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Oregon Reignites Tobacco Tax Debate

The Oregon House Revenue Committee will be holding a second hearing on raising taxes on tobacco products, including cigarettes, tomorrow, the Statesman Journal reports. Supporters are hopeful that such a measure will gain approval at this stage because a fall 2010 survey found that 71 percent of respondents were in favor of increasing cigarette taxes by $1 per pack. “Everything is on the table this session, but taxes are controversial,” said state Rep. Vicki Berger, who co-chairs the committee. “We’ve heard arguments about this tax before, but the public may not have — and I think it’s appropriate to bring it forward for a discussion.” To increase taxes, both chambers must have a 60 percent majority in favor of the measures. This session sees the House evenly split among Republicans and Democrats … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Tobacco news

After Pan Masala, PIL to ban plastic packaging of all food products

After the Supreme Court ordered for ban on plastic packaging of pan masala and chewing tobacco products, another Public Interest Litigation has been filed seeking ban on plastic packaging of food items including milk, milk products, oils, soaps, shampoos, creams, gels, salt, agricultural fertilizers, seeds, noodles, chips, juices, chewing gums etc. Supreme Court bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly today issued notice to Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on the PIL by NGO Delhi Study Group and its president and BJP leader Vijay Jolly. The petitioner represented by senior advocate Pinky Anand argues through the petition that the Plastics Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 notified by MoEF on 04.02.2011 are discriminatory, arbitrary and capricious. The petitioners states that the “Rules have been issued only against the Tobacco … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Conversation Begins On Smoking Bans in Campbell

Find an informational packet for the city of Campbell, and you’ll hear that 44.1 percent of residents possess a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the average across the United States. But there’s at least one subject where Campbell failed to make the grade: the American Lung Association’s Tobacco Control report. Campbell received an “F” grade on the Tobacco Control Report, which indicates that the city’s municipal codes are inadequate against protecting its citizens from tobacco products. And now the city is considering tightening its policies by restricting smoking in city-owned recreational areas (such as city parks and community centers), as well as within outdoor dining areas. On March 21, the Campbell City Council had a study session on the issue, with no final action. The council instead asked staff to draft … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Kicking Butts To Learn The Dangers Of Smoking

Whitney Point, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Kicking Butts to teach kids the hazards of using tobacco products. The Whitney Point School District’s Athletic Department held Kick Butts day for middle school students. Tioughnioga Riverside Academy students saw educational anti-tobacco stations during their lunch period. They learned the many ways the decision to start smoking can impact them. Lisa Weston-Bialy|Cornell Cooperative “It’s a decision they’re gonna make, it’s an addictive thing,” says Lisa Weston-Bialy of Cornell Cooperative Extension “And recognize that once you start, it’s really hard to quit. It really wreaks havoc on your body and on you pocket.” Kick Butts day is an annual event sponsored by the tobacco free campaign for kids. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cigarette taxes

E-cigarettes have no heat, no loose tobacco and no smell

During a break in a meeting, a man excused himself to go outside so he could smoke an e-cigarette. I didn’t have the time to ask him much about it but am intrigued by it. I’m a smoker and would consider this as a substitute. Dear Reader: Electronic cigarettes are promoted as an alternative to inhaled tobacco products. It is a battery-powered “cigarette” that provides a vaporized propylene glycol/nicotine mixture through inhalation, providing a sensation similar to inhaled tobacco smoke, even though there is no tobacco, combustion or real smoke. The unit is made of stainless steel, with a lithium-ion battery that heats a filament devised to vaporize liquid nicotine in a refillable cartridge. I understand disposable e-cigarettes are also available. I saw an individual using one of these devices. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

British American Tobacco Cut From U.S. Racketeering Case

British American Tobacco Plc, Europe’s largest cigarette maker, producer of Dunhill cigarettes was dropped from the U.S. government’s racketeering lawsuit after a judge in Washington ruled the U.S. no longer has the authority to hold the U.K. company liable for hiding the health hazards of smoking. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler today said a 2010 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a securities case restricts the U.S. from seeking liability from “what is essentially foreign activity.” “There is no evidence that Congress intended to criminalize foreign racketeering activities under RICO,” Kessler wrote. In 2006, Kessler found that the British American Tobacco (Investments) Ltd. unit of British American Tobacco and other cigarette companies violated anti-racketeering laws by conspiring to hide the dangers of cigarettes. Kessler ordered the companies to stop marketing cigarettes as … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cigarette taxes

Turkmen ban on tobacco advertising and smoking in public places

Turkmen Parliament recently ratified the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international document restricting the global spread of tobacco and tobacco products. This convention has been developed with the participation of 191 member states of the WHO. According to the Health Information Center of the Turkmen Health and Medical Industry Ministry, founders of the Framework Convention are interested in Turkmenistan’s experience in tobacco control. “Turkmenistan’s positive experience in this sphere is of great interest for the entire European region. Turkmenistan has banned tobacco advertising and smoking in public places. Tobacco products have not been produced in the Turkmen territory except “nas”, which today is also” illegal”. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cigarette taxes, Smoking effects, Tobacco laws

Paris Hilton boyfriend gets court date to fight marijuana

Paris Hilton’s boyfriend, Cy Waits, has an Aug. 22 court date to fight criminal charges stemming from a Las Vegas Strip traffic stop with the celebrity socialite. The 35-year-old Waits didn’t appear Thursday in Las Vegas Justice Court. His attorney, Richard Schonfeld, told a judge that he intends to challenge the constitutionality of Waits’ felony charge of being under the influence of marijuana. The former nightclub mogul also faces misdemeanour charges of marijuana possession and driving under the influence following his Aug. 27 arrest. Hilton pleaded guilty in September to misdemeanour cocaine possession and obstruction charges. She’s serving a year of probation. Police stopped the couple in a black Cadillac Escalade after an officer reported a “vapour trail” of marijuana smoke wafting from the vehicle. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Tobacco news

California Bill Takes Aim at Illegal Tobacco Sales to Minors

California Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) is turning his legislative attention to retailers who sell tobacco products to minors. His bill targeting the issue (AB 1301) was introduced to the Assembly on March 25. Under the proposal, retailers with three violations in two years could have their tobacco sales license suspended. Furthermore, retailers with five violations in five years could have their permits revoked, according to California Healthline. The bill is a noticeable change from what is on the books now. Current legislation calls for a retailer to lose its license if it is caught selling tobacco products to minors eight times in two years. The Food and Drug Administration is hoping its Webinar series will address the problem before it happens. The first webinar of the six-part series, which will take place today at 1 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Tobacco Use Is A Scourge

It was disturbing to read the recent news that our elected leaders have decided to offer government lands for the growing of tobacco. This is alarming, since we know that tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer deaths.Tobacco and tobacco products cause the majority of preventable cancer deaths. Almost a fifth of deaths from cancer are caused by smoking tobacco. Lung cancer is the direct result of smoking tobacco and it is almost always fatal. Cancers of the mouth and larynx (voice box) are directly linked to chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, these cancers are rising in Jamaica and other low or middle-income nations. When you consider that most Jamaican males are expected to live to their mid-70s, why should men reduce this time by 10 to 15 years … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Czech Philip Morris lifts dividend on higher profits

2010 profit rise, adds retained earnings to dividend * Shares jump more than 7 percent. Cigarette maker Philip Morris Czech Republic (TABKsp.PR) said on Tuesday it proposed to a pay a 60 percent higher dividend than a year ago, pushing shares to a 2-1/2 month high. The Czech group plans a 1,260 crowns ($72.50) per share gross dividend from 2010 profits, up from 780 crowns a share the previous year, it said in an invitation to its annual shareholders meeting. Net profit rose 13 percent year-on-year to 2.43 billion crowns last year for the tobacco group, which is active in the Czech and Slovak markets and is majority owned by Philip Morris International (PM.N), producer of Marlboro Red cigarettes. It also said it would pay out retained earnings from previous years as part … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Cigarette smugglers must repay millions

Three members of a New York City area criminal organization were ordered to repay the government more than $4 million in lost taxes after the trio admitted being involved in a cigarette smuggling operation. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis sentenced Yong Jin Li to three years in prison and ordered him to repay nearly $4.6 million in lost tax revenue from the black market sales of more than 137,000 cartons of cigarettes. Co-defendant Fajun Zhang was sentenced in December to three years in prison and ordered to repay $4.4 million, and his daughter, Mei Zhang, was sentenced to probation and ordered to repay $4.2 million. The amounts differ because of the level of involvement for each defendant, but the money can be repaid jointly. The trio, based in the New … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news