Vermont - $1 cigarette tax is likely up in smoke..

APRIL 30, 2011

February 3, 2011 - Vermont’s anti-tobacco forces are pressing lawmakers to boost the state’s per-pack tax — now $2.24 — in hopes of offsetting planned budget cuts to anti-tobacco efforts, raising more money for the state and discouraging people from lighting up.

A new survey shows strong public support for an 81-cent increase in Vermont's tax on a pack of cigarettes -- a finding the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Vermont is using to support its drive for the tax change, reported the Burlington Free Press. The poll showed even stronger support -- 88 percent -- for raising taxes on other tobacco products such as cigars and chewing tobacco, Vermont - Anti-smoking group proposes tax increase, public survey agrees..;

APRIL 29th - A heavy lobbying campaign to increase Vermont’s cigarette tax will continue its legislative push in an effort to reduce smoking rates while raising an additional $10 million in revenue.House members recently voted on a 27-cent increase on the state’s cigarette tax (currently at $2.24) before the Senate voted last week on a 53-cent hike in the Miscellaneous Tax bill. But the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont says that is not enough to discourage smokers from lighting up.

"We are strongly still championing at least a 10 percent increase. We would love a dollar because that would bring the best public health benefit to Vermont, but you need to have at least a 65 cent increase (that would be a 10 percent increase) ... studies have shown that at least a 10 percent increase is needed to have a public health impact," said coalition coordinator Tina Zuk.

"Twenty-seven cents is just not worth it, and it doesn’t even produce that much revenue for the state and it probably won’t have any public health impact because you need to have a significant increase for [smokers] to even notice it," she said.

Anti-smoking groups have pressured lawmakers to support a $1 increase in the tax, citing the hike as the most effective way to prevent youth smoking. Raising the tax would create a $10.2 million increase in new revenue as well, according to the coalition.

"I think it’s important to not only look at the budget now, but down the road. We can’t be short-sighted with what we’re doing fiscally now because we’ll pay for it later," Zuk said.

But Gov. Peter Shumlin, a first-term Democrat, has lobbied for a smaller tax bump to keep Vermont on an even playing field with neighboring states.

"I don’t object to cigarette taxes, but right now, Vermont has $5 million of unexpected cash for the 2011 budget because our cigarette tax is lower than New York and competitive with Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The result has been that people have flooded into Vermont to buy cigarettes. While they’re there, they buy other things in our stores," he said.

The administration also disputes the full $1 increase would bring in $10 million annually, saying Vermont could see a loss in sales instead because other states will reap the benefits of lower cigarette prices.

"Those who say a dollar increase will bring us $10 million are smoking something other than tobacco," Shumlin told the Reformer. In the end, the General Assembly will go home approving a small increase in the cigarette tax, but it will not be "penny-wise and pound-foolish," he added.

Rebecca Ryan, director of Health Promotion and Public Policy for the American Lung Association, said Shumlin is pushing for real health care reform but will not address tobacco use.

"Vermont was a national leader in reducing the devastating impact of tobacco use, but the state’s investment in programs to prevent kids from smoking and helping adults quit has been dramatically reduced over the last three years," Ryan said. "In addition, the evidence is clear that increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes is most effective at preventing kids from smoking, Vermont has not had a significant increase since 2006 and the youth smoking rate has not changed since 2005."

Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham, said the proposed cigarette tax and the rest of the Miscellaneous Tax bill heads to the Committee of Conference.

"The Senate committee ended up with 53 cents, so there were a lot of differences between the House version and the Senate version," she said. "The conference committee is set up with three Senate members and three House members and they go and they do the final bill."

Any final compromise between the two proposes are not likely to increase, but find a median between the two.

The coalition has actively lobbied for cigarette tax increases since 2002 when the levy jumped from 44-cents to $1.19, and another 80-cent hike in the next four years.

In 2009, the Legislature increased the tax to its current level of $2.24 per pack.
Chris Garofolo can be reached at or 802-254-2311 ext. 275.

Rreference $1 cigarette tax is likely up in smoke">.By CHRIS GAROFOLO / Reformer Staff Read more...

Bill seeks $1.50 hike in Maine cigarette tax

April 29, 2011

LITTLE BACKGOUND Maine - anti-smoking groups want an increase in state cigarette tax..;

A bill to increase Maine's cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack to $3.50 has encountered opposition in the State House from convenience stores, grocers and other businesses that deal with tobacco.

The Taxation Committee on Wednesday took up a bill supporters see as a way to help discourage young people from smoking. Money from the tax increase would help fund the operation of a tobacco help line.

The American Lung Association of Maine says that when Maine raised its cigarette tax by $1 per pack, an unprecedented number of people called the help line.

But groups representing convenience stores and tobacco dealers say they worry about the negative impact higher taxes will have on their businesses. They also say the higher taxes will send cigarette buyers to New Hampshire..

Reference A bill to increase Maine's cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack to $3.50 has encountered opposition in the State House from convenience stores, grocers and other businesses that deal with tobacco.

The Taxation Committee on Wednesday took up a bill supporters see as a way to help discourage young people from smoking. Money from the tax increase would help fund the operation of a tobacco help line.

Reference: Bill seeks $1.50 hike in Maine;

Maine - related news briefs:
Maine - anti-smoking groups want an increase in state cigarette tax..;
Ogunquit, Maine - the people have voted no smoking on beaches..;
Maine cigarette sales rise, New Hampshire cigarette sales fall..;
Maine - light cigarette lawsuit judges ruling sets case back.;
Maine - conference on a class-action lawsuit against the makers of light cigarettes..;
Maine - new law bans smoking in outside dining areas..;
Maine - smoking prohibited at states parks, beaches and historic sites..;
Maine - law banning flavored tobacco products - July 1, 2009..
Maine - illegal to smoke in cars while children present..
Star Scientific gets Maine lawmakers to repeal a ban enacted last September 20, 2007 on the sale of a tobacco lozenge product known as hard snuff..;
Maine - ban on flavored tobacco products..;
Maine Tobacco Tax Hike.

BELGIUM - Barkeepers demonstrate against total smoking ban..

28 Apr 2011. More than 800 Belgian bar owners and their supporters demonstrated Saturday against a decision to widen a smoking ban in public spaces to cover all cafes and the kingdom's nine casinos from 1 July.
DIRECTLY Related news brief Belgium - smoking ban in casinos and cafes moved up to July 1, 2011.."

he demonstration in Brussels was organised by the federation of cafe owners and restaurateurs, which claims that 4,000-5,000 of the country's 12,000 cafes are threatened with closure by the new legislation which will ban smoking in all of the HORECA (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes) industry as of 1 July.

Smoking has been banned in work places, restaurants and pubs that serve food since 2009, while temporary exemptions had been granted to casinos and cafes that only serve snacks. The law had called for the exemptions to end sometime between 1 January 2012 and 1 January 1, 2014, but the Flemish Anti-Cancer League asked Belgium's constitutional court to strike them down. The court decided to lift the exemptions but gave establishments until 30 June to "adapt to the general smoking ban."

The judges ruled that the government failed to prove that pubs would be harmed by a general smoking ban, saying that drawing distinctions between establishments was actually harmful to competition.

The court also stated that the protection of the health of employees and non-smokers should apply to casinos even though they serve a "specific" clientele.

Café and bar owners argue a total ban on smoking in pubs is unacceptable because it would result in a 30 to 50 per cent loss of revenues and have a knock-on effect on breweries and other suppliers. They want the option to declare their premises smoking or non-smoking. (pi)

REFERENCE; Barkeepers demonstrate against total smoking ban,

lorillard’s sales and share up sharply.., q1 2011


SEEKING ALPHA, 4/26.04, 26 201


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April 27, 2011 Lorillard’s sales and share up sharply
Apr 27, 2011—Lorillard's wholesale domestic cigarette shipment volume during the first three months of this year, at 9,524 million, was up by 9.4 per cent on that of the first three months of 2010.

This performance was achieved against a background of an estimated 3.4 per cent fall in volume for the US domestic market as a whole.

In reporting its first quarter 2011 figures, Lorillard said that the three months period under review had included one more shipping day than had the first quarter of 2010. Adjusting for this additional day and for 'modest' changes in wholesale inventory patterns, Lorillard's domestic volume had increased by an estimated 8.3 per cent.

Lorillard's full price brand volume was up by 7.5 per cent to 8,217 million.

Newport volume was up 8.0 per cent to 8,114 million, an increase in which Newport Non-Menthol, launched in the final quarter of 2010 as the first major Newport extension in a decade, was said to have played a significant part.

Also within Lorillard's full-price stable, True volume was down by 16.6 per cent to 52 million and Kent volume was down by 21.1 per cent to 50 million.

Price/value brand volume was up by 23.1 per cent to 1,307 million, with Maverick volume up 22.7 per cent to 1,174 million and Old Gold volume up 26.0 per cent to 133 million.

Including shipments to Puerto Rico and US Possessions, Lorillard’s overall volume was up by 9.5 per cent to 9,708 million.

Lorillard's share of the US domestic retail market during the first three months of this year, at 14.1 per cent, was up by 1.5 percentage points, while Newport's share of the market, at 12.0 per cent, was up by 1.1 percentage points.

Newport Menthol's share of the US market's menthol segment was unchanged at 36.4 per cent. The menthol segment in the US was said to have increased by 1.1 percentage points to 31.0 per cent of the total market.

Meanwhile, Lorillard's net sales during the first quarter of this year, at $1.535 billion, were increased by 12.9 per cent, or $175 million, on those of the first quarter of 2010.

The increase in net sales was said to have resulted from higher unit sales volume and higher average prices, partially offset by higher sales promotion costs primarily driven by the introduction of Newport Non-Menthol.

Gross profit during the first quarter of 2011, at $543 million, represented 35.4 per cent of net sales, whereas, during the first quarter of last year, gross profit was $478 million, or 35.1 per cent of net sales.

The increase in gross profit was said to reflect an increase in net sales, partially offset by higher costs related to the State Settlement Agreements and the Federal Assessment for Tobacco Growers, and higher Food and Drug Administration user fees.

"In the first quarter, Lorillard once again delivered industry leading financial results on virtually every measure that matters," said Murray S. Kessler, chairman, president and CEO.

"It's a testament to our flagship Newport brand which continues to organically grow volume and market share, despite challenging external conditions."

PMI’s cigarette volumes increased ,

Philip Morris International Management Discusses Q1 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

"Some of the people they've hired certainly know a lot about tobacco, (but) the odds that many or any of them have actually been on the inside of a manufacturing facility is probably pretty low," said Ira Loss, an analyst with Washington Analysis who has covered the agency for three decades.

The nation's second-largest cigarette maker, Reynolds American Inc., intends to take the agency up on the request.

"We certainly think it's important the FDA understand the practicalities of tobacco manufacturing," Reynolds spokesman David Howard said.

Altria Group Inc., owner of the nation's top cigarette company, Philip Morris USA, said it plans to respond but wouldn't say whether that meant it would extend an invitation.

Tobacco companies, in essence, will foot the bill through user fees the FDA charges them.

FDA wants to get schooled in cigarette making, asks tobacco cos for learning tours by Michael Felberbaum, The Associated Press – 3 days ago Read more...

Third Hand Smoke...What it is, and How it Affects you..

April 24, 2011

April 19, 2011

Backgound: Third-Hand Smoke..

Father's Day and Third-Hand Smoke..

Children are especially vulnerable to third-hand smoke.


George, B.C. - Third hand smoke is something people should be taking seriously--that from a Tobacco Reduction Coordinator with Northern Health. George Wiens, says if you walk into a home or sit in a car and smelled the pungent odour of a distant cigarette, that is third hand smoke. He says with each cigarette, third hand smoke gets into furniture, carpets , clothing, blankets, hair and toys. Wiens says babies and children are most at risk from third hand smoke. He says kids are "on the floors, on the rugs in our home, and young children very tactile. They pick things up and put it in their mouth. Long term those low level exposure dosages will have health effects." Wiens says smokers can reduce the risk by smoking outside and away from children, wearing a designated smoke jacket and washing their hands as soon as your cigarette is done.

REFErence; What it is, and How it Affects you./hqprincegeorge.comv, 4/23/2011


Anybody who tests positive for tobacco or nicotine products will not be able to gain employment at Sparrow hospital..

April 24, 2011There are almost as many "no smoking" signs at Sparrow Hospital as there are cigarette butts along its campus. The hospital banned smoking on site years ago, and whether or not people listened, it's taking the next step in its anti-tobacco policy.

"Anybody who tests positive for tobacco or nicotine products will not be able to gain employment at Sparrow," said John Berg, a Sparrow marketing executive.

Lucky for current employees who smoke, that only goes for new hires starting May 1, 2011. Still, those we talked to--smokers or not--didn't like it.

"See that's crazy to me, your freedom of choice...that's why I live in America," said Jacob McPhail, a non-smoking employee.

"I don't think that's fair. I think if they don't want them smoking on campus that's fine but I think what you do on your own time should be up to you," said employee Michael VanDussen, who does smoke.

The sparrow campus has been smoke free since 2007 and the signs are everywhere to prove it. But there's also proof the policy isn't always enforced. We found a pile of cigarette butts swept up just feet from a no-smoking sign outside the building, not to mention, people coming and going for smoke breaks there too.

"I've seen people smoke right next to the non-smoking sign and nobody say anything about it whatsoever," said McPhail.

The new policy won't be quite as easy to get around. Applicants who test positive for nicotine can apply back only after 90 days. It's the latest move, the hospital says, to promote healthy living.

"Whether you're talking about emphysema or lung cancer or COPD and pneumonia, heart disease, congestive heart failure, and heart attack, all of these are effects of a lifetime of smoking," said Berg. "This is is a habit that robs families of loved ones. It cuts people's lives short."

These are things anyone in the health care industry should know first-hand, he added.

RFEERENCE: Smokers Need Not, 2/22/2011

A few related news briefs:
.Detriot, Michigan 3- area hospitals; want a job do not use tobacco..
Franciscan Health System - seeking a job don't use tobacco or don't even hang with people that use tobacco..
Hennepin County, Minnesota - planning no smoking on all county property even inside your own car..;
Get that job in health care just quit smoking or don't start using tobacco..;
Each smoker costs an employer about $3,400 annually in higher health care bills..;
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..;
Tennessee - hospital will no longer hire people that use tobacco products.. Read more...

Basically Tobacco Companies will do anything to get you to start moking..

reach lucky-strike_instead of a sweet

April 4, 2011Quit smoking and you can still save your skin..

The tobacco industry’s past role in weight control related to smoking. Semira Gonseth1 Isabelle Jacot-Sadowski1 Pascal A. Diethelm Vincent Barras and Jacques Cornuz, EUOPeAN Journal of PPUblic Helh The tobacco industry’s past role in weight control related to smoking First published online: April 7, 2011 ABSTRACT,

British and American tobacco companies deliberately added powerful appetite-suppressing chemicals to cigarettes to attract people worried about their weight, according to internal industry documents dating from 1949 to 1999. Chemical additives are just one of several strategies successfully used by tobacco companies over the past 50 years to convince people that smoking makes you thin.

Tobacco giants Philip Morris and British American Tobacco added appetite suppressants to cigarettes, according to the documents, released during litigation in the US. Four other major companies tested potential chemicals, including amphetamine and nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, but the documents, which are incomplete, do not reveal if such chemicals were ever added and sold to the public.

By the end of the 20th century, smoking was almost exclusively male behaviour, but the number of women smokers dramatically increased in the 1940s and 1950s. Today, one in five British men and women smoke, causing more than 100,000 preventable deaths a year.

A Canadian study of 500 young women, published in Tobacco Control this month, found those looking at female-oriented cigarette packs branded with words such as "slim" and "vogue", were more likely to believe smoking helps people control their appetite – an important predictor of smoking among this group – compared with those viewing plain packaging. Smokers wrongly believe that certain words, such as the names of colours, and long, slim cigarettes mean the brand is less harmful, according to a study, that included 2,000 Britons, published in Addiction.

Deadly in pink: the impact of cigarette packaging among young women
Press Release. Juliana Doxey, David Hammond, Tobacco COntrol First 8 April 2011, ABSTRACT

Since the widespread advertising ban, images such as Kate Moss smoking on the catwalk have become invaluable for the industry.

Last year, Australia became the first country to introduce compulsory plain packaging. Here, the Government committed to considering similar controls on packaging in the Tobacco Control Plan published in March. The public health minister Anne Milton will meet her Australian counterpart in the next few weeks.

Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) is urging the Health Select Committee to force tobacco companies to disclose documents that would shed light on marketing strategies, including product packaging and design, to help MPs make an informed choice about introducing plain packaging.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Ash, said: "Now advertising is banned, the industry uses pack design and product descriptors, such as "slims", to promote the message that smoking makes you thin. It must be required to put its products in plain, standardised packaging to prevent it using such "dog whistle" tactics to promote smoking to vulnerable young women."

A Tobacco Manufacturers' Association spokesman said: "We do not believe any plans for plain packaging are based on sound public policy, nor any compelling evidence... Plain packs are likely to lead to further increases in smuggling... and make it easier for counterfeiters to copy."

REFEERENCE: Tobacco firms used diet-aid chemicals Internal documents reveal that appetite suppressants were added to cigarettes as companies pitched their products to women Nina Lakhani,, 4/24/2011.