CDC - Report:: Current Opportunities in Tobacco Control..

April 30, 2010 - More than 440,000 U.S. residents die annually from cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke, while 8.6 million are sickened by smoking, officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) said tobacco use is the single leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. Smoking costs $96 billion in medical costs annually in the United States and $97 billion in lost productivity annually, the report said.

Report: CDC Grand Rounds: Current Opportunities in Tobacco Control, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), April 30, 2010 / 59(16);487-492..

U.S. smoking rates among teens had been on the decline -- from 1997 smoking dropped from 36.4 percent to 21.9 percent in 2003 among high school students largely due to price increases because of taxes -- but remained relatively unchanged from 21.9 percent in 2003 to 20 percent in 2007.

Adult smoking prevalence dropped from 42.4 percent in 1966 but remained unchanged in 2004 at 20.9 percent to 20.6 percent in 2008, the report said.

"As of Dec. 31, 2009, cigarette excise taxes among all states ranged from $0.07 a pack in South Carolina to $3.46 a pack in Rhode Island, with a national mean of $1.34 per pack," the report said.

Although on December 31, 2009, a total of 21 U.S. states and DC had comprehensive smoke-free laws in effect that prohibit smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars, and other public places, about half of U.S. residents are not protected by comprehensive state or local smoke-free laws, and 12 states preempt local communities from passing smoke-free policies.

WHO - the MPOWER package..

Reference: CDC: U.S. smoking kills 440,000 a year,, 4/30/2010.

Buffalo - landlords must disclose to tenants whether they allow smoking..

May 1, 2010 - A new city law requires Buffalo landlords to disclose to tenants whether or not they allow smoking in their buildings. It is the first such policy in the state and one of only a few in the nation.

The disclosure law clarifies to smokers and non-smokers the tobacco policies in a building before they sign a rental agreement. But tobacco-control advocates also see such laws as a way to encourage landlords to make their apartments smoke-free.

"A smoke-free building is more attractive to tenants and tends to get higher payments," Anthony Billoni, coordinator of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, said Thursday, April 29th. The coalition worked with the city on the law, which went into effect with little notice in March.

The law, which is modeled after a policy in Oregon, requires landlords to disclose whether smoking is prohibited or allowed in a building, or allowed in limited areas. If smoking is allowed in limited areas, those areas must be identified. Colleen Hermann-Franzen, tobacco program manager for the American Lung Association in Oregon, said landlord groups supported the measure. "It has been well-received by tenants and landlords," she said. "The work now is informing people about the law." (Oregon's New Law Requiring Landlords to Disclose their Smoking Policy)

Notification must occur at the time tenants sign a lease agreement. Landlords can draft their own disclosure forms or use sample language available from such tobacco control organizations as the coalition.

Landlords in New York State are not required to use written lease agreements and are not required to disclose a smoking policy in writing. However, officials said a verbal disclosure leaves no physical proof that the disclosure occurred and leaves a landlord vulnerable to legal action by a tenant when misunderstandings over smoking policies arise.

"The law helps tenants protect themselves from second-hand smoke, and it helps smokers develop an understanding about whether they can smoke, which will avoid the many conflicts that make it to court," said City Housing Court Judge Henry J. Nowak.

Secondhand smoke, which is also known as environmental or passive smoke, (ets, secondhand smoke, involuntary smoking, sidestream smoke) includes smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette or cigar, and smoke that comes from the exhalation of a smoker.

Secondhand smoke is classified as a cancer-causing agent by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization.

The 2006 Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS U.S. Surgeon General's report concluded that secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and in adults who do not smoke, including respiratory problems and, over a long period, cancer. (The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General June 27, 2006)

Billoni said the law will benefit landlords, especially those concerned about potential damage to their properties from fires and smoke odors, by clarifying that it is legal for them to make a multi-unit dwelling smoke-free. He and others likened the law to rental policies on pets and disclosure requirements about the presence of lead-based paint.

Belmont Housing Resources, which manages and builds low-cost housing in Buffalo, oversees more than 700 units in 15 multi-unit buildings in the region. The organization, which supports the law, over the years made its buildings smoke-free. "Landlords don't realize that it's legal to adopt a smoke-free policy. Smokers are not a legally protected group," said Pam Berger, vice president of property operations.

The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition announced Thursday, April 28th it is reimbursing landlords up to $500 for the cost of advertising a smoke-free building if they use the international no smoking logo or the phrase "No Smoking Allowed" in apartment rental ads.

Reference: Buffalo landlords required to disclose smoking policy to tenants by Henry L. Davis (, The Buffalo News, 5/1/2010.

Smaller cigarette manufacturers sued FDA to invalidate provsion in final rule..

April 30, 2010 - Some smaller cigarette manufacturers have sued FDA (filed April 23, 2010) to invalidate a provision in FDA’s recently issued final rule that would restrict a manufacturer from using certain product names on the ground that the restriction violates the First and Fifth Amendments, among other grounds. Section 1140.16(a) of FDA’s final rule restricting the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to minors restricts a manufacturer from using the trade or brand name of a nontobacco product as the trade or brand name for a cigarette or smokeless tobacco product, unless the trade or brand name was on both a tobacco product and a nontobacco product sold in the U.S. on January 1, 1995. Products that violate the restriction are deemed misbranded.

Background: As required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a final rule that is identical to the provisions of the final rule on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco published by FDA in 1996, with certain required exceptions. It was felt it makes no sense to require FDA to reinvent the wheel by conducting a new multiyear rulemaking process on the same issues. Both the 1996 final rule and the 1995 proposed rule (60 FR 41314) included extensive discussions of the scientific information available at that time and the final rule included FDA's responses to the more than 700,000 comments on the proposed rule.

Passage of the Tobacco Control Act negates the Supreme Court’s 2000 ruling in FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., which held that, despite the dangers inherent in tobacco use, the FDA did not have the authority to promulgate regulations relating to the use or advertising of tobacco products.

Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes
and Smokeless Tobacco To Protect Children and Adolescents
, AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION: Final rule.

U.S. FDA publishes rule to protect our children that restrict advertising and marketing of tobacco products..

The rule takes effect June 22, 2010.

The manufacturers contend that the restriction has a disproportionate negative impact on small cigarette manufacturers because the trade or brand names used by the larger manufacturers are generally excepted by virtue of having been in use prior to 1995. As examples of the restriction’s far-reaching effects, the complaint cites (among other things) the fact that the restriction:

* applies even where the manufacturer of the nontobacco and the tobacco products are wholly unrelated;
* the nature of the products is such that there is no likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception;
* no account is taken of whether different geographic markets are in play;
* the restriction applies regardless of which product had first use and trademark registration; and
* the rule includes no grandfather clause, such that a name used well before the rule’s effective date (but after January 1, 1995) would nonetheless be restricted.

Plaintiff’s contend that the rule would result in a loss of commercial speech, as well as a taking and destruction of property interests, in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments. Plaintiffs seek both a preliminary and permanent injunction, as well as other relief.

Small companies, such as plaintiff Renegade Tobacco, will not be able to keep selling its "Tucson" brand cigarettes, because Hyundai uses the term for cars, according to the federal complaint. But Big Tobacco companies already have cemented rights to their products, such as Marlboro and Camel, and so will not be affected.

Renegade Tobacco, Alternative Brands, and Seneca-Cayuga Tobacco say the Product Name Restriction regulation will restrict "the ability of cigarette manufacturers to engage in commercial speech using their federally registered trademarks, including brand names that have been in use for years."

References: Smaller Cigarette Manufacturers Challenge Constitutionality of FDA’s Restriction on Certain Product Names by Ricardo Carvajal, FDA Law Blog, 4/29/2010; FDA Favors Big Tobacco, Small Firms Say by RYAN ABBOTT, Courthouse News Service, 4/28/2010.

Bulgaria - to loosen smoking ban to start June 1, 2010..

April 30, 2010 - Bulgaria's parliament started on Friday, April 16th to debate at first reading of the ruling-party proposal to water down a new smoking ban in the country.

The new Bulgarian Health Minister Anna-Maria Borisova backed parliament's decision to loosen up smoking ban in public places in Bulgaria. A majority of 85 Bulgarian MPs (members of parliament) voted Wednesday, April 28th in favor of the motion to ease ban on smoking in all indoor public places (53 MPs were against the proposal while 5 abstained from voting).

Borisova commented on parliament's vote by saying that the all-out smoking ban in public places must be relaxed due to the present socio-political climate in Bulgaria and that “ though medical experts are against smoking, a compromise needs to be reached”.

Last week, when Borisova was appointed Bulgaria's new health minister following the resignation of Minister Nanev over accusations that he has concluded unfavorable for the state deals, Borisova expressed her strong opposition against smoking in public places.

When first discussing the issue the new health minister said that “all over the civilized world smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants, is banned.” She was firm on her stand that “Bulgaria should follow the example of France where people are allowed to smoke only in the streets.” The ban on smoking in all public places in Bulgaria is set to be enforced June 1, 2010.

However, the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) Cabinet has come up with a proposal to relax the all-out smoking ban. The draft amendments of the Health Act on easing the much anticipated all-out public smoking ban has surprisingly managed to bring together the ruling center-right GERB with the main opposition Socialist Party.

The ad hoc coalition claims that the proposed relaxation of a ban on smoking in all public places would avoid hurting the tourist industry during tough economic times.

Under the proposed changes the owners of restaurants, clubs and coffee shops with an area less than 100 square meters, should decide if smoking would be allowed, while for larger establishments there must be a well-isolated smoking space.

The full ban is to remain effective for all other public spaces. Similar measures were imposed as part of a partial smoking ban in 2005 but have been widely ignored.

References: Bulgaria Health Minister: Smoking Ban Relaxation Unavoidable, (Sofia News Agency), 4/28/2010; Bulgaria MPs Loosen Up Smoking Ban on 1st Read, (Sofia News Agency), 4/28/2010.

Bulgaria related news briefs:
Bulgaria - finance minister comments may be good news for tobacco farmers..;
Bulgaria - parliament debates proposal to water down smoking ban..;
Bulgaria - majority of all Bulgarians - 78% are against the smoking ban delay..;
Bulgaria - every increase in excise duty on cigarettes consumption goes down..;
Bulgaria - grace period over, increase in tobacco tax starts Thursday, April 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria - Italian authorities arrest 2-Bulgarians smuggling cigarettes..;
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..

FDA Tobacco Product Center - Advisory Committtee..

Committee Membership Overview and General Information on Advisory Committee Membership

As part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) ongoing efforts to recruit qualified experts with minimal conflicts of interest who are interested in serving on FDA advisory committees, FDA is requesting nominations of individuals to serve as members of its advisory committees. FDA has a special interest in ensuring that women, minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are adequately represented on its advisory committees and, therefore, we encourage nominations for qualified candidates from these groups.

Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee

Washington State - tax on tobacco products increase as of May 1, 2010..

April 30, 2010 - A new tobacco tax passed by the Washington State Legislature takes effect on May 1, raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes by one dollar (effective May 1st $3.025). Tax on other tobacco products goes up by similar amounts. The higher tax and resulting price increase is expected to encourage more adults to quit and discourage young people from starting.

“Raising tobacco prices is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking,” said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. “Quitting smoking improves a person’s health within hours, and saves money, too. A pack-a-day smoker who quits will save nearly $2,500 a year. Our Tobacco Quit Line is there to help.”

Click to enlarge..

The Department of Health’s free Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW; 1-877-2NO-FUME in Spanish) received an unprecedented number of calls after last year’s federal tobacco tax increase. In just one month, calls increased three-fold. The agency expects to see a similar spike when the new state tax takes effect Saturday.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health organizations estimate that in Washington, the state’s tobacco tax increase will prompt about 19,000 adults to quit smoking and prevent about twice as many kids from taking up the habit. The expected decrease could save lives and money — more than $854 million in healthcare costs.

The Tobacco Quit Line ( is a key part of the state’s effort to reduce tobacco use. Callers talk to quit coaches who are often former smokers themselves. Coaches help them recognize their smoking triggers and develop a personal plan to quit. All state residents can receive some level of free quit support by calling the quit line. Medicaid subscribers can receive additional help, including prescription medication, if appropriate.

The adult smoking rate in Washington has dropped more than 30 percent since the state began its Tobacco Prevention and Control Program in 2000. There are now 295,000 fewer people smoking in the state and an estimated 98,000 people will be spared early, tobacco-related deaths. The decline in smoking will save an estimated $2.8 billion in future health care costs.

Reference: New state tobacco tax expected to increase attempts to quit smoking, News Release, Washington State Department of Health, 4/29/2010.

Washington State - some related new briefs:
Washington State - increase in tax on all tobacco products..
Washington State - R.J. Reynolds found guilty of violating ban on cartoons..;
Weight-based taxation of moist snuff..


Adult death rates lowest in Iceland and Cyprus, highest in Swaziland and Zambia..

April 29, 2010 - LONDON — Men in Iceland and women in Cyprus have the lowest risk of dying worldwide, a new study says. In a survey from 1970 to 2010, researchers found a widening gap between countries with the highest and lowest premature death rates in adults aged 15 to 60. The study was published Friday in the medical journal, Lancet.

PAPER: Worldwide mortality in men and women aged 15—59 years from 1970 to 2010: a systematic analysis, Julie Knoll Rajaratnam PhD, Jake R Marcus BA, Alison Levin-Rector BSPH, Andrew N Chalupka, Haidong Wang PhD, Laura Dwyer BA, Megan Costa BA, Prof Alan D Lopez PhD, Prof Christopher JL Murray MD, The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 30 April 2010, SUMMARY..

The findings are in contrast to the trends in child and maternal mortality, where rates are mostly dropping worldwide. Health officials have long thought if child deaths were decreasing and health systems were improving, adult deaths would similarly decline. But that's not what researchers found.

"The new analysis challenges the common theories," wrote Ai Koyanagi and Kenji Shibuya of the department of global health policy at the University of Tokyo, in an accompanying commentary. They were not linked to the study. Koyanagi and Shibuya said it wasn't clear why there were such major differences among countries in adult deaths.

Researchers in Australia and the U.S. calculated death rates in 187 countries using records from government registries, censuses, household surveys and other sources. It was paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Only a few countries have cut death rates by more than 2 percent in the last 40 years: Australia, Italy, South Korea, Chile, Tunisia and Algeria. The U.S. lagged significantly behind, dropping to 49th in the rankings for women and 45th for men. That puts it behind all of Western Europe as well as countries including Peru, Chile and Libya.

"The U.S. is definitely on the wrong trajectory," said Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington, one of the study's authors. "(The US) spends the most on health out of all countries, but (it) is apparently spending on the wrong things."

Murray said they weren't sure why some countries — like Australia and South Korea — were particularly successful in reducing death rates, but guessed better policies on things like tobacco control and road accidents might be responsible..

Death rates were highest for men in Swaziland and for women in Zambia. Researchers also found death rates jumped in eastern Europe, perhaps because health systems fell apart after the collapse of the Soviet Union and widespread smoking. In sub-Saharan Africa, deaths have fallen, possibly due to the rollout of lifesaving AIDS drugs.

Murray said adult deaths have largely been neglected by the U.N., except for AIDS and tuberculosis programs. "We need to recognize just how bad things are getting in some parts of the world," he said.

Study: Adult death rates lowest in Iceland and Cyprus, highest in Swaziland and Zambia
by: MARIA CHENG, Associated Press, 04/29/2010

___

Swaziland - will cabinet pass the Tobacco Products Control Bill, 2010..

April 29, 2010 - MBABANE (capital and largest city of Swaziland) - The Cabinet is considering a Bill that will ban smoking in private work places and enclosed areas. The Bill will be known as the Tobacco Products Control Bill, 2010.

Government Press Secretary Macanjana Motsa - This Bill is aimed at countering the Tobacco Industry’s influence through educating the public, changing social norms and protecting present and future generations from devastating health, social, environmental and economic effects of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. The Bill will also regulate the sale and distribution of tobacco products, and further ban advertising, promotion and sponsorship of these products.

The Bill further intends to ban the sale of tobacco products to minors and provide for the prohibition of free distribution and receipt of gifts or cash contents, lotteries or games to or by the purchaser of these products in consideration of such purchases.

A recent study has found death rates were highest for men in Swaziland and for women in Zambia.

Swaziland Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) Fact Sheet -2005

References: Benedict Xaba’s bad news for smokers by CASSANDRA SHAW, Times of Swaziland, 4/28/2010; Tobacco Act waiting for Cabinet nod by Hlengiwe Ndlovu, Swazi Observer, 4/28/2010.

Swaziland has ratified on January 13, 2006 the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.


Australia - tobacco tax increase now in force, next comes plain tobacco packaging..

Takes lead in

April 29, 2010 - Outraged tobacco companies have blasted Kevin Rudd's (Prime Minister of Australia and federal leader of the centre-left Australian Labor Party) new cigarette packaging plans, threatening to challenge them in court and seek compensation.

Earlier today the Prime Minister announced the tax on cigarettes would increase by 25 percent from midnight tonight (adding about $2.16 to a pack of 30 cigarettes) and that tobacco companies would be required to use plain packaging from July 1, 2012.

Just think - The Marlboro man could soon be banned from the Outback. Australia could become the first nation to ban brand images and colors on cigarette packages under a wide-ranging set of anti-smoking measures the government announced Thursday, April 29th.

Starting July 1, 2012, tobacco products would have to be sold in the plainest of packaging — with few or no logos, brand images or colors. Promotional text would be restricted to brand and product names in a standard color, position, type style and size.

The government said the moves would cut tobacco consumption and generate billions of dollars of revenue that would be plowed into the health system. The action won praise from the World Health Organization (WHO), which welcomed the measures as "a new gold standard for the regulation of tobacco products."

First it was New South Wales taking the lead in tobacco control in all of Australia. Now its the Australia becoming the world leader in tobacco control protecting the health of their citizens and their next generation - their children.

Mr. Rudd said he went public with the plan because of Australian Tax Office reports that revealed smokers, fearing a price rise, had begun stockpiling cigarettes.

Tobacco companies are arguing the new packaging plan will damage their brand name and some already have plans to take legal action. “Introducing plain packaging just takes away the ability of a consumer to identify our brand from another brand and that's of value to us,” Imperial Tobacco Australia spokeswoman Cathie Keogh told ABC Radio. She added the company was planning legal action.

British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) told The Australian Online: “We oppose plain packaging and we will defend the intellectual property which lies in that packaging. “If that requires us to take legal action, then we would do so. “We would look at various things, including intellectual property rights, trademark legislation and remedies under international treaties.” BATA would also consider pursuing compensation from the government for “acquisition of our property on unjust terms”.

Philip Morris International declined to say whether it would take legal action against the measure but argued that the imposition of plain packaging would represent "an unconstitutional expropriation of valuable intellectual property, violating a variety of Australia's international trade obligations."

Retailers have also said the tax hike would hurt their businesses and agreed with tobacco companies that plain packaging would bolster the cigarette black market. “It's a lazy policy response being pushed by some health advocates,” said Mick Daly, chairman of Australian supermarket chain IGA.

Chair of the National Preventative Health Task Force Rob Moodie said there would be one million fewer smokers by 2020 if measures such as plain cigarette packets were implemented. And Professor Rob Moodie said he did not believe tobacco companies would be entitled to compensation. “It's a solid case on constitutional and legal grounds,” he said, rejecting suggestions easy-to-copy plain packets would be a boon for dodgy cigarette counterfeiters.

Mr Rudd said that revenue from the hike in the tobacco excise would generate an extra $5 billion over four years and would be directly invested in hospitals. Announcing the rise himself in Sydney's Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, the Prime Minister said it would not lift the government in the popularity stakes. “This is a tough decision for the government,” he said. “It won't win the government any popularity. The big tobacco companies will hate what we are doing. “It is the right decision.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said, "We, the government, will not be intimidated by any big tobacco company." Cigarette boxes would continue to carry graphic health warnings, including photographs of the effects of smoking-related diseases.

The measures announced on Thursday. April 29th also include a 25 percent increase in the excise tax on tobacco products. That will increase the cost of a packet of 30 cigarettes by about 2.16 Australian dollars, to about 16.70 Australian dollars ($15.40). The government believes the changes will cut tobacco consumption by 6 per cent and the number of smokers by 2 or 3 per cent - totalling roughly 87,000 Australian smokers.

Internet advertising of cigarettes will also be restricted, and an extra $27.8 million will be spent on anti-smoking campaigns.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said 15,000 people a year were dying from tobacco-related illnesses. When she was a young child her father, who smoked, died from cancer of the oesophagus. “If our action today can mean that any other child has their parents with them for a little longer, that'll be a good thing. And we don't make any apologies about taking this action,” she said.

Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton earlier today supported an increase in the tobacco excise but questioned the timing of the cigarette packaging announcement by the Rudd government.

References: Big tobacco to fight Rudd's cigarette plain packaging plan, Joe Kelly, Sid Maher and AAP, From: The Australian, 4/29/2010; Australia proposes plain packs for cigarettes by BETTINA WASSENER AND MERAIAH FOLEY, NEW YORK TIMES, 05/02/2010


Japan - JTI will increase cigarette prices, PM and BAT will not come October 1, 2010..

April 30, 2010 - The Cabinet approved a plan to raise the duty by 3.5 yen (4 cents) per cigarette from October 1, 2010 next year, with tobacco companies charging an extra 1.5 yen each. A pack of 20 cigarettes would increase by an average 100 yen, or 33 percent, to 400 yen (4.26 USD).

Japan Tobacco Inc (JT) said Wednesday, April 28th it will raise the prices of around 100 cigarette brands on Oct 1 as it reported double-digit sales and profit declines in the just-ended business year. JT will raise the price of its popular Mild Seven brand to 410 yen (4.37 USD) a pack from 300 yen (3.20 USD) and that of Seven Stars to 440 yen (4.69 USD) from 300 yen (3.20 USD) in line with a hike in the cigarette tax slated for October.

The tax increase will impose a levy of 3.5 yen per cigarette, or 70 yen (0.75 USD) per pack. The price hike will exceed the additional tax and is aimed at compensating for declining sales due to tougher rules on smoking, the company said.

Tobacco companies need the Finance Ministry's permission to change their prices in Japan.

JT also said it recorded a group operating profit of 296.50 billion yen in fiscal 2009 ended March, down 18.5% from the previous year, on sales of 6.13 trillion yen, down 10.2%.

JT attributed the sluggish performance to a 5% fall in domestic cigarette sales as well as foreign exchange losses due to the yen’s appreciation against the dollar when overseas subsidiaries converted dollar-denominated earnings into yen for account settlements. But net profit increased 12.2% to 138.45 billion yen thanks to a decline in extraordinary losses.

The tax increase, the biggest since Tokyo-based Japan Tobacco Inc. was privatized in 1985, is part of
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s pledge to discourage smoking to curb health insurance costs as the population ages. Japan Tobacco, the world’s third-largest publicly traded cigarette maker, may raise prices by more than the tax gain to offset an expected drop in smoking rates, President Hiroshi Kimura said this month. (Japan’s Tobacco Tax to Raise Cigarette Prices by 33% (Update1) by Naoko Fujimura (,, 12/22/2009)

Japan ranked fourth in cigarette consumption by volume after China, the U.S. and Russia in 2007, according to ERC Group, a U.K.-based market researcher.

Philip Morris Japan KK, the nation's second-largest tobacco company, said it will not follow through on a cigarette price increase set for June 1, 2010. With the Health Ministry calling for a ban on smoking in public places and Kanagawa Prefecture instituting its own prohibition, the company behind the Marlboro brand appears to see a risk of a sharp drop in demand for cigarettes. Philip Morris is the first to back away from an approved hike.

British American Tobacco (BAT)Japan Ltd., Japan's No. 3 tobacco company, withdrew on March 15 its application for a similarly timed price hike. (PHILIP MORRIS JAPAN CALLS OFF CIGARETTE PRICE HIKE,, 4/15/20010.)

Reference: JT to raise cigarette prices on 100 brands from Oct 1,, 4/30/2010.

Some JT news briefs containing Mild Seven:
Japan Tobacco (JT) - Mild Seven adding a new menthol and redsigning 15 varieties to keep domestic market sharegrowth..;
Japan - new government administration considering raising cigarette taxes..;
Japan Tobacco raises net forecast on currency gains and gains in market share for brands..;
Japan Tobacco International - Business Results for January – June 2009..;
Japan Tobacco International profits to fall this year..;
Japan Tobacco International annual report January - December 2008..;
Japan Tobacco Starts Petition To Fight Tax Increase..:
Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices..;
Japan Tobacco's (JTI) market share up in Japan in FY 2007 for 1st time since 1985..;
Mild Seven cigarettes..;
Mild Seven family of cigarettes expands..;

Egypt - comprehensive data on adult smoking consumption..

April 29, 2010 - The first report to include comprehensive data on adult tobacco consumption in Egypt has been prepared by the Ministry of Health, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report features a survey conducted on a sample of 23,760 male and female subjects over the age of 15. Six chapters detail the results of the survey and the report also includes information about measures adopted to discourage smoking.

The report revealed that 38 percent of male smokers in Egypt use just one type of tobacco product. The percentages of smokers among the age brackets of 25-44 and 45-46 years of age are 46.1 percent and 48.9 percent respectively, the report said.
The most widely-used product is cigarettes, with smokers consuming an average of one pack daily, according to the report. The report also revealed that 56.2 percent of people who smoke shisha (hookah, argileh nargile, hubble-bubble, water pipe, hooka, goza, meassel, sheesha) do so at home, with 35.9 percent smoking at coffee shops.

Passive smoking is a widespread phenomenon, according to the report, which said that 80 percent of Egyptians are exposed to passive smoking (secondhand smoke, shs, environmental tobacco smoke, ets, sidestream, involuntary) on public transportation, at restaurants, and even in health care establishments.

The report also said 5 percent of male adults and 0.03 percent of female adults chew tobacco.

Finally, the report concluded that Egypt needs an effective national program to help smokers quit, especially since 41 percent of smokers say they have tried at some point to give up but failed, with only 17.1 percent of smokers succeeding. The key component with any program will be enforcement.

In June 2007 - Egypt Passes National Anti-Smoking Law..

Translated from the Arabic Editi, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, and the World Health Organization.

Tobacco Use in Eygpt.. Egyptians blow six percent of income on tobacco: WHO survey..

References: Report: Egypt needs national anti-smoking program; Nashwa el-Hofi,, 4/27/2010; Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in EgyptM/a>.

Egypt - some related news briefs:
Egypt - anti-smoking campaign faces challenges..;
Africa - can a tobacco-related cancer epidemic be prevented..;
Egypt, CAPMAS Study Graphic Photos on Cigarette Packs - NOT EFFECTIVE..;
Egypt - warning pictures on cigarette packs - INEFFECTIVE..;
Egypt's fledgling anti-tobacco program to place images and warnings on cigarette packs..;
Egypt Passes National Anti-Smoking Law..;


Australia - plain packages on all tobacco products within 2-years..

April 29, 2010 - Australia will force tobacco companies to adopt plain packaging, removing all colour and branding logos within two years, in a world-first move aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths, government sources said.

Laws to be in force by January 2012 will prohibit tobacco companies from using any tobacco industry images and promotional text, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, the centre-left government will announce later on Wednesday.

The government believed the move, expected to be confirmed by Health Minister Nicola Roxon, would reduce the attractiveness of tobacco packaging and its potential to mislead particularly young people.

The government will face voters later this year in an election set to be dominated by health issues after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd struck a deal with state leaders earlier this month to take funding control of health and state-run hospitals.

Related news brief: Australia - federal government considering a hike in tobacco tax..

Rudd holds a solid lead in opinion polls and is favoured to win a second term at elections likely in October.

The Australian tobacco market generated total revenues of A$8.3 billion ($7.60 billion) in 2008, recording growth rate of 2.9 percent between that year and 2004.
Smoking-related illnesses killed over 15,000 Australians each year and smoking has been identified by health authorities as the largest preventable cause of disease and death in the country.

Research has shown that industry branding and packaging design reduced the effectiveness of graphic health warnings about smoking.

The World Health Organisation, in its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), advises authorities to "consider adopting measures to restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information".

Tough government regulations on tobacco advertising have reduced smoking in Australia from 30.5 percent of the population aged 14 and over in 1988 to 16.6 percent in 2007. The government is aiming to cut smoking rates below 10 percent by 2018.

Free market think-tank The Institute of Public Affairs recently warned that the move to force tobacco companies to sell their products in plain packages could lead to compensation claims of more than A$3 billion a year. Forcing tobacco companies to strip products of trademarks was akin to compulsory acquisition of physical property and could require compensation under the Constitution, it warned. "$A3.4 billion dollars taken from general taxpayer revenue to go towards funding to tobacco companies is morally offensive," the institute's Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit director Tim Wilson told Australian radio.

($1=1.092 Australian Dollars)

Reference: RPT-Australia seeks plain packaging for tobacco products, Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Reuters, 4/29/2009.

A few related stories plain packaging:
Australian study - Plainer cigarette packages, perceived as boring or unattractive, would make smoking much less appealing to teens..;
Australia - federal government is currently analyzing recommendations for reducing smoking..;
United Kingdom - cigarette makers oppose plain packaging..;
United Kingdom - halve the number of smokers by end of decade..;
UK - Richard Branson makes high-profile plea for tobacco control measures to protect children..;
UK - House of Lords -debate on tobacco plain packaging..;
British considering banning logos on cigarette packs, other measures..;


Tobacco groups seek to challenge UK display ban ..

April 29, 2010 - Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and British American Tobacco (BAT) said on Monday, April 26th they are to seek a judicial review of the relevant sections of the Health Act 2009, in which the UK government is looking to impose the display ban to discourage smoking.

Leicestershire Asian Business Association’s (LABA) has also announced that it was launching a judicial review against the government’s legislation.

Part of Health Act pertaining to Strengthening tobacco control: The Bill prohibits the display of tobacco products at the point of sale and creates powers to control the sale of tobacco from vending machines. These provisions will help to reduce the impact of tobacco on health and well-being in future generations by protecting children and young people from the harm caused by smoking.

Removing Tobacco Displays - Frequently Asked Questions For more information.. Health Act 2009 - find tobacco.

Amanda Sandford, ASH-UK, comments on the importance of banning tobacco displays..
New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..

The Health Act 2009 requires cigarettes, cigars, pipe and roll-your own tobacco products to be hidden from view in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from October 2011 in large retailers and from October 2013 in smaller outlets. Scotland is pushing its own banning legislation through its own parliament.

Imperial, which makes Lambert & Butler and Richmond cigarettes in the UK, said there is no evidence to suggest children start smoking or that adult smokers continue to smoke as a result of the display of tobacco products.

"If this misguided legislation is implemented it will simply fuel the growth in the illicit trade of tobacco and create a huge cost burden for retailers who are already under considerable pressure as a result of the difficult economic climate," said Imperial's Chief Executive Gareth Davis in a statement.

JTI, which took over Gallaher in 2007 and makes Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut cigarettes in the UK, called the regulations "unreasonable and disproportionate" and said it had no option but to start the legal process to challenge the ban.

BAT, which makes Rothmans and Pall Mall cigarettes, added there was no evidence to show the move will cut smoking rates in the UK, but argued it would damage competition and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of small businesses.

It said driving legal trade from public view will encourage illegal traders.

References: Tobacco groups seek to challenge UK display ban, reported by David Jones; editing by David Holmes, Reuters, 4/26/2010.
United Kingdom

Jessica Simpson - addicted to Nicotine Gum..

April 28, 2010 - Everyone has their vices!

Though she has never smoked a cigarette in her life, Jessica Simpson admitted to Jay Leno last night that she has an addiction to nicotine gum!

Um, why????

It all started when one of her brilliant friends gave her a piece when she asked for just regular gum. She truly runs in the most intellectual of circles. She called the flavor "fireworks" and insisted on having more!

According to Simpleton, not only does she love the taste of the stuff, but she also claims it gives her the energy of "three Red Bulls."

Eck! We'd rather drink the Red Bull. That shiz is NASTY! How can you let that stuff be in your mouth?

Hmm, maybe because there have been worse things in there?

We kid, we kid. Nothing can be worse than that gross stuff!

[Image via WENN.]

Reference: Simpleton Addicted To Nicotine Gum!,,
Nicotine Replacement Therapy, NRT

U.S. - senator urges FDA to pull dissolvable tobacco products from test market sites..

April 28, 2010 - Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pull the dissolvable tobacco products – namely Camel’s Orbs, Sticks, and Strips – from stores until the agency could conduct a study of their effects on children and teenagers. (Lautenberg wants FDA to yank candy-like tobacco from store shelves by Jordy Yager, The Hill, 4/24/2010)

In Lautenberg’s letter to the FDA he cited a study published in the Pediatrics medical journal, which found that some of the dissolvable tobacco products had very high levels of nicotine and the increased chance of developing nicotine toxicity with these dissolvable tobacco products. (Camel Dissolvables like Orbs - chance of nicotine poisoning increased..)

In a commentary in the journal of Pediatrics, Dr. Laurence R. Deyton, director of the newly formed Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA indicated that dissolvable products are the second priority for review by the FDA office, after menthol cigarettes. This would put the start of the dissolvable products review around the first of next year. By this time we could have a few nicotine poisonings but thousands of children with a life-long addiction to nicotine. This is unacceptable, after all we are involved in public health - if you see an epidemic brewing you react immediately.

Regarding menthol - as pointed out by Dr. Cheryl Healton, President and CEO, Legacy - Lorillard Inc. CEO Martin L. Orlowsky's March 30th op-ed mischaracterizes the study of menthol cigarettes by the FDA's new advisory panel. Mr. Orlowsky claims the panel must "answer the question—does menthol make cigarettes more harmful?"

Actually, to quote the law establishing the panel, it must review "the impact of the use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health." Meaning, does menthol make cigarettes easier to smoke, luring young people into a deadly addiction? And does menthol make it harder for smokers to quit? If the answer to either question is yes, then menthol negatively impacts the public health and should be prohibited.

The science is clear: Newer and younger smokers smoke menthols at much higher rates than established smokers. (Menthol Cigarettes Are Harmful, Cheryl Healton, Dr. PH., The Wall Street Journal, 4/4/2010.

FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg: “These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers.”

The difficult task is how can removal of menthol cigarettes be accomplished.

Click to enlarge:

Terry F. Pechacek, associate director for science in the Office on Smoking and Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “We are continuing to find that Marlboro, Newport and Camel brands, among the most heavily advertised brands, continue to be overwhelmingly the preferred brands of cigarettes smoked by middle school and high-school students.”

Another major problem with these highly flavored dissolvable tobacco products is exposure to our children resulting in a life-long addiction to nicotine. Dr. Karl Olov Fagerström who was the founder of Niconovum now owned by Reynolds American has stated that addiction in general is a "unnatural state."

As pointed out by Dr. Gregory Connolly, the director of the Tobacco Control Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health, these nicotine dosage forms (Sticks like a toothpick, Orbs, which is a pellet and edible film Strips - like placing a postage stamp on your tongue similar to breath strips) are easier to tolerate so kids will become possible life-long nicotine addicts at a much younger age compared with cigarette initiation.

Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, a pediatrician and the FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, while cigarette use by teens and young adults has decreased in recent years, cigar smoking continues to be a "serious and growing health problem." "Youth are twice as likely to report seeing advertising for flavored tobacco products as adults are," said Dr.Sharfstein. "Marketing campaigns for products with sweet candy and fruit flavors can mislead young people into thinking that these products are less addictive and less harmful." By flavoring a product to mask its otherwise appallingly disgusting taste, tobacco companies extend their reach into the marketplace to sustain and often grow their addicted consumer base.

We must stop any further marketing of these products. Altria is waiting on the sidelines to see what will happen. Altria Group Chairman and CEO Michael Szymanczyk has stated: "He did not elaborate on those, though Altria researchers have for years explored dissolvable strips and inhalers." (Altria - new marketing strategy with emphasis on Marlboro SNUS..) Susan Ivey, Chairman and CEO of Reynolds American has stated, "I believe these products (oral tobacco products) can drive our sustainability into the future. Having a forward vision is important”.

From Columbus, OH - one of the three test market sites for Camel Dissolvables. Our contact describes the sampler pack: it has 3 Orbs Mellow, 3 Orbs Fresh, 2 Sticks and 4 Strips. On the pack it says that it’s free with any R.J. Reynolds Tobacco tobacco purchase, but this person picked it up the sampler pack and was looking at it and they said he could just have it. It comes with a coupon for a free dissolvables with tobacco purchase.

C-Store Update - Camel Dissolvable Tobacco Sampler and etc..

Some supporting news briefs:
Camel Dissolvables like Orbs - chance of nicotine poisoning increased..;
Dissolving Tobacco Hits Columbus, OH Test Market - see VIDEO..;
Portland, Oregon - Camel ORBS - candy-like tobacco tablets..;
U.S. - A contradiction H.R. 1261 Youth Prevention and Tobacco Harm Reduction..;
R.J. Reynolds Smokeless so safe - not fair to tax.??;
U.S. group acknowledged that smokeless-tobacco products are an option for reducing health risks for tobacco users..;
Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity..; Nasal snuff another harm reduction product..;
Why does R.J. Reynolds Tobacco keep on selecting Portland, OR as a test site..;
Camel Tobacco Dissolvables - Natl Assoc of Attorneys General - wait and see!!;
STOP the Release of Dissolvable Tobacco Products..;
We must stop the launch of dissolvable tobacco products..; Reynolds America moving ahead with dissolvable tobacco products..;
STOP - the Proliferation of Flavored Tobacco Products..;
R.J. Reynolds Dissolvables - it looks like candy..;
Snus News & Other Tobacco Products: STOP - the Proliferation of Flavored Tobacco Products..

Asheville, North Carolina - as of July 1st no smoking in parks, greenways and around city buildings..

April 28, 2010 - The ban will go into effect July 1, 2010 and prohibits smoking cigarettes, cigars or other types of tobacco in parks or greenways and around city buildings. It follows a state prohibition that started this year on smoking in most bars and restaurants and similar rules passed by the county against lighted tobacco products around county buildings.

Those violating the ban are responsible for an infraction and can be fined $50. That fine can also be brought against people violating private non-smoking rules at businesses or other private buildings.

Along with the outdoor ban, the rule prohibition puts the force of law behind non-smoking rules at businesses or other private buildings used by the public, giving owners the right to call the police on smokers.

Proponents said the ban would protect public health and reduce litter, while critics said it was an infringement on individual rights that will be hard to enforce.

Buncombe County Health Department Director Gibbie Harris said the change makes Asheville “a leader among municipalities in North Carolina in the prevention of exposure to second-hand smoke.” Less than five cities and counties have enacted such bans allowed by recently passed state law.

The tobacco industry has traditionally been one of the most important industries in North Carolina and a backbone of the state's agricultural heritage.

Reference: City of Asheville to ban smoking in parks, near municipal buildings
Fine for lighting up would be $50
, Joel Burgess,, 4/28/2010.

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


Australia - ASH in support of a national tobacco tax increase..

April 28, 2010 - The Government's National Preventative Health Taskforce has called for a tax rise that would that will cut the number of people smoking from 2.9 million within a decade. (Australia - federal government considering a hike in tobacco tax..)

In support of this action ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Australia has put together an excellent document entitled: Tobacco Facts: Taxation and Tobacco Products.

Tobacco use is currently the single-biggest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. National Preventative Health Taskforce 2009

Tax increases on tobacco products are the single most effective way governments can reduce tobacco consumption and prevalence - and death and disease due to smoking.


Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) -UBS Tobacco Survey - 2010..

April 27, 2010 - In the fourth exclusive Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP)-UBS (global financial services) Tobacco Survey, some 90 retailers, representing independents, midsized operators and large chains, shared their thoughts about the state of cigarette and several Other Tobacco Products (OTP) brands—who was vulnerable, who most likely to grow share. The survey also explored innovation in the nascent (emerging) oral segment, as well as manufacturer-based promotions, federal legislation and field execution.

"Retailers still seem to be pretty cautious on the overall economy and what that could mean for pricing and promo activity, but we get the sense that at least the threat of price wars or massive volume dislocations are in the past," UBS tobacco analyst Nik Modi told CSP Daily News.

Among the highlights:

# Company Health: Among the Big 3 premium brands, 54% of survey respondents said they expect Marlboro to gain the most market share in 2010, compared to 33% for Camel and 13% for Newport. Conversely, nearly half the respondents said Newport was seeing the most negative pressure among the top 3 brands.

Of Marlboro, two retailer comments echo much of the broader sentiment. "Greatest ability to influence the retail marketplace due to their size," one operator said. Another noted, "They lost share last year and it is unlikely they will let that happen again."

Modi underscored the strength of Altria's current market share. "Most retailers," he said, "look at PM USA as a situation where the biggest will get bigger, as a result of regulatory changes and the company's larger spending budget."

# Menthol: Almost 80% of retailers said they did not expect the FDA to ban menthol. Modi agreed: "We do not think menthol will be banned because of the large potential for a black market, which would not be beneficial for taxpayers, public health, and the industry."

# Promo Power: More than 60% of retailers said they are seeing changes in promotional activities, most notably a shift from multipack to single-pack discounts and less pulse promotion on cigarettes, to ensure more consistent pricing.

That said, 6 of 10 retailers predicted manufacturer promotions would increase over the rest of the year. "Consumers' [are] looking for deals or cheap cigarettes due to tough economic times," one retailer said. Others said competitive market conditions will buoy new promotions.

# Snus: Oral products, led by snus, remain a raindrop of activity, but retailers voiced optimism about their long-term growth potential. Asked if they believe snus will become a viable category in the tobacco category, 57% said yes. "It is still very early in the game for Snus and could be some time before it is a needle-moving category," Modi said.

Reference: Premium's Growing Hold Marlboro likeliest to increase market share, CSP-UBS survey says by Mitch Morrison, CSP Daily News, 4/27/2010.

Related news briefs:
Part 2: Special Tobacco Analysis, Big Tobacco Shifts Strategies..;
Part 1: Special Tobacco Analysis: - can big tobacco maintain market share??;
Tobacco analyst - c-store tobacco sales not as bad as could have been..;
U.S. - Retailers may carry less inventory since the federal tax increase of April 1, 2009..;
U.S. - Effect of April 1st FET increase on tobacco retailing..;
Tobacco Update CyberConference: more spending money for low income consumers/worry entry of big tobacco in OTP..;
Survey looks at new tobacco products, predicts hit for PM USA's Marlboro Snus..;

Indonesia - paradise for smokers and paradise for tobacco companies..

April 27, 2010 - Indonesia - the last paradise for a puff in Southeast Asia....
Indonesia - a paradise for tobacco companies..

WHO - Indonesia is crying out for your help..

Just a few miles after passing a towering Marlboro Man ad, a second billboard off the highway promotes cigarettes with a new American face: Kelly Clarkson. The former American Idol winner invites fans to buy tickets to her upcoming concert in Jakarta, the nation's capital. The logo of her sponsor is splashed in huge type above her head — the popular Indonesian cigarette brand L.A. Lights. Similar ads also run on TV.

Such in-your-face tobacco advertising has been banned for years in the U.S. and many other countries. But in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, tobacco companies have virtual free rein to peddle their products, from movies to sports sponsorships and television shows. The country remains one of the last holdouts that has not signed the World Health Organization's FCTC tobacco treaty.

Click to enlarge..
As smoking has declined in many Western countries, it has risen in Indonesia — about 63 percent of all men light up and one-third of the overall population smokes, an increase of 26 percent since 1995. Smoking-related illnesses kill at least 200,000 annually in a nation of 235 million.

In recent months, anti-tobacco forces have rallied. A new health law has declared smoking addictive and urged the government to hammer out tobacco regulations. An anti-smoking coalition is pushing for tighter restrictions on smoking in public places, advertising bans and bigger health warnings on cigarette packages. (Indonesia - government may raise cigarette tax and cut cigarette output.., Indonesia - House Finance and Banking Commission opposes govt plan to lower cigarette production)

Public debate also exploded last month after Indonesia's second-largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, issued a fatwa banning smoking. Though not legally binding, the religious ruling does put pressure on smokers in the world's most populous Muslim nation. (Indonesia - second largest Muslim organization launched a fatwa against smoking..; Indonesia - Muhammadiyah-owned university students demonstrate against edict against smoking..)

Anti-smoking advocates now hope Clarkson will drop the sponsorship of Indonesia's third-largest tobacco company, Djarum. A growing number of voices have started pleading with the Grammy-winning pop star on her Facebook page. (Indonesia - Clarkson concert - eliminate all evidence of tobacco company..)

Two years ago, a tobacco affiliate of U.S.-based Philip Morris International, which dominates Indonesia's tobacco market, removed its logo from ads promoting an Alicia Keys concert in Jakarta after the singer publicly denounced the sponsorship and apologized to her fans. (Alicia Keys - Jakarta Concert (July 31st) tobacco companies forced to withdraw sponsorship..)

About a quarter of Indonesian boys aged 13 to 15 are already hooked on cigarettes that sell for about $1 a pack or as little as a few cents apiece, according to WHO. A video on YouTube last month prompted outrage when a 4-year-old Indonesian boy was shown blowing smoke rings and flicking a cigarette. His parents say he's been smoking up to a pack a day since he was 2. (Indonesia - parents encourage 4-year old boy to continue smoking habit..)

L.A. Lights company Djarum declined to comment on its sponsorship of the April 29 Clarkson concert, or on accusations that it markets cigarettes to young people. But the company's international brand manager, Roland Halim, said it abides by government restrictions on tobacco advertising.

Philip Morris affiliate HM Sampoerna said in a statement it has urged the government to adopt tougher regulations on cigarette sales and ads, including age limits on buying tobacco, billboard restrictions and the phasing out of television commercials.

"We recognize that our products, like all tobacco products, cause disease and are addictive," it said. "Our advertising is intended solely for adult smokers. We sponsor events in compliance with Indonesian law. We do not advertise to minors."

Smoking is embedded in Indonesia's culture. Wafts of a pungent mixture of tobacco and cloves, called kreteks, can be smelled in houses rich and poor across the vast archipelago.

According to a 2008 study on tobacco revenue in Indonesia, smokers spend more than 10 percent of their household income on cigarettes; that's three times more than they spend on education-related expenses such as school fees and books. (Indonesia - Smoking hits poor families the hardest, making the poor even poorer..)

Indonesia remains one of the last places in the world where cigarette TV commercials still run, featuring rugged men and beautiful women smoking. Billboards plastered above four-lane highways encourage motorists stuck in Jakarta's notorious traffic jams to "Go Ahead" or "Become a Man" or let Marlboro Lights "Style Your Party."

Indonesia's tobacco industry employs millions in the world's fifth-largest cigarette-producing market. About 6 percent of the government's revenue comes from cigarette taxes, and a powerful tobacco lobby has blocked past regulation attempts, including a move to ban TV ads. (Indonesia - Rock band involved in TV cigarette ads..)

Leggy women in short skirts and strappy heels promote cigarettes at events, sometimes even giving out discounted or free samples to "taste."

Indonesian cigarettes are cheap by regional standards, with taxes less than 40 percent. Tobacco farmers have held massive street protests to denounce any push for higher taxes or tighter restrictions.

"Kretek cigarettes are Indonesia's heritage just like cigars in Cuba," " said Nurtantio Wisnu Brata, chair of the Central Java chapter of the Indonesian Tobacco Farmers Association. Any move to limit tobacco promotion and use in the country will require strong political will. But critics point out that even Indonesia's smoke-happy neighbors China and Vietnam have signed the WHO's tobacco treaty and imposed stronger controls.

"The level of advertising in Indonesia is unmatched anywhere else in Asia," said Mary Assunta, senior policy adviser for the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. "The Marlboro Man has ridden into the sunset in many countries, but not in Indonesia."

Reference: American Idol winner sparks smoking debate by MARGIE MASON, AP Medical Writer, writer Irwan Firdaus in Jakarta contributed to this report, Associated Press, 4/20/2010.

Indonesia some related news briefs:
Indonesia - House Finance and Banking Commission opposes govt plan to lower cigarette production..;
Jakarta, Indonesia - more on the Kelly Clarkson tobacco sponsored concert April 29th..;
Jakarta, Indonesia - Singer Kelly Clarkson will she perfom concert sponsored by major tobacco company..;
Indonesia - launches formal dispute with WTO over U.S, ban on clove cigarettes..;
Indonesia - parents encourage 4-year old boy to continue smoking habit..;
Hemoglobin obtained from pigs may be used in cigarette filters..;
Indonesia - government may raise cigarette tax and cut cigarette output..;
Indonesia - Muhammadiyah-owned university students demonstrate against edict against smoking..;
Indonesia - kretek cigarette maker Gudang Garam's 2009 net profit jumps 84 percent..;
Indonesia - persons accused of eliminating clause designating tobacco as addictive..;
Indonesia - second largest Muslim organization launched a fatwa against smoking..;
Indonesia - 18 tons of illegal cigarettes destroyed..;
Indonesia - Government to limit cigarette production..;
Indonesia - BAT, Bentoel shareholders approve planned merger..;
Indonesia - another protest rejecting the new cigarette excise tax..;
Indonesia - workers from small cigarette producers protest excise tax increase..;
Indonesia - cigarette industry has pledged to stage a demonstration to protest a government plan to increase excise tax.;
Indonesia - the last paradise for a puff in Southeast Asia..;
Indonesia - trade minister officials want to meet with US counterparts to discuss ban on clove cigarettes..;
Indonesia - PT BAT Indonesia to merge with PT Bentoel International Investama Terbuka..;
Indonesia - missing tobacco regulation in approved Health Law..;
Indonesia - section on tobacco in health bill disappears..;
Indonesia - Constitutional Court by close vote rules that tobacco ads can continue..;
Indonesia - parent smoking can negatively affect the nutrition of children..;
Indonesia - new council member suspect in cigarette fraud case..;
Indonesia - an NGO commission assists cigarettes must be banned in films..
Indonesia - a paradise for tobacco companies..
Indonesia - after buying cigarettes very little left for food..;
Indonesia - will they ratify the first world public health treaty..;
Indonesia - last paradise to smoke in public places in Southeast Asia..;
Indonesia - Industry minister to close tobacco to new foreign investment..;
Indonesia Finance Ministry to cap tax deductions for tobacco companies..;
Indonesia - Smoking hits poor families the hardest, making the poor even poorer..;
Indonesia - Cigarette makers defy crisis, grows stronger..;
Indonesia - government may raise cigarette excise tax next year..;
WHO - Indonesia is crying out for your help..;
Indonesia - dispute with U.S. over banning the use of clove in cigarettes..;
Indonesia 'cash cow' for Philip Morris International..;
Tobacco industry has long targeted young people as "replacement smokers";
Indonesia - district court dismisses request to ratify FCTC..;
Asean Countries - Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Tobacco..; Indonesia - farmers hold rally protest tobacco controls..;
Indonesia - tobacco farmers reject Islamic council's edict..;
Indonesia - Ulema Council - debate results is split on smoking..;
Indonesia - Withdraw Sponsorhip of Another Rock Concert..;
Indonesia to increase tax on tobacco products..;
Semarang, Indonesia - Cigarette Smoking Areas to be Prepared..;
Jakarta, Indonesia - Malls help enforce non-smoking ban..;
Indonesia - federal anti-smoking laws in one year - MAYBE..;
Indonesia - NGO's (non-government organizations) Demand the Government Ratify WHO's FCTC.;
Indonesia to raise cigarette tax by 6 to 7% in 2009..;
Surabaya, Indonesia - anti-smoking bylaw 10/2009 - FOR REAL??
Indonesians smoking more than ever before..;
Indonesia further rise in the excise tax would hurt the cigarette industry..;
Alicia Keys - Jakarta Concert (July 31st) tobacco companies forced to withdraw sponsorship.. and
Most Indonesians support moves to ban tobacco advertisements...