictorial warnings on tobacco products delayed again..


New Zealand - BAT attends Maori Affairs select committee meeting on tobacco..

March 11, 2010 - Amid a barrage of Maori people calling for tough controls and the eventual banning of smoking, a tobacco company today asked for current sale display rules to remain the same. New Zealand - Maori women - almost 50% smoke..)

As several people told emotional stories of losing loved ones to smoking-related illnesses, British American Tobacco New Zealand (BAT) told a Maori Affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry in Auckland that visible tobacco stands were important to its business of selling a legal product. BAT controls about 75 percent of all cigarette sales in New Zealand.

BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..

The inquiry was called in particular to look at the consequences of tobacco use for Maori.

BAT managing director Graeme Amey said research showed removing cigarettes and other tobacco products from visibility in retail stores would have little impact on the prevalence of smoking. But after Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei asked why BAT opposed this if it would make no impact on smoking, Mr Amey said it could lose market share as a result. "We operate a commercial business and we are in the business of improving market share," he said. "Brand switching would become an issue."

BAT's oral submission concentrated on suggestions on how to reduce the prevalence of smoking by children. Amey said there should be greater education, that cigarette sellers should be licensed, and there should be greater enforcement of the laws restricting sales to people under 18.

New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..

Under strong questioning from Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, Mr Amey said BAT took no responsibility for the high death rates from smoking and in Maori in particular, but he did say there was no safe cigarette. He said cigarettes were a legal product and those who chose to smoke knew they were putting themselves at risk. Mr Amey admitted he had quit smoking after 10 years, saying he did so as a personal choice.

He said banning smoking would be counter-productive as it would merely increase the black market for nicotine. (New Zealanders want cigarettes banned by 2020.)

Ngaire Rae of Manaia Public Health Organisation in Whangarei said she had just buried her father, who died from a smoking-related disease at the age of 68. She said her story was all too common in Northland, where a huge proportion of Maori were smokers. "He should be sharing his life stories with his whanau, and instead we are deprived of his wisdom and his life stories," she said. "I am pleased to make sure that there are some strong actions as a result of this inquiry. Let's not make this a talkfest, let's make sure your time and ours is not a waste."

Dr Marewa Glover called for an eventual ban on smoking and improvement in accessing services to quit. "It needs to be as effective as a sniper rather than a shotgun firing bullets in different directions, some of them contradictory." Dr Glover said many Maori believed smoking couldn't be too bad if the Government didn't think it needed to make the drug illegal. She said some services to help people quit smoking were good but others were ineffective and involved too much time. "That sort of help needs to be as easy as going to the dairy to buy a packet of smokes."

Dr Glover said parliamentarians had been negligent, accusing them of "prancing around and partying with the smoking industry while our people are smoking and dying". She said the large GST take and excise tax take gave Government an incentive to keep smoking legal, and that only 5.5 percent of the smoking tax take was going into tobacco control, which she said wasn't enough. Dr Glover also said some advertising campaigns advising smokers to leave the room or car to smoke were missing the point, as these gave people the idea it was still okay to keep smoking when it wasn't. She also called for greater effort to be made to stop young Maori women smoking either before or during pregnancy.

The inquiry continous..

BAT - New Zealand's tobacco industry..

References: Tobacco company defends retail display rule, New Zealand Press Association (NZPA), National Business Review, 3/11/2010; Harawira fires a volley for the smoking battalion by
FEILIDH O'DWYER,, 3/12/2010.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealanders want cigarettes banned by 2020..;
New Zealand - Maori women - almost 50% smoke..;
New Zealand - more and more teenagers turned off by smoking..;
New Zealand - loophole in the law banning tobacco sponsorship..;
New Zealand - University of Auckland to go smokefree - 1st university in country..;
New Zealand - smoking ban in bars results in less smoking at home..;
New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..;
New Zealand - graphic warnings cigarette maker selects less offensive images..;
New Zealand - Maori committee to investigate smoking..;
New Zealand - Tairawhiti Board wants tobacco sold only on prescription..;
New Zealand - health researchers calling on government to ban importation of tobacco..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..;
New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..;
BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..;
New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..;
Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Smokefree NZ within 10 years..;
By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..


Marlboro SNUS going national today, March 11, 2010..

Click to enlarge..
March 11, 2010 - Michael E. Szymanczyk, Altria's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, recently participated in the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference in Boca Raton, Florida. He discusses Altria's marketing strategy, "One new business opportunity for us is filling the increasing demand for smokeless products among adult smokers who do not find current MST [moist smokeless tobacco, or snuff] satisfactory.” Szymanczyk said those tobacco users are seeking smokeless tobacco that doesn’t require them to spit the way they must with moist snuff. (Altria - new marketing strategy with emphasis on Marlboro SNUS..)

Click to enlarge..

Philip Morris USA has revamped the Marlboro Snus concept with new packaging, product enhancements and pricing. Notice that there's only 6-pouches per container down from 12-pouches per container. Marlboro snus has sold for as little as 99 cents per container in the Phoenix, AZ area. (Altria - Barclays Conference - new version of Copenhagen, more markets for Marlboro SNUS..

Back in November 2009 Marlboro Snus market test was expanded to select markets in Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, and Colorado. (Altria to Expand Marlboro Snus Test, Convenience Store News, 11/9/2009)

Initially, it was felt that just the Marlboro brands would make the smokeless entries successful. This just has not happened. Nik Modi, a UBS tobacco analyst has stated, "The Marlboro brand name is not as transferable as many originally believed." Altria's growth depends on the Marlboro name.. Kessler, CEO UST: Clearly Marlboro is a great cigarette brand. That said, history clearly shows that it is difficult to extend brands from one category to another. UST, Inc. NOT Worried About New Moist Snuff Entry - Marlboro.

PM USA - discontinues Marlboro Moist Snuff & revamps Marlboro Snus..

Murray S. Kessler, former vice-chair at Altria and formerly the chairman and CEO of smokeless tobacco company UST Inc., who left Altria in June 2009 comments on snus. Kessler had been very disappointed in the total performance of whether -- they call it Snus or we call it spit-free. We've been testing this thing now for seven years (Revel). The newer entrance [entrees], if you go back, is now, in original markets, is over two years, and it is not gaining the traction, given the level of investment that's been put there. Kessler has stated in the past that "Nine out of 10 smokers that try smokeless still reject the product." Mr.Butler has also been very disappointed with the progress of the SNUS segment in total. The entire segment itself has gained very little traction, and we had plans to be more aggressive. Frankly, we are revisiting those because the size of this market and how slowly it's developing -- it's so tiny and taking so long to gain any traction. (UST, Inc. Executives Very Disappointed in Sales of the Entire SNUS Segment..; UST, Inc. Don't view SNUS as something that has a major impact on our core business.; Nine Out of Ten Smokers Who Try Smokeless Still Reject the Product...) (Murray Kessler leaving Altria at the end of June 2009..)

Some related news briefs:
Marlboro SNUS market test being expanded..;
How's SNUS doing in the U.S. - will Susan Ivey tell us the truth??;
More on Marlboro MST & Marlboro Snus..;
Altria will continue to test Marlboro Smokeless Tobacco Products..;
Marlboro MST / Marlboro SNUS - Philip Morris USA (PM) Trying to Paint a Rosie Picture..;
Philip Morris USA (PM) continues to stumble in the smokeless tobacco arena..;
The Art of Snusing..;
For more information do a random search of the archive..


San Francisco - further smoking restrictions..

March 11, 2010 - Smoking soon will be snuffed out at sidewalk cafes, restaurant patios, movie and ATM lines, bingo halls and the common areas of housing complexes.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday, March 10th to extend smoking restrictions to those places, along with lighting up near doorways and windows of offices, shops and restaurants. It already is illegal to smoke in offices and commercial establishments that don't have a legally designated smoking area.

"This legislation will protect thousands of San Franciscans from secondhand smoke," said Supervisor Eric Mar, chief sponsor of the legislation. Board support for the proposal was unanimous. However, a second vote is required next week for final passage. Mayor Gavin Newsom will review the amended legislation before deciding whether to sign or veto it, but he is generally in support of smoking restrictions, said spokesman Tony Winnicker.

Getting to this point, said Mar, "has been a difficult process." More than two years in the making, the legislation ran into resistance from owners of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, real estate interests and the hotel industry - concerned about driving away business in this bleak economy.

Matt Kahn, an owner of the 5-year-old Cigar Bar & Grill in the historic Jackson Square district, worries that he'll have to shut down, or completely revamp his business. While smoking is not allowed inside, patrons smoke cigars, eat and drink on the outside patio. "We don't know exactly what we're going to do. We might have to rename the place, change what we are," he said. "This really puts us in jeopardy."

He was one of the unlucky business operators who seemingly won't benefit from the nearly three dozen amendments that were made to the legislation to tamp down opposition. Changes included allowing smoking to continue at owner-operated bars, existing tobacco shops and bars that already have permissible smoking areas. But in the end, the coalition behind the legislation is satisfied with the outcome, despite the weakened restrictions.

"This is still a very good opportunity to affect public health immediately," said Karen Licavoli-Farnkopf, vice president of the anti-smoking group Breathe California,

The dangers of secondhand smoke have been documented in studies that found exposure increases the risk of asthma, heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer. "Those communities that have adopted ordinances like this have actually seen decreases in the numbers of death ... so by passing this ordinance you are all saving lives, and I can't think of a higher calling than that," San Francisco's public health chief, Dr. Mitch Katz, told the supervisors prior to their vote.

While San Francisco was at the forefront of the nation's anti-smoking laws more than a decade ago, the city has slipped behind other jurisdictions and even with the new controls, it doesn't go as far as some places. In the Bay Area, for example, Richmond and Belmont have tighter restrictions on smoking in housing, and Berkeley has tougher limits on lighting up in outdoor commercial areas, said Licavoli-Farnkopf.

Mar and others who worked on the legislation said they wouldn't be surprised to see efforts made later on to strengthen the crackdown on smoking.

"I understand trying to keep people from smoking in public places indoors, but outside?" said 23-year-old Hank Evans, as he sat outside the Beanery cafe on Ninth Avenue in the Inner Sunset Tuesday smoking a cigarette. "I think it's getting a little extreme, becoming a nanny state." His girlfriend, Linda Yee, 20, sitting next to him, smiled. "Maybe this will finally get him to quit," she said.

Reference: S.F. supervisors vote to get tougher on smoking, Rachel Gordon (, San Francisco Chronicle (FSGate) Staff Writer, 3/9/2010.

Some San Francisco related news briefs:
San Francisco (SF) - launches new anti-smoking campaign..;
San Francisco may expand smoking ban..;
San Francisco - mulls proposal to reduce the number of stores that can sell tobacco..;
San Francisco - Philip Morris has dropped its lawsuit challenging San Francisco's prohibition on tobacco sales at pharmacies..;
San Francisco - Michael Jordan caught smoking on public golf course..;
San Francisco - cigarettes cost a little more starting today, October 1, 2009..;
San Francisco can enforce its ban on tobacco sales in drugstores..;
San Francisco - fight about selling tobacco products in drugstores has flared up..
San Francisco - Judge threw out a Walgreens attempt to stop the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies..;
Philip Morris appeals tobacco ban at San Francisco pharmacies;
Federal Judge Denies Bid To Stop San Francisco Pharmacy Tobacco Ban..;
Philip Morris USA request stop in San Francisco's ban on tobacco sales by pharmacies..;
San Francisco - cigarette sales rise sharply in c-stores..;
San Francisco files brief to oppose bid by PM USA to block the banning of tobacco sales in pharmacies..;
Philip Morris challenges San Francisco pharmacy tobacco ban..;
Walgreen: San Francisco’s Tobacco Ban Is Unfair..;
San Francisco - All Tobacco Products Banned in All Pharmacies..;
San Francisco critical vote - bar tobacco sales pharmacies..;
SAN FRANCISCO Ban on tobacco at drug stores sought...

United Kingdom - National No Smoking Day..

March 10, 2010 - No Smoking Day is the leading health campaign for smokers who want to stop. It is always the second Wednesday in March so it's today March 10, 2010.

Welcome to NO Smoking Day..


UK respiratory specialist calls for a total ban on cigarettes..

March 10, 2010 - More young people are being treated for smoking-related lung diseases, an expert has claimed. Anindo Banerjee, 41, respiratory specialist at Southampton General Hospital, said even though there is a ban on lighting up in public, cigarettes continue to be a major health problem and not just for older generations.

Doctor calls for a total ban on cigarettes on the eve of No Smoking Day..

Mr Banerjee said he is even treating a 19-year-old for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which can cause sufferers to slowly suffocate. "Year on year we are seeing increasing numbers of patients with severe chest diseases due to smoking in which the lungs are damaged, such as COPD," he said.

"This is not just death, but a slow suffocation in which patients progressively lose the ability to work, go out, or even walk around the shops because they are out of breath. Eventually they become chair or bed-bound, dependent on oxygen to keep them going."

Mr Banerjee went on: "It is an old myth that COPD is a disease of old men. Depressingly, large numbers of young people smoke, and they often believe that the warnings do not apply to them. "We are seeing increasing numbers of young people whose lungs have been destroyed by smoking, who suffer the same breathlessness and restriction and whose lives are blighted by their 'enjoyment'. Our youngest patient with this disease is 19 years old." The 19-year-old COPD patient is female and has been smoking since the age of 10, according to a spokesman for the hospital.

The doctor said that even though the terrible effects of cigarettes have been known for many years, smoking is still accepted in society.

"Cigarettes damage those who smoke, and everyone around them. That it has been around for 500 years is no excuse. That it is enjoyable is no excuse. The destruction of lives and health that it causes is plain for everyone to see. It is time to work towards a complete ban on smoking. Smoking remains a major health issue."

COPD is principally caused by smoking and involves damage to the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs through which oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream. This leaves sufferers in the later stages fighting for breath as the sacs lose their elasticity and do not work properly.

Reference: Expert calls for total smoking ban, United Kingdom - Press Association, 5/9/2010.


North Korea - re-exporting British cigarettes..

March 10, 2010 - North Korea (NK) desperate for foreign exchange has been generating hard currency by re-exporting British cigarettes, despite renewed efforts by the international community to apply tougher sanctions on the impoverished state.

North Korean and other Asian trading entities started re-exporting State Express 555 cigarettes, manufactured by British American Tobacco (BAT), in February last year, just months before North Korea's second nuclear test in four years prompted the United Nations to impose tougher sanctions on Pyongyang.

BAT sold the so-called "NK 555s", made and packaged in Singapore for the North Korean market, to a Singaporean distributor for shipment to Nampo, a port near Pyongyang. However, at least 15,000 cases worth $6.3m (€4.6m, £4.2m) rebounded out of Nampo to ports in Vietnam and the Philippines, according to documents seen by the Financial Times, to go to other markets where they commanded a higher price.

While the UN banned luxury goods exports to North Korea, member nations have been allowed to compile their own sanctions lists, which critics say created loopholes.

The US, Japan, Australia and Canada banned a broad range of tobacco products. Meanwhile, the European Union and Singapore sanctioned only cigars, which allowed BAT to continue exporting NK 555 cigarettes to North Korea. BAT said it halted exports of the cigarettes from Singapore to North Korea after discovering a diverted cargo of NK 555s in August.

International tobacco companies frown on "grey market" or "parallel" exports of their products to markets for which they were not intended. But national customs authorities target counterfeits rather than so-called "diverted real product".

The diversions offer a rare glimpse into how the impoverished country can secure foreign exchange - especially as the noose tightens on arms exports.

International security agencies have also cracked down on suspected North Korean smuggling of narcotics and counterfeit $100 bills in recent years, forcing the regime to find other sources of hard currency.

The NK 555 diversions may be part of a much larger flow of dollar-earning re-exports. Their interruption comes at an awkward time for a regime that has tested the patience of the international community.

Closer to home, a populace with memories of severe 1990s-era famines is infuriated by Pyongyang's recently botched currency reform programme.

"The turmoil in North Korea is self-inflicted and far more damaging than the [UN] sanctions," said Marcus Noland, a North Korea expert with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

BAT has maintained some business ties to the country. It still supplies its former Pyongyang joint venture, from which it divested in 2007, with materials to make and sell cheaper Craven A cigarettes on the domestic market.

BAT says 175m NK 555s were exported to North Korea in 2008. They were made and packaged in Singapore which, like the EU, banned exports of cigars but not cigarettes.

The London-based company sold the NK 555s to SUTL Group, a family controlled distributor in Singapore, for onward shipment to the North Korean port of Nampo.

"When we became aware of the diversion, we immediately launched an investigation," Pat Heneghan, global head of BAT's anti-illicit trade division, told the FT. "We certainly didn't like what we found."

While there was no evidence of any involvement by SUTL in the diversion, Mr Heneghan said BAT still had "a very hard discussion with the distributor". SUTL declined to comment.

There is no evidence that the re-export of NK 555s by a number of unidentifiable North Korean entities and other small trading companies across Asia was illegal.

While tobacco companies consider the re-routing of legitimate cigarettes from their intended market as "illicit", they are not necessarily "illegal" in the eyes of customs authorities focused on counterfeits and smuggling.

"In August last year, BAT discovered a diverted NK 555 shipment in Singapore, which we assumed could be for transhipment to other markets in Asia," said a BAT spokeswoman. "But we were unable to inspect the shipment as we could not demonstrate any breach of Singapore law to the authorities."

On April 10 2009, the NK 555 re-exports were discussed in an e-mail sent by a Singapore-based cigarette trader to a potential buyer in Manila.

"We have to confirm by next week," wrote Bert Lee of Compass Inc. "Empty containers will have to start moving into Nampo. . . So kindly speak and plan with your buyer and let me know if you want to take up this new NK 555 Blue."

Compass began to sell cases of NK 555 to a Hong Kong-based trading company in early 2009. E-mails and shipping documents show the cigarettes were first diverted to Dalian, a Chinese port, and then shipped on to Singapore before finally landing in Haiphong in Vietnam.

While the trail ran cold in Haiphong, people tracking the shipment suspected its ultimate destination was China.

"They sell it to someone who can handle it for the China market," said one person involved in the trade, who asked not to be identified.

Invoices sent from Compass to its Hong Kong buyer in February 2009 do not reveal the North Korean source of the NK 555s. But Mr Lee left no doubt about the cigarettes' provenance.

"Stocks are now in NK and sample already send [sic] out to us," he wrote to his potential buyer in Manila. "I hope we can work on this New Blue [555] and controlling the market and stocks as soon as possible." Mr Lee did not reply to phone calls, e-mails and faxes from the FT.

"As a trader, we just get the product and buy and sell," said one Compass executive who declined to identify himself or comment on the NK 555 shipments when contacted by telephone. "Where it goes, who knows?"

Reference: N Korea draws on tobacco to generate hard cash by Tom Mitchell in Hong Kong and Pan Kwan Yuk in London, Financial Times ( UK, 3/9/2010.

Poland - lower house weakens smoking ban..

March 10, 2010 - Back on February 15, 2010 we were disappointed when the full parliament sent smoking ban bill back to committee to weaken the bill. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) inspectors slammed Poland for its ineffective anti-smoking campaigns, half-hearted legislation and low priced cigarettes. (WHO slams Poland’s fight against smoking, New Poland Expres (NPE), 11/6/2009.

The lower house of parliament, the Sejm, has voted for a liberal amendment to a bill banning tobacco smoking in public places, according to a Polskie Radio story.

The bill, which has been passed to the Senate, makes provision for accommodating smokers in a wide range of public places.

The vote in the Sejm, which was carried by 217 votes to 165, with 48 abstentions, came as a shock to the parliamentary health committee, which had recommended a total ban on tobacco smoking in public.

Under the amended bill, it would be possible for small restaurants and pubs to decide whether to ban tobacco smoking or not. And in premises of more than 100 square meters, separate smoking areas would have to be provided. Smoking rooms would be available also in schools, universities, hospitals, and workplaces.

The bill would not prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes.

Grzegorz Dolniak, the deputy head of the Civic Platform in the Sejm, said after the vote that a complete ban would be a “dead law” and probably unenforceable. “It is necessary to preserve common sense and also give a chance to non-smokers who do not want to be exposed to passive smoking.”

Reference: MPs stub out complete smoking ban, the, 3/5/2010.

Related news briefs:
Poland - disappointment , full parliament sends smoking ban bill back to committee to weaken bill..;
Poland - pubs and restaurants fear bankruptcy if smoking ban becomes law..;
Poland - lower house of parliament (Sejm) will vote Friday, February 12th on smoking ban..;
Poland - son suing Philip Morris Polska and Zakłady Przemysłu Tytoniowego over death of his mother..;
Poland to ban smoking in indoor public places, in passenger cars if children present and prohibit display of cigarettes..;

Australia - anti-smoking campaign targets indigenous people..

March 10, 2010 - The Australian Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, today announced 14 sites across the country (see reference for specific sites) will benefit from a $10.7 million funding round to promote innovative anti-tobacco campaigns and prevention strategies.

The Australian Government’s Indigenous (originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment) Tobacco Control Initiative aims to reduce smoking rates among Aboriginal (having existed in a region from the beginning) and Torres Strait Islander communities in urban, regional and remote areas. (Australia - heavy tobacco use killing Aborigines..; Australia - Smoking 'biggest factor' in Aboriginal deaths...)

Snowdon: “These projects are based on innovative and cultural-appropriate, community-based approaches. They are also in areas which have higher than average smoking rates.” “The initiatives range from starting up a Quit Café, establishing support groups for new parents, promoting role models, to offering counselling to get their message across.

“They tackle a variety of Indigenous groups. Teenagers, pregnant women, families and homeless people are among the target audiences,” Mr Snowdon said.

“A number of respected organisations have been chosen including the Asthma Foundation of WA, the Cancer Council of Queensland, the Bila Muuji Regional Aboriginal Health Service in New South Wales and the Menzies School of Health Research in the Northern Territory.”

The Minister made the announcement at the Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in Katherine, south of Darwin, which received $1m in funding to promote smoke free messages.

The Indigenous Tobacco Control Initiative was launched in March 2008 with a commitment of $14.5 million over three years. Funding of $3.8 million was provided for six projects in 2008-09. The initiative is paving the way for a comprehensive national approach to tackling the issue through the Australian Government’s $100.6 million Tackling Smoking measure under COAG’s National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes. (COAG = Council of Australian Governments)

Reference: $10.7 Million to Combat Indigenous Smoking, Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, Australian Government, 3/5/2010.

Click on top image to enlarge, National Close the Gap Day will be held on March 25, 2010.

WHO - 4th session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products..

March 8, 2010 -

WHO FCTC Conference March 2010 - protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products..

We are all counting on World Health Organization (WHO) to provide solution to control the booming worldwide cigarette smuggling problem. Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, March 14-21, 2010. The representatives of governments will meet to discussed and sign off on the draft protocol that expected to boost the war on illicit trade in tobacco products. If signed by governments attending the meeting, the protocol is expected to become an international convention to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products across the globe. (WHO FCTC Conference March 2010 - protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products.)

Cigarettes are the world’s most widely smuggled legal consumer product. In 2006, contraband cigarettes accounted for 11 percent of global cigarette sales, or about 600 billion cigarettes. For years, the tobacco industry claimed that high cigarette taxes encouraged smuggling from low tax jurisdictions. However, documents uncovered during recent lawsuits confirm that the tobacco industry itself is responsible or involved in many large-scale cigarette smuggling operations worldwide. (Tobacco Atlas - Illegal Cigarettes..)

A couple more related news briefs: EU - fighting against cigarette smuggling but a WHO solution may be in site..; EU - mobilizing for a crackdown on cigarette smuggling with emphasis on Poland..

Iowa - cigarette sales drop 52 percent..

March 9, 2010 - Iowa Department of Public Health officials said Monday, March 8th that a new study shows a 52 percent drop in cigarette sales in Iowa. The 2009 Tobacco Control Progress Report finds a dramatic decrease in cigarette consumption in Iowa. Data from the Iowa Department of Revenue show that cigarette sales in Iowa remained steady from 2000 to 2006. Since 2006, per capita consumption of cigarettes has plummeted from 112 to 54 in 2009. To read the entire report at and look under Tobacco Program Evaluations and Progress Reports.

“The fact that Iowans are smoking half as many cigarettes now is clearly attributable to the $1 cigarette excise tax in 2007 and the 2008 Smokefree Air Act,” said Cathy Callaway, chairwoman of the Iowa Tobacco Use Prevention & Control Commission, in a statement released on Monday. “The importance of policies like these in improving health and saving lives cannot be underestimated.”

Directly related news brief: Iowa - smoking ban has resulted in fewer people smoking.., July 1, 2009.

Officials said the report shows a slower reduction in tobacco use by younger Iowans.
Cigarette use among high school students at 19.9 percent in 2008 was roughly the same level it was in 2004 at 19.5 percent. Among middle school students, tobacco use was down only slightly from 3.6 percent in 2006 to 2.8 percent in 2008.

“It’s important to point out that awareness of Iowa’s youth-led tobacco counter-marketing campaign, JEL (Just Eliminate Lies), fell during this period,” Callaway said. “Studies show there’s a direct correlation between exposure to state-sponsored anti-tobacco advertisements and anti-smoking attitudes, beliefs and smoking prevalence. Simply put, the fewer ads JEL produces, the lower the awareness among children. That’s a major contributor to the limited success we’re seeing in the JEL program’s goal to prevent tobacco use among youth.”

Among high school students, 85 percent had heard of JEL in 2004. Four years later, however, that number dropped to 61 percent. The decrease in awareness was even more dramatic among middle school students, as it decreased from 54 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2008.

Officials said data from more than 60 sources were reviewed in producing the Iowa 2009 Tobacco Progress Report, which was conducted by the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Behavioral Research.

Reference: Study: Iowa Cigarette Sales Drop 52 Percent, KCCI-8, Des Moines, Iowa, 3/8/2010.

Related news briefs - Iowa:
Iowa - smoking ban leads to decrease in hospitalizations for cardiovascular diseases..;
Iowa - get a free supply of NRT for just calling the Quitline..;
Iowa Smoking Ban Lawsuit Dismissed..;
Iowa - fire safe cigarettes - January 1, 2009..;
Butts Out: Iowa joins 22 states with a workplace smoking ban..;
Iowa - cigarette sales fall by 36% after $1 bump in cigarette tax..;
It's Illegal for Women to Smoke in Public..;
Des Moines: Iowa's cigarette tax is now $1.36 per pack, following a jubilant bill-signing ceremony Thursday morning (3/15/2007)..

Part 1: avoidance of nicotine addiction - remove the flavoring from all tobacco products..

       Our Children Our Future
March 10 , 2010 - Our highest priority has to be keeping children from beginning to use tobacco products. If you agree with the words of Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the USA then we must do everything possible to stop the proliferation of flavored tobacco products.

Effective Tuesday, September 22, 2009, cigarettes that contain certain characterizing flavors are considered adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act , as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act are prohibited.. The FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, was quick to point out that these flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers. However, these cigarettes were not even one percent of the market. For example, cloves was less than a tenth of one percent of the U.S. cigarette consumption. Now it is time to do the same for the Other Tobacco Products (OTP).

FDA Fact Sheet: Flavored tobacco products have become increasingly common in the United States. These products, containing flavors like vanilla, orange, chocolate, cherry and coffee, are especially attractive to youth. They are widely considered to be “starter” products, establishing smoking habits that can lead to a lifetime of addiction. Like all tobacco products, flavored tobacco products have serious health risks and are not considered safe by the FDA.

Michael E. Szymanczyk, Altria Group’s chairman and CEO: "We have consistently advocated for federal regulation that recognizes the serious harm caused by tobacco products, that helps ensure tobacco companies do not market tobacco products to children and that also acknowledges that tobacco products are and should remain legal products for adults."

Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration has said "Unlike the medical products FDA regulates, tobacco products cannot be made safe, and there is no medically established public health benefit associated with tobacco."

Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: "Flavored tobacco products are clearly intended to introduce a new generation of children to tobacco."

According to one study of youth smokers between the ages of 13 and 18, 52% of smokers who had heard of flavored cigarettes reported interest in trying them, and nearly 60% thought that flavored cigarettes would taste better than regular cigarettes. Flavors make cigarettes and other tobacco products more appealing to youth. Studies have shown that 17 year old smokers are three times as likely to use flavored cigarettes as smokers over the age of 25. (Klein SM, Giovino GA, Barker DC, Tworek C, Cummings KM, O'Connor RJ. Use of flavored cigarettes among older adolescent and adult smokers: United States, 2004-2005. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008;10(7):1209-14.)

Further action on the part of the FDA's Tobacco Center must include an expansion of the ban to include all flavored tobacco products such as cigars, cigarillos, snuff, chewing tobacco, dissolvable tobacco products, blunt wraps (The City of Boston has already banned these products). As pointed out in the FDA Parental Advisory - these kinds of flavors make tobacco products especially appealing to kids, and can lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction.

The Center, under Dr. Deyton’s leadership, will be engaging in lifesaving activities by stopping the many tactics that lure children to pick up poisonous products that too often lead to deadly addiction.” Statement of John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. August 19, 2009 regarding FDA Center for Tobacco Products Center.

Deyton - We have a goal, under this law, to keep youth tobacco-free. The unit will be responsible for carrying out the legislation, including restricting tobacco advertising, collecting user fees from tobacco companies and stopping the sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products to children. FDA Launches New Center for Tobacco Products 8/19/2010..

U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. in a decision concluded that "there is no way to limit the distribution of these items [tobacco 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." The judge said the FDA's arguments were supported by Supreme Court and appeals court rulings upholding regulators' power to limit what companies can claim about their products. He ruled that the agency demonstrated that the dangers to the public it cited were real, noting the tobacco industry's history of suppressing information about the risks of smoking. (Federal judge - upheld most of law that regulates tobacco but struck down limits on advertising..)

Pankow et al., a recent study has found that smokeless tobacco products can contain up to 700% more flavor additives than candy.

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.”

Yes - tobacco is a legal substance but let's make these products less appealing by eliminating all flavoring.

Norway - Philip Morris announces lawsuit challenging tobacco product display ban..

March 9, 2010 - Philip Morris Norway AS (PMN) will today, March 9th start legal proceedings to overturn the ban on displaying tobacco products in retail stores. PMI - launches website - opinion on total ban on the display of tobacco products..

Ireland - Philip Morris and retailer to file lawsuit to challenge tobacco display ban..

“Display bans have had no impact on reducing smoking in the countries that have implemented them, a fact acknowledged by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. Instead these regulations prevent adult consumers from seeing the available product range and overly restrict competition” said Anne Edwards, spokesperson for PMN. “We have raised these issues with the government to no avail, which has regrettably left us with no choice but to litigate.”

The goal of the lawsuit is to overturn the display ban to permit retailers to display tobacco products in their stores enabling adult smokers to see the products on offer. PMN is not seeking any other changes to tobacco-related laws in Norway.

“We fully support tobacco product regulation and effective measures to prevent minors from smoking. However, we believe that the government should focus on proven measures such as strict enforcement of the minimum age law and education campaigns,” said Anne Edwards.

The lawsuit will be filed at the Oslo District Court. It challenges the tobacco product display ban on the grounds that it constitutes a violation of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement. As part of the filing, PMN is seeking referral of the case to the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) Court in Luxembourg.

Philip Morris Norway AS (PMN) is the Norwegian affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc. Based in Oslo; the company employs 20 people and sells tobacco products including Marlboro. PMN has consistently supported tobacco regulations in Norway and repeatedly called for stricter enforcement of the minimum age law, in place since 1995, to prevent minors from accessing tobacco products. PMN also did not oppose measures such as the public smoking ban or the up-coming requirement for tobacco product packaging to carry graphic health warnings.

Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the leading international tobacco company. In 2009, the company held an estimated 15.4% share of the total international cigarette market outside of the U.S. For more information, see

Display bans prevent retailers from displaying the tobacco products they sell in their stores. Norway, Iceland, Ireland, all Canadian provinces and the Australian State of New South Wales, have implemented a display ban.

The ban on the display of tobacco products in sales outlets came into force on January 1, 2010. The ban also applies to smoking articles such as pipes, cigarette paper, ashtrays and cigarette cases. (Norway - starting January 1, 2010 - tobacco no longer on display..)

Iceland was the first country to introduce a display ban. As part of the legislative preparations for the display ban in Norway, the Ministry of Health and Care Services noted that: “Iceland prohibited public display of tobacco products in 2001. The percentage of smokers in the Icelandic population (at 15 years of age and above) has sunk from 25% in 2001 to 20% in 2005. However, there are no indications to prove that this reduction is a result of the ban, more than other tobacco preventive measures introduced at the same time." (Hearing Notice from the Health and Care Service Department, March 2007)

A study by LECG, a leading finance and economic consultancy, also shows that the point of sale display ban in Iceland has had no statistically significant effect on reducing smoking prevalence.

Several studies have shown that kids (children) exposure to tobacco ads and displays there's a greater chance of starting to use tobacco products. A new study reported in March 2010 found that kids with high exposure to tobacco advertising were twice as likely to have tried smoking and three times as likely to have smoked in the past month, compared to those with low exposure. (Study - the more teens see cigarette ads, the greater the risk of taking a puff..)

Reference: Philip Morris Norway AS Announces Lawsuit Challenging Norwegian Tobacco Product Display Ban, Philip Morris Norway AS, Oslo , 3/9/2010.