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Health officials congratulate Davis stores for not selling tobacco to minors

Ninety Davis County tobacco retailers are now recognized throughout the say “no” to underage teenagers trying to buy tobacco products over the 2012-13 fiscal.

story-davis-county-new-cmyk-221405.jpgTobacco compliance checks carried out in the last fiscal year are part of a program the Devis County Health Department, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, has been running since 1989.

The Department of Health recognizing 90 tobacco retailers in the country , because according to the tests. The program is designed to reduce the access of minors to tobacco products.

Special recognition went to Sinclair Main Street Service Layton for being in line for 25 years and Saigon Market Set for being in compliance for 20 years, health officials said Davis.

15 -year-old award under dostalas7 -Eleven store on Main Street Kaysville author.

From July 2012 to June 2013, the juvenile buyers, led by local law enforcement, tried to buy tobacco products 431 times, said Lewis R. Garrett, Davis, and Director of the Department of Health.

“Of these, 431 attempts, 14 resulted in an illegal sale of tobacco to minors at a speed of county buy 3.2 per cent,” he said.

“I am pleased with the continued downward trend from buying rate of last year when he was 4 percent. We have significantly reduced our High of 14 percent, we have seen in the July 2006 -June 2007 period.

“We are a very active program aimed at educating tobacco retailers how to train their employees to identify underage buyers, and it still shows good results.

“I extend my congratulations and appreciation to the management and employees of those retailers who are working hard to keep tobacco products to minors.”

The sales of cigarettes to a person under the age of 19, is a class misdemeanor for a first offense. Clerks are issued citations at the time of the violation.

In addition, store owners may be civil penalties for selling tobacco products to minor’s buyer. Shops fined for the first two violations and have their tobacco license suspended for 30 days for a third.

The store’s license of the sale of tobacco responds to the fourth violation within a 12- month period.

The fine may be reduced if the store has a documented training program and proof that the employee was trained.

Sale of tobacco products before Monday tax hike

Abed Abuhadid has one word to announces the business in his tobacco shop in the days before the increase in the cigarette tax by $ 1.60 a pack.

Business-taxes-270x300One of his clients store at the Smoke & Cigar Depot in Waite Park, Phyllis Zimmerman, pats a plastic bag she keeps that hung cigarettes cartons.

“It’s eight boxes,” Zimmerman said. “I think it’s stocking up.”

The cigarette tax rise will come into force on Monday, the first day of 2014 state fiscal year, along with a number of other changes to the state law passed during the 2013 Minnesota’s 2013 legislative session.

Abuhadid has ruled Smoke Shop for 16 years, during which time he had seen a few cigarette tax rise. But this is the greatest thing he’s seen by far, more than doubled in the package of state tax from $ 1.25 to $ 2.90, according to the House Public Information Services.

Supporters say the move will encourage some smokers to quit and to reduce public health costs of smoking, in addition to generating new tax revenues.

But Abuhadid doubt the tax increase will be additional revenue for the state. He says that some heavy smokers will go to surrounding states to buy cigarettes instead. In addition, he said that more customers roll their own cigarettes and smoking electronic cigarettes to save money.

Another of his clients, Kathy Nyberg of Avon, said she was trying to quit smoking in part because of higher taxes. At the same time, however, she is not a fan of the move. “I think it stinks,” said Nyberg.

Two new sales taxes on businesses takes some effects on Monday for transaction that were are not subject to the tax. They apply to companies that buy electronic and commercial repair and telecommunications equipment.

Dream Act

Some students living in the country illegally can get a living teaching in colleges and universities of Minnesota and state financial aid under the new law.

Dream Act is part of a broader higher education that the budget law shall come into effect on Monday. The law also freezes the training of students for the next two years in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including Saint-Cloud State University and St. Cloud and Technical College.

Students without documentation will be eligible for resident tuition and state financial aid if they meet certain criteria, such as having attended high school for at least three years in Minnesota, in compliance with the requirements for selective service, and to prove they are applied, to have legal status, if such a process is established at the federal level. Director of the state institutions of higher education expects about 755 students in the state of Minnesota will take advantage from the new rules. The office is in the process of preparing an application for such students, said its spokesman, Sandy Connolly.

St. Cloud-area parks and trails will benefit from nearly $ 3 million in funding through grants to Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

The grants are going to go out for the two-year budget cycle, which begins on Monday. They include a $ 1 million Sauk River Regional Park in Sartell, $ 1,000,000 to extend the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail and $ 930,000 to extend the Rocori Trail.

The funding River Juice Regional Park – the proposed park across the river from the juice of Whitney Park on the Sartell’s South edge – would be for land acquisition, trail improvement and other improvements.

Lake Wobegon Trail boosters want to extend the trail from its terminus in St. Joseph into downtown St. Cloud. A proposed first phase of the expansion would bring the trail River’s Edge Park in Waite Park.

Rocori Trail backers want to connect Cold Spring and Rockville to the existing trail. This would allow access to the two regional parks in Rockville: Rockville County Park and Park Eagle.

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.

Cigarettes Reviewed Releases

E Cigarettes Reviewed today released a new survey of White Cloud cigarettes, highlighting the important information of any electronic cigarette user needs to know before making a purchase.

imagesReviews are invaluable resources for any consumer, but to find a reliable website is not easy. Internet is flooded with overly positive reviews, as highlighted by the recent fiasco of Amazon review of e-books, so that e-cigarette users and smokers looking to make the switch flock to trusted sites, such as the Electronic Cigarette Reviews.

The site’s 2013 White Cloud Cigarettes review puts one of the leading brands in the market under the microscope, giving readers the objective information they need to make an informed decision.

The White Cloud electronic cigarette review aims variety of Cirrus Starter Kit for the test. Kit costs $ 109.95 and comes with three batteries – Cirrus 2, 3, and 3X – five cartridges; a USB charger and AC adapter, offering smokers everything they need to get started with electronic cigarettes. Users simply screw the cartridge end to the battery attachment and inhale the steam at the same time; they would smoke from a cigarette.

E Cigarette Reviewed tackles each element of the electronic cigarette in the review. It analyzes the packaging and design, the nicotine level is proposed, the couple made available flavors, battery performance, quality manufacturing, and guarantees that users get the full picture.

In general, the review is positive, and the manufacturer has been awarded the coveted space on the top 10 list site – entering at number three. The review welcomes the e-cigarette vapor production, flavor selection, battery life and a wide range of nicotine levels, as well as evidence of the quality of production.

It’s not all positive, however. Reviewed cigarette E indicates some problem with the product, primarily nicotine levels that are widely separated, which makes it difficult for users who want to reduce their nicotine intake. In a review of a white cloud cigarettes also indicates that the manufacturer does not offer e-liquid (used to refill reusable cartridges with nicotine-infused liquid) or manual battery, which is preferred by many vapers veteran.

White Cloud cigarettes review gives readers a comprehensive look at this leading option, and it is vital reading for anyone who wants to kick their tobacco habits.

About E Cigarette Reviews:

E cigarette review is the leading source of electronic cigarette reviews. E Cigarette Reviewed seeks to ensure transparency of the electronic cigarette industry through extensive testing and analysis of the latest products on the market and offer an unbiased opinion of users.


Use of smokeless tobacco is increasing among children

As the leader of the Boy Scouts and coach several sports, Lower Franklin Township resident Todd Deihl sees himself as a role model for the children in their community.

06710121056_hd-tobacco-smokingChewing tobacco does not fit into that image, he understood.

“The boy saw me out one night to chew and I knew then I had to leave,” said Deihl, 48, who began using smokeless tobacco at 18.

Deihl was so uncomfortable with his 30-year-old habit; he always tried to hide it from their children. When his son Lee was 13, he knew that he wanted to create the best example.

“This is a bad habit, you stick your dirty fingers into the jar, and then put them in his mouth,” said Deihl, who will go through the week, the two banks in their prime. “I tried to be clean and neat about it. I always brush your teeth after chewing, and I went to the dentist regularly, but let’s face, it’s dirty.”

While teens across the country heard and accepted “no smoking” message – smoking among teens has dropped by more than 45 percent since 1997 – they do not seem to equate the danger of nicotine and other toxins in smokeless tobacco.

About 20 percent of adolescents and 2 percent of teenage girls use smokeless tobacco, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Deihl said it is peer pressure, teen got it started using chewing tobacco and drug addiction kept him to do so. Although he remembers his mother warning him that he lost his teeth, or worse, Deihl said he always pushed the idea of harmful results are far from his mind. When his friends started losing teeth, it was a wake-up call.

“I think I was lucky, I did not have these problems, but I do not want them either,” said Deihl, who joined the class of smoking cessation in the Sadler Health Center in Carlisle last fall. Because he threw a few times before and relapsed, he came with a friend, so that the two can support each other in their weak moments.

“This is it. I do not want to do that. I have that thought”, Deihl said. “I want to tell the kids not to start, you cannot even pick up. Chew on a toothpick. Do not give in to peer pressure.”

Spreading the message that no tobacco is safe

 “When people think of smoking, they think of lung cancer. Because they have not smoked a cigarette and inhaling, the children seem to think that it is safe to chew, but the same toxins are still getting into your system, but different, “said Shannon Mason, patient / community nurse educator and tobacco specialist with Pinnacle Health System in Harrisburg.

Smokeless tobacco includes chewing tobacco sold in pads that chew and spit, and snuff, which is freely available in soluble tablets or strips, or small pouches like tea bags.

Smokeless tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach and pancreas. According to the CDC, about 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer each year, and about 8,000 die.

Other consequences of smokeless tobacco include gum disease and receding gums, which can lead to tooth loss and heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and irregular heartbeat, which lead to an increased risk of heart attacks.

“There’s no such thing as a safe tobacco,” said Marguerite Ferrara, Deputy Director for Education at the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center in York. She travels to schools throughout central Pennsylvania to talk about the dangers of tobacco.

Ferrara hears the same attitude all the time with a teenager: “How can it be bad for me, when I breathe?”

She said the large number of blood vessels in the mouth, which give access to the bloodstream, where the toxins take up residence. She speaks about gum disease, which result as a pack of tobacco is juicy against the gums. She is talking about cancer risk.

Visual warnings aid

It until it is released from the photos that start moaning.

“Children visually. You have to show them what is happening, and then all of them dirty,” said Ferrara. “I tell them:” Who would want to kiss that mouth? “

 Ugly pictures are necessary to compensate for the positive media reports that children see all the time – “cool” in the baseball dugout chewing or teens in films that chew and spit, Mason.

Studies have shown that exposure to pro-tobacco marketing and media more than doubles the chances of children and young people from tobacco.

To be fair, some sports players accepted the latest posts; chewing tobacco is dangerous and switched to chewing and spitting out the seeds.

For those who want to chew unnoticed, there is an alternative to spit – small packets of tobacco made for sucking, which do not require spitting. Spitless tobacco is also packed in the little round cans to look like candy into thin strips similar to strips of fresh breath.

But this type of tobacco is no less dangerous.

“They are sold in the” fun “taste like grape and cherry. Message” You can take it to be used anywhere, “Mason said. This makes it easy for teens to hide their tobacco use from their parents, she said.

In college, spotless tobacco is becoming more popular among women, said Dawn Vioral, health education coordinator and a certified specialist in the treatment of tobacco Sadler.

“The cost of the minimum – $ 3 to $ 5 can be compared with the price of a pack of cigarettes by $ 5 to $ 8, so many are switching to smokeless tobacco. Additionally, coupons for new types of smokeless tobacco are more affordable than they are for cigarettes,” said she said.

Disturbing combination

Some young people are becoming dependent twice – for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. From 12 to 14 million Americans who use smokeless tobacco, a third of them under the age of 21 and more than half of them formed the habit before they were 13 years old, CDC reports.

“Smokeless tobacco is more powerful. A cord banks provide three to five times the amount of nicotine in one cigarette,” said Mason.

Experts are also concerned about the increasing use of electronic cigarette, a battery-powered device that delivers nicotine through vapor, not smoke. Long-term effects are still unknown.

“This is very attractive to young people,” Vioral said.” They use it in places where there is no smoking allowed. “

International Conference on Management of Tobacco in the 21st century

Imagine for a moment that the plague devastated the developed world, but has not yet established its control over developing countries. If the world’s leaders in the field of public health come together for two days at Harvard to outline the campaign to prevent the spread of the plague, unless you do not want to cover this meeting?

imagesFebruary 26 and 27, under the auspices of the World Health Organization and Harvard University, representatives from more than two dozen countries, the African Union, the European Union and many other public health and international organizations will meet at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, Mass., to develop a framework to prevent one billion projected deaths by the end of this century – all caused by the spread of tobacco use in developing countries.

The main purpose of the conference is to prevent the global tobacco industry from using his wealth and power to prevent the passage of laws based on (WHO), the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in developing countries. Industry undermines national laws on trade issues or complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that they violate trade agreements.

Julio Frenk, Dean of Harvard School of Public Health and former Minister of Health of Mexico, said that “by the end of the tobacco epidemic once and for all, we must clearly present the facts that tobacco is detrimental to both public health and the economic health and development of nations. This meeting is a huge opportunity for the prevention of smoking plague raging in developing countries, as it has been raging over the developed countries.”

And Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma: Chairman of the African Union called for a conference of leaders “to prevent the global tobacco industry from the transfer of the burden of tobacco-caused death and disease in developed countries in Africa.”

“Thanks to the tobacco industry, tobacco killed 100 million people last century,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., Executive Director of the American Cancer Society. “If we do not become more aggressive with respect to the industry, they will require a billion people this century; we know how to stop this pandemic. – With good science, good governance, and the political will question whether we will take the necessary. Steps in this direction? “

In addition to Frank, Dlamini-Zuma and Seffrin, leading to the two-day conference will include Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, Vesile Kulaçoğlu, director of trade and the environment, the World Trade Organization, and Nicola Roxon, Member Parliament, former Attorney General and Minister of Health of Australia, as well as leading scientists, public health officials, and the anti-tobacco campaign of Russia, India, Kenya, Canada, Chile, Thailand and other nations.

JPs consider telephone costs, tobacco rules, road standards

Justice of the Peace influenced tobacco policies, slew and road standards more than three hours.

More than a third of that meeting was devoted in 2013 budget.

On Friday discussion JPs added to the budget $2.000 in funding for the Citizens Council.

The council that operates under auspices of the Emergency and Country Office , oversees the neighborhood Director of the Council asked the magistrates to receive financial assistance in the past month after the grant funding previously relied on dried up.

In addition, at the meeting on Friday, JP Ronald Flake said he was disappointed that the only library clerk county judge, the public defender, and the Department of Coordination and 911 cards reducing its budget in 2013 in the field of telephone communication.

Earlier this summer, the telecommunications consulting firm Insight said they could save the county $ 30,000 a year in telephone costs, following the analysis of the bills District.

It was later established that the authority to enter into a contract with the company rested with each department head, and most departments subsequently decided not to enter into contracts with the company.

Flake previously suggested that magistrates pressure departments to act on factoring savings in their budgets. He raised the same idea on Friday.

“We are in a difficult budget year”, Flake said. If we want to save money, why not make some phone savings by reducing the budgets of the phone?”

Flake said he would not vote to approve the 2013 budget, which does not factor in a telephone savings promised Insight.

In response Mumaugh recalled Flake, that magistrates were legally responsible to adopt the budget before the end of the year, and that all outstanding issues can be discussed later, “in good faith”.

“I do not want to see the budget raised about how the head office or the head of department pays the telephone bill,” he said.

“The budget of the time, we always go all in” Flake answer, “and then we never do anything about it., Which has been our history for as long as I was here.”

The budget was presented to the end of next month. Under state law, the final budget must be adopted before the end of the year.

Also Friday, JPS has passed two resolutions in the law. The first, sponsored by Flake, establishes technical standards for adoption of streets in the district roads.

Second decision tightens the rules tobacco, to prohibit smoking in county vehicles and within 25 feet of the entrance to any building district. Before the decree banned smoking only inside buildings.

Richey, sponsor amendments previously proposed restrictions are tobacco. However, he softened the language to smokeless tobacco at the request of Sheriff Bob Grudek.

In other news, JPS:

Heard from County Judge Sam Barr on the annual legislative audit District. Barr will travel to Little Rock on December 13 to address the problems with inventory District Secretary District Court disaster recovery plan and the financial statements in the county airport.
* Approved Price County, school and municipal mileage for the year. None of the regular tax rates have changed. However,

A resolution to support the salaries of elected officials at current levels until 2014.

* Submitted by decree, which would allocate money for the final pay period of 2012. This year has 27 pay periods rather than the usual 26, and judges who do not consider this fact when the budget for 2012, so the ruling. The measure was introduced after Flake raised the issue of how to wage the elected officials would be affected (see previous article:

* $ 57,782.50 appropriation to the sheriff’s office to replace two vehicles was last month in high-speed chase. The money was the result of insurance compensation after the accident.

* The provision of money for overtime in the county jail and dispatch center. Additional funds were raised from other positions within existing departmental budgets.

* Provision $ 14,420 received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the sheriff’s office.

* Appointed Rick Shelton in Forest Lake Acres Regional Services unit.

Before adjourning the meeting, magistrates voted to transfer their next meeting to allow County staff more time to finish in the 2013 budget. The next meeting of the quorum court will be held at 10 am on December 14 in the County Courthouse in Berryville.

Chewing on a limited tobacco policy

The Student Government Association of the University of Memphis is trying to give the community the right to chew – tobacco, that is.

On November 8, the SGA passed a resolution that would change the current limited on-campus tobacco use policy “on-campus smoking ban,” allowing smokeless tobacco to be used on campus.

Addison Piggott, SGA senator who sponsored the resolution, said that students should be able to use tobacco anywhere on the street, because there are no harmful effects of secondhand smoking.

Piggott identified smokeless tobacco as a “dip, snuff, [or] any form of chewing tobacco, which are not connected with the fire or smoke.”

Electronic cigarettes are not included in this resolution because they are “technically smoking products”, Piggott said, but if he can determine that they do not have the harmful effects of passive, it is not you a bill allowing them also.

While SGA voted for approval of the resolution for the consideration of administrative, Maria Alam, assistant vice president and chief human resources officer, said students initially led ban on tobacco account administration through SGA.

“The initiative to eliminate tobacco was first introduced in 2010, students in the Student Government Association,” she said. “Based on the feedback received from the students and the general university community, the tobacco-free initiative was changed to a limited tobacco initiative.”

Piggott said, setting the designated areas of tobacco, tobacco smoke contains, but there is no need to include smokeless tobacco, because there are no negative consequences for the user.

“Tobacco, which produces smoke, is harmful, and we protect the rights of non-smoking,” he said. “We decided to smoking areas, so that people who want to smoke can still do it, and those who can not find their way around it, so we do not violate the rights of people anyway.”

But Alam said that the purpose of the limited use of tobacco policy is “to promote a healthy lifestyle through a healthy environment for students, staff and visitors,” not only to eliminate tobacco smoke.

At the meeting, SGA senate, senator spoke about the filth of “spitting” of smokeless tobacco. Piggott said that smokeless tobacco is biodegradable and does not stain the concrete.

Mason Lin, a sophomore finance major and Senator College of Arts and Sciences, voted for approval of the resolution.

“I think that people can do whatever they want to do as long as it does not hurt other people,” he s


Alam said that any resolution will be proposed by Vice President of Student Affairs Rosie Bingham.

The resolution does not take effect until the administration approves it. Piggott said he plans to speak with SGA President Russell Born and U of M Police Services on how to get the University to allow students to start using smokeless tobacco throughout campus.

“It’s a matter of rights and freedoms,” he said.

Tax-hike on chewing tobacco

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids estimates in Maryland’s tax increase on smokeless tobacco and cheap cigars which began in July will reduce the number of young people using these products by one third, according to a University of Maryland Law.

The tax increase passed in May raises the tax on smokeless tobacco and smoking from 15% of wholesale value of up to 30%. Meanwhile, the tax rate for non-premium cigars, such as cigarillos, Swisher Sweets and Black & Milds, increased from 15% to 70%.

“Those kinds of increases that will have dramatic consequences,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of Maryland Citizens Health Initiative.

Cigarette smoking is down

In the past 15 years, smoking among teens has declined by 40% in Maryland. After a series of tax increases in the gap, currently $ 2 dollar tax per pack.

Although DeMarco said increasing the cigarette tax was successfully and deterring teens from cigarette’s buying, they turned to cheaper alternative like little cigarettes or cigarillos.

AS the tax rate for cigars has remained at 15%, was 11% increase in cigar smoking among young people. Non-premium cigars can be bought for 69 cents to $ 1.50 in the stores and gas stations.

They are sold in different flavors like chocolate, vanilla, grape and strawberry.

On average, the tax increase has increased the price without premium cigars by about 40 cents and five packages for about $ 2.00.

“When you have to pay, say, $ 8 for a pack of cigarettes, and you’re a 15-year-old, do not know to become a pack a day smoker, because you just do not have enough money,” said Peter Hamm, former tobacco users and the national director communications campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “But, then there are these convenience stores and other outlets where you can buy a single little flavored cigar for a dollar, and every 15- or 16-year-old has a dollar.”

“You start small with no price shock, and then you care a little less about the price, because my brain is telling me I need more of this material,” Hamm said.

Smigiel: growth in an attempt to raise incoming taxes

Del Mike Smigiel, R-Cecil, opposes the tax and said it was a disguise for the state to collect more revenue.

The other tobacco product tax revenue is expected to grow by 25% in 2013 and to increase the total of $ 24 million over five years, despite the projected decline in sales, the study of the law school said.

Smigiel said that Marylanders will leave the state to buy tobacco products, and other goods in neighboring countries, to save money. He added that the state will reach children more effectively through education rather than taxes.

“Government doesn’t belong to that choice for you,” said Smigiel. “A tax is not going to deter youth from using the product. Some peer pressure and getting ads out there to show the consequences of this, which is much more effective than force someone to escape from the state to buy tobacco for a week.”

Pro-baseball great influence on the use of smokeless tobacco

DeMarco said that raising taxes only solves part of the problem. Children are more likely to use tobacco when they see role models, such as baseball planyers using them.

The link between chewing tobacco and baseball goes back as far as the sport itself. The image of the All-Star and Hall of Famers with a big wad of tobacco in their mouths banks in their back pockets gives teens involved in sports is a dangerous idea.

Many players have seen tobacco take a toll on their health. Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn had a cancerous tumor removed from his cheeks in February, which he accuses of using smokeless tobacco.

Major League Baseball took a historic step this year when his five-year collective bargaining agreement is limited to the use of smokeless tobacco. Players and coaches can not carry tobacco cans or bags on their body or form at any time of the fans in the stadium. They are prohibited from using smokeless tobacco during televised interviews, autograph sessions or team-sponsored appearances. The restrictions do not prevent players from chewing while they are in the club or not in the field.

Fines for using tobacco chew

For the second offense, the other written notice is given together with the “recommendations” for counseling. It is not until the third offense, the offender must pay a $ 1,000 fine.

“We believe that there are a number of players who continue to chew tobacco in ballparks, where children can see them on television while they play, and sometimes even when they are interviewed,” Hamm said. “We believe that it is not living up to the spirit of the agreement. We understand that there are cultural ties, and we’re going to be as patient as we can.”

“The ball players have to accept the change, if it is ever to be successful.”

Look before you light up

Come August 9 and all tobacco products in the UAE will hold the powerful graphic and written warnings in English and Arabic, which would cover half of the package.
A smoking is the heart, burning fingers, and a snake coiled around a hookah pipe consists of five scheduled to be used on a rotating basis in an attempt to keep smokers.

In a circular issued recently, all tobacco producers, traders and retailers in the UAE, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology, appealed to companies to dispose of their existing stock by the end of 2012. Any violation of the national anti-smoking law that a warning is now required, will take the penalties, which will be announced shortly.
The warnings about the health risks associated with tobacco use, will be binding on all packs of cigarettes and tobacco products across the GCC, in accordance with the unified approach of the state to regulate tobacco.

Officials from the UAE Ministry of Health said that years of hard work went into the implementation of these warnings and what they hope these warnings will have the same effect here as in the countries where they have been implemented.
“Any cigarettes or tobacco, the party entering the UAE on August 9, will require a mandatory warning,” said Dr. Al-Wedad Maidoor, head of the National Committee for Tobacco Control in the Ministry.
Dr Wedad, a well-known title of anti-smoking campaign in the UAE, said graphic warnings was the best way for people, especially youth, to learn the reality of the product. “We’re trying to tell all who live here, and even those who visit the UAE is serious about this issue and their health,” she added.

According to the World Health Organization, the photos convey clear and instant messages, even those who can not read. Although people believe that tobacco is harmful, they often do not know how tobacco actually affects them. Graphic warnings on tobacco products are also useful in reducing the attractiveness of tobacco packages.
Currently, a total of 23 countries are illustrated health warnings with messages reaching more than 700 million people. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Egypt, Jordan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Djibouti illustrated the issue of health warnings on packets of tobacco products.

“Tobacco companies spend millions of dollars to tobacco products attractive. They use packaging as an important tool for attracting new customers, while distracting them from the harsh reality of how tobacco destroys health,” said Dr Wedad.
The manufacturer says that adding pictures will mean cost increases of at least 20 percent. “We need a special color printers and scanning facilities,” said a spokesman for the production of Fujairah company brand is available locally and for export.
According to the specification, warnings, and photos will be printed on a white background and will cover 50 percent of the package. Warnings will also be required for different tobacco products, such as water pipes, snuff and chewing tobacco, cigars and cigarillos.

At the same time, research conducted by the Abu Dhabi Health and Johns Hopkins University in 2009 found that there is a very high level of tobacco consumption in the UAE. The study was done to assess the impact of graphic warnings to the public. All respondents believed that people smoke because of one or more of the following reasons: communication, entertainment with friends, free from stress provoking thoughts, mood improvement, and habit after eating, before bed and use the “Madawaska” small pipe to relax.

Indonesia’s tobacco rules

Government regulation of the landmark tobacco control is being finalized and will be signed soon, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Wednesday.

“As I understand it, the draft regulation is in the final stage,” Yudhoyono said during a press conference at the State Palace.
“The inter-ministerial discussions have concluded, and soon the paper will be brought up to me to sign. As soon as I get it, I certainly sign it.”

He said he understand the need to issue regulations. He also said that he was well aware of the debate around it, with an appeal be made both in support and against the law.

“We have taken note of everything,” he said.
“There is a noble goal here, and it is to protect human health, but at the same time, we must also protect the tobacco farmers.”

Regulation, which will be implemented in full from the beginning of 2014, scales back issues significantly weak measures of Indonesia on Tobacco Control. Among the key provisions will be binding introduces graphic warnings covering 40 percent of cigarette packs.
He also imposes additional restrictions on tobacco advertising in all media. Regulation would require cigarette advertising on television to devote 10 percent of its run-time written warnings and pictorial warnings.

Advertising on the radio will have to devote 10 percent of their length of verbal warnings, at the same time, image ads will be required to devote 10 percent of their area for the alert.
The decree also provides for a specific ban on tobacco advertising in print media. One of them is that these ads will never be published on the front or the back of the print edition or near the advertising of food and beverages.

Restrictions on outdoor advertising media include a ban on tobacco advertising that is displayed in a non-smoking areas and along main roads, and caps the size of the advertising on billboards in 72 square meters.
Restrictions, however, riled tobacco, which led the movement to a halt in Jakarta last month, a series of mass demonstrations against the impending regulation.

More than 237,000 people work in the tobacco industry in the country, producing about 190 billion cigarettes, according to the World Health Organization.
Indonesia is the seventh-largest producer of tobacco leaves, collecting 147,000 metric tons of tobacco in 2001, according to the data.
Indonesia has refused to sign the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, since it was released in 2004.

Philip Morris Proposal security in an insecure market

None of the headwinds that I warned about in the past three months has dissipated. Europe continues to suffer from a sovereign debt crisis U.S. economic data deteriorated, and there is considerable uncertainty remains about U.S. tax policy after the 2012 election cycle. For these reasons, I continue to allocate their funds to defensive stocks like Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM).

Excluding the state-controlled Chinese market, the company Philip Morris International is the largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the world, with about 28 percent of the shares 5.7 trillion market for international cigarette stick. The company has been allocated from (NYSE: MO) in March 2008 with the former parent to maintain exclusive rights to sell its cigarette brands in the U.S., while Philip Morris manufactures all of its sales from 180 markets outside the U.S.., a brand that has more than 9 percent of global cigarette market outside of China, and about one-third of the total income of the company Philip Morris. Other key brands in the portfolio consist of Philip Morris International Merit, Parliament,, L&M and Chesterfield.

In 2011, Asia overtook the European Union (EU) to become the most important companies operating region, which accounts for almost 36 percent of revenue compared to 33.5 percent in the EU. What is particularly striking how quickly Asia grew by Philip Morris? More recently, in 2009, sales in Asia up 24 percent, just over half of the 44 percent of the EU. Cigarettes in the EU market was faced with a number of significant headwinds in recent years, including weak economic conditions, more stringent anti-smoking laws and higher excise taxes on cigarettes. Sales trends in southern EU countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy have been particularly hard on the background of a weak economy and higher taxes.

Despite these economic challenges to the continent, Philip Morris played well there. In the first quarter, revenues grew by 2.4 percent compared to the year and more than 5 percent, excluding the effect of exchange rates. Due to rising prices, the company increased its revenue and operating profit, despite a 1.5 per cent as compared to year decline in sales of cigarettes.

This performance is a testament to brand strength and stability of Philip Morris and consistent profitability of the cigarette market, even in weak economic conditions. In a recent investor presentation, Philip Morris said that the tax environment for cigarettes is actually becoming more favorable. Some countries believe that raising taxes on cigarettes is too much, too fast cause consumers to cut back, which pushes the projected government revenue below expectations. Thus, the rate of new excise tax increase in 2012 appears to be slowing down.

Asia a long history of growth of the company Philip Morris. In the first quarter, total revenue increased by more than 19 percent, equivalent to about 16.3 percent on a constant currency basis. This increase was primarily due to an increase in the volume of total cigarette sales jumped nearly 12.4 percent over the same years, sales of its flagship Marlboro brand to 10 percent.

In the total sales of more than 77 billion units, Indonesia is also one of the most important and fastest-growing markets, Philip Morris International. During the first quarter of the country, Philip Morris estimates that its market share has reached one-third of the total market. Total shipments of the company rose 24.9 percent, compared with 12.2 per cent in the market as a whole.

46000000000 Japanese cigarette markets declined in 2011, and Philip Morris was able to pick up market share and increase its sales in cash and kind. Historically, Japan Tobacco (Tokyo: 2914) commanded a dominant share in the local market, but last year’s devastating Sendai earthquake and tsunami destroyed much of the supply chain companies, leading many smokers to switch to other brands such as Marlboro. It seems that some Japanese smokers have decided to stick to Marlboro.

Cigarettes are the quintessence of the Consumer Products business sales remains stable even in difficult economic times. The company pays a quarterly dividend of 77 cents, equivalent to 3.6 per cent of solid output at current prices.

Worcester’s tobacco ad ordinance is ruled invalid

A federal judge overturned a ruling on the provision of local tobacco control, which prohibits outdoor tobacco advertising within the city. The 23-page decision released yesterday, U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock rules ban is unconstitutional. He said the city has no legitimate interest in prohibiting “not misleading advertising” to adults to prevent them from deciding that the city does not approve.

The judge added that the city failed to show at the outdoor advertising regulations are not more extensive than necessary to advance its substantial interest in preventing underage tobacco use. He said the city also made no effort in working out an order to determine what types of advertising are the most harmful to minors. He said that a ban on all signs of any size seems to be “poorly suited” for the target problems are highly visible billboards, as opposed to smaller signs.

“The broad scope of the decision that the (city) do not consider how to adapt the restrictions, so as not to unduly burden the plaintiffs rights to free speech rights of adults and truthful information about tobacco products,” Judge Woodlock wrote. “No purpose of the city to prevent tobacco-related health problems in adults, nor any of its goals in the correlation of juvenile, is the basis for the decision,” he wrote.

The lawsuit was brought against the city of the National Association of tobacco outlets, Inc.; RJ Company Reynolds Tobacco, Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Company

Tobacco companies have welcomed the court decision as a victory for freedom of speech.

“Tobacco companies have a constitutional right to communicate with adult consumers through retail advertising, and this court has recognized that properly,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and deputy general counsel, speaking on behalf of Philip Morris. Andrew Kerstein, president of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, was also pleased with the decision. He said while his organization shares the goals of preventing minors from access to and use of tobacco, he feels the ban on outdoor advertising has gone too far.

City attorney David M. Moore said the city has not decided whether he will appeal the decision. He said that all options are under consideration. Meanwhile, District 2 councilor Philip P. Palmieri, a leading advocate of tough rule on Tobacco Control, said he was disappointed by the decision of the court. According to him, when he was a firm believer in the First Amendment, the law was aimed at reducing the number of “unnecessary deaths” in the city caused by tobacco products.”I am disappointed that the judge did not take into account the basic and fundamental attention of young children, the impact of this rule,” he said.

In April last year, Worcester became the ninth municipality in the state to ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to local health workers, including chain pharmacies and other pharmacies. The ban was one of four changes to the Resolution of tobacco control of the city. Other changes have also banned the sale of tobacco products in the local universities and city-wide sale of so-called blunt wraps – cigarette rolling paper like that are usually made from tobacco leaves.

In addition, cigarettes and tobacco products can not be declared in areas where they can be viewed from city streets, parks, schools and universities. This effectively banned outdoor advertising of tobacco products throughout the city. Supporters of the amendment referred to the Board of “historic”, adding that they will serve as an important first step toward reducing the rate of smoking in Worcester.

In drawing up the decree, the city health authorities said that an estimated 31,265 smokers live in Worcester. They said 23.7 percent of adults living in the city smoke – a level that is 47 percent higher than the state rate of 16.1 percent. In addition, smoking among people aged 45 to 64 stands at 23.7 percent, which is 42 percent higher than the state level, 16.7 percent.

Meanwhile, mortality rates among residents of Worcester from tobacco are about 250 people a year, or about five per week, depending on public health. Shortly after the City Council adopted a regulation, the tobacco companies filed a lawsuit against the city, challenging the legality of the prohibition of advertising. The city decided not to apply this provision in the regulations while the lawsuit is pending.

The Council has strict rules, because the harm to health caused by tobacco, and the relationship between tobacco advertising and increased tobacco consumption. But tobacco companies objected to the regulation of advertising decision, saying it will hinder their ability to sell their products within the city.

“The plaintiffs do not claim that the city of Worcester is no significant interest the government in preventing youth tobacco use,” the judge wrote. “Nevertheless, they argue that the substantial interest of the city is limited to the protection of minors.”They say the city has no legitimate interest in prohibiting misleading advertising to adults, to prevent them from deciding that the city does not approve,” he added.

Judge Woodlock said the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002, is the first such issue amendments to the law banning the promotion of complex products.

However, the Supreme Court rejected the notion that the government is interested in preventing the spread of truthful commercial information in order to prevent the public from making bad decisions with this information.

“(Supreme) Court thus rejected the main interest is advanced by the city of Worcester in support of the advertising restrictions,” the judge wrote. Judge Woodlock also referred to the decision of the Supreme Court last year, which effectively prohibits the city from attempting to remove the “popular, but the disgraced type of product,” such as tobacco, from the market by prohibiting truthful, not misleading advertisements aimed for adults.

In accordance with the decision of the court, the judge said: “Worcester can not ban tobacco advertising in order to prevent an adult to make a choice legally purchase tobacco products.” In December, the legal issue of the ban on the sale of blunt wraps was discontinued. At the same time, honey farm, filed with the problem of providing a resolution on tobacco control, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products on property owned by educational institutions.


FDA: tobacco companies must disclose levels of hazardous chemicals in products

Tobacco companies are required to report the level of hazardous substances contained in cigarettes, chew and other related products, marking the first time, industry will be required by law to specify the amount of hazardous substances contained in tobacco. Requirement associated with the new guidelines issued prior to the last Friday by the Food and Drug Administration United States.

The Agency has issued two draft guidance documents that implement the provisions of the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA power to regulate the tobacco industry. Signature element of the law called for the inclusion of graphic warning labels on cigarette packages and advertisements, the demand of the tobacco industry challenged in court, arguing that violated free speech rights of tobacco companies.

Under the new guidelines, FDA, the tobacco industry will need to provide a precise amount of potentially harmful chemicals in tobacco products. The guidelines also provide guidance to companies seeking to market tobacco products, like the one that reduces the risk of tobacco-related diseases.

“We have found new territory to the tobacco companies to provide accurate information and not mislead American consumers,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in a statement. “We want to stop such actions, which may cause people to begin or continue to use tobacco products, which can lead to prevention of disease and death.”

Although there are over 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and its smoke, FDA created a list of 93 hazardous and potentially hazardous substances (HPHCs), that tobacco companies will be required to report for each regulated tobacco products sold in the United States released a draft of the guidelines by the FDA identifies 20 HPHCs on which the agency will focus law enforcement efforts during 2012.

Ammonia, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide is one of the components or by-products, which will be subject to new rules this year.
FDA intends to make the information on the number of HPHCs specific products available to the public in April 2013.
Although the 2009 law also gave the FDA the authority to set standards on the level of harmful ingredients in tobacco products, the agency does not use power.

An estimated 443,000 people in the U.S. die from smoking and passive smoking each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency reported tobacco use leads to enormous economic burden, resulting in more than $ 96 billion in medical costs and $ 97 billion in lost productivity every year.

Rules for solving the illegal trade in tobacco products

Drugs and tobacco products are as different as chalk and cheese.
But efforts to combat illicit trade in tobacco products can have serious consequences for drugs, too, the government health care in countries with emerging economies such as India and Brazil.
At the talks are currently in Geneva, the use of the word “fake” in the draft protocol of the World Health Organization to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products.

Fakes are a trade and the problem should be from the health-related laws, the representatives of India and Brazil retained.
The main problem with using the word “fake” in the fight against illicit trade in tobacco is a bad precedent. Interpretation is that the product is not what it seems and a lot of time will be spent to combat tobacco manufacturers to the trademark issue – when, in fact, the sale of tobacco products should be discouraged in any form, real or otherwise, the government official, familiar with the development told Business Line.

Negotiations in progress

“We hope that the” fake “the word is not used at all in the WHO FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products. Final session of negotiations is under way and should be completed by April 4.
“Brazil has led a life removed from the draft protocol, and supports a large number of Parties to the FCTC. When I write, the EU is considering its position on this issue,” Mr. Jonathan Lieberman, director of the McCabe and Australia on issues of law, and cancer, said his response, late on Saturday.

“The use of” fake “is extremely problematic in the context of tobacco – because the protection of IP (intellectual property) rights of the tobacco industry is not subject to WHO’s contract – and, besides, if it is used in this protocol, in the face of everything that happens in the WHO drugs in the past four years, it can then be claimed by those in the IP-side of perfectionism debate, it would set a precedent to be followed in the context of drugs, “he said.
Poor quality and not fake

The position of the Government of India on the drugs that are not genuine call it their “substandard, counterfeit, or false” is not “fake” – which is linked to abuse very name, trademark or logo, a government official said.
In addition, drugs that are not genuine and have different types: one whose composition can be a good and effective, but the product may be falsely labeled or the entire product may be defective, the official added.

“We in India have suffered,” the official said, referring to the removal of several Indian total exports of medicines in Europe for alleged trademark infringement.
It came to a boil with the government on this issue in the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization.
The truce has since been called. But the Indian authorities of health, however, seeks to ensure that trade rules do not interfere with dispensing health – whether it be through the promotion of affordable medicine and discouraging tobacco products.

Opinions were divided

Certain conditions peculiar to South Africa contributed to the high banking fees of the Banking Association SA said in response to criticism of banks in the budget yesterday.

Pravin Gordhan Finance Minister said that the fee for many products in the financial sector is still too high.We note the Minister comment on the financial sector,” the Association said. “However, we should note some of the factors inherent value of South Africa, which contribute to these costs. Examples are broadband costs, protection of funds and the significant compliance costs.”The association says the increased competition has led to more efficient sectors with less.

Gordhan measures aimed at encouraging savings were met. “We welcome initiatives aimed at tax-exempt savings products and make the financial sector to work with Government to implement it.”

The association said the government should work with the private sector in the development of economic infrastructure, to which R845 million has been committed. “We urge the government to create opportunities for private sector participation in these projects on the basis of rational PPP (public-private partnership) and other mechanisms.”

Banking Association SA represents all registered banks in South Africa.I was nothing in the budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to be carried away by farmers, agricultural union TAU SA said yesterday.

Increasing fuel taxes to 28c a liter would mean farmers of cross-subsidization of projects related to agriculture by refilling their equipment such as tractors and harvesters who “never seen on a public road,” the president of Union, Louis Meintjies, he said. Taxis are exempt from the duty of Gauteng, which will be introduced in April, while the farmers had to pay full price.

This means that it will cost more farmers to transport their goods to markets. In spite of the alternative routes were to be restored, Meintjies said it will take a long time. “Agriculture is thus essentially nothing is glad of the budget.”

The increase in capital gains tax for companies to 66 percent would be “disastrous” for farmers, most of them the structure of the company. “If the pressure continues to farmers to sell their land for land reform, and they have a huge amount of capital gains tax to pay.”

Meintjies said it would make “impossible” for them to buy new land. In spite of the R1.9 billion allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Land Bank, very few will benefit commercial farmers, as most will go to emerging farmers, he said.

Mr. Mike PEO, director of infrastructure, energy and telecommunications in the Nedbank Capital, said the budget this year seemed to be the first to address not only the distribution, but the infrastructure costs. He said that a much stronger commitment to ensuring that the distribution infrastructure does not remain on the books, but we used to be.

“This is a very positive budget, and I think that the million-dollar trick is that it provides specific ideas about how the budget will be spent, and how some of the things outlined in the report of the planning will be done,” he said.

In Medscheme director Andre Meyer: “We are pleased that the minister gave more practical steps on how this plan will be rolled out over the next 14 years, and some clarity about how this will be funded in the future.

“We are particularly pleased that the first five years, the deployment plan is going to focus on strengthening public health infrastructure and training of more professionals. “We believe that the government is taking the right direction in this regard, because it’s very important factors in the ultimate success of the National Health Insurance (NIH).”

He said the NHI will have benefits for health care schemes, provided it was the improvement of relations between public and private health systems. The scheme proposed by the commercial opportunities and the public sector should take advantage of reliable information in the private sector technology management systems, and experience in managing costs.

In increase in the cost of tobacco products fell in the “reasonable limits”, British American Tobacco South Africa said shortly after Pravin Gordhan Finance Minister presented the budget.
“For us, this recognition of the Government of serious problems with the illegal trade in cigarettes,” spokeswoman Leslie said Rance. “It is also to blame for the loss of about R4bn in state revenue due to tax evasion on illegal cigarettes.”

Rance says about 28 percent of cigarettes sold were illegal. Tobacco Institute of South Africa expressed similar sentiments and expressed Gordhan to maintain a stable exchange rate for tobacco products.

“Although the excise tax was increased to 58C in a package of 20 cigarettes, it was done to save 52 percent of the tax incidence on tobacco products in accordance with current government policy,” the executive director of the Institute for Francois van der Merwe said.

Mr. Christel Grohmann, director of Grant Thornton Advisory Services, said: “We agree with the Minister, where he stressed that the business must invest in our future – he referred to the 43 planned public infrastructure projects, including transport and logistics, energy and social infrastructure were the main areas. Nevertheless, he provided no clarity, and the role of the private sector or PPP as a whole. ”

Cliff Watson, Executive Director of Tax, Grant Thornton, said: “It is encouraging that there are some tax incentives for small, micro and medium enterprises. Reducing the administrative burden is also welcomed.”

Section of the South African middle class was the biggest losers in the budget this year, the trade union Solidarity said yesterday. “The significant increase in fuel tax, ostensibly exemption from income tax and the implementation of the disputed tolling system on Gauteng roads to the middle class … the biggest losers,” Solidarity scholar Pete Le Roux said in a statement.

“The middle class will have to cut back in other areas, where goods and services became more expensive because of the increase.”

The Union is concerned about the country becomes a welfare state. “At that time, the Minister Gordhan ruled that the global economic problems associated with unregulated capitalism … (Solidarity) are concerned that he lost sight of growing crisis of the welfare state, which was established by the Government and is funded by taxpayers,” said Le Roux .

Lawyers warn of smokeless tobacco

Cases of teens caught with tobacco in schools can be compared to last year, but the anti-drug officials say chewing and other alternatives, smoking may help them avoid detection.

Jennifer Ball, substance abuse prevention educator for the school district, told you are no longer children and adolescents, only cigarettes and tobacco spit to choose from. Now the products look like stripes gum, mints, tea bags, and other common elements that can be slipped into the upper or lower lip and go unnoticed. Many mints or fruit, and even smell like candy wrap, Ball said. “Especially in the school system, if you do not know the tobacco companies’ new marketing tools, teachers can easily take these items for packing chewing gum or candy,” Ball said. “They do come in small cans that look like Altoid cans. All chewing tobacco is no longer the little round circle of containers that are so obvious. They can be disguised so well.”

This concern, the ball is said, because children and teenagers are increasingly using the products and are under the impression that they are safer than cigarettes.

According to a press release from Hernando County Health Department, 10.9 percent of students in Hernando County school there were a smokeless tobacco in 2010 – 2.6 percent more than in 2006.

For comparison, the statewide prevalence of smokeless tobacco was 6.4 percent among high school students in 2011.

Health officials and worry, because the fall and other chewing tobacco, consume three to four times the amount of nicotine compared to cigarettes.

Using chewing tobacco also gives users the risk of oral cancers, and cancers of the esophagus, larynx, stomach, pancreas, and pharynx.

“Part of the problem lies in the fact that we beat the children about the dangers of smoking and all that they have heard, is lung cancer, lung cancer, lung cancer,” Ball said. “We have always been focused on smoking, and very little was discussed about oral cancer and cancer of the stomach.”

According to the Department of Health, the new products that teens have access to include:
• Snus (pronounced “snooze”), a new type of smokeless tobacco, which is a small bag, a bag containing tobacco that users place between the gum and upper lip. Snus requires no spitting, so it can be easily hidden. Of Orbs (soluble granules tobacco), sticks and strips that resemble chewing gum, candy and breath strips.

Other forms include:of the spit, or chewing tobacco.

Loose-leaf for: Free form small packed bars.

Forks of the: which consist of small, oblong blocks of semi-soft chewing tobacco?

of the Nasal snuff: the powder, which is sniffed into the nostrils.

Meanwhile, Ann-Gayl Ellis, public information officer of the Department of Health said that the February 19-25 a week to the Chu – a campaign aimed at preventing and reducing the use of smokeless tobacco.



Lawmakers put off vote on Indian Affairs nominee

Nominal Governor Susana Martinez to head the Department of Indian Affairs is under scrutiny from lawmakers about possible illegal sales of cigarettes in a store managed by the family office secretary.

The Senate Rules Committee agreed Monday to temporarily postpone a vote on approval of the Secretary of Indian Affairs, Arthur Ellison, because questions about the sale of untaxed cigarettes in a store Star Ranch, located near Farmington on the Navajo Nation. We are talking about selling non-Indians of cigarettes without taxes in New Mexico and selling certain cigarettes, Attorney General’s office argues, is prohibited in New Mexico. Martinez appointed Allison last year to run the agency. He is the first Navajo appointed to the cabinet-level job. Allison said that the committee, he applied for a job shop, his son and does not receive compensation from him. “I take no profit from it. I’m not a member of management,” said Ellison, who described himself as a “passive member” of the Partnership, which owns the gasoline and shop. Nevertheless, Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, has repeatedly asked Allison about his financial stake in a shop and said that it is possible for “passive member”, to be eligible for the money partnership. Wirth said that the state financial disclosure reports Allison shops listed under the category of “other business interests in New Mexico at $ 10,000 or more.” Ellison said he turned to the store because the sales volume of more than $ 10,000.

At the request of legislators, Ellison said he will give the committee a copy of the operating agreement to the store. Wirth said he would shed light on whether Allison continues to have a financial interest in the store, possibly violated state law.

Wirth and Senate President Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, said the committee should decide on the participation of stores and Ellison, to avoid potential confirmation fight in the Senate. Allison should get away from the $ 87,000 a year public service, if the Senate rejected his nomination.

“I do not want to do anything that hurts the reputation Mr. Ellison,” said Wirth.
Jennings said: “I do not think anyone questions his honesty.”

However, some committee members expressed concern that the unregulated sale of cigarettes a certain sires can put New Mexico at the risk of losing some of the more than $ 35 million the state receives each year to 1998 national agreements with major companies of tobacco.

The Committee plans to resume in the category view of Ellison environment and wants to hear from the office of general counsel, who sent a letter to the governor’s office in May last year, said the administration, the sale of cigarettes in a store Allison violate the law of the state and that Ellison is “aiding and abetting in the sale of contraband.” A month later, a reporter for the Associated Press was still able to buy the Seneca brand cigarettes without state tax stamps.

Allison told the committee he doesn’t know whether the store continued to sell Seneca cigarettes.

The Canadian-based manufacturer of the Seneca brand, Grand River Enterprises, is not certified to sell its products in New Mexico, according King’s office. However, the company has sued New Mexico and the attorney general, claiming that the state can not prohibit the sale of Seneca cigarettes and other tribal lands. The company is positioning itself as the largest producer of Native Americans has made tobacco products in North America.

Under a 2010 law, New Mexico increased its tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a package to a total of $1.66. However, the state agreed to give tribal retailers a price advantage by exempting them from 91 cents of the New Mexico tax if a tribe or pueblo levied its own tax of at least 75 cents.

Allison said the Navajo Nation charges a tax on cigarettes. However, the tribal government is not certified for the state, the tax meets the requirements of the law in 2010, according to the spokesman of the Department of Taxation and revenue.


Tobacco License Ordinance

The Centralia City Council has offered a resolution setting new tobacco license fees and annual new application at a meeting on Monday. Centralia Mayor Tom Ashby states there are 29 tobacco licenses that have been issued to the city. He feels there are enough producers of tobacco in Centralia.

“Well, I think, if we have 29 seats sale right now, I do not think we should be encouraging more people to the loss and the result of a couple of stores that we had, and we have some problems in areas that have we have. In fact, with one store, we had a car drive through it, and the last shop smoke, we had an armed robbery. I think it’s a direct link to this type of thing sometimes”, said Ashby.

Councilmen David Sauer and Doug Krutsinger say certain provisions in the ordinance will prevent business owners from selling tobacco products in their stores in the city, such as increasing the annual contribution of $ 100. They believe that they should not discourage people from selling tobacco if they want to do it.

Police Chief Larry Evans informed the Council that there are some provisions of the regulations, which would be useful for the city. Information from the list of suppliers will be given to the Police Department for verification of compliance. “I think that the best way to look at this legislation, it will help law enforcement agencies, it can be put on a plane similar to a liquor license, where we could really deny the issuance of liquor license until we move to a system where there are qualifying and disqualifying factors that would go into the tobacco license someone else. I’m not sure, beyond collecting more money, how effective it will be, “Evans said.

The provisions allowed for the suspension or revocation for violations of state law or city ordinances or for making any false statements on the application form. However, there is no clause in the decree that the punishment for those who violate state law or city regulations. The Council questioned if the city can use some of decisions legally. The Board voted to table a resolution, demanding more information to be researched and added to the ordinance, before the final vote will be achieved.

The proposed ordinance would have required all applicants for a tobacco license to fill out an application on an annual basis, similar to a liquor license. There is currently no application to fill. All tobacco manufacturers have to do is paying a $ 100 fee and receives a sticker saying that they have the right to sell tobacco products in their stores.

Tobacco Product Rules

E-cigarettes to be treated as tobacco products; cigars must be in packages of four

The Boston Public Health Commission’s Board of Health last week approved several new regulations affecting tobacco retailers. Electronic cigarettes now will be treated like tobacco products, it said, including requirements for retail establishments to obtain a permit to sell them, to place them behind the store counter and to not sell them to minors.

A handful of convenience stores in Boston sell e-cigarettes and additional stores are interested in selling them, according to a survey conducted by the Northeastern University School of Law Public Health Legal Clinic. E-cigarettes also will not be allowed in the workplace, which includes restaurant patios and decks, and loading docks.

The board also approved prohibiting the sale of low-cost, single-sale cigars, which it says have become “an attractive option for price-conscious youth looking for less-expensive alternatives to cigarettes.” Cigars will now be required to be sold in their original manufacturer packaging of at least four.

It also is doubling fines for retailers that sell tobacco products to anyone under age 18 and violate other tobacco control regulations–from $100 to $200 for the first offense and from $400 for the fourth offense in 12 months to $800 for the fourth offense in 24 months.

Under the new regulations, retailers must apply for a permit through the Boston Public Health Commission’s Tobacco Control office to sell any nicotine product that is not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a nicotine replacement therapy.

“The steps the board has taken today will help reduce young people’s exposure to tobacco and unregulated nicotine products and eliminate exposure to e-cigarette vapors containing nicotine and other known toxins in the workplace,'” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

During the course of a 60-day public comment period and a public hearing, the board received 296 comments supporting the e-cigarettes restrictions and 596 favoring the cigar packaging change, compared to 34 comments opposing the e-cigarette restrictions and 18 opposing the cigar packaging change.

E-cigarette opponents argued that the product should not be restricted because e-cigarette vapors are not harmful. Proponents argued that e-cigarette solution is known to contain nicotine and a number of toxic chemicals and carcinogens, and that the safety of e-cigarette vapors has not been established by the FDA.

Opposition to the cigar packaging regulation mostly came from cigar industry representatives who cited the economic impact; proponents, however, argued that the measure was a reasonable step that could discourage youths from using tobacco products.

The e-cigarette restrictions took effect immediately, while the new cigar packaging regulation goes into effect on January 31, 2012.

Harford to ban smoking on county government property

Harford County government says it plans to impose a complete smoking ban on its properties, owned or leased, though it isn’t clear what specific properties fall into that category.

The Harford County Department of Administration will conduct a public hearing on the proposed rule and regulation requiring county government property to be tobacco-free on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. in the second floor conference room, Harford County Government Administration Building, 220 South Main St. in Bel Air.

“There’s been an issue at the county office building, where smokers congregate down the handicapped ramp and also at a picnic table on the parking lot,” Thomas said.

The proposed tobacco-free rule and regulation states: “Smoking and use of any tobacco products is prohibited on all property owned, leased or operated by Harford County, Maryland (the ‘County’). This consists of all buildings and grounds, including exterior open spaces, parking lots and garages, driveways and recreational facilities. In addition, smoking is prohibited in any vehicle owned or leased by the County.”

Besides cigarettes, cigars and pipes, “smoking” is defined as the use of other tobacco products such as snuff and chewing tobacco, as well as, e-cigarettes.

The tobacco ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2012; however, the regulation has a provision for the county to provide a designated smoking area outside any leased county facility that is under contract to be used prior to the ban taking place.

Employees who violate this regulation are subject to disciplinary action, according to the regulation. Visitors and/or vendors who are observed violating this regulation will be required to cease the violation, or will be asked to leave the premises.

Thomas could not immediately provide specific details on the properties that will or will not be affected by the ban. He did say he had been told the libraries’ grounds would not be covered by it.


If the details seem scarce, it’s because that’s how TOBACCO likes to keep them. Hailing from an unspecified burg in rural Pennsylvania, somewhere north of Pittsburgh, he has successfully made a name for himself even as he’s avoided acknowledging that name’s legal counterpart. As both the frontman of Black Moth Super Rainbow and the sole creative engine behind TOBACCO, he’s earned the eager ears and prying eyes of doggedly loyal fans and smitten critics alike – a kindness he’s repaid by granting few interviews, obscuring his face in photos, and seeming wholly uninterested in the subject of his own identity. Such things just get in the way of the music after all, so if it’s easier, you might think of TOBACCO as music – a one-man genre made of equal parts analog crunch, earthy psychedelia, fuzzed-up hip-hop, and outside pop. All the same, here’s what’s known.

TOBACCO has a sister. He grew up in a decent neighborhood. He was nearly strong-armed into elementary school band after an aptitude test suggested he play an instrument. He hated the idea, so he didn’t do it. He didn’t like music at all, in fact, until he discovered MTV – and hence, the Beasties’ “So What’cha Want” video – one long summer bridging the middle of middle school. The first concert he attended was Butthole Surfers, and it’s still his favorite. His favorite record of all time is Beck’s Mellow Gold. Sticking to his childhood guns, he typically doesn’t like music released earlier than the late ’80s.

As for high school, TOBACCO could have done without the classes. An extracurricular interest in freestyle BMX – flatland – was soon replaced by a growing zeal for music, even though his first band, called Wood, didn’t employ any instruments to its cause. (Its two main ingredients were flyers and hype.) Acquiring a guitar and a four-track opened up new doors, to the purplish noise and busted ghetto-blaster tracks that now populate The Allegheny White Fish Tapes, which TOBACCO self-released in 2009.

This was before the gritty analog synths, the murky vocoder-ing, and the hypnotic aural crush that came with founding Black Moth Super Rainbow. TOBACCO rounded up the group’s members before graduation, and until last year’s Dave Fridmann-produced collaborative affair, Eating Us, roughly treated BMSR as a solo project, penning three albums’ and several EPs’ worth of sludgy pagan pop for his cohorts to realize live. He designed BMSR’s album art as well, which occasionally involved scratch-n-sniff elements or hair.

But TOBACCO would come to crave a more pure musical identity, one steeped in guttural sounds that hit harder and flashed brighter. This fixation reared its ugly head as 2008’s beat-oriented Fucked Up Friends, TOBACCO’s official debut. Two years later, with BMSR effectively on hiatus, the man is back and beastlier than ever with Maniac Meat, a record designed to bully his previous works into a corner, gut them, and leave ’em for dead. This is a good time to mention that TOBACCO believes he is making pop music.

Full campus smoking ban will be subject to review

The review “will be addressing not only the effectiveness of the policy but some of the weaknesses that we are seeing…issues, such as labor unions, issues of safe-havens, and things along communication lines, getting the word out,” University Senate Executive Committee Chair Sharyn O’Halloran said.

Columbia will conduct a review of how to implement a full smoking ban, University Senate Executive Committee Chair Sharyn O’Halloran said at Thursday’s senate plenary.

Senators did not vote on whether to ban smoking on campus, but O’Halloran said the University will study how such a ban would work in practice. The senate plenary also featured updates on the implementation of Columbia’s NROTC program and a discussion about new employee health insurance programs. The plenary was rescheduled from last Friday to accommodate University President Lee Bollinger’s schedule, but Bollinger left before holding his usual question-and-answer session, to the consternation of some senators.

The senate voted to ban smoking within 20 feet of buildings on the Morningside Heights campus last December, but University Senator Mark Cohen, a Business School professor, started pressing for a full ban immediately after that vote took place. The senate still has not voted on Cohen’s proposal, but O’Halloran said Columbia will start reviewing the issues that could come up if the senate passes a full ban.

“It [the review] will be addressing not only the effectiveness of the policy, but some of the weaknesses that we are seeing … issues, such as labor unions, issues of safe havens, and things along communication lines, getting the word out,” she said.

In addition to the smoking ban update, Vice Provost for Academic Administration Stephen Rittenberg told senators that membership of the provost’s NROTC committee has been finalized. Asked for details by student senators, Rittenberg said that the committee will include five faculty members and two students, and that its membership will be publicly announced in the next few weeks.

“We have established an advisory committee that is going to be starting next week and has been making progress in the various administrative and academic questions that need to be answered in order to start the program,” Rittenberg said.

Rittenberg was asked by senator Ryan Turner, a graduate student at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, about whether the committee should have student membership from all three undergraduate schools that would take part in the program—SEAS, Columbia College, the School of General Studies. Turner said he had heard that the committee would not have a SEAS student on it.

Rittenberg responded that “this is not the type of committee that needs to have school-specific representation.”

“You had to make a choice on how large a committee you would have and the more people you have on the committee, the harder it is to get everyone to contribute,” Rittenberg said.

With the yearly enrollment period for employees to choose their health insurance plan set to end today, Assistant Vice President of Benefits Fiona MacLennan made a presentation to senators on the 2012 changes to the University’s insurance plans. There have been two new plans added to the mix this year—the result of recommendations from a University task force charged with balancing Columbia’s benefits pool as health care costs rise—and new childcare benefits and domestic partner credits were introduced as well.

Faculty members debated the new plans, which feature higher co-payments. Many pointed to the fact that some physicians associated with or recommended by Columbia are not covered by the new plans, and as a result, employees who see those physicians are subject to very high costs.

“We have actually been working very hard with the Columbia doctors to get as many of the doctors into any of the three networks, so that they will take Columbia employees’ insurance,” MacLennan said. “That’s not something that we can necessarily mandate.”

In what O’Halloran called the “feel-good” part of the plenary, two Columbia-associated nonprofit groups, Community Impact and Columbia Community Service, made presentations to the senate to about their work. CCS President Mark Kerman said that the presentations were part of the groups’ effort of “trying to build awareness,” since it is often difficult for them to communicate with the larger Columbia community.

O’Halloran also updated senators on the work of Ad Hoc Committee on Conflict of Interest Policy. The committee has now crafted a University-wide conflict of interest policy, which is being circulated to relevant senate committees.

By Margaret Mattes

The Life Insurance Corporation coughs up crores for tobacco investments

Business moves do not get more ironical than this. When tobacco has been identified as the biggest preventable cause of death across the globe, public sector behemoth Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has coughed up a huge amount to invest in tobacco companies.

LIC has invested more than Rs3,600 crore in three tobacco companies in 2010-11, an RTI query has revealed. Anti-tobacco activists and cancer specialists are outraged, and believe that it is unethical and ironical that India’s largest insurance company would invest in something that is injurious to health.

The information was sought by an activist’s consortium called Voices of Tobacco Victims. The public information officer’s (PIO) reply shows that LIC has invested Rs3,600 crore in three tobacco companies. Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) has seen the biggest investment of over Rs3,500 crore last year, while the other two companies are VST Industries and Dharmapal Satyapal (DS) Ltd, which manufactures smokeless (chewing) tobacco. LIC also owns shares of ITC, and the number has steadily gone up over the years—from 51 crore in 2009 to over 99 crore on 31 March 2011.

However, instances of the government holding shares in big companies are not new. The Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) held substantial shares in Axis Bank, ITC and Larsen and Toubro (L&T). These companies, though professionally managed, want the government to hold stock for fending off hostile takeover bids. British American Tobacco (BAT), the parent company of ITC, holds almost 32% stake in its Indian arm; and its attempts to gain a majority stake have been well-publicised.

Though the public insurer’s strategy may be perfectly legal, it is ethically incorrect for LIC to invest in tobacco companies without the prior approval of the investors, said Dr Vishal Rao, convener, Tobacco Free Bangalore and national executive member of the Federation of Head & Neck Oncology. “India is one of the early signatories to an international treaty called Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC). The huge investment by LIC in one of the biggest tobacco companies of India is surely against the spirit of FCTC,” he said.

In her reply, LIC CPIO (chief public information officer) Saroj S Dikhale has said that LIC does not charge any extra premium from tobacco users and smokers for issuing an insurance policy. “Depending on quantity, duration and type of tobacco consumption, while large numbers of customers are accepted without any extra premium, some of the applicants may be charged higher premium,” the reply said. However, it is not known how many claims have been rejected by LIC due to the insured’s habit of tobacco consumption.

According to a WHO (World Health Organization) study in 2010, around 34% of the population above 15 years in India consume tobacco in different forms. Minister of state S Gandhiselvam said in a written reply in Parliament a few months back that around eight to nine lakh Indians die every year due to diseases that result from tobacco consumption.

Dr PC Gupta, director, Shekharia Institute of Public Health said, “It is a shock that the investment with ITC has doubled in the last two financial years rather than coming down over the year. On one hand, the government is spending nearly Rs10,000 crore on treatment of tobacco-related illness and on the other hand, they are investing Rs3,500 crore in a leading cigarette manufacturer.”

A case against the harmful effects of gutka (chewing tobacco) is pending before the Supreme Court for an outright ban. “If the Supreme Court bans it, then what will happen to the invested public money in DS Group?” remarked Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, associate professor at Tata Memorial Hospital, who has been working closely with the activist group.

Will LIC dump its tobacco shares? Only the health ministry can take a call—but the insurance giant is under the ambit of a different regulator.

FDA to study effect of tobacco rules on smokers

U.S. health regulators said on Thursday they will follow the behavior and health of 40,000 smokers aged 12 and older to study the effects of new tobacco regulations.

The joint effort by the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health is the first such study since Congress asked the FDA to regulate tobacco products in 2009.

The FDA said the results will help it better tailor regulations to inform people about the risks of tobacco products.

Rockville, Maryland-based research firm Westat will examine what makes people more likely to smoke or stop smoking, and what effect regulation has had on how people view tobacco and its risks.

“The results will strengthen FDA’s ability to fulfill our mission to make tobacco-related death and disease part of America’s past,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.

The FDA was tasked with overseeing the advertisements and product designs of the tobacco industry, including marketing to children.

But its new rules have faced lawsuits from some tobacco manufacturers, who argue the government has overstepped its authority.

Last month, lawyers from companies including Reynolds American Inc and Lorillard Inc said the FDA had little evidence to prove product labels with pictures of rotting teeth and diseased lungs actually keep consumers from smoking or help them better understand its risks.

The FDA said almost 70 million Americans aged 12 and older used tobacco products in 2010, and cigarette smoking results in 443,000 deaths in the United States each year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been little change in the number of Americans who smoke cigarettes since 2004.

Hookah Tobacco Won’t be Banned in Public Places for Now

Hookah tobacco will not be hookah usebanned in Utah’s bars and clubs after all… at least not for now. In an emergency meeting Tuesday, the legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee asked the state health department to hold off on its new changes to the Utah Clean Air Act, saying it didn’t have the authority to make them. Committee Co-Chair Representative Curt Oda says the health department went overboard in saying that lit and heated tobacco are the same thing.

“The code although it does not specifically define smoke in itself — it does talk about smoking — but the question was not in the smoking, it was the difference between lighted, which is in the code, and heated which is in their rule,” he explains.

Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko says the department will begin working with the legislature to fix the law, and hopes it can be changed soon.

“We feel like we presented some very sound, peer-reviewed scientific data at the committee meeting that clearly showed that hookah smoke does pose a risk to individuals, the secondhand smoke that’s created from smoking hookah pipes, so we’ll certainly work with the legislature and do what we need to do to clarify the law and protect the public,” says Hudachko.

Representative Oda says a new law could be passed as early as the October 3rd special session.

By Jessica Gail

Most States Still Preempt Local Smoking Policies

No progress has been made in the past decade toward abolishing state-level restrictions on local anti-smoking policies, one of the goals of the national Healthy People 2020 project, researchers said.

Whereas 28 states in 2000 preempted at least some types of local effort to discourage smoking, such restrictions were still in place last year in 27 states, according to Michelle Griffin, MPH, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and three CDC researchers.

They reported findings from the CDC’s State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation database in the Aug. 26 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Although eight states have dropped laws that prevent localities from adopting ordinances and administrative rules that limit smoking in workplaces and public gathering spots, states have been reluctant to allow local restrictions on tobacco advertising or vending methods that make tobacco products available to minors.

“Like smoke-free laws, restrictions on advertising and youth access are components of a comprehensive approach to tobacco control,” Griffin and colleagues wrote, citing studies that these are effective in reducing tobacco use.

Many communities have sought to adopt such policies, but have found that they are forbidden to implement regulations that are more restrictive than those in place at the state level.

The Healthy People 2020 initiative called for abolition of such state-level preemption of local regulation.

“State preemptive provisions that prevent local action in any of these three areas impede local and state efforts to reduce tobacco use,” Griffin and colleagues asserted.

In 2000, the study found, 18 states had laws blocking local regulation of smoking at work or in public places, which had fallen to 12 by 2010.

Eight states “completely rescinded preemptive provisions or had such provisions overturned by state courts” during the decade, the researchers wrote.

But in two states, litigation produced rulings that “ambiguous provisions” in statutes preempted local action.

Local advertising restrictions were preempted in 18 states both in 2000 and 2010. And, states thwarting local-level policies to block youth access to tobacco (primarily by banning vending machine sales) actually increased by one, to 22, when Pennsylvania adopted a preemptive provision in 2002.

Seven states retained preemptions on all three categories of anti-smoking policies in 2010: Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington. But that number was down from the 11 with comprehensive preemptions in 2000.

By John Gever,
MedPage Today

Advisers question American Tobacco Trail expenses

DURHAM — A member of a key advisory board says Durham officials need to look harder at why the bids for an extension of the American Tobacco Trail came in about 38 percent higher than expected.

The $2.1 million overrun “indicates the possibility of a serious error in judgment” by the engineers who designed the project and the city staffers who worked with them, said Toby Berla, a member of the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission.

Berla told fellow commission members last week that an architect and engineer he’d spoken to about the project were “not at all surprised” that the trail extension and its associated bridge over Interstate 40 had come in as high as they did.

“I don’t mean to start pointing fingers in the middle of a crisis, but I also don’t think we can just look the other way and pretend that nothing went wrong,” Berla said in an email to his colleague. “A $2 million underestimate on a project of this scope is huge, and demands a clear explanation of what went wrong.”

Berla’s comments came as he and other members of the trails commission — one of two advisory panels involved in the matter — began weighing their response to the city’s plan for covering the overrun.

Administrators intend to raise additional monies by draining construction reserves for four sidewalk-and-bicycle-lane projects in other parts of the city.

All told, they’re looking to push the trail’s construction budget up to $9.6 million, enough to cover the overrun plus a generous contingency. The trail is a 22-mile path for cyclists and pedestrians from just south of the West Point on the Eno city park in Durham to the Jordan Lake game lands in Wake County.

The prospect of taking construction money away from the sidewalk projects troubled some commission members, among them the panel’s new chairman, Duke University professor Will Wilson.

“The thing is, it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said Wilson, who is among a slate of candidates vying for an appointment to a vacant County Commissioners seat. “We just don’t know what to think right now.”

Wilson’s emails to other commission members indicated he was especially bothered because one of the sidewalk projects targets a stretch of Hillandale Road he considers a danger to bicyclists.

But he and Berla both indicated that the trails commission could come down in favor of keeping the Tobacco Trail on track, despite members’ qualms.

Completion of the American Tobacco Trail has been a high priority for the commission and other pedestrian-and-bike advocates for years.

Berla said he’s “not saying” officials should “stop the process” pending a report on the reasons for the overrun. He told commission members he leans toward supporting the reallocation of funds.

But “I didn’t want to let go downstream the idea of how did we miss this by so far,” he said in an interview.

Fellow commission member Tom Stark warned colleagues they’d be “at grave risk of not being able to reassemble funding and political approval” for the Tobacco Trail project in the future should officials miss the present window for getting it built.

“I think we need to build that bridge,” Stark said, terming it an “important amenity” for residents. “It’s hard to get together the political will and funding to build something like that.”

Stark, who works as legal counsel for the Durham County Republican Party, argued that it makes sense to go ahead and then “fill in other sections of trail and smaller bicycle and road improvements in the future.”

Public Works Department officials and the outside firm that designed the project, Parsons Brinckerhoff, have disagreed on the cause of the overrun.

Both say it’s traceable to the bridge, but while Parsons blames price gouging by a Minnesota steel fabricator, Public Works argues that Parsons hadn’t reckoned with the views of construction contractors on the degree of difficulty involved in assembling the span.

Berla said the design pros he talked to — both of whom “worked at firms asked to look at the design options for the bridge” — thought expectations of staying within a $5.8 million budget had been unrealistic.

“Bent [steel] pipe is expensive, the whole design is custom-made and the plan to drop the entire span into place in a single, eight-hour window [in their opinion] all made it impossible to do for less than $7 million,” he told commission members.

The Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission also is expected to weigh in at some point is. Its chairman, Dan Clever, told officials he and his colleagues have begun pondering the matter.

By Ray Gronberg

Leading Australians back plain packaging

Four former Australians of the Year have signed a joint letter to federal MPs, urging them to support legislation to mandate plain packaging for cigarettes.

They are among 260 professors, from medical and health faculties throughout Australia, who say plain packaging of cigarettes would help reduce the appeal of smoking, particularly to children and young people.

Professors Sir Gus Nossal, Ian Frazer, Fiona Stanley and Fiona Wood have put their names to the letter, which was coordinated by the Cancer Council, the National Heart Foundation and the Public Health Association of Australia.

Professor Mike Daube from the Public Health Association says the scientists are backing plain packaging because of the compelling evidence and the potential for improved public health.

“So with 20 years of evidence, including the tobacco industry’s own market research, showing how effective tobacco packaging can be for influencing young people, it is no wonder so many leading health experts back plain packaging,” Prof Daube said in a statement.

The Gillard government wants to force all cigarettes to be sold in drab olive-brown packs from mid-2012 in order to reduce the product’s allure and make mandatory health warnings clearer.

Parliament is due to debate Labor’s plain packaging draft laws on Wednesday.

The opposition last week said it would support the main enabling legislation, but not an associated bill that aims to ensure the change won’t affect big tobacco’s ability to protect their trademarks for use other than on cigarette packs.

But Health Minister Nicola Roxon believes the government has enough support to get both bills through parliament regardless of how the opposition votes.

The professors’ letter was emailed to all MPs and senators on Tuesday.

Anti-tobacco bill to stub out consumers

A proposed anti-tobacco law will see Russian smokers paying significantly more to light up, with key Ministries looking to reduce smoking numbers and smoking related illness.

Russia’s Health Ministry and Social Development Ministry have jointly introduced an anti-tobacco bill for discussion which will see tobacco excises rise 470%, and make the excise component of the price consumers pay for cigarettes more than 50%. The move will see the minimum price for a packet of cigarettes jumping from the current 17 roubles to as much 60 roubles.

Russia’s cigarette tobacco companies are bracing for the hit. About 56% of Russian men and 16% women smoke, with 22% of them smoking at least 1 packet daily, according to the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre. Kommersant reports that the average outlay of about 500 roubles per month could climb to nearly 2000, or 10% of an average Russian salary, if the law goes ahead.

While the intention of the bill is to restrict Russian smokers with higher price and push them to quit smoking, with an attendant long term reduction in outlays for smoking related illnesses, experts say that the move could spur illegal tobacco businesses. Vyatcheslav Bobkov, head of the All – Russian centre for life quality told Kommersant that people reducing outlays on other consumer items was also likely.

“Inelasticity of demand for tobacco products can be described as one of the distinguishing features of Russia’s consumer behavior, that’s why normal households reaction to a price rise could prove not to work.”

The bill also proposes legislation to ban smoking in public places such as restaurants and night clubs, hotels, and airports, with a TV advertising ban also proposed.

The bill also proposes limiting the sale of cigarettes to larger stores, exceeding 50 square metres. This will lead to major changes in tobacco retailing with currently about 40 – 45% of sales through smaller outlets, with just 25 – 30% – from big retail chains.
Sergey Smirnov, director of the Institute for social policy at the New Economic School added that tobacco smuggling and underground cigarette production could also become issues.

By Vitaly Bezrukikh
RIA Novosti