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Marlboro maker Altria Group to sell their first electronic cigarette

The tobacco company Altria Group Inc. is launching its first electronic cigarette under the MarkTen brand in Indiana, beginning in August and extending its smokeless product offerings.

images!The owner of the country’s biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, has announced details of its foray Numark subsidiary in the fast growing business Tuesday.

This is the last of the largest tobacco companies in the country at the market of electronic cigarettes in the industry-wide push to diversify beyond the traditional cigarette business, which is becoming more rigid in terms of raising taxes, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma.

Richmond, Va.-based company declined to comment on whether it plans to move beyond the initial state of the market test or whether he plans to advertise on TV – the place of the tobacco companies have long been prohibited marketing of traditional cigarettes.

During a presentation to investors on Tuesday, CEO Marty Barrington said the company “spent a lot of time studying the categories and business opportunities.”

“The category is at an early stage, and time will tell how it will develop,” said Barrington.

Electronic Cigarette battery powered devices that heat the liquid nicotine solution, creating steam that mainstream users. Devotees say e-cigarettes address both addiction and the behavioral aspects of smoking. Smokers to get their nicotine without the more than 4,000 chemicals found in cigarettes. And they get to hold something shaped like a cigarette, while puffing and exhaling something that looks like smoke.

More than 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and about half of smokers try to quit each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Markten is a disposable e-cigarette, but can be re-used, buying individual battery charging and extra set of cartridges as tobacco and menthol flavors. The company said that the electronic cigarette “Four Draw” technology is designed to give users a “more consistent work,” which is very similar to drawing traditional cigarettes.

Electronic cigarette made in China by a contract manufacturer, is expected to sell for about $ 9.50. Prices for additional ammo and recharge kit were not available. Liquid cartridge made in the USA

Last week, Reynolds American Inc., the owner of the second-largest tobacco company in the country, has announced that he is launching an updated version of its Vuse brand of electronic cigarettes in Colorado in July, with an eye to expanding nationally. Lorillard Inc., the third-largest tobacco company of the country, has acquired the electronic cigarette maker Blu Ecigs in April 2012 and has expanded to more than 80,000 retail outlets.

The market of electronic cigarettes, which includes more than 250 brands, has grown to thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide. Analysts estimate that sales could double this year to $ 1 billion. Some even said to consumption of electronic cigarettes can outperform traditional cigarette consumption in the next decade.

Tobacco company executives said that even electronic cigarettes have gone the total volume of the cigarette industry down about 600 million cigarettes, or about 1 percent, in the first quarter, with the exception of online sales – the main way for electronic cigarette purchases.

The Food and Drug Administration is planning to assert regulatory authority for electronic cigarettes in the near future. State health officials say the safety of electronic cigarettes and their effectiveness in helping people quit smoking regular, have not been fully explored.

Njoy Electronic Cigarette manufacturer Inc. said Monday it has raised $ 75 million in funding from investors including Napster founder and entrepreneur Sean Parker and Homewood fixed capital Douglas Teitelbaum be used for marketing, clinical trials, research and development, and international expansion. Musician Bruno Mars also has invested company whose Njoy King disposable electronic cigarettes are available in more than 60,000 retail stores.

Like other tobacco companies, Altria also is focusing on cigarette alternatives for future sales growth because of declining cigarette smoking is expected to continue.

The company said Tuesday it is expanding its chewy Verve, Disposable nicotine disks from 60 stores to 1,200 for Virginia in the second half of this year. He also plans to debut gum containing tobacco in Denmark this summer called Tew (pronounced “chew”) through a previously announced joint venture with a subsidiary Fertin Pharma A / S to develop smokeless nicotine products.

Altria, whose brands include the best-selling cigarettes Marlboro, Skoal smokeless tobacco and Black & Mild cigars, also on Tuesday reaffirmed its full 2013 adjusted earnings forecast of between $ 2.35 and $ 2.41 per share. The company also owns a wine business, holds a voting stake in brewer SABMiller, and has the financial department of the company.

Marlboro maker Altria 2Q profit almost triples

Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. said Tuesday that its net profit nearly tripled in the second quarter, as higher prices helped off set a flat amount of cigarettes compared to last year when its results were suppressed by a large charge.

The owner of the largest cigarette manufacturing country, Philip Morris USA, the net profit of $ 1.23 billion, or 60 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30, compared with $ 444 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier when the company also recorded expenses related to leasing transactions.
Adjusted profit was 59 cents a share, surpassing Wall Street expectations of 57 cents per share.
Its shares rose 8 cents to close at $ 35.57 on Tuesday, near their 52-week high of $ 36.05 set last Friday.

Earnings were affected by the previously announced agreement between Richmond, Va., the company and the government through taxes on leasing transactions involved its subsidiary Philip Morris Capital Corp. Altria took $ 627 million charge last year in anticipation of an agreement with the IRS and recorded a lump sum of 3 cents per share for the second quarter of this year to correct the difference between estimated and actual amount of the settlement.

Altria said the revenue, except for the excise tax, grew by about 14 percent to $ 4.6 billion in the second quarter, as higher prices were partially offset by costs associated with support for its In addition, the company saw revenues from financial services and wine business. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $ 4.48 billion.
Cigarette volumes remained unchanged at 36.2 billion cigarettes compared with last year, as increased by 24 percent in its discount brands of cigarettes compensate for the loss of their premium brands like Marlboro. Adjusted for changes in wholesale inventory levels, the company said its volumes fell by 1.5 percent, compared to an estimated overall decline in industry at a rate of 3 percent.

His best-selling Marlboro brand gained 0.3 points of market share to end up with 42.9 percent of the U.S. market.
The company introduced several new products with the brand Marlboro, often with a low promotional rate. They include a special mixture of menthol and without menthol cigarettes to try to keep the brand growing and steal smokers from their competitors.
Altria-still faces pressure in the modern economy of the less expensive brands such as Pall Mall from Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc., a Maverick, but its discount L & M cigarettes and saw the benefits.

“We are in the middle of a very anemic recovery largest decline over the past decade, and consumers are under pressure,” CEO Marty Barrington said in a conference call with investors. “The prices of most consumer goods – and this category are no exception – have been more restrained than in previous periods of economic health.”
Like other tobacco companies, Altria also is focusing on cigarette alternatives – such as cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco – for future sales growth because reduction in smoking will continue.

Volume of its smokeless tobacco brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal increased by almost 8 percent over the same period last year. For the quarter, smokeless tobacco brands were 55.2 per cent of the market, which is tiny compared with cigarettes.
Volume of his black and mild cigars grew by less than 1 percent during the period and its share in the U.S. retail market grew by 1 percentage point to 29.8 percent.
Altria has been forced to cut costs, as tax increases, smoking bans, health and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher.

After completing the $ 1.5 billion in long-term conservation programs in the past year, the company has released a plan to cut $ 400 million in “cigarette-related infrastructure costs” to the end of 2013 in anticipation of the expected decrease in volumes of cigarettes.
During the quarter, the company also said it bought two million shares worth about $ 66 million under its previously announced $ 1 billion share repurchase program. It has 312 million dollars remaining in the program and intends to complete it by the end of the year.

On Tuesday the company, which also conducts the vote shares of brewer SABMiller, restricted to the adjusted full year guidance range of $ 2.19 to $ 2.23 per share. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $ 2.21 per share.

Marlboro maker Altria 1Q profit up 4 percentage points

Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc said on Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose nearly 4 percent as price increases and cost cutting helped offset the decline in cigarettes. The owner of the nation’s largest manufacturer of cigarettes a net profit of $ 973 million, or 48 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, compared with $ 937 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier.

Adjusted profit was 49 cents a share. This is consistent with analysts’ estimates, according to a poll FactSet. Revenue, excluding excise taxes, increased about 1 percent to $ 3.99 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected revenue of $ 4.01 billion. Its shares rose 24 cents to close at $ 31.93 on Thursday. Its shares were trading near its 52-week high of $ 32.10 and traded at $ 23.20 last year. Richmond, Va.-based Altria said cigarette volumes fell 2.6 percent to 31.1 billion cigarettes compared with last year, as increased by almost 18 percent of its brands discount cigarettes compensate for the loss of their premium brands like Marlboro. His best-selling Marlboro brand gained 0.1 points of market share to end up with 42.3 percent of the U.S. market. Marlboro volumes declined 3.4 percent.

The company introduced several new products with the brand Marlboro, often with a low promotional rate. They include a special mixture of menthol and without menthol cigarettes to try to keep the brand growing and steal smokers from their competitors. Altria-still faces pressure in the modern economy of the less expensive brands such as Pall Mall from Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc., a Maverick Like other tobacco companies, Altria is focusing on cigarette alternatives – such as cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco – for future sales growth, as the decline of smoking will continue.

The volume of its smokeless tobacco brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal fell 7.5 percent compared to same period last year, which included the launch of several products Skoal. For the quarter, smokeless tobacco brands were 55.5 per cent of the market, which is tiny compared with cigarettes. The volume of his black and mild cigars grew by more than 14 percent during the period. The company also owns a wine and financial services, which saw gains during the quarter. He also holds shares of the vote brewer SABMiller.

In its last earnings conference call, CEO Michael E. Szymanczyk said he believes that the company has a large effect that the position it for growth and “enthusiastic about the prospects for the future in Altria”. Company announced last quarter that it will retire after the annual meeting of shareholders of Altria on May 17. Altria has been forced to cut expenses as tax increases, smoking bans, health and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher. After the $ 1.5 billion in long-term conservation programs in the past year The Company has released a plan to cut $ 400 million in “cigarette-related infrastructure costs” to the end of 2013 in anticipation of the expected decrease in volumes of cigarettes.

The company said its marketing, administration and research costs have decreased by about 12 percent to $ 483 million and its gross profit rose 2.5 percent to 2.2 billion dollars. Altria also reaffirmed its full year adjusted earnings guidance of between $ 2.17 and $ 2.23 per share. During the quarter, the company also said it repurchased 9900000 shares worth about $ 294 million under its previously announced $ 1 billion share repurchase program. It has $ 378 million remaining in the program and intends to complete it by the end of the year. Altria is the last of the major U.S. tobacco companies to submit in the first quarter results.

On Wednesday, № 3 Lorillard Inc, a manufacturer and Maverick Newport cigarettes, said its net profit fell 10 percent in the first quarter, higher prices could not offset about 3 per cent reduction in the number of cigarettes sold. Reynolds American, the second-largest tobacco company in the country and the, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes, said Tuesday its first-quarter profit fell 29 percent as restructuring costs and a 5-percent reduction in the number of cigarettes sold in more than offset the impact of rising costs and increasing productivity.

Marlboro vs launch of Crown cigarettes in the U.S.

Convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard has launched a private label cigarette in the U.S. to offset the impact of low-margin producers forced him to Matlboro online. Quebec Company said it had trouble keeping his crown brand on store shelves since it was introduced about five weeks ago.

“We are very, very pleased with the market share we have done so far in such a short period,” CEO Alain Bouchard said Tuesday during a conference call. “This exceeded our target, after five weeks, so it’s very, very interesting.” The chain beat analysts’ forecasts in third quarter net profit rose nearly 25 percent of the U.S. $ 86.8 million. The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, said it earned 48 cents per share for the period ended January 29. This compared with 37 cents a year earlier, or 69.6 million U.S. dollars.

Couche-Tard shares hit a new high before closing at 31.91 Canadian dollars, up 49 cents, in trading Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The increase in profit in the fourth quarter was due to the acquisition, higher sales and lower financing costs, partly offset by increased amortization expenses and acquisition costs. Couche-Tard (TSX: ATD.B) would earn an average of 46 cents per share on $ 6.1 billion revenue in the third quarter of this fiscal year, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The same store sales increased 3.4 percent in the U.S. and 3.1 per cent in Canada. But sales in the U.S. rose by 6.7 percent, if other than tobacco products. Phillip Morris has a policy that forced to reduce retail margins in order to reduce consumer prices. It was not immediately clear how cigarette Couche-Tard brand crowns differ in price and profit from the popular brand name. “We have a shortage of stock in a couple of weeks after launch, so we are very happy,” Bouchard told analysts.

Bouchard said Couche-Tard took advantage of its focus on increasing traffic through the store promotions and latest offers better nutrition. Total revenues increased to $ 6.6 billion $ 5.5 billion a year earlier. “Looking at the results of recent quarters, I think we can say that we are on the right track taking into account the newly acquired stores, (and) the programs that we are currently testing and implementation.”

The same store motor fuel volume increased by 1.1 percent in the U.S., the total grew by 14 percent. Canadian fuel volume was 4.6 per cent, but at the same store decreased three percent. Motor fuel gross profit increased by 13 per cent to 14.84 cents a gallon (3.79 liters) in the U.S. Fields in Canada fell by 8.3 percent to 5.19 Canadian cents per liter. Bouchard said Couche-Tard continues to look at possible acquisitions in North America and Europe, though the prices asked in the U.S. are higher than it is willing to pay.

Canada’s largest chain store is the second largest in North America. Its network consists of more than 5,800 stores, of which 4225 included the issuance of motor fuel in 42 states, the District of Columbia and all Canadian provinces. The company employs more than 53,000 people in two countries. During the quarter, it signed a new agreement for a total 20 companies running shops. Since the beginning of the fiscal year, it acquired 227 companies running stores, 243 stores operate independent operators and 80 motor fuel agreements.Couche-Tard continues to fight efforts by the union of its stores. Earlier this month, he put the place in Saint-Liboire for sale after union workers received accreditation.

The company’s board of directors nominated by Nathalie Bourque, Vice President, Public Affairs and Global Communications at CAE Inc (TSX: CAE).

Welcome to Marlboro Country

Philip Morris International’s decision to slash the price of its best-selling Marlboro brand by 40 percent in Senegal has left health officials and activists fuming and sparked calls to toughen tobacco laws.

PMI, when contacted by AFP, refused to explain the shock decision to cut the prices of Marlboro — the world’s top-selling cigarette sold in some 180 countries — to 400 CFA francs (61 euro cents, 79 US cents) from 650 CFA francs.

The equivalent Marlboro pack of 20s in France is 5.70 euros ($7.40). The cost of cigarettes varies widely between US states, but typically, a Marlboro pack goes for about $6, according to, a website that compares tobacco prices worldwide.

“This drop is unacceptable. Senegal is the only country in the world where one can cut the price of cigarettes and nothing ever happens,” said oncologist Abdou Aziz Kasse, who also heads the Senegalese League Against Tobacco (Listab).

The Listab, which groups some 15 anti-smoking bodies, has said it will ask the government to force the tobacco giant to reverse the decision and has not ruled out a swoop on the firm’s offices in a chic northern Dakar quarter.

“Tobacco companies are losing the fight in the West” where anti-smoking laws are gaining teeth but the converse is true of Africa, Kasse said.

The outrage has spilled over to other countries, including the United States where Philip Morris is headquartered.

The US chapter of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement: “Senegal suffers from alarming smoking rates, with nearly one out of every three adults and an estimated 20 percent of youth already smoking.”

Its president Matthew L. Myers added: “It is imperative that Senegal’s government take action to counter PMI’s price ploy by increasing the taxes on tobacco products.

“Higher taxes are particularly effective in reducing tobacco use among vulnerable populations, such as youth and low-income smokers. Higher cigarette prices are scientifically proven to prevent young people from starting to smoke and encourage smokers to quit,” Myers said.

Ironically, Marlboro was launched in 1924 as a woman’s cigarette, based on the slogan “Mild As May”. The filter had a printed red band around it to hide lipstick stains.

It soon morphed into a macho cigarette with the iconic Marlboro man — a rugged cowboy — finding place in billboards, magazines and television screens across the world and also led to the Marlboro Country advertisement campaigns.

Senegal’s Health Minister Modou Fada Diagne has denounced the decision as “catastrophic for the health of the people”.

The National Federation of Parents of Senegalese Students (Fenaps) will “oppose it forcefully”, its chief Bakary Badiane said.

Badiane, who is vice-president of a continental body of parents of school pupils, said he could “take the fight to an African level to avoid the dangers that threaten children.”

Smoking can lead to lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.

Cigarette prices were freed from state controls in 1994 in Senegal. A source in the commerce ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, said PMI’s decision was aimed “at paying lower taxes”.

Under the west African nation’s tax regime, high-end cigarettes such as Marlboro attract 45 percent tax while cheaper smokes are taxed only 20 percent.

According to the body, Senegal’s tobacco market was worth 53.5 billion CFA francs (nearly 81.6 million euros) in 2004 and earned the sector more than 48 million euros in profits.

Senegal ratified the World Health Organisation’s anti-smoking treaty, which came into force in 2005.

It requires countries that ratify it to restrict tobacco advertising and sponsorship, put tougher health warnings on cigarettes and limit use of language like “low tar” and “light”.

The Listab meanwhile wants taxes on tobacco products increased by 50 percent.

“We will speed up the process of adopting the law,” against smoking, said health minister Diagne, adding that he aimed to increase public health funds with higher taxes.

By Malick Rokhy

How to Redeem Marlboro Miles

Marlboro cigarettes are one of the most widely recognizable tobacco products worldwide. First marketed in the 1920s as a cigarette for women, the brand has expanded in popularity, encompassing more than 10 unique varieties. In the early 1990s, Marlboro introduced the Marlboro Miles program, where people collect “miles” from each package, exchanging them for a selection of products from its catalog. Marlboro phased out the Marlboro Miles program in 2006, making it very difficult to redeem any remaining Miles.

How to Redeem Marlboro Miles

1.Contact Marlboro directly to see if they will allow you to redeem any remaining miles you might have. Some customers have had success speaking directly with Marlboro’s parent company, Philip Morris, although you experience long wait times to reach a customer service representative. When calling, ask for the promotions department for best results.
2.Explain to the representative that you are interested in the Marlboro Miles promotion and tell them how many miles you have. Understand that the company discontinued the promotion in 2006 due to government regulations against tobacco company giveaways, and your contact person will most likely explain this to you. Inform the person that you spent good money on the product and feel slighted that you are not allowed to redeem your miles.
3.Ask the representative if there are any other promotions available for you to consider since the cancellation of the miles program. Let him know you have been a loyal customer and want to continue to use their products, but would like to be compensated for the time and effort you have already invested.
4.Speak with a supervisor if you do not have any luck with the customer service representative. Supervisors have more pull within the company and will often be able to offer you something. Remain as calm and level-headed as possible.
5.Follow instructions given to you by the company. You may need to provide your contact information to prove that you are over 18 years and legal to receive promotional items. Have necessary identification ready so that you can provide any requested information as soon as possible to avoid delays in your request.
6.Contact an attorney if you still feel you have not been treated properly. A number of class action lawsuits have been filed against the company because of the Marlboro Miles program. Many people already have received compensation for their troubles. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on your options if you are truly dissatisfied with the results of your phone call.

By Ellie Anna

Philip Morris Misled Smokers on Light Cigarettes

Altria Group Inc. (MO)’s Philip Morris unit deceived Missouri consumers by marketing Marlboro Gold as safer than regular cigarettes, marlboro cigarettesa lawyer told a St. Louis jury.

“Philip Morris made two promises — to provide lower tar and nicotine to smokers,” Stephen Swedlow, who represents Missouri smokers suing the company, said today in closing arguments in the state-court trial. “They did not deliver on this.”

In the lawsuit, a class action, or group case, filed in 2000 on behalf of all buyers of Marlboro Lights in Missouri, the smokers claim Philip Morris misrepresented that the brand was lower in tar and nicotine, a violation of state merchandising law. The cigarettes are no safer than others, the consumers said in court papers.

The smokers, who are seeking about $700 million plus punitive damages, don’t claim any personal injuries. The class, which was certified in 2005, includes as many as 400,000 current and former Marlboro Lights smokers. The trial began with opening statements last month.

Swedlow asked the jury to award $696 million. “I know that is a big number, but this comes to about 99 cents a pack,” he said.

The jury of three men and nine women began deliberations this afternoon.

“There was no deception on our part,” Beth Wilkinson, a Philip Morris attorney, said in her closing argument.
‘Did Not Prove’

“Did they prove that Marlboro Lights didn’t deliver less tar and nicotine? Did they prove that Marlboro Lights withheld information?” she asked. “They did not prove their case.”

Philip Morris didn’t tout Marlboro Lights as safer and its packages contain the same warnings as other cigarettes, Wilkinson said. “What other product in the United States has a warning that you’re taking your life in your own hands if you smoke these?”

Missouri smokers sustained no damages, George Lombardi, another Philip Morris attorney, said in his closing today.

“Nobody in this class paid a penny more for Marlboro Lights than Marlboro Reds or any other cigarette,” he told the jury. “In the real world, there was no ascertainable loss.”

The smokers claim that Philip Morris “willfully deceived consumers regarding the nature and effect of Marlboro Lights,” according to the complaint.
‘Fraudulently Represented’

Philip Morris owes damages because the company “fraudulently represented” that there was less tar and nicotine in Marlboro Lights, Swedlow, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said today. The smokers didn’t get what they were promised and this made their purchases worth less than what they paid, he said.

Philip Morris convinced the plaintiffs that it was better for their health to smoke Marlboro Lights than other cigarettes, Swedlow said. “They delivered the same tar and nicotine as Marlboro Reds.”

The class covers all purchasers of Marlboro Lights in Missouri from 1995 through 2003. Philip Morris sold $1.9 billion Marlboro Lights to the class members, Swedlow said today.
Second Trial

This is the second lawsuit to go to trial this year in Missouri against the tobacco industry over marketing practices. Missouri hospitals lost a jury verdict in April in their claim that Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co. and other cigarette makers manipulated the nicotine content in cigarettes and misrepresented the health effects of smoking.

The hospitals, which were seeking more than $455 million in damages, claimed the industry’s actions boosted spending for unreimbursed and uncompensated tobacco-related health care.

The tobacco companies denied any responsibility for patient-care costs at the hospitals or any financial losses by the hospitals. A state-court jury in St. Louis sided with the cigarette makers.

The case is Larsen v. Philip Morris Cos., 002-00406-02, Circuit Court, City of St. Louis, Missouri.

By Margaret Cronin Fisk and Joe Whittington

Marlboro Leadership Price

RICHMOND, Va. — The Marlboro Leadership Price (MLP) option, which has been the topic of much discussion in tobacco retailing, has been meeting Altria Group Inc.’s expectations, Mike Szymanczyk, chairman and CEO of the company said in the company’s second-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

Retailers participating in MLP forgo part of their typical markup in exchange for incentives. And Szymanczyk said MLP is an evolution of a program approach the company has had for more than a decade. “So what happens when we make evolutionary changes in these programs is we always have a group of customers that jump on them immediately, and then we have other customers who don’t see that program as a strategic fit for their business. And then we have customers who watch what happens in the marketplace, and come on to the program over time.”

While he declined to discuss what percentage of Marlboro’s volume is part of the program, he said, “I would say in this particular case, we’ve had broad acceptance and participation in this program and that’s occurred pretty rapidly.”

He added, “We evolve these programs; we’ll evolve this one as time goes on. But so far, it’s pretty much in line with what we would have expected it to do, and it’s pretty consistent with the way these programs have functioned in the past.”

As for revenue per pack for the quarter, Szymanczyk said that relative to the cost side of the business, MLP really didn’t have an impact. “So it’s transitioned from one program to another. And when you look at our total value spend, as a percentage of our total revenue, that’s remained pretty flat as well both for the quarters relative to the previous year.”

“So I can’t tell you that that carves out a significant impact,” he said. “More the impact is really in how retailers have chosen to compete in the marketplace.”

Nik Modi of UBS wrote: “As expected, Marlboro gained share sequentially (likely due to benefits from the MLP program), but lost share year over year (Marlboro share was up over 1 point a year ago).”

And Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo wrote: “Despite PM USA’s Marlboro Leadership Price (MLP) program and line extensions that were in place during Q2, Marlboro retail share declined slightly on a [year-over-year] bases as we expected; however, on a sequential basis, Marlboro’s 2Q retail share increased slightly (up 0.4 points).”

Other highlights of the earnings call:

  • Cigarettes. Marlboro’s sequential retail share growth of 0.4 points brought it to 42.6%. “Marlboro’s performance was driven in part by growth in Marlboro Menthol and the continued success of Special Blend, which launched two new packings last quarter,” Szymanczyk said.
  • Smokeless. Copenhagen increased its retail share 1.1 percentage points vs. the prior year, and .7 sequentially. Skoal gained sequential retail share for the second consecutive quarter as it benefited from first-quarter 2011 introduction of Skoal X-tra and Snus.
    “Copenhagen remains on a nice growth trend. And I think while it’s early on Skoal, the signs are right,” Szymanczyk, said, adding that there is still some remodeling to do on that franchise. “It has a lot of SKUs and so as we adjust the franchise, we’re also pruning some of that, so we’ll continue to have some effect from that kind of activity and we’re also migrating share a bit from the discount portfolio that had been built up in USSTC before we acquired it.”
    As for the “snus phenomena,” he said, “I tend to see more interaction relative to total pouch segment of the total smokeless business, which would include snus and MST pouches as time goes on–more so than seeing snus as kind of a separate business relative to the MST pouches business, which is larger.”
  • Cigars. Black & Mild’s retail share grew .9 of a share point vs. last year. Szymanczyk said John Middleton Co. has been investing in promotional resources for Black & Mild and launching new products. Middleton has also entered into a contract manufacturing arrangement to source a portion of its cigars outside of the United States.

Ferrari reverts to its old name

ferrari logo

As the Maranello outfit prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its first world championship win, it has reverted to its old name, Scuderia Ferrari.

July 14 marks sixty years to the day since Argentine racer Froilan Gonzalez took victory at Silverstone, thereby scoring the first of Ferrari’s 215 victories in the Formula One World Championship.

As the team prepares to celebrate the historic occasion, sharp-eyed fans at Silverstone may have noticed that while the cars livery remains unchanged, the pit signage and even the team’s name in the official entry list no longer reads Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro but simply Scuderia Ferrari, the legendary stable formed by Enzo Ferrari in 1940 – though the first official Ferrari didn’t appear until 1946.

Explaining the decision, Ferrari communications manager Luca Colajanni admitted to Pitpass that the name change is more about recent criticism by anti-tobacco campaign groups regarding the continued relationship with ( manufacturer) Philip Morris.

Philip Morris and Ferrari have responded to recent concerns regarding the official Ferrari team name and have decided, effective immediately and worldwide, that "Marlboro" will no longer be a part of the team name," he said. "Whilst we do not agree with the concerns raised, our decision has been taken in line with our history of responsiveness on similar issues and to avoid what would likely be an unnecessary and unproductive debate.

Ferrari extends Philip Morris deal to 2015

MARANELLO, Italy — Ferrari’s Formula One team has extended its longtime sponsorship deal with Philip Morris International through the Ferrariend of 2015.

A tobacco sponsorship ban in F1 that began six years ago has prevented Ferrari from displaying the Marlboro brand on its cars. Last year the team stopped using a bar-code design that hinted at the Marlboro brand.

However, the team still calls itself “Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.”

The previous deal was due to expire at the end of this year.

Altria profit Rises on higher prices for Marlboro cigarettes

Altria Group Inc., the largest U.S. tobacco company, said fourth-quarter profit increased 27 percent, helped by higher prices for marlboro packMarlboro cigarettes and snuff sales.

Net income rose to $919 million, or 44 cents a share, from $725 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier, the Richmond, Virginia-based maker of Copenhagen snuff said today. That matched the average of eight estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Altria raised prices for cigarettes twice in the past year, countering a 7 percent decline in shipments in the quarter. Altria, which became the largest smokeless tobacco company in 2009 with Chief Executive Officer Michael Szymanczyk’s acquisition of UST Inc., also benefited from increasing demand for snuff.

The company said adjusted profit for 2011 will rise to $2.01 to $2.07 a share. Analysts projected $2.03, the average of 11 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Marlboro Cigarette, the top-selling U.S. cigarette, increased its retail market share by 0.6 percentage point to 42.3 percent, helped by the introduction of a new variety, Skyline Menthol, in the quarter. The share of all cigarette brands slipped 0.2 percentage point to 49.2 percent. The company increased prices by 8 cents a pack on Dec. 6 and by the same amount on May 10.

Altria fell 20 cents to $24.07 at 10:53 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Before today, the stock had declined 1.4 percent this year, after advancing 25 percent in 2010.

By Chris Burritt,

Godfrey Phillips to launch new Marlboro variants

Godfrey Phillips India (GPI), the second largest cigarette maker, plans to launch Matlboro online variants and manufacture the cigarette

new marlboro cigarette

Marlboro sells for Rs 100 a pack and competes with Classic, Benson and Hedges.

locally, as it seeks to boost market share in the Rs 19,000-crore industry, KK Modi told Financial Chronicle here on Thursday.

“Only the rolling of Marlboro cigarettes is done here. As we bring new variants, we will be able to find equivalent raw materials for local manufacturing,” said KK Modi, chairman of KK Modi Group, which owns 46 per cent stake in GPI. He didn’t give a timeframe for introduction of the locally made Marlboro.

The firm is boosting the Marlboro brand portfolio after US-based tobacco giant Philip Morris handed over the brand’s distribution to GPI in mid-2009.

GPI has already started testing two Marlboro variants — clove mix and a cheaper, smaller sized Marlboro regular cigarette — in some parts of the country.

Marlboro started selling in India in 2003, but Philip Morris bypassed GPI and struck an agreement with a local distributor, Barakat Foods & Tobacco, for the brand’s distribution, as it did not want the brand to be given to a company not controlled by it. However, the agreement ended in 2009. Philip Morris owns 25 per cent in GPI. The joint venture company GPI was set up by Philip Morris and KK Modi in 1979.

Marlboro, available in lights and regular tastes, sells for Rs 100 a pack and competes with Classic from ITC and Benson and Hedges. ITC holds over 60 per cent share of the cigarette market.

GPI also sells Pan Vilas tobacco masala and tea brand Tea City apart from making cigarette brands Four Square, Red & White and I-Gen. “We are looking to diversify into more products. We look to launch two to three new brands every year,” Modi said.

GPI is likely to launch cigarette brands from the Philip Morris stable including the likes,, Chesterfield and Bond Street.

GPI has two manufacturing units in Mumbai and Ghaziabad and is looking to soon open a third facility in Thane, near Mumbai.

“We are present in only 40 per cent of the country with a market share of 30 per cent, but this will increase gradually. Technology is growing in milder products and the aim is to compete with the best in the world,” Modi said. Speaking about impact on cigarette demand following the recent ban on smoking in public places, Modi said, “Cigarette market growth has stabilised with the rise in population.”

By Saahil Anant, New Delhi

Ferrari looks set to renew Marlboro sponsorship

Marlboro is very close to extending their sponsorship deal with Scuderia Ferrari until 2014, according to Autosport.Ferrari and Marlboro sponsorship

Philip Morris, the largest quoted tobacco company by global market share, and owner of Marlboro cigarettes, wants to stay in Formula 1 as main sponsor of Ferrari F1 team for at least four years, despite tobacco advertising is forbidden in the Great Circus. The sponsorship deal with Scuderia Ferrari expires at the end of the season, but a spokesman of the company confirmed that the deal is on the verge of being extended.

“We see no obstacles in the way of extension. Our relationship with Ferrari is a real partnership built over a period of over 20 years of constant, mutual support,” said a Philip Morris spokesman for Autosport.

“All conditions (for extension) have been met,” said a Ferrari F1 Team spokesman whenasked about the sponsorship deal with Marlboro, adding that the final details of the new deal have been set and the deal will be sealed shortly.

The new sponsorship deal might be confirmed the earliest on January 28, when Ferrari F1 team will launch their new F1 car for the 2011 season.

Tobacco advertising is forbidden in Formula 1 and in numerous European countries, but Marlboro moved forward as Ferrari partners. Last year, the two parties were in the media spotlight with a scandal, after several organizations accused Ferrari that the Scuderia logo symbolizes the bar codes of Marlboro brand. Later, Scuderia Ferrari presented a new logo for their F1 Team, which will be used starting this season.

Altria’s future largely rests on Marlboro cigarettes

Question: I’m concerned about my shares of Altria Group Inc. What is the latest outlook?marlboro cigarettes

Answer: It is no secret that the U.S. cigarette industry is in a long-term decline because of the health risks of smoking.

Its sales could be hurt by a Food and Drug Administration mandate for more-graphic health warnings on cigarette packs that takes effect in October 2012. Potential litigation and increased taxation could cut into earnings.

But Altria, which last year earned $3.2 billion on revenue of $23.6 billion, remains a powerful firm that appeals to many investors because of its commanding industry position and regular dividend as well as the unlikelihood that any new tobacco rivals will emerge.

The company dominates the U.S. tobacco business, with 50% of the market. It is No. 1 in the U.S. in sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and is No. 2 in cigars.

Altria’s future depends in large part on its Marlboro cigarettes. The world-famous brand accounts for more than two-thirds of the firm’s operating profit, but in recent years some younger smokers have been attracted to competitors’ products.

The company’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA; U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., which makes the Skoal and Copenhagen brands; and John Middleton Co., which makes cigars and pipe tobacco. It also owns 27% of SAB Miller, the world’s second-largest brewer.

Shares of Altria have gained 27% year to date. Its third-quarter earnings rose 28% from a year earlier, boosted by higher cigarette prices and increased sales of smokeless tobacco.

Analysts on average expect Altria’s earnings for the full year to be up 9% from 2009, followed by a 6% gain next year, according to Thomson Reuters. That compares with increases of 14% and 18% projected for the overall tobacco industry.

Wall Street analyst ratings on Altria shares consist of two “strong buys,” two “buys” and eight “holds.”

Why did the bottom fall out of Janus Forty’s shares?

Answer: This mutual fund, which invests in large-capitalization “growth” stocks, has encountered more than its share of problems in recent years, with a poor performance two years ago overshadowing a rebound last year.

The $6.4-billion fund has returned 6.22% in the last 12 months, putting it at the bottom of its category. Its three-year annualized decline of 5.3% trailed four-fifths of its peers. But the fund’s five-year and 10-year returns put it in the top 15% of its category.

“I still recommend Janus Forty as a core holding and see reason for shareholders to stick with it,” said Kathryn Young, mutual fund analyst with Morningstar Inc., who attributes the portfolio’s below-par returns to a focus on “giant-cap stocks.”

Financial services and the tech hardware sector each represent about one-fifth of Janus Forty’s holdings.

The fund requires a $2,500 minimum initial investment and has an annual expense ratio of 1.2%. There is no sales charge on purchases of fund shares.

Andrew Leckey answers questions only through the column. E-mail him at

Best Cigarette Brands in USA

It is common for you to see people who smoke every day. They say it’s a habit and others say that they smoke to kill time. But others think of smoking as a bad habit. They say that smoking needs to be stopped and it will only kill lives. It causes different kind of diseases and health impairments. From skin disease like psoriases, early tooth decay, emphysema, lung cancer and even heart diseases. That is what they say.

But statistically speaking, smoking can give a lot of advantages compared to those who do not smoke. Different health organization, even the best cigarettes brandsWorld Health Organization, conducted separate studies but failed to justify that smoking has a lot of disadvantages to the users. Only to find out that smoking can help prevent different diseases and generate a larger health threat if smoking is ceased. It helps better information transfer from the brain to the body; it also helps motor response creating a better performance and even protects you from gingival inflammation. Studies conducted that those who quit smoking, a large percentage have acquired different diseases compared to those who continue smoking as their habit. It can prevent Ulcerative colitis, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension and more. So while you are at it, what are the best quality of cigarettes there is in USA.

Marlboro – (from the name of Marlborough) Marlboro is the largest selling cigarette brand in the world. A brand created by Philip Morris USA and is transferred and scattered throughout different countries. There are different flavors you can choose. Marlboro red for the original flavor, Mediums for a lesser concentration, Lights for an even lighter one, Ultra lights for the lightest one, Smooth for a different blend and Menthol for a cigarette that has a cool taste.

Nat Sherman– A luxurious brand of cigarette. It was one of the most famous cigarettes in the United States. Nat Sherman is also selling pipe tobaccos and cigars. Available in Classics, Naturals, New York cut, Black, Gold, Menthol and Lights.

Natural American Spirit– A brand of cigarette manufactured by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company located in the United States. American Spirit is available in different types according to its color. Black, Blue, Celadon, Cyan, Gray, Gold, Maroon, Orange, Yellow, Tan and dark Tan are the colors of cigarette you may choose and its blend and taste may vary from color to color.

Winston – Winston once to be the number one selling cigarette. It is manufactured by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. Winston is But Winston still has its old great taste. Winston Classics, Blue, Silver, White and Slim versions are the available types of Winston.

Camel – Another brand that was created by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company was Camel Cigarette. They were created and blended with a milder taste than the other Brands created by the company. The Camel cigarette contains Turkish and Virginia tobacco.
There are a lot more cigarettes in the USA. The taste would depend on the user and may have to try each if they really want to choose what is/are the best cigarette for them. It is up to them to decide.

About the author:

Are you a chain smoker and don’t know how to stop smoking pot? Or would you like to know more details about gluten allergy? Just check the other articles written by the above author by visiting the websites.

Russell Crowe Used to Smoke 40 Cigarettes a Day!

RUSSELL Crowe says he decided to stop smoking when he realized he was polishing off 40 cigarettes a day!RUSSELL Crowel

The actor admits he was in denial about how much he puffed but he has now seen how much his bad habit had been affecting his health.

“I’ve been smoking for 36 years,” he says.

“I was like anyone else who lied about how much I smoked. I smoked 40 a day, but on a day when I was up early and still up at midnight, it was even more. My body told me to stop.”

Crowe recently revealed he prefers hanging out with his wife and kids than making movies.

“I’m just an average Dad who worries about spending enough time at home versus working,” he said.

“I like to step back and just spend time with the family. We have very normal days where it’s just about the kids and what they want to do. We go to a park or toss a ball around. There is nothing better.”

Charlie Sheen Plea Agreement Faces Smoking Hurdle

It seems that troubled actor Charlie Sheen’s plea agreement may fail to materialize because the actor is unwilling to adhere to the Charlie Sheenterm deal, that would prohibit him from smoking while performing useful public service at Theatre Aspen.

The Pitkin County jail’s rules for the useful public service program consider it a major violation to be in “possession of smoking products, cigarette lighters and matches.” A source close to the negotiations said that Sheen and his legal team had expressed their willingness to accept the condition when they met with Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin before a 4 p.m. hearing before District Judge James Boyd. The actor is a chain smoker.

“The whole thing hinged on his ability to smoke,” said a source who wished to remain anonymous. It was expected Sheen and Pitkin County District Attorney’s office would agreement before Boyd today but when the attorneys arrived at the courtroom at 5:30 p.m, Mordkin requested for some more time from the judge, saying it was necessary for negotiations. “We need more time than is available to us to [finalize] some of the finer points,” he said.

He asked the judge to postpone the trial date and a hearing on various motions in order to give some more time to both sides to reach a final agreement. Neither Mordkin nor Sheen’s attorney Richard Cummins specified to the judge why the deal was not finalized. “It hit a snag,” said Mordkin, after the hearing. The next hearing was scheduled for July 12 by Boyd.

Cigarette packs get colorful for ‘light’ label ban

RICHMOND, Va. — Goodbye, Marlboro Lights. Hello, Colorful cigarettes

“Light” cigarettes are going up in smoke by the end of June, but their names and packaging are getting a colorful makeover.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says cigarette packs no longer can feature names such as “light,” “mild,” “medium” or “low,” which many smokers wrongly think are less harmful than “full-flavor” cigarettes.

Cigarette makers are replacing those words with colors such as gold, silver, blue and orange on brands that make up more than half of the smokes sold across the country.

Anti-tobacco advocates say the colors are just as bad as the words, but tobacco companies argue they have a right to let smokers know which products are which.

Companies insist the words tell smokers about the taste, feel and blend of a cigarette, not health risks. The cigarettes usually feature different filters and milder-flavored blends.

Long years of advertising, however, emphasized measurements of lower tar and nicotine in “light” cigarettes, even though those were measured with smoking machines that don’t mirror how real smokers puff. For example, smokers will inhale more deeply or smoke more cigarettes if they’re not getting the amount of nicotine they want.

Studies show that about 90 percent of smokers and nonsmokers believe that cigarettes described as “light” or have certain colors on the packages are less harmful even though “all commercial cigarettes are equally lethal,” said David Hammond, a health behavior researcher at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Colors shape perceptions of risks on all products, Hammond said. For example, mayonnaise and soda usually use lighter colors on their packaging to distinguish between diet, light and regular products.

He called the removal of those few words on cigarette packs “necessary but not sufficient measures” to improve public health or reduce false perceptions.

“This is essentially mopping up the worst excesses of what the courts in the U.S. have judged to be deceptive advertising,” he said. “Tobacco companies are going to need words to distinguish their brands; it’s just a question of identifying what descriptors or words lead to false beliefs.”

He suggested the FDA take the ban even further and restrict both color and words such as “smooth” and “slim.”

Other countries are considering going even further. The Australian government proposed legislation last month that would make manufacturers sell cigarettes in plain, standard packaging, without colors and logos. More than 40 countries already have laws prohibiting terms similar to what the FDA is banning.

The idea of further packaging restrictions has the industry gasping for breath.

“Absent this information, massive confusion in the marketplace would result,” James E. Swauger, vice president of regulatory oversight for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the nation’s second-biggest cigarette company, wrote in a letter to the FDA.

Swauger warned that, if the FDA were to go as far as banning colors, consumers wouldn’t be able to distinguish between brands, and manufacturers could be limited to one type of cigarette per brand because they’d have no other way to distinguish their products.

The company, owned by Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc., made slight changes to some of its brands’ packs, but for some, it was simply removing the words like “light” on already colorful packages.

The nation’s largest cigarette company, Philip Morris USA, made more than 150 packaging changes to comply. It also has included inserts in packs and displays at retail locations telling customers to “In the Future, Ask For…” the new name or color of their brand.

For example, the company is replacing its Marlboro Light cigarettes with Marlboro Gold Pack; its Marlboro Menthol Milds will be known as Marlboro Menthol Blue Pack. Philip Morris USA is owned by Altria Group Inc., based in Richmond, Va.

While customers may already see some of the new packaging in stores, calling their smokes by their old names may be a harder habit to break than smoking itself.

“I’ll ask for Newport Light 100s, and I’ll let them decipher it,” said 52-year-old Joe McKenna, a teacher and longtime smoker from Pearl River, N.Y., whose brand made by Lorillard Inc. is now known as Newport Menthol Gold. “It’s just kind of ridiculous in the sense that you know they’re harmful for you.”

Philip Morris profit up, sets $12 billion buyback

SAN FRANCISCO, – Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) posted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday and announced a new $12 billion share repurchase program, sending its shares up more than 4 percent.

The company, which sells Matlboro online and other brands outside the United States, said selective price increases helped it offset tough economic conditions and high unemployment rates that prompted some smokers to trade down to lower-priced brands.

“The fragility of the economic recovery, particularly with regard to employment levels and currency volatility, naturally warrants a cautious outlook for 2010,” CEO Louis Camilleri said in a statement.

“However, we enjoy solid momentum and remain confident that we will again post strong financial results this year.”

Philip Morris, the world’s largest non-state-owned tobacco company, said it intends to buy back $12 billion in stock over the next three years, starting in May. It expects to repurchase $4 billion worth of shares this year.

Profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $1.52 billion, or 80 cents a share, compared with $1.45 billion, or 71 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding some costs, it said earnings were 81 cents a share. Analysts, on average, forecast 79 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 9.7 percent to $6.7 billion, including a favorable currency impact. Excluding currency, it said revenue rose by 7.9 percent.

Cigarette shipment volume rose 0.5 percent to 218.2 billion units in the quarter, as market share gains in Algeria, Egypt and South Korea helped offset declines in the European Union.

Philip Morris has been able to take advantage of growing cigarette demand in emerging markets, even as the slumping economy and higher taxes have taken their toll on demand in parts of western Europe.

Camilleri said on a conference call that, while there was concern in the past year that consumers would abandon higher-priced premium cigarettes for cheaper ones, that phenomenon has been “relatively restricted.”

Premium cigarette sales will remain under pressure in 2010 due to high unemployment, but Camilleri said the pressure should not be “pervasive” or “particularly disruptive.”

For 2010, the tobacco company expects organic shipment volume, or volume excluding acquisitions, to parallel 2009.

It also forecast 2010 earnings of $3.75 a share to $3.85 a share. Analysts, on average, have been expecting $3.82 a share.

The company’s shares were up $2.00, or 4.3 percent, to $48.81 in afternoon trading.

KT&G Rises on Goldman Upgrade After Davidoff Contract

KT&G Corp., South Korea’s biggest tobacco company, climbed the most in more than seven months after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the stock to “buy” on its contract to sell Davidoff cigarettes in the nation.

KT&G advanced 4.5 percent to 67,200 won at the close on the Korea Exchange, the most since June 9. The benchmark Kospi stock index fell 0.7 percent. Goldman Sachs raised the stock’s rating from “neutral” and lifted its price estimate to 76,000 won from 75,000 won in a report today.

The licensing agreement to make and sell Imperial Tobacco Group Plc’s Davidoff cigarettes will help KT&G stem the drop in its market share and maintain its lead in the South Korean industry. Production will start in the first half, the Daejeon, South Korea-based company said yesterday.

“Given KT&G’s continued domestic market share loss over the past several years which mainly resulted from its weak presence in the faster-growing premium segment, we believe the launch of Davidoff will help KT&G to defend its domestic market share at 60.9 percent in 2011,” wrote Goldman Sachs analysts including Paul Hwang. KT&G had 62.3 percent of the market as of 2009, Goldman Sachs said.

The tobacco maker said last week fourth-quarter profit declined 38 percent as domestic sales fell amid intensifying competition from imported brands. Net income was 137.9 billion won ($118 million) in the three months ended December, compared with 223.3 billion won a year earlier, it said.

“Given the fast changing trend in tobacco market, it’s difficult to predict the sales volume of Davidoff and targeted market share,” KT&G said in an e-mailed statement in response to a query.

The stock has lost 20 percent over the past year, compared with a 49 percent gain in the Kospi index for the same period.
By Saeromi Shin

Cigarettes On Sale On The Internet: ESC Press Statement

The European Society of Cardiology wishes to comment on media reports this week that France is preparing to authorise the sale of cigarettes on the internet, to conform to European rights. Although Budget Minister Eric Woerth denies that this is the intention, the news is disappointing given the drop in heart attack rates following last year’s smoking ban.

ESC spokesperson Professeur Ph.Gabriel STEG (Université Paris VII, Centre Hospitalier Bichat-Claude Bernard, Paris) said :

“While I understand that the alleged motive is that the French government needs to align itself with the European directive and the need to tackle the monopoly of cigarette retail in France, this move contradicts years of health policy to reduce tobacco consumption.

There is clear evidence that an increase in tobacco retail price and restricted access to cigarettes have led to less people smoking, with important health benefits. The government needs to take action to continue its previous policy which tackled smoking as an effective way to improve public health.”

Daily financial newpaper Les Echos broke the news on 14 October, stating that the French government would propose the idea to Parliament in mid-November. Cigarettes would be sold at retail prices in France, to prevent price undercutting on the internet. MP Eric Woerth denied that these are the government’s aims, stating that “tabacco products are unique as they are directly involved in public health policy ; there are no plans to open this sector to a different type of sales market,” as reported on 14 October by Le Monde.

A wave of smoking bans through Europe and the USA during this and last year has led to substantial reductions in heart attack rates, according to a study published last month in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association (1).

The analysis pooled 13 studies from regions in North America, Italy, Scotland and Ireland and found a consistent reduced risk of hospitalisation for heart attack (acute myocardial infarction, AMI) of 17% one year after implementation of the law. The investigators found that heart attack figures fell by 36% during the three years following the ban.

Commenting on the Circulation meta-analysis for the European Society of Cardiology, spokesperson Professor Joep Perk from Oskarshamn District Hospital in Sweden said: “”First, what the analysis shows is that the harmful effect of second-hand smoke is much greater than we first imagined. It also shows that the benefits derived from the anti-smoking legislation continue over time in a linear direction.

At the public health level the results strengthen the case for anti-smoking legislation in all jurisdictions. There seems no reason why the EU should not now advocate strong legislation in all member states. Studies like these strengthen the case for preventive cardiology.”

In the UK, an amendment to the government’s Health Bill has been proposed this month, which would outlaw cigarette vending machines in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The European Society of Cardiology together with other health institutions has continuously informed the public of the overwhelming evidence of the adverse effect of smoking on cardiovascular health. The European Guidelines on CVD prevention warn that smoking is responsible for 50% of all avoidable deaths and that smoking causes heart attacks at any age.

“Although cardiovascular diseases are very complex in nature and due to many causes, smoking is one of the major contributors and smoking bans have certainly caused a reduction in coronary events in Italy. This has been documented in an article published in Circulation (2) where the rate of reduction of coronary events was consistent with the pollution reduction observed in indoor public places. I believe that this is clearly confirming that prevention is not only a task for doctors, but also for society and politicians,” explains Roberto Ferrari, President Elect of the ESC.

ESC Press Office
European Society of Cardiology

Smokers face $20 cigarette packs

The Cancer Council says it would welcome any proposal for an increase in the price of cigarettes.

The Federal Government is currently analysing a series of recommendations aimed at reducing smoking rates put forward by the National Preventative Health Taskforce.

Newspaper reports say the yet-to-be-released recommendations suggest increasing the tax on cigarettes to more than $20 a packet and a move to plain packaging.

Cancer Council Australia chief executive Professor Ian Olver says increasing tobacco prices is the best way to reduce smoking rates.

“If you put up the price by 10 per cent per pack, you can actually drive down a country’s smoking rate by 4 per cent, which is an enormous impact on health care,” he said.

“But Australia has been lagging behind over many years in increasing that price.”

The taskforce has urged the Government to slash smoking rates over the next decade to 9 per cent.

It believes the price rise could convince 306,000 adults to quit and prevent 183,000 children from eventually taking up the habit.

Alarmed tobacco companies claim the measures could be unlawful.

Under the changes, cigarette packets would be generic and plain with larger graphic health warnings taking up about 90 per cent of the front and 100 per cent of the back.

Newspaper reports say tobacco companies also face a blanket ban on all sponsorship, internet sales, public relations activities and corporate responsibility donations.

Copyright © 2009 Abc

No smoking near mothers-to-be

This southern economic hub may snuff out smoking on official occasions once a new law takes effect.

“The proposal aims to accelerate the implementation of the new regulation and create the environment for a non-smoking Asian Games in 2010,” said Su Jinzhong, deputy director of the standing committee of the municipal people’s congress and one of the deputies who submitted the proposal.

The law bans smoking in kindergartens, cinemas, auditoriums and meeting rooms of government departments, State enterprises and public institutions, as well as places where there are pregnant women, while limiting smoking in bars, dance halls and game rooms.

Those who break the law will be warned. Anyone continuing to smoke will be fined between 100 and 150 yuan. And those who sell cigarettes on May 31, world non-smoking day, will be fined 1,000 to 3,000 yuan.

Cheng Yuehua, a lawyer in Guangzhou, said: “However, the feasibility of implementing the regulation also has to be taken into account.”

Cheng said working out who will enforce the regulation, how to define a smoker, how to judge the age of a cigarette buyer are among the issues that should be considered.

Many smokers suggest smoking areas should be set up. “I know smoking is not good for my health; however, it is not easy to get rid of the addiction so quickly,” said Chen Ge, a local citizen who has smoked for at least a decade.
Copyright © 2009 Chinadaily

Myanmar seeks zero-duty access for tobacco products

Myanmar is asking the Philippines for zero duty access for the exports of tobacco and cigarette products. Similar requests were also filed by Myanmar to Thailand and Malaysia.

The Tariff Commission will conduct a public hearing today on the Myanmar request along with the review of the expiring zero duty rates on imported cement and wheat.

At present, Tariff Commission official said that tobacco and cigarette products are included under the ASEAN Integration System of Preferences and as such ASEAN slapped tobacco with three percent tariff and cigarette at five percent.

The AISP is a scheme where ASEAN 6 gives unilateral import duty exemption to products of export interests to the CLMV ( Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam ).

Tobacco and cigarette products falls under ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature Codes 2401.10.10 (Virginia type, flue-cured); 2401.10.20 (Virginia type, not flue-cured) and; 2401.20-90 (cigarette).

Under the ASEAN Free Trade Area, ASEAN tariffs must go down to by next year, but the Tariff Commission said that an executive order would still be issued to formalize the zero tariff on a particular product.

At present, the country imports tobacco leaves to blend with the local tobacco manufacturers. Most of the tobacco leaves, however, are sourced locally.

There are only two local cigarette manufacturing operations in the country the Philip Morris Philippine Manufacturing Inc. and Fortune Tobacco Corp. of tobacco magnate Lucio Tan.

The government has also a pending trade dispute with Thailand over the tariff rate it imposed on PMPMI cigarette exports.

There are parallel negotiations both at the bilateral level and with the World Trade Organizations with the Department of Trade and Industry representing PMPMI in the negotiations. The case, however, has dragged on for several years now.

The issue stemmed from Thailand’s imposition of higher tariff on PMPMI’s cigarette exports to its Thailand affiliate.

The imposition of higher tariff is a big issue because its affiliate in Thailand is required to put up a bond for the tariff differential in a bid to protect its own industry.

Copyright © 2009 Mb

Saviour of the Exchequer

THE FIANNA Fáil minister for finance, Sean T O’Kelly, introduced his third budget in 1941, and also his third since the second World War had begun.

It was not an easy budget but it was not as tough as had been feared in advance. Income tax went up from 30 per cent to 37.5 per cent (but not to the feared level of 50 per cent as in the North and Britain); corporation profits tax went up to 10 per cent (from 7.5 per cent) for Irish companies and 12.5 per cent for foreign companies; petrol went up almost 20 per cent, by 5d a gallon to two shillings and seven pence (31d) but the quantity available was reduced and precarious; cigarettes went up by 4d to one shilling and six pennies (18 pennies) on a packet of 20, an increase of about 29 per cent; and a 1 per cent tax was introduced on domestic newspapers. The front page report in today’s newspaper summarised the event thus:

Mr. O’Kelly’s third Budget took eighty-five minutes to deliver. The Dáil was well filled, though not overcrowded. Mr. David Gray, the American Minister [Ambassador], and Mrs. Gray, as well as Mr. C. Benziger, the Swiss Chargé dAffaires, and Mr. E. J. Garland, of the Canadian Office, were among those in the distinguished strangers’ gallery.

The Minister referred to the war situation, and said that, although this country had not been involved, it had not escaped its repercussions. In the circumstances there was no alternative to the imposition of higher taxation.

The greatest loss which they had to face was in respect of the mineral hydrocarbon group of minerals, from which revenue of £1,343,000 was received in last year, and now all that could be expected was £700,000. Tanker tonnage had been depleted owing to war casualties.

Tobacco, which he described as the saviour of the Exchequer, now showed a decline from £6,590,000 last year to £4,785,000 this year, but even at that figure it would produce 57 per cent of the total Customs revenue. The raw material of the industry, which came chiefly from America, was a difficulty which filled him with anxiety.

Referring to the gap between revenue and expenditure, which he estimated at £7,765,000, the Minister said that it was alarming, and that he saw no means of bridging it by normal means. The Budget could not, therefore, be balanced in the strict sense, and, said the Minister, “we must succumb to the general epidemic of budgetary malaise that has been sweeping the world.”

In regard to his increase of the petrol tax, the Minister said that it was based on two assumptions – namely, that substantial imports would take place during the year and that such imports would be consumed.

In order that there should be, as far as possible, an equality of sacrifice all round, he had promulgated two orders of first class importance. These orders placed restrictions on increase of rates of remuneration of practically all classes of workers and employees in the service of public utility and statutory undertakings, in certain essential industries and sheltered and protected industries, and at the same time limited the amount that can be paid by companies either by way of dividend or remuneration of directors.

Referring to this countrys neutrality, Mr. O’Kelly commented: “Neutrality may not be an heroic rôle – especially for Ireland – but, nevertheless, it is an expensive rôle. To secure due respect for our neutrality our defence force had to be increased. This year it costs four times as much as before the war.”

In other ways, too, the cost had been increased. The rise in the cost of living had added to the expenses of government. The Civil Service had to be increased, and social services had been added to the expense of the exchequer.

Copyright © 2009 Irishtimes

St. Louis area colleges snuff out campus smoking

It’s midday at St. Charles Community College, where small signs near the entrance note that concealed weapons — as well as tobacco use — are prohibited on campus.

In the parking lot, smoke trails from the windows of several cars, including the pickup where 20-year-old Christina Conover puffs on a Camel Light while chatting on the phone. Later, her 26-year-old brother, Nathan, will use the same spot to drag on a Marlboro Red with an algebra textbook on his lap.

While they are both smokers, the Conovers don’t share the same view on the college’s tobacco-free policy that is enforced everywhere except for the personal space of people’s cars.
“It keeps the campus cleaner,” she said. “It doesn’t look all trashy.”

But her brother wonders what’s the harm of smoking outside in public places.

“It’s open air,” he said. “Nobody should tell me I can’t do that.”

Whether or not they like it, both students admit that the policy has forced them to cut back — even if just a little — on their smoking habits.

While attempts to ban smoking in public spaces around the St. Louis area have been met with considerable resistance, a number of colleges have begun to quietly adopt tobacco-free policies on their campuses — outdoor spaces and all. St. Charles Community College has had its policy on the books since January 2007.

Earlier this week, Washington University announced that it would go smoke- and tobacco-free by July 2010. St. Louis Community College’s Wildwood campus has banned smoking since it opened in 2007. The college’s Meramec campus will follow suit this fall. And officials at the University of Missouri-Columbia say it will do the same in 2014.

Nationwide, more than 130 college campuses have gone completely tobacco-free. More people have begun to take notice of the movement since last summer, when the University of Arkansas — the first major flagship university to do so — banned tobacco use on its campus.

Some critics deride such campus bans as political correctness gone too far. Ty Patterson, director of Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Campus Policy at Ozarks Technical College in Springfield, said much of the opposition is based on the belief that outdoor public spaces should be fairly unregulated.

Patterson, who gives presentations nationwide on the benefits of such policies, combats those concerns by highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke and the value of educating students on healthy behaviors.

Dr. Alan Glass, a Washington University assistant vice chancellor and director of its health center, said the driving force behind his school’s anti-smoking policy is creating a healthy working and learning environment.

“Smoking is not healthy, period,” he said. “Still we recognize it’s going to present challenges to certain individuals.”

That’s one of the reasons the university is giving employees and students more than a year’s notice before the policy takes effect, he said. The university is offering free smoking cessation classes to faculty, staff and students. And starting this fall, students under the school’s health plan also will be able to receive free medication to help them quit smoking.

According to a survey as part of the National College Health Assessment, about 11 percent of Washington University students reported in the spring of 2007 that they had smoked in the previous 30 days. Glass noted that is lower than the national average, which was 17 percent.

John McGuire, president of St. Charles Community College, said many schools that consider smoking bans get too hung up on the challenge of enforcing such a policy.

“But that proves not to be a challenge at all,” he said. “You just do it very respectfully. We encourage anyone who sees someone using tobacco to step up and inform them of the policy courteously and respectfully. … That’s sufficient with most everybody.”

But if a student gets cited three times for a tobacco violation, school policy calls for the student to be charged a $5 fine and to meet with the vice president of student services, who can recommend actions that range from smoking cessation classes to suspension.

“We’re not trying to fine people,” McGuire said. “The real message is that this is the dog that didn’t bark. The enforcement is minimal. … Once it’s established after a period of time, it’s just taken as a matter of fact.”

The first semester the policy took effect, 78 students were given first offenses, with 12 second and third offenses. Since then, the numbers have dropped off.

McGuire recalls some unhappy comments written on bathroom mirrors around campus that first semester. But other than that, he said, there hasn’t been much grumbling about the policy.

And an added benefit is that a number of people have told him that the policy helped them kick their habits.

“I’ve had students who said they needed this one more push to go smoke-free,” he said.

In 2003, Ozarks Technical College was one of the first colleges in the country to go tobacco-free. It took the school more than three years to implement the policy. Patterson said he advises college presidents and chancellors to go slowly and educate the campus on the reasons for the policy.

“It’s important to be respectful of those who disagree with you,” he said. “There has to be an approach that doesn’t demonize tobacco users.”

Once a tobacco-free policy is in place, Patterson said, campuses shouldn’t expect 100 percent compliance. He still sees cigarette butts on the ground around his campus. It disappoints him, but he noted that he never sees smoking anymore near the entrances of buildings.

“So that’s a huge win,” he said.

Nicole Jennings, a nursing student at St. Charles Community College, also sees evidence of some renegade smoking on campus but is thankful that she no longer has to pass through large clouds of smoke near the doors.

“It’s like you had to walk through a bar to get to class,” she said.

FDA Regulation Provides Another Smokescreen for Marlboro Man

Officially, the FDA commissioner position is vacant. But symbolically at least, the new commissioner is the Marlboro Man.

That may seem incongruous as Congress poises to pass legislation this week that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to add regulation of cigarettes to its portfolio of regulating food and pharmaceuticals.

Under the new legislation, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, Philip Morris, maker of the market-dominating Marlboro brand and by far the biggest of Big Tobacco, likely will have a seat at the FDA’s table. Literally. A non-voting seat on an advisory board.

In fact the industry will be footing the bill for the alleged regulation of its own products. This is window-dressing masquerading as regulation. The foxes will be guarding the henhouse.

The lions of health policy, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Cong. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., favored FDA regulation of tobacco.

But placing the nation’s most lethal consumer product — cigarettes — under the control of the FDA would be unwise. And asking a food and drug bureau to promulgate “product safety standards” for cigarettes is an oxymoron that will perpetuate the myth, long fostered by the tobacco industry, that this inherently harmful product can be made safer.

Placing cigarettes under the alleged watchful eye of the same agency that regulates cancer chemotherapy drugs is as hilarious as the Saturday Night Live skit for “The Lung Brush” — a pipe cleaner you slide down your throat to clean your lungs — or Homer Simpson promoting “Tomacco.” Even more absurd is that the FDA can ban a cancer drug, for its deadly side effects, but can’t lay a finger on Marlboro.

The ardent support of this bill by Philip Morris, with fully 50 percent of the nation’s cigarette market, should prompt skepticism about the measure and its purported public health benefits.

Until 2004, Philip Morris was in lockstep with the rest of the tobacco industry in fiercely opposing FDA regulation. Then, it cut a deal with Waxman.

Prof. Michael Siegel of Boston University School of Public Health, a prolific blogger on tobacco policy and critic of policy that’s more symbol than substance, bemoans “the many loopholes in the legislation that were clearly inserted to protect Philip Morris and retain its support for the bill, rather than to protect the public’s health.”

This continues the tobacco industry’s tradition of doing seemingly surprising things that serve its economic interests.

The FDA tobacco bill is déjà vu all over again. For more than 70 years, every report on the dangers of cigarette smoking was disputed by the tobacco industry, who claimed more research was needed and who promised to identify and remove any component of smoke that was found to cause disease. This led to marketing gimmicks to allay public anxiety about smoking such as filters that promised “Double-barreled health protection,” or claimed to be “Just what the doctor ordered,” and in at least one instance was made of asbestos.

In 1969, the industry pushed through legislation that removed cigarette ads from TV after seeing the early wave of anti-smoking public service ads drive down cigarette sales. The industry knew that once its ads were off the air, the Fairness Doctrine mandating airing of opposing viewpoints would no longer apply.

Indeed, when the cigarette commercials ended, the broadcast networks yanked the anti-smoking ads, while the industry re-emerged on TV immediately on billboards at sports events sponsored by Marlboro, Winston and Virginia Slims.

This circumvention of the law saved the industry tens of millions of dollars a year in cigarette advertising costs.

Five years earlier, with the backing of the American Medical Association (the lone major health organization to drag its feet in endorsing the Surgeon General’s indictment of cigarette smoking) the tobacco industry pushed through legislation for placing unobtrusive and unthreatening warning labels on cigarette packages and ads These warning labels provided the industry cover against lawsuits for liability in smoking’s role in disabling and killing millions of Americans.

These moves, with the backing of the American Medical Association, saved the industry millions in advertising and enabled the industry to develop a powerful sports promotion strategy. And the warning labels provided the industry cover against suits for liability in tobacco’s role in disabling and killing millions of Americans.

Now the FDA can provide new cover for the industry. The FDA, which has a hard enough time tracking salmonella in pistachios and peanuts and conflicts of interest in pharmaceutical approvals, now would be given regulation of cigarettes.

In effect the new FDA legislation would serve as a Marlboro Preservation Act.

It used to be said that what’s good for General Motors is good for the USA. In the new business calculation, where GM=USA, what’s good for Philip Morris apparently is good for FDA, and vice versa.

There is no evidence that this bill will save any lives at all. To the contrary, the bill will perpetuate great harm through its grandfathering of Marlboro and other existing brands and its elimination of litigation for consumer fraud.

However well-intended, the bill is misguided. And it should carry its own Surgeon General’s warning: “This legislation is deceptive, and it will prove devastating to public health.”

Source: Huffingtonpost

Will Lorillard Meet Its Match?

ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE and lucrative, if controversial, consumer products in the world is Newport cigarettes.

Newport’s manufacturer, Lorillard, essentially is a one-product company. It has a market value of more than $10 billion, roughly equal to that of Heinz (HNZ) or Campbell Soup (CPB). While smaller than rivals Reynolds American (RAI) and Altria (MO), Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard has the highest profit margins in the U.S. cigarette industry. It also has one of the best growth outlooks, thanks to the strength of the Newport menthol brand, which is popular with black and Hispanic smokers, particularly in the Northeast.

Lorillard’s fans in the investment community say that the company is underappreciated on Wall Street — partly because of its involvement in tobacco — and that it is the most attractive takeover target in the consolidating global cigarette industry. There lately has been talk that Reynolds, maker of the Camel, Winston and Kool brands, might buy Lorillard for a sizable premium above the recent share price of $61. Reynolds and Lorillard declined to comment.

Deal or no deal, Lorillard looks appealing. Its shares trade at 11 times projected 2009 profit of $5.50 a share and provide a yield of 6%. Lorillard pays out 70% to 75% of its profit in dividends. The company, which was spun off by Loews (L) last year, has a great balance sheet, with more than $1 billion of cash at year end and no debt.

“Lorillard has the best developed-market tobacco business in the world,” says David Adelman, the cigarette analyst at Morgan Stanley. Adelman points out that Newport, which has a 10% share of the U.S. tobacco market, is the choice of roughly 17% of new smokers, the most favorable skew among major cigarette makers. He carries an $80 price target.

Newport is the nation’s No. 2 brand, trailing only Altria’s Marlboro, which commands more than 40% of the domestic market. Newport dominates the menthol category, with a 34% market share, while accounting for 90% of Lorillard’s sales volume and nearly all its profit. Lorillard has no international operations.

UBS tobacco analyst Nik Modi recently wrote a note in which he called a purchase of Lorillard by Reynolds “one of the most compelling M&A scenarios from both a financial and strategic perspective,” because it would strengthen Reynolds’ generally weak portfolio. The combined companies could realize cost savings that some put at more than $400 million a year.

Modi wrote that Lorillard could fetch $85 a share in a deal. If Lorillard does go on the block, there could a bidding war that includes Reynolds, Britain’s Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY), Japan Tobacco and perhaps even Philip Morris International (PM). Altria’s roughly 50% U.S. market share makes it an unlikely bidder, owing to antitrust issues.

At $85, Lorillard would be valued at 15 times estimated 2009 profit and more than nine times pretax cash flow. Cigarette deals historically have been done at 12 times pretax cash flow. With the debt markets receptive to financially strong companies, a Reynolds/Lorillard deal probably could be financed pretty easily if Reynolds offered, say, one share of its own stock, recently at $36, and $50 a share in cash for each Lorillard share.

A Reynolds/Lorillard combination, however, might not pass antitrust scrutiny. The combined companies would have a market share of about 40%, resulting in an effective cigarette duopoly in the U.S., with the combined share for Altria and Reynolds around 90%. Lorillard bulls argue the Miller/Coors deal passed antitrust review, which resulted in just two dominant U.S. beer makers – Miller/Coors and Anheuser Busch.

Marlboro seeks partner to build sports complex

The township is looking to partner with a private developer in a proposal to build an 80,000-square-foot sports complex off Tennent Road.

Mayor Jonathan Hornik said the township is negotiating with Eclipse Indoor Sports of Freehold Township to lease a 5- to 6-acre township-owned tract to the developer. Eclipse would build and pay for the facility, he said.

As proposed, the project features enough open gym space for three full-sized high school basketball courts. It also includes two indoor turf fields suitable for soccer, lacrosse and football, and designated areas for volleyball and wrestling, Leonard “Lenny” Toto of Freehold Township confirmed Tuesday. Toto is a longtime local sports volunteer and a project principal.

The proposal would bring the township revenue through taxes and rent, as well as a set amount of access to the facility still to be negotiated, the mayor said. The time allotted would be deducted from the rent in the public-private partnership, he said.

The Township Council last week voted to allow the mayor to assemble a “deal team” to handle negotiations. The team includes Council President Steven Rosenthal, Deputy Mayor Larry Rosen and Township Attorney Jonathan Williams.

Hornik said the proposal would be “a great way to add sorely needed recreation improvements to town without burdening the taxpayer.” Once negotiations are complete, the developer would bring the proposal before the Planning Board.

The mayor said the township is far from sealing the deal, particularly in a fluctuating economic climate. But he said he was “cautiously optimistic” an agreement could be reached.

Rosenthal also said the plan would be a win for a township in need of recreation expansion, where local groups are sometimes denied use of fields and facilities because of lack of space.

“This would give an opportunity for the residents who may not be in the recreation program to participate (in sports) at a place they don’t have to travel 20 miles to get to,” Rosenthal said.

The township in 2006 also had looked to create a domed, indoor basketball facility, which could have cost up to $2 million. But that project was stalled after residents protested the cost. Mayor Robert Kleinberg, who spearheaded the proposal, was voted out of office before it came to fruition.

The Township Council in January sought recreation proposals for the Tennent Road land. The tract is a developable portion of about 60 township-owned acres behind the Marlboro Township Municipal Utilities Authority solar farm and water tower. The council last year designated the property, largely wetlands, as an area in need of redevelopment.