Australia - World's leader in tobacco control in 2010 and beyond..

January 12, 2012 - 2010 stands to be seen as the year in which Australian governments moved more decisively on smoking than any other governments anywhere around the world.

Tobacco tax increase - April 29, 2010 - the 25 percent increase was announced by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and put into force overnight on the same day (adding about $2.16 to a pack of 30 cigarettes). According to Maurice Swanson, tobacco control spokesperson for the Heart Foundation, the tobacco tax had not been increased in real terms for a decade. There are now even calls to further increase the tobacco tax. (Australia - tobacco tax increase results in more people quitting..

Plain packaging for tobacco products - April 29, 2010 - Australia will force tobacco companies to adopt plain packaging, removing all color and branding logos within two years, in a world-first move aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths. Starting July 1, 2012, tobacco products would have to be sold in the plainest of packaging — with few or no logos, brand images or colors. Promotional text would be restricted to brand and product names in a standard color, position, type style and size. (Australia - world set to follow Australian tobacco policy.. This action won praise from the World Health Organization (WHO), which welcomed the measures as "a new gold standard for the regulation of tobacco products."

National Preventive Health Agency Act 2010 - on November 17, 2010 the parliament passed this act for federal funding the National Preventative Health Agency. The Preventative Health Taskforce consisted of the nation's health experts was established in April 2008 to develop the Strategy that provides a blueprint for tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcohol. Australia - Comments on the National Preventative Health Taskforce's Proposal..

Ban smoking in indoor workplaces - all six states and territories have prohibited smoking in indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

No smoking in cars in which children are present - The majority of states, if not all, have also passed laws that make it illegal to smoke in cars in which children are present.

Prohibiting Display of Tobacco Products - The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, have all passed legislation prohibiting the display of tobacco products, with implementation due in phases between 2010 and 2013. State and Territory laws prohibit tobacco advertising at the point-of-sale. The bans on tobacco advertising are being updated to preclude advertising through the internet.

Also - E-cigarettes (electronic, ENDs = electronic nicotine delivery system) have been banned by Australia. (E-Cigarettes: The New Frontier In War On Smoking by Debbie Elliott, NPR, 8/5/2009) There is a ban on supplying smokeless tobacco products in Australia.

The State of Western Australia probably accomplished the most, when compared with the other Australian states, in tobacco control in 2010. (Congratulations Western Australia (WA) - September 22, 2010 stricter anti-smoking laws in effect..)

Australia's Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon has stated, "we are killing people by not acting”. Tens of thousands of Australians in years to come will owe their lives to the action that was taken in 2010.

Reference: 2010: The best year for tobacco control, Mike Daube is Professor of Health Policy, Curtin University and President of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, 1/12/2011.

FDA TPSAC Menthol Report Subcommittee Meeting - February 11, 2011..

January 29, 2011 - On Friday, February 11, 2011, Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) - its menthol report subcommittee will receive presentations and discuss the timelines and structure of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee’s required report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding the impact of use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health.

February 11, 2011: TPSAC Menthol Report Subcommittee Meeting Announcement

Texas - wants to raise legal age to purchase tobacco products to 19..

January 29, 2011 - State Senator Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio has filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session to move the Texas legal age to use and buy tobacco products from 18 to 19 years old, the Star-Telegram reported. Uresti argues that his proposal is an important step in breaking the addiction cycle which tends to begin during a person's teen years. (The 82nd Texas Legislature convened on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. The legislative session ends on May 30, 2011. The governor has until Sunday, June 19, 2011 to sign bills the legislature passes, veto them or allow them to become law without his signature. - Texas Legislature)

Other states in the country have already implemented the law that a person must be at least 19 years old to purchase and use tobacco products, those states are: Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every five Texans 18 and older are regular smokers; but by delaying legal access to smoking it can greatly reduce early addiction to nicotine according to further research, but that's hard to do if 18-year-olds are buying the product and sharing it with underage friends, the Star-Telegram stated.

Uresti’s proposed legislation is intended to stop the cycle of underage tobacco addiction in Texas and would also help to keep tobacco products out of the hands of high school students. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3.2 million Texans—almost one in every five Texans 18 years of age and older—is a regular smoker.

Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Phillip Morris, said the company has no comment on the bill.

References: Texas Senator Files a Bill to Raise Legal Age to Purchase Tobacco Products, Convenience Store News, 1/11/2011; Texas Poised To Raise Minimum Age for Use or Purchase of Tobacco to 19 by TOB Editors,, 1/17/2011

Ontario, Canada - province's chief medical officer submits annual report on improving public health..

January 28, 2010 - Chief Medical Officer: Ontario needs a system-wide public health strategy that involves all three levels of government to restrain health care costs and prevent Ontarians from getting sick and injured.

Dr. Arlene King, Ontario's Chief Medical, 1st King’s 2009 annual report entitled: Public Health: Everyone’s Business end — was chosen to reflect this multi-pronged approach. 2009 Annual Report Of The Chief Medical Officer Of Health Of Ontario To The Legislative Assembly Of Ontario, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 1/27/2011.

In her 2009 annual report to the legislative assembly, Dr. King says that prevention efforts must be directed in five areas:
* Reducing obesity and physical inactivity
* Investing in healthy child development
* Preventing injuries
* Reducing health inequities
* Investing in the war on tobacco.
The federal, provincial and municipal levels of government must be involved, she said, as well as the health, education, financial and social sectors.

“It’s everyone’s business when 60 percent of Ontarians are overweight or obese (and 26% of children are overweight or obese),” King told reporters at a news conference. “It’s everyone’s business when injuries are the single greatest cause of death for Ontarians under 45.” The province needs to address health inequities, particularly for northern Aboriginal communities where poverty and isolation create substantial public health problems, King said. More attention also must be directed to early childhood development, where government has a role to ensure children have save communities, good schools and clean water, she said.

“The investments we make will pay huge dividends in the future health of our children and the adults they will become.”

King said Ontario also needs to step up its efforts to reduce tobacco consumption. The province spent $42.8 million on tobacco control in 2009-10, down from $52.6 million in 2008-09. A smoker in Ontario dies every 40 minutes and smoking costs the province almost $8 billion in health care costs productivity losses every year, she said. King said the government has brought in tougher new tobacco rules, including banning smoking in vehicles where children are present, but needs to do more. “We must not lose momentum,” King said. “We have plateaued.” Approximately 13,000 Ontarians die from tobacco use each year.

King says the province also needs a public health strategy that focuses on prevention and health promotion. She says a comprehensive strategy will improve people’s health and rein in massive growth in health-care spending. King says she plans to release her recommendations for a public-health strategy before the October 6, 2011 provincial election.

References: Ontario public health strategy needed, Megan Ogilvie HEALTH REPORTER,, 1/28/2011; Ontario Needs Comprehensive Public Health Strategy,, 1/27/2011.

Palencia, Spain - hotels and restaurants protest anti-smoking law..

January 28, 2011 - Hotels and restaurants in the northern Spanish town of Palencia (Palencia provincia (province), north-central Spain) closed on Wednesday, January to protest the country's tough anti-smoking law which took effect this year. (Spain - anti-smoking law goes into effect Sunday, January 2, 2010.)

About 100 professionals from the sector also staged a demonstration, some carrying banners saying "If you don't smoke, we don't get paid. Let us live" and "Total ban, sector ruined."

Trade associations said 60 to 70 percent of the hotels and restaurants in the town of around 80,000 people closed for the day.Spain - anti-smoking law goes into effect Sunday, January 2, 2010. It was the first major demonstration against the anti-smoking law, one of the strictest in Europe, since it was introduced on January 2.

The new law bans smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants and nightclubs and makes it illegal to smoke in children's parks or anywhere on school or hospital grounds.

The hotel and restaurant industry fears the law could cut sales by between five and 15 percent. Last week, the Spanish Hotel and Catering Association launched an effort to obtain half a million signatures on a petition to demand that parliament change the legislation.

Spain has had an anti-smoking law since January 2006 but the impact was barely noticeable. It banned smoking in the workplace, on public transport and in shops. But it allowed owners of bars, restaurants and cafes to decide whether to ban smoking or not. Most, faced with a drop in business, naturally chose to permit their customers to light up. (Spain - impact of 2006 law banning smoking in public places..)

MADRID (AFP) - Spain announced Friday, January 27th its jobless rate surged to a 13-year record above 20 percent at the end of 2010, the highest level in the industrialised world, as the economy gasped for air. (Spain Unemployment Rate Surges To Highest In Industrialized World)

Reference: Spanish town rebels against anti-smoking law, Agence France-Presse (AFP), 1/26/2011.

Spain - related news briefs:
Spain - anti-smoking law goes into effect Sunday, January 2, 2010.;
Spain - new smoking ban goes into effect January 2, 2011 - how many jobs will be lost??;
Paper: Spain - cost of each pack of cigarettes up to $150..;
Spain - doctors call for tobacco sales banned in vending machine in bars and from kiosks..;
Spain - the Basque Governing Council gives green to the latest anti-smoking bill..:
Spain - ban smoking legislation wins unanimous support in parliament..;
Spain - tougher smoking restrictions not until 2011..;
Spain - Indonesia`s clove cigarettes popular in Spain..;
Spain - health minister believes society mature enough to accept total smoking ban..;
Spain - cigarette sales are up - so what else is new!!;
Spain - zero tolerence smoking ban this year or next??:
Spain - in June 2010 government will present a law to congress to ban smoking in closed public places..;
Spain - government postpones debate on tougher smoking legislation..;
Spain - smoking ban to be implemented on January 1, 2010 still being delayed..;
Spain - still some hesitation on total smoking ban for country..;
Spain - hotel and catering industry protests plan to ban smoking next year..;
Spain - hopes next year to expand ban on smoking in enclosed public places..;
Spain - impact of 2006 law banning smoking in public places..;
Spain - ready for expansion and enforcement of Anti-Smoking Act..;
Spain - ready for full smoking ban in public places..;
Spain - ban smoking public places - a lot of talk no action..;
Spain plans gruesome images on cigarette packs sometime in future...

Brunei - since tax increase cigarettes now top of list of smuggled goods..

January 28, 2011 - Brunei-Muara (northern-most district in Brunei; it is the smallest of Brunei's four districts in term of area but by far the most populous, with over half the country's population ) - Cigarettes have shot to the top of the list of smuggled dutiable items in the country following a price hike in tobacco goods in November 2010. (Brunei - govt raises tobacco tax effective November 1, 2010.)

This was disclosed during a meeting between Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) officials and grassroots leaders of Mukim Pengkalan Batu. Mouse trails are being used to transport the undeclared goods into the country and RBPF is deploying forest rangers to combat smuggling activities. Chairing the meeting yesterday, Superintendent (Supt) Pengiran Hj Zamani Pengiran Hj Ahmed said that while inspections made at customs checkpoints were clear, smugglers are using mouse trails to flee when they sense the presence of enforcers.

Police said smugglers are now focusing on cigarettes, with the items surpassing alcohol as the contraband of choice.

Authorities in Brunei remain vigilant with seizures taking place over the previous year being brought to court and convicted with the majority pleading guilty. In the last three months alone, the court heard at least 14 cases of cigarette smuggling that were brought to court. Since its inception in 2000, the forest rangers have succeeded in preventing 17 cases of smuggling with 16 successful arrests.

Supt Pg Hj Zamani said the meeting was an initiative to engage the community in fighting smuggling activities through the community leaders, village consultative councils and neighbourhood watch to ensure the nation's peace and welfare. "The objective of this meeting is to discuss the activities of smuggling of alcoholic drinks and cigarettes along mouse trails," said Supt Pg Hj Zamani, who is also the officer in command of the Reserve Unit at the RBPF.

Reference: Cigarettes Top List Of Smuggled Items, written by Izam Said Ya'akub,, 1/27/2011.
(black market, illegal, illicit, contraband)

Related news briefs:
Brunei - 2,920 Reasons To Quit Smoking..;
Brunei - govt raises tobacco tax effective November 1, 2010..;
Brunei - briefing on hazards of smoking for Department of Youth and Sports officers..;
Brunei - seems like smokers to avoid fines want designated smoking area..;
Brunei - smoking ban looks like it will work - ENFORCEMENT STRONG..;
Brunei - An imam blasts tactics to keep people addicted to nicotine..;
Brunei - smoking top cause of cancer death..;
Brunei - national tobacco control panel to create smoke-free society..

Altria - 1st pass - business results 2010 q4 and full year..

January 28, 2011 - These figures were released yesterday as the Altria Group presented its full year and fourth quarter figures for last year.

For the full year of 2010, Altria's net revenues increased 3.4% to $24.4 billion, and revenues net of excise taxes increased 0.4% to $16.9 billion due primarily to higher net revenues from cigarettes, smokeless products and wine, partially offset by lower net revenues from financial services.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, Altria's net revenues decreased 1.4% to $5.9 billion due primarily to lower net revenues from cigarettes and cigars, partially offset by higher net revenues from smokeless products, financial services and wine.

Cigarettes, manufactured by PM USA

PM USA's reported domestic cigarette shipment volume last year, at 140.8 billion, was down by 5.3 per cent on that of 2009. Marlboro volumes were down by 3.7 per cent to 121.9 billion, while volumes of other premium cigarettes(such as Virginia Slims, Parliament and Benson & Hedges) were down by 12.6 per cent to 10.3 billion. Discount product (include Basic, L&M and other discount brands) volumes were down by 16.8 per cent to 8.6 billion.

Domestic cigarette shipment volume during the fourth quarter of last year, at 33.6 billion, was down by 7.0 per cent on that of the fourth quarter of 2009. Marlboro volumes were down by 5.7 per cent to 29.2 billion, while volumes of other premium cigarettes were down by 12.2 per cent to 2.4 billion. Discount product volumes were down by 18.2 per cent to 2.0 billion.

PM USA’s retail share of the US cigarette market during the full year 2010, at 49.8 per cent, was down by 0.1 of a percentage point on that of 2009. Marlboro’s share was up by 0.8 of a percentage point to 42.6 per cent, while the share of the company’s other premium brands fell by 0.5 of a percentage point to 3.9 per cent. The share of the company’s discount brands fell by 0.4 of a percentage point to 3.3 per cent.

Smokeless Products, manufactured by USSTC and PM USA

USSTC and PM USA's combined retail share of smokeless products for the three-month period declined 0.1 share point to 54.5%, and for the twelve-month period increased 0.7 share points to 55.3%. The retail share decline in the fourth quarter of 2010 was primarily driven by share losses on Skoal, partially offset by share gains on Copenhagen and Marlboro Snus. Full-year retail share gains were driven primarily by Copenhagen and the national introduction of Marlboro Snus, partially offset by share declines on Skoal. Copenhagen and Skoal's combined retail share for the three- month period declined 0.5 share points, and for the twelve-month period increased 0.8 share points.

USSTC and PM USA's combined reported domestic smokeless products shipment volume during 2010, at 724.4 million cans and packs, was up by 12.2 per cent on that of the previous year. Copenhagen volumes, at 327.5 million, were up by 16.7 per cent, while Skoal volumes were up by 3.4 per cent to 274.4 million. Red Seal and other brand volumes were up by 22.9 per cent to 122.5 million.

Total volumes during the fourth quarter of 2010, at 172.5 million, were 2.5 per cent up on those of the fourth quarter of 2009. Fourth quarter volumes of Copenhagen, at 82.6 million, were up by 6.1 per cent, while those of Skoal were down by 1.5 per cent to 65.7 million. Red Seal and other brand volumes during the fourth quarter were up by 1.5 per cent to 24.2 million cans.

USSTC and PM USA’s smokeless product retail share last year, at 55.3 per cent, was up by 0.7 of a percentage point on that of 2009. Copenhagen’s share rose by 2.0 percentage points to 25.6 per cent, while Skoal’s share fell by 1.2 percentage points to 22.4 per cent. The retail share of Red Seal and other smokeless brands fell by 0.1 of a percentage point to 7.3 per cent.

USSTC and PM USA's combined retail share of smokeless products for the three-month period declined 0.1 share point to 54.5%, and for the twelve-month period increased 0.7 share points to 55.3%. The retail share decline in the fourth quarter of 2010 was primarily driven by share losses on Skoal, partially offset by share gains on Copenhagen and Marlboro Snus. Full-year retail share gains were driven primarily by Copenhagen and the national introduction of Marlboro Snus, partially offset by share declines on Skoal. Copenhagen and Skoal's combined retail share for the three- month period declined 0.5 share points, and for the twelve-month period increased 0.8 share points.

Copenhagen's retail share for the three- and twelve-month periods increased 1.1 and 2.0 share points, respectively. The brand benefited from the introductions of Copenhagen Long Cut Wintergreen in the fourth quarter of 2009, Copenhagen Long Cut Straight and Extra Long Cut Natural at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and Copenhagen Black in the fourth quarter of 2010, as well as other brand-building programs. Copenhagen Black is offered for a limited time only.

Skoal's retail share for the three- and twelve-month periods declined 1.6 and 1.2 share points, respectively, as the brand's performance continued to be impacted by the Copenhagen and Marlboro Snus product introductions and competitive activity. USSTC is introducing ten new Skoal products nationally in the first quarter of 2011. These launches, along with other brand-building initiatives, are expected to improve Skoal's performance.

PM USA continues to build awareness and trial of Marlboro Snus among adult cigarette smokers, and introduced two new snus varieties in January 2011.

In the first quarter of last year (2009), PM U.S.A. expanded Marlboro's Snus nationally to build awareness and trial among adult cigarette smokers for these innovative smokeless tobacco products. This month, PM U.S.A. began shipping two new Marlboro Snus varieties and a bigger and bolder format for adult cigarette smokers looking for a more flavorful experience. Also this month, Skoal began shipping two new Snus varieties for adult smokers tobacco consumers seeking a spit-free smokers tobacco alternative.

Q-and-A: Marlboro SNUS (only question in Q/A):

Vivien Azer - Citigroup Inc

And my last question has to do with the new Marlboro Snus direction. Are those incremental, or are those replacing what's existing in the market today?

Michael Szymanczyk

No. Those are new products, incremental products. They are of a different format, so they offer as you study the consumer in this segment and the development of the segment. You see different people have different kind of preferences relative to these Snus products. So these products have different pouch size, for example, and there are different set of flavor profiles, and that's all based on continuing consumer research.

Cigars, manufactured by John Middleton Co.

The cigars segment's financial, shipment volume and retail share results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2010 were negatively impacted by events in the aftermath of the 2009 FET increase on tobacco products. Middleton observed increased competitive activity, including significantly higher levels of imported, low-priced machine-made large cigars. Middleton responded with promotional investments to defend its position in the marketplace.

Middleton's reported cigar shipment volume last year, at 1,246 million, was down by 1.0 per cent on that of 2009. Black & Mild volumes were down by 0.5 per cent to 1,222 million. Middleton’s share of the US cigar market in 2010, at 28.9 per cent, was down by 1.5 percentage points. Black & Mild’s share was down by 1.3 percentage points to 28.5 per cent.

WINE - The Wine segment (Ste. Michelle) reported strong operating companies income and volume results in 2010. The Wine segment's reported operating companies income increased by 41.9% to $61 million for the full year of 2010 and by 42.9% to $30 million for the fourth quarter.

FINANCIAL SERVICES - reported operating companies income for 2010 declined by $113 million to $157 million, due primarily to lower gains on asset sales. For the fourth quarter of 2010, the Financial Services segment's reported operating companies income increased by $60 million to $70 million, due primarily to higher gains on asset sales and asset impairment and exit costs in 2009.In the fourth quarter of 2010, reported OCI for the financial services segment was $70 million, an increase of $60 million, due primarily to higher gains on asset sales, and asset impairment and exit costs in 2009.

Reference: Altria Reports 2010 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results, SOURCE: Altria Group, Inc., 1/27/2011. Cigarette volume and share falls at PM USA last year, Tobacco Reporter, 1/28/2011; Altria Group CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript Courtesy of Seeking Alpha, Seeking Alpha, 1/27/2011; Altria Group CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript Question-and-Answer Session, 1/27/2011.

Philippines - Navotas City clamps down on violators of smoking ban..

January 27, 2011 - Violators of Navotas City’s anti-smoking ordinance have been meted out (to distribute by) the corresponding sanctions, at least according to a report submitted to the Mayor’s office early this month by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office. The anti-smoking ordinance bans smoking in public places.

The report, which assessed the city's implementation of Municipal Ordinance 2006-2007, or the Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Navotas, for 2010, was submitted to Mayor John Rey Tiangco by Cenro chief Lito Osete.

It reports 1,853 apprehensions made by the combined forces of Cenro and the city’s Task Force Disiplina. Of the 1,853 apprehensions, the report said 54 were ordered to render community service, 715 were formally charged before the Prosecutor’s Office, and 1,084 paid the corresponding fines.

In a statement, Tiangco said that the results only reflected the government’s “seriousness and active role” in ensuring the public health.

“The Navotas anti-smoking ordinance, aside from other tough anti-smoking measures, signal a growing awareness of the health risks posed by smoking and the need for government to take active measures in the interest of public health,” Tiangco said.

In 2006, the Navotas municipal council approved MO 2006-2007, which bans smoking in enclosed public places and public utility vehicles in the city. The ordinance stipulates that for the first offense, violators will be fined P300 (6.81 USD), or face imprisonment for one month; for the second offense, they will be fined P500 (11.34 USD) or face imprisonment for two months; and for the third, they will be fined P1000 (22.69 USD) or face imprisonment for four months. (Navotas City’s anti-smoking ordinance MO 2006-2007)

Reference: 1,853 meted sanctions in Navotas City for violating smoking ban by Kristine Felisse Mangunay, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 01/26/2011.

Philippines - some related news briefs:
Philippines - former health ministers petition Supreme Court - cigarette packs graphic warnings..;
Quezon City, Philippines - will strictly enforce anti-smoking measures..;
Baguio City, Philippines - “Hundred Percent Smoke-Free City” campaign..;
Philippines - lawmaker proposes bill to use graphic warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - cigarette butts disposal is a major problem in the Philippines..;
Philippines - PMFTC Inc. urges govt to extend existing tobacco tax on products..;
Philippines - remarks at the Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health..;
Philippines - Commission on Human Rights (CHR) support placing graphic warnings on cigarette packs...;
Philippines - physicians told not to smoke and encourage their patients to quit..;
Philippines - Coloocan City smoking strictly prohibited in all public area..:
Philippines - anti-smoking group files case to push for graphic warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - bill would require 75% of locally-grown tobacco in cigarettes..;
Philippines - lawmaker files bill to make cigarette-makers share in the health costs of smoking..;
Philippines - House of Representatives turns down proposal to hke tax on cigarettes by 400%..;
Philippines - PMI warehouse opens - former smokers that no longer have a voice are upset..;
Philippines - injunction regarding picture health warnings on cigarette packs nationwide..;
Philippines - more and more women dying of lung cancer..;
Philippines - tobacco companies don't want warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - President Aquino has stated he will prioritize increase in the tax on cigarettes..;
Philippines - DOH pushing for hefty tax increase on cigarettes..;
Philippines - Muslim council says smoking is forbidden..;
Philippines - PMFTC has 90% of the tobacco market..;
Philippines - Philip Morris report sales higher than annual 2-3% growth..;
Philippines - National Tobacco Assoc. will oppose any move to reduce demand for tobacco unless govt..;
Philippines - tobacco industry has obtained temporary relief from placing graphic warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - govt agencies and employees barred from unnessary interaction with tobacco industry..;
Philippines - Filipino Muslims forbidden to smoke, trade cigarettes..;
Philippine congress proclaims Aquino 15th president..;
Philippines - tobacco firms claim graphic warnings on cigarette packs are illegal..;
Philippines - new president smokes but this should not slow tobacco prevention activities..:
Philippines - Department of Health wants health warnings on cigarette packs within 90 days..;
Philippines - health groups want more protection from the dangers of tobacco..;
Philippines - DOH warns government agencies to avoid partnerships or accepting donations from tobacco manufacturers..;
Philip Morris Philippines..;
Philippines - DoH pushes for picture warnings on cigarette packs..;
Philippines - PMI - FTC merger may lead smokers continuing to smoke and lure children into a life of nicotine addiction..;
Philippines - PMI and Fortune Tobacco Corp. form new company called PMFTC..;
Philippines - Tanauan City names street Philip Morris..;
Philippines - DOH campaign for 100% smoke-free workplaces..;
Philippines - total tobacco industry could be down 10% to 15% this year..;
Philippines - 2003 ban on advertising and skirting the ban..;
Philippines - June is annually observed as 'No Smoking' Month..;
Philippines may be losing the war against smoking..;;
Philip Morris won't postpone Philippines Eraserheads Concert..;
Philip Morris could be criminally liable for its sponsorship of the event .in the Philippines..;
STOP PMI Sponsoring Concert in Philippines..;
Philippines - Smoker to be deported...

PM USA - coming soon another Marlboro Special Blend in Menthol and Regular..

January 27, 2011 -

Does this new product have the seal of approval from the FDA??

FDA - mission based on law to ensure new tobacco products do not pose an increased threat to the American public..;
U.S. FDA - more on “Substantial Equivalence” Reports for Tobacco Products...

Click to enlarge..


Bangladesh - large group of farmers switching from rice to tobacco..

January 27, 2011 - Large groups of farmers in Bangladesh are switching from rice cultivation to tobacco farming, creating concerns about possible food shortages, according to the government and anti-tobacco lobbyists.

“Last year, I sold [US$1,969 worth of] tobacco, which is impossible if I grow food items,” said Shofi Mia, a tobacco farmer in Gorpara village, Manikgong District, 70km northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

For years, farmers have lamented the low prices they get for their crops. Cut off from markets because of poor infrastructure, they say they have become increasingly vulnerable to price-gouging from middlemen.

Falling profits have been blamed for farmers’ conversion to tobacco cultivation, according to Syed Mahbubul Alam, secretary of local NGO Bangladesh Anti-Tobacco Alliance (BATA).

Tobacco companies are recruiting farmers with free seeds, fertilizers, insecticides and “whatever we need for cultivation”, said farmer Mia from Gorpara.

Anti-tobacco activists said tobacco companies win over contractors with promises of profits which often do not materialize.

“Many farmers later understand that it is not [a] profitable business but they cannot leave it as they cannot repay the loans they have taken from the companies,” said BATA’s Alam.

Tobacco companies buy the crop, guaranteeing a steady demand and prices. “We do not have to be worried about the [sale] of the products as companies take this from our [farms],” said tobacco farmer Bablu Mia, from the same village.

Tobacco growing has a number of significant negative impacts on farmers, as it worsened poverty, and relies heavily on child and bonded labour. This is a situation which had trapped many farming families in cycles of debt and poverty, while increasing the vulnerability of the rural poor. Tobacco farming also has a serious and negative environmental impact, as it caused pollution, soil degradation and deforestation, thereby contributing to adverse climate change and loss in biodiversity. Many tobacco farmers will like to switch to alternatives, but they often faced with challenges such as access to credits, markets, technical assistance, inputs and skills. (Seek alternative livelihood to tobacco growing - WHO (Graphic Business), Lucy Adoma Yeboah's Stories, 5/18/2010)

Has WHO FCTC done a good job in helping farmers with growing alternative crops?? Article 17 of the Framework Convention states: "Parties shall, in cooperation with each other and with competent international and regional intergovernmental organizations, promote, as appropriate, economically viable alternatives for tobacco workers, growers and, as the case may be, individual sellers." (World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

Reference: BANGLADESH: Growing interest in tobacco farming, IRIN - humanitarian news and analysis, 1/26/2011.

Bangladesh - related news brief:
Bangladesh - tobacco companies targeting women, also other developing countries..;
Bangladesh - tax increase on tobacco will be win-win situation..;
Bangladesh - consuming chewing tobacco is almost double than smoking tobacco..;
Bangladesh - nearly 70 percent of current smokers are planning to quit..;
Bangladesh - tobacco use among adults reaches 43.3 percent..;
Bangladesh - FCTC overtaxation hurts tobacco industry country depends on..;
Bangladeshi government will increase taxes on tobacco products..;
Marlboro to be Marketed in Bangladesh - One of the Poorest and Densely Populated Countries in the World..

CYBERCONFERENCE: Tobacco Update: Featuring Nik Modi and Joe Teller, February 17th..

January 27, 2011 -

CSP Network CYBERCONFERENCE: Tobacco Update: Featuring Nik Modi, UBS Tobacco analyst and Joe Teller, Director, Category Management at Swedish Match N.A.

Oregon - tobacco prevention and education program is working..

January 26, 2011 - A Smoke-Free Workplace Law that took effect in 2009 has made its impact. New data released by the Oregon Department of Human Services revealed that tobacco-related cancer diagnoses and deaths have declined statewide since 1996.
Also, cigarette sales dropped a dramatic 48 percent, along with second-hand smoke exposure in the workplace and home.

Officials say the reason is the public's increasing awareness about the effects of smoking on health (continued tobacco prevention and education programs that have helped shift public attitudes about smoking). Statewide 3.4 billion fewer cigarettes were sold annually in Oregon from 1996 until 2009. Officials said that second-hand smoke exposure has also dropped in the workplace, and more people report that they do not allow smoking in their homes. Smokefree homes have become more pervasive, with 91 percent of adults reporting no one is allowed to smoke in the home.

"As smoking becomes less the norm, people will smoke less and avoid the terrible diseases that come with tobacco use," said Katrina Hedberg, M.D., M.P.H., state epidemiologist. "This not only keeps people healthier, it reduces the cost of treating preventable cancers and other tobacco-related illness."

Tobacco-related cancer deaths went from 93.6 per 100,000 population between 1996 and 2001 to 89.2 per 100,000 between 2002 and 2007, a 4.7 percent drop, according to the Oregon Tobacco Prevention & Education Program's (TPEP) 2011 Oregon Tobacco Facts & Laws report released today. The number of new tobacco-related cancer diagnoses dropped during the same period, from 150.8 to 146.8 per 100,000, a decline of 2.7 percent.

Reducing tobacco use is part of the Oregon Health Authority's "Action Plan for Health" that was released last month. The plan provides specific steps to be taken in Oregon to improve health, lower costs, and increase the quality of health care for all Oregonians.

State officials say tobacco-related diseases cost the state an estimated $2.4 billion a year in total economic costs, which includes about $1 billion a year in health care costs, according to the report.

Hedberg said the tobacco report also shows the areas where more work needs to be done. She points to several red flags raised in the new report:
• Hookah tobacco smoking by Oregon teenagers is on the rise, while use of all other forms of tobacco by teens is decreasing or staying the same. (Oregon - loophole in law - increasing number of kids trying out water pipes..)
• While cigarette sales are dropping, the number of people smoking is staying steady.
• Only 46 percent of smokers with children say that smoking is never allowed in any of their cars.

"Local tobacco control efforts are absolutely critical to helping people stop using tobacco or preventing them from picking up the cigarettes in the first place," says Hedberg. "We will continue offering a wide variety of resources so people can get the information and help they need."

The Tobacco Prevention & Education Program of Oregon Public Health runs the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line, funds anti-tobacco media campaigns, and supports tobacco control efforts in all counties and tribes. Hedberg notes that many counties have policies banning smoking at college campuses, housing, parks and fairs.

Meanwhile, tobacco companies spent $137 million in 2006 marketing their products to Oregonians, according to U.S. Federal Trade Commission reports. In contrast, tobacco prevention and education is funded with less than $8 million a year. "The tobacco industry wants to keep Oregonians addicted, and we need to continually counter their efforts," Hedberg said.

The Oregon Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, funded by state tobacco taxes, works with local health departments, tribes, schools and community organizations to deliver a comprehensive tobacco prevention program to all Oregon residents. These program activities are based on evidence-based strategies to reduce and prevent tobacco use.

Reference: Tobacco Sales Down by Sonia Talati,, 1/26/2011; Oregon Cigarette Sales Down; Cancer Cases, Too But Officials Say More Work Needs to be Done, From KTVZ.COM News Sources, 1/25/2011.

Oregon - some related news briefs:
Oregon - loophole in law - increasing number of kids trying out water pipes..;
Oregon - smoking rates drop except for those with low-income levels..;
Oregon - e-cigarette distributor Smoking Everywhere will halt sales in Oregon..;
Oregon Supreme Court rejects smoker's $100 million damage award..;
In Process: Oregon - online cigarette marketer not immune from state laws..;
Oregon - residents are smoking less though ranked 35th in tobacco control spending..;
Oregon - one-year later, smoke-free law is a success..;
Orgeon - files lawsuit against e-cigarette company..;
Oregon - electronic (e) cigarettes sales prohibited until approved by FDA..;
Oregon - cigarette butt law passed in State House..;
Oregon - House passes bill to increase the tax on smokeless tobacco..;
Will the Oregon cigarette butt law pass this year..;
Portland, Oregon - Camel ORBS - candy-like tobacco tablets..;
Why does R.J. Reynolds Tobacco keep on selecting Portland, OR as a test site..;
Oregon - STOP Tobacco Companies from passing out free smokeless tobacco..;;
Oregon Governor wants cigarette vendings machines banned..;
Oregon January 1, 2009 Smoking Ban Expanded..;
Oregon - smoking ban to expand, prepares for Camel Dissolvables..

Canada - young smokers well aware of black-market cigarettes..

January 26, 2011 - Research commissioned last year by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in advance of a planned $5-million advertising campaign designed to educate the public and raise awareness of the problem with black-market cigarettes. The agency hired the research firm Phase 5 to test-drive the proposed campaign with eight focus groups in Ontario and Quebec, made up of 64 smokers in their teens and early 20s.

What the researchers discovered suggests the government’s message will be a tough sell.

Among 16-to-24-year-old smokers, the level of awareness and knowledge of contraband cigarettes is “very high.” Most focus group participants could readily describe their taste, appearance and packaging and knew where to buy them.

It was clear, the researchers said, that the “vast majority” of participants had bought and smoked illegal cigarettes. They talked about buying them from school friends, co-workers, directly from native reserves and even under the counter from convenience stores.

Most didn’t consider black-market cigarettes to be particularly harmful, said the researchers. Though participants in the focus groups knew they were illegal, “they are so common that this is not a concern or something they think about.”

In fact, a majority didn’t oppose their sale.

Almost all said they buy contraband cigarettes because of their low cost. A carton of legal cigarettes with tax sells for between $70 and $106 in Canada. By contrast, a carton of black-market cigarettes can be had for $10 or less.

About 30 per cent of tobacco purchased in Canada is bought illegally, according to a 2009 report by the Task Force on Illicit Tobacco Products. In Ontario and Quebec, where the problem is most acute, as many as half of all cigarettes are illegal. An estimated 13 billion black-market cigarettes were bought in 2008, the task force said.

The illegal trade is costing governments hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue. But federal pronouncements have focused on the impact on public safety. The RCMP estimates that 175 organized crime groups were involved, to varying degrees, in the contraband tobacco trade in Canada last year.

While the research findings aren’t statistically representative, they were apparently emphatic enough to make the CRA rethink its approach. Its advertising campaign, which was supposed to launch last fall, is still in the works.

Reference: Young smokers think Ottawa’s blowing smoke on black-market tobacco
by Don Butler (, Postmedia News, The Ottawa Citizen, 1/24/2011.

Canada - cigarette smuggling (illicit, illegal) related briefs:
Lorillard Commissioned Study.. cigarette black market: Canada/New York State..;
Canada - the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT)..;
Canada - tobacco farmers suing government over the sale of contraband cigarettes..;
Canada - c-store association applauds move by govt to focus on nation's tobacco contraband problem..;
Canada - Health Canada shelves update of graphic warning messages to concentrate on the problem of contraband tobacco..;
Canada - action must be taken to control the illicit cigarette problem..;
The New Big Tobacco: Inside Canada’s underground tobacco industry, a five-part series..;
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...

Star Scientific, Inc. - U.S. patent office grants request to re-examine patents (2)..

January 26, 2011 - Star Scientific, Inc. today announced that the company's patent counsel has received a decision from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) granting Star's request to reopen the reexaminations of Star's '649 and '401 patents. The PTO agreed with Star's counsel that applicable PTO procedures had been satisfied: the decision reverses a previous May 2010 decision of intent to cancel the involved claims on the ground that Star had not filed a written record of an examiner interview. The matters will now be returned to the panel of examiners for action on the merits of the patent claims.

The company also confirmed that oral arguments on Star's appeal of the verdict in the June 2009 jury trial of its patent infringement lawsuit against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) were heard by the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Washington, DC, on January 11. Several months before that jury trial, in January, 2009, RJR filed requests for reexamination of Star's '649 and '401 patents. Paul L. Perito, Esq. Star's Chairman, President & COO, stated that the company believes that it ultimately will prevail in both its lawsuit and the patent reexamination process.
(Star Scientific - date for oral arguments in patent infringement lawsuit set..)

Reference: US Patent & Trademark Office Rules in Favor of Star Scientific Petition in Patent Reexamination Process, SOURCE Star Scientific, Inc., 1/25/2011.

Some related Star Scientific news briefs:
Star Scientific - developed a moist snuff tobacco product that has extremely low levels of carcinogens -- even lower than snus products..;
Star Scientific - date for oral arguments in patent infringement lawsuit set..;
Star Scientific - U.S. patent Patent and Trademark Office To Consider Reopening Patent Examination..;
Star Scientific asks FDA to certify Ariva-BDL lozenges as less harmful than traditional forms of tobacco..;
Star Scientific - Star Scientific q1 2010 financial report..;
Star Scientific - continue incurring losses on its smokeless-tobacco products..;
Star Scientific asks FDA to certify lozenge less harmful..;
Star Scientific denied new trial in patent infringement - files appeal..;
Star Scientific - NASDAQ trading symbol changed to CIGX..;
Star Scientific - new product (in 2010) to help adult smokers maintain a nicotine-free metabolism..;
Star Scientific - will use its low-nitrosamine tobacco curing process to formulate smokeless tobacco dissolvable smokeless products..
Star Scientific - q2 2009 report..;
Star Scientific - Filing patent for zero-nitrosamine tobacco curing process..;
Star Scientific - 2008 annual report/Stonewall vs other OTC NRTs..;
Star Scientific Corporate Study Stonewall Lozenge in NRT..;
Star Scientific Files Third Quarter Financial Report..;
Star Scientific wants to augment sales of their tobacco lozenges..;
Star Scientific , second quarter 2008, sales down 23.6%..;
Star Scientific Applauds Recent State Legislation - Banning Smoking in Cars with Children..

Scotland - politicians and staff at Holyrood can smoke only at designated area..

Scotish parliament..
January 26, 2011 - Scotland introduced the public smoking ban in March 2006. Holyrood's (the Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood") internal smoking room was closed in February 2006 ahead of the Scotland-wide ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces. Parliament bosses designated part of the Queensberry House courtyard as an official smoking area but decided against providing a shelter after claims it could cost £40,000.

Politicians and staff at the Scottish Parliament are to be banned from lighting up in their favourite smoking spot. Complaints from other employees have prompted Holyrood bosses to rule smokers at the parliament can no longer take their fag breaks at the Canongate staff entrance, where the overhanging cantilever building gives them a shelter when it rains.

Now, however, MSPs (Members of Scotland's Parliament) and staff needing a cigarette will be told they must go to the parliament's officially designated smoking area in a corner of the Queensberry House courtyard, where there is no shelter from the elements.

Reference: Parliament smokers told to move along by IAN SWANSON Political Editor, 1/21/2011.

Scotland - tobacco display ban delayed for large stores..

January 26, 2011 - Implementation of the tobacco display ban in shops will be delayed because of an ongoing legal challenge. The ban had been expected to come into force for larger retailers on October 1. (January 29, 2010 - Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..) However, Imperial Tobacco are appealing an earlier Court of Session judgement which found in favour of the Scottish Government.

The new law, voted in by MSPs at the start of 2010, was due to begin for larger retailers in October this year. (January 29, 2010 - Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..)

The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services Act aims to discourage young people from taking up smoking by banning shops from displaying cigarettes and other tobacco products and restrict cigarette vending machines.
But Imperial Tobacco is appealing against a decision dismissing its original challenge in 2010, meaning the legislation cannot be used. (September 30, 2010 - Scotland - Imperial Tobacco loses attempt to overturn ban on cigarette displays and removal of vending machines..; July 1, 2010 - Scotland - Imperial Tobacco in legal action to stop ban on cigarette displays and vending machine removal..)

The appeal is due to be heard later this year which would not allow sufficient preparation time for retailers in advance of implementation in October.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: "The ban on displaying tobacco products in shops is being introduced to make cigarettes less attractive to children and young people. We remain fully committed to this policy and are continuing to work with the retail industry to prepare for implementation.

However, the ongoing legal challenge means that an October start date is now unrealistic. We will announce the new implementation date as soon as possible. We are committed to doing all we can to improve the nation's health and banning the display of tobacco products in shops will help to discourage a future generation of smokers."

The ban is due to come into force on the 1st October 2011 for large stores and 1st October 2013 for smaller stores. Scotland - mainly shopkeepers oppose tobacco display ban...

References: Tobacco display ban delay,, 1/25/2011; Legal appeal delays tobacco display ban in Scotland, BBC News - Scotland, 1/25/2011.

Scotland - related news briefs:
Smoking in a car, even if window is open, exposes a child to dangerous levels of poisonous particles..;
Scotland - plain cigarette packaging - may take the lead in tobacco control..;
Scotland - Lady Dr. Eileen Crofton a leading anti-smoking campaigner and health advocate dies at 91..;
Scotland - ASH publishes recommendations for a new Scottish tobacco control strategy..;
Scotland - approximtely one-third have quit smoking when being paid to do so..;
Scotland - Imperial Tobacco loses attempt to overturn ban on cigarette displays and removal of vending machines..;
Scotland - mainly shopkeepers oppose tobacco display ban..;
Scotland - smoking ban produced benefits for people (i.e., children) who are not exposed to occupational tobacco smoke..;
Scotland - 90% of Scots back law that prosecutes adults for buying cigarettes for children..;
Scotland, Grampian Region - latest word, NHS Grampian hospital smoking clampdown delayed..;
Scotland - bribing people to live a healthy lifestyle..;
Scotland - Imperial Tobacco in legal action to stop ban on cigarette displays and vending machine removal..;
Scotland - tobacco industry says massive increase in illegal cigarettes..;
PAPER: Scotland Unhealthy risk factors those with lack of education/ low income..;
Scotland - renewing efforts to stop pregnant women from smoking..;
Scotland - cigarette smoking quit attempts increase by 35%..;
Scotland - retailers can provide input on future to ban the display of tobacco..;
Scotland - campaigners want more to be done to protect young people from passive smoking..;
Scotland - government no plans to ban smoking in cars and public places used by children..;
Scotland - smokers will be banned from fostering or adopting children, comments from Professor Banzhaf..;
Scotland - parliament votes to ban retail cigarette displays and vending machines..;
Scotland - health minister urges smokers to quit..;
Scotland - some men beginning to lead a healthier lifestyle and therefore living longer..;
Scotland - self-reporting of smoking by pregnant women underestimates true number of pregnant smokers..;
Scotland - tobacco firms claim proposed display ban is unnecessary..;
"Glasgow effect" - prevalence of cigarette smoking impact on poor health..;
Scotland - tobacco industry will try to stop attempts to curb sales to young people..;
Scotland - cigarette vending machines removal..;
Scottish politicans most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..;
Scotland - small businesses given extra 2-years to remove tobacco displays..;
Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..;
Scotland to ban cigarette displays and outlaw cigarette vending machines..;
Bar workers who smoke also benefit from smoking ban..;
17 countries in the world ban indoor smoking - ENFORCEMENT..;
England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..;
Definite Health Benefits of Smoking Bans..;
Northern Ireland raising age for sale of tobacco from 16 to 18 joining the other three United Kingdom (UK) countries..;
Scotland proposes to implement more measures to discourage tobacco use including the banning of tobacco displays..;
Raise Age to 21 to Purchase Tobacco Products...

(United Kingdom)

Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S (STG) plans for the future..

January 25, 2011 - SOBORG, Denmark--As Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S (STG) awaits anti-trust approval on acquiring Lane Ltd. from Reynolds American Inc.

(RAI), STG executive vice president, Christian Hother Sorensen, took time from his busy Denmark day to talk to Tobacco E-News about the company's plans.

Under terms of the transaction, expected to close in the first half of 2011, STG has agreed to pay $205 million in cash for Tucker, Ga.-based Lane. The deal, Sorensen said, is beneficial for both companies. (a href="">RAI - reaches agreement to sell Lane Limited to Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S (STG))

STG had divested its cigarette business in 2008 to focus on cigars, pipe tobacco and roll-your-own fine-cut tobacco. (BAT to Acquire Most of Denmark's ST..) "There's been a nice fit between Lane and Scandinavian Tobacco Group in all aspects," he said of Lane's brand portfolio, which includes Kite and Bugler fine-cut roll-your-own tobacco, Captain Black pipe tobacco and little cigars and Winchester little cigars.

Likewise, Reynolds CEO Susan M. Ivey said in a release that the Lane divestment will allow her company to focus on the cigarette, moist-snuff and modern smoke-free categories.

STG expects the acquisition to contribute earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $45 million and sales volumes of 525 tons of pipe tobacco, 980 tons of fine-cut tobacco and 450 million little cigars.

Currently, STG's only U.S. presence consists of some pipe tobacco sales, with Swedish Match North America acting as distributor. Later this year, STG plans to create its own U.S. sales force to handle the Lane products. "So for the retailer, they would in the not-so-distant future be visited by a rep who focuses on the Lane products," Sorensen said.

The company also plans to focus on international sales of the Captain Black products. "We do see it as a brand with a lot of heritage in parts of the world," he said, listing the Middle-East, Africa and Russia. "It has some sales already, but we do believe we can increase it, and grow the brand further, both in pipe tobacco and little cigars."

Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S (Parent Company of General Cigar) is now the world’s second largest cigar company by Mario Takeyama, Cigar Explorer, 10/4/2010. STG formerly named Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) was established as a new company Oct. 1, 2010 as a result of a merger of the tobacco business of the former Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S and the cigars and pipe tobacco business of Swedish Match AB (except its U.S. mass-market cigar business). (New Global Company: Swedish Match and Scandinavian Tobacco Group..)

Reference: The Future of Lane STG discusses plans for Lane acquisition by Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Tobacco e-news, 1/25/2011.

History of Smoking - lower life expectancy..

January 26, 2011 - Life expectancy in the United States is lower than in many other high-income nations due in large part to the nation's history of heavy smoking and current high obesity levels, according to a report published online Jan. 25, by the National Research Council (NRC).

A panel commissioned by the National Research Council sought to explain why the U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation, yet Americans are dying younger than some of their counterparts in other high-income countries. Panel members relied on the latest data from the Human Mortality Database.

Over the past two and a half decades, life expectancies continued to rise in the U.S., but at a slower pace than those seen in Australia, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and other high-income European countries. The average live expectancy for men in the U.S. was 75.6 years in 2007, compared to around 79 years among men in living in Australia, Japan, and Sweden and between 77 and 78 years among men living in the Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and France. The life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 80.8 years, which is lower than for any other high-income country included in the analysis except Denmark (80.5 years).

But thanks to the decline in smoking over the last 20 years, the life expectancy of U.S. men is expected to rapidly improve in coming decades. That improvement will be a little slower for U.S. women, whose peak smoking rates occurred several years after men's. In countries where women's life expectancies are particularly high, women never smoked as much as men, said gerontologist Eileen Crimmins of the University of Southern California, who co-chaired the report. But in some Northern European countries, women's smoking was more similar to Americans' and life expectancy is too.

Even though just 20 percent of Americans smoke now, more than 40 percent of U.S. adults smoked in 1960 and the population is still paying the price, the report from the National Research Council found. "Other factors, such as obesity, diet, exercise, and economic inequality, also have likely played a role in the current gap and divergence between the United States and other countries," the panel of experts appointed by the council wrote.

Many experts have tried to explain why the United States, which spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country and which has a relatively wealthy and well-nourished population, should rank so poorly against other countries in terms of lifespan. Japan ranks No. 1 in terms of life expectancy, with a child born today likely to live to be nearly 83 on average, according to the United Nations. The United States ranks 36th, with a life expectancy of 78.3 -- below most of Europe, South Korea, Chile and right below Cuba.

NRC Publication: Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries, National Academies Press (, 1/25/2010.

Other experts have found just the opposite -- that smoking and obesity do not fully explain the U.S. lag. Last October, a team at Columbia University in New York determined that the lack of a coherent healthcare system in the United States was to blame. (Lagging U.S. life expectancy ranking blamed on health system, Courtesy of the Commonwealth Fund and World Science Staff, 10/9/2010) The NRC panel investigated the impact of access to health care on life expectancy in the U.S., finding little evidence that lack of access has contributed to the lag in life expectancy gains.

References: U.S. Smoking Rates Keep Life Expectancy Down
Study Shows High Smoking Rates in Earlier Decades Affects Life Spans in U.S.
by Salynn Boyles (Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, M), WebMD Health News, 1/25/2011; Smoking, obesity why US lifespans lag a bit by Associated Press,, 1/25/2011; Smoking explains why Americans don't live longer by Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters, 1/25/2011.

India - foreign cigarette companies could soon find it harder to sell their products..

January 25, 2011 - Foreign cigarette companies could soon find it harder to sell their products in India. The government is looking into a proposal to ban foreign direct investment (FDI) in the wholesale marketing arms of these companies. It is also exploring the possibility of shifting the import of tobacco products from the open general licence (OGL) to the restricted list.

Both moves will impact companies like Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris and others that have set up fully-owned marketing subsidiaries through which they not only sell their global brands in the domestic market, but also bring in funds to support local operations.

After more than two years of deliberations, the government banned FDI in the manufacture of cigarettes last year. (India - more on govt ban on foreign direct investment..) Despite this, however, the health ministry and NGOs non-government organizations) have complained that foreign cigarette companies use the marketing services route as a back door for investment and to support sales in India. The department of economic affairs feels that the ban on FDI in manufacturing does not adequately guard against circumvention by foreign tobacco companies by using the marketing services route. It argues that the ban should be extended to marketing.

Japan International, which has a 50 per cent stake in joint venture JTI India to manufacture cigarettes in India, last year set up JTI Wholesale India — a wholly-owned subsidiary — through which it can continue to bring money into the country and sell its products in the wholesale market. (Japan Tobacco operates a joint venture in India, JT International (India), with the Mumbai-based Thakkar family.)

Philip Morris, which has a minority stake in Godfrey Phillips India controlled by the K K Modi group, has set up IPM Wholesale Trading — in which it is a majority shareholder — to promote its international brands.

The department of industrial policy & promotion (DIPP) under the ministry of commerce has suggested that existing policy, which allows 100 per cent FDI in wholesale trading, should be amended to exclude tobacco. DIPP has also suggested that tobacco products be excluded from the OGL list to make symmetric its treatment vis-à-vis imports. That would plug the possibility of new foreign companies using a combination of the two routes to sell tobacco products in India.

Reference: Govt may filter out FDI in tobacco marketing
Surajeet Das Gupta, Business Standard, 1/24/2011.

India - some related news briefs:
*Maharashtra, India - collecting fines from anti-tobacco drive..;
*India - health ministry formulating policy that is smokeless tobacco specific..;
*India - celebs shy away from endorsing tobacco and liquor..;
*Mumbai, India - students campaign to spread word on the dangers of tobacco products..;
*India - cigarette/bidis companies resume tobacco production..;
*India - will delay for a year the use of scarier pictorial warnings on cigarette and bidi packs..;
*India - cigarettes and bidis manufacturers halt production seek clarification on pictorial health warnings..;
*India - Tobacco Board warns farmers against planting unauthorized crop..;
*India - revised pictorial warnings on tobacco products will be implemented from December 1, 2010..;
*India - captions with pictorial warnings should use local languages..:
*India - pictorial warning will appear on every tobacco pack sold from June 1, 2010..;
*India - government set to ban foreign direct investment in tobacco..;
*India - despite tobacco control measure in place - tobacco sales increase..;
*India - still confusion pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*Mumbai, India - NGO activists want closure of hookah bars..;
*India - gutkha and bidi companies NOT pictorial warnings..;
*India - cigarette packs with pictorial warnings are here..; *India - NO graphic pictorial warnings yet..;
*India - Still no pictorial warnings on cigarette packs..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented from May 31 - no doubts about it..;
*India - will pictorial or graphic health warnings be implemented from May 30, 2009..;
*India - placing pictorial warnings on tobacco products delayed again...