New Zealand - Scandinavian Tobacco granted clearance to merge its cigar and pipe tobacco businesses with Swedish Match..

September 25, 2010 - The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S to merge its New Zealand cigar, pipe tobacco and accessories businesses with that of Swedish Match AB. The clearance is given subject to the merged entity divesting the Willem cigar brand.


Scandinavian Tobacco (ST) is a privately owned Danish company involved in the manufacture and supply of tobacco and associated products. In New Zealand it supplies cigars and pipe tobacco.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group signs Letter of Intent with Swedish Match to form a worldwide company with focus on cigars and pipe tobaccoPress Release, Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG), 1/15/2010.

Swedish Match is a company based in Sweden which supplies similar products to Scandinavian Tobacco in New Zealand.

Swedish Match and Scandinavian Tobacco Group sign agreement to form a new cigar focused company, Swedish Match Press Release, 4/26/2010.
Commerce Commission Chair Dr Mark Berry said the Commission was satisfied that the proposed acquisition would not have the effect, or likely effect, of substantially lessening competition in the national markets for the import and supply of cigars and pipe tobacco.

The Commission considers that, while the merger would give rise to a significant aggregation of market share in respect of cigars, the divestment of the Willem brand to an independent party will be sufficient to remedy the loss of competition the cigar market.

Because Swedish Match already distributes Scandinavian Tobacco’s pipe tobacco brand in New Zealand, the merger will not materially alter the level of competition in the pipe tobacco market.

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available as soon as practicable on the Commission’s website

Reference: Media Release Scandinavian Tobacco granted clearance to merge its cigar and pipe tobacco businesses with Swedish Match, NZ Commerce Commission, 9/22/2010.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - tobacco industry whistleblower addresses the Maori select committee..;
New Zealand - a third of patients seeking treatment in the ED were smokers..;
New Zealand - the majority of New Zealanders support an end to commercial tobacco sales by 2020 - can it happen??;
New Zealand - study revives interest in keeping tobacco hidden..;
New Zealand - health board says no to psychiatric hospital smoking ban..;
New Zealand - report on illicit trade and options to control growth of illicit trade..;
New Zealand - ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey - Dramatic youth smoking decline..;
New Zealand - plain cigarette and tobacco packs could turn teenagers off smoking..;
New Zealand - Tobacco companies target women..;
New Zealand - lobby group of small retailers formed to protest tobacco price hike..;
New Zealand - more than half of the people want to end tobacco sales by 2020..;
New Zealand - revenue department has begun a review of BAT financial transactions..;
New Zealand - increase in tobacco excise forced through Parliament by the Government..;
New Zealand - Christchurch prepares for meeting with tobacco select committee..;
New Zealand - biggest drop in smoking rates seen in a decade..;
New Zealand - Maori affairs committee continues to gather information..;
New Zealand - study quit-smoking products that are acceptabe and effective..;
New Zealand - smoking ban results in decrease in heart attacks..;
New Zealand - BAT attends Maori Affairs select committee meeting on tobacco..;
New Zealanders want cigarettes banned by 2020..;
New Zealand - Maori women - almost 50% smoke..;
New Zealand - more and more teenagers turned off by smoking..;
New Zealand - loophole in the law banning tobacco sponsorship..;
New Zealand - University of Auckland to go smokefree - 1st university in country..;
New Zealand - smoking ban in bars results in less smoking at home..;
New Zealand - study, tobacco displays leads to increase in youth smoking..;
New Zealand - graphic warnings cigarette maker selects less offensive images..;
New Zealand - Maori committee to investigate smoking..;
New Zealand - Tairawhiti Board wants tobacco sold only on prescription..;
New Zealand - health researchers calling on government to ban importation of tobacco..;
New Zealand - 1st trial ever of e-cigarettes..;
New Zealand - BAT reducing prices discouraging people from quitting..;
New Zealand - stop smoking campaigns NOT working..;
BAT awarded worst corporation in New Zealand..;
New Zealand - government may NOT support tobacco display bans..;
New Zealand More Evidence Needed to Ban Tobacco and Cigarette Displays..;
More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..;
Horror photos go on New Zealand cigarette packs..;
Country to Eliminate Smoking - The South Pacific nation of Niue;
Ireland to ban tobacco displays..;
Smokefree NZ within 10 years..;
By law, oral snuff cannot (but nasal snuff is allowed) be sold in New Zealand and can be imported only for personal use..

Altria believes outcome of U.S. November 2, 2010 election will benefit big tobacco..

September 25, 2010 - With an eye on the upcoming elections on November 2nd, Altria’s tobacco operating companies have launched a voter education and awareness campaign for their adult tobacco consumers.

Altria's financial reporting segments are Cigarettes, manufactured by PM USA, Smokeless Products, manufactured by USSTC and PM USA, Cigars, manufactured by John Middleton Co.; Wine, produced and distributed by Ste. Michelle, and Financial Services, provided by Philip Morris Capital Corporation (PMCC).
Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company and John Middleton will each be reaching out to many of their adult consumers stressing the importance of voting and encouraging them to make their voices heard on November 2nd. These efforts are designed to help adult consumers register to vote and participate in the fall elections.

According to Bruce Gates, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Altria Client Services, “We’ve heard from adult consumers that they want to get more involved in shaping the political environment by joining with others across the country – many of whom are becoming politically active for the first time.”

Adult consumers can go to, which includes user-friendly information about every state’s voter registration process, polling locations, and candidates for state and federal offices.

Reference: Altria’s Companies Launch Consumer Voter Education Campaign, Maria on 09/16/2010,

United Kingdom - Cigarette point-of-sale displays ban must go ahead, say leading doctors..

September 25, 2010 - The House of Commons approved the move for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to ban cigarette displays and advertisements in shops and newsagents and turf out vending machines from pubs. Scotland has its own separate bill to achieve the same reform. (; United Kingdom - House of Commons - ban cigarette displays a step closer/vending machine ban even closer..; England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..; British Considering Ban on Cigarette Displays...)

The reforms are contained in the 2009 Health Bill. The reforms have been a thorn in the side of giants British American Tobacco (BATS) and Imperial Tobacco (IMT). Both launched judicial reviews earlier this year after MPs (Members of Parliament) supported the Health Bill, (Tobacco groups seek to challenge UK display ban..) which is now going through the House of Lords and will take effect in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from October next year for larger shops and from 2013 for small shops. In Scotland almost 90 percent of respondents who replied to a Scottish Government consultation request oppose the tobacco display ban measure.

It still looks likely the reforms will be passed by the coalition government. (UK government could scrap tobacco control plans..;
Cigarette point-of-sale displays ban must go ahead, say leading doctors Coalition yet to decide on whether Labour legislation to put cigarettes out of customers' sight will be implemented
, Denis Campbell, Health correspondent,, 9/12/2010)
But it was reported that the original cabinet discussion about the ban provoked hot debate and was not supported by then business secretary Peter Mandelson. (United Kingdom - govt cabinet business secretary has reservations about new anti-smoking strategy.)

The plans have also come under fire from more than 70,000 UK newsagents which are engaged in a last-ditch battle to prevent the ban, saying it will cause fresh shop closures as tobacco makes up 30% of sales in small shops. (Newsagents lobby ministers to stop ban on tobacco displays Shopkeepers fear rules to stop cigarettes being on show will cost them their livelihoods by Deirdre Hipwell,, 9/12/2010) However, Deborah Arnott of anti-smoking campaign Ash said claims that businesses would fail because of the move were not borne out by the experience of other countries where such measures had been "popular and effective, without putting shops out of business".

But whether you are smoker or non-smoker the question here is whether the ban will affect business at BAT and Imperial. The answer, almost certainly, is no.

We can expect the disappearance of one marketing channel to be replaced by others, notably via social networking sites such as Facebook and at major music events.
Several of the UK's biggest festivals have allowed tobacco firms to sell their products on site. East London's Lovebox festival was co-sponsored by Imperial Tobacco's Rizla rolling paper, which is exempt from the ban on tobacco advertising.
An Imperial spokesman said the brand had sponsored a number of festivals. "It's all part of creating brand awareness and it's entirely legitimate." (Tobacco companies - sophisticated marketing techniques: music concerts, social networking..)

Reference: Big tobacco will run rings around new ban, Sarah Modlock, Interactive Investor, 9/22/2010.

AHA - Smokeless tobacco products not a safe option, won’t help smokers quit..

September 25, 2010 -

News Release: Smokeless tobacco products not a safe option, won’t help smokers quit, American Heart Association (AHA), 9/13/2010.

Statement highlights:
* The American Heart Association advises against smokeless tobacco products for smoking cessation – they are not a “safe” alternative to smoking.
* Long-term use of smokeless tobacco products increases the odds of suffering a fatal heart attack or fatal stroke, according to analysis of several studies.

Please note: The bulk of the American Heart Association revenue comes from individual contributions, accounting for 46.0 percent, while contributions from corporations account for 27.9 percent. Some of these corporations are pharmaceutical companies and some of these market nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) medications.

European Commission launches public consultation on revision of the tobacco products Directive..

September 24, 2010 - Today, September 24, 2010 the Commission launches a public consultation on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC)

Directive 2001/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2001 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products.

The Commission says EU citizens, economic operators, non governmental organisations and relevant national authorities are welcome to participate in the consultation. The deadline for submissions is November 19, 2010.

Public consultation on the possible revision of the Tobacco Products Directive 2001/37/EC..

The consultation aims at offering an early possibility for the public to comment on the need to revise the Directive and on different policy options that such revision might involve. (Health: Commission launches public consultation on revision of the tobacco products Directive

Tobacco policy in the EU:

The fight against tobacco in the EU: Questions and Answers

Some related news briefs:
European Union - with 35% of 15 to 24-year olds smoking launches a new campaign..;
EU - fighting against cigarette smuggling but a WHO solution may be in site..;
EU loses EUR 10 billion annually from cigarette smuggling ..;
European Union (EU) - “100 per cent smoke free environment”..;
EU - mobilizing for a crackdown on cigarette smuggling with emphasis on Poland..;
European Union - agrees to raise the minimum tax on tobacco products sold in the region..;
European Union - finance ministers will meet to agree on a minimum tax on tobacco and to eliminate loopholes..;
EU Health Chief - proposes uniform laws to regulate smoking..;
EU launches new anti-smoking TV campaign..;
EU - planning a new study aimed at developing better graphic images..;
European Health Commissioner reprimands Astrid Thors for snus liberation campaign..;
EU plans 'fire-safe' cigarettes..;
MEP calls for EU-wide tobacco ban by 2025..;
EU wants higher tax on tobacco products..;
EU Scientific Committee Concludes: Insufficent Evidence to Lift Ban on SNUS...

Tasmania, Australia - local council calls for complete ban on the sale and use of tobacco products..

September 24, 2010 - Tasmania is an Australian island and state. Burnie City Council, on the island state's northwest coast, has unanimously passed a resolution supporting a "complete ban on the sale and use of tobacco products in Tasmania".

And if total bans are not possible, the council says government should instead ban smoking inside private homes where a child or dependent person is present, plus in "any outdoor area attached to a personal living space".

Anti-tobacco lobby group ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) says the council's position is unique in Australia, though it is though it is similar to the tough stance taken by New Zealand's Maori party. "It is certainly a first, that I am aware of, for Australia," said ASH Australia chief executive Anne Jones.

The resolution, passed at a council meeting on Tuesday, September 21st noted that total bans were the "ultimate and courageous solution" though they were "unlikely to be popular within the smoking community or with those economically reliant upon tobacco products".

The council was responding to a call for input on a discussion paper released by the Tasmanian government, which proposes a range of reforms to curb the state's above-average smoking rates, but which does not go as far as the action sought by the council. (Tasmania - Investment in Tobacco Control 2009-2010)

Tasmania Department of Health and Human Services: Proposed tobacco laws discussion paper The government is accepting feedback on its tobacco reform discussion paper until October 1, 2010.

In a written statement on Thursday, September 23rd Burnie Mayor Alvwyn Boyd said the council otherwise supported the government's proposed reforms. "We are passionate and concerned about health in our region," Mr Boyd also said. I feel that taking a strong stance on the effects of tobacco will hopefully lead Burnie and the state to a healthier outcome."

Tasmania has the nation's second highest smoking rate, only behind the Northern Territory, with 24.9 percent of Tasmanians either daily (23.3 percent) or occasional (1.6 percent) smokers.

Ms Jones said she expected to see rising calls from governments for "really serious" action to cut smoking, because they were facing ballooning health costs linked to smoking-related diseases. We are starting to see governments act out of frustration, and fear, that we haven't done enough to prevent the preventable diseases. Our health system is in dire straits and we have an unaffordable smoking rate ... and Tasmania has the most unaffordable smoking rate."

The Tasmanian government said it welcomed the council's "strong support for tougher tobacco control measures". "The council's views will inform the consultation process we've got underway," Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said.

Reference: Tassie council calls for smoking ban,
Danny Rose, Medical Writer, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9/23/2010.

Indonesia - Australian bands (2) will they perform at tobacco sponsored musical festival??

September 24, 2010 - Australian rock bands Wolfmother and The Vines have come under fire for agreeing to play a Jakarta music festival sponsored by a major Indonesian tobacco company. Both bands announced this week they would perform at next month's Java Rockin'Land festival, set to be one of the biggest music events of the year in the Indonesian capital. But anti-smoking campaigners say if the bands do perform they will effectively be promoting its major sponsor, Indonesian cigarette maker Gudang Garam (Indonesian for "salt warehouse") a major Indonesian kretek (clove cigarette) manufacturer.

Wolfmother To Play Indonesia

23 September 2010

Wolfmother will be playing at Java Rockin’land Festival on October 10th. This one is for the fans in Indonesia who have parted with their very own cold hard cash to see Wolfmother. We realize their are sponsors and we neither support or condemn the sponsors affiliated with the festival. We are very much looking forward to what we hope will be the first of many shows to come in Indonesia.

Australian alternative rock band noted for producing a musical hybrid of '60s rock and '90s alternative music, THE VINES, are confirmed to perform at Gudang Garam InterMusic Java Rockin'land 2010.

THE VINES will be performing on Sunday, 10 October 2010.

Sydney Medical School's director of research Simon Chapman has urged the bands to reconsider. "If the artists put their foot down, the event organisers will get rid of the tobacco sponsorship," Chapman told AAP on Thursday, September 23rd.

Indonesia has extremely lax tobacco laws and is one of only a handful of countries that refuse to sign up to the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Local and transnational tobacco companies often sponsor concerts and sporting events, where they hand out free samples. Cigarette advertising campaigns are often aimed squarely at teenagers. (Indonesia - paradise for smokers and paradise for tobacco companies..)

American singer Kelly Clarkson dropped tobacco sponsorship for her Jakarta concert in April after anti-smoking groups argued she was effectively encouraging her young fans to smoke. Alicia Keys did the same thing in 2008.

American bands Smashing Pumpkins and Dashboard Confessional are also on the festival line-up.

The Smashing Pumpkins Tour Dates
Oct 08 Jakarta Java Rockin Land Festival/Carnaval Ancol

Dashboard Confessional
CT 92010 10/9/2010 Pantai Carnaval Jakarta, IDN

United States is also not a party to the FCTC international public health treaty.

Reference: Wolfmother, Vines urged to ditch concert, Adam Gartrell, Indonesia Correspondent - Australian Associated Press (AAP), The Sydney Morning Herald, 9/23/2010.

The New Big Tobacco: Inside Canada’s underground tobacco industry, a five-part series..

Photo by: Graham Hughes for National Post..

September 23, 2010 - Started on Saturday, September 19th a five-part National Post series by Tom Blackwell takes readers inside the Mohawk-dominated contraband business and its spinoffs, and through the prickly politics that has allowed it to flourish for almost a decade.

The complete series on the contraband tobacco industry:

The New Big Tobacco — Part One of Five: Native-made cigarettes bring wealth and disapproval to reserves

The New Big Tobacco - Part Two of Five: A different kind of 'grow op' The Post looks at how Ontario farmers are feeding a growing underground economy.

The New Big Tobacco - Part Three of Five: 'There's nothing we've done that's illegal' The Post explores the growing debate over organized crime’s role.

The New Big Tobacco - Part Four of Five: The New Big Tobacco: Contraband capital

The New Big Tobacco - Part Five of Five: The high cost of cheap smokes

More information: Canada’s Boom in Smuggled Cigarettes Indian Tobacco Factories, Organized Crime Control a Billion-Dollar Black Market by William Marsden, The Center for Public Integrity, 3/27/2009.

Canada - cigarette smuggling (illicit, illegal) related briefs:
Canada - federal govt announced new initiatives to combat cigarette smuggling..;
Canada - even federal servants smoke illegal cigarettes..;
Canada - tobacco firms settle cigarette smuggling case..;
Ontario - NO new measures to curb youth smoking..;
Ontario - don't cut provincial tobacco taxes to try to reduce contraband tobacco traffic..;
Canada - nearly one in five packs of cigarettes smoked by Canadian teen smokers are contraband products..;
Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey - 2008..;
Ontario, Canada - illegal cigarettes are everywhere..;
Canada - half of smokers have tried to quit..;
Canada - illegal cigarette trade - Imperial Tobacco President Kemball comments..;
Canada - Imperial Tobacco Head - Illegal Cigarettes..;
Imperial Tobacco - Canada Head - Canada growing crisis of illicit tobacco sales..; Imperial Canada - stop illegal tobacco sales rather than raisng tax on tobacco..; Canada - will higher tobacco prices lead to increase in illicit cigarettes..;
Canada - to launch an advertising campaign on the problem of tobacco smuggling..;
Nova Scotia - buying smuggled tobacco you encourage organized crime..; Ontario Businessmen - want government to crack down on illegal cigarettes..;
Imperial Tobacco Canada - slow illegal cigarettes/sue tobacco companies..;
As tobacco prices rise - increase in illegal cigarette trafficing..; Canada - Obama visit - help STOP cigarette smuggling from U.S..;
Canada economic recession losing billions in unpaid tobacco taxes..;
Canada - Police arrest 46 in tobacco crackdown..;
Imperial Tobacco Survey - Canadian Illegal Tobacco Trade..;
Canada - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband...

Victoria, Australia - govt doesn't want to hear about it - possible smoking ban in outside dining areas..

September 23, 2010 - The Victoria state government has committed to cut adult smokers by 25 per cent. But a spokeswoman for the Health Minister refused to comment on whether the government supported a stronger stance on outdoor smoking at restaurants. "We are focussed on delivering the key element of our last round of tobacco reforms which is banning the display of tobacco products at non-specialist businesses," she said. (Interesting read: Why the tobacco industry fears point of sale display bans, T Harper, Tob Control. 2006 June; 15(3): 270–271 - FULL TEXT) "Victoria is the first jurisdiction to set a tobacco target to drive down the number of adult smokers by 25 per cent."

Opposition health spokesman David Davis said the Coalition will look "favourably" at the Australian Medical Association (AMA's) proposal to extend the smoking bans. The State Opposition is expected to announce a series of strong anti-smoking policy positions ahead of the November 27 state election.

An online poll today showed readers of would support a ban on outdoor smoking. It came as as a peak medical lobby group called on Victoria to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas, after new laws in Western Australia took effect this week.

An online poll of more than 1000 people found 60.08 percent of readers backed the idea spruiked (embellished to make more appealing or acceptable) by the AMA. AMA Victoria president Dr Harry Hemley says after showing leadership in anti-tobacco legislation. Dr Hemley called on the state government and opposition to offer anti-tobacco strategies ahead of the November poll.

Dr Hemley: "A ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas would strengthen the message to the community that smoking is no longer viewed as normal, but is an unnecessary and unhealthy habit."

Queensland banned smoking in all commercial outdoor eating and drinking areas in 2006 while Western Australia's smoking ban in alfresco dining areas began yesterday.

Reference: THE State Government has committed to cut adult smokers by 25 percent, Stephen McMahon with Shannon Deery, Australian Associated Press (AAP), Herald Sun, 9/23/2010.

Victoria some related news brief:
Victoria, Australia - hefty fines for adults that smoke in cars when children are present..;
Victoria, Australia - ban on flavored cigarettes../a>;
Victoria, Australia - make cigarettes $20 a pack, doctors urge..;
Victoria, Australia - ban from smoking in cars when children under 18 are present comes into force January 1, 2010..;
Victoria, Australia - 4 in 10 smokers still light up around children..;
Victoria, Australia 5-YR Tobacco Control Strategy..;
State of Victoria Releases 5-Year Tobacco Control Strategy..;
Quit Victoria anti-smoking ad draws controversy..;
Australia - wants to move up date for fire-safe cigarettes..;
Australia - Victoria fires - arson thrown cigarette butt..;
Smoking Device has Quit fuming..;
Victoria May Outlaw Underage Smoking..;

Australia - tobacco tax increase results in more people quitting..

September 23, 2010 - An increase in tobacco taxes by 25 percent across Australia took effect at midnight on April 29, 2010. The tax increase will raise the price of a pack of 30 cigarettes by around A$2.16. Cigarettes currently cost around A$12 to A$15 a packet, depending on the brand, 1.00 A = 0.95 USD. Mr. Rudd said he hopes to use the A$5 billion from the higher cigarette taxes to fund public hospitals. (Australia - tobacco tax increase now in force, next comes plain tobacco packaging..)

Two months after the tax increase, a Galaxy survey of 1258 smokers found 38 percent had tried to give up, compared with 29 percent in the three months before the price rise. A further 29 per cent had cut down and 9 per cent had stopped.

Flinders University smoking cessation expert Associate Professor John Litt said the Government should consider further price rises. "It appears this move was the right one when it comes to trying to reduce smoking levels in this country," he said yesterday.

"According to this research, increasing the cost of cigarettes even higher would provide further benefits to our nation's public health. "As many as 68 percent would try to quit if the price hit $25 per pack (of 20) and only 16 percent would continue to smoke at any price. "This should be considered by our nation's leaders."

In July, the Australian Medical Association SA called for the Federal Government to go further and raise the price to $1 a cigarette.

One in five smokers responded to the price rise by stockpiling packs, buying on average four weeks' supply in advance.

Australia - Contraband (illegal, illicit, smuggled) Cigarettes on the Rise..

Reference: TOBACCO tax increases are pricing smokers out of the habit, latest research suggests, JILL PENGELLEY,, 9/23/2010.


Philip Morris USA - bold move - will introduce a new menthol cigarette in October 2010..

September 23, 2010 -

We first reported that this new menthol was coming in our C-store update of August 29th.

An advisory committee, established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in June 2009 is now evaluating data to determine if menthols should be removed for sale like other flavored cigarettes. The recommendation is due in February 2011.

This cigarette will be promoted as having a minty aftertaste. Again the reason is to continue to try to take market share away from Newport. Newport is the No. 1 cigarette brand in the menthol category, owning 36.5 percent of the industry market share. June 30, 2010 -Lorillard - new web site ""Understanding Menthol"..

Here are some specifics:

Click to enlarge..


Cambodia - govt gets serious about enforcing text warnings on cigarette packs..

Photo by: Pha Lina
September 23, 2010 - The Health Ministry has ramped up efforts to enforce a new sub-decree making it mandatory for all cigarettes sold in the Kingdom to feature written health warnings, issuing letters to an undisclosed number of firms that were not yet in compliance, an official said yesterday.

Khun Sokrin, director of the ministry’s National Health Promotion Centre, said that “most, but not all” tobacco manufacturers and importers had fulfilled the terms of the sub-decree, which went into effect on July 20. Health Minister Mam Bunheng said at the end of last month that few firms were in compliance.

Background: The Council of Ministers approved a sub-decree on Friday, August 14th that will require health warnings to be printed on the outside of cigarette packages. Under the presidency of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the council released a statement saying that the purpose of these warnings will be "to educate people, especially children and housewives, about the consequences of smoking, and to counter any deceiving advertisements from tobacco companies". (Cambodia - now favors text only warnings on cigarette packs..)

The Health Ministry on Wednesday, January 20th unveiled mandatory text-only cigarette warnings that all manufacturers and importers will need to include on packages sold in the Kingdom beginning in July 2010, a regulation that has disappointed public health workers pushing for visual warnings, which are believed to be much more effective smoking deterrents. (Cambodia - text only cigarette warnings starting July 2010..)

Cambodia has one of the highest rates of smoking in Southeast Asia – 48 percent of men and 3.6 percent of women over the age of 18 smoke cigarettes, and 17 percent of women and 1 percent of men chew tobacco, according to a 2005 survey that was published by the Ministry of Planning in 2009.
On Monday, September 20th the ministry sent out two letters – one thanking companies that were using the warnings, and another “urging” those that had missed the deadline to begin using them, Khun Sokrin said. In addition, he said, the ministry earlier this month aired a statement on Cambodia Television Network urging companies that have not complied to do so immediately. Officials have been delivering the same message on radio programmes over the past 10 days, he said. “The deadline has passed,” Khun Sokrin said.

The sub-decree outlines three steps for enforcement: issuing warning letters, temporarily suspending violators and, finally, permanently closing down firms that fail to comply.

Khun Sokrin said yesterday that he was not at liberty to disclose the number or names of firms that were not using the warnings.

However, Kun Lim, head of corporate affairs for British American Tobacco Cambodia (BATC), said this week that at least eight out of 14 major distributing companies were in violation of the sub-decree. “Enforcement is weak,” Kun Lim said. “I’d just appeal to the Ministry of Health and governing law agency to please step up, because it’s been a long time.”

Officials said last month that cigarette packages were still appearing on shelves without warnings because stores were unloading stock that had been delivered before the sub-decree went into effect. Kun Lim said at the time that it could take three or four months for all of the old stock to be sold off.

But Kun Lim said yesterday that some firms had yet to send new stock featuring the warnings to stores, citing reports from staffers sent out by BATC to observe incoming market and wholesale stock. Representatives of several of the eight firms identified by Kun Lim said yesterday that they had already complied with the sub-decree or that they would do so soon.

“Right now, the manufacturer has not put warnings on the packages, but we are still planning,” said Hen Lim, the Cambodian distributor for Hong Kong International Tobacco (HKIT), which manufactures brands such as Marce, Phnom Meas and Yellow Elephant. Hen Lim said that HKIT “supports” the new law “because it is a right for residents to know risks”.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official at Go Well Tobacco International Pte Ltd – the distributor of the brands GD, Panda and Era White and Blue – said the company had already placed warnings on its stock.

The warnings are a component of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which Cambodia ratified in 2005.

Last month, the Health Ministry announced a sweeping ban on all forms of tobacco advertising and promotion, which is also part of the effort to come into compliance with the convention. (Cambodia - govt will soon ban tobacco advertising..)

Reference: Tobacco warnings enforced, Keeley Smith and Sen David, The Phnom Penh Post, 9/22/2010.

Cambodia - some related News Briefs:
Cambodia - govt will soon ban tobacco advertising..;
Cambodia - proposed ban on all tobacco advertising and promotion..;
Cambodia - may miss deadline to ban tobacco advertising..;
Cambodia - agreement greater tobacco control measures needed..;
Cambodia - 2-day seminar, strategies for controlling tobacco use..;
SEATCA - Gates funding for research on improving tobacco control tax systems..;
Cambodia - text only cigarette warnings starting July 2010..;
Cambodia - now favors text only warnings on cigarette packs..;
Cambodia - graphic warnings soon to be on cigarette packs..;
Asean Countries - Tobacco Industry Blocking Global Treaty On Tobacco..;

- Cambodia is a member of Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)..


E-cigarette hearing begins on Thursday, September 23, 2010..

September 22, 2010 - U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) jurisdiction over e-cigarettes..

NO. 10-5032
On Appeal From the United States District Court For the District of Columbia
Civil Action No. 09-cv-0771 (RJL)

The FDA in February 2010 won a temporary delay of a U.S. judge’s ruling that the agency lacks authority to regulate the products as drugs or medical devices and must allow e-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.

Directly related news brief: In Process: US. Federal District court judge makes serious error regarding the import of e-cigarettes..; U.S. FDA - judges ruling regarding e-cigarettes must be appealed - ASAP..; U.S. FDA appealing a federal judge's ruling on e-cigarettes.; U.S. - federal appeals court, import of e-cigarettes on hold again..; THIS MUST STOP - e-cigarette company asking active duty soldiers to buy their product..; ; U.S. e-cigarette imports banned indefinitely - ASH...

September 10, 2010 - E-cigarettes - finally U.S. FDA gets tough with distributors..

Indonesia - confusion regarding possible suspects regarding the missing clause from the health bill passed in September 2009..

Indonesian National Police
September 22, 2010 - - We reported back on October 14, 2009 that a section regulating tobacco as an addictive substance in the newly passed Health Law had been removed. (Indonesia - section on tobacco in health bill disappears...

The missing section was written as follow: ”Addictive substance as referred in section (1) includes tobacco; solid, liquid, and gas products that contain tobacco which are addictive and could harm its users and or their immediate surroundings.”

On October 16, 2010 Kartono Muhammad, a health expert with the Coalition Against Corruption on Health Law, said, “It is already known who were involved and there are evidence for that.” (Indonesia - missing tobacco regulation in approved Health Law..)

In March 2010 The Coalition Against Corruption of the Anti-Tobacco Clause said that the three House of Representatives (DPR) lawmakers, before ending their tenure last year, had ordered that the clause designating tobacco as an addictive substance be excised. “What we have are hard evidences and not just mere indications. We have a document signed by those people ordering the State Secretariat to ‘mutilate’ the clause,” said Kartono Muhammad, a member of the coalition, also known as Kakar.

“We demand justice and that the police investigate this case. What is the motive to ‘delete’ a clause from the health bill. This is a systematic crime and should not happen again in the future,” he said. (Indonesia - persons accused of eliminating clause designating tobacco as addictive..)

On Monday, September 20, 2010 - The National Police again summoned two Health Ministry officials for more questioning over the alleged deliberate omission from the 2009 health bill of a clause addressing the dangers of tobacco.

Hakim Sorimuda Pohan, a former lawmaker from the Democratic Party now working with the Coalition Against Corruption of the Anti-Tobacco Clause (Kakar), said the National Police had told him that three legislators involved in the case had been named suspects. He named them as committee chairwoman Ribka Tjiptaning, from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and commission members Mariani Baramuli and Asiah Salekan, from the Golkar Party.

Brig. Gen. Saut Usman Nasution, the head of transnational crimes, no one had been named as a suspect as of yet, he said. “We have to be careful to determine if there was any violation of the law and who should be responsible,” Saut said. But Saut has denied the three have been named suspects. While the committee deliberating the bill dismissed the omission as a “technical error,” critics allege the clause was deliberately struck off to appease the powerful tobacco lobby.

Health Ministry spokesman Tritarayati said it was unlikely that the ministry officials were involved in the case because the final draft proposed by the ministry’s legal bureau had classified tobacco as an addictive substance. She said that the final draft was handed to the House in completed form and the ministry did not have any access to the draft after that. “We gave a draft bill to DPR and nothing was missing from it then,” Tritarayati said.

“After that the House of People's Representatives (DPR) handed the bill to the state secretary for it to be reported to the president. We no longer had access to the bill.” However, she said the ministry was ready to follow the legal process.

We will follow every single process.” Ribka who heads House Commission IX overseeing health affair, said on Tuesday that she was not a suspect and had never been called by the police over the matter. “The National Police have never summoned me for the tobacco law case,” she said.

Reference: Officials Called Over Vanishing Tobacco Warning, Farouk Arnaz, Dessy Sagita & Anita Rachman, Jakarta Globe, 9/21/2010.

Indonesia some related news briefs:
Indonesia - 2-year old kicks the habit - COLD Turkey..;
Indonesia - agrees to ratify the WHO FCTC public health treaty..;
WTO - US rejected call by Indonesia to rule on dispute on ban of clove cigarettes in the US..;
Indonesia - on June 22nd will ask WTO to rule on US ban on clove cigarettes..;
Indonesia - PT Djarum Tobacco to sponsor badminton events..;
Indonesia - CNN Video on 2-year old nicotine addict..;
Indonesia - more on the 2-year old addicted to nicotine..;
Indonesia - paradise for smokers and paradise for tobacco companies..;
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..

San Francisco - Board of Supervisors tentatively approved banning stores with pharmacies from selling cigarettes..

September 22, 2010 - In 2008, San Francisco became the first city in the country to ban cigarette sales in drugstores such as Walgreens and Rite Aid, prompting a lawsuit from Walgreens saying it wasn't fair to allow grocery stores and big-box stores with pharmacies inside them to continue selling tobacco. The California Court of Appeal sided with Walgreens in June, prompting Supervisors Eric Mar and Bevan Dufty to craft legislation to close the loophole. (San Francisco - Walgreens tries to convince court it's a grocery store..; San Francisco - Judge threw out a Walgreens attempt to stop the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies.. )

San Francisco's public health department director says it sends the wrong message, especially to kids. Mitch Katz says drugstores should be selling healthy items because people go there to buy prescription drugs and other products that help them get better. He doesn't expect the law to persuade any current smokers to quit, but said it might prevent youths from starting.

The new legislation is designed to close that loophole by extending the ban to formerly exempted stores. That means no more tossing a pack of cigarettes into the cart at Safeway or Costco. If approved at a final reading next week, Tuesday's vote closes the loophole.

References: SF Supes OK expanded ban on cigarette sales, Carolyn Tyler, KGO-TV/DT abc7, 9/21/2010; Board to vote on expanding ban on tobacco sales, Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/21/2010. For more information: San Francisco supes OK expanded tobacco sales ban by TREVOR HUNNICUTT For The Associated Press,, 9/21/2010.

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

Swedish Match - Catch SNUS Collection EASE now available..

September 22, 2010 - In time for the rain and harsh weather of autumn, the Catch Collection is introducing its final flavor for the year, Ease, with a combination of spicy warm ginger and fresh orange.

Previous related news brief: Swedish Match - Catch SNUS Collection GLOW now available..

The flavors in Catch Collection are only available for a limited period of time. Mellow, with a rhubarb flavor, was introduced earlier this year followed by Glow, with a taste of elder and lime. Now it’s time to add the final flavor to the pallet, the orange and ginger of Ease.

“Ease is an interesting combination of summer flavors and warm aromas that are ideal now that autumn is making its presence felt,” says Mediha Budak Gustafsson, Brand Manager Catch.

Catch Collection Ease has a mild tobacco character, with a distinct hint of ginger and orange. It will be available in stores from August. The portion pouches are in mini format and a can contains about 20 pouches and costs approximately SEK 30.>

Swedish Match - New warming flavor for the dark and rain of autumn, Swedish Match, 9/8/2010.

African COMESA countries against WHO's attempt to ban ingredients used in blended tobacco..

September 21, 2010 - The Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) is opposed to the World Health Organisation's attempts to push through a ban of ingredients used in producing blended tobacco.

These ingredients are laboratory produced compounds ranging from sweetners, sugars and flavours such as menthol, maltol and vanillin, used to improve the palatability of tobacco.

Burley -- a popular tobacco type in British American Tobacco markets (especially the US) is the most common type grown in the Comesa region -- mainly in eastern and southern African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique -- and which requires blending. Scientists claim that smoke from burley tobacco tends to have a harsh taste during curing, necessitating use of ingredients like glucose, menthol and ginger, or blending it with other types to tone down its character.

A ban of the manufacture of the blending compounds would mean a loss of market for Comesa-grown tobacco, and a loss for farmers.

Even the burley tobacco growers in the United States have sounded the alarm. They are concerned that the proposed regulations could lead to a worldwide ban on blended, American-style cigarettes that contain burley tobacco. (U.S. Burley tobacco growers - WHO FCTC articles elimination of American-style cigarettes..) In this case the United States government can not help because they are not party to the WHO FCTC public health treaty. (Time for USA to be part of the world community..

The FOURTEENTH Summit of the Authority of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) was held at Lozitha Palace, Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland), on 31st August to 1st September 2010

URGED Member States which are Parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to urgently write to the WHO FCTC before the Conference of Parties (CoP) opposing the recommended ban of ingredients for blended tobacco proposed in the guidelines on Articles 9 and 10.

(Draft guidelines for the implementation of Articles 9 and 10 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control)

URGED Member States which are parties to the FCTC to urgently write to the Secretariat of the FCTC before the COP meeting pointing out the inadequacy of the policy options on alternative livelihoods to tobacco growing (Article 17 and 18) because they are based on wrong assumptions and do not provide mechanisms to support the diversification from tobacco

(Economically sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing (in relation to Articles 17 and 18 of the
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control)

FURTHER URGED Member States to request, in their submissions, that the FCTC put in place proper consultation mechanisms for all affected stakeholders to participate in any future development of FCTC guidelines.
For most of Comesa, whose member states are struggling to get out of poverty through agriculture, implementing the WHO guidelines would mean a loss of livelihood for many tobacco growers who have no immediate alternative, hence a crippling of national economies.

According to the association, part of the problem is that WHO officials in Geneva do not have a sufficient understanding of how important the tobacco industry is to many African countries, and the disastrous consequences its ban will have for many of these countries.

Apart from hundreds of thousands of African tobacco-producing farmers being pushed out of business, the WHO has not sufficiently addressed viable agricultural alternatives.

In Malawi for instance, 70 per cent of the population derives an income directly or indirectly from the tobacco industry -- with 700,000 farmers involved in tobacco cultivation, generating at least 35 percent of its gross domestic product. Uganda has 70,000 tobacco farmers, who generate $66 million per annum. Zimbabwe has 55,000 smallscale tobacco farmers.

Reference: East Africa: Comesa to Petition UN On WHO Tobacco Ban, Julius Barigaba,, 9/20/2010.

Some related news briefs:
WHO FCTC - developing countries need alternative to tobacco growing plus stoppage of cigarette smuggling..;
Europe - tobacco growers are worried but no change until an alternative is found..;
Asian Tobacco Farmers worried Article 9 & 10 WHO FCTC..;
U.S. Burley tobacco growers - WHO FCTC articles elimination of American-style cigarettes..;
Thailand govt - wants to ban the growing of Burley and Oriental tobacco..;
Canada - bill to ban flavored tobacco products gets final approval - Burley Tobacco...

WHO FCTC - 4th session on Tobacco Control - Uruguay 15 Nov 2010 to 20 Nov 2010..

September 21, 2010 - The fourth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) will be held at the conference centre of the Conrad Hotel in Punta del Este, Uruguay. It will open at 10:00 on Monday, 15 November 2010, and is expected to close no later than 13:00 on Saturday, 20 November 2010.

Guide for participants in the Conference of the Parties

Fourth Session- Main Documents


WTO - Armenia appears to impose a lower tax rate on domestic tobacco products than those imported from the Ukraine..

September 21, 2010 - For the first time since Ukraine became World Trade Organization (WTO) member, it has requested that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body establish a panel to settle a dispute with Armenia over less favorable conditions for the import of Ukrainian tobacco and alcohol than those of national origin.

According to the WTO, Ukraine asks that this request be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body that will take place on September 21, 2010. According to Ukraine, it was impossible to resolve the dispute through consultations. (ARMENIA – MEASURES AFFECTING THE IMPORTATION AND
, 7/22/2010)

"In case a country refuses from consultations or does not start them, a WTO member that has placed a request for the consultations has the right, under Article 4.3 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes, to immediately request the establishment of a panel to settle a dispute," Andrii Zablotskyi, an associate from the Volkov Koziakov & Partners law firm, told Interfax-Ukraine. He also said that following examination, the panel issues recommendations to the county which has violated the WTO agreements under which the country should bring its legislation in line with the WTO standards.

Ukraine alleged that Armenia's law "On Presumptive Tax for Tobacco Products" of March 24, 2000, levies discriminatory internal taxes on imported tobacco products and is therefore in violation of Article III of the GATT 1994 and paragraph 1.2 of Armenia's Protocol of Accession to the WTO. Moreover, the law imposes customs duties on such imported tobacco products at a rate of 24%, which is higher than Armenia's WTO bound rate of 15%.

Armenia - Legislative documents which contain articles regulating tobacco related issues.

Reference: Ukraine requests World Trade Organization to settle tobacco dispute with Armenia,, 9/21/2010.

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..

Armenia related news brief:
Armenia - conference results in future strategies for smoking prevention and control..

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Invokes Data Quality Act Against FDA Menthol Studies..

September 21, 2010 - The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE has notified the FDA that the smoking initiation/cessation studies identified by the FDA and reviewed by CRE can not be used to formulate a policy on menthol cigarettes.

Previous related new briefs: CRE states that the FDA Tobacco Advisory Committee is in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.. Federal Advisory Committee Act.

The Data Quality Act prohibits federal agencies from using studies that are non-compliant with the DQA. The FDA has sixty days to respond to the CRE petition. Center for Regulatory Effectiveness Invokes Data Quality Act Against FDA Menthol Studies

In its petition CRE painstakingly reviews eight of the studies identified by the FDA and explains the reasons for their non-compliance with the Data Quality Act.