Dec. 29, 2009

Ballarat doctors support smoke price rise plan

SMOKERS could soon be sacrificing a lot more than their lungs if a new proposal by Victorian doctors to nearly double the price of cigarettes is given the go-ahead.
Sick of the enormous strain smoking-related illness places on the state's health system, the Australian Medical Association Victoria has put a world-first plan to Health Minister Daniel Andrews, proposing the price of a packet of smokes be boosted to $20.
AMA Victoria president Dr Harry Hemley said doctors believed hitting smokers in the hip pocket was the only effective way to see a marked decrease in smoking, the state's leading cause of preventable death.
"We think that given all that's been tried, this definitely will be the single most important thing to prevent people from smoking," he said.
"The unit of cost has proven over and over again the most discouraging thing to smokers."
Under the radical new proposal, Dr Hemley said tobacco vendors would have to be licensed to sell cigarettes, a move the AMA Victoria believes would significantly reduce sales to minors, and extra funds gained from cigarette sales would be poured back into the hospital system.
It would raise the cost of smokes by 10 cents a cigarette in July 2010, 15 cents in 2011 and another 20 cents in July 2012. 
Dr Hemley said though AMA Victoria was not of the opinion it would drastically increase the numbers of smokers giving up, it would go a long way to stopping people taking up the highly addictive habit in the first place.
"Minors would be the ones most effected by the transaction levy, making them less likely to buy," he said.
"We want a new generation who don't smoke.
"The tobacco transaction levy would net the Government $3 billion over four years, which would more than fix a lot of problems with the state budget and the burden of disease associated with smoking."
Ballarat and District Division of General Practice chief executive officer Andrew McPherson said most doctors would welcome an push to cut smoking rates.

Dec. 23, 2009

£3,000 worth of cigarettes stolen from Windermere supermarket

RAIDERS broke into Booths supermarket in Windermere shortly after midnight on December 15 and took off with £3,000 worth of cigarettes.
Police said that the offenders spent about five minutes in the store on Victoria Street while the alarm was activated and believe they made off in a car.

Dec. 22, 2009

Golden Tobacco sparkles on property development plan

The announcement was made after trading hours on Monday, 21 December 2009.Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was up 111.95 points, or 0.67%, to 16,713.15. 
On BSE, 25,720 shares were traded in the counter as against an average daily volume of 46,735 shares in the past one quarter.
The stock hit a high of Rs 114.80 and a low of Rs 110 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 126.55 on 17 November 2009 and a 52-week low of Rs 36 on 9 March 2009.
The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 21 December 2009, falling 4.83% as compared to the Sensex's 2.47% decline. It outperformed the market in past one quarter, rising 9.45% as against 0.84% fall in the Sensex.
The small-cap cigarette maker has a current equity capital of Rs 17.60 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.
The current price of Rs 110.75 discounts the company's Q2 September 2009 annualised EPS of Rs 0.27, by a PE multiple of 410.
The board also approved a proposal for development, or sale of properties at Andheri (Mumbai), Hyderabad and Guntur. The company will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 18 January 2010 to take shareholders' approval.
On 24 September 2008, Golden Tobacco's board of directors had approved a demerger of realty business in into a separate company. Shareholders will get one equity share in the new company for each share held in the existing company.
Golden Tobacco's net profit slumped 92.70% to Rs 0.12 crore on 20% rise in net sales to Rs 29.99 crore in Q2 September 2009 over Q2 September 2008.
Golden Tobacco manufactures and markets cigarettes and processed tobacco. The company makes various categories of cigarettes, namely full flavor, lights, ultra lights, menthol, menthol lights and extra menthol lights.
Promoters have pledged 5.28 lakh shares representing 3% of the equity capital of the company. The total promoter shareholding in the company is 27.19% (as on 30 September 2009).

Dec. 21, 2009

Rapper jailed in cigarette thefts

Authorities say a New Orleans man who rapped under the stage name T.T. Tucker has been booked in the theft of almost $20,000 worth of cigarettes in Meraux and New Orleans.
The Times-Picayune reports police are looking for two more suspects.
St. Bernard Parish sheriff's deputies say 41-year-old Kevin Ventry was arrested Monday.
Deputies say Ventry is accused of the Dec. 5 theft of $8,000 worth of cigarettes from the Meraux Pit Stop and a 2008 burglary in New Orleans in which $10,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen.
In the Meraux heist, deputies say nearly 200 cartons of cigarettes and a case of premium whiskey were reported stolen from the store's storage area while the store was open for business.

Cigarettes mutate smokers' genes

The Independent reports that smoking 15 cigarettes can cause a genetic mutation. Describing a new study that attempts to map the tumor-causing mutations, the article identifies the first documentation of "all of the mutations acquired during the lifetime of a cancer patient."
By studying the cancer patients' genomes, scientists hope to figure out the cause of cancer (in other words, what makes a healthy cell become a tumorous cell) and, thus, ways to successfully treat the disease. The article references research done on a lung-cancer victim who had DNA mutations linked to toxins from cigarette smoke and another patient with skin cancer who had mutations caused by sunlight.
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, U.K., performed the research, called the Cancer Genome Project. They hope to decode the entire DNA sequence for a tumor cell to better identify the mutations. The Independent cites researcher Dr. Peter Campbell, who says his study has identified some specific mutations caused by cigarette toxins. "We can say that one mutation is fixed in the genome for every 15 cigarettes smoked," he says. His research sequenced the cancer cell genomes 60 times and compared it to the map of a healthy cell from the same patient.
The successful gene maps allow the scientists to investigate the history of the tumor cells, pointing to specific "imprints of ... environmental mutagens [mutation-causing agents] on DNA." In other words, for the first time, the researchers can look to the specific causes of these prevalent cancers and better inform their research of treatment and prevention.

Dec. 18, 2009

Woman scares off would-be store robber with gun

It started off as a simple request for a cigarette. It ended with a would-be convenience store robber fleeing after the clerk retrieved her gun, the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office said.
About 8:47 a.m. Wednesday, a man entered the Country Corner Store at 3370 Price Grange Road near Eden and asked for a cigarette.
Tivis Smith, 68, was about to oblige. But as she opened a pack of cigarettes, the man demanded she "give it up or I'll shoot you," according to the sheriff's office.
Smith refused. She retrieved her firearm and displayed it, prompting the man to flee on foot on Price Grange Road toward Stoneville, the sheriff's office said.

Dec. 14, 2009

Higher taxes on tobacco, more access to healthy food needed in Oklahoma

A report released Thursday on making the state healthier recommends increasing taxes on tobacco, improving access to healthy food choices and encouraging the building of more sidewalks and bike trails.
The Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan focuses on tobacco use, obesity and children's health. It also makes recommendations for improving access to medical care. 
The plan was mandated by the Legislature in 2008 through Senate Joint Resolution 41.
The resolution directed the State Board of Health to prepare a report tat outlines a plan for the improvement of physical, social and mental well-being. 
"Current national state health rankings place Oklahoma at 49th," State Board of Health President Barry Smith said. "We find this unacceptable.
"We recognize that Oklahomans face a variety of barriers to good health due to poverty, lack of insurance, limited access to primary care, and risky personal health behaviors associated with diet, physical activity and smoking." 
If Oklahoma matched the national average in health indicators, about 5,320 Oklahoman lives would be saved every year, Smith said. 
Each pack of cigarettes costs the state's economy $7.62 in medical costs and lost productivity, according to the report.
The report recommends extending state law to eliminate smoking in all indoor public places and workplaces, except private residences. It also recommends increasing the number of tribes that voluntarily eliminate commercial tobacco 
abuse in tribally owned or operated worksites, including casinos.
"Sixty-five percent of Oklahoma adults are either overweight or obese, and 31 percent of Oklahoma youth are either overweight or at risk of being overweight," the report said.
The report recommends health-related fitness testing in all public schools. It also calls for incentives for grocery stores or farmers markets to locate in underserved areas.
In the area of children's health, the report recommends increasing preconception care; minimizing prenatal sexually transmitted diseases; increasing the number of women who receive prenatal care in the first trimester; and minimizing unintended pregnancies.