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Category Archives: tobacco standards

Cigarette-iquette you need to know and respect

1. Asking for a smoke

Offering a bit of change for a cigarette goes a long way in the realm of cigarette-iquette. Something as small as fifty cents at least shows that you’re willing to make an exchange, and recognize that smokes don’t come cheap. Whoever you’re asking will probably just give you one anyway, which leads to…

2. When asked for a smoke

As mentioned above, many people will/should offer a bit of change (or something in exchange) when asking for a cigarette, and if you want to be a well mannered smoker, you should politely decline. A dollar isn’t going to make or break you, and accepting makes you look a little cheap. Best to save face and just seem totally gracious and give out the smoke at zero charge.

3. Saving a cig

When someone offers you a smoke, don’t say yes, the proceed to put it away and save it for later. Even if you’re just planning on using it for batch in a joint, you look like a punk. The person most likely gave you a smoke so you could have one with them, not so you could be opportunistic and have a smoke when you like. Go buy your own then.

4. Know the smoking sitch

Everyone knows you can’t smoke indoors at bars and public places, but someone’s home/a house party is another story. Before lighting up in someone’s place of residence, its best to ask if its okay. This may seem like a “well duh” rule to follow, but to anyone who has had randos at a house party, you know that people will start smoking and give zero fvcks when drinking. Make sure the host doesn’t hate you and learn the smoking sitch.

5. Ashtrays a la max

If you are a host to a party, or helping to organize one, you best be setting up ample amounts of ashtrays. Put ‘em on tables and firmly placed furniture to avoid spillage, or by windows to implicitly direct smokers to post up near an open source of ventilation. Expect quite the ash-y floor the next day if you don’t provide a smoking receptacle. This goes for resto/bar owners too, ‘cuz any terrasse should have an ashtray on every table. What else are people sitting out there for?

6. Ashing in bottles

Another rule that mostly applies to house parties: ashing in a beer bottle is totally cool, but dumping the end of the cigarette inside is not. To avoid fruit flies from flying around the house, a host will have to wash out leftover beer bottles, which turns into a disgusting job when they have to rinse out bottles full of cigarette butts. Ash + beer rinse out pretty easy, but butts get all up in the kitchen sink, which is not a good look for a spot where you clean your dishes.

7. Pocketing lighters

We’re probably all guilty of innocently stealing a lighter from a friend right after using it. It’s a reflex to put a lighter in your pocket right after you use it, but when it’s not your own, you’re gonna seriously inconvenience the person you borrowed it off of when they need to light up next. On the other hand, if you’re lending out a lighter, keep track of where it went, and watch the hands/pockets of whoever you’re lending it to.

8. Be aware of your own smoke

No matter where you are, outside or indoors, just be aware of where you’re smoke is going. You could be on the street waiting for the bus with a mild breeze blowing that pushes all your secondhand smoke into the face of the next person in the bus line. Happily smoking, you have no clue, while the person next to you is supremely pissed off. Just keep track of where your smoke blows so as not to make anyone angry.

9. Around kids

Don’t smoke around children. Just don’t do it. The young, pink, and untainted lungs of kids don’t need you blackening them with your secondhand smoke. You probably already know not to do this, but be extra aware when in areas populated by children, like in parks or festivals.

10. On the bus

Don’t be a drunk (or sober) asshole and light your smoke in the bus right before getting out. We get it, you want to smoke, but nobody needs to smoke that badly. Wait the 5 extra seconds ’til you get off the bus and make everyone’s life a little less smoggy.

11. Non-smokers

If you’re a non-smoker in a room full of smokers, suck it up or leave the room/area. Don’t complain about the smog. If someone offers you a smoke and you’re a non-smoker, do not get all high and mighty about how smokes are bad for you or your body is a temple or some bullshit. We all know smoking is bad for your health, its literally on all cigarette packs, and you’re going to seem like a punk if you get all preachy about it.

12. On E-cigs

Vaps and e-cigs are kind of a gray area in the world of smoking. They don’t have nicotine or all the tar, so they’re technically not really smokes, and are even allowed indoors in public establishments. Still, respect that some people will still not want a bunch of vap-smoke in their face or workplace, so still pay heed to all of the aforementioned rules.

By Michael D’Alimonte. Mtlblog

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.

Tobacco exports to China top US$40

Zimbabwe exported tobacco with $40 to China representing 40% of the crop produced this year, the Tobacco Industry revealed this week.

TIMB chief executive Andrew Matibiri said that the China exports attracted some of the prices of US$9 per kilogram which was important better than the US$7.30 price achieved in 2011 when the country exported 60 million kg.

Our tobacco continues to be asked the world over. China is not alone in the pursuit of our tobacco. This is so because of its smoking flavor and very little cigarettes brands are made without Zimbabwean components.

Zimbabwe earned US$525 million for 144 million kg of tobacco in this season, 46% grew from the previous years US$360 million.

Overall output missed the 150 million kg of tobacco production till the end of the season but tobacco farming continues rebound after a lot of declining years.

South Africa is the main consumer of local tobacco in the region, importing 12 million of kg previous year and 7 millions kg this year. Sudan imported one million kg last year and two million kg this year from Zimbabwe.

TIMB retail about Japan that this country offer the highest prices for tobacco in Zimbabwe in 2012. United Arab Emirates showed a big interest in local tobacco while UK built 10 million kg and 11 million kg this year.

The UAE has so far imported five million kg from Zimbabwe, eight million kg shy of the figure it imported last season. Belgium last year imported nine million kg of local tobacco and has so far imported seven million kg.

The UAE has imported 5 millions kg from Zimbabwe, 8 million kg shy from the figures it imported previous season.

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.

Tobacco Company fights tough labeling rules

Imperial Tobacco Canada, the country’s largest tobacco producer and distributor, began against the unconstitutionality of the federal government order to increase the size of the graphic health warnings on cigarette packs to 75 percent of the surface.

New warning violates the right to freedom of expression and commercial consumers of tobacco products right “to receive information about their buying decision,” said the company statement of claim filed on Wednesday in Ontario Superior Court of Justice. “If you choose to further regulate the legal and already heavily regulated industry, it is clear that the federal government avoids a number of the country’s tobacco problem of the illegal tobacco market – a market that evades all taxes and applicable standards and whose products do not carry health warnings,” John Clayton, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada, said in a statement.

“Does anyone seriously believe that Canadians do not know the risks of smoking?” Clayton asked. “Increasing the size of warnings from 50 to 75 percent will not lead to any measurable change in attitudes. We were forced to take this position for us and for other industries that may be subject to excessive regulation,” he said.

Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst Canadian Cancer Society, said the legal issue is “totally unfounded”. “The more warnings are more effective, less alert,” he said. “They will not try to hit them.” In September, the federal government brought in rules that require graphic health warnings to take at least 75 percent of all packages cover age, and toxic releases and statements are free “Quitline” number must be displayed.

Health information messages about the benefits of smoking cessation should be on the list, you can insert in cigarette packs, or printed on their appearance. All the packages of tobacco products in Canada must comply with new rules on June 19. “It is legal in Canada, production, distribution and sale of tobacco and tobacco products to adults. Currently about five million adult Canadians have decided to smoke,” the statement said the company’s requirements. “Tobacco manufacturers, such as [Imperial Tobacco Canada] have a fundamental right protected by the Constitution …, to send information to their clients about their legal tobacco products.”

“In exercising their constitutional right to communicate about their legal tobacco products, [Imperial Tobacco Canada] uses its trademarks, brands and packaging, to inform its customers and differentiate their products on the market,” he said.

According to the lawsuit, the new label infringe on the rights of producers of tobacco products, “the statute, at least two ways: They prevent,” as the producers have decided to express themselves, “because they are forced to” carry the message to the government in the manner and form directed by the government. ”

Second, the requirement to carry out this message to 75 per cent of the package limits the ability of manufacturers to report their trade mark or brand information to customers and to “protect the value of their trade marks and brands.” In an email, Health Canada said that the Conservative government “will vigorously defend its position.”

“I am confident that Canadians are on our side,” the spokesman said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. “The court wills this tobacco company, I will not comment further at this time.” Even if the new health warnings should be “actual and substantial objective” impact on the rights of tobacco companies’ charter “disproportionate”, which leads to a more “obvious harm than any good speculative” in accordance with the requirements.

Bananas raise farmers’ incomes, after falling of tobacco

Mukwa place in Bumula area is known for the cultivation of tobacco, but the dependence on cash crops has forced poor farmers to grow some bananas. And with support from the government through the national agricultural and livestock extension program (NALEP), farmers in the area now grow bananas to use on the market. First Lady Wanda, a beneficiary, says her family’s income has increased since they began to grow bananas. She bought two acres of land and raising a child from banana sales.

“We now have a steady source of income, and given another chance to choose, I’d still go for bananas,” says Ms. Wanda. She adds that low income is a major problem of farmers in the wrong place, facing due to the low yields and limited land base. “Only cash crop was tobacco Mukwa site, which has a negative impact on human health and environmental degradation by reducing the trees for the treatment of tobacco,” she notes. Bumula district agricultural officer, Simon Abwao said that the production of tobacco There were three disadvantages – high cost of production, low yields, poor prices and forests, as a result of cutting trees for the treatment of tobacco not to mention the deterioration of human health due to inhalation of vapors during processing.

“Revenue from tobacco products has declined at the time of delivery of the peasants in a difficult position. School dropout rate has increased due to the lack of payments and food insecurity in the set,” he said. District Agricultural Officer said that not only the cultivation of tobacco cost the farmer money, it also creates the potential environmental and health among farmers. “The whole situation is that farmers have a low income, developed respiratory tract, the school dropout rate has increased due to the lack of payments, and farmers have become sluggish.

Women and children were most affected by livestock and treatment process of their responsibility, “said Mr. Abwao. Thus, farmers have adopted the banana farming to increase their income, save the environment and improve their health. Bumula District Mukwa selected location, 2008 / 09 subject area and contributed to commercial production of banana as a viable alternative to tobacco. Mr. Abwao said earlier, farmers used to create indigenous varieties of banana crops in small quantities for sale at between SH150 and Sh200 at the farm gate. Agriculture official says that it was not sustainable due to low and subsistence nature of production, operation, intermediaries and inadequate local market.

In response to NALEP in partnership with the western Kenyan development projects and avoid the draft Flood-initiated attacks in 2009. “More than 69 farmers got together and created a common interest group called Mukwa CDDC as a CBO. Thirty-two members of the group were interested in the industrial production of bananas,” said Mr. Abwao.

The official added that the motion seeks to improve the performance of banana through improved agricultural practices, the best grades, the mobilization of local resources and loans, to increase farmers’ incomes. “Every member benefits from increasing the beams with the lowest sales at Sh300. On average, prices range from Sh500 to Sh700, and each produces at least 50 pencils a year,” Mr. Abwao said. He said that the extension officers and other experts train farmers participating in the program. “To coordinate the activities of the group, Liaison Committee, which is responsible for a network with interested parties on the ground,” said the chairman Wakola Wakoli. “To track the progress of the group holds monthly meetings with well-kept records.”

The group is also associated with the marketing committee of the business alliance against chronic hunger, which helps them sell their products. They expect to collect more than 6,000 bunches of bananas worth Sh3 million by the end of this month. He said that as a result of the project, more than 60 farmers have joined the group and members of the production of at least 50 beams of 0.25 hectares per year earn a minimum of SH25, 000. Mr Wakoli, said that women and children benefited most from this initiative, with a stable source of income, improving health, reducing child labor allows more children to walk to school and their parents to pay various fees. “Harmony at the household level has also improved, leading to a happy family.

Alcoholism in the group fell, as both men and women participate in group activities, “said Secretary of Basiliano Wasike. However, farmers are faced with several problems, including diseases such as banana mosaic virus and the high cost of labor for the initial investment. Marketing is still a problem due to some farmers fall prey to middlemen and sell their products outside the group. Marketing Committee, some members say, not very bright, and the absence of a collection center. Along with the disease, other obstacles are considered in the study.

Shakespeare in the tobacco factory in 2012

There can be few places in the country is more suitable for the production of the final plays of Chekhov classic than tobacco factory theater in Bristol.

Cherry Orchard, first performed in January 1904, reflects the period after the abolition of serfdom and just before the Revolution – a period of great anxiety, with the old guard can not agree with the change of times and young people seeking to move on. In these recession hit times, the lessons are still here.

Ms. Ranevskaya (Julia Hills) returns from Paris – the intellectual birthplace of the Russian intelligentsia – to the family estate, heavily burdened with debt. In order to maintain the property, a local businessman named Lopakhin (Simon Armstrong), stands for the gap to the cherry orchard to build houses, but Madame Ranevskaya refuses to perform, and ultimately loses everything.

The game is full of paradox, we are introduced to Dunyasha (Gemma Lawrence) and Yash (Pierce Venus), and the servants of the ideas above their station, the student Trofimov (Benjamin O’Mahony), and Ms. Anne Ranevskaya children (Eleanor Yates) and Varya (Dorothea Myer-Bennett), who want to blindly for the future, which no one can predict.

And finally, a former serf Trees (Paul Nicholson), Guys (Chris Bianchi) and Simeonov-Pishchik (Roland Oliver), all desperately cling to the past without the possibility of his aristocratic funding.

Gone was the glory of past times perfectly reflected in historical costumes worn cast and minimalist set, a little more than a few faded carpets and a few pillars takes us back to the heart of rural pre-revolutionary Russia.

Cherry Orchard has always been a difficult position between comedy and tragedy – even Chekhov himself, who proclaimed his comedy, I can agree with Stanislavsky, the director of the first Moscow performance, which saw very much like a drama. And so it remains. While in the first half, of course, littered with comic moments, it is impossible to remain unmoved at the sight of poor Firs, forgotten by the family, lying on the ground as the sound of trees to be cut by echoing all around.

Some outstanding performances, a great feature, and perhaps most importantly, a surprisingly sympathetic translation means that if you can only see one game this year, it should be.

The Cherry Orchard at the tobacco factory in Bristol, until Saturday, May 5, 2012. Call 0117 902 0344 for tickets and details.


Tobacco farmers are smiling all the way to the bank

Harrison Mukucha (45) has worked his government-allocated A1 farm without tangible rewards since 2002. In desperation, last year he decided to give a last chance to grow tobacco – only to find his efforts rewarded with an unusually high awards in tobacco floors.

He was reluctant to put only two hectares under tobacco in the last season because he was disappointed by low prices, gold leaf brought in the past. He told how he Zimbabwe and other tobacco farmers smile all the way to the bank at this time:
“Tobacco has been taken discouragingly low prices for the sale of stories in the past, and nobody expected this year will be better. As a result, a significant number of farmers stopped growing the crop in the 2011-2012 growing season.

“I took a gamble and decided to grow crops on the basis of a wait. I was convinced that it will continue to sell to the rule, the lowest price. Last year he brought as low as $ 0.50 per kilogram, and in rare cases has reached $ 4 mark.
“It made a huge number of farmers to abandon the cultivation of tobacco and go back to corn. But the resulting lower supply of the crop at auction floors, tobacco brought unusually high prices ranging from $ 2 – $ 5 per kg.

“In spite of my birth, like most small farmers, was small, I got high returns for their efforts agriculture and managed to acquire the necessary equipment in agriculture. There was a spike in production equipment of the informal business people, as farmers put their priorities in the purchase order.

“Production and procurement of equipment, such as scotch carts, water pumps, bowers, irrigation pipes and electricity, among other essentials economy spirals. Most of the equipment will be sold in the immediate vicinity of the auction floors.
“Unlike the past, when farmers can afford only a few products from the little income they received from their year-round work in the tobacco fields, this time a huge capital equipment has found its way into the farms. This could be a turning point in our lives new farmers. ”

The visit to Zimbabwe, Mbare Musika informal business center area saw scotch cart manufacturers are busy at work. They admitted that they enjoyed a lively and lucrative business at the moment.
Welder plates and Scottish basket producer, Simon Murimi, said: “Scotchcart production has never been more rewarding. I am selling an average of six products per day. Business is very lively and well worth the effort. I’m not complaining.
“The unusually high demand for my products made me hire more assistants and slightly raise prices as farmers have been generous enough to make a purchase at any price asked. Scotchcart sells an average of $ 400.

“In most cases I arrange transportation at the lowest price in rural areas. This has increased my business, as farmers appreciated my after-sales service. My products have a one year warranty, and I support those services are divided over an agreed period,” he said with a broad smile Murimi .

Farmers use them for transportation around the farm, thereby reducing operating costs, since they are cattle-drawn and do not need fuel.
Officials of the marketing board of the tobacco industry, said after the unprecedented purchase agricultural machinery this year, agriculture is expected to improve in the future.
“Farmers have been wiser this time, as they prefer to acquire the means of production, in contrast to the past. We hope that the harvest will continue to fetch good prices in the future and make the plant useful.
When purchasing equipment capital, agricultural activities are likely to assume an upward trend. Communal farmers also used the opportunity to construct regular tobacco barns. Earlier they used to convert the kitchen into the room treatment of tobacco, “said the official board.

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.



Tobacco Company Versus Academia

Researchers at the University of Stirling in Scotland are embroiled in a fight against tobacco giant Philip Morris International, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, over data University researchers collected on children’s and teens’ attitudes toward smoking and cigarette packaging. The company has submitted two Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for access to all the raw data collected by Stirling’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research, which includes interviews with over 5,500 youngsters aged between 11 and 16.

“They wanted everything we had ever done on this,” Gerard Hastings, the institute’s director, told The Independent. “These are confidential comments about how youngsters feel about tobacco marketing. This is the sort of research that would get a tobacco company into trouble if it did it itself.”

Philip Morris International had originally submitted a request for the information anonymously through a London law firm in September 2009, but was rejected on account of the anonymity. However, the Scottish information officer in charge of the case has ruled the University must respond to the two latest requests, The Guardian reports.

Although the identity of the studies’ participants will remain confidential, Hastings fears that handing over the data will have several negative repercussions for the Centre’s world-renowned research on tobacco use. For example, it might discourage future volunteers from participating and sharing personal information with the researchers. It might also make researchers in other institutions weary of sharing their data.

“Our funders will have to think carefully about the further funding of our research,” Hastings told The Independent. “I don’t think for one moment a cancer charity is going to take kindly to paying us hundreds of thousands of pounds to give aid and succour to a multinational tobacco corporation.”

By Cristina Luiggi

Dissolvable Tobacco Product Raises Concerns Over its Usage

While the tobacco industry advertises lozenges like Ariva and other smokeless products as safer alternatives to smoking, public dissolvable-tobacco-producthealth officials and anti-smoking advocates say they fear the products will appeal to a much younger crowd, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Because it has a mild taste, we’re concerned dissolvable tobacco will be a starter product for kids,” Matthew Myers, president of the Washington-based anti-smoking group Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told the Times. “Traditionally, girls have not used smokeless tobacco products. But this product does not have a substantial smell or require spitting. There is a real concern that this product will appeal to adolescent girls, particularly those concerned about weight.”

But Sara Troy Machir, vice president of communications and investor relations at Star Scientific Inc., maker of Ariva and another dissolvable tobacco product called Stonewall, told the Times, “We have absolutely no interest in recruiting another generation of tobacco users.”

Star Scientific applied to the FDA last year for approval to market Ariva BDL, a newer version of the dissolvable lozenge, as a “modified risk tobacco product.” The FDA announced in March that Ariva BDL was not subject to regulation under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products.

According to the Times, twelve senators have since asked the FDA to reverse its decision.

In April, the FDA announced it was developing a strategy to regulate additional categories of tobacco products and that it would review information on dissolvable tobacco from published studies, manufacturers’ research and the advisory committee meeting this week.

The FDA is expected to eventually close loopholes that might prevent dissolvable tobacco products from escaping its regulatory power.

By Roberta Seldon

Health Benefits of Smoking

Who says smoking cigarettes is so bad … well, aside from the World Health Organization, Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and every medical board and association on the face of the Earth?

But should smokers be fortunate enough to dodge all that cancer, heart disease, emphysema and the like, they will be uniquely protected — for reasons unexplained by science — against a handful of diseases and afflictions.

Call it a silver lining in their otherwise blackened lungs. Although long-term smoking is largely a ticket to early death, here are (gulp) five possible benefits from smoking. Breathe deep.

1. Smoking lowers risk of knee-replacement surgery

While smokers might go broke buying a pack of cigarettes, they can at least save money by avoiding knee-replacement surgery. Surprising results from a new study have revealed that men who smoke had less risk of undergoing total joint replacement surgery than those who never smoked.

The study, from the University of Adelaide in Australia, appears in the July issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. What could be the connection? Knee-replacement surgery was more common among joggers and the obese; smokers rarely jog, and they are less likely to be morbidly obese.

After controlling for age, weight and exercise, the researchers were at a loss to explain the apparent, albeit slight protective effects of smoking for osteoporosis. It could be that the nicotine in tobacco helps prevent cartilage and joint deterioration.

2. Smoking lowers risk of Parkinson’s disease

Numerous studies have identified the uncanny inverse relationship between smoking and Parkinson’s disease. Long-term smokers are somehow protected against Parkinson’s, and it’s not because smokers die of other things earlier. [10 Easy Paths to Self-Destruction]

The most recent, well-conducted study was published in a March 2010 issue of the journal Neurology. Far from determining a cause for the protective effect, these researchers found that the number of years spent smoking, more so than the number of cigarettes smoked daily, mattered more for a stronger protective effect.

Harvard researchers were among the first to provide convincing evidence that smokers were less likely to develop Parkinson’s. In a study published in Neurology in March 2007, these researchers found the protective effect wanes after smokers quit. And they concluded, in their special scientific way, that they didn’t have a clue as to why.

3. Smoking lowers risk of obesity

Smoking — and, in particular, the nicotine in tobacco smoke — is an appetite suppressant. This has been known for centuries, dating back to indigenous cultures in America in the pre-Columbus era. Tobacco companies caught on by the 1920s and began targeting women with the lure that smoking would make them thinner.

A study published in the July 2011 issue of the journal Physiology & Behavior, in fact, is one of many stating that the inevitable weight gain upon quitting smoking is a major barrier in getting people to stop, second only to addiction.

The relationship between smoking and weight control is complex: Nicotine itself acts as both a stimulant and appetite suppressant; and the act of smoking triggers behavior modification that prompts smokers to snack less. Smoking also might make food less tasty for some smokers, further curbing appetite. As an appetite suppressant, nicotine appears to act on a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, at least in mice, as revealed in a study by Yale researchers published in the June 10, 2011, issue of the journal Science.

No respectable doctor would recommend smoking for weight control, given the toxic baggage accompanying cigarettes. This recent Yale study, however, does offer an inkling of hope for a safe diet drug to help obese people control their appetites.

4. Smoking lowers risk of death after some heart attacks

Compared with non-smokers, smokers who have had heart attacks seem to have lower mortality rates and more favorable responses to two kinds of therapy to remove plaque from their arteries: fibrinolytic therapy, which is basically medication; and angioplasty, which removes the plaque by inserting balloons or stents into the arteries.

There’s a catch, though. The reason why smokers have heart attacks is that smoke scars the arteries, allowing fat and plaque to build up in the first place. So, one theory as to why smokers do better than non-smokers after such therapies is that they are younger, experiencing their first heart attack approximately 10 years before the non-smoker.

A study published in an August 2005 issue of the American Heart Journal, however, states that age alone is not enough to fully explain the survival differences and that “the smoker’s paradox is alive and well.” No alternative theories have been put forth since.

5. Smoking helps the heart drug clopidogrel work better

Clopidogrel is a drug used to inhibit blood clots for those patients suffering from coronary artery disease and other circulatory diseases leading to strokes and heart attacks. Smoking seems to help clopidogrel do its job better.

A study by Korean researchers in the October 2010 issue of the journal Thrombosis Research builds upon work by Harvard researchers published in 2009 that demonstrates the benefit of smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day. It seems that something in cigarette smoke activates certain proteins called cytochromes, which convert clopidogrel into a more active state.

Again, no respectable doctor is encouraging patients to start smoking to get the most out of clopidogrel. But this and the other four “benefits” of smoking reveal how tobacco — perhaps not unlike other potentially toxic plants — might contain certain chemicals of real therapeutic value.

Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books “Bad Medicine” and “Food At Work.” His column, Bad Medicine, appears regularly on LiveScience.

Millions at stake in third Palm Beach county tobacco trial

WEST PALM BEACH — Jerry Weingart has been waiting more than a decade for the companies he believes killed his wife to be brought to justice. But at 89, the Boynton Beach man doesn’t have the stamina to spend the whole day in court.

Holding a cane, he listened Wednesday morning while one of his attorneys explained to a jury why three cigarette-makers should be held responsible for his wife’s death. But he headed home before tobacco attorneys launched their full counterattack.

Like two other tobacco trials that have been held in Palm Beach County, millions are at stake.

The cases are among roughly 8,000 that were spawned statewide when the Florida Supreme Court in 2006 threw out a $145 billion jury verdict in a class-action lawsuit. While upholding the jury’s findings that cigarette-makers lied about the dangers of smoking, the high court ruled that each smoker had to prove how they were uniquely harmed by cigarettes.

Weingart’s attorneys said they are seeking damages for the years smoking took off Claire Weingart’s life. Instead of spending their “golden years” together, Jerry Weingart became widower in 1997 when his wife of 54 years died at age 73, attorney Hardee Bass told jurors.

A heavy smoker for roughly 50 years, she never stopped smoking even when lung cancer spread to her brain, Bass said. She began smoking in the 1940s when no one suspected smoking posed any health risks. She was powerless to stop because cigarette-makers R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris and Lorillard – the companies that produced her brands of choice – turned her into an addict, he said.

“This case is about a promise the cigarette industry made to a generation of people – the World War II generation,” Bass said during opening arguments. “It’s about the lies they told a generation of smokers. It’s about the truth they hid from a generation of smokers.”

Using company documents, he showed how the companies orchestrated a misinformation campaign to counter growing evidence that smoking kills. “Claire Weingart was an industry success story,” he said.

Tobacco industry attorneys countered that there is no evidence Weingart was influenced by the documents. Attorney Kenneth Reilly acknowledged that tobacco chiefs made some “wrong-headed” decisions. But, he said, there is no evidence Weingart knew about the statements or used them to justify her decision to keep smoking. Like millions of other smokers, she could have quit.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

By Jane Musgrave
Palm Beach Post

Tobacco plain packaging to pass despite Opposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BY Phillip Coorey

5 Reasons MLB Should Let Players Use Chewing Tobacco

On March 28, 15 directors of public health from across the nation—including David Fleming, the public-health chief of Seattle and players-use-chewing-tobaccoKing County—penned letters to Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, director of the MLB Players Association, asking them to ban chewing tobacco from the big leagues. Supporters of such a policy say sluggers with stuffed lower lips are influencing children to try tobacco, and contributing to the perception that the smokeless stuff is less risky than cigarettes. The hearts (and mouths) of the anti-chew movement may be in the right place, but here are five reasons why banning chewing tobacco from baseball is a bad idea.

They’re grown adults. Here’s what Mariners designated hitter Jack Cust said when asked about the proposed ban: “There are a lot of guys that chew. We’re all grown adults, so I don’t see why we can’t do what other grown adults do.”

It’s hard to argue with that logic. All the pros are older than 18, and can legally purchase and use tobacco in the United States. Obviously the athletes can’t smoke on the diamond—it would be hard to chase down a fly ball while stubbing out a butt—but dipping is discreet. (Well, unless it’s Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who looks like a squirrel because of the massive wad of Red Man he keeps tucked in his cheek.) Let them decide whether they want to chew or not.

Where are the parents? The strongest argument in favor of outlawing chewing tobacco is the claim that kids are more likely to try the stuff when they see “their heroes” on the diamond indulging. About 5 percent of high-school students have reported trying chewing tobacco sometime in the past month. That’s still a very low number—in comparison, about 20 percent reported smoking pot during that same period—and it’s important to note that the study which produced these figures didn’t inquire as to why the kids tried chewing, or if they plan to do it again.

Most kids, this author included, only try chewing once. They get sick and vomit (remember the roller-coaster scene from The Sandlot?), or their girlfriends tell them they’ll never get a kiss again so long as they keep that brown filth in their mouth. That’s usually the end of that. Yes, teenagers are impressionable, and some of them might be inspired to take a dip just because they saw Tim Lincecum do it on TV. But that’s not the pitcher’s fault. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their kids about the multitude of health risks associated with smokeless tobacco.

Keep your rules off their bodies. The president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in his letter to Selig that “Major League Baseball players should do this [quit chewing tobacco] for their own health.” Approximately one-third of big-league players chew tobacco. These are professional athletes who make millions of dollars off their bodies. If a guy wants to put a pinch of Skoal in his mouth while he plays, that should be his business.

At least it’s not steroids. It wasn’t that long ago that Major League Baseball had a major-league image problem. Ballplayers who looked like bobbleheads were jacking home runs as if they were playing on Little League fields. Fans were excited until they realized the power was artificial. Baseball has since cracked down on steroids, as well as amphetamines and other performance-enhancing drugs. That was a serious problem that was affecting the integrity of the game. Rules were needed to keep things fair for players smart and honest enough not to stick needles in their butts in pursuit of a better slugging percentage.

Tobacco gives guys a buzz, but it doesn’t give anyone a competitive advantage. If anything, the campaign to snuff out snoose use is just a way to deflect attention from the lingering steroid scandals (see: Bonds, Barry) and make MLB seem as though it’s continuing to clean up its act.

Tradition! There’s a reason so many baseball players chew tobacco: It’s been a part of the game since the very beginning. Researchers have found that when baseball was invented in the 1840s, chewing was the tobacco-ingestion method of choice for American men. In fact, they reported that by 1890 “the average American gnawed through three pounds of tobacco.”

Over the years there have been some iconic dippers, including Francona and the Phillies’/Mets’ Lenny Dykstra. The great Babe Ruth smoked cigars off the field and chewed on it, a combo that likely contributed to his 1948 death from throat cancer. Among Mariners, the favorites include Larry Milbourne, whose 1980 baseball card looks like a Beech-Nut ad because of the bulge in his cheek. The list goes on and on. The bottom line is that baseball is a game of great tradition, and, like it or not, chewing tobacco is a part of it.

Is marijuana better than cigarettes?

It seems that social anti-smoking campaigns have achieved an opposite effect. Many Americans teenagers quit smoking cigarettes marijuanaand turn to smoking marijuana, polls show. Alcohol loses its positions: it finds popularity with 23 percent of respondents.

The statistics frightens specialists. About 6.1 percent of adults smoke marijuana nowadays, whereas the number was smaller in 2009 – 5.2 percent. Marijuana grows in popularity among college students (3.3 percent vs. 2.8 percent in 2009) and 8th graders (1.2 vs. 1 percent in 2009). As for 12th graders, every fifth one of them (21 percent) said that they smoked pot during the recent month, whereas cigarettes are popular with 19 percent of them.

Like cigarettes, alcohol loses popularity with American teenagers. Twenty-three percent of the polled students said that they liked drinking alcohol – it became the lowest index since 1975.

Common people do not seem to be concerned about the situation. Some people even say that smoking marijuana is better than smoking cigarettes, because marijuana does not carry such a large risk of lung cancer. They also say that it would be good for the government to legalize marijuana because cigarettes do not bring as much taxes to the budget as marijuana does.

The adversaries of legal medical marijuana believe that such measures backfired on the government. Over 46,000 students at 396 state-run schools are considered to be drug addicts.

According to Dr. Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, action must be taken to protect teenagers from the risks inherent in marijuana use at a young age. “These high rates of marijuana use during the teen and pre-teen years, when the brain continues to develop, place our young people at particular risk,” she said.

Nevertheless, 14 American states have already legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Most recently, such laws were approved in Arizona and New Jersey. The senators of the latter went further and gave federal officials a month to elaborate a new strategy to realize the new state-run marijuana program. The senators rejected propositions from NJ governor as too strict and illegal. For example, senator Nicholas Scutari stated that one should not deprive patients of marijuana if it had been prescribed for them.

In his deal with the senators, NJ Governor Chris Christie agreed to allow six alternative treatment centers to both grow and distribute the medical marijuana. He had wanted only two growers and four distribution centers. He also said that terminally ill patients would not need to prove they’ve exhausted other treatments before being allowed marijuana, The Associated Press reports.

Both concessions from the governor brought his proposed regulations more in line with the law to allow medical marijuana – but he didn’t give in on other provisions that advocates don’t like.

The battle for medical marijuana continues, and patients are caught in the middle.

Natalia Sinitsa

Beyond smoking scenes on China’s TV screens

BEIJING, – Smoking pipes, tobacco threads, cigarettes, and dazzling smoking gestures, which are commonly seen on China’s TV China smokingscreens, have emerged as a clear concern for many supporters of tobacco control.

Xinhua reporters, while monitoring seven Chinese television channels, spotted 49 screen shots of smoking from four TV series being aired from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Jan. 4.

Of those smoking scenes, some last less than one second while others went on for as long as five seconds.

However, these findings were only a small part of the picture.

The China Association on Tobacco Control (CATC), a non-profit organization, issued a report in August 2010 after monitoring 40 domestic Chinese movies and 30 local TV series.

The results indicated that smoking scenes appeared in 31 movies, with an average of 15 screen shots, while smoking scenes were found in 28 TV series, with an average of 85 such screen shots.

Yang Gonghuan, director of the National Office for Tobacco Control, said though smoking scenes on TV could not be fully counted as tobacco advertisements, they could easily mislead adolescents and leave them without a correct understanding as to what harm tobacco is responsible for.

“A decrease in such screen shots will be good for protecting the young from tobacco,” Yang said.

According to a survey by Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was conducted among 11,000 middle school students, over 40 percent of the surveyed students thought that smoking could make actors look mature and charming, while nearly 60 percent of the students supported or did not object to smoking scenes on screen.

What’s is worrisome to many tobacco control activists is that the smoking attitude of the figures on screen could, to some extent, encourage the young to follow the fashion.

The Beijing Municipal CDC survey also showed that 32.87 percent of the middle school students said they would like to try smoking after seeing actors smoke on TV. Further, 60 percent of senior students at vocational high schools reported that they could follow the fashion, especially when the actors who smoke on TV are superstars.

Besides appearing in movies and TV series, tobacco also took another form while appearing on China’s screens.

Xinhua reporters, during their Jan. 4 research, also found some of China’s major tobacco brands, such as Hongta, are promoting their brand images through advertisements that mentioned no tobacco, but only the brand names.

Though tobacco advertisements are banned on China’s radio, TV and print media, China still has no concrete laws and regulations to prohibit tobacco companies from sponsoring activities such as auto racing, Yang said.

Yang said China’s failure to prevent tobacco companies from doing publicity via sponsoring events also kept it far from meeting the requirements of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which called for tighter measures in such promotions.

The CATC said it has submitted proposals to Chinese authorities calling for creation of films and TV series free of smoking scenes and banning all forms of product or image promotion of tobacco brands.

Pat Robertson: Stop Locking Up Kids Smoking ‘Couple Puffs of Marijuana’

Right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson, is usually holding court on his show the 700 Club warning his viewers of such things, as the pat robertsondangers of witchcraft and curses on Halloween and how gay marriage can leads us down the path towards pedophilia and bestiality. And he is always ready to blame natural disasters, such as earthquakes on Satan and sinners. So, no one could have predicted Robertson would come out in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. But he has done just that, saying on a recent show that locking our young people up in prison for possessing small amounts of marijuana is counterproductive. You know, when Pat Robertson starts to make sense, the Apocalypse must be near.

While discussing faith-based ministries with youthful drug offenders, Robertson remarked that the tough on crime policies have not been working with respect to marijuana use.

Robertson remarked, “It got to be a big deal in campaigns: ‘He’s tough on crime,’ and ‘lock ‘em up!’” “That’s the way these guys ran and, uh, they got elected. But, that wasn’t the answer.”

“We’re locking up people that have taken a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing you know they’ve got 10 years with mandatory sentences,” Robertson added. “These judges just say, they throw up their hands and say nothing we can do with these mandatory sentences. We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes and that’s one of ‘em.

“I’m … I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong, but I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot, that kinda thing it’s just, it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go into prisons, they go in as youths and come out as hardened criminals. That’s not a good thing.”

When even the likes of Pat Robertson, an extremist Christian fundamentalist, supports the decriminalizing of marijuana, then it’s time to stop making criminals out of pot smokers.

Cigarette butts mean money

BEIJING, – A campaign to keep the streets in Xianyang, Shaanxi province clean by offering residents cold hard cash for each cigarettes buts in Chinadiscarded cigarette butt they pick up in urban areas has erupted in a dispute, but local leaders are sticking to their principles.

Hou Xi’an, deputy head of the city office in charge of the effort, explained: “We started the drive as part of an effort to make our city more clean and civilized, increase public environmental awareness and warn against the dangers of smoking.”

And Han Baofeng, deputy secretary-general of the city, told China Daily on Wednesday that the campaign will not stop until the end of December.

“We will improve the imperfect measures of the drive and continue our good efforts,” Han added.

The drive, which started on Sept 18, was part of an effort to help Xianyang in the competition for National Health City title. The government will pay locals 0.05 yuan ($0.0075) for each cigarette butt they pick up from city streets.

In the past month, loyal citizens have handed over a total of 7 million cigarette butts to the government and more than 100,000 yuan has been paid out for 2 million of the undesirable things. A shortage of funds has kept the other 5 million butts from being paid for.

The China News Service reported on Wednesday that one person had turned over 7,500 butts at one time. Most of the participants are old people and students.

Unfortunately, some people turned out to be naked opportunists who resorted to fraud by collecting the butts from net cafes, restaurants or even garbage bins to get a reward, the China News Service said.

However, in spite of whatever flaws the drive may have, local people have welcomed it.

Wang Guifu, a 64-year-old man who gathered some 2,200 butts, said it is a good way to encourage locals to keep the city clean and he hopes the drive can continue.

Another local, Zhao Ang, said he saw an old man pick up the cigarette butt that he (Zhao) had just discarded.

“From then on, I stopped throwing anything away in public places,” Zhao said.

However, another local, Wang Chao, argued that the government should not have to pay people to encourage them to act in a civilized way: “It should be a conscious, voluntary action, not about getting paid.”

Shi Ying, deputy head of the Shaanxi Academy of Social Sciences, sees things in a slightly different way. Shi maintains that any government move should be both serious and scientific. “The awards should be improved to deal with the increasing problem and to keep the drive going in a healthy, honest way,” he said.

The city office in charge of the effort has made measures such as the checking of ID cards and certification by sanitation workers when locals hand the collected butts in.

By Ma Lie

North Carolina builds on the legacy of the golden leaf

FOR much of the early 20th century, Winston-Salem was the biggest city in North Carolina. Its fortunes, like those of most of North Carolina, centred on tobacco and textiles: in 1940 60% of the city’s populace worked for one of the Hanes textile companies or for R.J. Reynolds (RJR), a tobacco company that was the city’s largest employer. But that was long before Hanes began moving much of its production offshore, and before the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (under which the tobacco companies agreed in 1998 to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in damages for harming people’s health), the leveraged buy-out of RJR by a private-equity firm, the elimination of federal farm price support for tobacco and decades of anti-smoking advertising.

Today tobacco warehouses and factories still dominate Winston-Salem’s centre. The Bailey Power Plant’s twin redbrick chimneys emblazoned with “RJR TOB CO” loom over the interstate. But the plant no longer belongs to RJR, and it is no longer involved in producing tobacco: it was turned over to the Piedmont Triad Research Park last April, along with 38 acres (15 hectares) of property and a cash donation of $2m. In all, 14 buildings in the science park, representing around 1.3m square feet (121,000 square metres) of space, once belonged to RJR.

Tobacco’s legacy to Winston-Salem is far from being merely architectural. Because it has been such an important cash crop for so long, it is among the most studied plants in the world—Richard Reich, the assistant commissioner for agricultural services in North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, calls it “the laboratory white rat” of the plant world. Much of that study, of course, was done by tobacco companies, and Targacept, one of the bioscience companies in the Piedmont Triad Research Park, is among the fruits of that labour. Spun out from RJR in 2000, and headed by J. Donald deBethizy, a former vice-president of R&D at RJR, Targacept is developing a range of drugs that target the body’s nicotinic receptors to treat a range of nervous-system disorders, including depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.

East of Winston-Salem at a research park in Durham, a Canadian company that genetically manipulates tobacco plants to produce proteins used in making flu vaccines broke ground on its first American facility on October 1st. Medicago hopes to have its vaccines on the market by late 2013; the company believes this method of making vaccines will be cheaper, faster and more effective than the egg-based method currently in use.

In 2009 North Carolina farmers raised 177,400 acres of tobacco with a production value of just over $745m, making it the leading tobacco producer among American states; but the crop is nowhere near as widely cultivated or as valuable as it once was, though agriculture remains important, providing 18% of the state’s income. The hope is that biotech will help fill the hole. The North Carolina Biotechnology Centre, a government-sponsored body working to grow the state’s biotech industry, has a plan to increase the state’s agriculture sector by $30 billion over the next decade. Meanwhile Kentucky Bioprocessing, a biotech company based in another tobacco-producing state, is pursuing research similar to Medicago’s. The future of tobacco may not all go up in smoke.

Best Relative Performance in the Tobacco Industry

Below are the top five companies in the Tobacco industry as measured by relative performance. This analysis was compiled based on yesterday’s trading activity as we search for stocks that have the potential to outperform.

Reynolds American ranks first with a loss of 0.32%; Vector Group ranks second with a loss of 0.54%; and Altria Group ranks third with a loss of 0.6%.

Lorillard follows with a loss of 0.66% and Philip Morris rounds out the top five with a loss of 2.24%.
SmarTrend is bullish on shares of PM and our subscribers were alerted to Buy on July 07, 2010 at $46.97. The stock has risen 21.5% since the alert was issued.

Seneca cigarette merchant’s appeal rejected

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an appeal from Seneca Nation cigarette merchant Scott B. Maybee, who asked the justices to overturn a lower-court ruling that he must obey Idaho laws regulating tobacco sales.

Without comment, the justices let stand an Idaho Supreme Court ruling that said Maybee must register with the state and pay a fee, just like all other tobacco merchants. The state adopted the laws after a national legal settlement between the states and tobacco companies was implemented in 1998.

Maybee claimed Idaho laws don’t apply to his business because federal Indian commerce laws protect him, as do laws governing interstate commerce.

Maybee, one of the Senecas’ largest tobacco merchants, sold cigarettes to Idaho smokers under the and brands.

The case is not at all related to the Seneca Nation’s legal challenges against New York’s attempts to collect taxes on tobacco sales to non-Indian purchasers on Indian reservations.

FDA demands Philip Morris marketing strategy

WASHINGTON, – U.S. regulators demanded on Thursday that cigarette maker Philip Morris turn over all market research material on Marlboro Lights, citing concern over an advertisement for the brand.

In a letter to Philip Morris parent company Altria Group, Inc (MO.N), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was concerned about advertisements, or “onserts,” attached to packs of Marlboro Lights.

A U.S. ban on promoting cigarettes as “light,” “mild” or “low” takes effect on Tuesday. The ban is a key provision of a new federal law that gives the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products.

“By stating that only the packaging is changing, but the cigarettes will stay the same, the onsert suggests that Marlboro in the gold pack will have the same characteristics as Marlboro Lights, including any mistaken attributes associated with the ‘light’ cigarettes,” the FDA letter read.

Altria must submit by July 30 all materials related to the marketing or sale of Marlboro Lights, including themes, creative recommendations and dissemination strategies, the FDA said.

Altria spokesman Bill Phelps said, “We received the letter today and we’re reviewing it and we will respond.”

The anti-smoking group Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said the FDA action would prevent Philip Morris from evading the ban.

“This will give the FDA the information it needs to take additional enforcement action if Philip Morris does not pull the onserts,” the group said in a statement.

By JoAnne Allen, Reuters

Marijuana smoking impairs drivers regardless of sex

Cheech and Chongs
Attention wannabe Cheech and Chongs: If you think that smoking dope and going for an illegal spin around the block in your car will be any easier if you are a man — or for that matter, a woman — you’re wrong.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found no difference in the level of driving impairment between men and women under the influence of marijuana.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study put 85 subjects (50 men and 35 women) in driving simulators, some having smoked pot and others a placebo cigarette. What the study found:

There was no difference between the two sexes. In crash avoidance and basic driving, the stoned group also showed no difference in driving performance and performed as well as the group that received the placebo.

A 1974 study found that marijuana impairs driving performance, but didn’t note whether men or women show big differences.

With one in six teenagers having driven under the influence of marijuana in the U.S., the study’s summary focused on the test for distraction. The stoned group drove slightly slower when distracted, suggesting they were using “additional compensatory skills,” the study says. Divided attention made the stoned drivers slow down and exhibit increased drowsiness.

Stephen Markley/’s Kicking Tires and Chris Woodyard/Drive On

Graphic health warnings on cigarette packs become a reality

In spite of the tobacco industry’s untiring efforts to stall the process for incorporation of pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs and outers, and to somehow have the momentous decision reversed, the Ministry of Health has elevated Pakistan’s international profile by formally launching picture-based health warnings with effect from today (May 30).

The warnings, which were announced in May 2009 by the then minister for health, Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, will be launched by Minister for Health Makhdoom Shahabuddin at a ceremony arranged to observe World No Tobacco Day. Ours is the 21st country in the world to be implementing graphic health warnings.

Pakistan took a giant leap forward last year by announcing historic measures for tobacco control, the introduction of picture-based health warnings being one of them. Even though these warnings were initially planned for implementation with effect from January 2010 and were delayed several times under pressure from various quarters, notably the tobacco industry, their implementation in Pakistan is doubtlessly a huge achievement that deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Picture-based warnings appear in more than a dozen countries. The number of countries implementing picture warnings has risen from one in 2005 to 23 in 2009. Some of the Eastern Mediterranean Region countries using picture warnings are Jordan (2005); Egypt (2008); Iran (2009) and Djibouti (2009).

The Country Office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Pakistan has been encouraging the government to adopt picture-based health warnings that meet the criteria for maximal effectiveness. The subject was first raised during a presentation made in 2008, and then at the first meeting of the Technical Advisory Group in the beginning of 2008. After that, there was no looking back as the need for picture-based warnings was highlighted at every forum, with trainings being arranged for TAG members and the Ministry of Health. The media too played a lead role in having these warnings implemented in Pakistan.

The WHO particularly approves of tobacco health warnings that contain both pictures as well as text and urges countries to have a rotated series of warnings appearing at the same time, rather than just one. Multiple warnings provide more information to the consumer, increase overall impact, and reduce the “wear-out” effect. The first picture-based warning to appear on cigarette packs in Pakistan shows the effects of tobacco use on a patient suffering from mouth cancer, and will be replaced with a new one after a year.

Picture-based health warnings are particularly significant for countries like Pakistan, which are beset with poor literacy rate and inadequacy of resources for public health education. Such warnings are the most cost-effective communication medium available to convince people to quit. At present, a majority of the country’s illiterate population cannot decipher text-based warnings, and as such, remains oblivious of the deleterious consequences of tobacco use. Moreover, it is interesting to note that while picture-based warnings are determined by the Ministry of Health, the cost of the intervention is borne by tobacco companies. Such warnings are synonymous to mini-billboards that work 24/7.

Coming to the size of the health warning, we have examples of countries like Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands, where the average front-back size of the warning covers 60 per cent of the pack; followed by Belgium and Switzerland (56%), Finland and Kyrgyzstan (52%) and 18 other countries (50%). In Pakistan, these warnings will cover 40% of the front and back of cigarette packs (30% being pictorial and 10% textual).

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) recommends that these warnings should cover 50% or more of the principal display area but shall be no less than 30% of the principal display area. The key objectives governing the introduction of health warnings are to inform consumers of the harmful effects of tobacco and to reduce consumption.

Studies show that smokers are not aware of or underestimate the health effects of tobacco use. In 1999, before the introduction of picture-based warnings in Canada, only one-third of smokers could recall that heart attacks and emphysema are caused by smoking. In Cuba in 1999, 17% of doctors and 20% of nurses who smoked believed that smoking caused more benefits than harm. In the US in 1995, only 39% of heavy smokers believed they had a higher risk of heart attack and only 49% believed they had a higher risk of cancer.

Real-world evidence from Canada and Singapore substantiates the usefulness of picture-based warnings to influence its consumers to quit. In Canada, 58% of the smokers thought more about the health effects of smoking as a result of the warnings; 44% said the warnings had increased their motivation to quit; and 27% of the smokers smoked less inside of their home as a result of the warnings.

In Singapore, 71% of the smokers said they knew more about the health effects of smoking as a result of the warnings; 28% said they smoked fewer cigarettes as a result of the warnings; and 14% said they avoided smoking in front of children as a result of the warnings.

With picture-based warnings finally becoming a reality in Pakistan, it would be useful for the WHO to support, in due course of time, similar studies to measure the impact of these warnings on smokers and non-smokers alike in this country.

Japan Tobacco: More Leaf Sourcing In Africa And Asia

LONDON -Japan Tobacco Inc (2914.TO) expects to expand its sourcing of tobacco leaf in Africa and Asia as it seeks to further stabilize its future supply, a senior executive said Monday.

Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique will grow in importance as tobacco growers in Africa, while in Asia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand could also expand, said Paul Neumann, the company’s senior vice president for leaf sourcing at a briefing in London.

By expanding its sourcing opportunities in Africa and Asia, JT hopes to limit the risk of relying too heavily on just a few markets.

At present, 50% of JT’s tobacco comes from four tobacco producing countries, Brazil, the U.S., China and India.

He said JT had been visited by the governments of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. “They want us to grow our crop sizes,” he said. “We see some increase in those markets.”

He added, however, that the U.S. and Brazil would remain important suppliers and that the U.S. is actually getting more competitive.

JT is the world’s third largest global tobacco company with a 14% share of the global market-excluding China and it buys up a similar proportion of the world’s tobacco leaf. The Chinese market is controlled by a state monopoly.

Last year, JT bought a number of tobacco leaf suppliers in Brazil and Africa and entered into joint venture agreements in the U.S. in order to secure a stable supply of tobacco leaf.

While more than half of JT’s tobacco leaf is still sourced on the open market, the agreements have removed some uncertainty from its leaf sourcing, said Neumann.

Neumann said the move was not designed to save the company money. Instead, JT is investing to ensure farmers are paid a good price for their crop while JT’s supply is secured.

“We want consistent fair prices paid to farmers,” he said.

Neumann said it was unclear whether other tobacco players would follow JT’s lead and buy up their own suppliers.

“It’s not our goal to limit leaf to our competitors,” he added.

By Michael Carolan

Cigarettes, Leather, & Dead Weather

Last summer, the release of The Dead Weather’s debut album Horehound caused a stir. Bringing the same ballsy in-your-face rock,Dead Weather sophomore album Sea of Cowards doesn’t disappoint.

The sexual energy and primal urgency The Dead Weather throws in the face of anyone who happens to listen, track after track, startles and exalts.

Sea of Cowards ignites all the senses with sleazy, bluesy bar rock reminiscent of the 1970’s but remains unmistakably modern.

Lead singer Allison Mosshart drifts from her electro-pop roots as she belts out smoldering vocals with primal intensity over Led Zeppelin-esque guitar, psychedelic bass, and White’s wailing drums.

The hype surrounding the album’s release comes after the success of the band’s initial album and the collaboration of such musical talents as Jack White and Allison Mosshart, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs.

For the album, an ominous piece of promotional art work features a dark, demonic cemetery scene. The singles are “Die by the Drop,” a sexually infused Mosshart and White duet, and “Gasoline,” which features Mosshart’s grimy vocals over White’s intense drums.

The album listens like a movie unfolding, each song a new scene as the intensity ebbs and flows, trashy and raw—all the while, eliciting the feeling of a 35 minute post-bank robbery ride through the grimy desert, sun beating down and hair blowing in the wind, smelling of cigarettes and leather.

Winemakers escape a cask revenue grab

WINEMAKERS have been spared a tax shake-up that would have pushed up the cost of cask wine after the government shelved a Henry review recommendation to impose a single tax rate on all forms of alcohol based on volume.

The result would have delivered a relative windfall in tax terms for beer drinkers, because beer is taxed at a higher rate than cheap cask wine under the current arrangements.

But in announcing its response to the Henry review yesterday, the federal government said there would be no changes to alcohol tax “in the middle of a wine glut and where there is an industry restructure under way”.

The shelving of the alcohol tax rewrite came after the government last week adopted a recommendation in the report for a sharp rise in cigarette prices, announcing an increase in the tobacco excise by 25 per cent, resulting in a $2.16 price rise on a pack of 30 cigarettes.

The Henry review had found “a strong case for a substantial one-off increase in tobacco excise”.

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“Australian retail prices for cigarettes are moderate by international standards and taxes constitute a relatively small share of the retail price,” the report says.

In arguing for a rewrite of the alcohol tax arrangements, the Henry report found significant deficiencies in the current regime, which did not take into account the social harm caused by excessive drinking.

Current tax arrangements were also contributing to inefficiencies in the industry including keeping uneconomic wineries in business. Beer, wine and spirits are all taxed at different rates.

Wine is taxed through a separate wholesale tax, based on its value, not its alcohol content.

“Taken together, current alcohol taxes reflect contradictory policies,” the review says. “They encourage people to drink cheap wine over expensive wine, wine from smaller rather than large producers, beer in pubs rather than at home, and brandy rather than spirits, and to purchase alcohol at airport duty-free stores.”

But Jean-Christophe Coutures, chief executive of wine company Pernod Ricard Pacific, said the company wanted a debate on the taxation of wine by volume.

“We acknowledge the difficulties currently faced by the Australian wine industry, but we firmly believe that this vision needs to be supported by a volume-based tax system for wine and we will seek to discuss this further with the government,” Mr Coutures said.

The Henry review said the lower tax on cheap wine in casks came despite the fact there was evidence of a link between low alcohol price and social harm.

Kate Moss demands VIP smoking area at Selfridges launch of Longchamp bags

It’s designer handbags at dawn for Kate Moss – who’s only just put her name to a range of arm candy. The supermodel, 36, has been signed up by fab French bag manufacturers Longchamp.

Her bag range for them will launch at Selfridges in London later this month. But it seems Kate wants her name in giant lights and has demanded an outside VIP smoking lounge. Surely she is supposed to be selling bags not smoking fags? Our spy says: “It’s Kate Moss – she can ask for what she likes and they’ll probably bend over and give it to her.

Longchamp are spending a fortune on the sponsorship deal to boost the label.

But it’ll look more of a promotion for brand Moss. “The outside area is a bit of a problem.

“Her people want couches, cushions, tables, heaters and candles to make it comfy for her to have a fag. But she’s only due to be there for an hour.

“They don’t want to pay out lots for her to mingle with selected guests, only for her to hide in her VIP room necking champers with her mates.”