October 2009 - CigarettesReviews.com | CigarettesReviews.com

Monthly Archives: October 2009

Reynolds raising cigarette prices

A decline in demand is not keeping R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. from raising the list price on its cigarette brands by 6 cents or 8 cents a pack for wholesale customers.

The price increase, announced yesterday, will take effect Monday.

David Howard, a spokesman for Reynolds, said that the company doesn’t comment on its pricing strategy, but the decision comes five days after Philip Morris USA announced a price increase of 6 cents a pack, which went into effect yesterday.

Reynolds is raising list prices less than a week after reporting that its cigarette-shipment volume fell 11 percent in the third quarter to 20.6 billion cigarettes. Reynolds said that the industry decline was 12.6 percent.

Howard said that the list price is increasing 6 cents a pack for its growth brands – Camel and Pall Mall – and also for Doral, GPC, Kool, Misty, Salem and Winston. All but GPC are considered as support brands.

The list price is being raised 8 cents a pack for its other brands, which include Capri, Eclipse, Lucky Strike, More and Vantage.

Charles Norton, the portfolio manager of the USA Mutuals Vice Fund, said that Reynolds is likely to be able to sustain the third price increase related to its cigarettes since September 2007.

In March, Reynolds raised the list price in the range of 41 cents to 78 cents a pack for wholesale customers, including 41 cents to 44 cents for most of its growth and support brands.

The increase was in response to Congress passing the 62-cent increase in the federal excise tax to pay for expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That tax increase went into effect April 1.

In September 2007, Reynolds raised its cigarette prices by a range of 5 cents to 15 cents a pack, including 15 cents for Camel.

“Strong pricing power is one of the underpinnings of our positive view of tobacco, which is a much more important driver of earnings than volume,“ Norton said.

Reynolds said in its third-quarter report that it had a slight market-share drop in cigarettes to 28.2 percent. The market share for Camel, the lead Reynolds cigarette brand, dipped slightly to 7.7 percent. Pall Mall’s market share was at 5 percent, up 2.3 percentage points from a year ago.

A temporary price discount in the spring on Pall Mall attracted smokers wanting to spend less on cigarettes in the recession. Even after the discount ended in May and prices were raised to counter the excise-tax increases, Pall Mall maintained a higher market share.

The company began another discount promotion for Pall Mall on Oct. 5.

Reynolds also raised its full-year earnings projections last week to a range of $4.60 to $4.70 a share – from $4.40 to $4.60 – as a sign of confidence in its strategies.

By Richard Craver
October 29, 2009

Oklahoma activists target smoking loopholes

Anti-smoking proponents say they will push once again for legislation to close loopholes in state law that permit smoking in some bars and restaurants.

The intent is to protect workers from the health effects of secondhand smoke, representatives of the American Heart Association and the state Health Department said.

On Thursday proponents said they would seek legislation similar to a bill that died in the Oklahoma House this year.

The bill would remove exemptions to anti-smoking legislation approved in 2003. The exemptions allow smoking in stand-alone bars and in separately-ventilated smoking rooms in restaurants.

Marilyn Davidson of the American Heart Association said secondhand smoke leads to disease that kills 38,000 people a year and increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 percent to 30 percent.

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies said studies have shown a decrease in the rate of heart attacks after a smoking ban was implemented.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease, said Dr. Alan Blum, a family medicine professor at the University of Alabama and director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society.

Blum said restaurant groups that oppose bans are influenced by tobacco companies that want to protect their profits.

“Basically, it’s about health over money,” Blum said.

But some Oklahoma restaurant and nightclub owners have opposed an outright ban on smoking, claiming it would have a negative impact on their business. Some have invested thousands of dollars building separate smoking rooms.

“We are obviously sympathetic to them,” Davidson said. “Our main concern is the workers that have to work in these smoking rooms.”

Jim Hopper, president of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, did not return telephone calls seeking comment on the proposed smoking ban.

October 30, 2009 Newsok

Southwest Virginia projects receive more than $30 million in tobacco money

WYTHEVILLE, Va.—About 20 Southwest Virginia projects received more than $30 million in awards today from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.

The lion’s share—$25 million – was awarded to the proposed King College medical school.

“We see this as a game changer,” commission Executive Director Neal Noyes said when presenting the plan to the Southwest Virginia Economic Development Committee.

After it was unanimously approved there, it received similar support from the full commission.

The grant covers half the estimated cost of constructing a medicine and health sciences center and carries a number of stipulations.
In addition, Bristol Virginia Utilities received $3.5 million to create a redundant broadband connection in Southwest Virginia and to link with Mid-Atlantic Broadband, which serves Southside Virginia.

The Bristol-based Birthplace of Country Music Alliance received $250,000 to be used for capital improvements for its cultural heritage center project.

By David McGee
October 29, 2009 2.tricities

Over 60 percent Indian restaurants flout no-smoking law

New Delhi, Over 60 percent of bars-cum-restaurants across the country have been found to be openly flouting the ban on smoking in public places, a year after the law was implemented, says a study.

The Air Quality Monitoring (AQM) study conducted by an NGO, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), along with 11 partner organisations revealed that out of the 211 restaurants surveyed across 16 cities, 127 flouted the no-smoking ban.

Binoy Matthew of VHAI said: “We found that fine particle air pollution is 32 times higher than the WHO recommended guidelines for air quality in non-compliant bars-cum-restaurants.”

“Consequently, employees and customers in those places are at increased risk of adverse health effects, especially heart attacks, lung cancer and serious respiratory illnesses,” he added.

In Delhi, of the 12 restaurants and bars visited, five were found to be flouting the law by allowing smoking without following the Designated Smoking Room (DSR) norms.

“The level of fine particle air pollution in the places where smoking was observed was 64 times higher than the WHO target air quality guidelines,” Matthew said.

On the positive side, among all the 211 places surveyed, pollution levels were found to be 81 percent less in smoke-free bars cum restaurants and air quality significantly better.

“The government should effectively implement smoke-free laws and increase compliance through proper enforcement mechanism. Without enforcement, laws are of no use,” Matthew added.

Health officials to seek smoking ban in Oklahoma

Anti-smoking advocates called on lawmakers Thursday to make bars and restaurants in Oklahoma smoke-free by closing loopholes in the state law restricting smoking in public places.

Officials from the American Heart Association and the state Department of Health said they will support legislation next year to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, similar to a bill that died in the Oklahoma House last spring.

Oklahoma was among the first states in the nation to regulate smoking in public places in 2003. But the legislation allows smoking in separate smoking rooms in restaurants and stand-alone bars. When the bill died in the House last spring, Rep. John Trebilcock, R-Broken Arrow, chairman of the House Public Health Committee, said he was not inclined to give it a hearing because of the investment restaurants had made to comply with state smoking restrictions.

Since Oklahoma’s law went into effect, 27 other states have adopted comprehensive smoke-free laws that ban smoking in public places, said Marilyn Davidson, government relations director for the American Heart Association in Oklahoma City.

Davidson said the bill will protect restaurant and nightclub patrons from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, which she said kills 38,000 people a year and increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 percent to 30 percent.

“It’s just about health over money,” said Dr. Alan Blum, a family medicine professor at the University of Alabama and director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society.

Blum said smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease. A report released earlier this month by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in Washington said studies have shown a decrease in the rate of heart attacks after a smoking ban was implemented.

But some Oklahoma restaurant and nightclub owners have opposed an outright ban on smoking, claiming it would have a negative impact on their business.

“We view this as a health issue, not a private property issue,” Davidson said.

She said anti-smoking advocates are sympathetic with restaurant owners who spent thousands of dollars to build enclosed ventilated smoking rooms to comply with the 2003 law. But they are more concerned with the health of the people who work in those rooms.

Jim Hopper, president and CEO of Oklahoma Restaurant Association, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on the proposed smoking ban.

Blum said the restaurant association is influenced by big tobacco companies that have historically opposed smoking bans and restrictions in public places.

“The fingerprints of the tobacco industry are all over them,” he said. “We want to make it much harder on restaurants that don’t care about public health.”

Blum held up an oversized image of a $5 bill, about the cost of a pack of cigarettes, and criticized opponents of smoking bans for putting profits over health interests.

“It’s all they care about. It’s their blood money,” Blum said.

By TIM TALLEY, October 29, 2009 Sfgate

British American Tobacco, Shell and AWE to join 100+ other multinationals Ethical Corporation

LONDON–The CR Reporting and Communications Summit (http://www.ethicalcorp.com/reporting) is the largest gathering in Europe on this topic. For two days in late November, many of the world’s biggest companies will gather in London to debate and discuss the future of corporate responsibility reporting.

The Marriott hotel in Swiss Cottage will play host to 18 individual workshops, where over 30 of Europe’s leading companies will present their own CR/sustainability reporting and communications strategies.

Julia King, Vice-President of CR at GlaxosmithKline will demonstrate how the pharmaceutical giant embeds sustainability reporting throughout the company’s many offices in the second plenary session of the first day.

Tying up the conference on the second day will be Josh Hardie, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Tesco. Mr Hardie will present how Tesco communicates their CR strategy to their stakeholders – a tough issue and one fraught with danger.

Other companies presenting their own CR reporting strategy over the two days include Arcelor Mittal, PepsiCo, Vodafone, Alliance-Boots, Danske Bank and Henkel.

Over 100 CR and sustainability professionals will be in attendance – both to take in best practice from speakers, and to network and discuss the topic in detail with each other. Other organisations confirmed to take part include BG Group, LaFarge, L’Oreal, Sanofi Aventis and the UK’s Royal Mail.

About Ethical Corporation

Ethical Corporation is an independent publisher and conference organiser, launched in 2001 to encourage debate and discussion on responsible business. Ethical Corporation also publishes the new online magazine www.ClimateChangeCorp.com, launched in February 2007.

Ethical Corporation
Nick Johnson, Chief Operating Officer
T: +44 (0)20 7375 7209
E: nick.johnson@ethicalcorp.com

US food stamp rise at glance

Some 36 million Americans are on food stamps, an increase of nearly 10 million over the past two years. The program at a glance:

_ Food stamps were established by Congress in 1964.

_ The program pays for most foods. It cannot be used for household or personal hygiene products, pet food, prepared hot meals, alcohol or cigarettes.

_ Some 66 percent of those eligible participate.

_ The average recipient last June got more than $133; the average household, more than $293. The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed more than $4.6 billion in food stamps that month.

_ Income limit is 130 percent or less of U.S. poverty level ($2,389 monthly for a family of four). There are adjustments for deductions and households with an elderly or disabled member. Some states have raised income limits to as much as 200 percent of the poverty level.

_ Nearly 200,000 retailers participate, up 20 percent since 2005.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Alliance for tobacco control formed

Islamabad – Reservations from some quarters notwithstanding, policy-makers, opinion leaders, legislators and tobacco control advocates, reinforced their commitment for effective tobacco control in Pakistan by agreeing to the formulation of a Grand National Alliance for Tobacco Control here on Wednesday.

The alliance was formed at the National Advocacy Conference on Tobacco Control organised by TheNetwork for Consumer Protection in collaboration with the Tobacco Control Cell and the World Health Organization. Director General Health Dr. Rashid Jooma and Yasmeen Rehman, Member National Assembly and Standing Committee on Health and Human Rights, chaired the inaugural and concluding sessions, respectively of the conference.

Responding to a query, the gathering was informed that the modalities of the grand alliance would be notified in due course. The idea is to build synergies by establishing a coordinated response to the tobacco epidemic — a response which involves all relevant ministries, provincial health departments, district implementation committees, the civil society, as well as professional bodies, among others.

Addressing the conference, Dr. Jooma called for creation of volunteer groups to report violations of tobacco control legislation at the federal level. WHO Representative Dr. Khalif Bile termed implementation a major issue. Both Dr. Bile and the Executive Coordinator of TheNetwork, Arif Azad, praised the Ministry of Health for introducing pictorial health warnings with effect from February 2010. The head of the Tobacco Control Cell Shaheen Masud shared the achievements of the Cell and the obstacles being encountered by it on account of lack of funds.

Yasmeen Rehman exhorted the Ministry of Education to include tobacco control in the school curriculum. Moreover, she stressed the need to sensitise parliamentarians to generate a debate on making tobacco control a part of the national health policy and plan.

In the end, a resolution from the platform of Grand National Alliance for Tobacco Control was passed for submission to legislators, appealing to the government to undertake comprehensive tobacco control measures.

A large number of people including representatives of the ministries of railways, tourism, industries and commerce, religious affairs, law and federal board of revenue, health professionals, civil society organisations, legal experts, educationists and media persons attended the conference.

October 29, 2009
By Shahina Maqbool

Reynolds American and Lorillard join Philip Morris in price hikes

NEW YORK — As expected, Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. on Tuesday followed Philip Morris’ lead in raising their cigarette prices but to varying degrees.big tobacco

According to a research note from analyst Nik Modi of UBS Investment Research, New York, Reynolds American, Winston-Salem, N.C., announced an increase in its list prices across its cigarette portfolio of 6 to 8 cents, echoing the increases announced Friday by Philip Morris, Richmond, Va. The overall increase is about 3%. The price increase is effective Nov. 2.

Meanwhile, Lorillard, Greensboro, N.C., announced a reduction in promotional incentives by about 25% per carton, which is equivalent to a price increase, according to Modi. However, the per-pack increase amounts to 1 cent per pack, which is a few pennies shy of both Reynolds’ and Phillip Morris’ increases.

“We believe this is due to: 1) Lorillard will likely move around buy-down levels to effectively reach the same increase on a price per pack basis as [Philip Morris] and [Reynolds], 2) the company is waiting for later in the year to take a larger increase (which we expect Altria to lead) and 3) Lorillard sometimes raises prices more than RAI and MO and also tends to already discount less,” Modi wrote.

As previously reported in CSP Daily News, Philip Morris announced Friday it would raise its wholesale prices. The cost of packs of Marlboro, Basic and L&M cigarettes rose by 6 cents a pack and the rest of its brands by 8 cents.

The company did not give a reason for the increase.

By Steve Holtz

Macedonia to ban smoking in bars, restaurants from January 2010

Macedonia has become the latest country in South Eastern Europe to announce a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, and the latest to hear vociferous complaints from restaurant owners that their businesses will be ruined.cigarettes ban

Currently, the law says that smoking may be allowed in no more than half the area of a bar or restaurant, but Macedonian media reports said that this rule is widely ignored.

Macedonia intends banning smoking in restaurants and cafes from January 1 2010. Customers caught smoking will face fines of the equivalent of 150 to 300 euro, while restaurants and cafes that break the rules will be fined from 2000 to 4000 euro.

The new law also bans the sale of cigarettes to people younger than 16. Those who do will be fined 2000 to 4000 euro.

Macedonia’s A1 television said that proprietors would seek a meeting with authorities to ask for a reconsideration of the ban, Bulgarian news agency Focus said.

In July 2009, Greece banned smoking indoors in all public or private areas used as workplaces, including buses and taxis, and the same month, Turkey – not an EU member – caused an outcry when in the same month it imposed a comprehensive ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and cafes.

A few months earlier, non-EU-member Norway outlawed public displays of tobacco products, while in Switzerland, where smoking legislation is dealt with at canton level, a September referendum led Geneva to reimpose a ban on smoking in public places.

Bulgaria’s northern neighbour and fellow EU member Romania has taken the route of increased excises – twice in 2009 – on the way to matching EU levels in 2010. Lithuania also has twice raised excises in 2009, pushing cigarette prices up by close to 50 per cent in a year.

A sole reversal of the trend was in Croatia, which made headlines around the world by backing down in September on an earlier outright ban, amending the rule to allow smoking in a fifth of the area of a restaurant or cafe.

Oct 26 2009
By Clive Leviev-Sawyer, Sofiaecho

Cigarette Makers’ Colorful Answer to FDA Packaging Regs

This past June, the U.S. Senate empowered the FDA to oversee the marketing and packaging of tobacco products. Among the FDA’s first targets: controversial descriptors like “light,” “mild,” and “low tar,” terms that regulators claim improperly imply healthful qualities (and are already banned in dozens of countries around the world). While tobacco companies have until June 22, 2010, to drop the language from their marketing, some brands are already evolving the language and colors on their packaging. Manufacturers claim they are simply communicating relevant brand attributes to consumers, but health advocacy groups argue the changes are intended to circumvent the new laws. The FDA has stated that the changes are under review.

Fast Company tapped two tobacco control experts: David Hammond, an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo, and Maansi Bansal-Travers, a research scientist with the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. They provided their take on the industry’s reaction to the new regulations. Is it appropriate advertising or marketing malfeasance? Take a look for yourself at the slides that follow and let us know what you think.

Colorful cigarettes

“As marketing restrictions become stronger the pack becomes the best marketing tool,” Hammond says. “When the words come off the pack, the industry relies on colors to a greater extent then they used to.”

For example, Pall Mall recently removed descriptors like “full flavor” and “light,” relying entirely on the color of the pack and the names of colors to identify each flavor.

“Of course, brands have always used colors,” Hammond says. “The so called strengths of brands are aligned with the strengths of colors, and many smokers use colors as an indicator of risk. For example, red is perceived to be stronger than blue.”

In other words, as the flavors get “lighter,” so the do the colors. For example, Pall Mall’s Ultra Lights, while a vibrant orange, are still the lightest of the line. (The box was once light blue but was changed to orange in 2007 to avoid confusion with the blue Lights box.) The lighter the color, the healthier it appears to many smokers. In one of Hammond’s recent studies, 80% of those questioned (smokers and non-smokers) believed that cigarettes packaged in a light-blue box would taste better, would contain less tar, and would be safer than cigarettes packaged in a dark-blue box.

“Orange is a very interesting choice,” Bansal-Travers says. “No other brand I can think of uses orange as a cigarette pack color, but orange is certainly the lightest that PM uses, creating a spectrum of color and trying to equate that with the spectrum of risk.”

Primary design changes: Flavor descriptors, such as “Filter” and “Light,” have been dropped, replaced with the names of colors.

Secondary design changes: The phrase “Famous American Cigarettes” has been moved to the bottom. While the logo and Latin phrases “Per aspera ad astra” (“Through hardships to the stars”) and “In hoc signo vinces” (“By this sign you shall conquer”) remain, the phrases “KING SIZE BOX” and “Wherever particular people congregate” have been removed from the front of the boxes.

BY Lucas Conley, Oct 22, 2009

Smoking bans extend to the great outdoors

It was a recent trip to the park that finally did it.

Jason Mayo watched as a father pushed his child on a swing, cigarette clenched between his teeth. On every upswing, the child got a face full of exhaled smoke.

“We can’t tell people how to parent,’’ said Mayo, a member of the Ayer parks and recreation committee, which has banned smoking in the town’s recreation areas. “But all the other kids around him were inhaling that cigarette too.’’

As antismoking sentiment sweeps across the country, nonsmokers are taking back bars, restaurants, and workplaces, snuffing smoking out of its indoor havens. And now some of them are turning their sights on the great outdoors.

Holliston and Upton have enacted similar outdoor smoking bans. And in another example of the widespread public crackdown on smoking, Needham has outlawed the sale of cigarettes in pharmacies and Newton and Framingham are trying to do the same.

Ayer’s parks and recreation committee implemented its outdoor ban in August, and the panel may also pursue a bylaw at the spring Town Meeting. In a more sweeping stroke, the town’s Board of Health is pursuing a regulation that would apply the prohibition to all town-owned property and land and impose a $100 fine on offenders. The board has set a public hearing on the subject for January.

The outdoor smoking ban in Ayer, a town of about 3,000, covers public recreation areas, including Sandy Pond Beach and Pirone Park. During the past five years roughly 30 communities have enacted such bans, according to Joan Hamlett, Ayer’s tobacco agent and director of the North Central-Franklin County Tobacco Control Alliance. Sharon was the first to do so in 1995.

Depending on the town or city, bans can apply to all parks, beaches, and public places, or just one or two, Hamlett said. There’s been little opposition, she said, and smokers, whether they like it or not, follow the rules.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, when a smoker sees a sign that they cannot smoke, they abide by it,’’ she said, adding that there hasn’t been a ticket issued yet in the cities and towns with statutes.

“It’s self-enforcing,’’ she said.

In a similar measure, a handful of cities are restricting smokers’ access to cigarettes. Such is the case in Boston, Needham, and Uxbridge, which have banned tobacco sales at pharmacies and drugstores. Framingham and Newton are attempting to establish such a statute. If all goes as planned, Newton will have its ban in place by the end of the year, said Alderman Ted Hess-Mahan.

Selling tobacco products in pharmacies and drugstores sends a mixed message, Hess-Mahan said. For example, a person afflicted with emphysema or lung cancer goes in to pick up a prescription and, while doing so, may have to fight the urge to pick up a pack of cigarettes.

“It’s like sending a heroin addict to a clinic where they’ve got pushers right outside the door,’’ he said. “It defeats the purpose.’’

Antitobacco activists and officials contend that the increase in antismoking statutes have largely been prompted by the statewide smoking ban, which was implemented in 2004.

“People have gotten used to a pretty smoke-free existence,’’ said D.J. Wilson, tobacco control director for the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Even so, there are an estimated 43.4 million smokers across the country – about 20 percent of the adult population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and they’re lighting up when and where they still can.

As a result, Hamlett said, she is hearing a different range of complaints these days, usually related to smoke wafting in through open windows and in apartment buildings.

Wilson, meanwhile, pointed to the disparity in cigarettes being prohibited in indoor environments but still allowed in many outdoor spaces.

People “put down their chair at the beach and someone’s smoking right next to them,’’ he said.

Emphasizing the dichotomy, he said that, in the “cleanest, most natural place, you can have someone smoking next to you.’’

In most cases, though, outdoor bans are prompted by concerns over sanitation and litter, as much as a desire to reduce the adverse effects of second-hand smoke.

In Ayer, officials at a recent public meeting, which only attracted three residents, said they’re dismayed by the large number of cigarette butts littering the beach and the park, and are also concerned about children picking up discarded cigarettes and putting them in their mouths.

“I’m not interested in fining people, I’m not interested in stopping smoking, nor do I see us making gobs of money off this,’’ said parks and recreation committee chairman Tim Taylor. A smoker for more than 20 years – he quit in 1991 – he said he’s unsympathetic to the smoker’s cause. “I just don’t want to see cigarette butts all over the ground.’’

Yet at the same time, it is an air-quality issue as well.

“Secondhand smoke is bad,’’ said committee vice chairman Peter Page.

Also, it sends a bad message.

“If a kid sees an adult smoking,’’ Page said, “it might lead them to think it’s cool.’’

Mayo, a former smoker, said it’s unappealing to “just smell cigarette smoke in the middle of a baseball field and have wafts of smoke blowing in your face while watching a game.

He said he can understand that smokers want the freedom to light up when and where they want. But being a baseball coach, he added that, “When kids are involved, it becomes more of an issue for me.’’

By Taryn Plumb
October 29, 2009

Electronic Cigarettes Bypass Smoking Ban

DALLAS – On Tuesday, Jonathan Hatcher took his first puff from an electronic cigarette. He said the tobacco-free device still gave him a high.

“It gave me a good, relaxing nicotine feeling,” Hatcher said.

Tobacco Town started carrying the products a few months ago. They come with nicotine and without. Distributors say they’re becoming more popular.

“A lot of bars and restaurants are in favor of it actually,” said Jim Jinright, an electronic cigarette supplier.

Not all bars are smoke-free, but the trend is heading that direction. The Dallas ban took effect in April.

“I’ve actually had to stop people a couple of times and say oh no, no, no. There’s no smoking in here,” said Nicole Strawbridge, a bartender at Al’s Hideaway.

Now many smokers have to go outside or find an alternative.

‘You’re more than welcome to bring your electronic cigarettes in here, feel free to light up, or turn it on or whatever,” Strawbridge said.

The assistant director for Dallas City Code Compliance says there’s nothing about electronic cigarettes on the books, so they’re not prohibited in bars. That could change, because he’s asked the City Attorney whether the code should be updated. It’s currently under advisement.

It’s also important to note opposition from health organizations.

“Electronic cigarettes have not been adequately studied for safety. The flavored products may be popular with children instigating early addiction to nicotine,” said the American Cancer Society in a press release.

The FDA doesn’t regulate them, but the agency warns of some samples showing traces of carcinogens and toxic chemicals, like ingredients used in anti-freeze.

“You have to ask yourself what’s better. The tobacco? Or not having the tobacco?” Jinright said.

The option remains, at least for now.

By Vanessa Brown, October 27, 2009
Copyright © 2009, KDAF-TV

Pubs already ditching cigarette machines

Pub companies are getting ahead of the game by taking cigarette vending machines out of their pubs before they are outlawed by the government.

Welsh brewer and pubco Brains is one of the first to take action by removing machines from the 120 pubs in its managed estate.

Brains retail director Philip Lay said the decision to remove them was “purely commercial”.

“They were no longer generating a great deal of money really. We thought the space could be better utilised. They don’t represent good value for money – which is a bit contradictory to the message we promote,” he said.

It is understood Wetherspoons, while not phasing out the machines entirely, are allowing individual pub managers to remove them if they choose.

Last month The Publican reported that MPs passed an amendment to the Health Bill outlawing the machines.

The move still has to go through the House of Lords but it is not expected to face any objections.

Meanwhile Barnsley Primary Care Trust has urged pubs in the area to take action now “to save hundreds of young people from taking up smoking”.

But Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations president Dennis Griffiths, who runs the Miners Rest in Barnsley, said taking machines out and selling cigarettes from behind the bar could present a security risk.

He added: “I can’t see the sense in wanting to take the machines out and then selling them over the bar.”

“The sales for cigarettes in the machines are very, very low now. In most outlets they are minute – they are more expensive in supermarkets and shops.

“It’s just for people who run out of cigarettes in the pub. I’d be better off financially by taking it out. It’s done as a service and there’s no way I will sell out of the back of the bar.”

28 October, 2009 Thepublican

BAT 9-month cigarette sales volume up 2 pct

LONDON – British American Tobacco PLC said Wednesday that cigarette sales volumes rose 2 percent in the first nine months, thanks to acquisitions in Denmark and Turkey. Not counting those deals, though, BAT sales fell.

The company said volume growth to 533 billion cigarettes was driven by last year’s acquisition of Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni in Denmark and Tekel in Turkey. The company reported “strong” revenue growth in constant currency and reported terms but released no figures.

Excluding the impact of acquisitions, volume was down 3 percent, the company said.

Trading conditions were “deteriorating,” BAT said, “with industry volumes lower in a number of markets including Japan, Russia, Brazil, Italy and South Africa, as well as a decline in the premium segment in the third quarter.”

Volume was flat in Asia-Pacific, down 9 percent in the Americas, up 10 percent in Western Europe, up 19 percent in Africa and the Middle East and down 7 percent in Eastern Europe.

Volume for BAT’s four “global drive brands” — dunhill cigarette, Lucky Strike, cigarette-store.biz/online/pall-mall and Kent — rose 2 percent, the company said.

Hearing focuses on cigarette sales on Indian reservations

As state lawmakers Tuesday bemoaned losses from untaxed cigarette sales on Indian reservations, an attorney for Gov. David A. Paterson raised the prospect of violence if New York enforces laws aimed at recovering the funds.

Citing State Police, Peter J. Kiernan, counsel to the governor, said it was possible the cost to police of guarding collectors on reservations could surpass the taxes collected.

Native Americans testifying at the all-day hearing at Borough of Manhattan Community College Tuesday, most notably the Seneca Nation, strongly resisted the notion of paying state taxes on the sales to nontribal members. Violent confrontations accompanied two attempts at tax collection by the state in the 1990s.

“A police problem could quickly elevate to a military one,” Kiernan said, adding Paterson is still considering how to move forward. He said the state favors a policy of negotiating a peaceful settlement.

Paterson’s proposed resolution would establish minimum price levels for cigarette and fuel sales, which, if broached, would shift the difference to fund borrowings for infrastructure projects equally benefiting Indian reservations and nearby nontribal lands.

But looming large at Tuesday’s hearing was the state’s budget deficit. Numerous senators cited the shortfall and expressed frustration that existing laws to tax the cigarettes weren’t being enforced. Measures empowering the state to collect the tax, including one signed by Paterson in December, are stalled, either in courts or as a result of negotiations with tribes.

Estimates of state losses from non-native cigarette sales range from $100 million to more than $1 billion annually. Yet costs for law enforcement, should the measures be enforced, could surpass more than $2 million a day, Kiernan said.

Emotions ran high at the hearing of the State Senate committee on investigations and government operations, chaired by state Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington).

When state Sen. Michael Nozzolio (R-Fayette) told Seneca Indian Nation co-counsel JC Seneca that he would “hope that the nation would not condone violence,” and that Seneca didn’t strike him as someone who would, Seneca said, “You don’t know me very well, do you?”

While he said he was kidding, Seneca went on to mention a mural he said he sees in a state office building when he visits the governor’s office, which he says depicts the killing of an Indian, and said: “You tell me about violence.”

James F. Simermeyer, an attorney for the Poospatuck tribe, based in Mastic, noted it was the “smallest and poorest in New York,” yet had drawn five federal lawsuits and various government enforcement actions. He added the tribe has not been invited to talks to resolve the tax collection. He called on the state to “deal with this tribe in all fairness as it does with other tribes.”

By MARK HARRINGTON mark.harrington@newsday.com, October 27, 2009

Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc. Assigned New Trading Symbol

Wellstone Filters Sciences, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: WFSN), the leading
modified risk cigarette filter company, is pleased to announce that it has
changed its trading symbol to WFSN.OB due to a name change from Wellstone
Filters, Inc. to Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc.

Wellstone changed its name to more accurately reflect the company’s focus on
Reduced Exposure Products (REPs). REPs are referred to in the recently enacted
Family Tobacco Act of 2009 as Modified Risk Tobacco Products.


Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc. has developed and patented a “REP” or “Modified
Risk Tobacco Product,” the only cigarette filter that reduces toxins and
carcinogens without compromising taste. With over a decade of research and
development, Wellstone is the only company specializing in Modified Risk
Cigarette Filters. As such, Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc.`s amply documented
filter technology is ideally suited for new FDA oversight of tobacco products.

According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as of 2005, approximately
44.5 million Americans still smoke. CEO L. J. Hand stated, “It is unconscionable
that we have the technology to reduce toxins in tobacco products yet lack the
requirement that all products utilize what we believe is the best available

Note: Except for the historical information contained herein, this new release
contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and
uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual results or timelines to
differ materially are risks associated with research and clinical development,
regulatory approvals, supply capabilities and reliance on third-party
manufacturers, product commercialization, competition, litigation, and the other
risk factors listed from time to time in reports filed by Wellstone with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to risks described
under the caption “Important Factors That May Affect Our Business, Our Results
of Operation and Our Stock Price.” The forward-looking statements contained in
this news release represent judgments of the management of Wellstone as of the
date of this release. Wellstone and its managers and agents undertake no
obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements.

Wellstone Filter Sciences, Inc.
Investor relations
John Wilson, 919-370-4408

Palestine City Council OKs Smoking Ban

PALESTINE — Smoking in public places, places of employment and some outdoor areas will be prohibited here under an ordinance adopted Monday by Palestine City Council. Bars, nightclubs and some other places are exempted from the smoking ban.

The ordinance further makes it unlawful to smoke within 20 feet of outside entrances, operable windows and ventilation systems of enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited.

In an unrelated action, the council extended hours for the sale of mixed beverages to 2 a.m.

The nonsmoking order, passed by a majority of councilmembers with two nay votes, makes employers responsible for providing a smoke-free workplace for employees.

It charges the owner, manager or other persons in control of a public place or a place of employment to post “No Smoking” signs conspicuously at the entrance.

Besides prohibiting smoking in all places of employment and enclosed public places, the ordinance forbids smoking in these outdoor areas: boarding and waiting areas of public transportation facilities, zoos, city parks, playgrounds and recreation areas.

But the ordinance permits smoking in designated smoking areas of city parks.

Other places also exempted from the ban on smoking are: a private residence unless it is used as a child care, adult daycare or health care facility, a retail tobacco store, a private club, a facility owned or under control of another governmental or educational institution, a hotel or motel room rented to a guest, a bar, a bingo hall and an outdoor area including a patio adjacent to a bar or restaurant served by employees of the bar or restaurant and at least 20 feet from an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited.

The ordinance classifies a violation of the smoking ban as a misdemeanor and sets penalties. The first offense can result in a fine of not more than $300. The punishment can be as much as $500 for subsequent violations of the smoking restriction.

Council’s action on the smoking issue came in response to concerns expressed by many health-care professionals in Palestine for stronger smoking regulations and a need to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke in public places, according to the ordinance.

Cody Harris of the Palestine Young Professionals Network requested in September an ordinance prohibiting secondhand smoke in public places and places of employment. About a month later, the council conducted a public hearing to allow proponents and opponents to speak.

The ordinance adopted by council notes that the U.S. Surgeon General released a report in 2006 stating there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that breathing even a small amount can be harmful to health.

The U.S. Surgeon General concluded that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease and acute respiratory effects and can cause sudden infant death syndrome and other health problems in infants and children.

“Simple separation of smokers from nonsmokers within the same airspace does not eliminate the exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke,” the ordinance states.

In other action, the council approved extended hours for the sale of mixed beverages between midnight and 2 a.m. at locations where sale of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption is permitted. The extension was requested by owners of Whistle Stop Saloon.

The council also authorized lease/purchase of a fire engine for $247.505. Payments will be $50,000 a year for five years.


Stricter workplace smoking ban in doubt

A proposal to ban smoking in nearly all Indianapolis workplaces faces an uncertain future after a narrowly divided City-County Council tabled it Monday night.

The 14-13 vote means the ordinance can return to the council agenda with majority support, but some on the council said achieving that could be difficult. The vote is the latest in a series of close decisions by the 29-member body in recent months.

Opponents of the ordinance, which would strengthen a current ban on smoking in most restaurants and public spaces such as hotel lobbies, were declaring victory after Monday’s vote.

“I don’t think this council is going to bring it back,” said Brad Klopfenstein, former executive director of the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association who is leading an opposition group called Save Indianapolis Bars. “I’m glad to see they’re representing the rights of adults to make adult decisions.”

Others interpreted the vote differently. Bruce Hetrick is a volunteer for Smoke Free Indy whose wife died of cancer after years of working in a smoke-filled environment.

“We have tonight stared in the face of overwhelming health and economic evidence and just scoffed at it,” Hetrick said. “This delay tonight is another death sentence. It’s deeply disappointing.”

Some supporters, however, say the battle is far from over. Councilman Ben Hunter, a Republican and one of the sponsors, said he expects it will be back before the council in the next two to three months with enough votes to pass.

“It’s inevitable that it’s going to pass,” Hunter said. “Indianapolis will move forward on the issue.”

Councilwomen Doris Minton-McNeill and Marilyn Pfisterer were absent from Monday’s meeting.

The ordinance, sponsored by Democrats Angela Mansfield and Jose Evans and Republicans Barbara Malone and Hunter, would add about 400 venues, including bars, bowling alleys and private clubs, to the list of places where smoking is prohibited. It would exempt hookah and cigar bars.

The move to table the ordinance came after the council voted 13-12 against the measure, leaving it shy of the 15 votes needed to pass or fail.

Monday’s vote follows a series of other narrow margins, including a 15-14 vote in favor of a hotel tax increase to help the struggling Capital Improvement Board and a 15-13 vote in favor of an ordinance making it tougher to panhandle.

To bring the measure back, a council member would have to make a motion to pull it off the table, and a majority of members present at the meeting would have to support the motion.

During Monday’s meeting, council members continued a public debate that began when the proposal was introduced earlier this month.

Libertarian Ed Coleman said the issue is a matter of personal choice.

“People (going to bars) are adults (who) can make adult decisions,” Coleman said. “It’s not the government’s place to tell them how to live healthy lives.”

Malone disagreed. For her, the issue is personal: Her close friend’s mother, a nonsmoker who worked an office job and was surrounded by secondhand smoke, died of lung cancer.

“(Smokers) are not a protected class,” Malone said. “It’s not your right to smoke, particularly if it infringes upon your neighbors’ rights.”

No public comment was allowed Monday, but nearly all the seats in the Public Assembly Room of the City-County Building were filled.

Opponents donned red shirts to signify stopping the resolution and had to be subdued for making comments during the council members’ remarks. Proponents wore green shirts to promote passing the ban.

By Francesca Jarosz
October 27, 2009

Lorillard 3Q profit dips partly on higher expenses

RICHMOND, Va. — Lorillard Inc., the nation’s third-largest cigarette maker, saw less of a decline in cigarettes sold in the third quarter than its competitors as its value brands posted big gains.

Lorillard, whose other brands include Kent, True and Maverick, faced declining volumes of about 6.1 percent during the period, compared with its estimate of a total industry decline of 12.6 percent.

The company saw a 9.8 percent decline in volumes for its Newport brand, but a 51.9 percent increase in its value-priced Maverick brand. Some smokers have traded down to cheaper cigarette brands during the recession in an effort to cut spending.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based maker of Newport menthol cigarettes was the last of the country’s top tobacco companies to report its third-quarter results.

Results from the three tobacco makers, who account for about 90 percent of the U.S. cigarette market, show steep volume declines as a new 62-cents-a-pack federal tax, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher.

CEO Martin Orlowsky said in a conference call with investors that while the company outperformed the industry, he acknowledged lower retail inventories industrywide to keep stock in line with reduced demand.

“It’s at a low level, certainly the lowest it’s been in a while,” Orlowsky said.

Lorillard, the oldest continuously operating U.S. tobacco company, said Monday that its third-quarter profit dipped 1 percent, pinched by higher expenses and consumers tightening their spending. It earned $235 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, down from $237 million a year ago and missed analyst estimates.

The company, which was spun off from Loews Corp. in June 2008, said revenue climbed 26 percent to $1.42 billion on higher prices, offset by selling fewer cigarettes and spending more on promotions. Excluding excise taxes, revenue grew 2 percent to $953 million from $936 million.

Its shares fell $5.60, or 7 percent, at $74.22 Monday.

Its largest competitors — Altria Group Inc. and Reynolds American Inc. — reported third-quarter results last week.

Altria Group Inc. — owner of the nation’s biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, which makes Marlboro — said cost-cutting and higher cigar sales helped its third-quarter profit rise, even though it sold fewer cigarettes. Altria said its overall cigarette volume fell 12 percent for the quarter, and it estimated a 10 percent drop industrywide.

Reynolds American Inc. — the second-biggest cigarette seller in the U.S. and maker of Camel and Pall Mall — recorded 72 percent higher profit than in last year’s third quarter, when restructuring costs and the falling value of its trademarks dampened its earnings. It said its estimated 11 percent drop in volume was better than the industry’s decline, which it pegged at 12.6 percent.

Oct. 26, 2009

Smokers hail e-cigarettes as regulators frown

Song Young-rae, 55, was once a heavy smoker, but he says his life changed completely when he quit – sort of. Song switched to “e-cigarettes” he found on the Internet, and is now convinced that the product, imported from China, helps control his nicotine cravings.

“I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for the past 30 years, until last year, when I was introduced to electronic cigarettes, which reduced the addiction,” Song said in a telephone interview. “I gained back weight because the addiction was obviously less for electronic cigarettes. Plus, they are more cost effective.”

E-cigarettes were introduced to local consumers when Ruyan, a Chinese company, received a license to manufacture them. The products were imported to the West, then two years ago to Korea, where they occupy something of a regulatory blind spot.

The products run on batteries and capsules of nicotine, though they “have relatively less” of the drug, Kim Jung-ho at Ebaco, an early local importer of the product, said.

“The number of [e-cigarette] importers increased since late last year so that now there are around 20 local companies importing the products,” he said. “There are no Korean companies that hold the license to produce them yet.”

According to Kim, though not many people are aware of e-cigarettes, there is a growing interest among smokers. Sales by the traditional tobacco industry in Korea are 8 to 10 trillion won ($6.8 to $8.5 billion) a year. Only about 10 billion won worth of e-cigarettes are sold in the same period, Kim said. As the industry grows, its health implications are being debated, since it contains nicotine but is subject to less stringent regulation.

Government bodies including the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance recently said unofficially that e-cigarettes would eventually be taxed just like traditional cigarettes.

“Some importers are advertising e-cigarettes as a kind of medical device to take away one’s addiction to cigarettes, which Health Ministry research shows is total nonsense,” said Park Moon-bae at the Finance Ministry.

“In general, the law bans cigarette makers from advertising their products publicly, but e-cigarette importers often promote them through media releases,” he said.

By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]

Sometimes, a smoke is a solace

Once again, there’s talk on Capitol Hill of raising Utah’s tobacco tax by about $76 million in light of an expected shortfall of $850 million.

The question is, where’s the rest of the money going to come from?

Certainly there is every reason to try to convince smokers that they’ll live a lot longer and save a bundle if they kick their addiction. They and the world would be healthier and smell much nicer if they did.

But if we’re going to ask cigarette smokers to pay up, what about all the others hounded by their own vices?

People are always talking about ice cream and diet soda, but what about the people who drive fast and tailgate in giant pickups that clearly have never seen a construction site? Those gas-guzzlers can’t be helping the quality of our air, which also kills a number of people every year.

And what about the overreaching skiers, boarders, hikers and boaters who put themselves in harm’s way, which costs state, county and city coffers a lot of money in rescue or recovery operations. Or people on rocket bikes who blindside me on the freeway as they roar by. I don’t know who I worry about more, them or me.

Utah has the nation’s lowest smoking rate, and backers of the tobacco tax hike are hoping that 3,000 teens and 10,000 adults would be persuaded to quit. The state also ranks just 36th in the nation for its tax rate, which would rise by about 65 cents a pack if the legislation goes through.

Still, lawmakers themselves seem torn by the issue. Gov. Gary Herbert says he won’t ask for any tax hikes in his budget, and legislative leaders — with a couple of exceptions — basically say it’s nuts to ask for more taxes in a time when far too many of us are barely getting by.

Getting back to the smoke itself: It’s a relief to walk into a store or restaurant or bar and not breathe other people’s smoke.

But for those who do smoke or dip or chew, it’s a matter of personal choice, which at between $30 and $60 for a carton of cigarettes, for example, already is expensive.

There are those, however, who have little but a smoke to soothe them. I have a friend who lives on disability and Medicaid. He doesn’t drink and has to be reminded to eat every day, so for him, a cup of coffee and a cigarette is a soothing way of marking the hours of his day.

For the record, I smoked my last cigarette at about 1:15 a.m. on Sept. 15, 2002, and I don’t miss it. Once in a great while, though, when things get frantic, I think about walking outside and taking that first hit and calming down a little.

I agree that tobacco use can kill you, or make you sick, or cost your employer money for time off. But I also know how tough it is to give it up when sometimes, it seems like it’s the only thing you’ve got.

Sltrib pegmcentee@sltrib.com

Tobacco still stains the majors

For my couch time, Major League Baseball does its postseason almost as well as “The Office” does body language.

Brilliant. Except for all the spittin’ and chewin’ or, worst of all, both in one quick camera shot.

How does that look in HD?

Luckily, we don’t have to watch Terry Francona over the next week or so. The Boston Red Sox manager probably did less for baseball and more for cancer than any human being alive in the infamous Octobers of 2004 and 2007.

Smokeless tobacco is banned in all national youth leagues, for players and coaches, and in high school and college baseball.

Minor league baseball kicked the habit in 1993, subjecting violators to unannounced clubhouse inspections, fines and suspensions.

“I think it’s a great policy,” Charleston RiverDogs general manager Dave Echols said. “I’ve been in the business 18 years and I think it’s making a significant impact. I remember when it used to be rampant.”

But MLB holds fast to a disgusting tradition, something not allowed in most workplaces or public buildings throughout America.

You don’t see it in the NBA, NFL, NHL or college sports. You don’t see it at bookstores or restaurants. Even stodgy NASCAR got rid of its Cup race tobacco sponsorship.

Only big league baseball, thanks to a stubborn union and inept owners bent on ruining all their good publicity with close-up shots of outfielders stuffing bad stuff into their mouths.

Francona and Co.

Back to Francona.

He chewed and spit his way to leading the Red Sox to their streak-busting 2004 World Series conquest of St. Louis, and grossed-out the world seriously again in 2007 as Boston topped Colorado.

Think of the influence on youth leaguers throughout New England and beyond, all wanting to grow up just like Terry Francona.

By the way, I like Francona.

Tremendous manager.

Hall of Fame manager.

And remarkably patient with my questions during a stop in Greenville when he was manager of the Double-A Birmingham Barons and one of his outfielders was a prospect named Michael Jordan.

In defense of Francona, it’s a tough thing to have a particular vice broadcast on live national TV hundreds and hundreds of times. How would you like that? Personally, I would not.

“I wish I could stop doing it,” Francona told mlb.com during Boston’s loss to Tampa Bay in the 2008 American League Championship Series, “but I guess I really can’t.”

So make players and managers stop, at least at the ballpark.

One rule and enforcement and think of all the happy people: Baseball fans, the Francona family, kids everywhere, the poor folks forced to clean up dugouts.

The late Jack Krol

Francona is not the only one.

One of your favorite players, maybe someone you know or have met, might have trouble with this image-ruining habit.

Next time you meet such a player, instead of spewing praise, remind them that doctors and the American Dental Association have weighed in.

Tell them to think about mom.

Ask if they kiss with that mouth.

Of course, not everything players chew is tobacco. Some prefer seeds or gum. But because there is no tobacco ban, all are suspect.

Major League Baseball officials, without citing figures, say smokeless tobacco use is declining. If so, the minor league ban almost certainly is helping.

Echols said a chew-free Riley Park makes family fun easier to sell.

“Absolutely,” he said. “You don’t see it in the back pocket. You don’t see it anywhere. It’s more what we’re trying to promote.”

Too bad it’s too late for some.

Jack Krol was the manager of our Charleston Rainbows for three seasons, 1988-1990, and briefly served as interim manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1978 and 1980. In 1993, the same year minor league baseball banned smokeless tobacco, the long-time chewer had part of his tongue removed.

Krol, a great guy, died of oral cancer in 1994. He was 57.

By Gene Sapakoff at gsapakoff@postandcourier.com or 937-5593.
October 27, 2009 Postandcourier

Tobacco Cessation Draws Audience to Tamarack

BECKLEY — A variety of organizations are coming together to “Follow the Signs.”tobacco cigs

The Southern Coalfields African American Tobacco Prevention Network organized a training program to raise awareness about how tobacco affects the African American community. Groups came together Monday at Tamarack for an informational cessation session.

“The tobacco industry spends millions of dollars, first to target African Americans. They spend $35 million per day on marketing cigarettes in the United State. And a lot of that money is placed into the black community,” West Region Director LaTanisha Wright said.

According to the National African American Tobacco Network, each year 47,000 blacks die from tobacco-related illnesses.

Additionally, the group says more African Americans die from lung cancer than any other race in the United States.

By Kate Krivanek, West Virginia Media.

NY may try to collect taxes on Indian cigarettes

ALBANY, N.Y. — A deepening deficit has New York officials looking again at how to collect unpaid taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian tribes to non-Indians.

The issue is also making unlikely allies of cigarette makers and anti-smoking interests who say taxation would limit illegal sales and keep cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

A budget hearing Tuesday in Manhattan will weigh the potential revenue against concerns that any attempt to collect the taxes could cause a repeat of sometimes violent confrontations between the state and tribes in the 1990s. The Legislature has pressed for collection before, but past governors have refused, preferring to try to negotiate agreements.

At stake is what lawmakers, cigarette companies and a leading anti-smoking group say is $400 million or more in annual revenue. That disputed figure would be almost equal to a proposed cut in midyear school aid that’s intended to help close a $3 billion budget deficit.

For tribes like the Seneca Indian Nation, the taxes could mean an end to fortunes being made from an empire built on Internet sales to individual “smoke shops” on territories like the small Poospatuck Reservation on Long Island. They say the untaxed sales are guaranteed by treaties dating to 1794 that protect them from taxation, and they don’t recognize state courts’ views that side with the state.

The Senecas also argue that their sales yield millions more in spinoff economic benefits to communities than the taxes would generate.

Manufacturers would like the state to collect the taxes on an estimated 28 million untaxed cartons a year.

“If we had enforcement of the laws on the books, that would go a long way,” said David Sutton, spokesman for Altria, Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc., parent company of Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest tobacco maker.

Companies believe that would protect their product from illegal activities, including bootlegging and inferior “counterfeit” cigarettes packaged like branded products, which cut into profits and consumer loyalty. Sutton also notes it’s easier for underage buyers to buy tobacco products over the Internet and by mail. More revenue could also forestall further tax increases on cigarettes, already the most taxed item on the market. A pack now carries a $2.75 state tax, with another $1.50 tax added in New York City.

Tobacco companies have recently mounted their own stings against counterfeit sales of their product, alerting police who would then raid the retailers.

“The failure to collect the tax is a major public health problem,” said Russ Sciandra of the Center for a Tobacco Free New York, which finds itself on the same side of the argument as Philip Morris. “There are thousands of people who would quit smoking if they had to pay the full price.”

He said Philip Morris, still a major lobbying force in Albany, will make a rare public appearance at the Tuesday hearing in part because tribes are no longer simply selling major brands. Some are making their own. Three manufacturing facilities are being operated in the Senecas’ territory by independent makers.

Sciandra also disputes Gov. David Paterson’s recent caution. The Democrat has warned that no state ever succeeded in collecting more than $75 million a year by going after Indian-sold cigarettes. That wouldn’t be much of a dent in a $3 billion deficit and far short of the $400 million in revenue estimated by lawmakers, Philip Morris and the anti-smoking group.

But Sciandra said the point is that collecting the tax would significantly reduce sales on Indian territory and revenue would jump around the state.

The tribe estimates its cigarette sales bring $71 million in net gain to the states’ communities in spinoff sales to restaurants, clothing stores and other businesses from its 1,000 employees, many of whom are not Indians. Under taxation, the tribe argues that revenue would be shifted to the state for its spending, much of it in New York City.


E-Cigarettes Face Taxation

The price of an electronic cigarette, a battery-powered nicotine inhaler used to reduce nicotine dependency, will go up next year as it will be subject to taxation.

The Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said that the “e-cigarette,” which contains nicotine, should be regarded as a mild form of a cigarette, which is subject to local, health and garbage taxes.

Since it contains inhalable doses of nicotine, it should also warn of its negative effects on the cover.

The government had been discussing whether the device was a simple cigarette-cessation-aid or a cigarette for the past couple of years.

“We have concluded that the e-cigarettes are also addictive and harm the body,” a health official said.

Smoking debate sparks new row

Smokers are being told to stub it out in their OWN homes before any visit by council staff. The move by Moyle District Council is designed to protect employees from exposure to second-hand smoke.

But it was slammed as “ludicrous” last night by lobby group Forest, who warned other local authorities across Northern Ireland were likely to follow suit.

The smoking ban, introduced in May 2006, covers all enclosed public places as well as the workplace.

But the legislation did not include any reference to extending it to people’s homes.

The new policy in Moyle, which covers areas including Ballycastle, Cushendun and Bushmills, stipulates:

“Where council employees are required to work or visit other premises that are not entirely smoke-free, all reasonable arrangements will be made to minimise exposure to second-hand smoke.

“These may include, where practicable, informing our customers and clients of the council’s policy in advance and requesting the environment is kept smoke free whilst council staff are visiting a clients premises.”

One council source told Sunday Life: “We’re not attempting to ban people from smoking in their own homes.

“All we’re asking is that people respect the views and health of visiting council staff.

“As employers the council has a legal duty to protect the interests and health of staff.”

Smoking is not permitted in any part of any Moyle council building and also banned at all times in council vehicles.

The guidelines raise the prospect of home visits or repairs being refused to those who defy the ‘smoke-free’ request.

A spokesman for Forest-Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Tobacco said: “This is ludicrous and all commonsense has now gone out the window.

“No doubt other councils will follow this lead which is further aimed at marginalising those who smoke.”

25 October 2009

Prisoners without Smoking can’t be Happy

For Quebec inhabitants, life without nicotine appears to be softer, but for prisoners tobacco ban in prison is the end of the happy life.

Food cravings, stress, headaches, and insomnia are just some of the disorders listed by a group of prisoners unhappy with Ottawa’s ban on tobacco in federal prisons.

A group of 19 inhabitants in Quebec, including legendary drug trafficker Gerald Matticks, is behind a legal charge being heard next week against the 16-month-old ban.

The faulty gallery of thieves, murderers and drug kingpins want the ban overturned, and have hired a high-profile human-rights lawyer to represent them.

Julius Grey, a Montreal constitutional lawyer, said that the ban violates inmates’ charter rights and is discriminatory because guards can still smoke outside.

“Smoking is so politically incorrect that people forget how important it is in the lives of some people,” said Mr. Grey.

He explained that Canadian prisoners don’t lose rights other than those tied directly to their imprisonment.

As it is known the right to smoke is not an absolute right, but for prisoners it is a life choice, and it is an important life choice.

Statistics show that almost three-quarters of Canada’s federal inmates are smokers even after the total ban went into effect. An indoor smoking ban was established in 2006.

Lawyer Isabelle Turgeon is also said that the tobacco ban has reinforced tensions in prisons. Guards taunt the inmates because staff can smoke outdoors in designated areas, she said.

“Most people think prisoners should all decay. But they’re still human beings, they’re not animals. These are people who can be incarcerated for 20, 25 years. They lose their freedom, and on top of that, they can’t smoke,” she explained.

Testimonies that are part of the voluminous Federal Court file suggested that the ban is taking a toll even on some of the province’s most hardened criminals.

Mr. Matticks, known as the King of the Port of Montreal for his role in the drug trade, said that he was a pack-a-day smoker and the ban has made his time behind bars very difficult.

Correctional Services officials would not discuss the court action but said the smoking ban was established for the health and safety of both inmates and employees. It temporarily offered quit-smoking programs after the ban went into effect. Prisoners who now want buy nicotine gum must pay for it themselves through the prison canteen. However Quebec still allows smoking outdoors.

Smoking bans in Tacoma’s public parks

Come next month, smokers beware: If you light up in a public park in Tacoma, you’ll be breaking the law.

By a 6-3 vote, the Tacoma City Council approved late Tuesday an ordinance that makes smoking in any public park in the city illegal.

“To me, this is like the noise ordinance,” said Councilman Jake Fey, who supported the measure. “There needs to be a balance.”

The ordinance makes such public smoking a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $25 fine, although city officials have said police do not plan to actively enforce the law.

Supporters said the measure is a way to protect seniors, children and others from the dangers of second-hand smoke, as well as to promote overall healthy living.

Councilwoman Connie Ladenburg noted that her 11-year-old grandson has such severe asthma, he cannot enjoy parks when any cigarette smoke is present. Without such a law, she said, her grandson and other nonsmokers will remain vulnerable to secondhand smoke effects imposed upon them by smokers.

“He doesn’t have a choice to breathe, but smokers have a choice if they smoke or not,” she said.

Councilman Spiro Manthou, who unsuccessfully promoted a compromise to restrict smoking only near certain areas in parks, such as playgrounds, disagreed that any conclusive science proves secondhand smoke in an outside environment poses significant health dangers.

Noting that police don’t intend to actively enforce the ban, Manthou added, “I’m not comfortable that this (ordinance) is going to make any effect.”

Council members Julie Anderson and Mike Lonergan also voted against the ordinance.

Lonergan reeled off a list of public areas now restricted under the ban, including parking lots at parks, public fishing piers and docks, Cheney Stadium and Meadow Park Golf Course, among others.

“This is what we’re doing, we’re restricting the liberties of 20 percent of the population,” said Lonergan, citing figures showing about one in five people smoke.

Councilman Rick Talbert, chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health who helped sponsor the measure, has said the measure isn’t about impeding smokers’ rights, but safeguarding those who don’t smoke and spreading public awareness about tobacco’s dangers.

Tacoma joins more than 400 jurisdictions nationwide with similar smoking bans in public parks, including Puyallup. The park smoking ban in Tacoma will take effect on Nov. 2, a city spokesman said.

By Lewis Kamb: 253-597-8542
News Tribune

National Tobacco Case to Be Heard in Bangor

BANGOR, Maine– Attorneys from around the country descended Wednesday on the federal courthouse in Bangor for a conference on a class-action lawsuit against the makers of light cigarettes.

It is the first multidistrict litigation case ever assigned to U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Multidistrict litigation, or MDL, is the label the federal judiciary gives cases filed against the same party or parties in federal courts around the nation. Once cases have been combined, a three-judge panel assigns them to one federal judge.

At least 20 lawsuits from around the country have been combined in Bangor. The MDL has been assigned to U.S. District Judge John Woodcock, who has not handled one since his appointment to the federal bench in 2003. Moreover, the original Maine case that led to the 20-case MDL is once again in the hands of Woodcock, whom the U.S. Supreme Court reversed last year.

In a 5-4 a split won by the court’s liberals, the justices ruled in December that smokers may use state consumer protection laws to sue cigarette makers for the way they promote “light” and “low tar” brands. The Altria Group Inc. argued on behalf of its Philip Morris USA subsidiary that the lawsuits are barred by the federal ciga-rette labeling law, which forbids states from regulating any aspect of cigarette advertising that involves smoking and health.

Tobacco litigation in federal court is not unusual. Cigarette cases regularly are filed in state and federal courts around the country. It is unusual for the first case in the nation against a particular tobacco company to be filed in Maine.

Bangor lawyer Samuel W. Lanham Jr. filed the lawsuit in August 2005 on behalf of Lori A. Spellman of Levant and Stephanie Good and Allain L. Thibodeau, both of Bangor. Each smoked Marlboro Lights for 15 years or more. The plaintiffs are not seeking damages for personal injuries or health problems caused from cigarette smoking.

Instead, the lawsuit alleges that they were hoodwinked into thinking that “light” cigarettes contained less tar and nicotine than full-flavor cigarettes. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified compensatory, punitive and other damages.

Woodcock granted summary judgment in the cigarette makers’ favor in 2006. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling the next year and attorneys for the tobacco firm appealed to the nation’s highest court. It was the first case argued during the U.S. Supreme Court’s term last year.

The meeting Wednesday was purely about scheduling — which motions the judge will hear first, when briefs must be filed, how often Woodcock will hold conferences with attorneys, and which attorneys on both sides will act as liaisons from the court to the more than 25 attorneys scattered throughout the country.

The case is not expected to be decided anytime soon.

No hearings in the case will be held until January or February. Once Woodcock rules on whether the facts in a landmark case upheld earlier this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., Circuit can be applied to the MDL case, his decision is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. That decision also could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorneys appeared visibly relieved when Woodcock, a Bangor native, said he would conduct monthly conferences via telephone and they would not have to fly to Bangor.

“I’m sure it would be helpful to the Bangor economy to have you all come her once a month, but I don’t think that’s the most efficient use of your clients’ money,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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