RAI q2 2010 financial results..

July 9, 2010 -

July 8, 2010 – Reynolds American Inc. will webcast its conference call following the release of second-quarter 2010 financial results on July 22, 2010.
The call will begin at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
During the call, members of the Reynolds American management team will discuss RAI's results for the second quarter and first half of 2010.

The RAI conference call will be available online on a listen-only basis at www.ReynoldsAmerican

Please visit the Investors section at www.ReynoldsAmerican.com to register. A replay of the call will be available on the website for 30
days. Investors, analysts and members of the news media can also listen to the live call by phone, by dialing (877) 390-5533 (toll free) or (678) 894-3969 (international).

RAI to webcast second-quarter 2010 earnings conference call

U.S. - Cigarette Use Among High School Students, 1991–2009...

July 9, 2010 - Understanding the trends in the prevalence of cigarette smoking among youths enables policy makers to target prevention resources more effectively. Every 2 years, CDC analyzes data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) to evaluate trends in cigarette use among high school students in the United States.

This report updates a previous report and describes results of CDC’s 2010 analysis of YRBS data from 1991–2009 for three measures: ever smoked cigarettes, current
cigarette use, and current frequent cigarette use. For ever smoked cigarettes, the prevalence did not change from 1991 (70.1%) to 1999 (70.4%), declined to 58.4% in 2003, and then declined more gradually, to 46.3% in 2009. For current cigarette use, the prevalence increased from 27.5% in 1991 to 36.4% in 1997, declined to 21.9% in 2003, and then declined more gradually, to 19.5% in 2009. For current frequent cigarette use, the prevalence increased from 12.7% in 1991 to 16.8% in 1999, declined to 9.7% in 2003, and then declined more gradually, to 7.3% in 2009. For all three measures, rates began to decline in the late 1990s, but the rate of decline slowed during 2003–2009. (Cigarette Use Among High School Students — United States, 1991–2009, MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vol. 59 / No. 26, 7/9/2010.)

The following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids..

CDC Survey Shows Youth Smoking Continues to Decline Slowly, But More Must Be Done to Accelerate Progress. Survey results show that the nation continues to make gradual progress in reducing youth smoking, but declines have slowed significantly since 2003 and nearly one in five high school students still smoke.

This survey is consistent with others that have found a slowing and even stalling of smoking declines among both youth and adults. These results send a powerful message to elected officials at all levels: We know how to win the fight against tobacco – the nation's number one cause of preventable death – but our ultimate success depends on resisting complacency and more aggressively implementing proven strategies. These include well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs, higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free air laws, and effective regulation of tobacco products and marketing.

The good news in the CDC's 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey is that the high school smoking rate (the percentage who smoked in the past month) declined to 19.5 percent in 2009. This is the first time it has fallen below 20 percent and the lowest rate since this survey was started in 1991. Altogether, high school smoking has declined by 46 percent since peaking at 36.4 percent in 1997. This is a remarkable public health success story. In addition, the percentage of high school students who have ever tried cigarettes has fallen under 50 percent for the first time (to 46.3 percent in 2009 from a high of 71.3 percent in 1995).

The bad news is that high school smoking declined by just 11 percent between 2003 and 2009 (from 21.9 to 19.5 percent), compared to a 40 percent decline between 1997 and 2003 (from 36.4 to 21.9 percent).

It is important to note that this survey was conducted primarily in January-March 2009, before the federal cigarette tax was increased by 61 cents a pack on April 1, 20009, and before the June 22, 2009, enactment of the new federal law granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products. Tobacco companies have reported large declines in cigarette sales since the cigarette tax increase, and the FDA last month implemented new restrictions on tobacco marketing and sales to children. Future surveys will indicate the impact of these measures on smoking rates.

While today's CDC report focused on cigarette smoking, the same survey also found a troubling increase in smokeless tobacco use in recent years. Between 2003 and 2009, there was a 33 percent increase in smokeless tobacco use among high school students (from 6.7 to 8.9 percent reporting smokeless tobacco use in the past month). Among high school boys, there was a 36 percent increase (from 11 to 15 percent). This increase, which has also been found in other surveys, coincides with a large increase in smokeless tobacco marketing and the introduction of numerous new smokeless tobacco products, several shaped, flavored and packaged like candy. These findings underscore the need to enact measures that discourage all tobacco use, not just cigarette smoking.

Why have smoking declines slowed in recent years? The CDC and other experts have cited several factors, including continued heavy spending on tobacco marketing, deep discounting by the tobacco companies that have kept cigarette prices flat despite tax increases, and cuts to tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

For more of Mathew Myers statement click here..

Europe - tobacco growers are worried but no change until an alternative is found..

July 9, 2010 - The Hungarian Tobacco Growers Association (MADOSZ) welcomes the outcome of last week’s Brussels event on The Future of Tobacco Growing where a member of the European Parliament called the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) push to ban tobacco ingredients a “grave mistake.”

Tobacco growers around the world are worried. No one will stop you from growing tobacco until they have an alternative that brings in the same or more money than growing tobacoo, e.g., Asian Tobacco Farmers worried Article 9 & 10 WHO FCTC...

The Director of the FCTC tobacco framework, Laurent Huber, says that to completely implement the treaty in every country would take time, as tobacco-growing countries must find alternative income-generating industries. “We are promoting public health through the Framework Convention Alliance. ... Tobacco is still growing at this stage, there is not immediate risk,” says Huber. (WHO FCTC - developing countries need alternative to tobacco growing plus stoppage of cigarette smuggling..)

“It is our hope that reason will prevail at the WHO,” Roger Quarles, the president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, (an organization representing burley growers in several tobacco states in America) said. “While we agree that steps should be taken to reduce youth smoking by eliminating candy-flavored tobacco products, it would be devastating to the livelihoods of tobacco farmers everywhere in the world if these misguided and overly broad regulations are adopted as part of the FCTC." (U.S. Burley tobacco growers - WHO FCTC articles elimination of American-style cigarettes..; Canada flavor-free cigarettes law targeted by Kentucky grower ads...
Members of the European Parliament, agricultural experts and tobacco grower associations held discussions focusing on how banning ingredients would eliminate the varieties of tobacco used to make the majority of cigarettes in Europe, cost thousands of jobs and boost cigarette smuggling without reducing smoking rates.

“More than 100,000 jobs cease to exist in the EU every month. We must not let another 300,000 be eliminated as a result of restricting Burley and Oriental blends, which account for 55% of European tobacco growing,” Hungarian MEP Csaba Tabajdi (csaba.tabajdi@europarl.europa.eu) said at the meeting. Tabajdi warned that unemployment would rise primarily among disadvantaged and poorly educated people in Hungary and elsewhere in the EU. Another speaker of the event MEP Béla Glattfelder agreed that the new regulation might be considered as a serious threat to European farmers.

In a statement, Tabajdi said that the WHO plan was based on reducing the attractiveness of cigarettes by banning ingredients, even though there is no scientific method for measuring this. Tabajdi noted that while he supported a ban on flavorings that increase addictiveness and toxicity “banning all of the additives without sound scientific evidence would be tantamount to banning the Burley and Oriental tobaccos used mainly in traditionally blended cigarettes. This would be a grave mistake because there is no proof that the withdrawal of Burley or Oriental would decrease smoking and reduce harmful effects.”

MADOSZ welcomes this voice of reason and shares Tadajdi’s concerns about the likely growth in black market cigarettes that this proposal would stimulate. “If the cigarette that most smokers prefer in a country is banned, smugglers will find a way to supply it,” said Illés Bényei, chairman of MADOSZ.

An increase in the black market for cigarettes means fewer sales for shopkeepers and many other legitimate businesses. “We just represent tobacco growers but shopkeepers and other small businesses will also be damaged by the growth in black market cigarettes and so we call on them to join us and say no to this ridiculous proposal,” Bényei concluded.

Reference: Banning tobacco ingredients means more unemployment, Budapest Business Journal (BBJ) Online,

Hospital in Georgia will no longer hirer new employees that use tobacco..

July 9, 2010 - Effective July 1, Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC), Lawrenceville/Duluth, GA is reinforcing their no-tobacco commitment with a new policy that prohibits offering employment to any tobacco user.

Current employees will not be impacted by this change, but can take advantage of the hospital’s employee wellness program to stop smoking. For those associates who are tobacco users, GMC offers a smoking cessation program to assist with quitting.

GMC believes—and national studies show—that hospitals and other healthcare organizations that permit tobacco usage send a message to healthcare consumers that tobacco is not a health hazard. The health impact of tobacco use has a devastating effect on individuals and communities. “This is a matter of practicing what you preach. Hospitals and healthcare providers should lead the way in promoting good health. By not hiring people that use tobacco products and helping current employees to quit, we are trying to lead by example” said Steve Nadeau, VP, human resources for GMC.

Breathe Happy: Live Happy. That’s the new slogans around the Gwinnett Medical Center campuses to help communicate and launch the renewed Smoke Free campaign.

“GMC is dedicated to supporting the health and well being of our hospital community and the broader community we serve,” said Phil Wolfe, president and CEO of GMC. “For many years, smoking has been prohibited either inside or outside of any GMC facility. We believe we must lead by example in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for everyone.”

The real benefits of quitting far exceed anything financial. One year after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half. Five years after quitting, stroke risk returns to that of a non-smoker. And in 10 years, a former smoker’s risk of lung cancer is about half of that of someone who continues to smoke.

Reference: Gwinnett Medical Center Bans Smoking for New Employees, Gwinnett Medical Center, 7/6/2010.

A few related news briefs:
Tennessee - hospital will no longer hire people that use tobacco products..;
Massachusettes - smoker loses job and then loses in federal court..;
Getting harder for tobacco users to find a job...


R.J. Reynolds - conducting survey targeting younger tobacco users..

Car and Driver Magazine
August 2010..

July 9, 2010 - IntelliSurvey is conducting a brief study on behalf of RJ Reynolds, a major tobacco manufacturer. If you qualify to participate and complete the entire survey by July, 10, 2010, you will be entered into a drawing to be eligible to receive one of five $100 American Express Gift Cheques - Official Rules.

We realize the value of your time, and thank you in advance for your participation. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. Thank you.

To take a look at the survey questions.. The survey is targeting younger tobacco users..

VIDEO FDA CTR - Director Dr. Deyton discusses tobacco..

July 9, 2010 - Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, M.S.P.H, M.D. is the Director of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTR) within the FDA.

The core mission of the center is to implement the The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The act was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2009.

FDA Basic Video: Lawrence Deyton Discusses Tobacco (Video)

As stated by Dr. Deyton the primary related mission is preventing young people from initiating tobacco use.

Ukraine - excise taxes on tobacco products raised...

July 9, 2010 - As of July 1, 2010 excise tax rates for beer and tobacco products were raised, reports Ukrinform, the national news agency of Ukraine.

According to a law adopted by parliament on 20 May the ad valorem excise duty rate increases from 20 per cent to 25 per cent for filter cigarettes, while it is retained at 20 per cent for non-filter cigarettes. For cigars, snuff, smoking, chewing tobacco it is reduced from 20 per cent to 0 per cent.

The law also increases a specific excise duty on tobacco products:
filter cigarettes from UAH 69 (EUR 6.80, 8.73 USD) per thousand pieces to UAH 90 (11.39 USD) per thousand pieces;
for cigars from UAH 69 per thousand pieces to UAH 140 (17.71 USD) per thousand pieces;
for industrial tobacco from UAH 28.75 (3.64 USD) per kg to UAH 50 (6.33 USD) per kg;
for smoking tobacco from UAH 40.25 (5.093 USD) per kg to UAH 70 (8.86 USD) per kg;
for chewing and snuff tobacco from UAH 11.5 (1.46 USD) per kg to UAH 20 (2.53 USD) per kg.

The law was introduced by the cabinet to increase budget revenues by UAH 9 billion (1,138,808,065.17 USD) a year.

Further reading: 2008 - Tobacco Taxes in Ukraine
Based on: Economics of Tobacco Taxation in Ukraine. Hana Zarubova Ross, Samina Shariff, Anna Gilmore.

Tobacco Industry Profile – Ukraine (July 2009)

Reference: Excise taxes go up, Tobacco Journal International, 7/1/2010.

Ukraine related news briefs:
Ukraine - excise taxes on tobacco products raised...;
Ukraine - President Victor Yushchenko accused of being close with tobacco industry..;
Ukraine - President Yushchenko vetoes bill to hike tobacco products tax..;
Ukraine - enforcement of smoking ban, 28,000 people fined..;
Ukraine - lost cigarettes flooding Europe..

Bulgaria - subsidy for tobacco growers included in govt budget for 2010..

July 9, 2010 - The Bulgarian Parliament has adopted at second reading the 2010 Revised State Budget Act providing after a 12-hour debate in which the ruling GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) party lost the backing of one of its major partners. The revised budget was approved with the votes of GERB together with the MPs from the nationalist party Ataka.

The rightist Blue Coalition, which supported the draft bill at first reading in June, this time backed out blaming Finance Minister Simeon Djankov for failing to fend off the demands of the other ministers and thus providing for a staggering increase of state spending.

Budget includes BGN 116 M (75 M USD) in subsidies for the tobacco producers.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov had denounced the subsidies being given to tobacco growers.. The Prime Minister described some of the measures of his government such as giving subsidies to tobacco producers and sustaining the unemployment benefits as “far-left”. (Bulgaria - prime minister not happy with giving tobacco growers subsidies..)

Bulgaria - tobacco growers again mass protests over unpaid subsidies..
Bulgaria - govt no more tobacco growers protests over subsides..

Mihail Velkov, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Milk Producers’ Association has stated a number of the Bulgarian tobacco farmers, whose employment is problematic as the state is planning to cut their subsidies, could turn to sheep breeding for a living because of the great potential of this sector. (Bulgarian Farmers Hope to Export Sheep Milk to China, Saudi Arabia, Novinite.com, 6/30/2010.

Reference: Bulgaria Adopts Revised Budget after Insipid 12-Hour Debates, Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency), 7/8/2010.

Bulgaria - more tobacco farmer related news briefs:
Bulgaria - govt no more tobacco growers protests over subsides..;
Bulgaria - finance minister comments may be good news for tobacco farmers..;
Bulgaria - European Commission authorizes payment to tobacco producers for 2009 crop..;
Bulgaria - government, tobacco growers reach subsidy agreement..;

France - BAT cuts cigarettes prices, also Drum - fine-cut handrolling tobacco (shag)..

July 8, 2010 - Taxes on cigarettes could be increased further to retaliate against a price cut by manufacturers that comes into effect today.

British American Tobacco (BAT) has announced it is dropping the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes in France from €5.50 (6.98 USD) to €5.30 (6.73 USD) for two of its brands, Rothmans and Lucky Strike. Rolling tobacco manufacturer Drum is also cutting prices today, down from €7 (8.88 USD) to €6.65 (8.44 USD).

Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot said she was shocked by the move, which the government has no power to stop. She said she was determined that efforts to prevent people smoking would not be beaten by a price cut. She told RTL: "The only means I have is to increase taxes on tobacco." Anti-smoking group the Office Français de Prévention du Tabagisme said the price cut was a "health scandal" and would "attract new smokers, especially young people and women".

According to the Observatoire Français des Drogues et des Toxicomanies, 29% of adults in France smoke regularly and another 5% occasionally. In France, there are about 66,000 smoking-related deaths each year and up to 5,800 deaths from passive smoking, inhaling the smoke of smokers.

Reference: Cigarette price cut 'a scandal', ConnexionFrance.com, 7/5/2010.

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


Massachusetts - Noble Hospital, Westfield offering program on forgetting cigarettes forever..

July 8, 2010 - Noble Hospital in Westfield, Massachusetts (MA, Mass) is offering a program to help people quit smoking.

The two-part program called "Forgetting Cigarettes" uses hypnosis to eliminate the desire for smoking and allows the participant to forget cigarettes forever.

The two sessions are scheduled for Monday, September 20th and Thursday, September 23rd from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Noble Hospital. Pre-registration is required. There is a $40 fee that's payable at the first class. To register call (413) 568-2811 at extension 5520.

Stop Smoking Hypnosis..

Reference: Putting a cigarette down for good Noble Hospital offers a program in Sept., WWLP.com, 7/7/2010.

Iran - cigarette smuggling hurting legal tobacco sales..

July 7, 2010 - The Iranian Tobacco Company announced that it plans to take serious measure against cigarette smuggling in the metropolis of Tehran. Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance with the cooperation of the Tehran Tobacco Office will inspect all stores, shops, and supermarkets to find smuggled cigarettes. In case of finding such cigarettes, they will be confiscated, the company announced. Experts believe that smuggled cigarettes have bad effect on social health of people.

About six and a half billion cigarettes are smuggled into Iran per year..

Cigarette smuggling leads to severe disruption in official cigarette distribution network and bankruptcy of industry sectors. An official cigarette importer told ILNA (Iranian Labour News Agency) that country’s tobacco industry has faced big challenges during past 2 years. Iran Tobacco Company, agricultural relevant rings including production, distribution network facing chaos in their structures.

He said considering President Ahmadinejad speech in supporting Iranian industries and preventing the commodity trafficking unfortunately increase of cigarette smuggling lead to irrecoverable loss for country’s economy and investors in private sector of industry. The analyst noted regarding decrease of Iran Tobacco Company production especially in joint tobacco production companies the official import of cigarette dropped to 50 percent, lack of management resulted in substitution of non standard and unsanitary cigarettes.

References: Serious campaign to start against cigarette smuggling in Tehran, MehrNews.com, 7/7/2010; Cigarette smuggling leads to bankruptcy of tobacco industry, ILNA, 7/8/2010.

Iran - news briefs:
Iran - surge in female smokers..;
Iran - 20% of fatalities caused by tobacco..;
Iran - 94% of drug seizures in world occur in Iran..;
Iran - over 45% of Iranians exposed to secondhand smoke..;
Iran - graphic warnings cigarette packs..;
Cigarettes, bras and Bull semen: Just a few things the US exports to Iran...


Altria - q2 2010 business results - webcast, July 21st..

July 8, 2010 - Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO) will host a live audio webcast on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss its 2010 second-quarter business results. The business results will be issued by means of a press release at approximately 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time the same day. The webcast can be accessed at http://www.altria.com.

Vapor Corp.,, marketer and distributor of e-cigarettes to sponsor World Series of Poker players..

July 8, 2010 - Vapor Corp., formerly Miller Diversified Corporation , a leading marketer and distributor of electronic cigarettes announced sponsorship agreements with World Series of Poker players: Michael "Grinder" Mizrachi, Robert Mizrachi, Noah Boeken, David "Chino" Rheem, Isaac "The General" Galazan, and Paul Wolfe, who are currently among the world's elite poker stars.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a world-renowned series of poker tournament held annually in Las Vegas.

The FDA has said that last year's federal law giving it the power to regulate tobacco products did not prevent it from regulating drug devices that deliver nicotine.

The FDA maintains that such devices like the electronic cigarette are illegal because -- unlike other products which administer nicotine such as gums, patches, inhalers, and sprays -- e-cigarettes have not been submitted to the FDA with proof they are safe and effective. (E-cigarettes - scientists want more safety studies before use..; US AMA policy - e-cigarettes FDA should treat as a drug delivery device..)

U.S. e-cigarette imports banned indefinitely - ASH..

The sponsorship deal makes Vapor Corp. the players' official "Electronic Cigarette" Sponsor and means each player will wear the Company's Fifty-One(R) or Krave (R) logo when competing, when permissible. "This is Vapor Corp.'s first foray into sponsorships," said Company President and CEO, Kevin Frija, "and it is fitting as the company was launched soon after one of the Company's founders, a WSOP bracelet winner, discovered the product at a poker tournament. We have come full circle and believe that our products are a natural fit for poker players and casinos everywhere."

In celebration of the World Series of Poker, for a limited time, the Company is offering up to 100,000 of its Krave(R) disposable electronic cigarettes for $9.95, which includes the cost of shipping and handling. Visit Krave500.com to order. Limit one electronic cigarette per order.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as "e-cigarettes," are devices that heat and vaporize small amounts of nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco. They contain no tobacco, however.

Vapor Corp., was celebrating when U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon's recent ruling on January 14, 2010: that the United States Food and Drug Administration does not have the authority to seize electronic cigarettes because these products do not qualify as devices subject to the agency's regulation. (U.S. FDA - judges ruling regarding e-cigarettes must be appealed - ASAP..)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed this lower court order ruling allowing electronic cigarettes to be imported. A panel of three appeals court judges temporarily stayed the lower court ruling in order to give them more time to consider the FDA's arguments that it should overturn Leon's injunction. (U.S. FDA appealing a federal judge's ruling on e-cigarettes..;U.S. FDA appealing a federal judge's ruling on e-cigarettes..)

Reference: Vapor Corp. Announces Sponsorship of World Series of Poker Players, Michael "Grinder" Mizrachi, Robert Mizrachi, Noah Boeken, David "Chino" Rheem, Isaac "The General" Galazan, and Paul Wolfe, GlobalNewswire, 7/7/2010.

Australia - opportunity to buy cigarettes too readily available..

July 7, 2010 - A new study from Cancer Council’s behavioural research centre in Newcastle reveals that nine out of 10 New South Wales (NSW) smokers are snared by the temptation of cigarettes being available within walking distance of their daily routine. (The study was conducted by CHeRP, a behavioural research centre jointly funded by Cancer Council NSW and the University of Newcastle.)

Smokers say these traps prevent them from quitting, with nearly a third signalling that they would flick the addiction or at least cut down on how often they lit-up if cigarettes were less available.

The difficulty of avoiding tobacco traps is exemplified by a study in the Hunter (Hunter Region of New South Wales), where more than 1200 outlets sell cigarettes, the equivalent of one shop for every 77 smokers. By comparison, the same region has just 150 post offices, making it easier to buy cigarettes than a stamp.

Regional programs coordinator from Cancer Council’s Coffs Harbour office Vanessa Crossley said the study confirmed the need for licensing to be introduced for any business wanting to sell tobacco – just like alcohol. “Smokers want to quit, they have good intentions to quit, but tobacco traps torment them every day, killing their chances of success,” she said.

“The solution is simple and possible; introduce tobacco licensing to discourage sellers, reduce the accessibility of cigarettes, and help thousands of smokers to quit one of the toughest addictions around.”

Cancer Council NSW recently released Saving life; why wouldn’t you?, a report calling for tobacco licensing to be introduced in NSW, with four other cancer control steps for NSW politicians to support before next year’s state election.

“The NSW Government has set itself a goal of reducing smoking, and spends over $40m per year to drive down smoking rates. These efforts would be much more effective if it was not so easy to buy tobacco,” Vanessa added.

“Tobacco licensing could save lives, and with 91 percent of the community agreeing that it should be introduced, we ask all politicians why wouldn’t you?”

Reference: Easy access traps smokers in cycle says cancer council, Myall Coast Nota, 7/7/2010.


South Korea - rate of male smokers probably higher than any other OECD country..

July 7, 2010 -

The rate of male smokers here has fallen over the past six months, but still remains far above any other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member state, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Wednesday, July 7th. OECD Member states..

According to a Ministry of Health and Welfare survey of 3,000 adult males and females nationwide in June, the smoking rate for males was 42.6 percent, about a 0.5 percentage point fall from last December. The decrease is the first in two years after it peaked at 43.1 percent last December. Still, it is very high, possibly the highest, among OECD member states, the researchers said, as their average was 28.4 percent in 2007.

The average smoker starts smoking at the age of 21 and becomes a regular puffer within a year. About 61.7 percent said they smoke out of habit, with stress being the second reason. About 59.4 percent of the smokers wanted to quit smoking because of health risks, for the well being of their families, and related reasons. Most expressed wanting to quit within a year.

Most respondents said expanding non-smoking zones was the most effective way to induce people to quit smoking. Raising the price of cigarettes and imposing heavier punishment on smokers at smoking-free zones were other possible incentives.

Those surveyed said the price of a packet of cigarettes would have to soar to an average 8,510 (7.03649 USD). "Smoking is a disease that needs treatment. We will consider raising the cigarette tax as well as other policies to encourage a smoke-free atmosphere," a ministry official said.

The health authorities initially planned to lower the smoking rate to below 30 percent by the end of the year, but researchers said it is quite unlikely since the actual number of people who smoke may be higher than surveyed ― more people might be smokers but they could have lied lied out of embarrassment, they said.

Reference: Smoking rate still way above OECD average by Bae Ji-sook, Staff reporter, Korean Times, 7/7/2010.

South Korea - some related news briefs:
South Korea - BAT to further invest in Sacheon factory..;
South Korea - a look at KT&G Corporation with 63% of the market..;
South Korea - streets and parks of Seoul City could be designated as non-smoking areas..;
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...

Philippines - tobacco industry has obtained temporary relief from placing graphic warnings on cigarette packs..

July 7, 2010 - The tobacco industry has obtained temporary relief from the implementation of a Department of Health (DoH) order imposing graphic warning on cigarette packs. Jose Antonio Blanco of the Office of the Solicitor General said that the decision issued last July 1 barred the Health department from implementing Administrative Order 13, which required the printing of pictures showing diseases acquired from smoking in addition to the existing health risk information.

The order, issued last May 24, also prohibited the use of descriptors in cigarette products such as "light" and "mild."


April 6, 2010 - The Philippines Department of Health (DoH) has expressed confidence that the government could require tobacco firms to place pictorial warnings on cigarette packs sold to the public. DoH was “crafting an administrative order” covering such warnings against tobacco use. (Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..)

May 24, 2010 - The Department of Health (DoH) has stepped up the pressure on tobacco companies, ordering them to start printing in 90 days, explicit warnings on cigarette packs that would illustrate the ill effects of smoking. DoH Secretary Esperanza Cabral said tobacco companies should comply with Administrative Order 13 which the health department issued on May 12. (Philippines - Department of Health wants health warnings on cigarette packs within 90 days..)

June 3, 2010 - June 4, 2010 - The Philippine Tobacco Institute (PTI) said an order requiring tobacco companies to print graphic health warnings on cigarette packs is contrary to law. Complying with the health department’s administrative order 2010-13 will be a violation of Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act (TRA) of 2003, the group said in a statement. The law prohibits the printing of any other health warning on cigarette packs other than those specified by law, the group said.
Fortune Tobacco Corp., one of the two major local tobacco companies, has challenged the order before the sala of Judge Felix P. Reyes of Marikina Regional Trial Court Branch 272 before its implementation. It filed last June 3 a petition for declaratory relief with the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction against the directive.

In granting the petition, Mr. Reyes required Fortune Tobacco to post a bond of P5 million (107,596.30 USD). The P5 million is to answer for any damage that the DoH may incur if it is later proven that Fortune Tobacco [will not be hurt] by the administrative order," Mr. Blanco, who served as DoH counsel during the court hearings, said in a phone interview. Mr. Blanco said "we will assail [to attack with arguments, criticism]" the court decision.

For her part, Dr. Maricar B. Limpin, executive director of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Alliance Philippines (FCAP), said the court had given "more leeway to lure more people to smoke." "This is not for the people," she said in a separate interview.

FCAP is a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco created to administer Republic Act 9211 or the Comprehensive Tobacco Regulation Act, which advocates tobacco control, and a smoke-free society. The World Health Organization (WHO) and DoH are among FCAP’s partners.

Reference: Cigarette pack graphic labeling halted, Prinz P. Magtulis, BusinessWorld, 7/8/2010.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - govt agencies and employees barred from unnessary interaction with tobacco industry..;
Philippines - Filipino Muslims forbidden to smoke, trade cigarettes..;
Philippine congress proclaims Aquino 15th president..;
Philippines - tobacco firms claim graphic warnings on cigarette packs are illegal..;
Philippines - new president smokes but this should not slow tobacco prevention activities..:
Philippines - Department of Health wants health warnings on cigarette packs within 90 days..;
Philippines - health groups want more protection from the dangers of tobacco..;
Philippines - DOH warns government agencies to avoid partnerships or accepting donations from tobacco manufacturers..;
Philip Morris Philippines..;
Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - PMI - FTC merger may lead smokers continuing to smoke and lure children into a life of nicotine addiction..;
Philippines - PMI and Fortune Tobacco Corp. form new company called PMFTC..;
Philippines - Tanauan City names street Philip Morris..;
Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..;
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...


Canada - tobacco products readily available on Native reservations.

July 7, 2010 - To mark the coming into force today, July 5th of Bill C-32, which prohibits the sale of small flavoured cigarillos in Canada's 23,500 convenience stores, the Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA) has released new irrefutable evidence that illustrates the alarming extent of the irresponsible sale of tobacco and flavoured cigarillos on native reservations in Quebec and Ontario.

(The bill is known as the Bill C-32 - Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act.)

This evidence shows smoke shacks on Native reserves operating above the law and in many cases, selling industrial quantities of cigarettes, even to minors, without collecting or paying any taxes.

"For the first time, we are showing Canadians that the irresponsible large-scale selling of contraband tobacco on Native reservations is nothing but a national disgrace caused and tolerated by the federal government," said Michel Gadbois, senior vice-president of the CCSA. "With Bill C-32, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq just makes things worse by giving smugglers and criminals a monopoly on little flavoured cigarillos."

The seven-minute video entitled 'Inside Smoke Shacks' was produced last week using a hidden camera. A private investigator commissioned by the CCSA visited and filmed inside 10 tobacco shacks chosen at random on the Kahnawake and Kanesatake reservations in Quebec. One can easily see tobacco products on the shelves (not hidden), a very broad selection (native or imitation commercial brands, and in bags) at widely varying prices (as little as $11 for a carton of cigarettes, compared with $75 on average at convenience stores), an enormous inventory and, especially, a range of flavoured cigarillos at a third or half their legal price.

View VIDEO - Inside Smoke Shacks..

In addition, the CCSA has released a second video, 'Irresponsable sale on Six Nations', which shows results of a first sting operation on the Six Nations reservation in Ontario. A 15-year-old girl visited 10 tobacco shacks to try and buy flavoured cigarillos. In eight smoke shacks, she was able to buy tobacco products with no difficulty, without being asked her age or to produce ID, which shows the lack of responsibility on Native reservations and band councils that tolerate similar set-ups on their territory.

View VIDEO - Irresponsible tobacco sale on Six Nations reserve (Ontario)..

"If she really has the kid's health at heart, Minister Aglukkaq's top priority should be the fight against contraband tobacco and nothing else, and that, until the situation is rectified," Mr. Gadbois concluded.

Reference: Irresponsible sale of tobacco on Native reservations - C-store industry shows Canadians the real extent of the contraband tobacco scourge and Bill C-32 impact, CCSA, CanadaNewswire.com, 7/5/2010.

Canada - cigarillo news briefs:
Canada - loophole flavored cigarettes, cigarillos banned, manufactures may start making larger flavored cigars..;
Canada - ban on flavored tobacco products comes into effect July 2010..);
Canada - youth survey finds levels of cigarillo use persist, but users don't consider themselves 'smokers'..;
Canada - bill to ban flavored tobacco products gets final approval - Burley Tobacco..;
Canadian bill to ban flavored tobacco products worries Kentucky burley growers..;
Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey - 2008..;
Canadian House of Commons passes bill to prevent production of mini-cigars or cigarillos..;
Canada - Bill C-32 to amend Tobacco Products Control Act..;
Canada - federal government introduces legislation to ban flavored tobacco products..;
Quebec - Teens Switch from Cigarettes to Cigarillos..;
Canada - little cigar/cigarillos smoking declined from 2007 - 2008..;
Canadian Cancer Society calls for federal ban on flavored cigars..;
Ontario to outlaw candy flavored cigars..;
Ontario poised to ban flavored cigarillos..;
Canada: a bill introduced to snuff out drive to recruit young smokers..;
Still sucking our youngsters in...

Russia - health warnings on cigarette packs..

July 7, 2010 - Russia slapped "smoking kills" warnings on cigarette packages from Saturday, June 26th in an effort to crack down on an addiction that kills up to 500,000 people a year and is on the rise.

According to World Health Organisation statistics, 60 percent of Russian men smoke and the number of smokers, particularly among young women, has been growing since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. (Russsia - 73 percent of boys and 65 percent of girls smoke..)

As many as 350,000 to half a million of Russians die each year of smoking-related causes, clouding the country's already gloomy demographic. The United Nations warns that the population may shrink from to 116 million by 2050 from 142 million now.

Adopting standards similar to those in the European Union, the Ministry of Health and Social Development requires the anti-smoking message to cover no less than 30 percent of the front of a package and another warning takes half of the back.

The messages range from warnings of lung cancer through wrinkles to impotence and will also come with information on the amount of nicotine and resins.

"Introduction of the new technical regulations of tobacco production is one of the steps in the path to limit the use and spread of tobacco production in Russia," the ministry said in a statement.

But the fight against smoking is a tough one in a nicotine-addicted nation where in 1990 a shortage of domestic cigarettes led to a "tobacco rebellion" on the streets of Russia's three biggest cities, forcing then-president Mikhail Gorbachev to appeal for an international emergency shipment.

Some 409 billion cigarettes were produced in the country last year (2009), according to data from the Association of Tobacco Producers, or about 2,900 cigarettes per capita.

Russia remains one of the top tobacco clients, with the domestic market almost completely taken by three global players: Japan Tobacco Inc., Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco PLC. "The number of tobacco producers in Russia is not increasing, not even by one," the paper Komsomolskaya Pravda cited on Saturday Gennady Onishchenko, the head of Russia's consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying.

Public awareness campaigns also have been increasing, with messages becoming less subtle. Billboards two years ago showing a model wearing a dress made of cigarettes have given way to pictures of a sleeping infant with a cigarette placed on its back and the message: "Smoking in child's presence is a much bigger torture for him."

But cigarettes remain affordable and available, with most priced at around 1 euro ($1.34) for 20, and unfiltered selling for much less. Some coffee chains have become smoke-free this year, but many restaurants are filled with fumes and patrons who object get the least prestigious tables.

In June, Russia's Finance Ministry said it plans to increase the excise tax from the current 250 roubles ($8.05) per 1,000 filtered cigarettes by 44 percent to 360 roubles next year, eventually more than doubling it to 590 roubles in 2013. (Russia - Finance Ministry skeptical about raising taxes on tobacco..)

But next year's increase is a fraction of what the Duma, the Lower House of Parliament, proposed in December, when it called for a quadrupling, which would double the price of cigarettes.

Russia in April 2008 became the 155th nation to ratify the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Treaty.

Related news brief: Russian State Duma (Parliament) ratified the framework convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control..

Reference: Russia adopts "smoking kills" cigarette warnings by Lidia Kelly (Editing by Michael Roddy), Thomson Reuters Foundation, 6/26/2010.

Russia related news briefs:
Russsia - 73 percent of boys and 65 percent of girls smoke..;
Russia - Finance Ministry skeptical about raising taxes on tobacco..;
Russia - tax on tobacco may be quadrupled..;
Russia - tobacco epidemic with no solution in site..;
Russia - public health official discusses tobacco control..;
Russia - making it more difficult for servicemen to smoke..;
Russia - draft tobacco law being considered by Duma..;
Russia among top-10 smoking nations..;
Russian lawmakers discuss smoking ban for restaurants and bars..;
Russia passes new restrictions on tobacco..;
British American Tobacco (BAT) Misleading Russian Consumers..;
Russian State Duma (Parliament) ratified the framework convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) on tobacco control...

Malaysia - doing a better job of seizing smuggled cigarettes..

July 7, 2010 - The value of smuggled cigarettes seized in the first five months of this year was more than RM43 million (13.4 million USD) 56 per cent higher than the value of the seized contraband for the corresponding period last year, the (House of Representatives is the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia) was told Monday, July 5th. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim said 1,486 arrests were made in association with cigarettes smuggled into the country between January and May this year (2010), compared with 1,123 and 1,799 during the whole of 2008 and 2009, respectively.

"The value of smuggled cigarettes seized in the first five months of this year was RM43,593,379 while the value of the contraband seized in the whole of 2008 was RM58,167,561.89 and in the whole of 2009, RM70,902,558.52," he said when replying to a question from Mohsin Fadzli Samuri (IND-Bagan Serai).

Lim said the measures to check smuggling of cigarettes included inspections of premises or stores, raids, road blocks, land and sea patrols as well as scanning of merchandise for the contraband. "Besides, we also conduct intelligence activity, campaigns and publicity to raise awareness in the public, and use security ink and stamp duty," he added.

Reference: Dewan Rakyat: More Seizures Of Smuggled Cigarettes This Year, BERNAMA.com, 7/5/2010.

Malaysia - some related news briefs:
Malaysia - best way to get teenage girls to stop smoking is through education..;
Malaysia - ban on 14-stick cigarette packs delayed worry about increase in illicit cigarettes..;
Malaysia - slight decrease in illicit cigarettes; JTI Malaysia q1 2010 market share increases..;
Malaysia - Health Ministry's proposal to ban the sale of 14-stick cigarette packs beginning June 1, 2010..;
Malaysia - increase in number of women smoking..;
Malaysia - new strategy to penalize retailers who sell contraband cigarettes..;
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...

New York City - Mayor Bloomberg still considering smoking ban in parks and beaches.. - Get It Done Already!!

July 7, 2010 - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Tuesday, July 6th that he was leaning toward seeking a ban on smoking at city parks and beaches. (See Background below on October 1, 2009 the mayor indicated he was pushing ahead to get this done)
Mr. Bloomberg said the ban made sense because it would cut the health risks of secondhand smoke and reduce littering by smokers.

“We’re talking about banning smoking on beaches and in parks, and it’s partially because you can breathe the air,” Mr. Bloomberg said when he was asked about a ban. “It’s in the open air, but the air wafts in your direction. But it is also because people take their cigarette butts and the packages and just throw them away.” “When you ask people in our parks and beaches,” he added, “they say they just don’t want smokers there.”

September 14, 2009 - The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, announced on Monday, September 14, 2009 that the Bloomberg administration would seek to ban smoking in city parks and beaches. (New York City - may ban smoking in parks and beaches...

October 1, 2009 - The mayor initially hedged when Health Commissioner Thomas Farley proposed the ban last month, saying enforcement would be difficult. But now Mayor Bloomberg says he's pushing ahead with a controversial plan to ban smoking at city parks and beaches, after earlier saying it needed more study. (New York City - Mayor Bloomberg pushing ahead to ban smoking in city parks and beaches..)
The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, said Tuesday that smoking was the leading preventable cause of death among residents, killing 7,500 New Yorkers per year, more than AIDS, drugs, homicide and suicide combined.

He said a smoking ban would be the equivalent of bans on loud radios and glass bottles on beaches, and could save millions of dollars in trash cleanup.

Dr. Farley cited a health department study, published online in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research in April 2009, that found that 57 percent of nonsmoking adult New Yorkers had elevated levels of cotinine, a marker for smoking, in their blood, compared with 45 percent nationally. The researchers, who sampled New Yorkers in 2004, a year after the city’s ban on smoking in most indoor working and public spaces took effect, said the density of city living might be to blame. (More Than 2.5 Million Non-Smoking New Yorkers Have Residue from Toxic Second-Hand Smoke in their Blood, Press Release, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 48/2009)

References; Mayor Leans Toward a Smoking Ban at Parks and Beaches by ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS, The New York Times, 7/6/2010; Stop turning the beach into a 'giant ashtray,' cigarette smokers told by Mark Morales and Katie Nelson, NY Daily News, 7/6/2010.

NYC directly related:
Big tobacco companies file lawsuit contesting NY City's anti-smoking signs..;
New York City - federal judge rejects plaintiffs attempt to stop the law that blocks the sale of flavored tobacco products..;
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...

Netherlands - legislation to abolish smoking ban for small cafes/bars with no staff..

July 6, 2010 - In our news brief entitled, Netherlands - bars defy two-year old smoking ban.., we reported the centre-right liberal VVD, which won parliamentary elections on June 9, wants bars with no staff to determine their own smoking policies.

Now we find the new 31-strong Liberal MP grouping is planning to introduce its own legislation to abolish the smoking ban for small cafes and bars. The anti-Islam PVV and Socialist party back the proposal, meaning it can count on the support of 71 out of 150 MPs.

'The smoking ban was introduced because Europe wants to protect workers against smoke. But you do not have to protect bar owners if they have no staff,' MP Halbe Zijlstra said.

Ten days ago, the ban on smoking in small bars was reinstated after a court ruling.

Liberal MPs act to scrap smoking ban in small bars, DutchNews.nl, 6/28/2010.

Netherlands - related news briefs:
Netherlands - bars defy two-year old smoking ban..;
Netherlands - small bars can continue to ignore smoking ban..;
Dutch government will change law to keep bars smoke free..;
Netherlands - lifted smoking ban for bars with no employees..;
Holland - smoking ban temporarily halted for smaller cafes run by their owners alone..;
Netherlands - spot checks on smoking in small cafes suspended temporarily..;
Dutch bar owners without staff when victory against smoking ban..;
Netherlands - Marijuana /Tobacco Cigarettes - Confusion..;
Netherlands - small bars/cafes with no staff could be exempt from smoking ban..;
Court spares small Dutch cafe over smoking ban..;
Netherlands - 1st court case for flouting smoking ban..;
Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced..; Netherlands - ban on smoking in bars and restaurants NOT enforced..; Netherlands the smoking ban must be enforced - Ab Klink, Health Minister...;
Congratulations are in order: Netherlands, Romania & Alberta...
(Holland, Dutch)

Canada - loophole flavored cigarettes, cigarillos banned, manufactures may start making larger flavored cigars..

July 6, 2010 - Manufacturers and retailers may be adhering to the letter of the law concerning the federal government's amendment to the Tobacco Act, which makes it illegal to sell flavoured "small cigars" -- cigarillos and cigarettes -- they certainly aren't adhering to the spirit of the law.

Ontario Health Promotion Minister Margarett Best warned that some tobacco companies seem to be intent on manoeuvring around our health protection laws. The ban that took effect on July 1, 2010 prohibits the sale and distribution of flavoured cigarillos, with the exception of menthol flavour. The province also is requiring unflavoured cigarillos to be sold in packages of at least 20, the same as cigarettes, in an effort to make the little cigars unaffordable for young people. (Canada - ban on flavored tobacco products comes into effect July 2010..)

The amendment actually became law in the fall but included a transition period for retailers and manufacturers to adjust. The nine-month transition period was too long and allowed manufacturers to find loopholes in the law.

Since the regulation applies only to items Health Canada believed were being geared toward youngsters, irresponsible manufacturers started making flavoured, larger cigars and they have replaced the smaller cigarillos on some tobacco shelves in Nanaimo. A spokesman with Health Canada said the agency will be carefully monitoring the marketing and sale of the flavoured cigars to ensure young people are not the target market for them. If not young people, then who? Health Canada already is saying it may have to alter the amended Tobacco Act if it finds flavoured cigars are popular among youngsters.

Is it true that flavoured cigars are illegal for sale in Canada after July 2010?

Reference: Loophole in Tobacco Act being exploited, Canada.com Daily News, 7/6/2010.

Canada - cigarillo news briefs:
Canada - ban on flavored tobacco products comes into effect July 2010..);
Canada - youth survey finds levels of cigarillo use persist, but users don't consider themselves 'smokers'..;
Canada - bill to ban flavored tobacco products gets final approval - Burley Tobacco..;
Canadian bill to ban flavored tobacco products worries Kentucky burley growers..;
Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey - 2008..;
Canadian House of Commons passes bill to prevent production of mini-cigars or cigarillos..;
Canada - Bill C-32 to amend Tobacco Products Control Act..;
Canada - federal government introduces legislation to ban flavored tobacco products..;
Quebec - Teens Switch from Cigarettes to Cigarillos..;
Canada - little cigar/cigarillos smoking declined from 2007 - 2008..;
Canadian Cancer Society calls for federal ban on flavored cigars..;
Ontario to outlaw candy flavored cigars..;
Ontario poised to ban flavored cigarillos..;
Canada: a bill introduced to snuff out drive to recruit young smokers..;
Still sucking our youngsters in...

Pennsylvania - no state tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco products..

July 6, 2010 - Gov. Ed Rendell got some of what he was looking for in the $28.05 billion budget
but for the second year running, the Democratic governor was denied one of his key goals — bringing Pennsylvania into the ranks of 49 other states that impose a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco products. He will leave office in January without having obtained it. (September 16, 2009 - Pennsylvania - Republican legislators still refuse to tax tobacco products other than cigarettes..)

"It's unfathomable," Rendell said recently of legislative opposition to the new taxes that, along with a planned dime-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes, would have been used to help close a $1.2 billion budget hole.

"Pennsylvania remains the only state in the nation without a tax on smokeless tobacco. It and Florida don't tax cigars. That makes public health a loser under the budget, said Melinda Little, a regional director for Washington D.C.-based Tobacco Free Kids. '"We know that higher taxes on these products prevent usage, especially with kids," Little said. The organization's figures show 12.9 percent of high school boys in Pennsylvania use snuff, 17.7 percent smoke cigars and 18 percent smoke cigarettes.' " (Winners and sore losers in the PA cigar tax defeat)
The distributors, Famous Smoke Shop in Forks Township, Cigars International in Bethlehem and tobacco giant the Altria Group, which has a presence in suburban Philadelphia, used one of Harrisburg's most time-honored levers — the threat of lost jobs — to build their case.

"We did our part to let our local state representatives and senators know that this type of tax would be detrimental to our business," said Michael Vandenstockt, marketing director for Famous Smoke Shop. Famous Smoke Shop, which does both mail-order and retail business, made it clear if the legislators passed the tax the company with its 70 jobs would move to another state. Many lawmakers — Democrats included — were also seemingly pathologically averse to passing tax hikes this budget season didn't hurt either.

Altria, the parent company of Montgomery County-based cigar and pipe tobacco manufacturer John Middleton Co., spent more than $125,000 on lobbying expenses during the first quarter of the year, state records showed. Altria spokesman David Sutton said the tobacco giant was pleased with the Legislature's decision to pass over the taxes this year.

Backers had hoped to raise as much as $104 million a year from the new taxes on cigars and smokeless tobacco products and the boosted cigarette tax. Deborah P. Brown, acting CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, said she was "extremely disappointed" that lawmakers had passed on the chance to raise $100 million when layoffs for state employees are looming.

Reference: Pennsylvania snuffs tobacco taxes for second straight year by John L. Micek, MORNING CALL HARRISBURG BUREAU, 7/5/2010.

Related news briefs:
Pennsylvania - Republican legislators still refuse to tax tobacco products other than cigarettes..;
Pennsylvania - September 11th, one year after smoking ban took effect..;
More evidence - Casino workers face greater chance of disease..;
Pennsylvania may begin to tax OTPs - do it by Weight..;
Pennsylvania - Judge rules Camel Ads Violated Ban On Cartoons..;
Pennsylvania Smoking Ban - Lots of Exceptions..;
Pennsylvania - Cigarette Vending Machines NO Longer Wanted..;
Finally Pennsylvania's Smoking Ban Takes Effect Today..;
Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania wants to pay for providing health insurance;
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is proposing an excise tax on tobacco...

ALA Report - more likely to smoke lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals..

July 6, 2010 - A growing body of evidence indicates that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are considerably more likely to use tobacco than the general population, with some studies estimating smoking rates as much as double the national average. Although it's difficult to verify, it's estimated that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals represent roughly 3 percent of the total population of the United States.

New report from the American Lung Assocaition (ALA): Smoking Out a Deadly Threat Tobacco Use in the LGBT Community, Disparities in Lung Health Series..

Researchers combed through more than 40 separate analyses to determine that LGBT people are more likely to use tobacco. Specifically, gay men are nearly two and a half times more likely to develop a smoking habit than straight men. Lesbians are twice as likely compared to straight women, and people who are bisexual appear to have the highest risk of all.

To be clear, no one within the LGBT community is more prone to smoking because they're gay. The elevated risks are the result of common factors that are magnified within the LGBT community, namely stress and aggressive marketing techniques by tobacco companies.

The tobacco industry has been a prevalent advertiser in the LGBT community for decades, with a heavy presence in bars, clubs, and newspapers that cater to that population. While tobacco advertisements have nearly disappeared from most mainstream publications, the American Lung Association says that's not the case for LGBT newspapers and magazines. They also argue that direct marketing of tobacco products seems to happen more frequently within LGBT bars and clubs

Enough information exists already to show that LGBT people should be treated as a priority population for tobacco control, similar to those racial and ethnic groups disproportionately affected by smoking. Specific interventions targeted to LGBT people are needed in order to help reduce the impact of tobacco use in this population.

Reference: Report: Smoking rate within LGBT community nearly double general population, the Chart - CNN Health, 7/2/2010.