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Philip Morris A Better Alternative Than Altria

Altria Group (MO) has been one of the hottest blue chip stocks of 2011. Shares of MO are up 20% year-to-date. The chart below shows shares of MO in 2011. MO’s strong performance in 2011 can be attributed to factors other than the strong performance of MO’s businesses. In the stock picking world, 2011 was the year of the dividend. High yielding stocks across all sectors performed significantly better than low yielding stocks. The 2011 dividend story is discussed in more detail here. MO’s dividend of 5.50% made it a very attractive stock throughout a year of full of uncertainty. While this is a solid dividend, there are greater fundamental issues with MO that are being overlooked. Core Business At its core, MO is a U.S. tobacco company. MO owns Phillip Morris USA (50% … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Local Taxes on Cigarettes or Tobacco Products

Jefferson City, Missouri – Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today announced that seven initiative petitions relating to local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products have met state standards for circulation. The ballot title for the first two approved petitions reads: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to: allow voters in cities and counties to set and control local taxes on cigarettes or tobacco products within their city or county; use the proceeds of such taxes for local job creation, health care, public education, reduction and prevention of tobacco use, or other uses specifically approved by local voters? This proposal has no fiscal impact (change in costs, savings, or revenues) for state and local governmental entities as it will only enact enabling legislation allowing the establishment of local tobacco taxes that may or may not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Read coal’s future is in the tobacco leaves

Twenty years ago the tobacco industry was under siege.The industry fought back vigorously against demonic government scientists and misguided local critics, tarring both with charges they were threatening the very fabric of Kentucky’s life and livelihood. In 1991 when a Miss Kentucky endorsed the Great American Smokeout to encourage people to stop smoking cigarettes she came under fire from the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association. “I don’t think it is appropriate for Miss Kentucky to speak out against smoking,” Danny McKinney, chief executive officer of the association, said at the time. “I would hope that more people would appreciate what tobacco has done for Kentucky.” Two years later the director of the University of Kentucky’s tobacco and health research program assailed an Environmental Protection Agency report that classified secondhand smoke … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco-general info

U.S. District moves forward with 8 tobacco cases

With more than 3,000 tobacco cases waiting for their day in court in the Jacksonville Division of the U.S. Middle District of Florida, the court recently heard motions in reference to eight cases that both plaintiff and defense counsel agreed were ready for trial. U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton Jr. heard motions regarding tobacco, or Engle progeny, cases for most of the day Dec. 13 as the plaintiff and defense counsel prepare for trial. “The court is concerned with the inadequacies of claims for punitive damages,” said Dalton, speaking to the plaintiffs’ counsel. “We would welcome the opportunity to amend to address your honor’s concerns,” said Robert Nelson, a plaintiffs’ attorney. “The thought was that these cases were ready to go, but we are not finding that this is the case,” said Dalton. The defendants’ … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Nicotine and nitrosamines found in dust in homes of smokers and non-smokers

Dusty danger While some of you may have been tidying your homes in readiness for visitors over the festive season, there are more reasons for using dusters and the vacuum cleaner than simply to avoid the embarrassment of a dusty house. For house dust harbours dangerous contaminants to which we can be exposed by inhalation and ingestion. Unlike outdoor dust, the indoor variety is persistent and more likely to be around for a longer period, extending the risk of exposure to those indoors. Recent research has found that the indoor dust is probably the major human exposure route for the fire retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers but many other toxic compounds have been identified, including phthalates, pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls. These indoor pollutants can originate from external sources such as fuel … Read entire article »

Filed under: Nicotine dependence

Policy means nicotine tests for new workers

Geisinger Health Systems will no longer hire doctors, nurses or any job applicants who smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco or use any nicotine products.A number of health care providers across the country have adopted similar policies in recent years, but Geisinger is the largest one in Pennsylvania to do so. Hospital officials said the goal is to encourage healthier living, decrease absenteeism and reduce health care costs in the long term.“We’re hoping our applicants look at this in the same way we’re looking at it. This is really for a healthy environment for both our employees and our patient populations,” Lynn Miller, the executive vice president for clinical operations at Geisinger, said during a conference call, following Wednesday’s announcement.Job candidates will undergo testing as part of a routine drug screening.The tests typically … Read entire article »

Filed under: Nicotine dependence

Cebu whistle-blower sues tycoon on taxes

A Cebuano whistle-blower has charged two firms owned by tycoon Lucio Tan of allegedly using dummy companies to evade paying taxes worth billions of pesos. Danilo Pacaña, 56, filed tax evasion charges against Fortune Tobacco Corp.-Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (FTC-PMFTC) and Asia Brewery Inc. (ABI) at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Dec. 6. He asked BIR Commissioner Kim Henares to conduct an “honest-to-goodness investigation” of these firms to collect the correct amount of taxes from them. Pacaña said he believed that the case was the “mother of tax evasion cases in the country’s history.” The tax evasion had allegedly gone on for at least 20 years, he said, and had cost the government billions of pesos. The Inquirer contacted officials of Tan’s companies but they declined to comment. Jethro Sabariaga, BIR chief … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cigarette taxes

The one that got away

Tobacco The first Bhutanese to get off the hook after the enforcement of the tobacco control law since January this year was a Gelephu resident. The Sarpang district court, on December 21, allowed Namgay Drukpa to pay a thrimthue of more than Nu 100,000 in lieu of his three-year prison term. Namgay Drukpa was arrested with 36 packets of chewing tobacco from a hotel in Gelephu on May 29. The former police constable from Punakha, who settled in Gelephu, was caught after an informer tipped off the police about the tobacco he was carrying. The Gelephu dungkhag court sentenced him to three years in prison on September 13 for smuggling tobacco products. Namgay Drukpa appealed to the Sarpang district court saying he was not satisfied with the dungkhag court’s judgment, as it did not take … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

E cigarettes change the tobacco game

There is a different way to get that hit of nicotine without hurting those around you. Fans of electronic, or E-Cigarettes, claim they smoke less and can smoke in public or confined places without emitting second hand smoke. Health officials, on the other hand, say these battery-powered smokes are still as hazardous as the traditional lighted counterparts. E-Cigarettes employ a cartridge pre-loaded with tobacco, flavoring and other chemicals. Smokers place the device into the mouth like a traditional cigarette, but instead of smoke, vapor is inhaled and exhaled. “It’s easier to inhale and your breath, car and clothes don’t smell like smoke,” said Judy Wyatt of North East. Wyatt said she tried the device a couple months ago “out of curiosity.” She only smokes under stress, she said, adding she typically goes through a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Washington’s Tobacco Prevention Program Saved $1.5 Billion

A new study published today by the American Journal of Public Health finds that Washington state’s tobacco prevention and cessation program saved the state more than $1.5 billion in health care costs over its first 10 years, saving more than $5 for every $1 spent on the program. This study is powerful confirmation that Washington’s tobacco prevention program is a smart investment that not only reduces smoking and saves lives, but also saves money for state taxpayers. It shows how penny-wise and pound-foolish state leaders were in virtually eliminating funding for the program this year and why they should act quickly to restore funding for programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. Unless they do so, Washington will pay a very high price with more kids … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

Altria’s Dividend Stream Looks Strong and Steady

This tobacco giant gives out large dividends It looks like the whole tobacco industry has made a concerted cdecision to have the highest possible dividend payouts. Altria (NYSE:MO), the owner of Philip Morris USA, made the decision to spin off the growth part of the business — Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) — and keep the more stagnant cash-generating U.S. operations. They may be shrinking slowly, but steady price hikes and good cost controls indicate a reliable dividend stream for many years — possibly decades. But what exactly is Altria today? There is more to it than Philip Morris USA, as Altria bought smokeless tobacco maker UST recently. Altria also owns John Middleton, a company dealing in machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco. In addition to the finance subsidiary — Philip Morris Capital … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news

NC Prevention Partners recognizes FirstHealth hospitals as Gold Heart Standard

North Carolina Prevention Partners has recognized FirstHealth of the Carolinas for providing the highest standard of excellence for tobacco-cessation programs offered to patients. The three FirstHealth hospitals — Moore Regional in Pinehurst, Richmond Memorial in Rockingham and Montgomery Memorial in Troy — were acknowledged as Gold Heart Standard Hospitals. FirstHealth is the first health system in the state to receive the recognition. NC Prevention Partners works with corporate leaders and staffs in North Carolina hospitals to enhance tobacco-cessation efforts and resources available to all hospital employees and patients. The FirstHealth hospitals were recognized for identifying tobacco-using patients as a required vital sign, providing a team approach to cessation counseling, providing and promoting evidence-based treatments, and evaluating the quit-tobacco system. These are among several components recommended by NC Prevention Partners for comprehensive quit-tobacco … Read entire article »

Filed under: Tobacco news