U.S. DOT - bans smoking of electronic cigarettes on commercial airplanes..

February 11, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) says the use of smokeless electronic cigarettes on airplanes is prohibited and plans to issue an official ban this spring, according to a letter from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood obtained by The Associated Press.

In the letter to Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, LaHood said the department has been informing airlines and the public that it interprets smoking regulations to include e-cigarettes. Lautenberg, who wrote the 1987 law that banned smoking on airplanes, had asked transportation officials to clarify the rule.

DOT policy on e-cigarettes

[Excerpted from answers to Questions for the Record provided by Susan Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation, following a June 17, 2010, hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation]

Senator Lautenberg
Q. One of the biggest public health victories in this country was when we banned smoking on commercial aircraft. However, electronic cigarettes are now being sold for use on some European commercial flights even though evidence exists that these products contain carcinogens and respiratory irritants. Does the Department plan to explicitly ban smoking of electronic cigarettes on commercial airplanes?

A. Smoking of electronic cigarettes is already banned on U.S. air carrier and foreign air carrier flights in scheduled intrastate, interstate and foreign air transportation. See 49 USC §41706 and 14 CFR Part 252 (Part 252). Nevertheless, we plan to further address this matter in a notice of proposed rulemaking that would amend the existing general regulatory language in Part 252 to explicitly ban smoking of electronic cigarettes aboard aircraft.
Many airlines already have begun informing passengers that the devices are not allowed on flights, but Lautenberg said there had been confusion over their use and wanted to make sure officials were solidly opposed to opening the door to e-smoking on planes. Some e-cigarette distributors have touted their convenience because they can be "smoked" anywhere traditional cigarettes are not allowed.

"We still don't know the health effects of e-cigarettes, and we don't want to turn airline passengers into laboratory mice," Lautenberg said in an e-mailed statement.

Reference: Use of e-cigs not allowed on US flights by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM AP TOBACCO WRITER, Associated Press, 2/11/2011.
(ends, electronic nicotine delivery device)

North Dakota - House rejects cigarette tax hike for UND med school ..

February 11, 2011 - The House Education Committee was divided over how to handle a bill that takes money away from tobacco cessation efforts to use to expand the University of North Dakota's medical school.

House Bill 1353 would end the roughly $18.6 million-a-biennium tobacco control program — not just cut funding, but end the program and the agency that runs it — and use the money to expand UND’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, which would cost $34.7 million in the initial biennium. Many hospitals and doctors say this is needed because the state faces a major shortage of health care workers as the state’s population ages, requiring more care.

Tobacco control proponents say they want the medical school to expand, too, but not at the cost of their program. To do so, they said, would cause tobacco use to again rise. Some are proposing a more than three-fold increase in the cigarette tax, from 44 cents a pack to $2, to raise funds for the med school. (House debates bill to re-assign money, By Tu-Uyen Tran, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun, 2/3/2011)
While most Republicans on the committee favored the bill with a few minor changes, Democrats put forth their own amendment that found a way to fund both the current cessation projects and the medical school expansion.

Under the amendments known as the minority report, the cessation efforts passed in 2008 under Measure 3 would remain intact, while another section would add 41 cents to North Dakota's cigarette tax. Rep. Phil Mueller, D-Valley City, said that would bring the cigarette tax to 85 cents, which would still be lower than most neighboring states and raise about $34.8 million for the medical school within one year.

The medical school requested about $32 million in expenses for the coming year.

"This plans helps manage preventable disease and chronic disease," said Rep. Lee Kaldor, D-Mayville, which accomplishes the goals of both programs.

Committee chair Rep. RaeAnn Kelsch, R-Mandan, said the amendment not only flies in the face of the House's continual resistance to raising taxes but also should be voted down because such an idea deserves its own full hearing.

The House voted 68 to 26 to reject the report.

North Dakota's Comprehensive State Plan to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use 2009-2014..;

As of November 17, 2010 - Alaska and North Dakota are currently the only states funding tobacco prevention programs at the CDC-recommended levels.. (New Report: Tobacco Prevention Funding Down Nationwide, by NBC17 Staff, 11/17/2010.

Reference: ND House rejects cigarette tax hike for UND med school by REBECCA BEITSCH (rebecca.beitsch@bismarcktribune.com), Bismarck Tribune, 2/10/2011.

Some North Dakota related news briefs:
City of Devils Lake, North Dakota - outlaws smoking in all bars and restaurants..;
Bismarck, North Dakota - lighting up in bars illegal after November 1, 2010..;
North Dakota - fire-safe cigarette law becomes effective on August 1st..;
Great Forks, North Dakota - extends smoking ban to bars and truck stops..;
North Dakota's Comprehensive State Plan to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use 2009-2014..;
North Dakota - statewide anti-tobacco plan to be released in July 2009..;

Get that job in health care just quit smoking or don't start using tobacco..

February 11, 2011 - More hospitals and medical businesses in many states are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living. The policies reflect a frustration that softer efforts — like banning smoking on company grounds, offering cessation programs and increasing health care premiums for smokers — have not been powerful-enough incentives to quit.

VIDEO - VOA: More US Companies Refuse to Hire Smokers...

Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, MA requires job applicants to take nicotine tests. If they test positive, they’ll be rejected. If they quit smoking, they can try again six months later. Hospital spokesperson Deb Chiaravalloti says, “We believe as a health care organization we need to make sure we have a healthy environment for our employees and our patients. Smokers are not a protected class.” (Massachusetts - Anna Jaques Hospital jobs - if nicotine test is positive do not apply..)

Massachusetts Hospital Association - as of January 1, 2011 will no longer hire users of tobacco products..;
Hospital in Georgia will no longer hirer new employees that use tobacco..;

For example, hospitals in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, among others, stopped hiring smokers in the last year and more are openly considering the option. Paul Terpeluk, a director at the Cleveland Clinic: “We’ve had a number of inquiries over the last 6 to 12 months about how to do this” which stopped hiring smokers in 2007 and has championed the policy. “The trend line is getting pretty steep, and I’d guess that in the next few years you’d see a lot of major hospitals go this way.”

John J. Stinson, 68, said he had been smoking for more than three decades when he decided to apply for a job at the Cleveland Clinic, helping incoming patients, nearly three years ago. It turned out to be the motivation he needed: he passed the urine test and has not had a cigarette since. “It’s a good idea,” Mr. Stinson said.

Two decades ago — after large companies like Alaska Airlines, Union Pacific and Turner Broadcasting adopted such policies — 29 states and the District of Columbia passed laws, with the strong backing of the tobacco lobby and the American Civil Liberties Union, that prohibit discrimination against smokers or those who use “lawful products.” Some of those states, like Missouri, make an exception for health care organizations.

A spokesman for Philip Morris said the company was no longer actively working on the issue, though it remained strongly opposed to the policies.

While most of the companies applied their rules only to new employees, a few eventually mandated that existing employees must quit smoking or lose their jobs. There is also disagreement over whether to fire employees who are caught smoking after they are hired. The Truman Medical Centers, here in Kansas City, for example, will investigate accusations of tobacco use by employees. In one recent case a new employee returned from a lunch break smelling of smoke and, when confronted by his supervisor, admitted that he had been smoking, said Marcos DeLeon, head of human resources for the hospital. The employee was fired.

Reference: Hospitals Shift Smoking Bans to Smoker Ban by A. G. SULZBERGER (Alain Delaquérière contributed research.), The New York Times, 2/10/2011.

PMI - q4 2010 business results..

February 11, 2011 - Philip Morris International (PMI)

The Company divides its markets into four geographic regions: The European Union (EU); The Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMA); The Asia Region, and The Latin America and Canada Region.

Louis Camilleri, chairman and CEO, = LC

LC: 2011 - We expect our organic volume performance to mirror that recorded in 2010. Japan and Mexico will dampen our volume prospects in 2011, and given the economic uncertainty, we continue to project volume softness in Greece, Pakistan, Spain, and Ukraine. Also, we project a slightly weaker volume trend in both France and Italy reflecting retail price increases ahead of inflation. Elsewhere, we anticipate a solid volume performance led by Indonesia, Korea, and Russia as well as a projected recovery in Turkey.

QUESTION: with regards to sort of the new Marlboro architecture, is that now being fully rolled out to your satisfaction, or are we actually sort of seeing the annualization of some of the results in many of these markets now?

(Menthols - part of the new architecture: Marlboro Ice Mint, Marlboro Black Menthols, Marlboro Crisp Mint, Marlboro Ice Chill, Marlboro Ice Fresh - to help to get the new smoker started on a life of nicotine addiction.)

CAMILLERI: New Marlboro architecture: LC: I mean it clearly is being deployed in numerous markets, but we’re still not there. There is still a lot to be done and there is still quite some exciting innovations to come. I think as I mentioned in my remarks, you have to look at the consumer research we do in the demographic profile of the brand, and it has improved significantly. I mean we can see the trends. For example, we have seen significant turnarounds in the demographic profile of the brands in places as varied as Italy, Japan, France, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands and the list goes on. So we’re seeing improvements in the brands equity and demographics, and we still have quite a lot to do with the brand.

Japan - study shows the promotion of menthol cigarettes to women had increased the rate of female smoking even as men smoked less..

And then lastly, could you update us on the status of plain packaging in Australia? And then also your view on the plain packaging discussions underway in the UK and European Union?

Louie Camilleri

Yes. It appears that the Australian government remains intent on pursuing legislation calling for plain packaging. We’ll see what happens. My guess is we’ll know a lot more by this summer, but there certainly seems to be a strong intent to pursue it. It sort of defies logic, because I don’t think that it will affect consumption levels in any way.

Furthermore, the big concern is illicit trade, which since the tax increase last summer illicit trade has increased by 25% in Australia. So, I’m hopeful that the government is looking at that very closely, because plain packaging will certainly not address that issue and will not address smoking incidence or smoking prevalence.

The U.K., I said that, they would study it, but that they would have to have clear unequivocal evidence that it would in fact address smoking prevalence or incidence and that they would have to look at very carefully. Legal ramifications of such a measure with regard to constitutional issues as well as IP issues also related to trade issues in the trade agreements and the intellectual property protection that comes with those trade agreements, so, the UK is looking at it very sensibly.

In the EU, DG SANCO, the Health Commission as it were, has started a revision of the tobacco product directive, and is looking at host slew of measures. That’s probably a three-year to five-year process. But as I said, I think plain packaging doesn’t make any sense and we’ll fight plain packaging in every way possible.

EU - proposing a full-scale ban on branded cigarettes..
Acquisitions and Agreements:
In February 2010, PMI announced that its affiliate, Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. (PMPMI), and Fortune Tobacco Corporation (FTC), one of the five largest privately-owned cigarette companies in the world. (Philippines - PMFTC has 90% of the tobacco market..) (LC: The strategic highlight of the year was the highly promising transaction with Fortune Tobacco in the Philippines.)

In June 2010, PMI announced that its affiliate, Philip Morris Brasil Industria e Comercio Ltda. (PMB), was to begin directly sourcing tobacco leaf from tobacco farmers in Southern Brazil following separate agreements with two current leaf suppliers in Brazil, Alliance One Brasil Exportadora de Tabacos Ltda. (AOB), a subsidiary of Alliance One International, Inc., and Universal Leaf Tabacos Ltda. (ULT), a subsidiary of Universal Corporation. (PMI - to buy directly from Brazilian tobacco growers..)

Effective January 1, 2011, PMI established a new business structure with Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation (Vinataba) in Vietnam. Under the terms of the agreement, PMI will further develop its existing joint venture with Vinataba through the licensing of Marlboro and the establishment of a PMI-controlled
branch for the business building of PMI brands. The Vietnamese cigarette market is the fourteenth largest in the world, excluding the USA, with an estimated 2010 volume of 77 billion cigarettes. (Viet Nam - foreign tobacco firms feel the squeeze, lose business certificates..)

In January 2011, PMI announced that it would no longer pursue its intention to acquire Productora Tabacalera de Colombia, Protabaco Ltda. Whilst approval to proceed with the acquisition was granted by the Superintendent of Industry and Trade of Colombia in October 2010, the approval was subject to several significant conditions and constraints that ultimately proved to be too burdensome. (PMI ends pursuit to acquire Productora Tabacalera de Colombia, Protabaco Ltda (Protabaco S.A.)..)

PMI’s cigarette shipment volume of 899.9 billion units was up by 4.1%. In the EU, cigarette shipment volume decreased by 5.2%, predominantly due to: lower total markets, notably in the Baltic States, Greece, Poland and Spain, due to tax-driven pricing and adverse economic conditions; and lower market share, mainly in the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece and Portugal. In EEMA, cigarette shipment volume declined by 3.2%, primarily due to: Romania, reflecting a lower total market and lower market share following excise tax increases in 2009 and January and July, 2010, as well as unfavorable trade inventory movements; Turkey, reflecting the unfavorable impact of a significant excise tax increase in January 2010; and Ukraine, reflecting the unfavorable impact of steep tax-driven price increases in January and July, 2010; partly offset by increases in Russia, mainly driven by higher market share and favorable distributor inventory movements, and North Africa, mainly in Algeria, reflecting higher market share. In Asia, PMI’s cigarette shipment volume increased by 24.8%, primarily driven by growth in Indonesia, reflecting a higher total market, Korea, driven by higher share, and the favorable impact of the business combination with Fortune Tobacco Corporation in the Philippines of 57.4 billion units. This was partially offset by Japan, due to the lower total market reflecting the impact of the October 1, 2010, tax increase and unfavorable trade inventory movements, partly offset by higher market share. In Latin America & Canada, cigarette shipment volume increased by 1.5%, driven mainly by Canada, reflecting a higher tax-paid market, and Mexico, driven by trade inventory movements ahead of the significant January 1, 2011, excise tax increase. On an organic basis, which excludes acquisitions, PMI’s cigarette shipment volume was down by 2.5%.

Total cigarette shipments of Marlboro of 297.4 billion units were down by 1.5%, due primarily to a decrease in the EU of 5.8%, mainly reflecting: lower share in Germany, lower share in Greece, driven by excise tax and VAT-driven price increases, and a lower total market in Spain; a decrease in EEMA of 1.5%, primarily due to Turkey, reflecting tax-driven price increases, Romania and Russia, partially offset by strong growth in North Africa; an increase in Asia of 3.0%, led by robust growth in Korea and the Philippines, offset by Japan following the significant tax increase of October 1, 2010; and growth in Latin America and Canada of 2.1%, driven by Colombia and Mexico.

Total cigarette shipments of L&M of 88.6 billion units were down by 2.4%, with shipment growth in the EU, primarily in Germany and Greece, more than offset by EEMA, primarily due to declines in Russia and Ukraine, partly offset by growth in Algeria. (LC: L&M remains a two-pronged story. It continues to grow and is highly successful in the European Union region, but also continues to shed volume and share in Eastern Europe, and particularly, in Russia.) Shipments of discount brand Bond Street of 44.1 billion units increased by 5.7%, driven by double-digit growth in Russia, partly offset by declines in Turkey and Ukraine.

Total shipment volume of other tobacco products (OTP), in cigarette equivalent units, grew by 35.1%, benefitting from the acquisition of Swedish Match South Africa (Proprietary) Limited. Excluding acquisitions, shipment volume of OTP was down by 4.3%, primarily due to lower volume in Poland, reflecting the impact of the excise tax alignment of pipe tobacco to roll-your-own in the first quarter of 2009, partly offset by the growth of fine cut in Belgium, Germany and Spain. (Swedish Match - stock rises - bid interest Philip Morris USA..)

Total shipment volume for cigarettes and OTP was up by 4.8%, or down by 2.5% excluding acquisitions.

PMI’s market share performance for the full-year was stable, or registered growth, in a number of key markets, including Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and Thailand.

For the quarter, PMI's cigarette shipment volume of 224.9 billion units was up by 3.1 percent. In the EU, cigarette shipment volume decreased by 5.4 percent and EEMA cigarette shipment volume declined 6.0 percent. Asian volumes increased 24.1 percent and Latin American & Canadian cigarette shipment volume increased by 2.4 percent.

LC: A lot of the market has shifted to what I call big packs and maxi packs. So, big packs are 24, 25 cigarettes a pack versus the traditional 19s and there’s been a proliferation of now maxi packs, which are 28 cigarettes or 29 cigarettes a pack. Both big packs and maxi packs sell at a considerable discount to the conventional packaging of 19 cigarettes. Marlboro was at a competitive disadvantage because we were somewhat slow to react with the maxi pack in particular.

References: PMI Press Release: Reports 2010 Results; Philip Morris International CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript; Philip Morris International CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript - Questions and Answers.

MMWR - Decrease in Smoking Prevalence --- Minnesota, 1999--2010..

February 10, 2011 -

READ MMWR Report: Decrease in Smoking Prevalence --- Minnesota, 1999--2010, MMWR Weekly February 11, 2011 / 60(05);138-141

Kelowna, British Columbia - as of February 1, 2011 beaches and parks smoke-free..

February 10, 2011 - The City of Kelowna (K-Town) is doing its part to contribute to a smoke-free society. Neighbouring communities of West Kelowna and the Regional District of Central Okanagan have smoke-free parks and beaches. As well, hundreds of communities across Canada and around the world have embraced similar restrictions or bans on smoking in public outdoor spaces.

Effective February 1, 2011, Kelowna Parks’ smoke-free bylaw prohibits smoking in all Kelowna parks, including beaches, trails, playgrounds, sports fields and stadiums. People who refuse to comply with the new no-smoking policy could face a $100 fine.

Frequently Asked Questions..

The bylaw ensures healthy, smoke-free air for park users, reduces risk of fires, reduces toxins in the soil and water, and reduces smoking-related litter.

By updating the Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw to make parks smoke-free, Kelowna joins a growing list of municipalities in British Columbia to eliminate or restrict smoking in parks and on beaches. Parks and beaches in neighbouring West Kelowna and the Regional District of Central Okanagan are also smoke-free.

The move is supported by the Interior Health Authority, Canadian Cancer Society (BC Yukon) and the majority of Kelowna residents.

Reference: Should there be more smoke free areas? by Castanet Staff - Story: 59597, 1/22/2011..

Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada - to sue tobacco companies for health-care costs..

February 10, 2011 - Newfoundland and Labrador became on Tuesday, February 8th the latest province to sue more than a dozen tobacco companies for money to cover health-care costs related to smoking.

The Newfoundland government filed a statement of claim with the provincial Supreme Court in St. John's after proclaiming legislation that allows the province to pursue legal action against the tobacco industry, according to a statement sent by the province's Justice Department.

The Tobacco Health Care Costs Recovery Act was passed by the Newfoundland government in 2001, but only became law on Monday after the province took time to develop "a strong case" against the tobacco countries. "By proclaiming this piece of legislation we want to expose tobacco companies for misrepresenting the harm associated with their products," said Felix Collins, the province's justice minister.

"Through this action, it is also our hope consumers and potential consumers of tobacco will be fully aware of the misrepresentation by tobacco companies, so that they will think twice before deciding to start or to continue smoking."

The lawsuit does not name a specific amount sought, instead asking for "the recovery of costs associated with health-care services provided to individuals who have suffered with tobacco-related diseases, as well as the future health-related costs to the province. Jennifer Tulk, a spokeswoman with the Justice Department, said the sum "is expected to be substantial," and likely in the billions.

The government statement said the lawsuit was another weapon in the province's arsenal for the fight against smoking in Newfoundland, where about one in five adults light up regularly. This is a move for which many in the province's anti-smoking lobby have been waiting a long time, said Kevin Coady, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance for the Control of Tobacco. "It's a huge undertaking, there's no denying that," said Coady. "History shows the tobacco industry will march in with a crowd of lawyers and try to beat you back and drag it wherever they can." That being said, the statement of claim is "fantastic news," he added.

Collins said there is a good reason why the province is acting now, a decade after the Tobacco Health Care Costs Recovery Act was passed. "We wanted to make sure we were ready and had our case in hand before we proclaimed the act. In that 10 years we have learned from the other provinces, the other jurisdictions, as they pursue their claims," said Collins.

Newfoundland has two years in which to pursue its case and Collins expects it will be at least that long before the case goes to court. "We expect the tobacco companies will stall and drag this out, but we hope we can get this thing to court, if it gets to the court, by the latter part of 2013 of 2014," he said.

If the case does make it to the courts the province will have some experienced help in pleading its case. The government has retained the services of St. John's law firm Roebothan McKay Marshall in the case. The law firm will receive legal advice from Humphrey, Farrington and McClain of Independence, Mississippi, said to be experts in tobacco litigation. The American firm "are specialists and . . . have a lot of experience with tobacco companies. So we would draw very heavily on their advice and their experience in that respect," said Collins.

British Columbia was the first province to attempt to recover money spent on tobacco-related health issues by suing 14 tobacco companies for $10 billion in 2004. Four years later, New Brunswick filed suit against Rothman's Ltd., and in 2009, Ontario and Quebec both sued the industry for a combined $80 billion.

Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have all drafted or enacted similar legislation. New Brunswick lawsuit against tobacco companie - outside lawyers can be used.. Ont. launches $50B tobacco lawsuit

In 1999, all 50 U.S. states successfully settled with a number of tobacco companies for a combined $245 billion to be paid out over 25 years. U.S. - Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement..

Related: Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador class action against Imperial Tobacco rejected..

Reference: N.L. latest province to sue tobacco industry by Mike Barber and Colin MacLean, Postmedia News and St. John's Telegram, The Vancouver Sun, 2/8/2011.

e-cigarettes - delivery NOT by U.S. mail, or other carriers..

February 10, 2011 - For now the U.S. court system wants e-cigarettes (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems = ENDS) to be considered tobacco products. (U.S. FDA - D.C. Court of Appeals Won't Revisit Decision On E-Cigarettes..)

As a result these tobacco products can not delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEX and DSL.

The PACT Act from June 29, 2010 makes it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product (cigarettes and smokeless tobacco). FedEx, UPS and DSL — have bowed to state pressure and have refused to ship tobacco products. (U.S. PACT Law takes effect June 29, 2010..)

As we know most e-cigarettes are made in China. When these items are shipped they should be clearly marked - TOBACCO so they can be returned to the sender..

Prominent non-profit health organizations such as The American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, have called for e-cigarettes to be removed from the market. The groups say e-cigarettes have yet to be proven safe and that kids may be attracted to the products, some of which come in flavors like chocolate and strawberry. (Controversy Swirls Around E-Cigarettes by LAUREN ETTER, The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2009) The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) be classified as drug delivery devices, subject to the same FDA regulations as all other drug delivery devices. (US AMA policy - e-cigarettes FDA should treat as a drug delivery device..) Even Russia has proposed to ban electronic cigarettes - until the manufacturers have carried out clinical studies and toxicity analysis. (Russia - electronic cigarettes to be banned..)

Washington State - to protect children from becoming nicotine addicts lawmakers considering banning flavored tobacco products..

Our Children Our Future

February 10. 2011 - An anti-tobacco bill (Senate Bill 5380) is up for a public hearing right now in the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection committee. The measure seeks to amend the Youth Access to Tobacco Law to stop stores from selling any tobacco product that strongly smells or tastes like anything else besides tobacco and smokeless products likes pouches, mints and lozenges. Because these products would no longer be sold, the Office of Financial Management estimates that the state would lose 25 percent of tobacco tax revenue. This could equate a lose of $9.4 million in 2012.

Summary of Bill: Sales of Flavored, Scented, or Capsular Smokeless Tobacco. The Youth Access to Tobacco Law is amended to prohibit the sale or distribution of tobacco products that:
. have a distinguishable flavor or aroma other than tobacco; or
. are labeled or marketed as a flavored or scented tobacco product; or
. contain or are comprised of capsular smokeless tobacco (not including loose tobacco, but including products that are offered in single dose lozenges, pouches, pills, capsules, or other single dose units intended for oral consumption).

Mary Selecky, Secretary of the Department of Health: “When we go out and talk to young people…they reported taste played a major role in trying their first cigarette. Health costs as a result of tobacco use is higher than what the state will lose out on in lost taxes. I think you need to look at both sides of that equation.

State Sen. James Holmquist Newbry may add a provision to the bill that would allow adults to purchase flavored tobacco products. The bill also includes a ban on pipe tobacco. In addition, the proposal would give localities more authority to regulate tobacco and would enact more regulations regarding retail tobacco displays.

Directly related news briefs:
New York City - does it the RIGHT WAY, bans most forms of flavored tobacco products..;
Part 1: avoidance of nicotine addiction - remove the flavoring from all tobacco products..;
Part 2: avoidance of nicotine addiction - remove the flavoring from all tobacco products..;

References: Outlaw flavored cigarettes and nicotine mints? One bill aims to do exactly that by Lillian Tucker, The Capital Record, 2/7/2011; Washington Lawmakers Consider Bill to Outlaw Flavored Tobacco Products Meanwhile, roll-your-own tobacco stores in the state boast a brisk business, NANA.nacsonline.com, 2/9/2011; Bill targets flavored tobacco products SB 5380: Backers say it protects kids; critics see 'attack on liberty', KATIE SCHMIDT; Staff writer, theolympian.com, 2/8/2011.

VIDEO - Iowa - benefits of going smoke free..

February 9, 2011 - It's been two years since the Smoke Free Air Act went into effect in Iowa. It prohibits smoking inside all bars and restaurants. The University of Iowa says in the two years Iowa has been smoke free, Iowans reduced their risk of heart disease by staggering numbers.

"Hospital admissions related to heart disease is much less, including stroke after the Smoke Free Air Act," says Dr. Enrico Martin of the Iowa Heart Center. Admissions have gone down 24%, according to the University of Iowa. In just months, heart attack cases are down 8%. Strokes are down 5%. It's all thanks to the simple action of moving smokers outside. It's a break fans in the service industry are cheering about.

"I don't miss smelling smoke. It was nasty, ashes all over the table cloth. Now I don't have to worry about health," says server Dawny Valadez. Some smokers are even on board with the ban. "I smoked a pack a day until they redid the law. Now I'm down to half a pack so it's probably saving my lungs," says smoker Tyler Dolph.

The University of Iowa says 15% of all deaths in Iowa are caused by smoking. The research is simple. Doctors say, the less you smoke the longer you live. The Smoke Free Air act is saving hearts, lungs, and lives.

"I hope this is a wake up call. I think it would trickle down and promote a healthier lifestyle for Iowans," says Dr. Martin.

No matter what team you cheer for, every fan can enjoy the Super Bowl smoke free.

Dr. Martin is encouraged by the numbers, but he says Iowans still have a long way to go. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise.

VIDEO - Reference: SMOKING OUT: Two years after the smoking ban Iowans are healthier Heart disease is down 24% in the past 30 years, Emily Carlson Reporter, WHOTV.com, 2/6/2011.

Related news briefs - Iowa:
Iowa - republican possible budget cuts includes anti-smoking programs..;
Cedar Rapids, Iowa - little filtered-cigars gaining in popularity.;
Iowa - cigarette sales drop 52 percent..;
Iowa - smoking ban leads to decrease in hospitalizations for cardiovascular diseases..;
Iowa - get a free supply of NRT for just calling the Quitline..;
Iowa Smoking Ban Lawsuit Dismissed..;
Iowa - fire safe cigarettes - January 1, 2009..;
Butts Out: Iowa joins 22 states with a workplace smoking ban..;
Iowa - cigarette sales fall by 36% after $1 bump in cigarette tax..;
It's Illegal for Women to Smoke in Public..;
Des Moines: Iowa's cigarette tax is now $1.36 per pack, following a jubilant bill-signing ceremony Thursday morning (3/15/2007)..

TPSAC - Menthol Report: What to Expect??

February 9, 2011 - Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee’s (TPSAC) Report and Recommendations on the Impact of the Use of Menthol in Cigarettes on the Public Health

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) is currently developing a report and recommendations on the impact of the use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health. The report and recommendations are due to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by March 23, 2011. As the due date draws near, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looks forward to receiving the report from the Committee. FDA also understands that members of the tobacco industry, members of public health and tobacco control organizations, as well as the general public are eager to see the report and may have questions about the actions FDA will take after receiving the report. Therefore, FDA has outlined what is to come over the next few months as the Committee finalizes the report.

Menthol report what to expect??

There is no required deadline or timeline for the FDA to act on the recommendations provided by the Committee in the report. Any action(s) taken by the FDA that lead to sale/distribution restrictions or establishment of product standards require formal rule making that includes public notice and comment. Therefore, receipt of the report and recommendations by the FDA will not have an immediate effect on the availability of menthol cigarettes.

PAPER: heavy teen viewing of TV shows with depiction of tobacco use..

February 9, 2011 - As lawmakers push to eliminate smoking in public, there’s still one place many people are allowed to light up with seemingly no consequences: TV. Tobacco use on television should be a cause for concern, particularly because of the high volume of television viewing among younger audiences.

A study published yesterday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine finds substantial depictions of tobacco use in television programs with high teen viewership. The study aimed to quantify teen exposure to smoking on television, given the powerful role tobacco images in media play in influencing kids to smoke.

PAPER: Depictions of Tobacco Use in 2007 Broadcast Television Programming Popular Among US Youth, Jennifer Cullen, PhD, MPH; Natasha A. Sokol, BA; Deepika Slawek, MPH; Jane A. Allen, MPH; Donna Vallone, PhD, MPH; Cheryl Healton, DrPH, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(2):147-151, ABSTRACT..

Researchers examined more than 70 episodes of prime-time shows like Family Guy and Gossip Girl and found 40 percent of them contained at least one instance of smoking, mostly of cigarettes. Fox lead the networks with 44 percent, followed by CBS with 41 percent.

All these episodes were rated TV-PG and TV-14 (the more stringent rating). Surprisingly, more TV-PG episodes showed smoking (50 percent) than ones rated TV-14 (26 percent).

The study was conducted by Legacy, a public interest group dedicated to reducing tobacco use by people of all ages.

Movies - tobacco use.. Studios reached an agreement to place anti-smoking ads on new movie DVDs (rated G, PG or PG-13)..

References: Smoking shown a lot in TV shows popular with teens, Posted by Pete Basofin, Reports from the Bee's investigative team, 2/8/2011; Think Kids' Shows Are Tobacco-Free? Think Again
Study finds smoking still featured on shows aimed at kids and teens
, Sara Huffman, ConsumerAffairs.com, 2/8/2011; Smoking prevalent on TV shows that are most popular with teens by Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 2/8/2011.

VIDEO - The city of West Hollywood, CA has voted to snuff out smoking in outdoor restaurants and other public areas.

February 9, 2011 - The city of West Hollywood has voted to snuff out smoking in outdoor restaurants and other public areas.

The city council voted three-to-two in favor of the ban at Monday night's first reading of the ordinance. The next and final vote will take place at the end of the month.

VIDEO - References: West Hollywood Cigarette Ban: City Council Snuffs Outdoor Smoking, The Huffington Post, 2/9/2011; No Smoking It Shall Be In WeHo - Or Shall It.. by WeHo News Staff, WEHONEWS.com serving West Hollywood, 12/22/2009.

President Obama has reached his one year anniversary of no smoking..

No smokers here..

February 9, 2011 - At a luncheon conference today, Michelle Obama told reporters that she hasn't seen her husband take one puff in a year. She added that he wants to be the kind of father who can look his daughters in the eye and tell them he doesn't smoke if they ask. The President has fulfilled a personal resolution to stop smoking and has succeeded.

The first lady said her husband has “always wanted to stop.” She said their daughters, Sasha, 9, and Malia, 12, “are getting to the age where he wants to be able to look them in the face, because they want to know, ‘you don’t smoke, do you dad?’ And he wants to be able to say ‘nope.’”

Recent study PAPER: Giving Up Smoking Linked To Greater Happiness And Elevated Mood..

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs mentioned the president used “stubborn willpower” to successfully quit after trying Nicorette soft chews. (President Obama - willpower does the trick - president has gone 9-months without smoking..)

Reference: Michelle Obama Says President Kicked Smoking Habit by Kate Andersen Brower (kandersen7@bloomberg.net), Bloomberg.com, 2/8/2011.

Related news briefs:
President Obama - willpower does the trick - president has gone 9-months without smoking..;
President Obama - still needs a cigarette (coffin nails) once in a while??;
President Obama - time to get tobacco use out of your life forever..;
President Obama still trying to kick his addiction to tobacco..; Father's Day and Third-Hand Smoke..;
Children are especially vulnerable to thirdhand smoke...

South Korea - govt serious about getting smokers to quit..

February 8, 2011 - Once a smokers’ haven, South Korea becomes one big ‘no-smoking’ zone. South Korea moved to ban smoking in public places, both indoor and outdoor, from 2011 in a bid to reduce the country’s smoking rate. The social environment of smoking has changed so much over the years, and smokers too often find themselves unwelcome almost everywhere in the country.

South Korea’s smoking rate for people aged 19 or older stood at 39.6 percent last year, down from 43.1 percent a year earlier but still way above the average of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member nations, which recorded 27.3 percent in 2008. South Korea hopes to bring its smoking rate down to the OECD level within the coming years.

Smokers in big cities like the capital Seoul face more difficulty in finding places to enjoy smoking.

Smokers in Seoul will no longer be able to light up in the city's main squares under the toughened anti-cigarette ordinance that will take effect March 1, 2011.

"The smoking ban ordinance will include three main squares in downtown of the capital -- Seoul Plaza, Cheongyecheon Plaza andGwanghwamun Plaza -- in a bid to reduce side effects of smoking in public spaces," said the Seoul Metropolitan Government

As part of its public awareness campaign, the city government said it will set up warning signs around the squares by the end of this month and give a three-month notification period. When the grace period ends on June one, those who smoke in the prohibited area will be slapped with a fine of USD 90, it said.

Seoul city also plans to designate a total of 321 publicspaces as non-smoking areas within this year, adding 23 cityparks by September and 295 major bus stations by December,officials said.

The new ordinance was passed by the city council last October following the passage of an anti-smoking law at the parliament, which ordered regional governments to implement anti-smoking policies to make it more difficult for people to smoke in public places.

Smoking to be banned in Seoul''s main squares from March, Youhap News, oneIndia news, 2/4/2011.
Smoking could become more expensive, too. Health Minister Chin Soo-hee recently suggested that cigarette prices must be doubled to 5,000 won ($4.60) a pack as part of efforts to discourage smoking. She later backed down under angry reactions from smokers but insisted that she will find an appropriate price after consulting with the U.N. World Health Organization. Smokers blame the government for first getting them hooked on smoking and now trying to tax them even more. (South Korea - charge enough for cigarettes smokers will quit..)

About half of the price of a cigarette is already tax and they want to impose more tax, claiming it will cut the smoking rate. The truth is it will have little effect on the smoking rate because people who smoke will continue to buy even at high prices, meaning they will only end up paying more tax.”

In addition, smokers in the country face added difficulties at the office, as many companies are advising, if not forcing, their workers to quit smoking or even choosing not to hire new employees who smoke.

Taihan Electric Wire Co., South Korea’s oldest and second-largest electric cable maker, recently launched a company-wide no-smoking campaign, offering a 350,000-won ($320) reward to anyone who agrees to quit, in addition to a free three-day vacation to anyone who succeeds in quitting.

Hanwha Chemical Corp. recently launched a similar anti-smoking campaign that includes regular nicotine tests for workers who pledge to quit smoking. If an employee fails to show significant drops in nicotine levels, twice in a row, he or she must spend three days at a rehabilitation center at his or her own expense and vacation time.

Samsung Electronics to ban all smoking in workplaces.. The corporation announced its plans to eliminate all smoking areas by the end of this year. And this applies nationwide to all of its plants and offices. Until now employees of Samsung Electronics were allowed to light cigarettes in designated smoking areas during their lunch time or after work. But in efforts to create a better working environment for everyone the company is determined to carry out its new plans.
Samsung's plant in Gumi already closed its smoking area in January this year with other offices in cities like Suwon, Gwangju, Hwaseong and Cheonan expected to follow soon. And to make sure that no one sneaks a cigarette or two into the office to smoke secretly, the company will be checking its employees when they arrive at work to see if they possess anything that would allow them to smoke such as cigarettes, cigars and lighters. And if a person is found to be carrying such items they will not be allowed into their office. Through such measures the company hopes to protect its employees' health and cut down exposure to second-hand smoke for non-smokers.
(Samsung Electronics to Ban All Smoking in Workplaces, Reporter : jiyoonjlee@arirang.co.kr, Arirang.co.kr, 9/16/2010)

Reference: Public puffing increasingly difficult in Korea, Youhap News, The Korea Herald, 2/8/2011.

South Korea - some related news briefs:
South Korea - charge enough for cigarettes smokers will quit..;
South Korea - BAT Korea launching Dunhill Nanocut 1 mg, next week..;
South Korean tobacco company KT&G signs deal to sell cigarettes in the Middle East and Russia..;
South Korea - BAT releases Dunhill Orient as a limited edition..;
South Korea - stop people from smoking go ahead and triple the price of cigarettes..;
South Korea - Smoking Manner Campaign - promoting cigarette butt-free streets..;
South Korea - in 2007, world's 12th largest cigarette exporter..;
South Korea - study finds higher prices most effective method to discourage smoking..;
South Korea - a new Raison line extension..;
next month enforcement of ban on smoking by taxi drivers..;
South Korea - fines collected for dumping cigarette butts are down.. ;
South Korea - BAT launches new cigarette seems similar to Camel Crush..;
South Korea - rate of male smokers probably higher than any other OECD country..;
South Korea - BAT to further invest in Sacheon factory..;
South Korea - a look at KT&G Corporation with 63% of the market..;
South Korea - streets and parks of Seoul City could be designated as non-smoking areas..;
PMI - slide presentation South Korean Cigarette Market..;
South Korea - KT&G forms alliance with Imperial Tobacco Group..;
South Korea - more smokers in 2009 than in 2008..;
South Korea - remote island going smoke-free, car-free and night lights-free..;
South Korea - Stressed-out Koreans smoking more..;
South Korea - to ban smoking in public places from 2011..;
Korea - BAT - winning the hearts and minds of customers based on tactics tailored to local tastes..;
Korea - sets target to reduce smoking 10% in 5-years..;
Korea - stricter regulation of the tobacco industry coming..;
South Korea - tobacco imports surge 396-fold over 10-years..;
Korea - slight increase in men smoking.. ;
South Korea - anti-tobacco campaign - body painting..;
Korea - smoking ban just about everywhere by end of 2009..;
Tobacco marketing in South Korea has been deliberately aimed at girls and young women..;
Korea - smoking rates fall for men and women...

Denmark - housing association has plans to build 30 smoke-free units..

February 8, 2011 - No-smoking signs could soon become a fixture of some flats after a housing association announced it has plans to build 30 smoke-free units.
The flats, a part of the Frederikshavn Housing Association would be the first of their kind in the country, but the trend toward non-smoking council housing seems to be spreading.

Two of the country’s largest housing associations, AAB and KAB, say they also expect to provide smoke-free accommodation in the near future.

Although experts pointed out that an increasing focus on public health made the smoking ban a natural development, at least one housing association head said his organisation had no plans to ask people not to smoke in their own home.

“We need to ask ourselves what homes are for,” Palle Adamsen, director of Lejerbo, told Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper. “Is it a place where we can live our live our own lives? I believe that it is.”

Reference: Association to build non-smoking flats, The Copenhagen Post, denmark.dk, 2/1/2011

Lorillard, Inc. highlights business report q4 and entire 2010..

February 8, 2011 -

Lorillard offers 41 different product offerings under the Newport, Kent, True, Maverick, Old Gold, and Max brand names. It sells its products primarily to wholesale distributors, who in turn service retail outlets, chain store organizations, and government agencies, including the United States’ Armed Forces. The company was founded in 1760 and is based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Total Lorillard wholesale shipment volume increased 4.5 percent from last year to 9.456 billion units. Total industry domestic wholesale shipments decreased an estimated 4.7 percent, while Lorillard's domestic wholesale shipments increased 4.6 percent. Domestic wholesale shipments for the year increased 5.3 percent, compared to a 3.8 percent decline in industry domestic wholesale shipments.

The company earned over $1 billion in net income for the first time in its 250-year history. Lorillard continued to buck industry trends growing domestic wholesale shipments plus-4.6% in the fourth quarter in the backdrop of industry domestic wholesale shipments, which declined 4.7%. That's over a nine percentage point outperformance against the industry. Within that plus-4.6% increase, our flagship brand, Newport, grew 2.2%, benefiting from the launch of Newport Non-Menthol, partially offset by a fourth quarter 2010 versus 2009 comparative reduction in inventory position.

Newport Non-Menthol is gaining trial in the marketplace, and volume continues to grow week to week. It's too early to assess its long-term potential, but we are encouraged with what we see so far. Newport RED - On Newport Non-Menthol, and I realize this is a difficult question, but how much of the brand's success to date do you think is price?

As you would expect, when our volume trend exceeds that of the industry, we gain market share. Total Lorillard market share in the fourth quarter increased 120 basis points to 13.2%. About half of a share point of that was associated with the Newport Non-Menthol launch.

Newport - basically stable in a market that is declining at a faster rate around it. That didn't change in the fourth quarter. The trends, the growth trends of Newport Menthol, the core, didn't change at all. That resulted in significant increase in market share in the first quarter that held all year and for the finish of the year, marked the eighth consecutive year of share growth for Newport Menthol. Newport Menthol's volume was flat in an industry that's down 4% or 4.5%. As long as we keep outperforming the industry by three or four percentage points, we're going to keep growing share.

The two leading cigarette companies in the U.S. saw declines in sticks sold of approximately 45 billion and 30 billion respectively during the last five years, while our volumes over the same period of time increased over 2.6 billion. We believe the fundamentals remain in place for our strong brands, led by Newport, to continue to outpace the industry. So as I said on our last conference call, Lorillard is not in need of a course correction.

We do see and we announced the support that there is an opportunity for organic portfolio expansion and geographic expansion beyond our core markets for further upside, albeit these must be pursued carefully and with discipline. Smokeless - Smokeless within the context of the strategic plan. That original test market, the way Lorillard had talked about, I told you was on hold and would be considered as part of the strategic plan. We'll be with you shortly on that within the next couple of months. I just need to communicate where we are to the whole organization to get less input, et cetera, and then we'll be digging in. But the heart of this strategy goes back to that quote I put in my comments there. Lorillard's a different animal in the tobacco industry

We announced an increase in wholesale list prices on certain of our cigarette brands, including Newport, on November 30, which amounted to approximately 1.5% on our brand portfolio.

Maverick is obviously still a very small share within discount, and it benefits from two things. It benefits from the fact that it is a good quality product that is recognized by consumers, and the second thing it benefits from is it stays within our total share and narrow product line. It gets good visibility at retail because we're 12, 13 share overall. We get that done on Newport with relatively small number of SKUs, which means there's room for Newport Non-Menthol and there's room for Maverick. And while we're not front and center, there is still more space than some of the smaller brands. And that result of that is I think we have good visibility and a great product and a great price of brand and lots of running room. Having said that, I would also say that Maverick is not necessarily the lowest-priced brand. Some of our competitors have, by design of their program, limit the price Maverick can be at. And we have to deal with that in the marketplace, but the overall result is, is that Maverick is competitively priced at the mid-tier.

Congress mandated that the FDA evaluate the impact of menthol in cigarettes on the public's health. Lorillard continues to believe that the best available scientific evidence does not support an assertion that menthol and cigarettes negatively or disproportionately impacts the public's health.

Tobacco Advisory Scientific Advisory Committee recommendation due on March 23rd.

The FDA made it very clear that they intended to follow a scientific process and that they also made it very clear that TPSAC's recommendation was a non-binding recommendation. I'll (Murray Kessler, Chairman, CEO and President) reiterate to everybody that in March there's a non-binding recommendation and only the very beginning of the process and not some endpoint.

We also had a stakeholder meeting, an industry stakeholder meeting in Raleigh, more recently, and in that meeting, Director Deyton stood in front of the room and some of the smaller manufacturers started to get more vocal. And he stood in front of that room and said, you have never heard the word "banned" come out of the FDA. And he sort of silenced the room. To point to the one example where you heard the word banned come from the FDA, I thought that was kind of poignant. And then as our continuing dialogues come along, I'll end the third quote, which was when he kicked off all the TPSAC committee meetings, he looked TPSAC in the eye and he said you have a very important job to do. And we're going to be looking at your recommendation, and I expect it to be a science-based recommendation and remember that the FDA will only consider science-based recommendations as part of this process.

References: Lorillard, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Record Annual 2010 Results, SOURCE Lorillard, Inc., 2/7/2011; Lorillard CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript, Seeking Alpha, 2/7/2011; Lorillard CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript - Questions and Answers, Seeking Alpha, 2/7/2011.

Sarasota, Florida - banned smoking in over 500 homes for the poor..

February 8, 2011 - Following a national movement to curb secondhand smoke in public housing units, the agency charged with housing Sarasota's poorest families has banned smoking at more than 500 of its homes. The low-income tenants benefiting from assistance from the Sarasota Housing Authority must either quit smoking or smoke only in designated outdoor areas by the time the ban goes into effect July 1, 2011.

But newly arriving residents of some rentals at places like the Janie Poe complex can be evicted now if they are caught smoking under a new Housing Authority lease adopted last month that bans smoking indoors. The ban comes on the heels of directives issued by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which encourage smoking bans in public housing.

Bill Russell, executive director of the Housing Authority: "The smoke is permeating in the hallways and the air conditioning units. We know this is happening in almost all of our properties. We felt that the second-hand smoke health effects were a significant factor. Russell added that cigarettes are the leading cause of fire fatalities. Plus, the authority must pay more to refurbish units when smoking tenants move and leave odors and smoke residue on the walls.

The authority does not yet have a plan for enforcing the ban, but its attorneys are drafting rules. With help from the county, property managers will also build designated areas for residents to smoke outside, with cigarette disposal systems and signs.

To help with that effort, the Sarasota County Health Department will offer various classes and support such as nicotine patches and gum to tenants who wish to quit.

Reference: Sarasota Housing Authority bans smoking in units NEW RULES: Come July, low-income tenants must quit or take it outside by J. DAVID McSWANE, Herald-Tribune, 2/5/2011.

A few related news briefs:
Boston, Massachusettes - next, ban smoking in all public housing..;
Chicago, Illinois - smoke-free apartment and condominium buildings are becoming the wave of the future..
Study: 99% of Children Living in Apartments May Be Exposed to Secondhand Smoke..;
Peel Region of Ontario considering banning smoking in multi-unit dwellings .;
Richmond, CA strictest secondhand smoking laws in the San Francisco Bay Area..;
More Public Housing Units Going Smoke-Free..;

PAPER: Poor adolescents who live in communities with more social cohesiveness are less likely to smoke and be obese..

February 7, 2011 - Growing up poor increases a person's chances of health problems as an adult, but a new Cornell study shows that being raised in a tight-knit community can help offset this disadvantage of poverty. Poor adolescents who live in communities with more social cohesiveness are less likely to smoke and be obese, reports the study, published in January's Psychological Science journal.

PAPER: Loosening the Link Between Childhood Poverty and Adolescent Smoking and Obesity: The Protective Effects of Social Capital, Gary W. Evans and Rachel Kutcher, Psychological Science, January 2011; vol. 22, 1: pp. 3-7., first published on November 24, 2010, ABSTRACT..

Environmental psychologist Gary W. Evans, recruited 326 rural upstate New York children when they were about 9 years old and their mothers. About half of the children lived in or near poverty; the rest were from middle-income families. Periodically, Evans and co-author Rachel Kutcher visited the participants to measure their health and exposure to various risk factors.

When the participants were about 17 years old, they and their mothers filled out surveys that assessed how connected their communities were and how much social control they felt they had. For example, mothers were asked to say how much they agreed that "one of my neighbors would do something if they saw someone trying to sell drugs to a child or youth in plain sight"; the teenagers were asked whether they had adults whom they could ask for advice. The teens also completed surveys on behavior, including smoking, and had their height and weight measured.

"Youth from low-income backgrounds smoked more than those who grew up in more affluent homes," the study concludes. However, if they lived in connected communities, "the effects of early childhood poverty on adolescent smoking were minimal." Evans found similar results when assessing the teens' body-mass index, a standard measure of obesity.

Evans and Kutcher believe adolescents in communities with more so-called social capital (a measure of how connected a community is and how much social control there is) may have better role models or mentors; or perhaps in a more empowered community, where people feel comfortable stopping someone else's bad behavior, the young people feel less helpless as individuals. They might believe that "you have some control over what's going to happen to you," they suggested.

Still, the authors warned, social capital can help poor youths, but it is not a remedy for the health problems associated with impoverished living in childhood. Poor adolescents, even those in communities with more social capital, are still less healthy than their middle-income peers.

"It's not correct to conclude that, if you just improve social capital, then it would be okay to be poor," Evans says.

Reference: Having a Strong Community Protects Adolescents From Risky Health Behaviors, psychologicalscience.org, 2/2/2011.

United Kingdom - tobacco companies warn tax increase will lead to an increase in cigarette smuggling..

February 7, 2011 - The tobacco industry, dominated by Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher, claims the rate of smuggling and the volume of contraband sold on Britain's streets will raise when excise duty goes up. The tax on a packet of 20 cigarettes rose 34p last year and the budget is scheduled to bring the increase for 2011 to 39p a pack. This compares with the previous nine years of inflation-only duty rises, adding between six and 12 pence a year to the cost of a pack. (100pence(p) = 1 pound)

The average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes reached £6.29 (10.07 USD) in the UK last summer, compared with £2.80 (4.48 USD) in Spain and £1.57 (2.51 USD) in Poland, according to official European figures. While Customs officials have made good progress in curbing an explosion in smuggled tobacco sales in recent years, Chris Ogden, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association, warns their good work could be destroyed as organised criminal gangs target their tax evasion efforts on the UK.

Tobacco sales are a major contributor to Treasury coffers, with about 77% of the pack price going directly to the chancellor. VAT and duty already raises £11bn a year for the Treasury – more than the £7.6bn raised in corporation tax from the UK's financial sector. It is more than enough to pay for the entire costs of running the army, or about a third of the cost of general and acute hospitals.

Governments like to tax tobacco in a recession as it is regarded as one of the easiest ways of boosting Treasury coffers. The addictive nature of cigarettes means that consumers tend swallow the extra expense rather than cutting back on consumption as they might do with other heavily taxed products.

Health campaigners dispute assumptions that there is a necessary link between tobacco tax rates and smuggling. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: "Tough law enforcement measures are the way to tackle tobacco smuggling. The tobacco industry is being disingenuous in claiming that tax increases will result in massive leaps in smuggling. This did occur in the UK in the 1990s but only because the tobacco industry allowed it to happen. (Canada tobacco firms admit aiding smuggling..)

"Since the government started cracking down on smuggling and new laws were put in place with the threat of heavy fines for manufacturers which allow their products to be smuggled, smuggling has reduced dramatically. Tobacco taxes have risen above inflation for the last two years and there has been no sign of an increase in smuggling."

Customs have been promised more resources to tackle the anticipated rise in smuggling and its work is expected to be co-ordinated by a newly appointed head of counter-smuggling activities.

Reference: Tobacco taxes set to boost smuggling • Higher rates of duty raise amount of contraband • Treasury gets about 77% of pack price of cigarettes, Simon Bowers, guardian.co.uk, 2/6/2011. (Britain, Brits)

Malaysia - Study reveals Malaysian Indians are least likely to quit smoking compared to the Chinese or the Malays..

February 7, 2011 - Malaysian Indians are least likely to quit smoking compared to the Chinese or the Malays a study has revealed.

The Chinese, if male, married and motivated, top the chart, according to the research. The Chinese male is four times more motivated than a Malay and six times more motivated than an Indian. Men have done better. Women are 'too emotionally attached to cigarettes', says the study.

Multi-racial Malaysia is home to majority Malays. The Chinese form about a quarter of the 28 million population, while ethnic Indians, estimated at 2.1 million, account for eight percent.

The research conducted by Universiti Malaya, University College London (UCL) and the health ministry was to find out why some smokers successfully quit while others couldn't. One in every two adult males in Malaysia is a smoker and puffs an average of more than 12 cigarettes a day, New Straits Times reported Sunday.

The success rate in getting people to quit smoking has been only 34 percent. The study was entitled 'Motivation process in smokers attending quit smoking clinics in Malaysia'.

'We want to understand why some smokers could quit and others couldn't because we cannot target intervention programmes if we do not understand,' said Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, deputy dean (undergraduate and diploma programmes), Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.

The study included 200 smokers who attended five of the most active quit smoking clinics. Most of the respondents were around 35 years of age and educated professionals. 'The study found there was a higher chance of men quitting smoking than women. This is because women are more emotionally attached to their cigarettes,' said Awang.

The study also found that married smokers were more likely to successfully quit. 'If they are married, they are three times more likely to successfully quit than those who are single. But if the spouse of the smoker also smokes, then it will be more difficult,' he said.

According to the study, those who smoked to cope with stress were less likely to successfully quit. However, those who smoked to cope with boredom were more likely to succeed.

Reference: Malaysian Indians least likely to kick the butt: Study by Indo Asian News Service | IANS, 2/6/2011.

Malaysia - some related news briefs:
Malaysia - 8% drop in tobacco industry volume projected in 2011..;
Malacca, Malaysia - smoke free zones to be expanded..;
Malaysia - public are strongly advised not to purchase any e-cigarettee..;
Malaysia - sets minimum price for cigarettes..;
Malaysia - if you smoke you lose..;
Penang, Malaysia - specific areas for smoking..;
Malaysia - BAT wants gradual, moderate increases in the cigarette tax..:
Malaysia - horrific graphic warnings on cigarette packs, cartons..;
Malaysia - one out of three packets of cigarettes was smuggled;
Malaysia - doing a better job of seizing smuggled cigarettes..;
Malaysia - best way to get teenage girls to stop smoking is through education..;
Malaysia - ban on 14-stick cigarette packs delayed worry about increase in illicit cigarettes..;
Malaysia - slight decrease in illicit cigarettes; JTI Malaysia q1 2010 market share increases..;
Malaysia - Health Ministry's proposal to ban the sale of 14-stick cigarette packs beginning June 1, 2010..;
Malaysia - increase in number of women smoking..;
Malaysia - new strategy to penalize retailers who sell contraband cigarettes..;
Malaysia - youth and student smokers may not receive aid from government..;
Malaysia - two tobacco control regulations starting January 1, 2010..

Malaysia - about 368,000 teenager smokers in the country, 50-60 added per day..;
Malaysia - sale of cigarettes in packets of less than 20 prohibited as of June 1, 2010..;
Malaysia - stepping up efforts to curb the trade in illicit cigarettes..;
Malaysia - BAT plans to dispose of a parcel of industrial land..;
Malaysia - ban on cigarette sponsorship for sports will not be withdrawn..;
Malaysia - cigarette-shaped sweets packaged like cigarettes;
Malaysia - Penang consumer group ban cheap cigarettes and increase price on premium..;
Malaysia - Kelantin State Government may not promote staff who smoke..;
Malaysia - excise duty increased on tobacco - another increase could be coming this month..;
Malaysia - smoking limits your quality of life..;
Malaysia - smoking civil servants in Penang to receive free nicotine treatment..;
Malaysia - illicit cigarettes, BAT wants government to slow excise duty increases..;
Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
Malaysia student forced to smoke 40 cigarettes in two hours..
Malaysia - PSD and Cuepacs are at odds over the no-smoking rule at government de­­partments and agencies..;
Malaysia: Are tobacco control measures working? - WHO thinks so...;
Malaysia - slowdown in cigarette consumption..;
Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings..;
Malaysia to hike cigarette prices..;
Malaysia - 25% of all cigarettes sales are illegal...Peninsular Malaysia - one of three cigarette packs is either contraband or fake..;
Komtar, Penang, Malaysia smoking ban strictly enforced..;
Malaysia student forced to smoke 40 cigarettes in two hours..
Malaysia - PSD and Cuepacs are at odds over the no-smoking rule at government de­­partments and agencies..;
Malaysia: Are tobacco control measures working? - WHO thinks so...;
Malaysia - slowdown in cigarette consumption..;
Malaysia - January 1, 2009 pictorial cigarette warnings..;
Malaysia to hike cigarette prices..;
Malaysia - 25% of all cigarettes sales are illegal...

Czech Republic - lower house of parliament approves tobacco tax increase in January 2012..

February 7, 2011 - Czech lawmakers approved a government proposal to raise taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products as of January 2012 to boost state budget revenue, the lower house of parliament said today on its website.

The Prague-based Finance Ministry, which drafted the law amendment required to comply with European Union legislation, estimates the higher taxes to bring about 2.4 billion koruna ($136 million) in additional state-budget revenue in 2012. The taxes should rise again in 2014 to bring them in line with EU laws, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

The higher taxes may help the government of Prime Minister Petr Necas narrow the fiscal deficit as it seeks to cut the shortfall to less than the EU’s limit of 3 percent of economic output by 2013, from an estimated 4.8 percent last year.

The amended law will raise the tax on cigarettes to 1.12 koruna (0.0631042 USD) apiece, from 1.07 koruna (0.0602862 USD), while the levy on cigars and cigarillos will increase to 1.25 koruna apiece, from 1.15 koruna (0.0704278 USD), according to the Finance Ministry. The tax on tobacco will increase to 1,400 koruna (78.88 USD) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) from 1,340 koruna (75.50 USD).

The amended tax law still needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament, or the Senate, and signed by President Vaclav Klaus. The lower house has the power to override eventual vetoes of the Senate and Klaus.

Reference: Czech Lawmakers Pass Higher Tobacco Taxes to Boost State Income by Peter Laca (placa@bloomberg.net) Editor responsible for this story: Willy Morris at wmorris@bloomberg.net, Bloomberg.com, 2/4/2011.

Czech Republic - related news brief:
Czech Republic - smoking prohibited in shopping centres..;
Czech Republic - President Klaus claims methods EU proposing to reduce smoking are ludicrous..;
Czech Republic - cigarette sales down for 1st half of 2010 after price increases..;
Czech Republic - some restaurants go smoke free as of July 1, 2010..;
Czech Republic - Philip Morris decides not to pass on tax increase to smokers..;
Czech Republic - crackdown on tobacco use long way off..;
Czech Republic - new penal code weakens laws against illegal cigartte production..;
Czech Republic - pubs and restaurants allow smoking or Do NOT allow smoking..;
Czech children worst in cigarette smoking in world..;
Czech Republic - Philip Morris profits dropping 2-years in a row..

New Jersey - more high school kids and adults smoking - preventive funding way down..

Governor Chris Christie..

February 7, 2011 - After years of decline, smoking rates in New Jersey are on the rise again. In its recently released State of Tobacco Control report for 2010, the American Lung Association says the number of adults who smoke in New Jersey rose last year to 15.8 percent, up from 14.8 percent a year earlier. The report also showed the smoking rate among New Jersey high school students increasing to 17 percent, up from 14.3 percent. The data was culled from federal surveys through the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that were done in 2009.

Directly related news brief:
New Jersey - governor has proposed eliminating state funding of tobacco control program..

Where's Senator Barbara Buono when you need her??

Such numbers would seemingly provide reason for the state to expand its anti-smoking and smoking cessation programs. But, because of the $11 billion deficit in the state budget last year, New Jersey slashed its funding for such programs in July from $7.6 million to just $600,000. The dramatic cuts came even though the state still brought in about $1 billion in 2010 from taxes on cigarettes and a 1998 legal settlement (Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement) with the big U.S. tobacco companies, and despite the state having a near total ban on indoor workplace smoking.
New Jersey started receiving payments from this settlement in 2000, it has received no less than $220 million a year and as much as $405 million. However, the master settlement agreement with the tobacco companies doesn't mandate how states must spend that money. In New Jersey's case, then-Gov. Jim McGreevey, for his 2004 state budget, borrowed against the cash New Jersey was to receive over 25 years to help plug a $5 billion deficit that year. So those funds are gone, dedicated to paying off debt.
Those who are working to combat smoking in the Garden State are wondering what will happen to smoking rates in New Jersey in the years to come, as the tobacco companies continue to spend more than $200 million a year to market an expanding line of products here.

They also are wondering if state funding for effective anti-tobacco programs will ever be restored or even wiped out entirely. And they are wondering if the number of deaths tied directly to smoking in New Jersey — 11,201 last year — and the economic cost to the state — nearly $5.6 billion in 2010 — will rise.

"The bottom line is that despite an extraordinarily difficult budget situation, the Department of Health and Senior Services remains committed to tobacco prevention as a key public health issue, and that is why we have merged tobacco prevention efforts as part of an overall chronic disease strategy," said Donna Leusner, spokeswoman for the department.

Reference: Are anti-smoking efforts going up in smoke?, Written by MIKE DANIELS STAFF WRITER, Asbury Park Press, 2/4/2011.

New Jersey related news briefs:
New Jersey - governor has proposed eliminating state funding of tobacco control program..;
Somerset, NJ - high school participates in National Kick Butts Day..;
N.J. Assembly committee approves e-cigarette ban..;
New Jersey town bans smoking on beach, boardwalk, sidewalk..;
New Jersey - legislation proposed to prohibit sale of e-cigarettes..;
New Jersey assemblywoman wants to limit electronic (e) cigarettes..;
E-cigarettes need to establish efficacy and safety - FIRST...
New Jersey - Senator Buono bill would ban smoking in public parks and beaches..;
New Jersey bans flavored cigarettes..;
New Jersey May Ban Certain Flavored Cigarettes..;