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Philip Morris to sue Australia

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International launched legal action this week against the Australian government over the country’s plans to strip company logos from cigarette packages and replace them with grisly images of cancerous mouths, sickly children and bulging, blinded eyes. The government believes the new rules will make the packages less attractive to smokers and turn Australia into the world’s toughest country on tobacco advertising. Several outraged cigarette makers have threatened lawsuits, arguing the move illegally diminishes the value of their trademarks. Philip Morris International Inc., producer of Marlboro Gold cigarettes and Marlboro Red cigarettes is the first of those companies to file a claim for compensation. “We would anticipate that the compensation would amount to billions,” said Philip Morris International spokeswoman Anne Edwards. The legislation will be introduced in July. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Rocky Mount delays start of sales tax on cigarettes

Almost 60 percent of Mason Haynesworth’s revenue at Chillin Smokes on Franklin Street comes from cigarettes. He’s worried about how an impending town cigarette tax of 10 cents per pack — which had been set to begin on Friday — will affect his business. “I’m going to have to pocket it,” he said of the added expense. “If I go up a dollar a carton, there’s a store less than a half-mile down the road that will have a dollar to play with” in their pricing. But Haynesworth will be able to put off the tax a little longer. The Rocky Mount Town Council approved the new tax two weeks ago as part of its $8.5 million 2011-12 budget, but preparations to collect it aren’t finished. The town estimates it will raise $125,000 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

County Passes Resolution Targeting Candy-Flavored Tobacco Products

As examples of candy-flavored tobacco packaging were passed around to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners, the groans, gasps and disgust were evident.“I think the activity is unconscious able,” commissioner Jon Thaxton said. “It’s sick considering where it’s coming from. [That] industry has a long and infamous history of such tactics.” On Tuesday the BCC unanimously approved a resolution urging local businesses to cease the sales of candy-flavored tobacco products that the county believes targets youth. Kisha Gaines, county tobacco program manager, cited statistics that she said shows the flavored tobacco products are clearly targeting youth and not legal smokers. One in five youth reported they had seen a flavored tobacco product, as opposed to one in 10 adults, she said. “Thirty-three percent of Sarasota high schoolers say they had used some sort of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Cigarettes, alcohol cost 70% more in Ireland

IRISH PEOPLE paid 70 per cent more than the European Union average for alcohol and tobacco products last year. A study by the EU statistics agency Eurostat found Irish consumers faced the fifth highest overall prices in the 27 EU member countries (18 per cent above average) across six categories of consumer goods and services. The survey, based on 2010 prices, found the cost of goods and services were at their most expensive in Denmark (43 per cent above average) and cheapest in Bulgaria (49 per cent below). Consumers in Ireland paid above average prices in four of the six categories, with clothing and electronic goods falling just below the 27 nation benchmark. The cost of alcohol and tobacco products (70 per cent above the average) was almost three times what people in Bulgaria … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Chavan supports initiative against tobacco

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has assured a team of doctors who met him recently that there will be no government funding for any activity that directly or indirectly supports the tobacco industry. He also signed a pledge supporting a ban on tobacco. Tata Memorial Hospital director Dr R A Bawde and associate professor Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi had submitted to Chavan a charter of demands, which included a ban on gutka and an end to indirect advertising of chewing tobacco products. Chaturvedi said they had demanded an end to sale of chewing tobacco products near educational institutions, raising taxes on all tobacco products and implementing policies and programmes that reflect the demands of tobacco victims. The doctors had met the Maharashtra Chief Minister to get his support for their initiative to control the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Humana to start tobacco-free hiring policy

Beginning July 1, Humana no longer will hire tobacco users at its five Arizona work locations.Existing Humana employees in Arizona who use tobacco products already are encouraged to enroll in a company-paid tobacco cessation program. Those who participate in the program or who already are tobacco-free will receive significant discounts on their medical plan premiums. Humana implemented a similar program at its Ohio offices in July 2009. A survey of 2010 tobacco-cessation program participants in Ohio shows 98 percent of participants established a quit date, 89 percent were tobacco-free for a period of time and 78 percent still are tobacco-free. Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 443,000 smoking-related deaths occur nationwide each year. Nearly 16 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Sector Snap: Tobacco companies fall

Shares of tobacco companies that serve the U.S. market fell Tuesday after the Food and Drug Administration said it is conducting an independent review of research on the public health impact of menthol cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes are one of the few growth areas in the cigarette industry. The federal agency said Monday that members of its Center for Tobacco Products will gather menthol studies and submit its review of them to an external panel next month with a report due by fall. In March, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel said removing menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit public health because the minty flavoring can attract new smokers and make quitting more difficult. The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee stopped short of recommending a ban and said the FDA should consider … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Irish ‘pay most’ for alcohol, tobacco

Irish residents are paying 70 per cent more than the European Union average for alcohol and tobacco products, according to a study by statistics agency Eurostat. Overall, people in Ireland are paying the fifth highest prices in the EU for consumer goods and services, with levels at their most expensive in Denmark and cheapest in Bulgaria. On average, goods and services cost 18 per cent more here than in the UK. The largest differences between the two countries were in the prices of alcohol and tobacco (28 per cent more) and restaurants and hotel accommodation (26 per cent more). Irish people are paying above EU average prices in four of the six categories, with both clothing and consumer electronics goods falling just below the 27 country average. Irish residents face the second highest … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Julia Gillard and Nicola Roxon are standing firm on plain packaging measures for tobacco

THE Gillard Government will not compromise on its plan to introduce plain packaging for tobacco, despite a multi-billion dollar legal threat from tobacco companies. As tobacco giant Philip Morris announced it would launch a legal bid for compensation against the government, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Health Minister Nicola Roxon vowed the government will not back away from its push to strip tobacco companies of their brands. “There is no compromise, we are going to deliver cigarette packages in that drab green,” Ms Gillard said this morning. Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the government believed it was on “very strong legal ground” with its plan, which will remove branding from cigarette packets and mandate olive-green packets with graphic health warnings. Philip Morris’s claim will occur under a bilateral investment treaty between Australia and Hong … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Himachal to open Drug De-addiction Centres in every district

Himachal Government would set up Drug De-Addiction Centres in all the 12 districts of the State and special campaign to be launched to vigorously enforce the law against traders selling tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards of the educational institutions. Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, gave a clarion call to every section of the society to make prohibition a mass movement and save the youth from falling prey to drugs and other intoxication substances. He was addressing State Level function of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, organized by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, in the historic Gaiety Theatre, here today. He said that it was the social responsibility of every section of the society to rise against drug abuse and save youth from becoming … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

People are being punished for being addicted to tobacco

I just learned the Food and Drug Administration is going to post pictures of cancerous faces, lips, teeth and gums on my favorite tobacco product. I am an addict of tobacco, most of the time. Other times, I really enjoy it. A fine cigar with a nice glass of cognac. Something you would find at an inauguration party of the same people who punish us for being addicts to tobacco. Liberals who think tobacco is too ugly to be mainstream, but too taxable to make illegal. Maybe they should show a morbidly obese person on a happy meal or a television set or a gaming system or a soda bottle or a couch or a cell phone every time you choose to use or buy these products. I thought I lived in a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Otis L. Sanford: Grisly images should be on cigarette packs

By Otis L. Sanford It was just a few decades ago when billboards, magazine ads and TV commercials depicted cigarette smoking as hip, stylish, manly and comical. The Clampetts’ Granny would even light up a Winston at the end of an episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Then she’d mangle the brand’s slogan by proclaiming, “Winston tastes good like a cigarette had oughtta.” Every leading man and leading lady in Hollywood smoked on screen. The Marlboro man was everyone’s idea of a rugged he-man, and the women who puffed on Virginia Slims were just that — slim, trim and desirable. The brand’s highly successful slogan was “you’ve come a long way, baby.” But in 2011, that’s not all that’s come a long way since the first warning label appeared and cigarette commercials were banned from TV … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news