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Never too late for health benefits from quitting smoking

Tobacco use is the number one cause of cancer.  In this week’s 8 Ways to Prevent Cancer, a look at how smoking causes disease, and the benefits to quitting. “When you smoke you’re inhaling literally thousands of chemicals and of those at least 60 can cause cancer,” says Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan, a Siteman Cancer Center oncologist. They do it by binding directly to the DNA of cells. DNA is a cell’s instruction manual, and when that gets damaged, cancer can begin. “When you stop smoking a lot of good things happen,” says Dr. Govindan. Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. 12 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal. “There’s no question when you stop smoking the lung capacity improves. In fact your risk for heart attack … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured

Lawrence Police Crack Down on Sale of Tobacco, Alcohol to Underage Buyers

Eight clerks from various businesses around Lawrence Township were arrested after they allegedly sold tobacco products or alcoholic beverages to an underage purchaser last week, Lawrence Township police announced today (Thursday, April 28). The arrests last Wednesday, April 20, were the result of an enforcement effort by township Detectives Dave Burns and Scott Caloiaro designed to ensure that local businesses are obeying state laws which mandate that a person must be at least 19 years old to buy tobacco products and at least 21 years old to purchase beer and other alcohol, according to Lt. Charles Edgar, police department spokesman. “As part of the investigation, an underage purchaser was sent into numerous retail establishments with the intent to purchase tobacco products and/or alcoholic beverages without the clerk asking for and observing proper … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY Schoolwide Tobacco Ban going into effect Aug. 1

Texas State President Denise Trauth said this week that the use of any tobacco products will be prohibited on all university properties and in vehicles owned or leased by the school, effective Aug. 1. A similar policy has been in place at the Round Rock campus since its 2005 opening. The university banned smoking in its buildings and vehicles in 2000. Five years later, it established several outdoor smoke-free zones. “Our decision to become a tobacco-free university is based on the scientific evidence regarding the harmful effects and health risks of tobacco,” Trauth said in a statement. “Texas State employees can access smoking cessation programs offered by their health insurance plans. Texas State students can access smoking cessation programs at the Texas State Student Health Center, which will offer significantly discounted smoking … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured

Investment Column: Addicted to the dividend income at BAT

British American Tobacco’s products have deadly health consequences for most of its long-term customers, but the world’s second-largest quoted cigarette-maker gave investors several reasons to be cheerful yesterday. British American Tobacco is the producer of Dunhil cigarettes. While underlying sales volumes fell by 1.8 per cent in its first quarter, this was better than the 2.5 per cent decline pencilled in by some City analysts. Those holding its shares will have also been pleased with the 5 per cent uplift in organic revenues at constant currency over the three months to 31 March, which in the face of declining volumes showed how successful BAT has been at pushing through price increases. While the truth may be unpalatable for some, the willingness of addicted consumers in countries from Pakistan to Turkey to smoke … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cigarette taxes, Featured

N. Kingstown Gets New Tobacco Law

The counter at your local convenience store is going to look a bit different this time next month. The North Kingstown Town Council unanimously approved a new tobacco ordinance that would make it more difficult for minors to access tobacco products at local stores. The ordinance bars customers from purchasing tobacco products or paraphernalia without the assistance of an employee, with fines ranging from $50 for the first offense to $200 for third and subsequent offenses. Businesses will be required to move these products away from the front of the counter to behind the counter to minimize minors’ access to them. Members of Working Together For Wellness, the town’s substance abuse task force, penned the ordinance and submitted their idea to the Town Council earlier this year. In a previous draft of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Newport ‘Robust’

As industry speculation about the future of menthol cigarettes continues to swirl, Lorillard Inc. has reported increased first-quarter earnings, attributable to higher volume and higher prices. The company, which said its Newport Menthol cigarettes accounted for more than 80% of its shipments, reported net income in first-quarter 2011 of $248 million, up 6.9% from $232 million in first-quarter 2010. Unit volumes for Newport (both Menthol and Non-Menthol) were up 8.2%, and Maverick volumes were up 22.7%, with CEO Murray Kessler citing the introduction of Newport Non-Menthol in the fourth quarter of last year as a “solid contributor.” As for Newport Menthol, Kessler said its net pricing was “very robust” in the first quarter, and the company pulled back on some buydown support. He added that the brand “is just very strong and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Tobacco growers up in arms

t Tobacco farmers are growing restive over moves in Congress to further raise taxes on “sin” products which they said would lead to lower demand for their products.”Where is the promise of President Aquino that no new taxes will be imposed?” asked Noeme Baldemor, a leader of tobacco growers in Sto. Tomas, La Union.”Why is there an additional tax on tobacco being followed right now by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima?” she said. “Who is telling the truth?” Baldemor was among tobacco growers who were asking the House ways and means committee to go slow on proposed measures seeking to increase the excise tax on cigarettes and alcoholic drinks, with one version proposing as much as an 83 percent rise. “Can’t Secretary Purisima understand that the intense increase in cigarette taxes will destroy our … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cigarette taxes

Southwestern Oklahoma campuses in Weatherford, Sayre to become tobacco-free this summer

Southwestern Oklahoma State University officials say its campuses will go tobacco-free this summer. A ban on tobacco use will go into effect July 1 at the university’s campuses in Weatherford and Sayre. Officials say it was initially announced in 2010 and prompted by a Student Government Association recommendation. Dr. Cindy Foust, vice president for student affairs and associate provost, said the new policy bars the use of all tobacco products on all school-owned property. Foust said this is an important step in creating healthier, cleaner and more attractive campuses. Southwestern Oklahoma is working with the Western Oklahoma Tobacco Control Coalition on implementing the tobacco-free campuses. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, New tobacco

No sales of tobacco to minors occur during compliance checks in Waupun and NFdL

Fifteen businesses in Waupun and North Fond du Lac passed tobacco retailer compliance checks this month.Tobacco retail checks are done to make sure businesses are not selling tobacco to minors and also to assess the need for additional educational information for businesses and their employees.During tobacco retailer compliance checks, minors enter the business and attempt to purchase tobacco products. If the minors are asked for their ID, they present their current and valid Wisconsin state ID to the employee. The minors are trained to observe and report back to the coordinator the details of the attempted purchase. “At one business, the employee didn’t ask to see the youth’s ID but asked him for his date of birth,” said Julie Jorgensen, assistant Tobacco Control Program coordinator, in a news release. “The youth responded … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Trade groups concerned about Australian tobacco packaging rules

South Korean trade organizations are expressing concern over Australia’s decision to regulate tobacco products’ packaging.The “Plain Packaging” law proposed by the Australian government on April 7 calls for tobacco products to be packaged in plain wrappings without logos or trademarks. The decision is aimed at making tobacco products less appealing, and trade organizations here including the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea, Korea Trademark Association and the Korea Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association have raised concern that the law could damage the tobacco industry. On Thursday, the EUCCK released a statement expressing concerns that Australia’s new law could infringe upon brand owners rights. “Whilst remaining neutral on the underlying objectives of such legislation, we urge dialogue with all stakeholders in order to maintain the key rights of brand owners to use their … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Tobacco news

Scarborough bans tobacco on beaches

After a two-week reprieve, the hammer finally fell last week on smokers in Scarborough. At its April 20 meeting, the Town Council voted 4-2 to enact an ordinance outlawing the use of tobacco products within 25 feet of any public beach. Healthy Maine Partnerships has offered to supply no-smoking signs, and to pay for public education, in hopes of securing “voluntary compliance.” For those who don’t comply, fines will start at $100 for each offense, up to a maximum of $500. Councilors Jessica Holbrook and Richard Sullivan voted against the ordinance, although both raised hands earlier in the meeting for a resolution declaring town beaches to be “tobacco-free zones.” “To go as far as making this an ordinance with fines and penalties, I just don’t see that it’s in the benefit of most of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Highest Yielding Dividend Stocks Of The S&P 500

The S&P 500 is one of the most followed stock market index in the world. Mutual fund managers benchmark their returns against it, yet somehow studies show that the vast majority underperforms the index in any any given year. There are many ways to invest in the S&P 500, including mutual funds (VFINX), exchange traded funds (SPY) or even stock index futures. I benchmark my dividend income against the S&P 500. Many of the best dividend stocks in the world have a substantial weight in this important stock market barometer. With its average yield of 1.70% however, many dividend investors choose to ignore the index, and instead focus on its components. It is interesting to note that 386 companies included in the index pay dividends. The average yield on those … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news