Buffalo, New York - moving ahead with plans to regulate the sale and advertisement of tobacco products..

November 19, 2010 -

Click on Reference to listen to audio version of this article.

Local crusaders against smoking predicted today that Buffalo is on the verge of adopting some of the toughest rules in the nation governing the advertising of tobacco products. Activists met at an East Side community center where speakers accused cigarette-makers of using "predatory" advertising tactics to attract young smokers.

The event was held as the part of the Great American Smokeout, the American Cancer Society's annual effort to discourage tobacco use. Nine easels were set up at the front of the Delevan-Grider Community Center, each holding an oversized photograph of East Side storefronts that were plastered with cigarette ads.

According to a recent survey that focused on randomly-selected tobacco retailers in Erie and Niagara counties, tobacco ads were found in 93 percent of the stores. Advocates were assisted by local college students in 80 retail outlets. Other studies have found that nearly 90 percent of regular smokers began the habit before they turned 18.

Tobacco marketers are on the prowl for "replacement smokers," said Gretchen Leffler, regional vice president of the American Cancer Society. "In our world, they're known as our children," Leffler said. Youngsters are especially susceptible to the "bright colors and flashy signs" that tobacco marketers use to hawk their products, Leffler added.

Buffalo officials are "on the verge" of passing tough new regulations that will regulate the sale and advertisement of tobacco products, said Anthony Billoni, coordinator of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition.

Directly related news brief: June 30, 2010 - Buffalo, New York - considering the toughest tobacco control program in nation..

He introduced Masten Council Member Demone A. Smith, the sponsor of a draft proposal that would impose dozens of restrictions on tobacco marketing tactics and retailing activities. Stores would no longer be able to display outdoor ads for tobacco products. Some new businesses would be banned from selling tobacco products, including pharmacies, restaurants, bars and business that primarily serve minors, or businesses that are within 1,000 feet of schools.

Beginning in 2014, no tobacco products could be sold at any drugstores, bars, restaurants, game rooms or on school or college properties.

One key provision would create a new city license for all businesses selling tobacco products. Advocates said this would make it easier for the city to shut down irresponsible retailers.

Smith said the plan is currently being reviewed by city attorneys. He expects a final version to be presented to the Common Council in the near future, and he believes the plan will have enough support to pass.

Smith said the reason the bill has yet to be introduced and approved involves some people's concerns that the city could face enormous legal costs if the tobacco industry mounts a court fight to the regulations. Outside groups would likely assist the city with expenses in the event of a legal challenge, sources said.

A co-founder of 100 Black Men of Greater Buffalo, a community advocacy group, praised the efforts to crack down on cigarette advertising. Jim Anderson said tobacco marketers are engaging in "predatory" practices in many inner city neighborhoods, trying to entice young people into smoking. "They don't care about the old folks who might be stuck on it. They want the new money," he said.

Reference: Lawmakers 'on the verge' of Lawmakers adopting tough rules on tobacco ads by Brian Meyer, BuffaloNews.com, 11/18/2010.

Buffalo - related news briefs:
Buffalo, New York - considering the toughest tobacco control program in nation..;
Town of Tonawanda - smoking ban in town buildings and recreation areas..;
Buffalo - landlords must disclose to tenants whether they allow smoking..;

Serbia - PMI continues to provide funding for a charitable grant program run by ENECA..

November 19, 2010 - Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) and Serbian nonprofit Economic Expert Community Association (ENECA) announced today, November 18th that they have signed an agreement for PMI to continue funding a charitable grant program, begun by ENECA and PMI in 2009, to help unemployed people start their own small businesses in the Serbian city of Nis where PMI’s DIN “Fabrika Duvana” a.d. Niš (DIN) factory is located.

Since PMI funding for the program began in 2009, 50 unemployed people in Nis have successfully started their own businesses, and these businesses are already employing more than 80 people. PMI’s 2010 grant aims to target an additional 50 unemployed people to receive small-business start-up grants.

Said Area Director South East Europe, Skip Bornhuetter, “As one of Nis’ largest employers, we are very pleased to contribute to the community by funding the ENECA initiative that promotes entrepreneurship”.

ENECA’s program involves a careful selection process to choose unemployed beneficiaries based on the viability of businesses proposals submitted to ENECA. Once a recipient’s project is approved, ENECA provides the recipient with business training and a grant to cover 80% of the capital start-up cost for the business in the form of equipment and supplies. Grant recipients must cover 20% of the remaining capital costs to ensure their continued motivation and commitment, and must also give back to the community in the form of 15 hours of community service in their area of expertise.

“This program squarely addresses job creation, which is my number one critical priority”, said Nis Mayor, Miloš Simonovic. “The ENECA/PMI partnership is a great example of how a public-private partnership can effectively train and empower people to succeed.”

Said ENECA Director, Masa Bubanj: “This initiative is creating new businesses. Every new business that succeeds will create jobs for people. And when people have jobs they will buy goods and services from local businesses which in turn will multiply into more economic activity and more jobs.”

Gender differences in smoking experience and cessation: do wealth and education matter equally for women and men in Serbia?

Reference: Program to Empower Jobless to Create Small Businesses in Serbia Receives Grant from Philip Morris International, Source: Philip Morris International, 11/18/2010.

Serbia - related news brief:
Serbia - smoking ban begins Thursday, November 11, 2010..;
Serbia - government abandons plans to introduce a blanket ban on smoking indoors..;

Idahoans - support raising state taxes on cigarettes and alcohol to address the state’s budget deficit..

November 19, 2010 - Just on Monday November 15th we reported that the state of Idaho is being pushed by many health groups to increase the tax that they currently have in place on cigarettes and other tobacco products. (Idaho - health groups pushing for an increase in the tobacco tax..)

Now we find Idahoans overwhelmingly support raising state taxes on cigarettes and alcohol to address the state’s budget deficit, according to a new statewide poll, even as they oppose other tax hikes and spending cuts. The poll, conducted by Moore Information, was released Thursday, November 18th by a coalition of health groups that launched a push for a big hike in Idaho’s 57-cent-per-pack cigarette tax in the coming year.

Idaho’s cigarette tax, at 57 cents per pack, is the lowest among all surrounding states and ranks 42nd in the nation; the national average is $1.45 a pack, and Washington’s tax is more than $3 per pack.

“This will be a huge win for Idaho’s public health,” said Dr. Ted Epperly, a family physician from Boise. Epperly said smoking is the No. 1 most preventable cause of death in the United States, yet 5,000 Idaho kids try their first cigarette each year and 1,500 Idahoans die from smoking each year. “By raising the state’s tobacco tax, Idaho will reduce smoking … especially among kids,” Epperly said. “The science could not be more clear.”

That’s not all - the groups in the coalition, which range from the American Cancer Society to the Idaho Medical Association, project that a $1.50 increase in Idaho’s cigarette tax also would bring in an additional $52.3 million to the state’s treasury, even after accounting for the drop in cigarette sales it’d bring about.

That money, Epperly said, could help shore up Medicaid, “a program that is in crisis at this time.” Epperly said the state also would see reduced health care costs as the number of smokers drops - an estimated $8 million in savings just in the first five years.

Idaho House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, said he supports the concept and may co-sponsor the legislation. “They wanted to bring a bill to raise cigarette taxes last year and I wouldn’t let them, told them no, that last year was all about reducing the base budget, because we had to do that,” Lake said Thursday. “So when they approached me this year, I said yes, we’d hear the bill.”

Lake said he’s not sure about the health coalition’s proposal for a $1.50 per pack increase, however. “I’m not sure that that amount will fly. But I think that we will have a bill that will increase cigarette taxes, yes. Whether it’s a dollar and a half or a dollar or some other figure I don’t know.”

The poll, which queried 500 Idaho voters Oct. 17-18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent, found 73 percent support for a $1.50 per pack increase in the cigarette tax to preserve Medicaid funding and fund tobacco-cessation and youth prevention programs.

Lake said he agrees with the poll results. “I think people do support it,” he said. But he said he’s reluctant to rely on a cigarette tax increase as a “revenue enhancer.” Instead, he said, it’s warranted on public health grounds. “I’ve seen the figures on what they think the reduction in teenage smoking would be, and I think that alone makes the project worthwhile,” Lake said.

Other information in the poll results, which was funded by the American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association of Idaho, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, included this finding: 47 percent of Idahoans say the state is generally headed in the right direction, while 40 percent think Idaho’s on the wrong track. Pollster Bob Moore called that a “narrowly optimistic” voter mood.

While really big numbers - 71 percent each - favored increasing taxes on alcohol and tobacco to address Idaho’s budget deficit, respondents strongly opposed raising Idaho’s sales tax, income tax or gas tax to deal with the state’s budget crunch. And by even bigger numbers, they opposed reducing funding for roads, health care or education. The poll found that 82 percent opposed cutting education funding, including 69 percent who were “strongly” opposed.

Reference: Poll: Idahoans favor big cigarette tax hike, Betsy Z. Russell, The Spokesman-Review, 11/18/2010.

Idaho - related news brief:
Idaho - health groups pushing for an increase in the tobacco tax..;
Idaho - state senator whose husband is a tobacco lobbyist snuffed out bill..;
Idaho - online cigarette marketer not immune from state laws..;
Eagle - 1st city in Idaho to ban smoking..;
Moscow, Idaho bans smoking in bars, private clubs..;

JTI - Hamlet Cigars - packaging changing just in time for Christmas..

November 19, 2010 - Japan Tobacco International (JTI's)
Hamlet cigar brand has been given a fresh new look ahead of the key Christmas sales period. Revamped packs feature a new toned colour background and hand- lettered font. The Hamlet 'lozenge' has also been updated and foil blocked, while the JR Freeman signature has been introduced beneath the logo to reinforce Hamlet's cigar-making heritage.

JTI has revealed a "more contemporary" packaging design across its Hamlet cigar brand ahead of the key Christmas season.

The new-look packets and tins, rolling out next month, will feature a more modern-looking font and will be finished with a matt varnish. To reinforce the brand's heritage and authenticity, the JR Freeman signature has also been introduced on pack.

The packaging would ensure the brand remained "relevant to today's adult cigar smokers", the company said. Worth £120m (191.5m USD), Hamlet accounts for 39% of the £314m (501.1m USD) cigar market [Nielsen].

Hamlet cigars are most famous in the UK for their comical advertisements.. Since the ban on tobacco advertising in the UK and much of Europe was implemented, the adverts are no longer aired.

References: Smoking hot: JTI's Hamlet cigar brand has been given a fresh new look, Convenience Store, 11/12/2010; Modern look revealed for Hamlet cigars, The Grocer, 11/6/2010.
(United Kingdom, Britain)

Florida - jury snaps tobacco’s recent winning streak with an $80 million award..

November 18, 2010 - Bronson, Fla. -- Florida jury snaps tobacco’s recent winning streak with an $80 million award to the daughter of a deceased smoker in a lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Dianne Webb claimed her father's 1996 death was caused by a 60-year smoking addiction fed by company manipulation and deception. The Levy County jury award Tuesday includes $8 million in compensatory damages and $72 million in punitive damages. (The lung cancer death of James Kayce Horner. Mr. Horner, who started smoking at the age of 17 in 1934 (decades before warning labels appeared on cigarette packages), smoked for over 60 years before dying of lung cancer on March 11, 1996, at the age of 78.) R.J. Reynolds, a unit of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc., had no immediate comment on whether it will appeal the Levy County verdict.

The case is one of about 8,000 similar lawsuits in Florida. They are being tried individually because the state Supreme Court in 2006 threw out a huge $145 billion class-action damage award for all Florida smokers.

Background: The Engle case is named after a Florida pediatrician named Howard Engle who was the lead plaintiff in a statewide class action filed in 1994 on behalf of smokers who were addicted to nicotine and developed cancer or other smoking-related illnesses as a result. In the first part of what was intended to be a three-phase trial, a Miami jury decided a series of common questions relating to the companies’ conduct and to the health effects of smoking. In the second phase, the jury awarded $145 billion in punitive damages to the class.

In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court rejected the $145 billion verdict and ruled that the case couldn’t continue as a class action. At the same time, Florida’s high court upheld most of the Phase I factual findings and said they would apply in all of the individual suits filed by smokers who had been part of the Engle class. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case. The case is Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 08- 16158, 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Atlanta).
Attorneys representing tobacco companies in post-Engle lawsuits seem to have discovered a formula for victory as the seventh lawsuit in a row has ended with a defense verdict. A jury in Florida's 17th Judicial Circuit Court found that a long-term smoker who died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was addicted to cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. However, the Broward County jury said the lawsuit was untimely because the smoker should have known by May 1990 -- four years before the original Engle suit was filed -- that he had COPD caused by his smoking habit. While the win is the 10th overall for cigarette manufacturers, smokers and their families have still won the large majority of these cases. (Tobacco companies win seventh consecutive Florida suit, Westlaw Journal Tobacco Industry, 11/12/2010.)

References: Jury Awards $80 Million in Fla. Smoker Case
Ruling against RJR includes $8 million in compensatory, $72 million in punitive damages
, CSP Daily News, 11/18/2010; Florida Jury Snaps Tobacco’s Recent Winning Streak with an $80 Million Award Against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, MA., 11/15/2010.

Some related news briefs from Florida court cases:
Florida - jury returns verdict in favor of Philip Morris USA, 5th consecutive time..;
Florida is tide turning? - 4th time in 2-weeks Philip Morris USA wins court cases..;
Florida - PM USA to challenge verdict in the Piendle v. RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris USA case..;
Florida - tobacco companies ordered to pay $2.2 million to widow of smoker..;
Florida - individual cases against big tobacco can move forward, can rely on Engle jury findings..;
Florida - jury awards smoker $21M from Philp Morris USA.;
Florida - can big tobacco survive all these lawsuits they continue to lose??;
Florida - big tobacco loses another case..;
Florida - jury awards $26.6 million to smoker's widow..;
Florida - 9 year old case, appeals court upholds $24.8 million award..;
Florida - $300 million jury award to former smoker overturned..;
Florida - jury awards $300 million in ex-smoker's suit..;
Florida - tobacco companies ask court to block ruling..;
Florida - plaintiff drops case to avoid paying legal fees for Philip Morris USA..;
R.J. Reynolds to appeal plaintiff's award of $30 million..;
R.J. Reynolds loses Florida court trial - widow gets $30 million..;
Broward County Florida jury awards widow of smoker $1.5 million..

New Zealand - price goes up number of smokers goes down..

Click to enlarge..
November 18, 2010 - The strong anti-smoking lobby and hiked tobacco taxes have resulted in a greater number of smokers giving up the habit. According to a new research, the numbers of people giving up smoking have seen a double-fold increase since April. (New Zealand - increase in tobacco excise forced through Parliament by the Government..)

Paula Snowden, the Chief Executive of Quit Group announced that around 4,000 people had registered with its helpline to give up smoking in May this year, an increase of 93% since the previous year. Quit Group has announced that it would be open on the 1st of January to register more people, whose resolution would involve giving up smoking.

The increasing numbers of people quitting smoking have been stated to be because of increasing prices, which rose by 10% for a pack and 24% for loose tobacco in April this year. Apart from the hike this year, another 10% increase is being expected in January next year, with another similar hike the year after.

Ms. Snowden stated that the average price for a pack 25 cigarettes would reach $15 following the hike. She stated that the hike would result in people spending as much on cigarettes, as they usually do on fuel or rent for a week.

Reference: Increasing People Stub Out Smoking because of Hiked Cigarette Prices, Submitted by Ketan Mukherjee, TopNews.net.nz, 11/17/2010.

New Zealand related news briefs:
New Zealand - Māori Affairs Committee Report released - November 2010..;
New Zealand - non-smokers offered incentives to test cigarettes..;
New Zealand - phase out tobacco sales over the next decade..;
New Zealand - Scandinavian Tobacco granted clearance to merge its cigar and pipe tobacco businesses with Swedish Match..;
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..

Singapore - graphic warnings on cigarette packs found to be effective..

November 18, 2010 - Mr Lam Pin Woon, Chief Executive Officer, Health Promotion Board (HPB) responding to a letter (from Mr. Ho) where it was suggested that graphic warning labels on cigarette packs are ineffective.

We would like to take this opportunity to share that the Health Promotion Board (HPB) had conducted surveys following the implementation of the graphic warning labels on cigarette packs to ascertain the effectiveness and responses to the graphic warnings. We are pleased to share that our surveys with more than 1,000 respondents showed that 28 per cent smoked fewer cigarettes, while 21 per cent made efforts to abstain from smoking. Also, 54 per cent of non-smokers who were surveyed advised their friends and colleagues to quit. In addition, the QuitLine saw a three-fold increase in the number of callers who sought advice on quitting after the graphic health warning labels were introduced.

This strategy of graphic health warnings is in line with the World Health Organization's (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a global treaty involving over 170 countries to date, to which Singapore is also a signatory.

Graphic health warnings on cigarette packs are based on strong evidence and Singapore is among one of the countries which has mandated them to combat tobacco use. A recent WHO publication also highlighted findings from Australia and New Zealand that indicated that graphic health warnings improved knowledge of smoking harms and cessation related behaviour.

Of smokers surveyed in Australia, 57 per cent said that graphic health warnings have helped them to think about quitting. Of those who have quit, 62 per cent said the warning labels have helped them give up smoking.

However, we wish to assure Mr Ho that graphic health warning labels on cigarette packs are just one of the many measures that Singapore has adopted in our smoking control efforts. Tobacco control measures have to be holistic as legislation alone may not be sufficient to deter smoking.

Hence, the HPB, as the national driver of the National Tobacco Control Programme, adopts a multi-pronged strategy that encompasses taxation, legislation and programmes to help those who smoke to kick the habit as well as encourage the public to adopt a tobacco-free lifestyle.

Reference: Graphic warnings on cigarette packs found effective: HPB survey Letter from Lam Pin Woon Chief Executive Officer Health Promotion Board, TodayOnline.com, 11/18/2010.

Singapore - some related news briefs:
Singapore - changes to the Anti-Smoking Bill passed in parliament..;
Singapore - new stricter tobacco legislation - smoking..;
Singapore - tobacco dissolvables now infesting this health conscious country..;
Singapore - illicit cigarette trade down by 37 percent..;
Singapore - e-cigarettes are illegal..;
Singapore - record number of smuggling attempts for 1st part of 2009..;
Singapore - new measures to discourage smoking among the young..;
Singapore - more people were smoking in 2007 than 2004..;
Singapore - Smoking increase despite public ban, price hike..; Singapore - Introduction of Tobacco Stamp to combat contraband...

MMWR - U.S. - Air Travelers at Risk From Secondhand Smoke at Some Airports..

READ MMWR Report: Smoking Restrictions in Large-Hub Airports --- United States, 2002 and 2010, November 19, 2010 / 59(45);1484-1487..

November 18, 2010 - Overenthusiastic Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pat-downs aren't your only travel worry this holiday season, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. A new report by the agency finds that one in four of the largest U.S. airports still allows smoking indoors, potentially exposing travelers and workers to disease-causing secondhand smoke.

The findings, published today, November 18th in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (see above), reveal an unnecessary risk, according to CDC director Thomas Friedan. Secondhand smoke has been linked to heart attacks, lung cancer and asthma attacks, among other ailments.

"Every year, millions of people who travel through and work at these airports are unnecessarily exposed to secondhand smoke," Friedan said in a statement. "Even ventilated smoking rooms do not eliminate secondhand smoke exposure. Eliminating smoking at airports is the only way to fully eliminate exposure."

But seven of the nation's largest airports still allow indoor smoking in designated areas, the CDC reports. That includes Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, and Denver International Airport, three of the five busiest airports in the country. The other four large airports that allow indoor smoking are: Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Salt Lake City International Airport.

"Completely eliminating smoking in all public places and workplaces, including airports, is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure," Ursula Bauer, the director of the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, said in a statement. "Secondhand smoke is responsible for 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths each year."

CDC- Secondhand Smoke..

Reference: CDC: Air Travelers at Risk From Secondhand Smoke by Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer, Live Science, 11/18/2010.
(passive smoking, involuntary smoking, shs, environnmental tobacco smoke, ets, sidestream smoke)

Los Angeles City - smoking to be banned just about everywhere..

November 18, 2010 - The Los Angeles City Council unanimously directed its attorneys Wednesday to prepare an ordinance that would ban smoking in "all public areas and common areas where people congregate."

Directly related news brief: Los Angeles - more limitations on where smokers can smoke..

Councilman Bernard Parks said the idea is not to ban smoking, but regulate where it can be done. He expects the proposed ordinance to be ready for final approval sometime next year. Smoking is already banned in restaurants and other public places, such as parks and beaches.

In Parks' motion -- approved 13-0 Wednesday -- the councilman called for a comprehensive and citywide ordinance that would ban smoking in "all public areas and common areas where people congregate, including, but not limited to, indoor and outdoor businesses, hotels, parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars, and beaches."

Parks added, "We need to implement legislation to regulate cigarette smoking by limiting it to specific places where there is no expectation of involuntary contact with people -- wherever people congregate or there is an expectation of people being present, (then) smoking should be prohibited."

Vanessa Peterson with the American Lung Association told the council that tobacco is the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in California, and that more than 60,000 Americans exposed to second-hand smoke die each year.

A study prepared by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department showed about 1 million smokers countywide and about 435,000 in the city. The same study estimated that tobacco-related diseases cost the county $4.3 billion a year.

Parks said smoking is a voluntary addiction and not a right protected by the Constitution, "yet secondhand smoke harms an involuntary population which has a right to clean air and a clean environment and which is protected by many public health laws."

Monty Messex, deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, said second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous. "There is some data that shows that it is worse for you because the second hand smoke that people breathe is from the end of the cigarette, and also being exhaled," he said. "Second-hand smoke that's breathed by a person who's not smoking has been cooled and sometimes will be breathed deeper into their lungs."

Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Calabasas have already enacted ordinances similar the one being proposed by Parks. Calabasas Mayor Barry Groveman testified Wednesday, November 10th that his city's ordinance is "nothing that stops people from smoking -- it's only designed to stop the second-hand smoke exposure to people who don't want to face the consequences of second-hand smoke." "It's no different than stopping people from firing weapons, or having bullets land on people," Groveman added. "We have a right to use police power to protect people."

Reference: LA Council Considers Smoking Ban "Where People Congregate" by CHRISTINA VILLACORTE, NBCLosangeles.com, 11/10/2010.

Los Angeles realted news briefs:
Los Angeles - more limitations on where smokers can smoke..;
Los Angeles - jury recommends Philip Morris USA pay $13.8 million in punitive damages..;
Los Angeles County - bans smoking at county parks, beaches, golf courses and other public spaces..;
Los Angeles - jury recommends Philip Morris USA pay $13.8 million in punitive damages..;
L.A. bans smoking in parks...

BAT - Japanese cigarette market next year to decline 17 percent..

November 17, 2010 - British American Tobacco Plc (BAT), Europe’s largest cigarette maker, forecasts a 17 percent decline in the Japanese cigarette market next year after a record tax increase in October.

The volume may total 180 billion cigarettes in 2011, compared with an estimated 218 billion this year, according to a presentation by BAT’s Japan unit in Tokyo. The market may shrink to as low as 165 billion cigarettes next year, Naresh Sethi, president of BAT Japan, told reporters.

BAT increased its market share in Japan to 10.6 percent so far this year, from 9.1 percent in 2005, Japan Tobacco controls 66.4% of the cigarette market in Japan.

Japan raised the tobacco tax by 40 percent in October to discourage smoking in the country, where 36.6 percent of men smoke. The price of 20 cigarettes in Japan rose an average of 37 percent to 410 yen ($4.95) on Oct. 1, said BAT, the maker of Kent and Kool brands.

Sales “volume will suffer in a big way in 2011,” Sethi said. The government should apply “a small increase every year,” as it would make the market more predictable, he said. (Japan - ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) committee recommends caution in raising the tax on cigarettes again soon..)

An illegal cigarette market may emerge in Japan because of rising prices, he said.

Cigarette sales plunged 70 percent in October after an 88 percent surge in September, according to the Tobacco Institute of Japan. Thousands of smokers bought cigarette cartons at convenience stores and other retailers before the tax took effect. BAT increased its market share in Japan to 10.6 percent so far this year, from 9.1 percent in 2005, it said.

Reference: BAT Forecasts 17% Decline in Japan Cigarette Market on Record Tax Increase, Reporter: Naoko Fujimura (nfujimura@bloomberg.net), Editor: Frank Longid (flongid@bloomberg.net), Bloomberg.com, 11/15/2010.

Some directly related news briefs:
Japan - with tax increase, after first month three of five quitters still smoke-free..;
Japan - ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) committee recommends caution in raising the tax on cigarettes again soon..;
Japan - increased demand for anti-smoking aid Chantix (Champix)..;
Japan - cigarette sales increase by 88% prior to tax increase..:
Japan Tobacco to expand Zerostyle Mint distribution..;
Japan Tobacco - to launch Pianissimo Super Slims menthol in November 2010..;
Japan - with tax increase in place, fewer smokers buying cigarettes so far..;
Japan - October 1, 2010 - tobacco tax increase, govt aims to discourage smoking..;
Japan - lawmakers want to keep on raising the price of cigarettes..;
Japan - smokers stocking up on cigarettes before October 1st tax hike..;
Japan Tobacco - annual survey, smoking incidence continues to fall..;
Japan - people more aware of dangers of smoking cigarettes - dangers to smokers and those around them..;
Japan - Health Ministry set to urge all local governments to go smoke-free..;
Japan Tobacco - reacts angrily to governments decision to raise cigarette tax..;
Japan - tax increase, a pack of 20 cigarettes will increase by an average of 33%..;
Japan - cigarette taxes increase may be less than expected..;
Japan - prime minister calls for tobacco tax increase..;
Japan - new government administration considering raising cigarette taxes..;
Japan shelves tobacco tax hike for 2009..;
Japan - Ruling party plans tobacco tax hike in 2009..;
Japan Tobacco Starts Petition To Fight Tax Increase..;
How to get most smokers to quit?? - Keep On Raising The Price..;
Japanese lawmakers want to triple cigarette prices..;

WTO panel order Thailand to set up uniform taxes on both foreign and locally made cigarettes..

November 17, 2010 - In a 400-page decision released late on Monday, a WTO (World Trade Organization) panel went on to order Thailand to set uniform taxes on both foreign and locally made cigarettes and to adopt more transparent policies for determining import values. The decision will become an official ruling in 60 days unless either side appeals or if the entire WTO membership rejects the findings.

The trade dispute arose after Bangkok, in 2006, implemented customs valuation and domestic tax measures that allegedly undermined the competitiveness of imported cigarettes versus those locally produced by the state-run Thailand Tobacco Monopoly.
In 2008, Manila complained that Thai customs officials had set higher valuations for Philip Morris International’s Philippine-made cigarettes. This came amid allegations that the cigarette manufacturer was misdeclaring prices to its Thai sister firm to get away with lower duties.

Thailand also reportedly slapped higher value-added taxes (VAT) on imported cigarettes, the Philippines claimed. The dispute attracted the interest of the United States, European Union and Chinese Taipei which forwarded statements similar to the Philippine position.

Previous news briefs on this subject:
March 18, 2010 - WTO delays verdict on cigarette confrontation between Thailand and the Philippines..;
January 19, 2010 - Thailand - PMI likely breached the Foreign Business Act..;
November 9, 2009 - WTO - "DS 371" Philippines versus Thailand on cigarette customs valuation..;
September 3, 2009 - Thailand unit of Philip Morris International faces charges that it violated custom tax rules..;
November 11, 2008 - Philippines - Thai cigarette import rules.. .
Thailand argued that it was right to reject Philip Morris’ declared values given "legitimate" doubts. It claimed that a third-party importer bought the same products from the Philippines at three times the price contracted between Philip Morris’ units.

Chris J. Nelson, managing director of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. and president of PMFTC, Inc. -- a merger with Fortune Tobacco Corp. -- said in a separate e-mail: "[We] welcome the decision... We hope... issues relating to Philip Morris exports to Thailand will be settled favorably by Thai authorities."

Manuel A.J. Teehankee, the Philippine Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization, if Thailand appeals the report, another six to seven months of proceedings can be expected before the issue is resolved.

Reference: RP (Philippines) wins tax case vs Thailand, by JESSICA ANNE D. HERMOSA, Senior Reporter, Business World, 11/16/2010.

Australia - govt health minister to introduce bill to prevent tobacco Internet sales..

November 17, 2010 -

Prohibiting retailers from peddling cigarettes as ‘cheap’ or ‘tax-free’ on the internet is the latest step in the Australian Government’s hard hitting and comprehensive action to reduce Australia’s smoking rates.

The Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Amendment Bill 2010 will be introduced into the Parliament today, November 17th and the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon said this legislation will bring restrictions on tobacco advertising on the internet into line with restrictions in other media and at physical points of sale.
Prohibiting retailers from peddling cigarettes as ‘cheap’ or ‘tax-free’ on the internet is the latest step in the Australian Government’s hard hitting and comprehensive action to reduce Australia’s smoking rates.

View by date: For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 0409 945 476

Directly related news briefs:
Australian Health Minister - orders facebook probe..;
PAPER: Pro-tobacco videos have a significant presence on YouTube.. ;
Social networking sites marketing tobacco products to youngsters...

Australia has some of the world's toughest tobacco advertising restrictions and already bans advertising on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, and at sporting events. Retailers are prohibited from displaying cigarette packets in shops and cigarette packets carry graphic images of cancer and a health warning that smoking causes cancer. "Together with our efforts to mandate the plain packaging of tobacco products from 2012, Australia is on track to have the world's toughest measures against tobacco," Roxon added. "Tobacco use is Australia's single largest cause of premature death and disease, killing 15,000 Australians a year and costing our economy A$31.5 billion." Smoking rates in Australia have been declining since the mid-1970s when the advertising bans first started, down from around 35 percent to 19 percent today.

The Australian Council on Smoking and Health welcomed the move. Council president Mile Daube: "Cigarettes are now being heavily promoted on the Internet, and there are serious concerns that both online advertising and social networking sites are being used to promote tobacco to young people."

Reference: Internet Tobacco Advertising to Face New Tough RestrictionsTHE HON NICOLA ROXON MP, Minister for Health and Ageing, MEDIA RELEASE, 11/17/2010; a href="http://in.reuters.com/article/idINTRE6AG0MS20101117">Australia to restrict internet tobacco advertising,
Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by Elaine Lies, Reuters, 11/17/2010.

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands, an Altria Group company, to launch new Skoal SNUS in January 2011..

Click to enlarge..

November 17, 2010 -

Background: Altria Group Inc said on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 it completed its $10.4 billion acquisition of UST, Inc. greatly expanding Altria's presence in the faster-growing smokeless tobacco segment. (Altria completes UST acquisition..)

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. (in 2001 U.S. Tobacco Company changes its name to U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company - UST)

UST has had a Swedish-style SNUS product known as Revel since August 2001. In July 2006 UST came out with a similar product to Revel called
Skoal Dry Tobacco Packs which was test marketed in Louisville, KY and in Austin, TX going head-to-head with Camel Snus. Skoal Dry came in three flavors: regular, menthol and cinnamon and was selling for $3.50 - $4. a pack or about the same as a pack of premium cigarettes. Each can continued 20 tobacco pouches. (Tobacco Journal International August 3, 2006)

As of August, 2008, Skoal Dry was discontinued and replaced by Skoal SNUS available in three flavors: mint, cinnamon, and citrus blend.. UST, Inc. Executives Very Disappointed in Sales of the Entire SNUS Segment..

In January 2009, soon after Altria acquired UST, Philip Morris (PM) USA announced that it was discontinuing Marlboro MST. At this time Michael Szymanczyk (now Chairman, Chief Exec. Officer of the Altria Group, Inc.), stated there’s no plan right now, relative to the UST Snus products (Skoal Dry now named Skoal snus). We’ve got to get involved in that and understand it better before we’ll make any decisions about it. (PM USA - discontinues Marlboro Moist Snuff & revamps Marlboro Snus..)

Click to enlarge..

How can Skoal SNUS succeed when Marlboro SNUS is failing?? When Marlboro SNUS and Marlboro MST were introduced then Citigroup's Tobacco Analyst Bonnie Herzog told investors that PM USA will fully cement its place in the smokeless segment using the power of the Marlboro brand (8/21/2007). Well this did not HAPPEN.. Nik Modi, a UBS tobacco analyst has stated, "The Marlboro brand name is not as transferable as many originally believed." The guys that know the smokeless tobacco category tell us history clearly shows that it is difficult to extend brands from one category to another. (Marlboro MST / Marlboro SNUS - Philip Morris USA (PM) Trying to Paint a Rosie Picture..)

Taboka, PM USA's first attempt at a SNUS product had poor sales and was discontinued.

Reference: from literature provided by vendor to retail outlets..

A couple related news briefs:
The Art of Snusing..;
SNUS pouches are promoted as being spitless....

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gives $500,000 to defend anti-smoking laws in Uruguay..

November 17, 2010 - Mayor Bloomberg made the donation to help Uruguay's anti-smoking groups fend off lawsuits brought on by the massive tobacco corporations. He said his money "will assist Uruguayan government officials by providing legal research and expertise, launching public education mass media campaigns, and galvanizing world support and public opinion."

See this news brief: Uruguay - WHO FCTC meeting of the parties, Nov. 15th - Nov. 20th..

Reference: Mayor Bloomberg gives $500,000 to defend anti-smoking laws in Uruguay by Byron Butler, TheDailyTell.com, 9/16/2010

Uruguay - WHO FCTC meeting of the parties, Nov. 15th - Nov. 20th..

November 16, 2010 - The fourth session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is being held at the conference centre of the Conrad Hotel in Punta del Este, Uruguay. (Uruguay is the second smallest nation of South America in area after Suriname. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.4 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area. An estimated 88% of the population are of European descent. Uruguay..)

President Jose Mujica described Uruguay Monday as a "laboratory of confrontation" with Big Tobacco. Philip Morris International Inc., the world's second-biggest cigarette company after the state-controlled China National Tobacco Corp., is pursuing a claim before World Bank arbitrators alleging that Uruguay is violating its trade agreement with Switzerland by requiring that anti-smoking warnings cover 80 percent of cigarette packages.

Mujica said the trade violation claim seeks to "complicate the life and sovereignty of a small nation that has the boldness to defend itself and try to defend the health of its people." He said Uruguay will maintain its anti-smoking laws despite the pressure.

The president spoke at the opening of a summit representing 170 countries that have signed a global tobacco control treaty established in 2003. The summit's goal is to analyze and support policies that reduce smoking globally. The meeting is sponsored by the World Health Organization, which says tobacco kills five million people a year around the world.

Earlier this year Philip Morris, which sells Marlboro and other brands in more than 160 countries, filed for arbitration at the World Bank's international centre for settlement of investment disputes (ICSID), claiming the restrictions hurt its business and violated Uruguay's trade deal with Switzerland.

Uruguay: Philip Morris files first-known investment treaty claim against tobacco regulations by Luke Eric Peterson, 3/3/2010)

Directly related news brief: Uruguay - has promised to water down anti-smoking laws after pressure from the tobacco giant Philip Morris International..;

Reference: World Health Organization takes on tobacco lobby, Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/15/2010.

Nigeria - National Tobacco Control Bill - when will the bill be passed??

November 16, 2010 - While Nigeria was among the very few nations that signed the FCTC in 2004 with ratification in 2005, the nation is still foot-dragging total domestication of the treaty. The Nigeria tobacco control bill is a comprehensive law when passed to regulate the manufacturing, advertising distribution and consumption of tobacco products in Nigeria. It is a bill that is aimed at domesticating the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Strong indications emerging show that the tentacles of corruption may have been keeping too close to the process of getting the Nigeria’s National Tobacco Control Bill 2009 enacted. A source close to the Senate who spoke to HotNews Nigeria on the condition of anonymity said that following Mr. David Mark’s, (Senate President) directive for the Senate Committee on Health handling the tobacco issue to fast track issues to facilitate the Bill’s enactment before money changes hand. The source added that following that directive from the apex power in the Senate, the tobacco industry led by the British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) swam into action
intensified lobbying efforts. According to the Source, the Chairman of the Committee has been pretending to be too busy to settle down for the tobacco bill business and since the Committee cannot sit, it would be very difficult to make any presentation to the Senate.

Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the federal government to emulate Australia’s move to ban the promotion of tobacco. (Nigeria - call to emulate Australia's move to ban the promotion of tobacco..)

Nigeria has the highest child mortality rate in Africa as it has been scientifically confirmed that no fewer than 90,000 children die yearly through pneumonia related disease. (Nigeria Has Highest Child Mortality Rate, Says Medical Expert, Ola Ajayi, Ibadan, allAfrica.com, 11/10/2010)

Reference: Corruption: Nigeria’s Tobacco Bill Suffers Setback, Posted by Ugochukwu Chimeziri, BiodiversityMedia.ning.com, 11/2/2010; Nigeria Tobacco Control Bill, the world is watching, Akinshola Owoeye, BusinessDay, 10/18/2010;

Nigeria - related news briefs:
Nigeria - tanker drivers that smoke pay fines of N .1m (665.56 USD)..;
Nigeria - State of Osun to implement tobacco control measures..;
Nigeria - call to emulate Australia's move to ban the promotion of tobacco..;
Africa - the increase in tobacco use must be prevented..;
Nigeria - parliament still debating new tobacco legislation..;
Nigeria - Customs Service Comptroller-General commended BATN..;
Nigeria - National Tobacco Control Bill - public hearing..;
Nigerian senator believes passage of anti-tobacco bill wil lead to unemployment..;
Nigeria - Senator claims anti-tobacco bill will lead to 400,000 job losses..;
Nigerian Lawsuit Against Tobacco Firms Adjourned Until January 2009..;
Nigeria House Passes Anti-smoking Bill..;
BAT using illegal tactics to get African youths to start smoking..;
British American Tobacco (BAT) - 100 years in Africa..

Spain's Biggest Ever Counterfeit Cigarette Network Dismantled ..

November 16, 2010 - Spain's biggest ever operation against counterfeit tobacco has led to the seizure of 90 million fake cigarettes and the arrest of six men. The investigation saw the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) working closely with Spanish Customs to break up one of the largest tobacco rackets in Europe and prevent the loss of 10 million euros in tax revenue.

Spanish Customs launched Operation BALMAN in February 2010 when intelligence about suspicious imports from China was provided by OLAF. Fast and accurate exchanges of information between OLAF and national authorities allowed investigators to track containers of counterfeit cigarettes from China to ports on the east coast of Spain, where they were pushed into the illegal market.

"The excellent work of Spanish Customs has resulted in a victory for European taxpayers and a strong blow against smugglers. It shows that proactive information-sharing between OLAF and national authorities is vital in our battle against the illicit trade in tobacco. We fight fraud best when we fight it together," said OLAF's acting Director-General Nicholas Ilett.

The European Commission has concluded cooperation agreements with four of the world's largest tobacco manufacturers1 in order to tackle this illegal trade. OLAF is also reinforcing its cooperation with national authorities to stamp out an illicit industry that costs European taxpayers an estimated 10 billion euros each year and floods the market with uncontrolled and substandard goods. (European Union (EU) - tobacco firms are contributing funds to the fight against cigarette smuggling..)

European Commission and Philip Morris International sign 12-year Agreement to combat contraband and counterfeit cigarettes

European Commission and Imperial Tobacco sign agreement to combat illicit trade in tobacco

European Commission and British American Tobacco sign agreement to combat illicit trade in tobacco

European Commission and JT International (Japan Tobacco) sign 15-year Agreement to combat contraband and counterfeit cigarettes

Reference: Spain's Biggest Ever Counterfeit Cigarette
Network Dismantled
, OLAF, 11/12/2010.

Denmark - realistic shocking images on cigarettes working..

November 16, 2010 - Back in January 2010 we reported on an extensive joint study involving 5000 people conducted by the National Board of Health, the Heart Foundation, the Lung Association and the Cancer Society, has found a dramatic decline in the number of people who smoke. Only 23 percent of the population smokes regularly now, compared to 28 percent in 2008. Health board chief consultant Jørgen Falk said the figure almost sounded ‘too good to be true’. (Denmark - in one year the number of smokers dropped from 28% to 23%..)

Studies reveal last year’s gruesome images were effective..

The health authorities have proposed to repeat the scare-campaign ‘Every cigarette is harmful’ that ran from October 2009 to January 2010, after the Danish Health Ministry publicized the positive results. An evaluation of the campaign reveals that the shocking images of damaged organs that were broadcast caused 40 percent of all smokers to consider quitting after the campaign started. Some ten percent attempted to quit, and three percent managed to quit entirely.

Bertel Haarder
According to the new Cancer Plan, the Danish Health Ministry will spend six million kroner to re-run the campaign in 2011, while providing 2.5 million kroner to finance STOP-Line, a helpline for people wanting to quit smoking. “The number of smokers has gone down, and we must push forward with our endeavours in this area, regardless of whether this figure is a result of the campaign,” Bertel Haarder, Health Minister, told Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

“We know that a lot of people have been affected by the campaign, so of course it should be repeated in order to contribute to the changing views, where it is no longer cool to stand with a cigarette, but rather, loser-ish.”

Despite the successes of the campaign, there is still opposition to its re-launch.
The campaign has been accused of being a scare campaign that exaggerated the realities, as the broadcast included artificial latex models and the use of technology to produce the confrontational images. “It is a problem if public authorities make an obvious scare campaign that is factually incorrect. We should abandon these scare tactics and replace them with accurate, serious information. Then people can make their own informed decisions on how to live their lives,” Emil Ammitzbøl, spokesperson for the Liberal Alliance, told Berlingske Tidende.
The Danish Cancer Society supports the campaign’s re-launch, describing last year’s effort as “predominantly positive”, as it sparked great interest in smoking cessation. Despite its success, project leader Niels Them Kjær acknowledged that it was “very aggressive”.

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Heidi aka MissFuzzy |2010-11-11 11:21:54 They should also make posters showing a typical smoker's wrinkles compared with a non-smoker's. That one is actually rather effective since it appeals directly to ones vanity.

James4 - It's about time |2010-11-12 15:39:56
Good work. less smoke, less hospital bills. lets clean Denmark from Tobacco and Jante Law.

Reference: Controversial anti-smoking campaign to be re-launched, the Copenhagen post online, 11/10/2010.