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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Philip Morris Int’l buys rights to nicotine system

RICHMOND —

Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. has purchased the rights to a technology that lets users inhale nicotine without smoking.

The world’s largest nongovernmental cigarette seller told The Associated Press on Thursday that it has bought the patent for an aerosol nicotine-delivery system developed by Jed Rose, director of the Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research at Duke University in Durham.

The school does not have a role in Rose’s agreement with the company and won’t receive any money. Terms were not disclosed.

Rose, who led studies in the early 1980s that helped pave the way for commercial nicotine patches as a smoking cessation treatment, said the next step is for Philip Morris International to develop a commercial product using the technology.

The system differs from current medicinal nicotine inhalers available on the market as stop-smoking aids because it delivers nicotine more rapidly to mimic the nicotine “hit” a cigarette provides smokers.

“The other methods of delivering nicotine fall short of providing smokers with the satisfaction that they crave,” Rose said.

Philip Morris spokesman Peter Nixon said it may take three to five years to develop a commercial product that would be considered an alternative to conventional cigarettes.

Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a series of steps by tobacco companies to venture into smokeless tobacco and other nicotine products as tax increases, health concerns, smoking bans and stigma cut into demand for cigarettes.

In 2009, Reynolds American Inc., based in Winston-Salem, purchased Swedish company Niconovum, whose nicotine gum, pouches and spray help people stop smoking.

Big tobacco wants Malaysia to lobby Australia

Big tobacco has enlisted the aid of a former United States ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to help it fight the Gillard government’s plan to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.

Peter Allgeier, who now works for a Washington-based consultancy firm, has been lobbying Malaysia to pressure Canberra to drop the plan, ABC television reports.

“There are several opportunities forthcoming for Malaysia and other like-minded governments to persuade Australia not to proceed,” Mr Allgeier has written in an email to Kuala Lumpur.

The former ambassador argues Malaysia could raise concerns with the WTO’s technical barriers to trade committee or at the next meeting of the organisation’s intellectual property rights council.

In January, AAP reported Philip Morris wanted a clause added to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now being negotiated, which would allow the company to sue the federal government if Australia introduced plain packaging.

Philip Morris has lobbied the US trade representative regarding the TPPA.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said she has not been approached by Malaysia on the issue, but said Mr Allgeier’s appointment demonstrated just how far big tobacco is prepared to take its fight.

“But we won’t be frightened off because big tobacco is hiring lobbyists or looking at ways to influence the action we’re taking,” she told ABC television.

She said it was not for her to answer whether Malaysia has been enlisted because of its current negotiating power over the proposed asylum seeker swap deal with Australia.

The government has received plenty of international support over its plain packaging bid, and Ms Roxon said she was not about to listen to any of the detractors.

“Most countries would think that the laws we make for our country are a matter for us.

“So it’s neither here nor there if particular congressmen or parliamentarians in other parts of the world don’t like what we’re doing.”

Ms Roxonis also confident the legislation stands up to legal scrutiny, amid threats from big tobacco to take the government to court over intellectual property violations.

“What the big tobacco companies are doing with all this very noisy huffing and puffing is making clear to most of the community their fears that this measure will work,” she said.

“It will affect their profits and that means it will save lives.”

British American Tobacco buys Colombia’s Protabaco

LONDON – British American Tobacco PLC (BATS.LN)Thursday said it has bought Colombia’s second-largest cigarette company by salesProtobacco and market share, Productora Tabacalera de Colombia SAS, or Protabaco, for $452 million, filling a strategic gap in its operations in Latin America.

The acquisition will enlarge BAT’s presence in the country, which is Latin America’s fourth largest cigarette market which had total industry sales of around 17 billion cigarettes last year.

“This investment will strengthen and complement our position in an important market and fill a strategic gap in our Americas region,” said Mark Cobben, BAT’s Director for the Americas.

The company said it will fund the transaction with internal resources. The price tag represents a multiple of 11.3 times Protabaco’s $40 million domestic earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization from last year on net domestic revenue of $110 million.

Privately-owned Protabaco last year sold 5.5 billion cigarettes equating to almost one third of the domestic market. Its biggest brand, Mustang, is the country’s second best selling cigarette with a retail share of around 18%.

Last month, BAT posted a 5% rise in first-quarter sales, boosted by pricing gains, but said volumes continued to soften and warned of challenging trading amid tough global economic conditions.

BAT shares closed at 2681 pence on Wednesday

Smoking Leisurely in the Park

The nearest people — four men sipping sodas — saw (and most likely smelled) the law being broken, but as would happen frequently smoke in parkthat day, none of them said anything at all.

This, to give the scene, was in Bryant Park, at the height of Tuesday’s lunch hour, on the second official (and first nonrainy) day of New York City’s smoking ban in parks, pools, beaches and other outdoor areas. The findings of more than 90 minutes of illicit tobacco use suggested that while New Yorkers may care about a lot of things — rent, sex, Derek Jeter’s batting average — some blowhard smoking in a public park is not high on the list.

Several tactics were used in the pursuit of this conclusion. A cigarette was smoked in the proximity of a person on a park bench. (No reaction.) Smoke was blown, annoyingly, toward said person’s face. (No reaction, still.) The cigarette was then transported — blatantly trailing wisps of smoke — down various paths and walkways in the park. (Absolutely no reaction.) Crowded table areas were tested. (Nothing.) Quiet corners, too. (It was the same.)

In fact, from 12:16 until nearly 2 p.m., only one civilian in the park proactively requested that a smoker stop smoking; she was not only hesitant, she was also exceedingly polite.

“Excuse me, sir — would you mind?” she said. “You’re not supposed to be doing that anymore. And besides, I’m eating over here.”

The complainant was Michelle Hebert, a garment industry worker and (of course) a former smoker. When she was told that the subject of her grievance had in fact set out to explore New York’s commitment to the outdoor ban, she appeared confused, then relieved.

“It’s actually kind of funny,” said Ms. Hebert, who was dining on a meal of pasta salad, “but I just called my sister in Tucson and I told her: ‘There’s some gentleman who just sat down in front of me, and he’s smoking. I think I’m going to ask him to put it out.’ ”

In Ms. Hebert’s estimation, liberty does not outweigh the legislated order.

“It’s a free country — sure,” she said. “But everybody still has to follow the rules.”

Beyond the explorer (and a woman passing by with what looked to be a burning Marlboro Light), there was not one smoker — or at least not any visible — in the park. Where, one imagined, were the hard-core addicts? The jonesing office workers? The visitors from France?

After Ms. Hebert’s complaint, there was another long dearth of objections. It seemed that stronger measures were required.

And so a group of men was approached. “Excuse me, fellas,” they were asked, “any of you happen to have a light?”

Fred Maciarz, a textile worker, did have a light. But he also had a warning.

“You know,” he said, after taking out his lighter, “there’s a smoking ban in place.”

His willingness to expound upon the law then — only moments later — to accommodate its breaking was intriguing, to say the least. Mr. Maciarz was asked about this stance.

Before he answered, his friend Danny Aronstein cut him off.

“Look,” he told the smoker. “You’re lucky you got Fred. I almost called the police.”

Minutes later, the police — or, actually, a uniformed security guard — were approached.

“Excuse me, sir,” the guard was asked. “Which way’s Sixth Avenue?” The asker had an unlighted cigarette in hand.

“It’s over there,” the guard said, pointing with his finger.

“Over there?” the asker asked, pointing with his cigarette.

“Yeah,” the guard repeated. “Right over there.”

“Thanks,” said the asker, and he politely tipped the cigarette to his head.

Then he lighted that cigarette and walked off toward a different guard.

“Yo, boss,” this guard said. “Cigarette’s gotta go.”

The guard reached into his pocket and withdrew a piece of paper, not much bigger than a baseball card. The paper, which announced the ban, said, “Smell flowers, not smoke.”

Offenders may be fined $50 by the police. Parks enforcement officers also have the authority to issue summonses, but for now will educate the public on the law.

By this point, the smoker had been smoking for a good deal longer than he wanted to be smoking and he decided it was finally time to go. As he walked away, he noticed that a man was smoking at an entrance to the park.

Was this man smoking there because he couldn’t smoke inside?

“Why, yes,” said the man, Emmanuel Pacault, who was, as it happened, a visitor from France.

And what did Mr. Pacault think about the smoking ban?

“I find it very good,” he said. “Very human. It is better to smell flowers than smell smoke.”

By ALAN FEUER

Retailers oppose EU tobacco laws

European retailers have joined forces to fight tougher tobacco laws which they say threaten half a million small businesses.cigarettes prise

Retail associations from 11 countries, including the UK’s National Federation of Retail Newsagents, met in Brussels to sign a declaration opposing European Commission (EC) proposals for “plain” cigarette packaging, a ban on the display of any tobacco products in shops and restrictions on addictive ingredients in cigarettes.

The planned moves would tighten EU-wide controls which already stipulate maximum limits for nicotine and tar content of cigarettes, written health warnings on packets and a ban on terms such as “light”, “mild” or “low tar”.

The proposed revision of the 10-year old Tobacco Products Directive would remove all logos, graphics and designs from cigarette packaging across Europe, with just the brand name written in small letters.

Other ideas include adding large medical photos of the health effects of smoking, and a series of new health warnings to increase the shock impact, particularly for young smokers and those trying to quit.

The changes follow an EC “consultation” late last year about what further steps should be taken to reduce the attraction of tobacco, the single largest cause of avoidable death in the European Union, accounting for around 650,000 premature deaths every year.

But now tobacco retailers are pooling their efforts to hit back, insisting harsher measures will only hit small firms and will not have a major impact on cutting smoking.

“These measures will mean huge costs for retailers along with an explosion of the black market, presenting a threat to more than half a million small retail businesses in the EU,” said Giovanni Risso, chairman of the European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers which hosted the Brussels meeting.

The retailers say existing legislation has already forced business closures, thanks to the rise in the smuggling of cheaper illegal cigarettes. Now they say standardised packaging would make products even easier to counterfeit – and banning the more addictive ingredients in tobacco would trigger an illicit market in stronger cigarettes.

“We fully support and want to contribute to the EU’s objectives of reducing smoking and eliminating youth smoking, but it’s hard to see how these measures could do that,” insisted Mr Risso. “All they will do is put us out of work and hand our businesses over to criminals who obey no laws.”

Tobacco plain packaging to pass despite Opposition

THE federal government’s push for the plain packaging of tobacco is set to whistle through Parliament regardless of what Tony Abbott decides.

But Labor’s plan to means-test the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate is in danger of collapse, with the independent MP Bob Katter saying yesterday he would not support the measure.

The government intends to introduce the plain packaging legislation into Parliament in July, by when the Greens, who support the measure, will control the Senate.

Tobacco plain packaging to pass despite Opposition
Phillip Coorey
May 26, 2011

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THE federal government’s push for the plain packaging of tobacco is set to whistle through Parliament regardless of what Tony Abbott decides.

But Labor’s plan to means-test the 30 per cent private health insurance rebate is in danger of collapse, with the independent MP Bob Katter saying yesterday he would not support the measure.

The government intends to introduce the plain packaging legislation into Parliament in July, by when the Greens, who support the measure, will control the Senate.
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The government needs four extra votes in the House of Representatives should the Coalition, which is divided over the issue, oppose it. Yesterday those four votes were guaranteed.

Apart from the Greens MP Adam Bandt, the Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie also said he backed the changes, especially as his brother had died of lung cancer 10 years ago.

The NSW independent Tony Windsor said he supported the change and ”if I had my way, I’d ban the bloody things”. The West Australian National Tony Crook announced his support on Tuesday.

The other NSW independent, Rob Oakeshott, is yet to state a position but is inclined towards supporting it. Of the six cross-benchers, only Mr Katter is opposed.

The Nationals oppose the proposed plain green packets primarily because they see them as an erosion of tobacco companies’ property rights. Several Liberals are of a similar view, while a small but growing group believes health is more important than property rights.

At least one of these MPs, the West Australian MP Mal Washer, a medical doctor, said he would vote for plain packaging regardless of party policy.

The Queensland MP Alex Somlyay said plain packaging would deter people from taking up smoking, which was more important over the long term than trying to discourage existing smokers with price increases.

To try to defuse the issue, Mr Abbott told his party room the Coalition would wait to see the final legislation before adopting a position. This has left the opposition exposed to government claims that it is resisting because it still accepts donations from tobacco companies.

”Get this monkey off your back. It’s may be a rich monkey but it’s a monkey nonetheless,” the Mental Health Minister, Mark Butler, taunted in Parliament.

The opposition will oppose the plan to means-test the private health rebate, which would begin to phase out the 30 per cent rebate for singles on incomes of more than $80,000 and couples on combined incomes of more than $160,000.

Mr Windsor has indicated he will oppose the means test and Mr Katter said he too would vote against it, fearing it would drive more people into an already stretched public system.

BY Phillip Coorey

Kids listen to physicians about smoking

UNDATED – A little talk can have a big impact on a child’s life. A new study finds physicians who talk to teens about smoking and tobacco use can have a lasting, positive impact going forward.

Dr. Elaine Schulte did not take part in study but is a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

“As the study suggests, teens are much more likely to listen to a physician about all sorts of things that have to do with smoking,” she explains. “Their attitudes about it, cessation, their intent to smoke, so even if you’re talking with teenagers who haven’t smoked and you suggest and explain to them why smoking is bad, they’re actually likely to listen to you.”

A little talk can have a big impact on a child’s life. A new study finds physicians who talk to teens about smoking and tobacco use can have a lasting, positive impact going forward.

University of Memphis researchers studied more than 5,000 adolescent school children. They looked at the kids’ attitudes towards smoking, knowledge about smoking, intentions to smoke, tobacco use and quitting behaviors. Results show physician’s who talked to teens about tobacco use positively impacted their attitudes in all of these areas.

Researchers say even a brief conversation between a pediatrician and patient about the harmful effects of smoking could get the child to quit or change their attitudes about tobacco use.

Schulte says parents and pediatricians can work together to keep teens from lighting up.

“You never really know how much a teen is paying attention to what you’re saying, but we know that we have certain impact and thinking about cigarette smoking, which is extremely common in teenagers,” she says. “One in five teenagers is a cigarette smoker. A thousand kids daily start smoking and many of them remain smokers, so it’s really, really important to talk to teenagers about cigarette smoking.”

How tobacco taxation can enhance revenue, save lives

EXTENSIVE use of tobacco has become a public menace globally, as it is causing 5.4 million premature deaths each year and current trends predict that one billion people will die from tobacco use in the 21st century.

In Pakistan, cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use have increased in recent years. According to Pakistan Health Education Survey (1999) tobacco kills almost 274 people per day and is causing at least 25% of deaths in the country. Tobacco use is largely concentrated among males in Pakistan; however the ratio between young urban male and female smokers is now 2:1 (Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2003). Smoking among youth has also become a serious concern lately as studies show that 1200 Pakistani children (ages 6 – 15) begin smoking every day.

According to the deliberations of a recently held workshop in Islamabad arranged by International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUTLD) in collaboration with Society for Alternative Media and Research (SAMAR), “tax increase on tobacco products is one of the most effective tobacco control measure that can save thousands of lives as well as increase the national revenue.”

Although Pakistan government enacted the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance in 2002, which includes limits on tobacco advertising, restrictions on smoking in public places, and adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2004, but the implementation has been slow as there continues to be a violation of the law in almost 36 major cities, noted Coalition for Tobacco Control – Pakistan (CTC-Pak) survey. “Had the Ordinance 2002 been implemented effectively, we would have been able to save our young generation from falling victims to the menace,” said Khurram Hashmi, national coordinator of CTC.

Apart from the non-implementation of law, another major factor leading to greater use of tobacco is Pakistan’s moderately low tobacco product prices. A World Bank report (Feb. 2011) noted that the price (of the most sold and cheapest brand of cigarettes) per pack was US$2.83 in Sri Lanka, 1.65 in India, 0.84 in Nepal, 0.51 in Afghanistan while it costs US$ 0.23 in Pakistan – the lowest in the region.

“Cigarettes have a record of seldom price increase in Pakistan. This has led to increased consumption of cigarettes from 292 cigarettes per capita in 1994 to 406 cigarettes per capita in 2007” informed Dr. Ehsan Latif, Director Tobacco Control of IUTLD.

In a presentation given on “Tobacco Taxation – A need for effective tobacco control”, by Dr. Ehsan it was suggested that “increasing tax rates is the single most effective tobacco control measure, especially for young people.”

Yusuf Khan, DG Tobacco Control Cell of Pakistan advocated two main reasons why government should raise tax tobacco. “Firstly it would generate revenues which would help government meet annual revenue targets and secondly, enhanced taxes will promote public health.”

A recent report ‘Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Taxation in Egypt’ indicated that “raising the average cigarette tax to E£ 4.08 per pack (70% of retail price) would prevent over 600,000 premature deaths in current and future smokers and raise cigarette tax revenues by almost E£ 5.2 billion.”

The question arises: what should be the right level of taxation? A WHO report (2008) ‘Cigarette Excise Taxes in Pakistan – A Way Forward’ after assessing Pakistan’s excises on cigarettes concluded that cigarette excise revenue has fallen from 0.5 percent of GDP in 1994 to 0.3 percent of GDP in 2007. The Federal Excise Act gives the Federal Board of Revenue adequate powers to assess and collect taxes; however political will to allow inspectors to access and/or find suspected sites of illicit manufacturing – appears to be lacking. Pakistan’s current three-tier regime for excising cigarettes is complex and pernicious as its annual adjustment to the rates and brackets increases the excise payable on the low-priced brands but reduces on mid-priced brands while leaving it altogether on high-priced brands unchanged, the report claimed.

According to the same report: “Pakistan should return to a two-tier regime similar to what was abandoned in 2001, when the specific excise would be increased to PKR 15.00 per pack of 20 cigarettes and the price bracket between the first and second tiers would be increased to PKR 28.00.”

If Pakistan adopts the proposal it can lead to a 50 percent increase in the price of the most popular brands while consumption of cigarettes may decline by 18 percent, providing significant health benefits and the government’s revenue from cigarette excise tax may increase by 47 percent.

WHO report (1999) “Curbing the Epidemic Governments and the Economics of Tobacco Control” claimed that by suggested a multi-pronged strategy to curb tobacco by rising taxes, disseminating research results on the health effects of tobacco, and access to cessation therapies.

A Boost for Snus or the Straw That Breaks the Camel’s Back?

Tobacco giant Reynolds American is seizing upon New York City’s new anti-smoking law to promote its small, but growing Camel Snus brand with print advertisements in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Daily News, and a handful of other publications.

With the new law that went into effect Monday, smokers in New York are prohibited from smoking in 1,700 city parks, along 14 miles of public beaches and in other public areas such as pedestrian malls. This is in addition to prior laws that have banned smoking from bars, restaurants, and other workplaces.

It will be interesting to see if New York’s more restrictive limits on smoking become a catalyst for tobacco users to get behind snus, a type of spitless oral tobacco that comes in little pouches, or if it provides a greater incentive for tobacco users to kick the habit.

Certainly, public health officials are hoping that the latter occurs. But barring that outcome, the public health community remains divided over whether it is better for smokers to switch to snus from cigarettes.

Some public health officials argue that for those who are unable to quit smoking, products like snus reduce the tobacco-related harm they experience. Others say these products flat-out discourage smokers from making an attempt to quit.

Reynolds and its larger rival Altria Group, the parent of Philip Morris USA, have been waging a fierce war for market share as rates of cigarette consumption continue to decline.

Although both companies own snus brands, Reynolds is testing the boundaries by encouraging smokers to switch to snus in these national ads, which are Reynolds’ first newspaper or magazine ads in more than three years.

It’s important to note that Reynolds does not make any health claims in the ads about snus being safer than cigarettes, although some studies have suggested this. But anti-smoking advocates are not pleased with the advertising, nonetheless.

Vince Willmore, a spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told the Winston-Salem Journal that the ads “continue Reynolds’ irresponsible marketing of snus as a way for smokers to get their nicotine fix in the growing number of smoke-free places.”

“The goal is to discourage smokers from taking the one step that would truly protect their health, which is to quit entirely. Once again, Reynolds is putting its bottom line ahead of public health,” Willmore continued, in the report.

In past, manufacturers of smokeless tobacco have made a case for smokers to switch to snus from cigarettes, but these efforts have not encouraged widespread adoption of snus in the US.

But times are changing, and in places like New York City, it is becoming more difficult to smoke. The city is now considered to have one of the largest outdoor smoking bans in the country. And other cities are watching how things develop.

In addition to legislation that bans smoking in public places, some smoking bans are hitting closer to home—literally, as apartment complexes and condomiums are increasingly putting smoking restrictions into place for their residents.

One of the Reynolds’ ads depicts the Empire State Building and it had the tagline: “NYC Smokers: Rise above the ban.” The other says “NYC Smokers: Enjoy freedom without the flame.” Both also include health warnings.

Beaches, parks off limits to New York smokers

New York City took its smoking prohibition outdoors on Monday, adding the city’s parks and beaches to the list of places where smoking is banned as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to promote healthy habits.

The ban, which officials hope will prevent problems caused by second-hand smoke, adds to the city’s 2003 ban on cigarettes in bars and restaurants.

The new law will not be enforced by police but by some 200 parks personnel who watch over the city’s 29,000 acres (12,000 hectares) of park land and beaches. Violators face a $50 fine but officials say the ban is meant to be largely self-enforcing.

“We don’t think that people should be exposed to those chemicals when they go to a park to enjoy the fresh air,” city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told Reuters.

Saleswoman Polonia Jourdain, sitting on a park bench with her 8-month-old nephew, said she was happy with the ban.

“I don’t want to smell smoke wherever I go,” said Jourdain, 17. “The smell of cigarettes makes me nauseous and gives me headaches.”

New York’s City Council voted in February to broaden the city’s smoking prohibitions to cover its 1,700 parks, beaches, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas, such as Times Square.

New York follows Chicago and Los Angeles, which have already enacted similar bans.

New Yorkers still can smoke on sidewalks, parking lots, streets and in their homes, although many landlords of rental properties do not allow it.

Not everyone was so pleased by the new law. The ban represents “an extreme revocation of civil liberties rather than telling people to just walk away,” said Audrey Silk, a member of New York Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment.

“If you held up the evidence up to sunlight, it would disintegrate,” she said.

Some New Yorkers said they were confused by the limits.

“Can you smoke on the sidewalk next to a park?” asked attorney Alex Roberts, 36, smoking a cigarette in violation of the ban.

New York health officials say cigarettes kill more than 7,000 residents a year. In 2002, 21 percent of New York adults smoked and the percentage is now down to 15.8 percent, Farley said.

Bloomberg has promoted health measures including a ban on trans fats in restaurant food and a requirement that chain restaurants display calorie counts on menus.

He has campaigned nationally for food companies to cut salt levels in their products and for the federal government to ban the purchase of sugary drinks with food stamps — federal vouchers used by 42 million low-income Americans to buy food.

Yves Saint Laurent promotes own-label cigarettes in Asia and Russia

TOBACCO advertising is banned in Australia, the US and Europe, and smoking indoors is against the law in many of the world’s major cities. But in fashion, it appears, the habit is still as fashionable as ever.

Cancer risk seems to be of little concern to Yves Saint Laurent, which is promoting and selling cigarettes bearing its designer logo.

The cigarettes, which come in a sleek black box with gold foil, are being marketed towards women in Asia and Russia.

They are accompanied by an advertisement featuring a model that looks uncannily like Kate Moss, who came under fierce criticism when she smoked on the Louis Vuitton catwalk earlier this year.

Online retailers, which sell the cigarettes for up to $44 per 200-cigarette pack, reveal that the product first launched in 1989.

Promotional script tells prospective buyers that the label’s “philosophy is to give theirtopcigarettes.biz/classic-cigarettes.”

It continues: “Creating a sense of appeal to female vanity and thereby making the woman who chose to smoke Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes more attractive than one who smokes another brand or more attractive than a woman who did not smoke at all.”

The message is an uncomfortable one for countries like Australia, the UK and the US, where governments invest heavily in anti-smoking messages in order to help prevent the huge number of deaths each year caused by tobacco.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said that Yves Saint Laurent should be ashamed of itself.

She told MailOnline: “Since the advertising ban preventing any advertising promotion or sponsorship by tobacco companies came into force smoking amongst young people has dropped by a third.

“We won’t see Yves St Laurent cigarettes on sale (in the UK), as tobacco companies are banned from using brandsharing to promote smoking in the UK, or anywhere in Europe.

“Sadly in Russia and many parts of Asia, young people are not yet protected from such tobacco industry tactics, and glamorous brands like YSL can be used to suck them into an addiction that will lead to death and disability.

“YSL should be ashamed of itself.”

Research from the American Lung Association reveals that more than 430,000 people in the US die every year from smoking-related diseases, including those who have heart attacks.

And according to Cancer Research UK, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of all cancer deaths in Britain are caused by smoking.

It added that tobacco is behind around 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths in men and more than 80 per cent of lung cancer deaths in women in the UK.

Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, famously named a 1966 tuxedo for women called Le Smoking. It is a design that continues to influence fashion today.

YSL follows in the footsteps of Cartier and Pierre Cardin, which have also given tobacco firms permission to use their logo.

BY Tamara Abraham

New York to expand public smoking ban

NEW YORK, – Health Department authorities say they will expand New York’s smoking ban to include public places such as plazas, parks and beaches.

“This will protect New Yorkers from secondhand smoke and keep our parks and beaches clean,” said Susan Kansagra, the assistant commissioner for the Health Department’s Bureau of Tobacco Control, adding the suggestion is to “de-normalize” smoking in places where families gather so children don’t think the addiction is acceptable, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

The law going into effect Monday will be accompanied by a television and print advertising campaign driving home the point for New Yorkers not to smoke in places where they’re now banned.

The danger of secondhand smoke indoors is clear, while the danger of it outdoors is less so, a public health authority said.

“Outdoors, the air-monitoring studies suggest smoke dissipates and there is virtually no health risk to anyone who is more than a few feet away,” said James Colgrove, a Columbia University public health professor and author of “NYC: Epidemic City.”

Scofflaws can be fined $50.

Enforcement is the province of the Parks Department and will be difficult since there aren’t many officers to do the job, the newspaper said.

Reynolds to Start Smokeless Tobacco Ad Campaign

Tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. is seizing on new antismoking laws in New York City this week to launch an advertising campaign for Camel Snus, its small but growing smokeless brand.

Full-page ads beginning Monday in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Daily News and other newspapers will urge smokers to drop their cigarettes for Camel Snus, a type of spitless oral tobacco that comes in pouches.

The ads will coincide with a significant expansion of antismoking laws in New York City that will take effect Monday. The city ordinance, signed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in February, prohibits smoking in 1,700 city parks, along 14 miles of public beaches and in other public areas such as pedestrian malls.

“Smokers, switch to smoke-free Camel Snus and reclaim the world’s greatest city,” says one of the ads, which will run in various forms all week in a handful of newspapers.

The ads highlight a wider effort by Reynolds to counteract continuing declines in U.S. cigarette consumption by encouraging smokers to try its smokeless-tobacco products. Reynolds makes no health claims about Camel Snus—something that would be exceedingly difficult to do under federal tobacco law. But scientific research shows that snus, a type of tobacco that was popularized in Sweden, is significantly less harmful than cigarettes.

The 2009 law that empowered the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the tobacco industry sets a high bar for companies to market products as posing less harm than cigarettes. Under the rules, companies must furnish scientific evidence to the FDA that a product not only would reduce harm for individual tobacco users, but also provide a net benefit to the U.S. population’s health.

U.S. cigarette consumption has been declining at about 3% to 4% annually in terms of volume, while the smaller smokeless category has been increasing about 6% to 7% a year, according to a report this month by Wells Fargo Securities analyst Bonnie Herzog.

The heightened emphasis on smokeless tobacco by Reynolds, the second-largest U.S. tobacco maker by sales, and larger rival Altria Group Inc. has fueled a debate in the public-health community.

Some public-health advocates, pointing to the difficulty of quitting smoking, argue that products like snus could play a role in reducing tobacco-related harm. Others say the products may entice more people to take up tobacco, and could keep smokers who otherwise might drop tobacco altogether from doing so.

Reynolds says that Camel Snus, which has been sold nationally for about two years, is the top-selling brand in the small but growing snus category in the U.S. Altria’s Philip Morris USA unit sells Marlboro Snus.

Reynolds Chief Executive Daniel Delen said in an interview that snus “is a viable product category already” in the U.S. “Growth is kind of linear and steady.”

He said prospects for long-term growth look good, noting that many users are in their twenties.

Still, he said, the Winston-Salem, N.C., company still has “a lot of education to do” to explain the product to smokers and tempt them to try it.

Wells Fargo Securities’ Ms. Herzog said that smokeless tobacco carries sharply higher operating margins. Reynolds’s American Snuff unit, its main smokeless division that sells Grizzly moist snuff, generated a 52% operating margin—a measure of profitablity—last year. Reynolds’s main cigarette unit, which markets cheap Camel cigarettes and cheap Camel cigarettes and accounts for 80% of the company’s profit, posted 29% margins.

By David Kesmodel, david.kesmodel@wsj.com

New push seeks to outlaw cigarettes

ANTI-SMOKING campaigners have far from finished their battle with the tobacco industry, with some pushing for a ”licence to smoke” and many predicting that cigarettes could be outlawed within a decade.

With the federal government’s plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes expected to be challenged in the High Court, health experts are advocating even tougher restrictions, saying that public support is growing to ban tobacco.

Professor Simon Chapman, an anti-smoking campaigner from the University of Sydney, says a smoking ban could be a reality within 10 to 15 years, and believes a licensing scheme would pave the way.
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”The government should consider issuing smokers with a licence to smoke, which would involve them passing a test, not dissimilar to a driving test,” Professor Chapman said.

”They would get a swipe card with their photo on it and – just like the pre-commitment gambling card – they could say how much they wanted to smoke a day. If it was 10 cigarettes a day you’d get a category one licence, 20 cigarettes would be a category two and there would be a higher cost to the card if you wanted to smoke more. The most anyone could buy would be 60 a day.”

Mike Daube, president of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health and deputy chairman of the federal government’s National Preventative Health Taskforce, backed the scheme but said the onus should also be on the tobacco industry to clean up its act. ”You could give them 10 years in which to produce a product that is acceptable by any health standards and if they can’t do that then their product will be treated like any other product and may no longer be sold,” Professor Daube said.

”The way smoking trends are going, it’s not unrealistic to think that we should see an end to [the] commercial sale of cigarettes within 10 to 15 years.”

About 17 per cent of Australians smoke, and a ban would cost the government about $6 billion a year in lost revenue. This would be offset by health savings, as the annual smoking-related medical burden tops $31 billion.

The licensing push has angered smokers’ groups and civil libertarians, who say consumers should not be victimised for using a legal product, and such extreme measures could fuel the black market in illegal tobacco.

But worldwide, there are growing anti-tobacco moves, from banning tobacco advertising to phasing out smoking entirely. A New Zealand parliamentary committee has recommended a total ban by 2025.

In Singapore, the country’s top lung cancer surgeons and specialists have proposed making it illegal for anyone born after 2000 to buy cigarettes products. With a study showing 70 per cent of Singaporeans support the move, the Ministry of Health is considering it.

And in Finland, the government has declared the country will be smoke-free by 2040, introducing tough laws to reach the goal, including jail terms for giving children cigarettes and a ban on vending machines.

Paul Duggan, 45, has started the Australian Smokers Rights Party on Facebook and hopes to get enough support to turn it into a political party. ”I had a sneaking feeling that non-smokers were going to get more and more aggressive in the next five, 10, 15 years and I felt that the only way to combat it, because of all the hysteria, would be to get one or two people in the federal Senate fighting for smokers,” he said.

The vice-president of Liberty Victoria, Anne O’Rourke, rejected a licensing scheme. ”Over-policing people’s behaviour, particularly when the product is legal, is likely to be viewed by many as the state over-reaching … so it’s unlikely to work.”

Louise Warburton, spokeswoman for British American Tobacco, said forcing smokers to obtain a licence could lead to an increase in the illegal tobacco trade as smokers sought to bypass bans.

The tobacco industry is spending an about $20 million fighting the government’s proposed plain packaging laws, and is set to face further battles as public health group Action on Smoking and Health told The Sunday Age of plans to push for further tax increases and the removal of additives that make cigarettes more palatable.

Smokers are increasingly running out of places to enjoy their habit. Last month, owners of a Sydney apartment block introduced a bylaw making the entire complex smoke-free.

Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said a smoker’s licence had merit but the group first wants a ban on smoking in al fresco dining areas and to limit cigarette sales to a small number of licensed outlets. She said if the number of smokers declined to about 5 per cent of the population then a ban should be considered.

By Jill Stark

Hookah bar slips through legislative loophole

Al Narah, Eugene’s newest hookah lounge, may have opened in the nick of time.

If Oregon lawmakers pass House Bill 2726, new hookah bars would be banned from opening, but the 62 existing lounges statewide plus any established before July would be grandfathered in.

“We won’t have to worry about the law even if it passed,” Al Narah manager Jesse Lascano said as smoke billowed out from the corner of his mouth.

Hookah bars are shops where customers indulge in smoking varied tobacco products using the tall water pipes.

The bill, which has cleared the Oregon House of Representatives, would tighten a loophole in Oregon’s Smokefree Workplace Law, which allows people in smoke shops to sample the tobacco.

Under the proposed changes, hookah lounges and smoke shops wouldn’t be allowed to provide seating for more than four people, essentially making it impossible for new hookah lounges to be created.

Outside of his shop at 1530 Willamette St., Lascano inhaled tobacco from a blue hookah tobacco, a tall water pipe complete with valves and hoses.

“It’s really a fun, laid back sort of thing,” Lascano said.

Since it officially started serving smokers three weeks ago, the hookah lounge has become popular among some, including University of Oregon student Alysah Dahlstrom.

“This is a great place to come and relax,” Dahlstrom said. “Last night, a friend and I came here and worked on our chemistry homework. It’s a lot more comfortable than the library.”

But not everyone has welcomed Al Narah and its tobacco fumes to the neighborhood.

“In Eugene, we have people who understand hookah, but there are always a few who don’t get what we’re doing,” Lascano said.

Eve Terran is one such resident. In a letter to The Register-Guard, Terran described an “assault of smoke and unpleasant, toxic smells” as she walked by the shop. Terran said she’s disappointed that the city hasn’t worked harder to protect the health of its citizens.

“There has been a violation of our protections, and I ask that the city and community step up and correct this,” Terran wrote.

But Eugene under its current ordinances doesn’t have the power to prohibit Al Narah, or Eugene’s other hookah lounge, Mirage, at 2164 W. Seventh Ave., from opening.

The loophole in Oregon’s Smokefree Workplace Law allows hookah lounges. In 2009, the law was amended to prohibit indoor smoking in nearly all workplaces, except for smoke shops and cigar bars; hookah bars are considered smoke shops.

The state defines smoke shops as free-standing businesses that generate 75 percent or more of their revenue from selling tobacco, and that don’t sell alcohol or lottery tickets.

The legal process for Al Narah to become a smoke shop took months, but the certification was essential if Al Narah wanted to establish itself as a smoking lounge.

“We were losing money for months when we didn’t have our smoke shop license,” Lascano said. “You can’t make enough money really just selling the stuff. People need a place to enjoy it.”

When it was conceived, the law wasn’t meant to provide places for recreational smoking. It was intended to allow customers to sample expensive cigars or tobacco products before they splurged.

Lawmakers apparently didn’t anticipate the loophole being used to justify the creation of hookah lounges.

“Hookah lounges weren’t sweeping the nation like they are now when the law was drafted,” said Stephanie Young-Peterson, Lane County Public Health Department tobacco prevention coordinator. “Most people hadn’t even heard of such a thing.”

Young-Peterson said hookah smoke can be even more harmful than cigarette smoke. “Smoking hookah for an hour is the equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes in a day,” she said.

The city of Eugene had planned on proposing a work session to possibly tighten up the city ordinance and make it tougher for hookah lounges to open up. But Rachelle Nicholas, the city’s code enforcement supervisor, said such discussions have been postponed until after the Legislature concludes any action it might take.

“There’s no reason to do the same thing at the city level if the state is already in the process of closing the loophole,” she said.

In the meantime, area businesses such as Willamette Artisans Jewelry and Designs, a neighbor of Al Narah, seem to accept the arrival of a hookah shop next door.

“My only concern was that it might attract unsavory characters to the area,” owner Tanya Gunter said. “But hey, we’re a business, they’re a legal business, and as far as I’m concerned they have every right to be there.”

HB 2726 is slated for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 26, Young-Peterson said.

Movies and TV shows slammed for smoking in China

BEIJING – Despite its success at the box office, the hit movie Let the Bullets Fly has drawn criticism from anti-smoking campaigners TV-smokewho presented the makers of the film with a tongue-in-cheek award on Wednesday for its many smoking scenes.

“The bullets flew and so too did the dirty ashtrays,” said Xu Guihua, deputy director of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control (CATC) as she revealed the winners of the 2010 “Ashtray Award”, for Chinese-made movies and TV shows.

The TV series Red Cradle was also singled out, getting an award for having the most smoking scenes among TV shows.

Out of the 70 movies and TV shows that were popular with viewers last year, only 14 movies and six TV shows were smoke-free, the association said.

Let the Bullets Fly, which was directed by Jiang Wen, ranked the smokiest, with 80 smoking scenes in all.

Notably, Jiang, who acted in the film as a bandit, appeared in 41 of the scenes while smoking.

“You can see someone light up every couple of minutes, which has a negative impact on viewers, especially the young,” she said.

Xu said the situation, while bad, is better than it was in 2007 when the association first presented such awards and when it found that only two of the 30 films surveyed did not have any smoking scenes.

“Generally speaking, Chinese films and TV series have seen the number of smoking scenes decline in recent years, partly due to government intervention,” said the Beijing-based actor Feng Yuanzheng, who also serves as a volunteer to spread tobacco control messages.

In February, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued directives ordering the makers of TV series and films to stub out smoking as much as possible from their future offerings.

“The efforts paid off somewhat, though loopholes still exist. For example, smoking scenes that are necessary to further the plot are still allowed,” said Yang Jie, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s tobacco control office.

TV series, however, have become more “contaminated” by smoking scenes, Xu said, citing the fact that nearly 87 percent of the 30 productions surveyed had smoking scenes while 65 percent of movies had such scenes.

“Productions depicting politicians are the worst,” she said.

In Red Cradle, 988 smoking scenes were recorded and the leading character, Chairman Mao, was seen smoking in 776 of them.

A total of 301 million Chinese – 28 percent of the population – smoke. About 1 million people die from smoking-related diseases each year, official statistics show.

By Shan Juan
China Daily

The fairer sex lights up

Lifestyles are indeed changing at a frenetic pace. Where cigars, hookahs and cigarettes were once regarded as symbols that spoke love-are-men-just-jealous-aof man’s machismo, women too have caught up with the trend. Blame it on the ever-changing fashion statements, work stress, women’s liberation or too much of freedom, the accepted fact is – smoking is as much a woman’s domain today.

And women are puffing away without much of a care. “So, what’s wrong? I mean if smoking is bad, it’s bad for both – men and women alike. Then why is there always an eyebrow raised when it’s about girls smoking?” reasons Jyoti Khurana, a chain-smoker who works with a BPO. So even though Jyoti admits the habit is bad, she shares, “the addiction for anyone starts almost the same way. The fact that girls are as independent and high earning, and facing the same stress as men, the reasons for taking smoking too are similar.”

Sharing her account as to what prompted her to pick the butt, Jyoti says, “It was all in fun, or so I thought. Eversince I had joined here, I used to see my colleagues, then friends go down for a smoke everyday. So while I accompanied them in their rounds of ‘smoke break’, I resisted it for quite long. Then it was some three-four months later that I thought I’ll give it a try too and look as cool as my friends. But the mistake I made was that instead of buying online cigarettes, I bought a pack of 20. And that’s just how I realised I had somewhere picked up a liking for it, and slowly an addiction. And like they say, once a smoker, always a smoker.”

So while it was peer pressure and the urge to look “cool” that pushed Jyoti into an addiction, with her lighting as many as 20 butts a day, she clarifies, “Though each smoke does make you feel light in the head and gives you that high, the habit’s got nothing to do with stress. In fact, in my case, I started in my very happy days.”

Priya Jain, a media person, who’s married and a mother of a 13-year-old, confesses her reasons for the addiction, “For me, it was stress and only stress that brought me to doing it. The family I come from, I had never seen my parents drink or smoke, so till I got married and much after that, smoking was as much a taboo for me as it is for many other Indian girls. But it was some five years back, when my daughter was eight and I joined this media house that literally required me to slog through the day that I gave in to this weakness. Smoking, then for me was more like an attempt to stay up and keep active, which unconciously became a habit.

Now, the situation is such that even if I’ve had a tiff with my husband and I’m feeling stressed, I have to take a smoke to get calm.”

But with that she also admits, “I know it’s bad and I’ve even tried taking anti-smoking tablets to quit the habit, but so far nothing has helped. The worst effect that I’m afraid it will have – is that my daughter too may take it up at some point in her life.”

But that’s just how the legacy is passed, feels sociologist Reeta Brara, who delves into the possible reasons for the growing number of women taking to smoking. “This sudden rise of smoking women is all to do with the changing lifestyles and mindsets. Reasons for their picking up the butt vary from wanting to feel at par with the men, peer pressure or peer influence, or simply to feel too evolved and cool. The former is the case with a whole lot of fresh college students taking to it, who can be seen with a drag outside colleges or pubs and clubs that permit smoking. Here the ambience is such that girls know that their smoking could be passed off as some style statement and that no one would even give them a second glance of shock or amazement. Plus, career wise, with girls doing as well as men, enjoying all the possible liberation, independence and good money, the common notion among them is – ‘If boys can, why can’t we?'”

But is that anything to do with stress, like many claim, “Nothing at all. People smoke when they’re happy, sad, celebrating just anything. If smoking was a result of stress or sadness, why would one be tempted to do it when he’s happy?” reasons Brara.

So while the accepted fact is, women are smoking, we ask a health expert of the repercussions that it could have on a female body. “We all know smoking is injurious, but for a woman, even more. The prime reason for it is the fact that woman’s lung capacity is very less compared to men. Hence, the damage to her body from smoking will be far more and faster,” warns Dr Amitav Srivastava, anesthesist and head of anti-tobacco cell, Dufferien Hospital, Lucknow.

The other adverse effects of smoking that Dr Amitav warns of are:

– Threat of lung cancer.
– Blood vessels get damaged that affects the proper circulation of blood leading to complications
– Smoking leads to the production of carcinogen or cancer producing chemicals
– Women smoking during pregnancy are responsible for causing IUCR (Intra Utrine Growth Retardation) in babies, wherein the baby’s health and growth while inside the womb gets affected drastically
– Congenital anomalies in baby after he’s born, that could vary from delivering a baby with a undeveloped liver, stomach, heart or any other body part or organ
– Problem in conceiving babies
– High chances of miscarriages since the blood supply is disturbed in smoking women
– Breast and uterus cancer are one of the most common side-effects of smoking in women
– Disrupted or irregular menstrual cycle
– Oral cancer followed by tar or tanning of teeth and darkening of lips in regular smokers. Stomach cancer is also likely
– Aging process gets faster
– High blood pressure
– Mental stress
– Major loss of appetite
– Acidity
– Lethargy

With that he also clarifies, “And whoever says smoking busts stress, they’re living in ignorance. For biologically, nicotine blocks the receptors in the body, because of which there’s a sense of relaxation for sometime. But that’s very, very temporary and the reason why one is tempted to smoke again and again is to get the same sense of relaxation, soon followed by an addiction. So it’s the one of the worst addictions one is likely to pick up and one of the most difficult to give up too,” says Dr Amitav.

So, keep your hands off the butt, guys!

Renters may lose right to smoke at home

CITYWIDE — Santa Monica landlords are cheering on a bill being considered by the California State Assembly that would allow them home smoketo restrict smoking in rentals, a measure which puts renters’ rights groups in the uncomfortable position of defending a deadly habit.

While there is no prohibition on landlords prohibiting smoking, the bill, put forward by State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-San Fernando Valley), would specifically make it clear that they have the power to do so under California law. The goal is to protect people living in close proximity from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

Landlords see it as a way to keep renters happy and make their units more attractive, said Wes Wellman, president of the Action Apartment Association in Santa Monica.

“The problem is that with existing tenants, there’s no way to hermetically seal a unit. Smoke can get through cracks, floors, ventilation and plumbing and affect an innocent third party,” Wellman said.

Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights co-chair Patricia Hoffman opposed the ban, but only for renters that already occupy units when the bill comes into effect.

If so, it could be used to oust long-time tenants from rent-controlled apartments, she said.

“I think it’s one thing to start a new contract with someone who isn’t already an existing tenant,” Hoffman said. “If you have an existing tenant in a rent control place, I don’t think smoking should be grounds for eviction.”

The habit is legal, and renters should have the right to pursue legal activities in their homes without fear of being tossed out, Hoffman said.

“I think smoking is a bad thing, I just think losing one’s housing is a terrible thing,” Hoffman said.

Attitudes in the capital have taken a dramatic swing in recent years. When Padilla first tried to pass a similar bill, it never made it out of committee, said spokeswoman Taryn Kinney.

This time, it sailed through the State Senate with a 33 to 2 vote.

Senators may have been swayed by the 35 cities and counties that have enacted similar provisions on a local level, Kinney said.

Not all felt that way.

State Sen. Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) voted against the measure, despite the fact that Temecula, where one of his district offices is located, was the first city to pass an ordinance requiring that a certain number of units in each market-rate housing project be set aside as non-smoking.

“Apartment managers already have the ability to restrict smoking,” Anderson said. “Using the heavy hand of government to solve a private, civil matter is not appropriate nor necessary.”

Although the Santa Monica City Council has seen fit to prohibit smoking in many public and private locations — commercial buildings, city buildings and common areas, to name a few — it has not tackled dwellings.

Some of the changes, like prohibiting smoking on patios, actually worsened the situation for neighbors of smokers, Wellman said.

“It exacerbated the problem by not allowing them to smoke anywhere but within the unit,” Wellman said.

Action opposed that measure, opting instead for an outright ban like the one Padilla proposed.

“This is life or death for tenants being affected by this,” Wellman said. “All we can do is support those people leading this.”

The bill won’t lead to an outright ban on smoking, Wellman predicted.

“The marketplace will respond to that just like with pets,” he said. “Some won’t rent to pets at all, and some will seize the opportunity to get a premium. The marketplace will respond and create opportunities for those that want a smoke-free environment and those that want to smoke.”

According to the bill, 86 percent of Californian adults don’t smoke. At the same time, secondhand smoke is considered a dangerous carcinogen that is responsible for an estimated 49,400 deaths nationwide each year.

If the bill passes the State Assembly, it will go to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval.

It would take effect for all leases signed after Jan. 1, 2012.

According to the CA Air Resources Board, marijuana smoke is a carcinogen. Tobacco Smoke is also a carcinogen. California Law Civil Code Section 1941 requires landlords to protect tenants from foreseeable harm. Exposure to tobacco smoke and/or marijuana smoke is a foreseeable harm. In California, 35,000 people die every year because of the act of smoking and 4,000 more die because of secondhand smoke.

What a bunch of bullies. If second hand smoke is dangerous, why not try to ban cigarettes instead of people? Oh that’s right; no one has been able to prove that it is since the EPA’s case was thrown out of court. Again, we see personal freedom is for the rich only- how much is a house in this town? Re: “estimated 49,400 deaths nationwide each year”, wasn’t it 3,000 a few years ago and now less people are smoking. Do you know that not one death has been proved that second hand smoke was the cause? Before you parrot numbers around, you really should do your research.
“I think it’s one thing to start a new contract with someone who isn’t already an existing tenant,” Hoffman said. “If you have an existing tenant in a rent control place, I don’t think smoking should be grounds for eviction.”

The habit is legal, and renters should have the right to pursue legal activities in their homes without fear of being tossed out, Hoffman said.

“I think smoking is a bad thing, I just think losing one’s housing is a terrible thing,” Hoffman said.

Attitudes in the capital have taken a dramatic swing in recent years. When Padilla first tried to pass a similar bill, it never made it out of committee, said spokeswoman Taryn Kinney.

This time, it sailed through the State Senate with a 33 to 2 vote.

Senators may have been swayed by the 35 cities and counties that have enacted similar provisions on a local level, Kinney said.

Not all felt that way.

State Sen. Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) voted against the measure, despite the fact that Temecula, where one of his district offices is located, was the first city to pass an ordinance requiring that a certain number of units in each market-rate housing project be set aside as non-smoking.

“Apartment managers already have the ability to restrict smoking,” Anderson said. “Using the heavy hand of government to solve a private, civil matter is not appropriate nor necessary.”

Although the Santa Monica City Council has seen fit to prohibit smoking in many public and private locations — commercial buildings, city buildings and common areas, to name a few — it has not tackled dwellings.

Some of the changes, like prohibiting smoking on patios, actually worsened the situation for neighbors of smokers, Wellman said.

“It exacerbated the problem by not allowing them to smoke anywhere but within the unit,” Wellman said.

Action opposed that measure, opting instead for an outright ban like the one Padilla proposed.

“This is life or death for tenants being affected by this,” Wellman said. “All we can do is support those people leading this.”

The bill won’t lead to an outright ban on smoking, Wellman predicted.

“The marketplace will respond to that just like with pets,” he said. “Some won’t rent to pets at all, and some will seize the opportunity to get a premium. The marketplace will respond and create opportunities for those that want a smoke-free environment and those that want to smoke.”

According to the bill, 86 percent of Californian adults don’t smoke. At the same time, secondhand smoke is considered a dangerous carcinogen that is responsible for an estimated 49,400 deaths nationwide each year.

If the bill passes the State Assembly, it will go to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval.

It would take effect for all leases signed after Jan. 1, 2012.

By Ashley Archibald

More smoking bans on Victoria’s beaches

Hobson’s Bay Council is planning to ban smoking on Williamstown and Altona beaches this summer.smoking on beach

Community consultations began yesterday after a unanimous vote at a council meeting this week.

Mayor Michael Raffoul says the proposed ban would also cover outdoor playgrounds.

“Cigarette butts do make up a large amount of wastage and rubbish along the beaches and playgrounds,” he said.

“So all seven councillors voted for that and we’re progressing forward with the ban.”

The Surf Coast Shire was the first Victorian council to ban smoking on beaches in Lorne, Anglesea and Torquay.

Port Phillip Council introduced the ban on their beaches last year.

Moonee Valley and Moreland City Councils already have smoke-free playgrounds.

While Monash City Council has also started the process to ban smoking in outdoor venues from October 1.

The Heart Foundation has welcomed Hobson’s Bay Council’s plans because it reflects changing community attitudes about smoking.

The foundation’s chief executive Kathy Bell says the State Government should introduce legislation to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas.

She says the majority of Victorians want outdoor places to be smoke-free.

“It’s really critical that places like playgrounds, beaches, al-fresco dining areas, places where kids and families go are smoke-free, so that families can relax,” she said.

“This is a really important way that councils can help to de-normalise smoking, get smoking out of the public eye.

“That not only protects people from second-hand smoke, but it makes it less likely that kids will take up smoking because it’s not all around them.”

By Stephanie Corsetti

BAT launches anti-plain packaging campaign

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The CEO of Australia’s largest tobacco company said the Government’s proposal of plain packaging for cigarettes will increase smoking rates.

David Crow from British American Tobacco Australia launched the industry’s anti-plain packaging campaign today, warning the proposal could lead to a price war and a rise in illegal tobacco use.

The Government and public health advocates have dismissed the claims.

Steve Cannane reports.

STEVE CANNANE, REPORTER: Big tobacco is back into advertising.

DAVID CROW, BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO: They’re going to go up on big billboards, so you can’t miss them.

STEVE CANNANE: Today the tobacco industry launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to derail the Government’s plain packaging laws, with predictions of more smoking, not less.

DAVID CROW: And so what you’ll end up is with us fighting on price, smugglers flooding the market with cheap product, which brings pricing down. Remember these sell for five bucks a pack, not 16 bucks a pack.

Cheaper pricing means more smoking, means more kids smoking.

STEVE CANNANE: But the Health Minister disagrees.

NICOLA ROXON: They’ve told us firstly that it wouldn’t be effective. Now it’s so effective that it will damage their profits so much that they’re going to slash their own profits themselves to prove this point.

It really just doesn’t make sense. The tobacco companies are trying to protect their profits, that’s their business. We’re trying to protect people’s lives.

STEVE CANNANE: And the tobacco industry may not be alone in fighting the legislation.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: The Coalition in principle supports all reasonable measures to get smoking rates down. My anxiety with this is that it might end up being counterproductive in practice.

STEVE CANNANE: The tobacco industry says that plain packaging will encourage more illegal tobacco, a market they say already accounts for 16 per cent of all tobacco sales.

STEVE CROW: Sixteen per cent comes from a report that’s in your media pack. It’s been built by Deloittes, a piece of independent research. Let me just point out that…

REPORTER: Was that funded by the tobacco industry?

DAVID CROW: Absolutely, and proudly funded, by the way.

PROFESSOR SIMON CHAPMAN, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: BAT is exaggerating extremely on this. Independent household survey, an Australian Government one, found that 0.2 per cent of Australian adults – not just smokers – used illegal product more than half the time. That’s only about 33,000 people.

STEVE CANNANE: But the tobacco industry says illegal tobacco sales have increased by 150 per cent in the last three years.

DAVID CROW: It’s driven by crime syndicates, it’s driven by the Triads, it’s driven by the underbelly of the smuggling world. These are the guys we know, Interpol knows them, Customs and Excise, the federal agencies in Australia know them, and they fight this war continually.

STEVE CANNANE: But customs authorities have released figures to Lateline that show illegal tobacco seizures have actually decreased in the last three years, from 284 tonnes in 2007 to 279 tonnes in 2010.

And from 94 million sticks in 2007 to 66 million in 2010.

If the tobacco industry’s advertising campaign doesn’t work, the next step is almost certain to be a legal challenge.

DAVID CROW: I think the issue of legal process is down to the Government removing brands and intellectual property from the packs. And obviously, if you remove something from the packs…

REPORTER: So a constitutional challenge?

DAVID CROW: I think it would be, at the end. The issue is we don’t have a bill at the moment so I can’t actually answer that question.

What we have is a view from the Government. As it forms into legislation we’ll make those judgments, and at the end of the day that will be something that happens right at the very end.

STEVE CANNANE: The Government is due to introduce the bill into Parliament in the winter session.

Steve Cannane, Lateline.

Beach smoking ban stretches west

SMOKING is set to be banned on every Melbourne beach from Altona to Elwood, after Hobsons Bay Council became the third VictorianBeach smoking ban municipality to ban beachgoers from lighting up.

The council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to introduce bans for Williamstown and Altona beaches, and all public playgrounds in the area.

The move comes as the tobacco industry warns the price of cigarettes in Australia could be halved if a federal government proposal to introduce plain packaging is successful.

The new local law will affect the thousands of people who flock to the beaches, with those caught smoking facing fines of $200. It has been welcomed by Quit Victoria, which said public bans were critical in ”de-normalising” smoking.

Hobsons Bay mayor Michael Raffoul said the council had acted because of a lack of state government laws banning smoking in outdoor areas.

He said cigarette butts made up a significant proportion of litter at beaches and playgrounds in the municipality and a ban had been welcomed by residents.

”You would be mad not supporting a ban to help shield children from the deadly habit,” he said. ”We have a moral obligation towards our children. This is the least we can do.”

It is expected the new law will be in place before summer, with the council needing to prepare a community impact statement and accept submissions before it is voted on again.

The City of Port Phillip, which stretches from Port Melbourne to Elwood introduced similar laws along its beaches last summer, while the Surf Coast Shire banned smoking in 2008 in a Victorian first.

Several other Victorian councils also have some form of outdoor smoking bans in place, but the state lags behind New South Wales, where 79 councils have some form of outdoor smoke-free policy in place, according to Quit Victoria.

A 2009 Cancer Council Victoria survey found 77 per cent of 4501 Victorians polled said smoking should not be allowed in outdoor areas where children were present, with 63 per cent saying smoking should be banned on beaches.

Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said public bans such as this were important to help stop children thinking smoking was normal by seeing adults smoke.

She said the ban reflected changing community values but the Baillieu government needed to introduce more bans in public places.

”I think this is a good first step in terms of responding to demands of their constituents,” she said.

”We’re [now] waiting for [the Baillieu government’s] plans and we’re hopeful they would proceed in this way.”

A spokeswoman for Health Minister David Davis said the government was aware of numerous smoking reduction measures undertaken by councils and was interested in looking at the results.

By Reid Sexton

Arnold Schwarzenegger Smoking Marijuana: Video

With the former Governor of California making so much news with his philandering and out-of-wedlock baby, it occurred to me that many of our readers may not have seen the classic video of Arnold Schwarzenegger – back in his bodybuilding days – smoking a joint. It includes commentary from the former Govenator himself, who admits the joint was real and that he inhaled. Share it with your friends.

Texas Lawmakers Persistent on Smoking Ban

AUSTIN – The Texas lawmakers who are proposing HB 670, which would make Texas the first southern state to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and most public places, maintain the proposal is still alive, The Texas Tribune reports.

State Rep. Myra Crownover, one of the bill’s 74 supporters, said she is hopeful she can amend the bill onto SB 1811, a broad fiscal measure that is being addressed today, by tying it to health and state licenses concerning cleanliness and food quality. She said she has recruited about 100 House lawmakers to support the amendment, and that “if rat droppings are a problem, so is benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde in the air.”

The newspaper speculated that SB 1811 “is likely to become a Christmas tree for dead or dying bills,” and one that Rep. Rob Eissler characterized as an “excellent opportunity” for enacting a smoking ban.

“A bill that would save as many lives and as much money as this one is never dead,” Ellis said. “The burden will be on the people who vote against saving lives.”

According to the bill’s fiscal note, the measure would save the state an estimated $31 million in state Medicaid costs over the next biennium. It would continue to allow smoking in nursing homes, outdoor seating areas of bars and restaurants, and tobacco-related businesses.

Opponents of the bill argue it encroaches on personal freedom and sets a dangerous precedent for banning legal activity in public places.

Three southern states — Florida, Louisiana and North Carolina — prohibit smoking in either restaurants and bars or workplaces, but not both.

Washington Senate Approves Exceptions To Smoking Ban

OLYMPIA, Washington — Washington state senators have approved a plan that would allow cigar and pipe smoking at a limited number of establishments.

Lawmakers narrowly passed the measure Tuesday afternoon, sending the bill to the House. The plan would permit up to 100 cigar lounges and 500 retail tobacco shops to allow smoking. Cigarettes would still be banned.

Businesses would have to pay annual fees of $17,500 to obtain cigar lounge endorsements and $6,000 to obtain tobacco store endorsements.

Supporters of the measure say it would allow some confined smoking for adults to enjoy in a social setting. Opponents say it violates the will of voters, who approved a strict smoking ban in 2005.

Last year, El Gaucho in Tacoma sparred with the Pierce County Health Department over the ban. Owner Paul MacKay said last year that the lounge was originally built as a smoking lounge at a cost of about $100,000.

El Gaucho ultimately accepted a permanent ban on smoking. No word yet on how an exception, if it is passed into law, would affect that deal.

UTC student finding out what’s in e-cigarettes

For $14.95, a smoker can buy 500 puffs in a single electronic cigarette.e-cigs research

A USB cable makes it electronic — just like an iPod, users can charge its lithium battery in the middle of paper writing, Amazon surfing, Facebooking.

“Smoking” includes no matches, tobacco or secondhand breath, only a nicotine mist waiting to be inhaled and a tar-free, odorless vapor.

Finally: E-cigarettes glow in the dark — red, green and blue.

Sounds clean and cool, according to University of Tennessee at Chattanooga associate chemistry professor Gretchen Potts and a student researcher, but they’re finding tobacco users’ newest product is neither clean nor cool as they investigate e-cigarettes — something the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t done thoroughly, they said.

“People don’t even know what’s in them,” said Amy Balestrino, a senior chemistry major at UTC doing the research. “They jump on the bandwagon without knowing anything.”

Devon Jay, a spokeswoman for SS Choice, an online e-cigarette retailer, said her company plainly lists ingredients and benefits — “no smoke, smoke anywhere, save money, no burns, no ashes” — on its website, which also includes smiling college students offering endorsements.

“I don’t think we encourage anyone,” Jay said by phone from Colleyville, Texas. “We’re in business to provide an alternative to someone smoking tobacco cigarettes.”

Despite a 2009 FDA sampling that found detectable levels of nitrosamines — cancer-causing compounds found in tobacco — in two brands of e-cigarettes, the agency recently announced it would not appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals decision stating that e-cigarettes “are not drugs/devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes.”

An FDA memorandum dated April 25 promises to develop a strategy to regulate this “emerging class of products” as tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which would allow the FDA to require ingredient listing, user fees and “misbranding provisions,” among other controls.

But as of now, e-cigarettes are unregulated, meaning no federal age limit.

Jay, the SS Choice spokeswoman, said the company verifies that each online buyer is 18 or older but said she’s “not familiar” with how that process works.

Jeff Ventura, an FDA spokesman, said “there’s no definitive timeline set up for regulation yet.”

“Anyone in the regulatory world knows it’s going to take a while,” he said. “There’s just not a lot of information out there about e-cigarettes one way or another.”

Smoke signals at UTC

Balestrino wants to change that, using the means at her disposal.

In lieu of a $35,000 “smoking machine” — which is what big labs normally use to test cigarettes — Potts rigged a plastic squirt bottle to simulate the inhalation of an e-cigarette.

“We have the power of the student,” Potts joked. “A smoking machine can hold up to 100 cigarettes, but I have my one student working every day, squeezing the bottle.”

When Balestrino applies pressure, the bottle “breathes in” the contents of the e-cigarette and a cotton ball absorbs them. After testing dozens of brands, she and Potts plan to investigate the cotton balls with something a bit more high tech — mass spectrometry and plasma machines — to identify ingredients.

“We’re going to extract from the cotton everything that comes out of the e-cigarette,” Potts said.

While research only began last week, early results are rolling in. Most e-cigarette companies claim their products are made of only two compounds — nicotine and propylene glycol, the liquid that hosts the addictive stimulant.

But when Balestrino tested two replacement solutions for reusable e-cigarettes, she instantly found 2-butanol, which Oxford University classifies as an irritant that “may be harmful by inhalation, ingestion or through skin absorption.”

Balestrino said she plans to publish results by July, when she’ll present her research at an undergraduate symposium at UTC.

Jay Collum, a tobacco education and control coordinator at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, said the results couldn’t come any more quickly.

“I have no knowledge of any such e-cigarette regulation here, state or city,” he said. “With these things, you get your nicotine and you get it anytime you want to.”

By Chris Carroll
ccarroll@timesfreepress.com
423-757-6610.

Cleaning cigarette smells with plants

PlantSmoking
Even after they’ve been cleaned and repainted, homes where smokers once lived can contain cigarette smells and toxins for months afterward.

Afternoon smokeGeorg E. Matt, a San Diego State psychology professor and the first to examine smokers’ residences after they left, found that “Third-hand smoke is trapped on surfaces like walls and ceilings, and in household dust and carpets left over by previous residents.”

So, how do you clean cigarette smells out of a home? It may come as a surprise but the most effective and natural way to get rid of tobacco smoke odors and pollutants is with plants. How does it work? Plants emit a water vapor, which creates a pumping action that pulls in contaminated air and converts it into food for the plant. It’s an incredible win-win situation provided by Mother Nature: The air is cleaned and the plants are fed. In addition, the humans don’t have to lift a finger to make it happen.

This can be particularly important if you have small children. Residue and particles left behind by smokers contain heavy metals, carcinogens, and even radioactive materials. The toxins in lingering cigarette smoke include toluene, formaldehyde, acetone and ammonia.

The discovery of plants as environmental cleaners
Around the time of the U.S. energy crisis in the ’70s, scientist B.C. Wolverton was studying ways the environment cleans itself naturally.

As builders created indoor environments that were sealed tight to prevent energy leakage, an occurrence dubbed the Sick Building Syndrome became prevalent, with symptoms that included burning eyes and respiratory difficulties.

The syndrome was caused by the synthetic materials and volatile organic compounds (VOC) used in the building process, and the lack of circulation or a natural cleansing process brought about by the earth’s incredible ecosystem.

Wolverton’s work with plants
Wolverton’s first success was finding that swamp plants naturally removed Agent Orange that had leaked into local waters near a NASA test center. Wolverton then turned his attention to cleaning the air. In a 1989 report, he advised, “If man is to move into closed environments, on Earth or in space, he must take along nature’s life support system.” This support system referred to plants.

In his highly-popular book, “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office,” Wolverton details which plants remove the most toxins, and the level of maintenance required for each type of plant.

Powerful air-cleaning plants
Peace LilyThe best plants for improving indoor air quality include the philodendron, spider plant, English ivy, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, bamboo palm and golden pothos. Some of the more effective plants to clear out formaldehyde include the Boston fern, dwarf date palm, bamboo palm, English ivy, weeping fig and lady palm.

Gerbera daisies and English ivy have been shown to remove benzene, another toxin in cigarette smoke, while the daisies also get rid of trichloroethylene, which is found in inks, solvents and paint. Chrysanthemums are helpful in removing carbon monoxide from the air, and add a cheerful spot of color to the decor.

Cost effective
Compared to costly manufactured air purifiers, nature’s version of cleaning cigarette smells and toxins is inexpensive, requires no electricity, and adds beauty to your home.

Most of the plants listed require minimal care, and can provide years of purifying action with just a bit of watering, leaf-dusting and pruning. Research also suggests that plants add a psychological perk to a home or office, and that individuals recovering from illness do so faster in the presence of plants.

Westford tobacco sales ban pinches neighboring towns

As Westford tobacco users prepare for July 1, the day they can no longer purchase tobacco products in pharmacies, health departments in surrounding communities are deciding how to proceed.

Westford’s Board of Health voted last week to amend its regulations governing the sale of tobacco products to prohibit their sale in any health-care institution. The town adopted the language the city of Boston put in place in December 2008. Westford is the 10th community in Massachusetts to enact the regulation.

Chelmsford and Lowell are sister communities to Westford in the Upper Merrimack Valley Public Health Coalition, a group of seven cities and towns that joined together in the wake of Sept. 11 for emergency preparedness. The health directors in both Chelmsford and Lowell said earlier this week that Westford’s action does not mean their communities will take similar action.

Because Chelmsford and Westford have worked together on tobacco-control grants, Chelmsford Health Director Richard Day said the two towns’ regulations mirror one another. Chelmsford has not amended its regulations, but Day said he expects his town’s Board of Health to discuss the issue now that Westford has moved forward.

“We clearly realize that as one town does it, we need to look at it to see if it makes any sense,” Day said. “One difficulty that has always existed with tobacco is that local towns consistently and regretfully have had to take the first step on tobacco control becausethe state never does. The state always waits to see how the wind blows in cities and towns and waits to see if there’s any flak from local regulations before it does anything statewide.”

Even though the coalition, which also includes Lowell, Tyngsboro, Dracut, Billerica and Tewksbury, exists to discuss how the communities would respond to things like a pandemic or a smallpox outbreak, Day said the group also fosters dialogue among the cities and towns on other health issues.

Frank Singleton, Lowell’s health director, said the city is partnering with Lawrence on a tobacco-control grant application with the state. If the cities receive the grant, Singleton said it’s conceivable Lowell’s Board of Health would consider amending its regulations to prohibit the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. As of now, however, Singleton said the issue has not been brought before the board.

Westford adopted regulations that define health-care institutions as hospitals, clinics, health centers, pharmacies, drugstores, and doctors’ and dentists’ offices. While most of those entities do not sell cigarettes, pharmacies and drug stores such as CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens do.

Tobacco products, according to the regulation that Westford adopted, are defined as “any substance containing tobacco leaf, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe, tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, and dipping tobacco.”

Singleton said a fundamental problem with the regulation comes from its definition of health-care facilities.

“What is a pharmacy?” he said. “Is it a standalone building? Selling tobacco, which is a legal product, in a pharmacy is not the same as a hospital or nursing home. Those are health-care facilities.”

Taking it a step further, Singleton said that the pharmacy practice has evolved over the years. “Pharmacists used to grind stuff, but now they take bottles down and count pills. Drug stores are no longer drug stores. They are convenience stores that sell drugs.”

Singleton questioned how the state can regulate the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, but not in supermarkets that have a pharmacy counter, such as select Stop and Shop locations and Walmart.

“A pharmacy is no more a health-care facility anymore than it is a sex shop because it sells condoms,” he said.

By Ed Hannan, ehannan@lowellsun.com

Cigarettes returning to NASCAR

The product that once helped propel NASCAR from a regional southern sport to National prominence is returning.
The RJ Reynolds tobacco company through its www.cigarettespub.biz/winston branding in NASCAR was once seen everywhere in the sport from the title sponsorship to the iconic red and white colors. As smoking began falling out of the popular culture however, the advertising for cigarettes changed and in 2004, RJ Reynolds tobacco left the sport and was replaced by Sprint, a telecommunications company.

Cigarettes may now be returning to the sport of NASCAR on a limited basis.

A manufacturer of electronic cigarettes, Green Smoke, will sponsor T.J. Bell in the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29th at Charlotte Motor Speedway through its Blu Cigs brand.
Green Smoke’s sponsorship of Bell will mark its first NASCAR endeavor, as well as the first NASCAR sponsorship by any organization within the electronic cigarette industry.

“One of the world’s signature televised sporting events, NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 is the ideal global platform to showcase the partnership of Green Smoke and T.J. Bell, a talented NASCAR driver who is making the move to NASCAR’s premiere division, the Sprint Cup Series,” states Steven Arnold, VP of Marketing & Customer Satisfaction for Green Smoke, an industry leader in providing an authentic, alternative smoking experience. “

The electronic cigarette industry has been controversial with the FDA citing in a report last year that no company has yet submitted any clinical trial results for the product. In a report the FDA said the devices turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. The State of California tried to ban the product unsuccessfully although the industry agreed to ensure the products weren’t marketed to minors.

“The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs.

Despite the controversy the industry is growing and has as many supporters as skeptics.

Among those supporters is Bell who will be attempting his second Sprint Cup Series start at Charlotte. He made his debut at Darlington in April starting 33rd and finishing 38th.

This is a big step forward for my career and Green Smoke® couldn’t have picked a more perfect market to promote its product,” said Bell. “I’m looking forward to a great future with Green Smoke® and a very exciting Coca-Cola 600 debut.”

Bell has raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. He’s also raced in the Toyota Atlantics Series. He has 20 top-10 finishes in ARCA competition and 13 NASCAR career top-10s in 77 starts.

The company said they will sponsor Bell’s No. 50 Toyota Camry for at least three Sprint Cup events this season.

By Greg Engle
NASCAR Examiner

Louisiana Republican Party speaks out against raising tobacco taxes

The state Republican Party launched its latest radio ad last week, featuring its new finance chairman, former U.S. Rep. Robert Livingston, taking aim at “liberal lawmakers in Baton Rouge (who) are dead set on a massive $120 million tax hike. Conservatives must stand united against tax increases — especially fiscally irresponsible tobacco taxes that threaten Louisiana’s small businesses.”

The ad comes as the House Ways & Means Committee prepares to hear House Bill 63 by Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Franklinton, which would raise the state’s cigarette tax — currently third-lowest in the country — by 70 cents a pack to $1.36.

Andrew Muhl, a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society and a chief backer of the tax, said polls show 73 percent of Louisianians approve of higher tobacco taxes. “At a time when Louisiana has some of the highest rates of cancer and other chronic diseases, our hope would be that the GOP would listen to the public on this issue, which is the right thing to do for the health of our state,” Muhl said.

Asked whether he had ever represented tobacco interests, Livingston, a top lobbyist in Washington, said “we never have and don’t intend to.” And, said Livingston, “I haven’t had a cigarette in over 40 years.”

By Times-Picayune Staff The Times-Picayune

Scottish cigarette machine ban fails

A legal challenge to a ban on tobacco vending machines in Scotland has been rejected by the Court of Session.cigarette mashine

Sinclair Collis Ltd, a firm owned by Imperial Tobacco, had argued that the legislation, passed by MSPs but not yet in force, was against the European Convention on Human Rights.

Lord Doherty rejected that and said enforcing a ban was the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament.

Imperial Tobacco said it may consider appealing the decision.

Tobacco vending machines are now likely to be outlawed from October.

The Scottish government welcomed the court’s decision and said the new law was a key part of a drive to improve health.

A spokeswoman added: “We robustly defended our proposals to ban cigarette vending machines and are pleased that the Court of Session has today ruled in our favour and that we were successful on the aspects of the case which were before the court.

“Each year in Scotland 15,000 children and young people start smoking and a child who starts smoking at 15 or younger is three times more likely to die of cancer as a result than someone who starts smoking in their mid-20s.

“Evidence shows that many young people obtain cigarettes from vending machines, which is why the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced the ban on cigarette sales from vending machines.”

Simon Evans, a spokesman for Imperial Tobacco, said: “Clearly we’re disappointed with the decision.
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Big tobacco is well known for using legal challenges to seek to delay effective public health legislation”

End Quote Shelia Duffy ASH Scotland

“Ultimately, with the appeal process, there is 21 days to make an appeal, so we are going to be looking at the judgement in detail. We will consider our options.”

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of anti-tobacco charity ASH Scotland, said: “I welcome the judgement and I am delighted that this important public health measure has been upheld, and the right of the Scottish Parliament to enact it affirmed.

“Tobacco is a uniquely dangerous and addictive consumer product which is lethal to half its long-term consumers when used as the manufacturers intend.

“It doesn’t make sense to sell it through self-service vending machines which are often poorly-supervised and can be accessed by children.”

She added: “Big tobacco is well known for using legal challenges to seek to delay effective public health legislation, both in Scotland and internationally.

“Unfortunately these cynical delaying tactics cost lives.”

The new Act is also being challenged by Imperial Tobacco over a ban on cigarette displays in shops.

The government announced in January that the display ban for “large retailers” was being delayed beyond October because of the ongoing legal dispute. Small retailers have until 2013.

MSPs backed the proposals in January last year, despite an attempt to block them by the Conservatives.