Saskatchewan, Canada - tobacco tax increase begining April 1, 2010..

March 27, 2010 - REGINA, Saskatchewan — as of midnight Wednesday, March 31st smokers will be paying 2.7 cents more per cigarette due to a 14.75-percent increase in the tobacco tax. The tax on a package of cigarettes is going from $4.50 to $5.25. Taxes on cut/loose tobacco are going up by 21 cents per gram and cigars by 100 per cent of the retail price, subject to the existing minimum and maximum tax amounts per cigar. - let's not forget the famous words of Lynn Greaves, when she was VP of the Saskatchewan Coalition for Tobacco Reduction, "Tobacco taxation has been the strongest tobacco reduction measure that exists in the world today."

In what will likely be the most controversial move, subject to the passing of legislation, First Nations individuals could be seeing a significant decrease in the amount of cigarettes they can purchase tax-free. If the government gets its way, on-reserve, tax-free cigarette purchases will be limited to one carton per customer per week — down from three.

That's already met with criticism from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, which claims the move will cost First Nations businesses millions in lost revenue. "This is a serious infringement on Treaty Rights without the benefit of meaningful consultation," FSIN Vice Chief Morley Watson said in a written statement. "The Province has extended its authority beyond its jurisdiction. The Province is unilaterally changing quotas on how much tobacco First Nations people can purchase. This is Indian Agent mentality. The old Indian Agent would tell us how much grain, wood, fence posts and other goods we could produce and provide for our families."
(Fewer tax-free cigarettes for First Nations, 3/24/2010)

While Health Minister Don McMorris said he understands First Nations people might be upset by the proposed change, as far as the government's concerned, it's strictly about health. "I'm going to look at what is better for the health of our general population, how to reduce some of the harmful effects of tobacco use, and that is my only goal is to reduce those harmful effects," he said. "I can understand some of their frustration, but I also understand the costs that it has to the health care system."

Donna Pasiechnik with the Canadian Cancer Society was thrilled with the government's direction. "We recognize that smoking rates are very high among First Nations people," she said. "We know the importance of price in reducing tobacco use and so no smoker was not affected by these measures today."

From a business perspective, Colin Craig, Prairie director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, also praised the government's announced intention to reduce the number of tax-free cigarettes sold on First Nations, stating, "If you can level the playing field between activities on reserve and off, I think that's a step in the right direction."

McMorris said he's "very confident" the legislation will pass.

But New Democratic Party (NDP) health critic Judy Junor wasn't enthusiastic about either the proposed legislation or the increase in tobacco tax. While she acknowledged tax increases do lead to decreased smoking, she claimed the decrease is "marginal."

"People will just do without something else," she said. "People who are truly addicted, they're going to go find another way to get the cigarettes and that will be less food, shelter costs, clothing, school supplies, whatever."

All in all, the tobacco-related changes would mean $35.7 million more in revenue for government.

Meanwhile, the beverage alcohol price increase means an estimated $18.1 million more for the province's General Revenue Fund. Effective April 1, most 750-millilitre bottles of premium spirits will go up by 50 cents; 1,140-ml bottles by 75 cents; and a dozen bottles of beer by 75 cents. Higher-end wine and spirits will also increase in price by about five per cent, although cheaper wine products (below $20) in the 750-ml size won't change in price. The alcohol price increases are the result of changes to the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority's markup structure.

Reference: Price of alcohol and cigarettes increasing in Saskatchewan, HEATHER POLISCHUK (, Leader-Post, 3/25/2010.

Saskatchewan - some related news briefs:
Saskatchewan - proposed legislation to ban people from smoking in cars carrying kids plus..;
Saskatchewan - stores mull options on tobacco law..;
Saskatchewan - new anti-tobacco legislation expected soon..;
Saskatchewan - new anti-tobacco legislation expected soon..;
Tobacco displays are on their way out in an increasing number of countries..;

Bulgaria - Italian authorities arrest 2-Bulgarians smuggling cigarettes..

March 27, 2010 - Italian customs and police authorities have arrested two Bulgarians smuggling cigarettes in their trucks.

Just a few days ago on March 13th a driver of a truck with Bulgarian registration was arrested in the Italian port of Ancona for transporting a large load of contraband cigarettes. (Bulgaria - tractor trailer loaded with contraband cigarettes seized in Ancona, Italy..)

This time a total of 11 tons of contraband cigarettes have been caught in two separate hits, Italian news agency ADN Kronos has reported. The operations took place in the Italian city of Ancona on the Adriatic. In both cases the Bulgarians were detained shortly after they got off with their trucks from the ferry boat from Greece.

In the first case, the Italian authorities captured 4 860 kg of cigarettes of the Bon International brand worth EUR 1,044 M. In the second hit, they detained 6 440 kg of the Raquel and Golden Classic brands worth EUR 1,311 M.

The shipments were destined for Germany. The identity of the Bulgarian citizens has not been reported.

Reference: Bulgarians Caught with 11 Tons of Contraband Cigarettes in Italy">,, 3/23/2010..

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgaria - tractor trailer loaded with contraband cigarettes seized in Ancona, Italy..;
Bulgaria - cigarette consumption down, cigarette tax collection up, seeking funds for technology to intercept contraband goods..;
Bulgaria - justifying why smoking ban won't go into effect on June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - Citigroup chosen as consultant for sale of Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - ruling party may delay smoking ban until 2011..;
Bulgaria - Finance Minister Djankov, "Less Smoking Is Good for Economy..";
Bulgaria - govt to weaken full smoking ban to be effective June 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - do producers support contraband cigarettes??;
Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..;
Greek Farmers Renew Bulgaria Border Blockade..;
Bulgaria - leadership of tobacco fund to be replaced..;
Bulgaria - illegal trade in cigarettes will reach 40% of total trade in 2010..;
Bulgaria - limits on personal imports of tobacco products from outside the EU..;
Bulgaria - European Commission authorizes payment to tobacco producers for 2009 crop..;
Bulgaria -two cigarette smuggling attempts busted on Serbian border..;
Bulgaria - price of cigarettes increases..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac stays in the economy ministry, sold by middle of 2010, starting price 100,000,000 euro..;
Bulgaria - tobacco producers propose Bulgartabac transfer..;
Bulgaria - government, tobacco growers reach subsidy agreement..;
Bulgaria - start of steps leading to the privatization of the state-owned cigarette monopoly Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - police hold smoking protest over lack of bonuses..;
Bulgaria - police busts major cigarette contraband ring..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding” will be privatized in 2010..;
Bulgaria - MPs Impose Hefty Fines on Cigarette Sales Violators..;
Bulgartabac Chief - cigarette tax increase as of January 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria Bulgartabac Holding Sells 23% of Shares to Mutual Funds..;
Bulgaria - more than 70% of smokers want to quit..;
Bulgaria - cigarette taxes going up each year except 2011..;
Bulgaria - chair of the economic committee in parliament disapproves of planned raise in excise duties on cigarettes..;
Bulgaria and others - smoking ban, increased cigarette taxes, smuggling..;
Bulgaria - Cigarette excise duties will be increased next year..;
Bulgaria - cigarette contraband, government loses BGN 920M yearly..;
Bulgaria - one third of the tobacco products sold are illicit..;
Bulgaria - new government to speed-up Bulgartabac sale..;
Bulgaria - Fake Victory Light cigarettes..;
Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly may be up for sale..;
Bulgarian lawmakers vote to ban smoking in all publc places from June 2010..; Bulgarian tobacco company Sofia-BT exports increase by 541 percent..;
Does Russia own Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly, Bulgartabac..;
EU percent of adults smokers -highest Greece 1 , Bulgaria 2.. - lowest Slovenia..;
Bulgaria - 1 in 3 youths smoke / half of pregnant women smoke..;
PMI training Bulgarian custom officers to stop cigarette smuggling..;
Philip Morris International (PMI) was truly happy they had been back in the Bulgarian cigarette market for a year and had already had 6.8% of market..;
WHO FCTC Protocol to Prevent Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products Won't Be Completed Until End of 2010..;
WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008..;
Bulgaria Enters 2009 with Cigarette Prices Hike...
Bulgaria is marking Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the 20th year since the internal coup at the Bulgarian Communist Party which led to the crumbling of the communist regime..


Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador class action against Imperial Tobacco rejected..

Newfoundland and Labrador Flag..
March 26, 2010 - The Newfoundland and Labrador court of appeal has ruled that a class action lawsuit claiming Imperial Tobacco used deceptive marketing cannot be pursued.

The suit argued that Imperial Tobacco incorrectly presented light and mild cigarettes as a healthy alternative to normal cigarettes.

But the court said consumers can't sue a manufacturer.

"Our [Newfoundland and Labrador] trade practices act, which is supposed to protect consumers, requires that you must be in a direct relationship, what lawyers called privity (a legally recognized relationship existing between two parties), with the person that you want to use that act to assist you to sue and that includes manufacturers," said Ches Crosbie, the lawyer leading the proposed class action suit.

“Our consumer law is the only law in the country that gives consumers no remedy against the manufacturer,” said class action lawyer Ches Crosbie. Crosbie said Wednesday, March 24th that the privity requirement doesn't exist in other provinces.

British Columbia (BC) was the first province to launch legal action against the tobacco companies. Their lawsuit was filed in 2001 to recover billions of dollars allegedly spent by the health-care system for treating “smoking-related disease”.
Since the BC lawsuit was filed, six other provinces, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, have jumped aboard the bandwagon and have passed, or are in the process of passing, legislation that will allow similar legal action in their respective jurisdictions. (Does conflict of interest jeopardize public health..,, 3/23/2010)

Imperial Tobacco is facing a similar lawsuit in British Columbia.

References: Class action against Imperial Tobacco rejected, CBC News, 3/24/2010; Appeal court nixes class action against Imperial Tobacco, The Telegram, 3/23/2010.

Related news briefs:
Ontario - launches lawsuit against Canadian tobacco manufacturers..;
Canada - tobacco companies may face C$200 billion in claims..;
Canadian Provinces fear nothing would remain if JTI settles a federal lawsuit..;
Alberta joins some other provinces in suing tobacco companies..

Lebanon - marketing tobacco products encouraged people to smoke with CNN Video....

March 26, 2010 - BEIRUT: The National Tobacco Control Program within the Health Ministry lashed out Wednesday, March 24th at the interference of advertising associations in the law proposal for tobacco control, and it blamed them for smoking-related illnesses.

“Among all countries in our region, Lebanon has among the highest rates of tobacco smoking, as well as the highest rate of cancer cases. It is specifically the tobacco industry and its partners who are to be blamed for this ongoing epidemic,” the program said in a statement.

The Lebanese Syndicate for Advertising Agencies and the International Advertising Association asked the Parliamentary Administration and Justice Committee last week to reconsider its law proposal to ban tobacco advertising, claiming the advertisement sector would be harmed.

The program responded to these claims by saying the syndicate was involved in earlier meetings about the law proposal and that tobacco advertisements only harmed the consumers.

“Advertisements should promote healthy products to the public, not [ones] that have been proven to kill over half of its users,” the statement said, noting that over 3,500 in Lebanon died yearly from smoking.

It said marketing tobacco products encouraged people to smoke, especially youth and children, and turned them into addicts. – The Daily Star

Reference: Health Ministry blames advertising for smoking illnesses by The Daily Star, 3/25/2010.

Related news briefs:
Lebanon - concerned citizens trying to introduce tobacco controls..;
Lebanon - a smokers paradise..;
BAT Middle East - conference on the illicit tobacco trade..;
American University Beirut (AUB) Lebanon and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) awarded $2.8 million from U.S. NCI to study toxin exposure and hea; Read more...

United Kingdom - budget 2010 released - new taxes on tobacco..

March 26, 2010 - The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, has delivered his last budget (UK Budget on 24 March 2010) before the next UK General Election. (The next United Kingdom general election is due to take place on or before 3 June 2010, barring exceptional circumstances. As a general election, it will see voting take place in all constituencies of the United Kingdom, to elect Members of Parliament (MPs) to seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Chancellor announced that tobacco duty will increase from today, March 24th by 1 percent above inflation and then increase by 2 percent in real terms each year until 2014. (Tobacco duty rates will increase by 1 per cent above inflation from today and by 2 per cent above inflation for the next four years.)

Cigarettes, 15p, packet of 20; Cigars, 6p, packet of 5; Hand-rolling tobacco, 15p,
25g; Other smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco, 9p, 25g of pipe tobacco.

Extra tax - From January 1 next year, every additional 3cm (1.18 inches), or part thereof, beyond this length will be treated as another cigarette. This means that an 11cm cigarette will be treated as two cigarettes, while a 12cm (4.72 inches) cigarette will be counted as three. The Treasury said the move was "a technical change" targeted at tax avoidance.

Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) chief executive Deborah Arnott said: "The 15p rise in tobacco tax will encourage some adults to quit but is unlikely to have as strong an impact as a price rise of 5% or more above inflation would have had.
"However, we are encouraged by the commitment to raise tobacco taxes in future years and urge whichever party that wins the general election to adopt this strategy. Raising the price of tobacco is one of the most effective ways of reducing smoking."

Tobacco Manufacturers' Association chief executive Christopher Ogden said: "On January 1 the Government imposed the largest tax increase on tobacco products in ten years and now, less than three months later, taxes are to rise again. "We question why Treasury would impose a substantial increase in such a short period, when latest HM Revenue & Customs figures show that up to 24% of the cigarette market and 63% of the handrolling market still avoids UK duty, costing the Treasury as much as £11 million per day in lost revenue. "Today's announcement will only provide further stimulus to those who seek to profit from the illicit trade in tobacco."

References: Budget 2010 - alcohol and tobacco, Published: Wednesday, 24 March 2010; Budget measures 'piling misery on pubs', Posted by The Independent by Josie Clarke, Press Association, 3/24/2010; Extra tax makes smoking long cigarettes a drag.

New York City - federal judge rejects plaintiffs attempt to stop the law that blocks the sale of flavored tobacco products..

March 26, 2010 - In an order dated Monday, March 22nd and made public Tuesday, March 23rd, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan has rejected a move to temporarily stop the implementation of a new law restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products in New York City. The judge rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Manufacturing Company LLC, the maker of moist smokeless products Skoal and Copenhagen, and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands Inc. Both companies are part of Altria Group Inc. (MO).

On Wednesday October 28, 2009, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed legislation on to prohibit the sale of most forms of flavored tobacco products in New York City. The new law is more extensive than the federal Food and Drug Administration’s ban on candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes, which took effect last month. (New York City - ban on flavored tobacco products becomes law..)

A legal challenge was filed Dec. 28, 2009, by U.S Smokeless Tobacco Manufacturing Co. LLC and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands Inc. (USST), both Altria subsidiaries. The companies seek to enjoin [for a court to order that someone either do a specific act, cease a course of conduct or be prohibited from committing a certain act] the City of New York from imposing tobacco product standards for smokeless and certain other types of "flavored tobacco products," as outlined in an ordinance signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Oct. 28, 2009. (U.S. Smokeless Tobacco seeks to enjoin the City of New York from imposing tobacco product standards..

In response to the suit, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, health care advocates and several members of the City Council gathered at City Hall to let “big tobacco” know they wouldn’t be backing down, settling or negotiating anytime soon. (NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..)

The tobacco companies had argued in part that the federal Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) pre-empts local laws that establish a product standard with respect to characterizing flavors in cigarettes and delegates authority for adopting additional tobacco product standard to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

"Plaintiffs' gloss on the FSPTCA overlooks several of the Act's key provisions, the lack of an actual conflict between the federal and local law, and the judicial presumption against preemption in matters of health and safety, " the judge said. "Therefore, the Court finds it highly unlikely that plaintiffs will ultimately prevail on the merits, and their motion for a preliminary injunction is denied."

In October 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an ordinance into law that bans the sale of flavored tobacco products, other than cigarettes. Flavored tobacco products can be sold in tobacco bars in the city, of which there are a limited number.

The smokeless tobacco maker sued in December.

The city law describes a "characterizing flavor" as a "distinguishable taste or aroma, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen, imparted either prior to or during consumption of a tobacco product or component part thereof, including, but not limited to, tastes or aromas relating to any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb or spice."

The ordinance had been set to go into affect Feb. 25.

"The court correctly upheld this important new law," said New York City Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo in a statement. "Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council and the Health Department have made huge strides in working to protect the health of New Yorkers, and we applaud Judge McMahon for her common- sense ruling."

A lawyer for the tobacco companies didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reference: Judge Rejects Bid To Stop NYC Ban On Flavored Tobacco Products by Chad Bray ( Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 3/26/2010.

NYC directly related:
New York City - moving closer to closing a nighclub that flouted smoking ban..;
New York City - VIDEO: starting March 1, 2010 stores, anti-smoking signs..;
NYC Lawsuit against Online Cigarette Vendor Dismissed..;
NY City - smokers kicking the addiction and living longer than ever..;
NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..;
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...

FDA - First Meeting of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee will be webcast..

March 26, 2010 - The first meeting of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC), will focus on the impact on public health of the use of menthol in cigarettes.

The meeting will be held at the National Transportation Safety Board Conference Center in Washington, DC, on March 30 and 31.

The meeting will be open to the public and will be webcast through a link available at from March 30.

Further information is available at Materials/TobaccoProductsScientificAdvisory Committee/default.htm.

Reference: FDA menthol meeting to be webcast, Tobacco Reporter, 3/26/2010.

Lorillard Tobacco - Dr. Heck non-voting member of FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee..

March 25, 2010 - Lorillard Tobacco Company today, March 24th issued the following statement after notification that Dr. J. Daniel Heck, the company's principal scientist, will serve as a non-voting representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry on the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration.

As required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“Tobacco Act”), FDA has established the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (“TPSAC”). (FDA - Roster of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee..)

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee consists of 12 members, including the Chair to be selected by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, from among experts knowledgeable in the fields of medicine, medical ethics, science, or technology involving the manufacture, evaluation or use of tobacco products. There will be nine voting and three non-voting members. Of the nine voting members, seven will be health care professionals practicing in the area of oncology, pulmonology, cardiology, toxicology, pharmacology, addiction, or any other relevant specialty. One member will be an officer or employee of a state or local government or the federal government, and the final member will be a representative of the general public.

The three non-voting members were to be identified with industry interests. These members will include one representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry, one representative of the tobacco growers, and one representative of the small business manufacturing industry. (FDA Moves Forward on Implementation of Tobacco Law..

The first meeting of TPSAC is March 30, 31, 2010.

"With the full membership of the TPSAC now in place, Lorillard looks forward to working with the Committee and contributing to its scientific review of menthol and other topics," the company said. "Lorillard remains confident that a serious examination of menthol science will show that the best available science does not support an assertion that menthol impacts public health. The committee's decision regarding menthol in tobacco is extremely important to Lorillard. Newport, the best selling menthol cigarette in the U.S, gives Lorillard 94% of its revenue, 92% of its volumes, 34% share of all menthol cigarette sales in the US, as well as an overall domestic tobacco market share of 10%. (Lorillard - essentially a one-product company - Newport cigarettes..)

"Dr. Heck has more than 30 years of professional experience in research and a strong record of peer-reviewed articles and studies," the company added. "We are honored that he will serve as the representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry on the Committee, and we are confident his expertise will contribute to a fair hearing that is grounded in good science that advances public policy."

Dr. Heck's most recent manuscript, a comprehensive review of the use of menthol as a cigarette flavoring, was published in the January 2010 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Dr. Heck earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. He has served as Principal Scientist at Lorillard since 2003.

Dr. Heck is a Diplomate to the American Board of Toxicology and a member of the Society of Toxicology. He has served and continues to serve on numerous professional committees, including the Safety Evaluation Coordinating Committee of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) of the United States and the Cigarettes Ingredients Scientific Panel. Dr. Heck also peer reviews manuscripts for many prominent publications, including Toxicological Sciences and Food and Chemical Toxicology, and also serves on the editorial board of Inhalation Toxicology and Beiträge zur Tabakforschung International.

Reference: Lorillard Tobacco's Principal Scientist to Represent Tobacco Industry on FDA's Scientific Advisory Committee, SOURCE Lorillard, Inc., PR Newswire, 3/24/2010.

Florida - jury awards $26.6 million to smoker's widow ..

March 25, 2010 - A Florida jury ordered R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris on Wednesday, March 24th to pay $26.6 million to the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer, the latest verdict against cigarette makers in the "Engle progeny" lawsuits. Background: The original Florida lawsuit was filed in 1994 by a Miami Beach pediatrician, Dr. Howard Engle, who had smoked for decades and couldn't quit. The class of smokers was estimated at up to 700,000 when the giant $145 billion award was issued in 2000. (Dr. Howard A. Engle, the veteran pediatrician who lent his name to a landmark class action suit against Big Tobacco, dies..

The Broward County Circuit Court jury in Fort Lauderdale issued the verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Robin Cohen, whose husband Nathan died of a smoking-related illness in 1994 at age 68. The jury awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and divided the blame for Nathan Cohen's death equally at one-third for Altria Group (MO.N) unit Philip Morris, one third for Reynolds American unit R.J. Reynolds and one-third for Cohen himself.

The panel also awarded $20 million in punitive damages, or $10 million for each of the two cigarette companies. That puts the total at $26.6 million, or $13.3 million for each company, if the verdict is upheld on appeal.

Philip Morris said it would appeal on grounds that the trial court improperly eliminated most of the plaintiff's burden of proof. Maura Payne, a spokeswoman for R.J. Reynolds, said it too intended to appeal. "We're disappointed in the verdict," said Payne.

The "Engle progeny" cases stem from Engle versus R.J. Reynolds, a landmark class-action lawsuit filed against cigarette makers in 1994. In 2000, a Florida jury found that cigarettes cause lung cancer and other illness, and ordered the tobacco companies to pay a record $145 billion in punitive damages to sick smokers.

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the award and decertified the original class of about 700,000 Florida smokers but said individual cases could proceed. Thousands of such cases are working their way through the courts. (Cigarette Makers Face Thousands of New Florida Lawsuits..)

Jury verdicts have been reached in 13 Engle progeny cases in the last 13 months, and plaintiffs have won 11 of them, counting the Cohen case, said Edward Sweda, a senior attorney for the anti-smoking Tobacco Products Liability Project.

"We anticipate even more victories for plaintiffs in these Florida lawsuits in the coming weeks and months," Sweda said.

Philip Morris spokesman Murray Garnick said all of the cases that have gone to trial since the Florida Supreme Court's decision raise similar constitutional issues because the trial courts have allowed the findings of an earlier jury to excuse plaintiffs from proving their claims.

"We will seek further review of this verdict because this jury was allowed to rely on findings by a prior jury that are totally unrelated to the individual smoker in this case in violation of Florida law and due process," Garnick said in a prepared statement. (Reporting by Jane Sutton, editing by Matthew Lewis)

Reference: UPDATE 1-Florida jury awards $26.6 million to smoker's widow Cigarette makers say they intend to appeal verdict, by Jane Sutton (reporting by Jane Sutton, editing by Matthew Lewis), 3/25/2010.

Some related news briefs in Florida:
Florida - 9 year old case, appeals court upholds $24.8 million award..;
Florida - $300 million jury award to former smoker overturned..;
Florida - jury awards $300 million in ex-smoker's suit..;
Florida - tobacco companies ask court to block ruling..;
Florida - plaintiff drops case to avoid paying legal fees for Philip Morris USA..;
R.J. Reynolds to appeal plaintiff's award of $30 million..;
R.J. Reynolds loses Florida court trial - widow gets $30 million..;
Broward County Florida jury awards widow of smoker $1.5 million..

Provo, Utah - county warns about dangers of dissolvable tobacco products..

March 25, 2010 - Provo » After adopting a ban on smoking in public parks, the Utah County Health Department is turning its attention to tobacco lozenges.

Kari Schmidt, with the department's promotions division, said the department will work on a public-education campaign targeting dissolvable tobacco products, such as Camel Orbs. The products look like lozenges, breath strips or candy sticks, yet contain up to three times the amount of nicotine found in a cigarette.

Schmidt told the Utah County Board of Health this week that an effort to regulate the products, which are packaged like candy or mints, failed to pass the legislature.

Health officials say the products are the tobacco industry's latest attempt to hook people as smoking itself becomes restricted or socially unacceptable. The new products, Schmidt said, appear to be targeted at youth.

Aside from having some of the same health risks and addictive qualities of cigarettes, the lozenges also pose a threat to infants and toddlers who may mistake them for candy, Schmidt said. She said five sticks contain enough nicotine to kill a 1-year-old child. (Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity..)

Schmidt passed out containers of the lozenges to give board members a chance to see them. "These don't smell like tobacco," said Utah County Commissioner Gary J. Anderson, after sniffing some of the lozenges. Products look like Tic Tacs

1.1.1 Protect public health, safety and general welfare by prohibiting smoking in
OUTDOOR PUBLIC PLACES under circumstances where other persons will be exposed
Utah Code Annotated, 2008

Reference: County warns about tobacco 'candy' by Donald W. Meyers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3/24/2010.

Other Utah news briefs:
Utah - lawmakers approve one dollar increase in tax on a pack of cigarettes - now measure goes to governor..;
Utah - increase tobacco excise tax by $1.00 - we doubt it will happen..;
Proposal to increase Utah cigarette tax falters..;
Utah - philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., supports big boost in tobacco tax..;
Utah Bars Go Smokefree January 1, 2009..;
Utah moves from a tax based on the percentage of sales price to one based on the weight - independent of price of smokeless tobacco product..


Scotland - government no plans to ban smoking in cars and public places used by children..

March 25, 2010 - The Scottish government [Holyrood, can be substituted for the Scottish Parliament] said there were currently no plans to ban smoking in private cars and public areas used by children. The comments came in a response to a report by the Royal College of Physicians. It said smoking in cars was an "important and persistent" factor in exposing children to cigarette smoke. Campaign group Forest, which opposes smoking bans, said such moves would be unacceptable and unenforceable.

Royal College of Physicians report concluded: banning smoking in cars would be "the simplest means" of preventing children from being exposed to dangerous tobacco smoke in vehicles. Dr Neil Dewhurst, president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE), said: "Passive smoking (second hand smoke, shs, sidestream smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, ets, involuntary smoking) exposure levels in children have fallen by 40% in Scotland since the introduction of smoke-free legislation, but exposure levels in children of smokers remain high and demand further legislative action. (Scotland - Definite Health Benefits of Smoking Bans..)

Dr. Dewhurst: "We fully endorse today's report which calls for an extension of smoke-free legislation throughout the UK in order to include public areas frequented by children and in cars. The evidence is compelling. Passive smoking exposure significantly increases the risk of a range of diseases in children."

While there are currently no plans to extend the smoke-free laws to private cars, the Scottish Government is conscious that private cars are now one of the main places for exposure of children to second-hand smoke.

Dr Dewhurst said Scotland had led the UK (United Kingdom) in the introduction of smoke-free legislation and he called on the Scottish government to extend this legislation as a matter of priority.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "The successful implementation of the smoke-free legislation has undoubtedly reduced exposure to second-hand smoke among children in Scotland, partly as a result of the greater awareness among their parents and those close to them about the risks of second-hand smoke. "In conjunction with our health improvement partners, we are continuing to do all we can to highlight the risks posed by second-hand smoke."

Reference: 'No plans' to ban smoking in cars, BBC News, 3/24/2010.

Scotland - related news briefs:
Scotland - smokers will be banned from fostering or adopting children, comments from Professor Banzhaf..;
Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..;
Scotland - health minister urges smokers to quit..;
Scotland - some men beginning to lead a healthier lifestyle and therefore living longer..;
Scotland - self-reporting of smoking by pregnant women underestimates true number of pregnant smokers..;
Scotland - tobacco firms claim proposed display ban is unnecessary..;
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicans most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
Scotland - small businesses given extra 2-years to remove tobacco displays..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
Bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban..;
17 countries in the world ban indoor smoking - ENFORCEMENT..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
Definite Health Benefits of Smoking Bans..;
Northern Ireland raising age for sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 joining the other three United Kingdom (UK) countries..;
Scotland proposes to implement more measures to discourage tobacco use including the banning of tobacco displays..;
Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products...


Massachusetts - YOUTH - cigars and smokeless tobacco use surpasses cigarettes..


March 25, 2010 - For the first time in Massachusetts history, the number of youths smoking cigarettes was surpassed by those who smoke cigars or use smokeless tobacco, prompting lawmakers and public health advocate to call for immediate policy changes.

“Smokeless tobacco is really the next wave,” said Rep. Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham), who led legislative efforts to impose a $1-a-pack cigarette tax increase in 2008.
“This is happening because the tobacco industry is sneaky,” said John Auerbach, commissioner of public health, at a rally with Massachusetts high school students Thursday at the Grand Staircase.

According to a new Department of Health (DPH) report, use of smokeless tobacco and cigars among high school students has climbed each year since 2003, reaching 17.6 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, cigarette use among high school students fell to 16 percent in 2009, declining from a peak of 35.7 percent in 1995.

Gov. Deval Patrick proposed in his fiscal 2011 budget extending the state’s cigarette tax to cigars and smokeless tobacco, which he estimate would generate $15 million.

“The new cigarette excise rate passed by the Legislature in 2008 did not apply to these other tobacco products,” according to administration budget documents. “We cannot justify this distinction in view of the important health and revenue benefits.”

Under the governor’s proposal, the funds would be directed to support subsidized health care for low-income residents.

Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington), told attendees of the afternoon event that he started an anti-tobacco club in high school, and he encouraged other students to do the same.

“Big Tobacco has a lot of money. They’ve been creating new imaging and new packaging that almost makes their products look like Tic Tacs,” he said. “It’s a product that causes cancer. It’s a product that rips our families and communities apart. We are here to spread the word ... Big Tobacco will not trick the kids throughout our commonwealth.”

Speaker Robert DeLeo has said the House budget for next fiscal year will not include new taxes.

Boston's ban on blunt wraps stands..;
Boston - NO Tobacco Products Sold - Pharmacies/College Campuses..

Reference: Report: Smokeless tobacco, cigars outpace youth cigarette smoking by State House News Service, Boston, 3/24/2010.

Massachusetts - some related news briefs:
Successful Massachusetts tobacco cessation program gets national attention..;
Massachusettes - lower income smokers giving up their nicotine addiction..;
Massachusettes - smoker loses job and then loses in federal court..;
Massachusetts - smokeless tobacco purchasers settle class action suit..;
Boston's ban on blunt wraps stands..;
Boston - NO Tobacco Products Sold - Pharmacies/College Campuses..;
Massachusetts cigarette tax jumps $1 per pack..;
Massachusetts (MA) Likely to Increase Tobacco tax..;
Massachusettes - Smoking ban drop in fatal heart attacks..;

Malaysia - new strategy to penalize retailers who sell contraband cigarettes..

Logo Malaysian Custom Dept.
March 24, 2010 - KUCHING: A new strategy to penalise retailers who sell contraband (illegal, illicit, smuggled) cigarettes has been employed to curb a growing problem in Malaysia. Instead of only issuing the retailers with compound notices, the Customs Department will now arrest them and bring them to court under the ‘Ops Outlet’ programme that was launched last month. “Only a few cases were brought to court last year, whereas in the first two months of this year, more than 100 cases have been brought to court,” said the department’s deputy director-general Datuk Mohamed Khalid Yusuf.

Retailers who sell contraband cigarettes will be fined 10 times the value of cigarettes seized from them upon conviction.

“Currently in Peninsular Malaysia, one out of three cigarette packs sold in the market is illegal, whereas in Sabah and Sarawak, two out of three cigarette packs sold in the market are illegal,” Khalid told reporters after opening the 12th meeting of the Asean (Member Countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations) Single Window (ASW) working group here yesterday.

Khalid said that the new strategy was aimed at breaking the supply chain of this growing smuggling industry. The department believed that smokers would not buy contraband cigarettes if they were not easily available in the market.

The department seized contraband cigarettes with a market value of RM70mil in 2009, an increase of about RM12mil compared to 2008. In the first two months of 2010, contraband cigarettes worth RM17mil were confiscated. Most of the cigarettes were smuggled from neighbouring countries and are imitation products made in China. Other than illegal cigarettes, the smuggling of liquor, beer, vehicles and drugs also topped the department’s list.

Khalid said the department was concerned about the number of foreigners caught for drug smuggling. He said 46 people were arrested last year with drugs valued at RM64.7mil seized; 40 of them were from India, Iran, Pakistan and Japan. “All 14 people arrested this year were foreigners; they were from Iran, Thailand, Nigeria and New Guinea and RM26.4mil worth of drugs were seized,” said Khalid.

Asean country representatives are discussing technical matters on the establishment of the Asean Single Window (ASW), which is to be completed before 2015.

Reference: Customs Dept: Those found selling contraband cigarettes will be taken to court by NG AI FERN (, theStar, 3/24/2010.

Malaysia - related news briefs:
Malaysia - youth and student smokers may not receive aid from government..;
Malaysia - two tobacco control regulations starting January 1, 2010..

Malaysia - about 368,000 teenager smokers in the country, 50-60 added per day..;
Malaysia - sale of cigarettes in packets of less than 20 prohibited as of June 1, 2010..;
Malaysia - stepping up efforts to curb the trade in illicit cigarettes..;
Malaysia - BAT plans to dispose of a parcel of industrial land..;
Malaysia - ban on cigarette sponsorship for sports will not be withdrawn..;
Malaysia - cigarette-shaped sweets packaged like cigarettes;
Malaysia - Penang consumer group ban cheap cigarettes and increase price on premium..;
Malaysia - Kelantin State Government may not promote staff who smoke..;
Malaysia - excise duty increased on tobacco - another increase could be coming this month..;
Malaysia - smoking limits your quality of life..;
Malaysia - smoking civil servants in Penang to receive free nicotine treatment..;
Malaysia - illicit cigarettes, BAT wants government to slow excise duty increases..;
Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
Malaysia student forced to smoke 40 cigarettes in two hours..
Malaysia - PSD and Cuepacs are at odds over the no-smoking rule at government de­­partments and agencies..;
Malaysia: Are tobacco control measures working? - WHO thinks so...;
Malaysia - slowdown in cigarette consumption..;
Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings..;
Malaysia to hike cigarette prices..;
Malaysia - 25% of all cigarettes sales are illegal...Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
Malaysia student forced to smoke 40 cigarettes in two hours..
Malaysia - PSD and Cuepacs are at odds over the no-smoking rule at government de­­partments and agencies..;
Malaysia: Are tobacco control measures working? - WHO thinks so...;
Malaysia - slowdown in cigarette consumption..;
Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings..;
Malaysia to hike cigarette prices..;
Malaysia - 25% of all cigarettes sales are illegal...

South Korea - streets and parks of Seoul City could be designated as non-smoking areas.

March 24, 2010 - The 21 members of the Seoul Metropolitan Council proposed an ordinance to prohibit smoking on streets and in parks and plazas within the capital. (The administrative organization of the City of Seoul is divided into the Seoul Metropolitan Government, which acts as the executive branch, and the Seoul Metropolitan Council, which acts as the legislative body.)

"I suggested the bill to protect pregnant women and children from second-hand smoke on streets and at other public spaces," Park Hee-sung, a city councilor, said. "It also secures the right to smoke by designating smoking areas."

According to a survey by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs last year, nearly 60 percent of respondents complained about second-hand smoke in public areas. More than 66 percent had complaints about second-hand smoke on streets and 62 percent in restaurants.

The bill would affect public areas such as streets, parks, plazas and outside of municipal buildings. These areas would be required to set up a separate smoking section.

It would also provide incentives to companies participating in non-smoking campaigns. For example, eateries and cab companies working to reduce second-hand smoke would receive tax incentives.

The bill will be discussed in the extraordinary session of the municipal council in June. If passed, the ordinance would take effect from January 2011, fining violators up to 20,000 won.

Reference: Seoul to Ban Smoking in Public Places by Kwon Mee-yoo Staff Reporter, The Korea Times, 3/22/2010.

South Korea - some related news briefs:
PMI - slide presentation South Korean Cigarette Market..;
South Korea - KT&G forms alliance with Imperial Tobacco Group..;
South Korea - more smokers in 2009 than in 2008..;
South Korea - remote island going smoke-free, car-free and night lights-free..;
South Korea - Stressed-out Koreans smoking more..;
South Korea - to ban smoking in public places from 2011..;
Korea - BAT - winning the hearts and minds of customers based on tactics tailored to local tastes..;
Korea - sets target to reduce smoking 10% in 5-years..;
Korea - stricter regulation of the tobacco industry coming..;
South Korea - tobacco imports surge 396-fold over 10-years..;
Korea - slight increase in men smoking.. ;
South Korea - anti-tobacco campaign - body painting..;
Korea - smoking ban just about everywhere by end of 2009..;
Tobacco marketing in South Korea has been deliberately aimed at girls and young women..;
Korea - smoking rates fall for men and women...


U.S. FDA Center for Tobacco Products seeking opinions on dissolvable products..

March 24, 2010 - The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products will, over the next several months, open through the Federal Register a series of what it calls dockets to solicit information on a number of issues related to the implementation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. A docket is defined as a collection of documents, often available for public review, that stores information related to rule making or other action.

At present, the Center has established a public docket so that interested parties can ‘share information, research, and ideas on how use of dissolvable tobacco products may impact public health, including such use among children.


NAME: Impact of Dissolvable Tobacco Use on Public Health; Request for Comments

ACTION: Notice; request for comments
Docket No. Docket No. FDA–2010–N–012

CLOSE DATE: September 18, 2010

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is establishing a public docket to provide an opportunity for interested parties to share information, research, and ideas on how
use of dissolvable tobacco products may impact public health, including such use among children. This information will be used to support the work of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, which is charged with evaluating this issue.

SUBMISSIONS: Submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov2. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

CONTACT: Kathleen K. Quinn, 240-276-1717,

‘This information will be used to support the work of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, which is charged with evaluating this issue,’ the Center says.

For further information about the docket..

Previously, on February 1, 2010, FDA Center for Tobacco Products sent letter to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., maker of Camel cigarettes and the smaller Star Scientific Inc. voicing concern over dissolvable smokeless tobacco products that are consumed like breath mints. The Center is concerned that children and adolescents may find dissolvable tobacco products particularly appealing, given the brightly colored packaging, candy-like appearance and easily concealable size of many of these products," Dr. Lawrence Deyton, director of the Center for Tobacco Products, told the companies. The FDA in the letters are asking both manufacturers for extensive information on research and marketing practices for the products. Star Scientific and Reynolds have two months to respond. (U.S. FDA - concerned that dissolvable tobacco products could draw in children and teenagers..)

This is our chance to get these products off the market or at least make them less appealing by having all flavoring removed. (STOP the Release of Dissolvable Tobacco Products..)

Two U.S. senators (Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Sherrod Brown) have labeled as "tobacco candy" the three dissolvable products being test marketed by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The senators say that the dissolvable products are aimed at getting youths hooked on tobacco and nicotine. They said that some of the products are sold in containers "designed to resemble cell phones." "There is no doubt that smokeless tobacco products are aimed squarely at children," Brown said. "We have a responsibility to protect children from suggestive marketing and dangerous products."
(U.S. - snuff out dissolvable smokeless-tobacco products before they can get a toehold..)

Remember what UST's former salesman Bob Beets, said, "Cherry Skoal (moist snuff) for somebody who likes the taste of candy, if you know what I mean."

"Our Highest Priority Has To Be Keeping Children From Beginning To Use Tobacco Products" Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the USA.

Czech Republic - some restaurants go smoke free as of July 1, 2010..

March 24, 2010 - Smoking is already banned on trains, trams and buses, and is increasingly rare in the workplace. But pubs, restaurants and cafes are still overwhelmingly smoker-friendly. From July 1st they’ll be obliged to put a sticker on the door to say whether the establishment is smoking, non-smoking or mixed with a separate smoke-free room. Analysts predict that most will choose the first option, in a bid not to lose customers. (Czech Republic - crackdown on tobacco use long way off..)

Smoking will not be allowed in more than half of restaurants in Prague and also in a vast majority of Czech luxurious restaurants as of July in connection with a new law, Pavel Hlinka, Czech Hotels and Restaurants Association, told yesterday's issue of the daily Pravo.

As of July, Czech restaurant owners must decide whether they allow or ban smoking in their facilities. They also can have separate smoking and non-smoking rooms that are not connected.

Hlinka said village pubs where men play cards over a beer and cigarette rather than eat a meal will allow smoking. He claimed that it would destroy many marriages if men were not allowed to smoke in village pubs because they would relax at home, smoking and drinking. People in more expensive village restaurants often do not smoke even now, he told the paper. He said most hotels already banned smoking some time ago because their guests prefer a no-smoking environment.

Reference: Právo: Most restaurants smoke-free by July, Prague Daily Monitor, 3/16/2010.

Related news brief:
Czech Republic - Philip Morris decides not to pass on tax increase to smokers..;
Czech Republic - crackdown on tobacco use long way off..;
Czech Republic - new penal code weakens laws against illegal cigartte production..;
Czech Republic - pubs and restaurants allow smoking or Do NOT allow smoking..;
Czech children worst in cigarette smoking in world..;
Czech Republic - Philip Morris profits dropping 2-years in a row..

Reynolds American CEO Susan Ivey made $16.2 million in 2009..

March 24, 2010 - Reynolds American Inc.(RAI) CEO Susan M. Ivey made $16.2 million last year, about 84 percent more than the previous year (Ivey's compensation was valued at $8.8 million in 2008) as the nation's second-biggest tobacco company struggled with declines in cigarette demand, according to a calculation by The Associated Press based on government filings. Ms. Ivey has been President and Chief Executive Officer of RAI since January 2004, and was elected the Chairman of the Board of RAI effective January 1, 2006.

Last year, the maker of Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes, and Kodiak and Grizzly smokeless tobacco saw its profit fall about 28 percent as revenue fell by 4.8 percent. The cigarette maker raised prices to offset sales volume declines it blamed on the economy and a 62-cents-per-pack federal tax increase that began in April. During the year, Reynolds dealt with several factors that contributed to a sales decline. Some were related to consumers smoking less and buying discount brands in response to higher state and federal excise taxes, and also having less disposable income.

In 2009 R.J. Reynolds’ total cigarette volume declined 8.7%, compared with the industry decline of 8.6%. With respect to cigarette market share, R.J. Reynolds’ full year share was essentially flat at 28.3%, as overall growth brand gains largely offset declines in support and non-support brands. (Highlights - Reynolds American Inc. q4 2009 and full year earnings..)

More information on Susan Ivey..

Reynolds' Ivey Made $16.2 Million in 2009 Cigarette maker Reynolds American CEO Ivey's compensation jumps to $16.2 million in 2009
by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, AP Tobacco Writer, Associated Press, 3/22/2010; Top Reynolds American executive gets big bump in compensation by Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 3/22/2010.

Senior British Doctors demand banning smoking in vehicles when children are present..

March 24, 2010 - Twenty of Britain’s most senior doctors call today for a ban on smoking in cars as part of a sweeping expansion of laws to protect children against the effects of inhaling smoke. Writing in a letter to The Times, the doctors argue for more anti-smoking legislation to address the serious health problems caused by passive smoking (second hand smoke, SHS, sidestream smoke, environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, involuntary smoking).

The signatories, including 13 presidents of medical royal colleges, urge the Government to bring in laws prohibiting all smoking in vehicles and in public places visited by young people such as parks and playgrounds.

The letter recommends a comprehensive strategy to cut adult smoking and children’s smoke exposure outside and inside the home. About two million children are exposed to cigarette smoke at home, with a child twice as likely to take up the habit if a close family member smokes.

The doctors say that the national strategy must include tobacco price rises, media campaigns, more effective health warnings and better provision of smoking cessation services.

A report today by the Royal College of Physicians warns of the toll on health and the NHS caused by passive smoking. It concludes that more than 300,000 GP (general practitioners) appointments and 9,500 hospital admissions a year are caused by the effects of smoke on children, costing the NHS about £23 million (34,328,825.41 USD). Paediatric health problems attributable to second-hand smoke include 20,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infection, 120,000 cases of middle-ear disease and 200 cases of bacterial meningitis, it estimates. About 40 sudden infant deaths are also caused by passive smoking annually.

The doctors writing in The Times point to the report’s evidence of passive smoking “as a major cause of death and disease in children [which can] be avoided entirely”.
They argue: “Smoke-free legislation needs to be extended much more widely, to include public places visited by children and young people, and including prohibition of all smoking in cars and other vehicles. As doctors we call on the Government to take the necessary action to protect our children’s future.”

The report’s authors, the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians, concluded that laws banning smoking in enclosed public places, introduced in Scotland in 2006 and the rest of the UK in 2007, had been highly effective. But there were “still gaps that needed to be closed”.

The change in the law was supposed to cover vehicles used for work but it was rarely enforced, the group said. A total ban would address the problem, and ensure all children were protected. However, it remains unclear how rigorously police officers would enforce any change to criminalise all motorists and passengers who smoke.

John Britton, the report’s lead author, said that new measures could include banning parents from smoking at school gates, but added that it would be difficult to legislate for situations such as family parties in private gardens. “This report isn’t just about protecting children from passive smoking, it’s about taking smoking completely out of children’s lives. Adults need to think about who’s seeing them smoke.”

Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, said that the report was very valuable and would be considered in the Department of Health review of the legislation in England this year.

ASH calls for a debate in England on banning smoking in all cars with kids present.., October 8, 2008.

The Welsh Assembly Government said it had commissioned a tobacco control group to advise specifically on how to protect children, while a Scottish Government spokeswoman said it was conscious smoking in cars was a source of exposure that needed highlighting but had no plans for a ban. Northern Ireland is to conduct its own review.

Simon Clark, of Forest, which campaigns for smokers' rights, questioned the figures used in the report, noting that cases of asthma had been rising as the number of smokers had fallen.

References: Leading doctors call for ban on smoking in cars, Sam Lister, Health Editor,, 3/24/2010; Ban smoking in all vehicles, doctors demand - Listen, to audio presentations.. by Clare Murphy Health reporter, BBC News, 3/24/2010 -

A few related news briefs:
England - decline in kids secondhand smoke exposure - we can do better..;
New Study - children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke..;
Victoria, Australia - ban from smoking in cars when children under 18 are present comes into force January 1, 2010..;
United Kingdom - aggressive anti-smoking campaign to protect children..;
United Kingdom - public smoking ban does not lead to more smoking at home..;
Queensland, Australia - January 1, 2010 start of law banning smoking in cars carrying children..;
Finland may ban smoking in cars carrying children..;
Children - exposed to cigarette smoke in cars have greater chance of respiratory distress..;
Israel - may initiate a bill to bar smoking in vehicles with kids.. Do it for YURI..;
More evidence - vehicles most dangerous space for second-hand smoke inhalation..;
New South Wales politician smoking comment totally inaccurate..;
World Asthma Awareness Day..;
Further evidence - STOP smoking in the presence of your children..;
Ireland - ban smoking in cars when kids are present..;
Ontario law banning smoking in cars with children takes effect ..;
Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present..;
Ban on smoking in cars when children are present..;

Finland - parliament will soon vote on anti-smoking bill..

March 23, 2010 - The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, in 2004 became the world’s first tobacco-free country. As we reported back in January 2010, Finland aims to be the first country to try to create legislation to end smoking altogether. This spring Parliament will vote on an anti-smoking bill, which is expected to grab headlines worldwide. The passage of time has changed views on smoking. Now Finnish lawmakers plan to take the offensive in the fight against smoking by introducing legislation to prevent people from lighting up. (Finland - anti-smoking bill will end smoking altogether..; Finland - to end the consumption of tobacco products by 2040..)

Just the thought of such an intention has the tobacco industry fuming. They are most annoyed with 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. Tobacco giant Philip Morris Finland has already lodged a complaint about the matter with the Chancellor of Justice. ”The goals and methods of the anti-smoking bill are unrealistic… The proposed legislation could have unanticipated repercussions, and naturally we cannot support such initiatives,” declared Marju Vähimaa, CEO of Philip Morris Finland. The industry, which is dominated in Finland by British American Tobacco, Phillip Morris International and Imperial Tobacco, believes the smoke-free goal is unrealistic and constitutional problems need to be resolved.

The opening paragraph from the Tobacco Act of 2009, currently being discussed by Finland’s parliament: The aim of this act is the cessation of the use of tobacco products that are addictive and include toxic substances.” It is a bill comprising a series of the toughest anti-tobacco legislations known and is part of Finland’s vision of becoming the first non-smoking country in the world. It has gone further than any other country has been prepared to go in Europe and this has certainly caught the attention of the industry.

Finland has been a forerunner in regulation – it banned direct tobacco advertising in 1976 and forbad smoking in work places in 1995. The Tobacco Act was proposed in October 2009 and includes the banning of tobacco product displays and any remnant of brand trademarks.

Retail display bans may be nothing new but on this occasion it will be a blanket ban, where the customer will have to ask at the counter for tobacco products and then choose from a list provided by the retailer. In Finland, tobacco cannot be sold to anyone under 18 and it is also illegal to be in possession of tobacco at that age. Prohibitions on smoking are to be extended to areas where children and young people are present. Smoking in vehicles will also be banned when a minor under 18 is present as well as in joint facilities on housing estates.

The proposal also states that lighting up in hotel rooms will be permitted in only some of the rooms; in addition, smoking at events and conventions that are organised to take place outdoors is also on the blacklist and will be banned.

It does not stop there. Vending machines selling cigarettes will be outlawed and the sale and supplying of snuff is to be illegal. Prison sentences of up to six months will be introduced for the contravention [violation] of any of laws regulating tobacco sales and the same maximum sentence will apply to the breaking of prohibitive laws regarding underage smoking.

Euromonitor - Tobacco in Finland, October 2009..

See reference in regard to the resistance from the tobacco industry..

Reference: PMI calls for halt to Finland’s tobacco act,Tobacco Reporter, 3/22/2010; Finland - Europe’s next Bhutan? Finland’s parliament is presently considering a tobacco act that might eventually ban all use of tobacco products, Tobacco Journal International, 3/4/2010.

Finland related news briefs:
Finland - anti-smoking bill will end smoking altogether..;
Finland - to end the consumption of tobacco products by 2040..;
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..