Dec. 28, 2010

Family of Barb Tarbox wants her deathbed image on cigarette packs

he family of an Alberta anti-smoking activist is pushing to have a photo of the woman on her deathbed used on cigarette packages in Canada.

Tarbox, who died of lung cancer in 2003 at 41 years old, spent her final days as the poster child for Alberta's anti-smoking movement. Before she was confined to a hospital bed, Tarbox spent almost every waking moment lecturing students and working for anti-smoking groups.

A similar health warning using the same photo of Tarbox was recently proposed for American cigarette packages by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminsitration. The best choise for your health is to quit smoking cigarettes.

"It is very disheartening to know that Barb's warning may not see the light of day in Canada while (possibly) appearing on millions of cigarette packages in the United States," said her husband Pat Tarbox.

"One of Barb's last wishes was to have her dying image conveyed on cigarette packages. Barb was selflessly committed to preventing others from experiencing her fate. It would be a terrible shame if Canadians are deprived of Barb's message. The Prime Minister has the ability to get these warnings approved and to provide Canadians with further protection from the deadly consequences of tobacco use."

According to Les Hagen of Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta, the federal government has put any decision to use the image on hold indefinitely.

He says the Commons Health Committee doesn't know if the image would be effective with children and teens, and that the more pressing issue is contraband cigarettes.

The issue has been on the table in Ottawa for seven years, he said, adding the government should be embarrassed that the U.S. is moving much quicker on using the image of a Canadian victim of lung cancer.

Pat Tarbox said the image of his wife in her final moments is the first time a real person would be used on cigarette packaging, and that it's a message that will reach children and adults.

Meanwhile, he's calling on all Canadians to contact the Prime Minister's office or Health Canada to get the issue back on the agenda.

Health Canada has invested millions of dollars in the development of the new health warnings including 60 focus groups held across the country.

Research has revealed that the current health warnings have lost their impact over time.

Tobacco is the leading avoidable cause of premature death in Canada—resulting in 37,000 deaths annually.

Dec. 22, 2010

When Doctors, and Even Santa, Endorsed Tobacco

PEOPLE who remember when tobacco advertising was a prominent part of the media landscape — and others who recall what they learned in Marketing 101 — probably recollect that actors like Barbara Stanwyck and athletes like Mickey Mantle routinely endorsed cigarettes.
But how about doctors and other medical professionals, proclaiming the merits of various cigarette brands? Or politicians? What about cartoon characters in cigarette ads? Or children? Babies? Even Santa Claus?

Those images — some flabbergasting, even disturbing — were also used by Madison Avenue to peddle tobacco products. An exhibit that opens on Tuesday in New York presents cigarette ads from the 1920s through the early 1950s in an effort to demonstrate what has changed since then — and what may not have.

The exhibit, of hundreds of print ads and television commercials, is titled “Not a Cough in a Carload: Images Used by Tobacco Companies to Hide the Hazards of Smoking.” The first part of the title is borrowed from a slogan for Old Gold cigarettes, a brand that subsequently boasted in its ads of being “made by tobacco men, not medicine men.”

The exhibit will be on display through Dec. 26 at Healy Hall at the Science, Industry and Business Library of the New York Public Library, 188 Madison Avenue, at 34th Street. It can also be viewed online (

The exhibit is the brainchild of Dr. Robert K. Jackler of the Stanford School of Medicine, who described himself in an interview as “an accidental tourist in the world of advertising.”

“The very best artists and copywriters that money could buy” would work on cigarette accounts, said Dr. Jackler, who is also chairman of the department of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery.

“This era of over-the-top hucksterism went on for decades,” he added, “and it was all blatantly false.”

The genesis of the exhibit was an ad from around 1930 for Lucky Strike cigarettes, which shows a doctor above a headline proclaiming that “20,679 physicians say ‘Luckies are less irritating.’ ”

“That captivated me,” Dr. Jackler said.

The Luckies doctor was joined in Dr. Jackler’s collection of about 5,000 ads by scores of scientists and medical professionals — doctors, dentists, nurses — making statements that are now known to be patently untrue. “Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels!” is a typical assertion.

“I was struck by the noble depiction of the medical profession, bemused and surprised, actually,” said Kristin McDonough, the Robert and Joyce Menschel director of the Science, Industry and Business Library.

“Some of the claims being made in the ads, you did not have to be a scientist in a laboratory to dispute,” Ms. McDonough said, citing ads that smoking certain brands “does not cause bad breath” or “can never stain your teeth.”

Other approaches that could cause double takes (if not whiplash) among contemporary consumers include ads featuring Santa Claus, for brands like Pall Mall; senators like Charles Curtis of Kansas, who endorsed Lucky Strike before he was elected vice president in 1928; cartoon characters like the Flintstones and penguins, for brands like Winston and Kool; children, who appear as accessories for their smoking parents; and babies, for brands like Marlboro cigarettes.

•The exhibit also includes copious examples of more traditional cigarette endorsements by athletes — occasionally in uniform — and entertainers. Some promoted multiple brands during their careers; for example, Mantle, the New York Yankees outfielder, pitched brands like Camel and Viceroy, while the actress Claudette Colbert endorsed at least five, Dr. Jackler found.

A primary purpose of the exhibit, Dr. Jackler said, is to connect the dots between now and then. He likened ads from decades ago intended to encourage women to smoke — “Blow some my way,” for Chesterfield, and “You’ve come a long way, baby,” for Virginia Slims — to the campaign last year from R. J. Reynolds Tobacco to introduce a version of Camel cigarettes for women called Camel No. 9.

And there is a theme that runs from vintage tobacco ads to contemporary ones, Dr. Jackler said: “It’s all about youth marketing. The intent is to turn youth, ages 12 to 22, into youthful smokers.”

Documents from the George Arents Collection on Tobacco from the archives of the Science, Industry and Business Library will also be on display. The exhibit was seen in cities like Boston and San Francisco before arriving in New York.

Dec. 17, 2010

Outlook cools for menthol cigarette flavor

That cool, throat-numbing sensation some smokers find in their cigarettes could go the way of other products the federal government has deemed dangerous.
Menthol, a natural compound found in the mint plant, soothes sunburns, tempers coughs and helps tame an achy tummy, but on cigarettes, some health experts argue, it's a ruse. It makes the poison that is tobacco go down more smoothly, tricking the youngest and most foolhardy smokers.
Last year, Congress passed far-reaching tobacco regulations that, among other things, banned chocolate- or strawberry-flavored cigarettes, saying they lured kids to smoke by dressing up cigarettes as candy.

Cigarettes which contain menthol are considered to be more addictive than regular cigarettes. Regular cigarettes are Vogue cigarettes and Camel cigarettes.

But Congress passed on regulating menthol cigarettes, which account for one-third of cigarettes sold in the United States. Instead, it called for a study and more discussion by the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA took the debate to Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday, when big tobacco executives met public health officials in a conference room at the Marriot Hotel downtown to discuss the new law on cigarettes and how the FDA would go about enforcing it.
Outside, dozens of workers from Greensboro, N.C., who make their living manning machines that make menthol-laced cigarettes, paced in the bitter cold. For Lorillard Tobacco workers, who produce Newport cigarettes, menthol is an ingredient that makes their brand pop with flavor, and those cigarettes have been their ticket to a middle class life.
"This is about my livelihood. I've got responsibilities," said Darsey Campbell, who has logged 40 years at Lorillard Tobacco, cleaning and servicing equipment. "We have to worry when the government starts messing with one more thing. Don't they have enough to do?"
The conundrum for federal officials is clear: Cigarettes are bad; jobs are good. Can there be a winner?
"Undeniably, this is a very controversial issue with a lot of moving parts," said Jeff Ventura, spokesman for the FDA.
With cigarettes, the federal government is now engaged in an awkward dance. On one hand, America needs jobs more than ever, and government officials want to avoid jeopardizing the product, and market share, of a major U.S. manufacturer. Cigarette makers who use menthol insist that banning menthol will simply push production overseas or into an unregulated black market.
But the government also doesn't want people to smoke; it is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the U.S. Smoking attacks the lungs, making smokers prone to chronic sickness and heavily reliant on health care. The FDA is adamant about not wanting kids to pick up a cigarette and start the habit.
Public health officials want cigarettes to taste as bad as they are for a smoker's health, and menthol undermines that. The product, which can be made synthetically, tempers the burn cigarettes bring to the throat. If kids feel that burn, they may never pick up another cigarette, some health officials argue. Studies show that the biggest consumers of menthol cigarettes are young people and members of minority groups.
Campbell, the Lorillard worker, smokes Newports flavored with menthol. She has almost all her life and wants government to stay out of her business.
"I'm grown. It's my choice," she said.
Campbell's biggest concern, though, isn't her smoking habit but rather her job. She's one of about 2,000 people working for Lorillard in Greensboro, where generations of families have found jobs that pay enough for them to buy homes and take care of their families.
Lorillard executives won't predict what would become of the Greensboro plant should the FDA ban menthol in cigarettes. The company just started making a menthol-free Newport last month, but it's too soon to say whether it will catch on, said Bob Bannon, Lorillard's director of investor relations.
Lorillard's corner of the cigarette market depends on menthol, which workers spray on tobacco before rolling it in paper. They make a third of the menthol cigarettes sold in the U.S., accounting for about 10 percent of the total cigarette market.
"It's tough to say what impact we'll feel," Bannon said. "We're trying to measure what adult smokers' reaction would be in the scenario that it disappears. We just don't know, but we think the number of people who would quit altogether would be low."
FDA officials say they are a long way from having an answer to the menthol question. And they may simply decide to not answer it. Congress obliged them to study, and scientists have been meeting to do just that. A report is due to the FDA in March, but after that, there are no deadlines or expectations.
"The FDA has made no statements about potentially banning menthol," said Lawrence R. Deyton, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.
Campbell and about 30 of her co-workers didn't want to take chances. Outside the Marriot on Wednesday, they pushed signs into the air, reminding tobacco executives and FDA officials that they, too, have a stake in the future of menthol in cigarettes.
Menthol has been commonly used to flavor cigarettes since the 1950s. About 30 percent of all cigarettes sold in the U.S. contain menthol. A third of those are made by Lorillard Tobacco in Greensboro, N.C., which produces Newport cigarettes.
Scientists have reported that menthol dulls the senses and makes smoking easier for new smokers and harder for regular smokers to quit.
How does menthol do it?
-Soothes the respiratory tract
-Masks harshness of smoke
-Anesthetizes the throat
-Tastes good
-Increases production of saliva

Heavy smokers or cash addicts? Suspects steal store's tobacco products

SAN ANTONIO -- Suspects broke into a west-side convenience store. Surprisingly, they weren't after the ATM.

This time, they got hundreds of dollars in cigarettes. The incident took place at a Valero convenience store on a major thoroughfare, right near Loop 410.

San Antonio police got the call for this alarm just after 4 a.m. Wednesday in the 7300 block of Culebra Road.

The store was selling brands like Pall Mall cigarettes or Winston cigarettes.

They arrived to find that the thieves pried the door open and walked in. Once inside, they broke into the cigarette cabinet and raided the place of other tobacco products.

Clerks are still taking inventory of the stolen merchandise. The items will likely be sold on the black market. Retailers sell cigarettes for close to $6 a pack. No one is sure how much the bandits could make off of this illegal yield.
Either way, police believe a video camera caught the tobacco theft.

Dec. 2, 2010

The ugly truth

We already know that tobacco can kill us. So why is the federal government about to require all cigarette packages and advertising to include graphic — if not downright gruesome — reminders of that fact?

Well, we already know what’s in a box of breakfast cereal or a can of chicken noodle soup, too. That doesn’t stop purveyors of those products from dressing up their appearance to make them appear more delectable than the next brand on the shelf.

Image matters. It moves people to buy things. Now, finally, we’ll have laws to move people not to buy things that not only kill them, but add huge costs to the health care system that non-smokers pay for. The tobacco companies have long known that images matter. They didn’t invest all that money in Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man just to throw money at graphic artists and rugged actors.

So, now that Congress has finally given the Food and Drug Administration the power to really regulate tobacco sales and marketing, the FDA and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, are rolling out the proposals for the new warning labels for packs and ads.

They include photos and drawings that illustrate directly and sometimes harshly what happens to smokers: A skeletal cancer patient obviously on death’s door. A body with a huge scar down the middle of its chest. A person who has already lost his larynx to throat cancer and still smokes. A middle-aged man clutching his chest, his face twisted in pain.

By the proposed rules, now out for public comment, cigarette packs sold after Oct. 22, 2012, will have to devote half of the surface of every cigarette pack to one of those images. Cigarette advertising will have to include the images, too.

It’s about time.

For years, the tobacco industry has used its considerable clout over Washington to keep its products free of the same level of regulation that has long been considered minimal for everything from baby food to automobiles. The result has been an industry devoted to marketing a product that kills 1,200 Americans every day.

An outright ban on tobacco products would be unworkable. There are too many addicts out there, and any attempt to put the law between them and their smokes would create a black market the size of a small nation.

But it is clearly in the public interest for the government to act in ways that help smokers quit and, more importantly, stop the next generation from picking up the habit. We just can’t afford it.

Nov. 30, 2010

Taxes Spurring Smokers to Quit

New research indicates that the recent tax rate rise on tobacco products has greatly increased the number of New Zealanders who are trying to quit smoking.

The number of New Zealanders attempting to quit smoking has risen 93 percent since the April tobacco tax rate increase. This assessment was released on November 17th in new research published by The Quit Group. Paula Snowden, Chief Executive of the Group, commented on the findings, saying, “The majority of smokers wish they had never begun smoking and our survey shows that an increase in tobacco prices provides the trigger some smokers need to begin their quitting journey.”

In the month following the latest tobacco tax increase 4 000 New Zealanders registered with Quitline, a telephone service designed to aid individuals in their attempts to quit smoking. According to the report, the number of callers was almost double that of the same period in 2009. Over 25 percent of those calling claimed that they had never attempted to quit smoking within the previous 12 months, and over 66 percent cited the tax increase as one of the reasons they decided to quit.

Paula Snowden praised the development, and the Government’s upcoming supplementary tax rate increases, but claimed that there were still more work to be done. She urged the Government to accept a proposal mandating the use of plain packaging on all tobacco products and banning the display of any tobacco products.

Nov. 24, 2010

Higher prices mean less smoking, less tobacco production/importation

New Zealanders are smoking 1.3 billion fewer cigarettes a year than ten years ago, according to data produced by Statistics New Zealand for the Smokefree Coalition.
In the last quarter, since tobacco's tax rise, New Zealanders consumed 280 million manufactured tobacco products, and 243 tonnes of loose tobacco.
Smokefree Coalition Director Dr Prudence Stone said last year's fourth quarter result was 757 million or so cigarettes, while this fourth quarter it was 405.5 million.
"That's 351.5 million fewer cigarettes consumed than the same quarter last year."
Dr Stone believes the drop in consumption resulting from April's excise tax increase, has also led to significant drops in production and imports for domestic consumption.
"Consumption looked to be slowly climbing at the end of 2009's financial year with production and imports reaching NZ$3.4 billion (up from $2.8 billion in 2008). The tax increase has nipped that frightening trend in the bud.
"That the last significant drop in production levels occurred in 2000 when tobacco's excise tax was also increased significantly, by 20 percent, shows how effective price is as a tobacco control measure."
Dr Stone says she's confident the next tobacco tax increases scheduled for January 2011 and 2012 will force similar drops in tobacco production and imports over the next two years.

Nov. 19, 2010

FDA Continues Fight to Regulate Electronic Cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration has authority to regulate so-called "electronic cigarettes" that vaporize nicotine but do not contain tobacco, a Justice Department lawyer argued today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Last year, a federal judge in Washington ruled the government improperly blocked an inbound shipment of e-cigarettes into the United States, saying that the FDA doesn’t have authority to regulate the product because it is not marketed for therapeutic uses such as to treat smoking addiction.

DOJ’s Alisa Klein of the Civil Division today tried to convince a three-judge appeals court panel to reverse the trial judge’s issuance of an injunction against the FDA. The appeals court stayed enforcement of the injunction pending resolution of the dispute.

Garre_gregory_kagan_#3056D6Latham & Watkins partner Gregory Garre (at left), who chairs the firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice group, represented Scottsdale, Az.-based Sottera, which sells e-cigarettes under the brand “NJOY.”

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that resemble real cigarettes. The FDA blocked the importation of e-cigarettes on the ground that they are unapproved drug devices under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Tobacco products are generally exempt from the drug and device provisions of the FDCA.

The Tobacco Control Act of 2009 gives the FDA authority to regulate “tobacco products,” a term that was closely scrutinized today by the appeals court panel consisting of Judges Merrick Garland and Brett Kavanaugh and Senior Judge Stephen Williams.

Klein of the Justice Department said the FDA has long regulated nicotine products that include smokeless cigarettes, nicotine lollipops and nicotine inhalers. In 2008, the FDA refused to allow the importation of “Nicogel,” a hand gel made of liquefied tobacco. The FDA said the gel was an unapproved drug.

“If electronic cigarettes are a safe method of nicotine maintenance, that could be approved if the science supports it,” Klein said in court.

Garland questioned what he called the “unique” procedural element of the case. The government’s position in the litigation is established in a blocking order—stopping the shipment of electronic cigarettes—and not in a detailed administrative record. Kavanaugh and Williams examined the extent to which Congress can step in to fill a regulatory void to clarify the scope of FDA regulatory authority.

Garre, arguing for NJOY, said the product is not marketed as a smoking cessation device. He said if the FDA could show that the e-cigarettes are marketed for therapeutic reasons, the injunction against the FDA would not apply.

Nov. 10, 2010

Montana’s teen-led movement against Big Tobacco

All of you are being targeted by the tobacco industry to replace former smokers.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the tobacco industry is spending over $15 billion annually, and over $41 million every day, to promote its products to young customers.

And every day, 4,000 young people try their first cigarette.

The tobacco industry knows that the more you are exposed to tobacco advertising, the more likely you are to start tobacco using tobacco products and become addicted.

So what can you do?

  • Recognize the power you have to effectively take on one of the leading preventable causes of death-commercial tobacco use. If current trends continue, over 6,000,000 children alive today will die as a result of cigarette smoking.
  • Join Montana’s teen-led movement reACT against corporate tobacco.
  • Educate the community about tobacco industry and how they are spending billions of dollars on magazine advertisements, point of purchase advertising, and promotions that make tobacco use appear desirable.
  • Fight to reduce store product placement and marketing efforts through “Store Alert” type projects that help rid retail stores of tobacco clutter.
  • Ask store owners and managers to keep all cigarettes behind the counter, reduce the amount of advertising of interior ads to the areas behind the counter and support stores that are doing a good job of limiting tobacco marketing.

Know this! Your involvement will enhance community-wide efforts to combat pro-tobacco influences, change social norms around tobacco use, and reduce public exposure to secondhand smoke.

Nov. 2, 2010

The Associated Press CARLISLE, Pa. -- Two men are under arrest after police say they were stopped in Pennsylvania driving a tractor trailer carryin

CARLISLE, Pa. -- Two men are under arrest after police say they were stopped in Pennsylvania driving a tractor trailer carrying stolen cigarettes worth $3 million.

Authorities say 37-year-old Juan Almaguer and 52-year-old Alcide Fraguela-Casanova were transporting more than 25,000 cartons of stolen cigarettes when they were pulled over Monday on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, near Carlisle. State police say the cigarettes were stolen from a Tennessee warehouse.

Almaguer, of Cedar Park, Texas and Fraguela-Casanova, of Miami, face charges including possession of stolen property and tax evasion. They are being held without bail pending preliminary hearings scheduled for Wednesday.

It was unclear if either man had an attorney.

Oct. 26, 2010


July 23, 2010 - Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) said Thursday, July 22nd that its second quarter profit fell 9.5% from last year, hurt mainly by costs related to plant closings and change of sales force.

Reynolds American Inc. is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; American Snuff Company, LLC; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc.; and Niconovum AB.

The company noted that higher cigarette and moist-snuff pricing, productivity gains and higher moist snuff volume more than offset lower cigarette volume.

R.J. Reynolds , producer of Camel cigarettes shipped 20.3 billion cigarettes in the second quarter, down 9.5% from a year earlier. Industry-wide cigarette volumes fell 7.1% in the second quarter, the company noted. In the 2009 second quarter, shipments were skewed higher by the timing of the U.S. tax increase. The company shipped 20.3 billion cigarettes in the quarter, down 9.5 percent from a year earlier, but key brands Camel and Pall Mall both increased market share. Reynolds also shipped 97.1 million cans of smokeless tobacco under brands like Grizzly and Kodiak.

R.J. Reynolds' two growth brands, Camel and Pall Mall, both posted second quarter cigarette share and volume gains. Camel's second quarter volumes increased 2.7% year-over-year, while its retail market share grew 0.3 percentage points to 7.8%. Pall Mall's second quarter volumes increased 9.7%, while its retail market share grew 1.8 percentage points to 7.0%.

R.J. Reynolds' total second quarter cigarette market share of 27.9% was down 0.8 percentage points from the prior year quarter. This was largely driven by the losses on its de-emphasized private label brands which now represent a total of only six tenths of a share point.

Excluding private label brands, the company’s volume performance was better than that of the industry with the decline of 6.9% in the quarter and 3.9% for the half. R.J. Reynolds' first-half cigarette shipment volume was down 6.3% compared with an industry decline of 4.9%. Camel and Pall Mall each reported second quarter cigarette volume and share gains. Those two growth brands now account for more than half of the company’s total share and volume. Their combined second quarter market share was 14.8% up 2.1 percentage points. Camel's second quarter cigarette market share of 7.8% was up three tenths of a point from the prior year quarter. Camel’s menthol styles including Camel Crush increased half a share point to 1.8 share of market in the quarter. Camel also continues to make progress as a total tobacco brand. Camel Snus remained stable at three tenths of a share on a cigarette equivalent basis and on a moist snuff equivalent basis; Camel Snus had a second quarter share of 3.5%.

Now turning to Pall Mall, which continues to deliver excellent performance. Pall Mall increased its second quarter market share to 7% that was up 1.8 percentage points from the year ago period and up 0.5 share from the prior quarter.

Smokeless products - American Snuff:
American Snuff Co. is the second largest U.S. manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products. Its key brands are Kodiak, Grizzly and Levi Garrett. The company's second quarter sales increased to $182 million from $169 million a year earlier.

American Snuff. American Snuff's second quarter adjusted operating income was $85 million down 7.1% from the prior year quarter. That decline was due to lower volume on roll-your-own and other non-core tobacco products which more than offset higher moist snuff pricing and volume. American Snuff also had higher second quarter costs relating to the timing of promotional spending and FDA compliance.

Grizzly's appeal among a broad base of moist snuff consumers is the recently introduced Grizzly 1900 Long Cut. A natural product with a traditional long cut, Grizzly 1900 Long Cut has performed well since its introduction earlier this year. American Snuff continues to focus on enhancing Grizzly's brand equity and value to consumers. The recent addition of embossed metal lids is improving the brand's quality perceptions among moist snuff consumers.

American Snuff's premium Kodiak brand, even though Kodiak share of shipments has experienced a modest decline in the first half of this year, the brand's volume has increased despite being significantly out promoted by other premium moist snuff competitors. Camel Dip the company's latest premium introduction is bringing innovation to the moist snuff category and is performing well. Camel Dip which leverages Camel's authentic heritage was expanded to selected outlets in 10 additional

American Snuff total moist snuff shipment volume grew 3% for the quarter, for the first half which eliminates the impact of trade inventory fluctuations; the company's moist snuff shipments increased 7.1%. As Susan mentioned, industry shipment were up about 9% for the quarter and the half while consumer off-take was up about 6%.

American Snuff's share of shipments for the second quarter was in line with the prior year quarter at 29.4%. Grizzly's second quarter shipment volume increased by 4.2%. For the first half, the brand continued to outpace industry consumption with a 7.6% increase. And Grizzly's share of shipments increased slightly to 25.5% in the quarter. The brand also improved its position in the fast growing pouch segment, accounting for nearly 25% of all pouch sales in the second quarter. Share of shipments for American Snuff's premium Kodiak brand declined 0.2 percentage point from the prior year quarter, and Kodiak's volume was down 5.5% in the second quarter but up 2.6% for the half. So that's an overview of American Snuff. Now we'll take a look at productivity.

Jun. 28, 2010

Cigarette packs get colorful for 'light' label ban

Goodbye, Marlboro Lights. Hello, Marlboro Gold Pack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun. 23, 2010

Carreras relaunches Youth Smoking Prevention campaign

CIGARETTE distributor Carreras last week relaunched its Youth Smoking Prevention (YSP) campaign with the support of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Child Development Agency (CDA).
The programme, which will run through August 2010, will cost the tobacco company $1.5 million to implement, according to Carreras' Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Manager Christopher Brown.
"We believe Carreras must ensure that it remains actively cognisant of the views and expectations of the broader group of stakeholders, not just those who consume the products, but also those who have become the eternal critics of the tobacco industry," Brown said at the launch.
Under the Child Care and Protection Act it is illegal to sell cigarettes to persons under age 18 and Carreras, with 99 per cent market share, is the largest distributor of cigarettes locally.
Brown explained that the company's trademark representatives had initiated ongoing dialogue with its 2,500 retailers to exercise greater vigilance in prohibiting the purchase of cigarettes by persons under 18.
He said retailers must verify the age of those who purchase cigarettes where possible through identification, and in cases when they are in doubt, they must not sell. Addressing the media at the launch, Brown said that those retailers found to be delinquent in abiding by this request would be penalised by having their distribution right revoked.
"Our objective is to effectively tackle underage access to cigarettes at the point of sale in 100 per cent of the 2,500 retail outlets islandwide which carry Carreras' tobacco products," said Brown. Carreras' outlets represent 40 per cent of the total number of outlets carrying tobacco products.
The rebranded effort, first launched in 2008, will now feature the logos of the MOE and CDA on all YSP point of sale communication materials, which Brown said would add credibility to the programme. A new logo that is easier to read sends out a direct message that: "I/We don't sell cigarettes to persons under 18. It's the Law."

Jun. 21, 2010

DNA and key enzymes being damaged by smokeless tobacco

According to a new research, adverse effects of smokeless tabacco are not limited just to the mouth it can also damage the normal functioning of the enzymes contained in the human body.

The enzymes are said to play an important role in the hormone production, namely, sex hormones, oestrogen and testosterone, production of vitamin D and cholesterol is also said to be affected.

Smokeless tobacco is also said to damage the genetic material contained in the kidneys, liver and lungs.

However scientists have little information on the adverse effects of smokeless tobacco on other parts of the human body.

But it is mentioned by colleagues and Krishna Khanduja that they have noted widespread recognition on the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco on the mouth which also include the risk of getting oral cancer and gum disease.

The chemicals and potential carcinogens contained in the extracts of smokeless products are absorbed into the blood stream and are circulated through the body. Laboratory rats were used for the evaluation of the changes in genetic material and enzymes by using the extracts if smokeless tobacco.

The study states that, "not only did smokeless tobacco damage the genetic material in DNA but also alters the function of the, family of enzymes called CYP-450."

The study also states, "worldwide use of products is noted but are most commonly used in places like, Southeast Asia, Northern Africa and the Mediterranean region,"

The study also adds, "the users of the smokeless tobacco products are highly unaware of the adverse effects, therefore, smokeless products are used to treat, headaches, toothaches and stomachaches.

This false impression increases the use of smokeless tobacco products among youngsters the use of these harmful smokeless tobacco products is increasing among children, teenagers and women apart from men. Immigrants from the South Asian region and other dental and medical students also have increased usage of these products."

The adverse effects of these products has been on the rise although the harmful effects are known to researchers.

The study has also been published in the ACS' monthly journal of chemical research in toxicology.

Jun. 18, 2010

Shaker Heights: One of the 'tobacco-free' school districts

haker Heights City School District has joined "The Movement," a 100 percent tobacco-free initiative for Cuyahoga County school districts.

The Movement is sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Comprehensive Partnership for Tobacco Reduction (The Partnership), and is under the direction of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH).

Funded by the Ohio Department of Health, the goal of The Movement is to encourage all 31 school districts within Cuyahoga County to enact a 100 percent tobacco-free policy.

To be considered 100 percent tobacco-free, a school district must prohibit the use of all tobacco products, such as cigarettes, chew, snuff, etc., by everyone (school visitors, faculty, students) on all school grounds, including school events, regardless if they are on school property or away.

With the addition of Shaker Heights, 19 school districts, approximately 61 percent of all the school districts, have such a policy in place and they include:

Bay Village, Beachwood, Bedford, Berea, Brecksville/Broadview Heights, Garfield Heights, Independence, Lakewood, North Royalton, North Olmsted, Olmsted Falls, Orange, Richmond Heights, Rocky River, Solon, South Euclid/Lyndhurst and Westlake.

The remaining 12 school districts that don't have a 100 percent tobacco-free policy are:

Brooklyn, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Metropolitan, Cleveland Heights/University Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, East Cleveland, Euclid, Fairview Park, Maple Heights, Mayfield, Parma and Strongsville.

Jun. 3, 2010

Tobacco loophole in child health law costs $250M

WASHINGTON — A tobacco tax loophole in President Barack Obama's children's health insurance program cost the government more than $250 million in its first year, public health officials say.

The loophole allowed companies to avoid huge tax increases on loose rolling tobacco by relabeling their product as pipe tobacco. The simple marketing twist lets companies pay $2.83 per pound, rather than the $24.78 per pound levied on rolling tobacco.

That proved an expensive technicality in the way the government pays for health insurance for poor children. Almost immediately, tobacco companies ramped up production of pipe tobacco to record levels and curtailed production of roll-your-own tobacco.

Daniel Morris, who tracks tobacco production data at the Oregon Department of Health, first identified the loophole late last year. In November, The Associated Press highlighted the millions being lost, but it was unclear at the time whether that represented a short-term change in production or a long-term trend.

The trend has not changed. In March, the one-year anniversary of the tax change, companies produced more than 2 million pounds of pipe tobacco. It was a record month for an industry that steadily produced about 270,000 pounds a month before the tax changed.

In a memo to colleagues last week, Morris estimated the U.S. lost more than $250 million in tax revenue in the first year of the law. States are losing money, too, because many base their taxes for roll-your-own and pipe tobacco on the wholesale price, which includes federal taxes.

"The magnitude was larger than I initially expected," Morris said. "I was expecting that once the loophole was identified, there'd be action to fix it."

Such action has stalled. The Obama administration said last year it would release new rules for differentiating roll-your-own tobacco from pipe tobacco, but it has yet to do so.

"We're still studying, from a technical standpoint, how to distinguish between the two products," said Arthur Resnick, a spokesman for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

And on Capitol Hill, a bill to raise taxes on pipe tobacco to the same level as loose tobacco has yet to be debated.

"With the money we're losing, the deficits we have and the priority this administration and Congress have put on health care, to not find that revenue is just wrong," said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., who wrote the bill to close the loophole.

Pipe tobacco is normally too coarse and moist to roll into a cigarette, but nothing says it has to be. The administration says the only distinction between pipe tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco is how it's labeled.

Norman Sharp of the Washington-based Pipe Tobacco Council said the small, legitimate pipe industry supports regulations distinguishing between traditional pipe tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco, which he said is being mislabeled.

"It's not really a loophole. It's fraud," Sharp said.

Morris said pipe tobacco production, and the lost revenues that go with it, could climb even higher because of a similar technicality in another law. In trying to crack down on tobacco smuggling, lawmakers prohibited shipping cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco through the mail.

But the law didn't say anything about shipping pipe tobacco.

Jun. 1, 2010

‘No Tobacco Day’ sends message to youth

Health officials yesterday urged youths, especially females, to be wary of the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco use on their health and that of the community at large.

They were taking part in a one-day public seminar to mark the ‘World No Tobacco Day’ organised by the Supreme Council of Health’s Anti-Smoking Campaign Committee with a slogan: “Boys and Girls For Change: Tobacco Control Now”.
Observed around the world every year on May 31, ‘World No Tobacco Day’ is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe.

The day is also to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to 5.4mn deaths worldwide annually.

The World Health Organisation’s theme for the year is “Gender and Tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women”.

Making a speech on behalf of the HE Minister of Public Health and SCH Secretary General, Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani, assistant minister for Medical Affairs at the SCH, Dr Saleh al-Merri said that since July 2002, Qatar has adopted several important measures to prevent the use of tobacco and all its derivatives.

These include strict vigilance on the age of those buying tobacco products, banning of its sale to school-going students and penal action against those who violate the rules on smoking areas in public places and buildings.

He said the ministry has launched a large scale campaign against tobacco by publishing several leaflets and booklets highlighting the harmful effects of tobacco and its derivatives.

“One billion cigarettes are smoked a year in Qatar and while 40% of the smokers are adult, 22% are teenagers and the country’s smoking rates were found to be double of those in Europe,” he pointed out.

The official said that Qatar has spent more than $150mn a year on treating smoking-related diseases. “We have set up special smoking cessation clinics in Hamad Hospital and Al Khor Hospital and we have plans of opening three more to provide services on how to quit smoking to people,” he mentioned.

He mentioned that the country will also ensure that at least 30% of the cigarettes package shows dangers of tobacco.

Public Health department director Dr Mohamed al-Thani highlighted that every six seconds, one person dies because of smoking and one among every 10 adults dies due to smoking.

“Qatar has taken stringent measures to combat smoking and the use of tobacco and its derivatives,” he mentioned.

WHO regional office consultant Dr Ibrahim Kalatani urged youths to be ambassador for change by abstaining from smoking saying that minors and women were becoming more exposed to tobacco products both at home and in the public arena.

“The harmful effects of tobacco is not limited to cigarettes only but other products such as Shesha is also very dangerous to health and the unfortunate thing is many non-smokers are falling victims of passive smoking as they are being forced to inhale 4,000 chemical substances against their will,” he said.

Highlights of the event were exhibition of different smoking cessation techniques, distribution of information pamphlets and showcasing of prize winning entries of inter-school painting competition organised for students by Anti-Smoking Society Qatar.

Short documentary films packaged by the WHO were also featured during the event.

May 31, 2010

Young Indian women falling victim to tobacco?

Did you know that 8.3 percent of Indian girls between 13-15 years of age consume some form of tobacco? The statistic acquires significance as World No Tobacco Day is observed Monday with an emphasis on the marketing of tobacco to women.

“Adolescent girls are a major target of opportunity for the tobacco industry, they are trying to hook young girls through advertisements,” Bhavna Mukhopadhayay, executive director of the NGO Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), told IANS.

“Some advertisements on TV bring back well known cigarette brands and certain advertisements in magazines inform that girls who smoke can become slim and glamourous.”

May 31 is marked by the World Health Organisation as World No Tobacco Day and this year’s theme is “Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women”.

In India, the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to youngsters below 18 is banned. But the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2009 for India found that 8.3 percent of girls in the 13-15 age group consume some form of tobacco. Around 2.4 percent of the girls consume cigarettes and 7.2 percent consume other tobacco products.

A new WHO report, “Women and Health: Today’s Evidence, Tomorrow’s Agenda”, says tobacco advertising is increasingly targeting girls.

Data from 151 countries reveals that around seven percent of adolescent girls smoke cigarettes as opposed to 12 percent adolescent boys. In some countries, the number of girls who smoke cigarettes equals that of boys.

Many girls in Indian cities who smoke consider it “cool”. Working women cite peer pressure, stress at home and workplace and odd working hours as reasons. Several girls aged between 15 and 20 frequent hookah bars for fun and “relaxation”.

Although owners of hookah bars vehemently deny breaking the law, youngsters can be seen puffing away inside.

“Around 10 popular hookah bars function in Delhi alone and many ask their customers for age proof,” said Ashok Srivatsav, a hookah manufacturer.

But Komal Sharma, 15, a frequent visitor to hookah bars in Delhi, said: “I often go with friends to a hookah bar in Vasant Vihar but no one asks me for any ID proof.”

Gynaecologists point out that diseases such as chronic bronchitis and even cancer of urinary bladder or stomach can be caused by smoking hookahs.

Admits a staffer at a hookah bar, “Flavoured hookahs definitely contain nicotine and many youngsters initiate the smoking habit with it. Schoolchildren, particularly girls, frequent these places.”

As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), over 54 million women use some form of tobacco. Apart from smoking, women in India, particularly from rural areas, use smokeless tobacco like gutka, paan masala with tobacco, mishri and gul.

Many unwittingly become tobacco victims.

“While many girls use tobacco as a fad or for relaxation, many rural women work as beedi rollers for hours and suffer from tobacco related diseases,” said Ms. Mukhopadhayay.

“Approximately, there are over four million women beedi rollers and two million tendu leaf pluckers in India. Handling and inhaling tobacco dust and volatile components of tobacco puts them at a high risk of cancer, chronic lung diseases, tuberculosis, asthma and adverse gynaecological problems,” she added.

Margaret Chan, director general of WHO, commenting on the report, said: “Protecting and promoting the health of women is crucial to health and development - not only for the citizens of today but also for those of future generations.”

May 26, 2010

Smoking Amongst Teenagers

Teenage smoking is a big cause for concern today. The majority of adult smokers are said to start smoking as teenagers. Eventually they get hooked to smoking for life. Smoking is said to be the leading cause of preventable deaths. Every year millions of people die across the world because of a smoking related condition such as heart disease, lung ailment or cancer caused by smoking. Health experts want to curb smoking amongst teenagers but are finding it tough to do so. In spite of imposing bans on tobacco advertising and applying a ban on smoking in public places, there is no significant decrease in the number of teenagers who smoke.

Peer pressure is said to be the biggest reasons why teenagers get attracted towards smoking. Just because their friends are able to hold a cigarette and smoke like adults do, they too take up the habit. Initially, things appear to be in their control. They enjoy the thrill of participating in a forbidden activity. However, it soon becomes a habit and they find it difficult to get over their addiction.

The other factor that attracts teenagers towards smoking is the fact that media has glamorized cigarette smoking. Teenagers want to emulate their favorite stars and smoke in their style. Besides, children who see their parents and elder siblings smoking are more likely to start smoking early.

Health experts believe that strong steps should be taken to curtail the habit of smoking amongst teenagers. Parents and teachers must inform young boys and girls about the harmful effects of cigarettes. Children must be informed that smoking may initially appear to be pleasurable and glamorous but it is actually not so. If you notice a tendency for smoking amongst your teenage kids or siblings, you can even take them to a counselor so that they are able to better understand the repercussions of smoking at an early age.

For those who have unfortunately become addicted to smoking need not feel defeated. Though not so easy, smoking cessation is very much possible in spite of the number of years you have been smoking and the number of cigarettes you have been smoking in a day. Thanks to the advancements in medical science, there are effective smoking cessation aids available today.

May 25, 2010

Study Finds New Hazard in Third-Hand Smoke

Most people take the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke seriously, but a study published in the January 2009 edition of Pediatrics shows this is not enough. A newly discovered hazard, labeled "third-hand smoke," poses considerable risk, even more so because it is not always obvious.

A cigarette in the hand or a room full of smoke is conspicuous and easy to avoid. But what about after the cigarette's been put out and the smoke disappears? Doctors from MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston say the dangerous toxins are still present, even if they are no longer visible. Smoke from tobacco products leaves a residue behind which exposes you to carcinogens, heavy metals and radioactive materials.

Dr. Jonathan P. Winickoff, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, explains: "Third-hand smoke is the tobacco smoke contamination that remains after the cigarette is extinguished. It's the toxic layer that is deposited on every surface indoors where a smoker lights up: in cars, on smokers' clothing and hair."

In the study, researchers surveyed 1,500 households in the United States to determine if people were aware of the hazards of third-hand smoke. Most smokers and nonsmokers agreed that second-hand smoke was an obvious danger. However, only 65 percent of nonsmokers and 43 percent of smokers thought third-hand smoke was hazardous to children. Most people, and especially those who smoke, simply aren't aware of the risks of third-hand smoke.

"When their kids are out of the house, they might smoke," says Dr. Winickoff. "Or they smoke in the car. Or they strap the kid in the car seat in the back and crack the window and smoke, and they think it's okay because the second-hand smoke isn't getting to their kids."

He points out you can smell tobacco smoke on someone after they've been smoking or in a room where people have smoked. "Your nose isn't lying," he said. "The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you, 'Get away.'"Dr. Philip Landrigan is a pediatrician who heads the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He thinks the term "third-hand smoke" is right on the money.

"The central message here is that simply closing the kitchen door to take a smoke is not protecting the kids from the effects of that smoke," he said. "There are carcinogens in this third-hand smoke, and they are a cancer risk for anybody of any age who comes into contact with them."

Of course, if you're an adult you can choose to remove yourself from any situation which exposes you to third-hand smoke. For children, whose developing brains and bodies are highly susceptible to the harmful toxins in smoking tobacco, the choice is not always in their hands. It's up to adults to take responsibility for our children's health by preventing them from being exposed to these toxic substances.

May 24, 2010

Youth group goes downtown to discourage smoking

Willie Pappas doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t want anyone else to use tobacco. Pappas is a member of the Local Youth Leadership Club, whose members were on Adamson Square in Carrollton Wednesday afternoon trying to get their message out.

“A lot of these cigarette companies are trying to get the kids smoking cigarettes, so we’re out here trying to tell people what’s in cigarettes,” said Pappas as he and other club members held anti-smoking signs and passed out pamphlets to passersby describing the harmful chemicals in cigarettes. “People need to know what the kids are smoking and what their kids are smoking, and maybe then they won’t smoke. They think it’s a minor drug, that it won’t do much harm to them, but they don’t realize all the chemicals that are in it. We’re just trying to make them aware.”

The club is in partnership with the Carrollton Housing Authority and is funded by a grant through District 4 Public Health. The group is in favor of a $1 tax increase on packs of cigarettes for a simple reason that could save lives, said Brandolynn Marenco, abstinence education coordinator with the Housing Authority.

“If taxes are increased on tobacco products then people are going to be less likely to buy them and more likely to quit if the price is going up,” Marenco said.

House Bill 39, sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens, who represents portions of Bryan, Chatham and Liberty counties in southeast Georgia, would raise the state taxes on each pack of cigarettes by $1, increasing the per-pack tax from 37 cents to $1.37.

Stephens said the state is in a major revenue crisis, with the Georgia General Assembly needing to plug a $1.1 billion in the state budget before the session ends sometime in late April or early May. An additional $1 on cigarettes would not only provide $350 million in new revenue, Stephens said, but it would also put the ever increasing burden of paying for health care for tobacco-related illnesses on the smokers themselves.

Under the current tax structure, Georgia’s cigarette tax generates about $237 million a year, but the state spends $537 million a year treating smoking-related illnesses in Medicaid patients alone.

Marenco said the problem is that cigarette companies target the younger generation in the hopes of getting them hooked an early age and then making them a customer for life. “They call our teens their future customers,” she said.The dangers in cigarettes are very much what’s not seen, in that they contain chemicals that are commonly understood to be harmful, Pappas said.

“I think that they [tobacco users] know that it’s not good for them, but most of them don’t know all the chemical things that are what makes them bad,” said club member Brandon Rowe. “But they are really bad.”

May 21, 2010

Camel No. 9 Campaign a Favorite Among Teen Girls

Disturbing New Data Reveal Teens More Likely to Smoke as a Result Washington, D.C. – A new study by the University of California at San Diego and Legacy shows that the 2007 R.J. Reynolds’ cigarette campaign, Camel No. 9, may have been effective in encouraging young girls to start smoking.

The study, being released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, looked at teens’ responsiveness to different tobacco marketing campaigns over the past five years and concluded that even after legal restrictions in the Master Settlement Agreement prohibited the targeting of teens through advertising, teens continued to be responsive to tobacco marketing and those who were receptive to it were 50 percent more likely to start smoking as a result.

“R.J. Reynolds is the same company that brought the American people Joe Camel, which at one time was recognizable to 90 percent of six year olds,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. The release of this new research coincides with Women’s History Month and underscores the fact that the tobacco industry first began to aggressively market to women in the 1920s and continues to do so today. “While tobacco marketing campaigns have been targeting young women for 90 years, this research shows that sadly, despite all we know about the deadly toll of smoking, tobacco companies continue to successfully find ‘replacement smokers’ among our nation’s young girls,” said Healton.

The study enrolled more than one thousand 10-13 year olds in 2003 and followed them 5 times through 2008, asking participants to report a brand of “favorite” cigarettes. Specifically, teens who reported having a favorite cigarette ad at baseline were 50 percent more likely to have smoked by the fifth interview. The proportion of boys who reported having a favorite ad remained stable across all five surveys; however, it was found that after the launch of Camel No. 9, the percentage of teen girls who reported having a favorite cigarette ad increased by 10 percentage points, with Camel accounting for nearly all of this increase.

Camel No. 9 has been featured in top fashion and entertainment magazines geared for women, using stylish packaging and advertising featuring black, bright pink and teal colors and a name evocative of women’s fashion icons. In 2007, Legacy spearheaded a diverse group of public health and women’s public interest organizations calling for Camel No. 9 cigarettes to be taken off store shelves. In addition, more than 40 members of Congress called on women’s magazines to refuse advertising for this product, because the members saw such ads as direct attempts to attract girls and young women to smoking.

“This study provides the evidence that the Camel #9 campaign was clearly very attractive to underaged adolescent girls, effectively encouraging them to start smoking” said John P. Pierce, Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center in San Diego, “With 44 percent of underaged adolescents having a favorite cigarette advertisement in 2007, clearly the commitment that the tobacco industry made in 1998 that they would not target teens is far from being met.”

These results underscore the importance of our efforts to stop these types of campaigns and counter-market to youth who are so susceptible to them,” Healton added. Research shows that nearly 80 percent of current smokers started before the age of 18. And despite the knowledge of tobacco’s deadly toll, in the United States, nearly 20 percent of women still smoke and each year 174,000 women lose their lives to tobacco-related disease. In fact, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of women in the United States, surpassing breast cancer.

Camel No. 9 Cigarette-Marketing Campaign Targeted Young Teenage Girls was funded by grants from Legacy, the National Cancer Institute, the Tobacco Related Disease Research Program and the University of California – San Diego.

May 20, 2010

Belarus Inhales Russian Cigarettes

Beginning from April 1, Belarusian market opened for unlimited import of Cigarettes produced in Russia. Canceling the quotas on cigarette import to Belarus is one of the conditions of Moscow-Minsk bilateral agreement which might be signed already on March 1. However, import quotas is just one of the barriers preventing the sales of Russian Cigarettes in Belarus from rising.

Belarus has had quotas on cigarette import since 1997. Since 2001, it has been allowed to import only Cigarettes costing over $0.26 per pack. In 2002, 4.103 billion Cigarettes were imported to Belarus, in 2003 – 3 billion, in 2004 – 3.6 billion, in 2005 – 3.07 billion. Setting the quota for 2006, Belarusian government said it will be 1.5 billion Cigarettes, with the total amount of market being 18 billion.

Beginning from April 1, import quotas might be canceled within the implementation of the agreement between Russian and Belarusian prime ministers Mikhail Fradkov and Sergei Sidorsky. If the agreement is signed on March 1 as planned, then the cigarette quotas will be cancelled already by April 1.

Tobacco companies say the lifting of quotas will be good for the business. However, it does not guarantee the free import of Cigarettes to Belarus, since there exist other restrictions. For instance, every importer of Cigarettes has to obtain a license in the cou8ntry’s trade ministry. Yet, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade said that it “regards such licenses as administrative obstacles for trade” and promised to “insist that they are cancelled”.

ALA Refuses to Support Legislation Prohibiting Electronic Cigarette Sales to Minors

The American Lung Association (ALA) has been actively encouraging state bans on the sale of electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”), despite the growing body of evidence indicating that they are a safer alternative to traditional smoking. These actions are contrary to their stated goals of preventing lung disease.

The American Lung Association (ALA) has been actively encouraging state bans on the sale of electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”), despite the growing body of evidence indicating that they are a safer alternative to traditional smoking.

According to Spike Babaian, president of National Vapers Club, “We believe the American Lung Association has lost track of its mission by waging a war on a product that has produced nearly a million former smokers.”

In a memorandum in support of proposed legislation (S7234) in New York which would ban all sales of electronic cigarettes, the ALA focuses primarily on concerns that electronic cigarettes are marketed to children. “For this reason,” said Babaian, “it is particularly disturbing that ALA deliberately refuses to support legislation aimed at preventing the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.”

In February of this year, at a Utah House Health and Human Services Committee meeting, Rep. Phil Riesen of Utah, said “I've been sitting here contemplating whether or not we should propose banning electronic cigarettes, and I'm hearing a lot of testimony from folks who say that it's helping them stop smoking,” and he went on to say, “I don't think we ought to ban them anymore than we should ban Nicorette or patches or anything that is helping people to quit.”

May 19, 2010

Are Kids More Likely To Smoke Menthol Cigarettes?

The regulation of tobacco is now a reality. Today marks the first public meeting of the Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel set up to deal with complex scientific issues involving tobacco. Last year, legislation was enacted that for the first time authorized the FDA to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products. One of its first charges is to answer the question – does menthol make cigarettes more harmful?

The overwhelming weight of highly credible and reliable science suggests that the answer is no. The use of menthol in cigarettes is an area in which extensive scientific studies have actually taken place. At least a dozen epidemiology studies, as well as several large smoke exposure biomarker studies have been conducted. Menthol in cigarettes has no meaningful effect on public health.

Advocates of a ban on menthol focus on two main topics – initiation and cessation. They claim that youth start smoking with menthol over non-menthol cigarettes. And, they allege that quitting smoking is far more difficult for those who smoke menthols.

Let's start with cessation. Quitting smoking can be difficult for all smokers. Several large national studies have shown no differences in dependence or cessation for menthol cigarettes. These studies are broadly representative of the total smoking population. Further, the overwhelming weight of epidemiology shows that menthol and non-menthol cigarettes are the same in terms of disease occurrence across races and sexes, and is strongly consistent with the conclusion that menthol cigarettes are no more difficult to quit.

No one wants kids to smoke. Through positive steps that public health advocates and tobacco companies like mine have made resulting from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, youth smoking is at an all time low.

The majority of underage smokers report that their usual brand is not menthol. In fact, when you take a close look at the impact of menthol cigarettes on youth smoking rates, the data show that the use of menthol cigarettes may actually have a slight inverse relationship to the rate of youth smoking. Twenty-one states have a menthol market share that is higher than the national average. Of these, twenty have a youth smoking rate lower than the national average.

Based on these measurable outcomes, menthol cigarettes are clearly not associated with higher youth smoking rates.

Lorillard is dedicated to doing everything within our power to follow the new rules and regulations. Implicit in our commitment is an expectation that the FDA will likewise follow its rules and regulations, providing a fair hearing and assuring its actions are based on legitimate and objective scientific data.

Legitimate, objective scientific data should be a critically important component in this regulatory proceeding, just as it should be in any other FDA proceeding that deals with drugs or medical devices. Our nation is built on the foundation that regulatory agencies must base their decisions on the best science available. Good science should not become "science that supports what we want to do."

Good science should seek to apply rigorous empiricism to marshal relevant facts. That type of science should be paramount in the FDA's process, not anecdotal or behavioral surveys that are subject to bias and cannot be replicated.

It is critically important that menthol be evaluated without emotion or invective. This can only be accomplished if the FDA and its scientific advisory committee follow a course of meticulous objectivity in examining the conclusions reached by various scientific studies and the design and integrity of these studies – and, importantly, the motivations of those authors.

The challenge to adhere to the science must be met successfully by the FDA. Doing otherwise would undermine the integrity of this important regulatory agency. And it could well lead to unfair and unnecessary regulation of other legal products or industries, depriving citizens of their right to choose products that may be controversial or unpopular.

May 10, 2010

Private club aims to keep cigar smoking sociable

David Meyer leaned back in a leather-upholstered chair and smoked a Davidoff Aniversario No. 3. Seated nearby, Kelly Morrison savored a Davidoff 1000 and Rich Carney a Davidoff Puro D'Oro.

The three lounged and puffed in the members-only Commonwealth Cigar Club one floor above David and Renee Meyer's Milan Tobacconists retail store in Roanoke.

An annual fee of $1,000 and a biometric lock that reads fingerprints offer entry into the not-for-profit club, which formally opened April 16. Cigar aficionados living outside a 50-mile radius pay $500.

"The club is something Renee and I have always wanted to do," David Meyer said. "We just always envisioned a nice place for people to come and enjoy a cigar."

A dress code forbids hats and sandals and calls for collared shirts.

"There is a board that reviews all applications," he said.

Citing privacy, Meyer would not disclose members' names.

He said the club is intended to serve "like-minded people" but emphasized that demographics vary among the 30 people who have joined to date.

"Believe it or not, our members have all kinds of income levels," Meyer said.

So far, three women, including Renee, are members.

"We would like to get 50 members," Meyer said. "If we get 50, the club will be self-sufficient."

The Commonwealth Cigar Club occupies the second floor of the historic three-story building owned by the Meyers at 309 S. Jefferson St. The couple live on the third floor.

He would not say how much the club's limited liability company has invested to create the handsomely appointed club, which is a separate entity from Milan Tobacconists.

"People do not have to buy their cigars from us," Meyer said.

Membership provides access to private lockers in a room where the humidity is held to about 70 percent to retain cigars' ideal characteristics.

Pipe smokers can join, too. Two filtration systems serve smoke duty.

The Commonwealth Cigar Club has an ABC license that allows members to bring their own spirits, which are stored in individual lockers. Meyer said the club is the first of its kind in Virginia and that its unique setup prolonged the process of applying for and receiving the alcoholic beverage license. As a private club, it is exempt from Virginia's new law that prohibits smoking in restaurants.

Carney said he enjoys the taste and relaxation associated with a fine stogie, which he said typically requires an hour to smoke.

His favorite cigar is a Padron 2000, which features tobacco grown in Nicaragua.

"It's a very high-end taste for a very affordable cigar," Carney said.

Meyer said good, hand-rolled cigars generally range from $3 to $30 each.

Many cigar growers fled Cuba after the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and left with the seeds for the tobacco famed for quality and taste. Some growers ended up in Honduras, Nicaragua and elsewhere -- including the Dominican Republic, which has achieved renown for tobacco used in prestigious brands such as the Davidoffs smoked by Meyer, Carney and Morrison.

One review of the Davidoff Aniversario line describes the cigars as "velvety to the touch" with notes of "pepper, grass and a touch of earth."

Carney is not a member of the Commonwealth Cigar Club.

"It's a tremendous luxury and a luxury I cannot share with my family," he said. "I come up here as a visitor."

In 2000, David and Renee Meyer purchased Milan Tobacconists from her father, Don Roy, and stepmother, Myriam, who had acquired the longtime downtown business, known as Milan Brothers, from brothers Joe, Herb and Ellis Milan in 1994. Milan Bros. was long famous in the Roanoke Valley for its tobacco products and as a place to discreetly peruse and purchase "girlie magazines." The Meyers accentuated and enhanced the former and deep-sixed the latter.

In 2008, the Meyers moved the business down South Jefferson Street after they purchased the three-story building at 309, which once housed Lee & Edwards Wine Merchants, for $600,000 in July 2008.

Like other tobacco products, cigars are linked to cancer. And even though most cigar smokers do not inhale, the risks remain.

Stogies have fans and foes. One recent Internet search for the phrase "cigar stink" pulled up about 1.4 million entries.

But cigar connoisseurs, men and women, celebrate the aroma and taste of fine, hand-rolled cigars and the relaxation of savoring their slow, steady burn.

May 3, 2010

Arabic ad has smokes under fire

A SOCIAL marketing campaign targeting Arabic-speaking smokers in southwest Sydney has recorded a significant drop in tobacco use.

The “Ma’feesh cigara men gheir Khosara” (There is no cigarette without loss) campaign saw smoking rates drop by more than 5 per cent.

The tobacco control project focused on Arabic communities in Liverpool, Canterbury, Bankstown and Campbelltown.

Promotions on Arabic radio stations, billboards, bus advertisements and in Arabic language newspapers emphasised the health risks of smoking.

Following the campaign, bilingual interviewers surveyed more than 1000 participants to determine smoking rates.

Associate professor Chris Rissel from Sydney South West Area Health Service said the impact on tobacco use was significant.

“We focused on how smoking harms the family household. That was quite powerful,” Dr Rissel said.

“We had an overall drop in the prevalence of smoking from 26 per cent to 20 per cent.”

The study, published in the journal Health Promotion International, also reported a decline in the number of smoke-free homes of almost 8 per cent.

The marketing campaign had the biggest impact on married men over the age of 40 and the highest socio-economic groups, as well as the unemployed.

Researchers will continue to work with cafes and retailers to show the health impacts of inhaling smoke through water pipes.

Dr Rissel said the health effects of flavoured water pipes can be worse than cigarettes.

Apr. 26, 2010

Ga. man who left jail for cigarettes gets 20 years

Authorities say an inmate who broke out of jail, then returned after stealing 14 packs of cigarettes, has been sentenced to 20 years.

Prosecutors told The Florida Times-Union inmate Harry Jackson, 26, escaped his cell at the Camden County Jail last year and went to the exercise yard to retrieve cigarettes he had expected would be tossed over a fence.

They say that when the contraband wasn't there, Jackson scaled the fence, broke a window at a convenience store and grabbed cigarette packs only to be arrested upon his return.

Jackson pleaded guilty to burglary and escape charges Monday. Prosecutors say he had been jailed on charges including driving with a suspended license. His lawyer, William Ashe, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Apr. 20, 2010

Camel Orbs Tobacco Candies Are Toxic For Young Children

A new study finds that smokeless tobacco candy could be dangerous for children as it contains nicotine that can be addictive.

The candies are called Camel Orbs and each one contains a small amount of nicotine minus the nasty smoke present in cigarettes.

The products are dissolvable, and are designed for smokers looking for that nicotine fix when they are somewhere where smoking is not prohibited.

The candies come in childproof packs, but children have been known to find ways to open these packs and ingest the dangerous candies.

“Infants are susceptible to accidental tobacco ingestion because of a natural curiosity and a tendency for oral exploration,” wrote researcher Gregory N. Connolly, DMD, MPH, of Harvard University and colleagues in Pediatrics. “As taste discrimination develops, young children may be more attracted to flavored tobacco products. Ingestion of as little as 1 mg of nicotine by a small child can produce symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.”

“In light of the novelty and potential harm of these dissolvable nicotine products, federal and other public health authorities are advised to study these products to determine the appropriate regulatory approach, on the basis of their potential to cause poisonings and create addiction among youths,” the researchers write.

Apr. 15, 2010

Vote on electronic cigarettes ban postponed in Ill. House committee

Advocates of electronic cigarettes aren’t allowing their chosen alternative to tobacco to become contraband in Illinois quietly.

The Illinois Senate passed legislation that would prevent the sale of the battery-operated e-cigarettes with little attention last month. That changed this morning in a House committee to consider the legislation, SB3174.

The plastic cylinders often look like real cigarettes but dispense a vapor rather than smoke, along with a dose of nicotine.

Former smokers who use the products and retailers who supply them objected to an outright ban, suggesting that lawmakers should look at regulation of e-cigarettes first. Several former smokers said they tried every FDA-approved smoking cessation tool but still couldn’t quit the habit until finding the e-cigarettes.

State Rep. Constance Howard, D-Chicago, said she also was a former smoker and understood how difficult quitting could be.

“I just wish there was something like these around before my mother died,” she said, to applause from the assembled e-cigarette proponents.

Sponsoring state Rep. Marlow Colvin, D-Chicago, said the FDA hasn’t approved the products yet and have found examples of carcinogens and other chemicals in the cartridges. He and lobbyist Kathy Drea with the American Lung Association said the state should prevent people from buying the e-cigarettes until the FDA has ruled on their safety.

But at the request of committee members asking for more information on that process, Colvin postponed a decision on the bill until next week.

Mar. 29, 2010

Cigarette Cartoons Are "Uncool," AG Says

Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds will pay Connecticut $150,000 to settle a lawsuit over an advertising campaign in Rolling Stone Magazine.

The 2007 spread for Camel cigarettes violated a master tobacco agreement banning the use of cartoons in cigarette advertising, according to state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

"This campaign improperly employed cartoons to sell cigarettes, enticing kids into addiction, illness and early death", Blumenthal said in a news release.

The ad appeared in the Nov. 15, 2007 issue of Rolling Stone, and included a four-page fold out poster."These ads hark back to the insidious and disingenuous 'Joe Camel', the cute and cool cartoon character designed to appeal to kids", Blumenthal said.

R.J. Reynolds denied the ad campaign violated the agreement, and paid the $150,000 to cover the state's legal costs.

Mar. 15, 2010

Man admits to scheme in Stafford smuggling case

One of the 14 people charged in a major contraband cigarette probe started by the Stafford Sheriff's Office was convicted yesterday for his role in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Xing "Andy" Xiao, 32, of Fairfax pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and other charges yesterday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

Xiao and 13 others were arrested in November following a 14-month investigation that began after a Stafford detective got information about an illegal cigarette-trafficking business in the area.

The investigation, which included federal agencies, revealed the purchase of 388,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes that were sold or destined for sale in New York. The cigarettes were valued at $77 million.

More than $8 million in cash, nearly 40 firearms and drugs--including 32,000 hits of ecstasy--were used to purchase the cigarettes.

Most of those arrested have already pleaded guilty to various charges.

According to court records, Xiao purchased or traded for 15,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes in May 2009. The cigarettes were kept at a storage facility in Stafford.

Xiao told undercover officers that the cigarettes were stolen from the facility and he had hired a hitman to kill the man he suspected of the theft. The man's wife was also to be killed.

Xiao was in jail from June to September, but an associate of his provided information regarding the couple's New York residence and paid an undercover agent posing as a hitman $7,000.

The hitman was to receive another $8,000 when the job was done.

Chen X. "Jay" Jiang, 21, of Brooklyn pleaded guilty recently to his role in the murder plot. Xiao will be sentenced on May 21.

Stafford Sheriff Charles Jett said his officers and others put their lives in danger to stop the criminal organization.

"This was a very dangerous criminal enterprise," Jett said. "The citizens of this region can be proud of [the officers'] efforts."

Stafford authorities said the 32,000 ecstasy pills are a record amount for the area. Each pill has a street value of between $15 and $25, court records state.

The conspirators also sold or traded more than 275,000 fraudulent Virginia and New York State cigarette tax stamps between July 2008 and October of last year.

In New York, the stamps are worth $4.25 a pack.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Fairfax County Police Department were among those involved in the probe.

Mar. 10, 2010

Saudi Arabia mulls anti-smoking law

DUBAI - Saudi Arabia is considering an anti-smoking law that will ban the cultivation of tobacco, penalise people for smoking in public areas and increase duties on cigarette imports, Arab News reported on Tuesday.

The Shoura Council, an appointed consultative body, discussed a draft law on Monday, the newspaper said.

The Saudi move follows a recent decision by the UAE government to ban smoking in most public areas, part of legislation aimed at stemming the rising number of smokers in the Gulf state.

The UAE anti-smoking legislation, whose implementation has been delayed as officials work on the details, also requires all tobacco products carry health warnings, bans their advertisement and makes selling products to anyone under 18 illegal.

Smokers in Saudi Arabia spend some $2.13 billion on cigarettes every year and number around six million people or a quarter of its population.

Mar. 1, 2010

British American Tobacco slips after results

British American Tobacco, maker of Dunhill and Lucky Strike, has raised a note of caution this morning about unemployment hitting its sales but posted a sharp rise in 2009 earnings and reported signs the global economy is recovering.

The cigarette maker has recommended a final dividend of 71.6p, which together with the interim dividend, will take 2009 dividends to 99.5p, an rise of 19%. The rise in earnings came as BAT reported a 17% rise in in revenues to £14.2bn.

But the shares were down 2%, or 43.5p, at £21.87.5 in late morning trading after a strong recent run. The wider FTSE 100 was flat at 5343.

Chairman Richard Burrows sounded a note of cautious optimism about the outlook:

"There are signs that the global economy is beginning to improve, although unemployment, which is an important influence on our business, may continue to rise in developed markets. We have a very clear strategy and excellent management, with a well balanced portfolio of brands. Our unrivalled geographic spread mitigates risk for shareholders and will help us maintain sustainable growth and build shareholder value."

Around the world, BAT saw variations in sales, with Russia particularly tough. BAT said tobacco industry declines in both Russia and Japan knocked sales volumes for its Kent brand by 4%. But Dunhill rose by 9% and Lucky Strike volumes were up 4% with growth in Germany, France, Italy and Chile, partially offset by declines in Spain, Japan and Argentina. Pall Mall saw the strongest growth, up 10%.

Analysts were largely positive about the results. Chas Manso de Zuniga at Evolution Securities highlighted that margins were better than expected across geographies barring Western Europe and maintained a "buy" recommendation and £22.50 price target on the shares.British American Tobacco, maker of Dunhill and Lucky Strike, has raised a note of caution this morning about unemployment hitting its sales but posted a sharp rise in 2009 earnings and reported signs the global economy is recovering.

The cigarette maker has recommended a final dividend of 71.6p, which together with the interim dividend, will take 2009 dividends to 99.5p, an rise of 19%. The rise in earnings came as BAT reported a 17% rise in in revenues to £14.2bn.

But the shares were down 2%, or 43.5p, at £21.87.5 in late morning trading after a strong recent run. The wider FTSE 100 was flat at 5343.

Chairman Richard Burrows sounded a note of cautious optimism about the outlook:

"There are signs that the global economy is beginning to improve, although unemployment, which is an important influence on our business, may continue to rise in developed markets. We have a very clear strategy and excellent management, with a well balanced portfolio of brands. Our unrivalled geographic spread mitigates risk for shareholders and will help us maintain sustainable growth and build shareholder value."

Around the world, BAT saw variations in sales, with Russia particularly tough. BAT said tobacco industry declines in both Russia and Japan knocked sales volumes for its Kent brand by 4%. But Dunhill rose by 9% and Lucky Strike volumes were up 4% with growth in Germany, France, Italy and Chile, partially offset by declines in Spain, Japan and Argentina. Pall Mall saw the strongest growth, up 10%.

Analysts were largely positive about the results. Chas Manso de Zuniga at Evolution Securities highlighted that margins were better than expected across geographies barring Western Europe and maintained a "buy" recommendation and £22.50 price target on the shares.