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Jesse Williams, a Portland, Ore., janitor who smoked three packs of Marlboros a

November 1st, 2006 at 11:54 am

http://us-cigs.com/News/November-01-2006/CHAPTER0/79-5M-in-p...


Jesse Williams, a Portland, Ore., janitor who smoked three packs of Marlboros a day, died of lung cancer in 1997. His widow, Mayola, sued Philip Morris for fraud and negligence, alleging that any fears her husband had about becoming ill from smoking were eased by the cigarette-maker's publicity campaign that suggested it was safe. Mayola Williams recalled in court filings that when her husband learned he had inoperable cancer, he said, "Those darn cigarette people finally did it. They were lying all the time."


The lawsuit that Mayola Williams filed was among many claims filed against tobacco companies in recent years, but one of the few to lead to a multimillion-dollar judgment. An Oregon jury awarded Williams $79.5 million in punitive damages. Such damages are intended to punish defendants beyond the actual damages they caused and deter future bad conduct.

Williams' award was 97 times greater than the actual — or compensatory — damages awarded by the jury, and according to court records it was based partly on the jury's consideration of Philip Morris' harm to other smokers in Oregon.

Now, Williams' case is before the U.S. Supreme Court and has become one of the most significant tests ever of how far a jury can go in punishing a civil defendant. The question in the Williams case is whether the punitive damages award is so disproportionate to the injury to Jesse Williams that it violates the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process of law.

In its appeal, Philip Morris says the Oregon verdict violated due process because it was so much higher than the actual damages caused to Jesse Williams and because jurors were punishing the company for injuries to smokers who were not part of the Williams case.

Mayola Williams' attorney, Robert Peck, says in court papers that the cigarette-maker's efforts to hide the dangers of smoking were "monstrous" and says that if ever a big award were justified, this is the case.

The dispute, to be argued before the high court on Tuesday, is a new round in the court's struggle to draw the line between permissible and unconstitutional punitive damages awards.

Business groups, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, say juries improperly use punitive damage awards to "send a message" to corporate defendants. Consumer advocates and trial lawyers counter that punitive damages help bring accountability to businesses that have a history of abuse.

"The tobacco industry has evaded liability for decades ... and the result has been a public health catastrophe," Trial Lawyers for Public Justice says in a court brief filed in the Williams case.

'Court is on the knife edge'

For decades, the Supreme Court considered such jury awards the domain of the states and gave wide latitude to state judges and juries. In recent years, however, the court has begun to rein in awards by setting criteria for punitive damages. The addition of two new justices last term — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, who replaced the late William Rehnquist and the retired Sandra Day O'Connor — could add a wrinkle to the court's approach.

In the justices' most recent ruling on the issue, in 2003, the majority said any punitive damages that are more than 10 times the actual damages for the injury could be presumed to be excessive. Voting 6-3, the court invalidated a $145 million award levied by a jury that had found that the State Farm insurance company acted in bad faith by not settling claims against a policyholder who was involved in a fatal accident.

In the current case, a key question will be whether Philip Morris' conduct was bad enough to justify a punitive damages award beyond the 2003 guideline.

Rehnquist and O'Connor voted with the majority in the State Farm case. Washington lawyer Mark Levy, who follows decisions concerning punitive damages, says that suggests that their replacements, Roberts and Alito, could tip the court's vote either way in assessing whether the award in the Williams case was excessive.

"The court is on the knife edge," Levy says. If Roberts and Alito join the justices who dissented in the State Farm case and want to leave the matter to the states, Levy says, there would be "a sudden and radical change in this area of the law."

1999 award upheld in Oregon court

In her case, Mayola Williams claimed that Philip Morris mounted a fraudulent publicity campaign aimed at minimizing the dangers of smoking. After a month-long trial in 1999, the jury awarded $821,485 in compensatory damages and the $79.5 million in punitive damages.

The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the award. "There can be no dispute that Philip Morris's conduct was extraordinarily reprehensible. (It) knew that smoking caused serious and sometimes fatal disease, but it nevertheless spread false or misleading information to suggest ... that doubts remained about that issue. ... The scheme was damaging the health of a very large group of Oregonians — the smoking public — and was killing a number of that group."

In his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Philip Morris' lawyer, Andrew Frey tells the justices that the Oregon court misinterpreted recent decisions by the high court, particularly the 2003 ruling. He says the State Farm decision does not allow a company to be punished for harm to people who were not involved in the case. Frey says calculating such damages for injuries to outside parties creates an unfair risk of duplicative and excessive punishment.

Peck, Williams' attorney, says the cigarette-maker is seeking to turn "review of punitive damage awards (into) a simple arithmetic exercise," based on the ratio between actual and punitive. He says the Oregon jury's verdict followed proper criteria "to achieve deterrence" and reverse some of Philip Morris' "ill-gotten profit."

$79.5M in punitive damages at core of Supreme Court case

November 1st, 2006 at 11:46 am

http://us-cigs.com/News/November-01-2006/CHAPTER0/79-5M-in-p...



Jesse Williams, a Portland, Ore., janitor who smoked three packs of Marlboros a day, died of lung cancer in 1997. His widow, Mayola, sued Philip Morris for fraud and negligence, alleging that any fears her husband had about becoming ill from smoking were eased by the cigarette-maker's publicity campaign that suggested it was safe. Mayola Williams recalled in court filings that when her husband learned he had inoperable cancer, he said, "Those darn cigarette people finally did it. They were lying all the time."


The lawsuit that Mayola Williams filed was among many claims filed against tobacco companies in recent years, but one of the few to lead to a multimillion-dollar judgment. An Oregon jury awarded Williams $79.5 million in punitive damages. Such damages are intended to punish defendants beyond the actual damages they caused and deter future bad conduct.

Williams' award was 97 times greater than the actual — or compensatory — damages awarded by the jury, and according to court records it was based partly on the jury's consideration of Philip Morris' harm to other smokers in Oregon.

Now, Williams' case is before the U.S. Supreme Court and has become one of the most significant tests ever of how far a jury can go in punishing a civil defendant. The question in the Williams case is whether the punitive damages award is so disproportionate to the injury to Jesse Williams that it violates the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process of law.

In its appeal, Philip Morris says the Oregon verdict violated due process because it was so much higher than the actual damages caused to Jesse Williams and because jurors were punishing the company for injuries to smokers who were not part of the Williams case.

Mayola Williams' attorney, Robert Peck, says in court papers that the cigarette-maker's efforts to hide the dangers of smoking were "monstrous" and says that if ever a big award were justified, this is the case.

The dispute, to be argued before the high court on Tuesday, is a new round in the court's struggle to draw the line between permissible and unconstitutional punitive damages awards.

Business groups, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, say juries improperly use punitive damage awards to "send a message" to corporate defendants. Consumer advocates and trial lawyers counter that punitive damages help bring accountability to businesses that have a history of abuse.

"The tobacco industry has evaded liability for decades ... and the result has been a public health catastrophe," Trial Lawyers for Public Justice says in a court brief filed in the Williams case.

'Court is on the knife edge'

For decades, the Supreme Court considered such jury awards the domain of the states and gave wide latitude to state judges and juries. In recent years, however, the court has begun to rein in awards by setting criteria for punitive damages. The addition of two new justices last term — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, who replaced the late William Rehnquist and the retired Sandra Day O'Connor — could add a wrinkle to the court's approach.

In the justices' most recent ruling on the issue, in 2003, the majority said any punitive damages that are more than 10 times the actual damages for the injury could be presumed to be excessive. Voting 6-3, the court invalidated a $145 million award levied by a jury that had found that the State Farm insurance company acted in bad faith by not settling claims against a policyholder who was involved in a fatal accident.

In the current case, a key question will be whether Philip Morris' conduct was bad enough to justify a punitive damages award beyond the 2003 guideline.

Rehnquist and O'Connor voted with the majority in the State Farm case. Washington lawyer Mark Levy, who follows decisions concerning punitive damages, says that suggests that their replacements, Roberts and Alito, could tip the court's vote either way in assessing whether the award in the Williams case was excessive.

"The court is on the knife edge," Levy says. If Roberts and Alito join the justices who dissented in the State Farm case and want to leave the matter to the states, Levy says, there would be "a sudden and radical change in this area of the law."

1999 award upheld in Oregon court

In her case, Mayola Williams claimed that Philip Morris mounted a fraudulent publicity campaign aimed at minimizing the dangers of smoking. After a month-long trial in 1999, the jury awarded $821,485 in compensatory damages and the $79.5 million in punitive damages.

The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the award. "There can be no dispute that Philip Morris's conduct was extraordinarily reprehensible. (It) knew that smoking caused serious and sometimes fatal disease, but it nevertheless spread false or misleading information to suggest ... that doubts remained about that issue. ... The scheme was damaging the health of a very large group of Oregonians — the smoking public — and was killing a number of that group."

In his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Philip Morris' lawyer, Andrew Frey tells the justices that the Oregon court misinterpreted recent decisions by the high court, particularly the 2003 ruling. He says the State Farm decision does not allow a company to be punished for harm to people who were not involved in the case. Frey says calculating such damages for injuries to outside parties creates an unfair risk of duplicative and excessive punishment.

Peck, Williams' attorney, says the cigarette-maker is seeking to turn "review of punitive damage awards (into) a simple arithmetic exercise," based on the ratio between actual and punitive. He says the Oregon jury's verdict followed proper criteria "to achieve deterrence" and reverse some of Philip Morris' "ill-gotten profit."

What if cigarettes became the new Prohibition?

November 1st, 2006 at 11:39 am

http://hot-cigs.com/news/November-01-2006/folder0/What-if-ci...



According to a recent survey of registered voters by Zogby International, 45% of Americans would support a federal law making cigarettes illegal in the next five to ten years. 57% of 18-29 year olds were in favor of the idea. These numbers prompt a series of questions: What if cigarettes became the new Prohibition? Could cigarette prohibition really happen? How do drug prohibition regimes come about? What do public health advocates think about banning cigarettes? How unhealthy is smoking?


What if cigarettes became the new Prohibition?

Cigarette prohibition would have some obvious benefits. Millions of American smokers would finally quit, and millions more would never start. Smoking-related death and disease would drop significantly.

But that’s not all that would happen. Many Americans would continue to smoke, and Big Tobacco would be replaced by a violent black market. "Tobacco-related murders" would increase dramatically as criminal organizations competed with one another for turf and markets, and ordinary crime would skyrocket as millions of tobacco junkies sought ways to feed their costly addiction.

Prohibition would pave the way for a costly governmental "war on tobacco" that would put tobacco producers, pushers and users in prison. At the same time, the federal and state governments would lose more than $20 billion per year in tobacco tax revenues.

More information

"Keep Cigarettes Legal"
Nadelmann, Ethan, The Huffington Post. October 26, 2006.

"New Drug Policy Alliance/Zogby Poll Finds 45 Percent Support Making Cigarettes Illegal"
Drug Policy Alliance. October 26, 2006.

"Cigarette Taxes, Black Markets, and Crime"
Fleenor, Patrick. Cato Institute; February 6, 2003.

"Nightmare of Crack Nicotine"
Wheeler, Jack, Washington Times, August 29, 2002.

Ten-Year Revenue Projections for New Federal Cigarette Tax Increases
Lindblom, Eric. National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, June 2003.

"Ethan Nadelmann on Tobacco Prohibition"
Nadelmann, Ethan. YouTube.com, October 26, 2006.

Prisons provide the closest model we have in the U.S. to complete cigarette prohibition. A law that went into effect in 2005 in California outlawed all tobacco products in state prisons.

More information

Letter from DPA California Capital Office associate director Nikos Leverenz to California Department of Corrections
Leverenz, Nikos. Sacramento, CA, October 6, 2005.

"California, Cigarettes and Prisons: Ban Smoking, Not Tobacco"
Rodu, Brad, Las Vegas Review-Journal. February 05, 2004.

"Prison Smoking Ban Likely to Bring a Pack of Changes"
Warren, Jennifer, Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2005.

"Tobacco Ban in State Prisons Will Create Black Market, Violence"
Newman, Tony, San Francisco Chronicle, July 13, 2005.

Could cigarette prohibition really happen?

Drug prohibitions tend to be embraced not when a drug is most popular but rather when use is declining, as tobacco use is now. We’ve become accustomed to restrictions on smoking – sale to minors, and bans on smoking in more and more workplaces and public spaces – and on advertising. And we hate the corporations that profit off this deadly product.

More information

A Federal Ban on Cigarettes? Nationwide Survey of 1,200 Registered Voters
Zogby International for Drug Policy Alliance. July 2006.

"U.S. Cigarette Sales Reach Lowest Point in More Than 50 Years"
Cesar Fax, Center for Substance Abuse Research, July 24, 2006.

Health, United States, 2005 with Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans
National Center for Health Statistics; 2005: pp. 32-35, 254-258.

The ever higher taxes and broader bans on cigarettes have played an important role in reducing both the number of smokers and the amount they smoke. Persisting with these policies will no doubt lead to further reductions. But there is a point of declining returns at which the costs of such policies begin to outweigh the benefits. It is true that stigmatizing smokers and smoking persuades some to stop and deters others from starting, but demonizing and dehumanizing those who persist is both morally wrong and dangerous.

More information

"Was Weyco Wrong to Fire Smokers?"
Drug Policy Alliance; February 2005.

Other nations have tried complete smoking bans with little success, France and India among them. Recently the European Union decided that employers can discriminate against smokers in making hiring decisions.

More information

"EU says smokers not protected by law"
Associated Press, August 7, 2006.

"The new deviant class: smokers"
Patterson, Patricia, Toronto Star , August 20, 2006.

"The First Nonsmoking Nation" (Bhutan)
Weiner, Eric, Slate , January 20, 2005.

How do drug prohibition regimes come about?

As the number of smokers drops, the dangerous logic of prohibition becomes ever more tempting. But prohibition is not a simple question of public health—it is closely tied to racism and classism.

For example, the first drug prohibition in the U.S. was imposed on opium. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, opium addiction was most common among middle and upper-class white women and was seen as a health problem.

That perception began to shift as opium smoking became associated with Chinese immigrants in the western United States. Fears that respectable white women were being seduced into a life of prostitution and debauchery in opium dens were inflamed by vivid reports. In 1902, the Committee on the Acquirement of the Drug Habit of the American Pharmaceutical Association declared: "If the 'Chinaman' cannot get along without his 'dope,' we can get along without him." In 1909, California outlawed the importation of smokeable opium.

More information

Dark Paradise: Opiate Addiction in America Before 1940
Courtwright, David T., Harvard University Press, 1982.

Perceptions of cocaine use went through a similar transformation. As with opium, cocaine use in the early twentieth century was most common among well-to-do white women.

In 1910 Dr. Hamilton Wright, considered by some the father of U.S. anti-narcotics laws, reported that U.S. contractors were giving cocaine to their Black employees to get more work out of them. A few years later, stories began to proliferate about "cocaine-crazed Negroes" in the South. These stories were in part motivated by a desire to persuade Southern members of Congress to support the proposed Harrison Narcotics Act, which would greatly expand the federal government's power to control drugs. This lie was also necessary since, even though drugs were widely used in America, very little crime was associated with the users.

More information

"The History of Legislative Control Over Opium, Cocaine, and their Derivatives"
Musto, D.F. Dealing with drugs: Consequences of government control. Ed. Ronald Hamowy. San Francisco, CA: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1987. 37-71. Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. 2006. DRCNet.

What do public health advocates think about banning cigarettes?

Public health advocates are on the forefront of efforts to reduce smoking, but they do not necessarily advocate prohibition. Many leading public health advocates who oppose smoking do not see prohibition as a viable solution.

More information

Longtime anti-tobacco advocate Dr. Stanton Glantz does not favor prohibition, instead advocating changing cultural attitudes about smoking.

Former FDA commissioner David Kessler said on PBS, "It's a product that 50 million Americans use. Prohibition won't work. So how do you reduce the use of an unsafe product?"

Matthew Myers of Tobacco-Free Kids had the following exchange with television host Tucker Carlson:

MYERS: Well, it should -- it should be legal because we have 46 million Americans smokers. We know that Prohibition...

CARLSON: Because a lot of people do it, it should be legal?

MYERS: Well, prohibition wouldn't work. It would be bad public policy. It would be bad...

LEVY: Well, how about -- how about illegal for anybody to start smoking (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

MYERS: It would be bad. . . Right now it is illegal to sell cigarettes to kids in this country.

MYERS: No public health person I know is in favor of prohibition. What we're in favor of is some simple rules. . . This industry should have to abide by the same standards as others. If you can make the product less hazardous so you kill fewer people you should do it. Ford had to do it with Pinto. This industry could do it...

How unhealthy is smoking?

Cigarettes are deadly. They lead to premature death for 400,000 people each year in the U.S. Every year, 40% of American smokers try to quit but are unable to do so.

More information

TIPS - CDC fact sheets on the harms of smoking

Stupid - Ontario, Canada's youth anti-smoking campaign

What if cigarettes became the new Prohibition?

November 1st, 2006 at 11:35 am

http://hot-cigs.com/news/November-01-2006/folder0/What-if-c...


According to a recent survey of registered voters by Zogby International, 45% of Americans would support a federal law making cigarettes illegal in the next five to ten years. 57% of 18-29 year olds were in favor of the idea. These numbers prompt a series of questions: What if cigarettes became the new Prohibition? Could cigarette prohibition really happen? How do drug prohibition regimes come about? What do public health advocates think about banning cigarettes? How unhealthy is smoking?


What if cigarettes became the new Prohibition?

Cigarette prohibition would have some obvious benefits. Millions of American smokers would finally quit, and millions more would never start. Smoking-related death and disease would drop significantly.

But that’s not all that would happen. Many Americans would continue to smoke, and Big Tobacco would be replaced by a violent black market. "Tobacco-related murders" would increase dramatically as criminal organizations competed with one another for turf and markets, and ordinary crime would skyrocket as millions of tobacco junkies sought ways to feed their costly addiction.

Prohibition would pave the way for a costly governmental "war on tobacco" that would put tobacco producers, pushers and users in prison. At the same time, the federal and state governments would lose more than $20 billion per year in tobacco tax revenues.

More information

"Keep Cigarettes Legal"
Nadelmann, Ethan, The Huffington Post. October 26, 2006.

"New Drug Policy Alliance/Zogby Poll Finds 45 Percent Support Making Cigarettes Illegal"
Drug Policy Alliance. October 26, 2006.

"Cigarette Taxes, Black Markets, and Crime"
Fleenor, Patrick. Cato Institute; February 6, 2003.

"Nightmare of Crack Nicotine"
Wheeler, Jack, Washington Times, August 29, 2002.

Ten-Year Revenue Projections for New Federal Cigarette Tax Increases
Lindblom, Eric. National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, June 2003.

"Ethan Nadelmann on Tobacco Prohibition"
Nadelmann, Ethan. YouTube.com, October 26, 2006.

Prisons provide the closest model we have in the U.S. to complete cigarette prohibition. A law that went into effect in 2005 in California outlawed all tobacco products in state prisons.

More information

Letter from DPA California Capital Office associate director Nikos Leverenz to California Department of Corrections
Leverenz, Nikos. Sacramento, CA, October 6, 2005.

"California, Cigarettes and Prisons: Ban Smoking, Not Tobacco"
Rodu, Brad, Las Vegas Review-Journal. February 05, 2004.

"Prison Smoking Ban Likely to Bring a Pack of Changes"
Warren, Jennifer, Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2005.

"Tobacco Ban in State Prisons Will Create Black Market, Violence"
Newman, Tony, San Francisco Chronicle, July 13, 2005.

Could cigarette prohibition really happen?

Drug prohibitions tend to be embraced not when a drug is most popular but rather when use is declining, as tobacco use is now. We’ve become accustomed to restrictions on smoking – sale to minors, and bans on smoking in more and more workplaces and public spaces – and on advertising. And we hate the corporations that profit off this deadly product.

More information

A Federal Ban on Cigarettes? Nationwide Survey of 1,200 Registered Voters
Zogby International for Drug Policy Alliance. July 2006.

"U.S. Cigarette Sales Reach Lowest Point in More Than 50 Years"
Cesar Fax, Center for Substance Abuse Research, July 24, 2006.

Health, United States, 2005 with Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans
National Center for Health Statistics; 2005: pp. 32-35, 254-258.

The ever higher taxes and broader bans on cigarettes have played an important role in reducing both the number of smokers and the amount they smoke. Persisting with these policies will no doubt lead to further reductions. But there is a point of declining returns at which the costs of such policies begin to outweigh the benefits. It is true that stigmatizing smokers and smoking persuades some to stop and deters others from starting, but demonizing and dehumanizing those who persist is both morally wrong and dangerous.

More information

"Was Weyco Wrong to Fire Smokers?"
Drug Policy Alliance; February 2005.

Other nations have tried complete smoking bans with little success, France and India among them. Recently the European Union decided that employers can discriminate against smokers in making hiring decisions.

More information

"EU says smokers not protected by law"
Associated Press, August 7, 2006.

"The new deviant class: smokers"
Patterson, Patricia, Toronto Star , August 20, 2006.

"The First Nonsmoking Nation" (Bhutan)
Weiner, Eric, Slate , January 20, 2005.

How do drug prohibition regimes come about?

As the number of smokers drops, the dangerous logic of prohibition becomes ever more tempting. But prohibition is not a simple question of public health—it is closely tied to racism and classism.

For example, the first drug prohibition in the U.S. was imposed on opium. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, opium addiction was most common among middle and upper-class white women and was seen as a health problem.

That perception began to shift as opium smoking became associated with Chinese immigrants in the western United States. Fears that respectable white women were being seduced into a life of prostitution and debauchery in opium dens were inflamed by vivid reports. In 1902, the Committee on the Acquirement of the Drug Habit of the American Pharmaceutical Association declared: "If the 'Chinaman' cannot get along without his 'dope,' we can get along without him." In 1909, California outlawed the importation of smokeable opium.

More information

Dark Paradise: Opiate Addiction in America Before 1940
Courtwright, David T., Harvard University Press, 1982.

Perceptions of cocaine use went through a similar transformation. As with opium, cocaine use in the early twentieth century was most common among well-to-do white women.

In 1910 Dr. Hamilton Wright, considered by some the father of U.S. anti-narcotics laws, reported that U.S. contractors were giving cocaine to their Black employees to get more work out of them. A few years later, stories began to proliferate about "cocaine-crazed Negroes" in the South. These stories were in part motivated by a desire to persuade Southern members of Congress to support the proposed Harrison Narcotics Act, which would greatly expand the federal government's power to control drugs. This lie was also necessary since, even though drugs were widely used in America, very little crime was associated with the users.

More information

"The History of Legislative Control Over Opium, Cocaine, and their Derivatives"
Musto, D.F. Dealing with drugs: Consequences of government control. Ed. Ronald Hamowy. San Francisco, CA: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1987. 37-71. Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. 2006. DRCNet.

What do public health advocates think about banning cigarettes?

Public health advocates are on the forefront of efforts to reduce smoking, but they do not necessarily advocate prohibition. Many leading public health advocates who oppose smoking do not see prohibition as a viable solution.

More information

Longtime anti-tobacco advocate Dr. Stanton Glantz does not favor prohibition, instead advocating changing cultural attitudes about smoking.

Former FDA commissioner David Kessler said on PBS, "It's a product that 50 million Americans use. Prohibition won't work. So how do you reduce the use of an unsafe product?"

Matthew Myers of Tobacco-Free Kids had the following exchange with television host Tucker Carlson:

MYERS: Well, it should -- it should be legal because we have 46 million Americans smokers. We know that Prohibition...

CARLSON: Because a lot of people do it, it should be legal?

MYERS: Well, prohibition wouldn't work. It would be bad public policy. It would be bad...

LEVY: Well, how about -- how about illegal for anybody to start smoking (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

MYERS: It would be bad. . . Right now it is illegal to sell cigarettes to kids in this country.

MYERS: No public health person I know is in favor of prohibition. What we're in favor of is some simple rules. . . This industry should have to abide by the same standards as others. If you can make the product less hazardous so you kill fewer people you should do it. Ford had to do it with Pinto. This industry could do it...

How unhealthy is smoking?

Cigarettes are deadly. They lead to premature death for 400,000 people each year in the U.S. Every year, 40% of American smokers try to quit but are unable to do so.

More information

TIPS - CDC fact sheets on the harms of smoking

Stupid - Ontario, Canada's youth anti-smoking campaign

Ban on 'light' cigarettes put on hold

November 1st, 2006 at 10:40 am

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061101...



WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court blocked a landmark judgment against the tobacco industry Tuesday, allowing the companies to continue selling "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes until their appeals can be reviewed.


The decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also allows the companies to continue for now the advertising campaigns that a federal judge in August ruled were misleading.
Without comment, the appeals court granted the tobacco companies' request to put Judge Gladys Kessler's order on hold.
In mid-August, Kessler ruled that the companies had violated racketeering laws and conspired for decades to mislead the public about the health hazards of smoking.
The judge ordered the companies to publish in newspapers and on their Web sites "corrective statements" on the adverse health effects and addictiveness of smoking and nicotine.
She also ordered tobacco companies to stop labeling cigarettes as "low-tar," "light," "ultra light" or "mild," since such cigarettes have been found to be no safer than others because of how people smoke them.
Kessler's ruling was appealed by Philip Morris USA, Lorillard , Brown & Williamson Corp. and British American Tobacco PLC.
"The company believes the trial court's decision is contrary to the law and facts presented during trial, and looks forward to the opportunity to present its arguments to the appellate court," said William S. Ohlemeyer, vice president and associate general counsel for Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris.
No date has been set for arguments. It could be more than a year before an opinion is released.




Ban on 'light' cigarettes put on hold

November 1st, 2006 at 10:37 am

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061101/...

Tobacco heir speaks out against Issue 4

November 1st, 2006 at 10:28 am

http://verycheapcigarettes.com/N_E_W_S/November-01-2006/Fold...



The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is trying to fool Ohio voters, says the grandson of the tobacco company's founder, and he was in Toledo yesterday, he said, to set the record straight. If Ohioans want to curb tobacco-related deaths, they need to vote against tobacco-company bankrolled Issue 4 and vote Yes on Issue 5, Patrick Reynolds told a gathering at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.


"R.J. Reynolds is funding the Issue 4 campaign. They advertise it as a law to protect nonsmokers, but the truth is, Issue 4 would allow smoking almost everywhere," he said.

Passage of Issue 4, a consti-tutional amendment, would overturn every smoking law in Ohio, including laws in Toledo and Bowling Green. If both Issue 4 and Issue 5 pass, only the less-restrictive Issue 4 becomes law because it is a constitutional amendment.

Issue 5 would prohibit smoking in nearly all public places, including bars and restaurants.


Advertisements for the tobacco-industry-supported Issue 4 "claim it will protect public health," Mr. Reynolds said. "That lie is even harder to swallow than their claim for years that it was never proven that smoking causes disease."

Jacob Evans, a spokesman for Smoke Less Ohio, which supports Issue 4, said the amendment will allow smoking only in businesses that bar minors.

"Very few businesses could put up a sign 'minors prohibited' and expect to stay in business," Mr. Evans said.

Restaurants with enclosed smoking sections, along with bars and bowling alleys could continue to allow smoking, he said.

"That's misleading because children still go into restaurants and bowling alleys," Mr. Reynolds said. "Those aren't necessarily adult places. Issue 4 claims separate smoking sections are going to protect the health of nonsmokers. Well, it's really just a cosmetic measure."

Issue 4 does not require separate ventilation for smoking sections.

Mr. Reynolds, in Ohio as a volunteer on behalf of Issue 5, is founder of the Los Angeles-based Foundation for a Smokefree America.

Although tobacco is what made his family rich, 57-year-old Mr. Reynolds said he divested himself of all his tobacco stock in 1979, before he quit smoking.

"I was uncomfortable owning stock in a company I knew was profiting from the deaths of 420,000 Americans every year." Among those tobacco-related deaths are his father, R.J. Reynolds, Jr., who died from emphysema, and his oldest brother, R.J. Reynolds III, also a victim of emphysema. His surviving brother also suffers from emphysema, he said.

Still, it was six years after Patrick Reynolds got rid of his tobacco stock that he quit smoking, successful finally on his 12th attempt.

For people trying to quit, smoke-free bars and restaurants are a terrific aid, he said.

"When they don't see people light up in public, they are less tempted to light up themselves."

R.J. Reynolds spokesman Craig Fischel said: "While he is entitled to his opinion, the real decision will come from Ohio voters. They will decide what smoking policy is best for the state.

"Somebody has to stand up for rights of smokers so that their voices are heard," Mr. Fischel said. "If we're not going to do it, who will?"

Mr. Reynolds summed up the difference between the two ballot issues.

"Do you trust a company who's profiting off the deaths of 420,000 Americans every year? Or do you trust the American Cancer Society, which backs Issue 5 and first proved the link between smoking and lung cancer?" Mr. Reynolds asked the group at the health department gathering.

Some 50 members of the medical community were on hand to hear Mr. Reynold's discuss the tobacco campaign.

"•'Issue 5 to stay alive' is our mantra in the medical profession," said Dr. Donna Woodson, president of the Toledo-Lucas County Health board.

Dr. John Schaeufele, a pediatrician at Mercy Children's Hospital, said a 2003 study showed 91 percent of children hospitalized at Mercy for respiratory ailments were exposed to second-hand smoke at home.

"Only 30 percent of families smoke," Dr. Schaeufele said. "That's an extraordinarily telling statistic. Children cannot vote. We need to vote for them."

DeKalb snuffs out smokers' options

November 1st, 2006 at 10:17 am

http://oralcigarettes.com/Cigarettes-News/11-01-2006/page_Nr...




Bars and parks in most of DeKalb County could become no-smoking areas under an extraordinarily strict ordinance passed Tuesday that could become law by year's end. Unincorporated DeKalb already had smoking restrictions tougher than the statewide ban that took effect last year. In addition to outlawing cigarettes in parks, the measure removes exemptions for bars and adult entertainment venues. The DeKalb County Commission passed the ordinance 6-1, and it now goes to Chief Executive Officer Vernon Jones.



"It's the most comprehensive clean indoor air act in Georgia," said Commissioner Burrell Ellis, the bill's sponsor. Ellis also sponsored the county's existing prohibitions, which banned smoking in restaurants and most other public places when it took effect in 2003.

Anti-smoking groups applauded the new restrictions. Eric Bailey, a manager with the American Cancer Society, said his group had met with Ellis over the past year in hopes of passing legislation that promised "100 percent" smoke-free air. He said the state prohibition that exempts bars is inadequate because it doesn't protect bar workers.

"There should be no exemptions," Bailey said.

Not so fast, Jones said.

He has until Nov. 3 to issue a veto, and he hinted Tuesday evening that he was contemplating one.

Jones said the legislation was "radical" because it applied to so many places, including county-owned parking lots. That could raise enforcement issues, he said. "I'm not going to have my police department to focus on patting down people in the parking lot who are smoking. There are more serious things" for them to do, he said. He said there are uncertainties in the law, like whether it applies to public rights of way at the end of driveways.

County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, who cast the lone vote in opposition, also cited enforcement as a concern.

The restrictions wouldn't apply to the cities in DeKalb, only the unincorporated areas.

The law will take effect 60 days after Jones approves it, if he chooses to do so.

The legislation would increase the fine. Currently, a first offense nets a maximum fine of $50. Under the new legislation, someone caught violating the smoking law could be fined $500 and would face a minimum fine of $100.

The only public places in DeKalb where the county won't ban smoking if this new prohibition becomes law are tobacco stores, property owned by other governments and rooms designated for smoking in hotels and motels. And, of course, people will still be allowed to smoke at home and in their cars.

Even if DeKalb doesn't approve these latest revisions, it will still be among two dozen jurisdictions with smoking prohibitions that exceed the state's. Smoking in restaurants is illegal in the county, but under state law there is an exemption for restaurants that maintain a separate smoking room with an independent ventilation system.

When Ron Wolf, an opponent of smoking bans, was told of DeKalb's latest effort, he said it wasn't possible for the county to be any stricter than it already was. "They already have one of the strictest laws in the state," said Wolf, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association. His response after he heard the details of the latest desired crackdown: "Wow, they really did go all out, didn't they."

Wolf said businesses should get to choose whether to allow smoking on their premises, and he said if there must be a ban it should be consistent statewide, so establishments aren't placed at a disadvantage with competitors in more lenient jurisdictions.

But one critical restaurant and bar owner in DeKalb County shrugged off the latest proposal.

Aaron Melton, owner of the Melton's App & Tap on North Decatur Road, said the county's first foray into anti-smoking legislation nearly four years ago cost him dearly, but said his business adapted and is largely immune to anti-smoking legislation now.

"For me, the damage

has already been done," said Melton, who estimates he lost $3,000

a week in revenue during the first year of DeKalb's smoking ban.

During that time, his smoking clientele drank at Decatur bars instead -- before that city banned smoking, too, he said. Melton said the loss of revenue forced him to close a new App & Tap in Decatur that wasn't yet on its feet. He also re-wrote the menu to attract more families looking for meals.

Melton said he still gets a

few smokers, but most either stay home or go elsewhere, where enforcement isn't an issue.

"Some of them go to bars that will look the other way," he said.

Philadelphia Bans the Sale of Blunts

November 1st, 2006 at 09:57 am

http://no-smoking.org/oct06/10-31-06-2.html


The city’s war on drugs yesterday became a war on blunts.

After a City Council hearing that was more an anti-drug public service announcement, the loose cigars available at most inner-city convenience stores and Chinese takeout joints — typically emptied out and filled with marijuana — may soon become illegal to sell.

Council’s Committee on Licenses & Inspections unanimously approved a bill yesterday to outlaw the sale of “loosies” and other drug paraphernalia, including cigarette wrapping papers. The full Council is expected to approve the measure next month.

“I think it sends the wrong message when you can get a blunt or rolling papers with your Now and Laters or Lemonheads or pretzel sticks,” said Stephen Clay, the medical director at the Gaudenzia drug treatment facility.

Clay said that those coming to Gaudenzia for treatment are asked to write a life story. Many, he said, start their stories at the age of 7 or 8, when they smoked their first blunt.

Activists say the blunts come in more flavors than soda and their easy availability on the streets helps lead to a feeling of “lawlessness.” Blunts are sometimes laced with PCP or cocaine, activists say, for an even greater high.

“It just seems outrageous what’s going on in the city,” said Councilwoman Joan Krajewski. “It is a serious problem plaguing our city.”

According to one major retailer, they would stop selling small packages of blunt cigars if the bill passed. The bill outlaws sales of cigars in packages of fewer than six, except by specialty tobacco shops.

“We have a long history of not selling items of that nature, especially the rolling papers and so forth,” said Lori Bruce, a spokesperson for Wawa. “We certainly will continue to work with City Council and comply with whatever it is that they mandate.”

Is Issue 5 a smokescreen?

October 23rd, 2006 at 02:41 pm

http://us-cigs.com/News/October-23-2006/CHAPTER0/Is-Issue-5-a-smokescreen.183.html



AD "If Issue 4 Wins, You Lose," a 30-second ad from Smoke Free Ohio, promoting state Issue 5 and against Issue 4. It's running with a companion ad, "Don't Be Fooled by the Smokescreen."


SCRIPT

Tracy Sabetta, co-chairwoman of Smoke Free Ohio: "On Election Day, you will choose between two very different smoking issues, Issue 4 and Issue 5. Issue 4 is backed by big tobacco. It would keep smoke in restaurants and other places we go with our families. It would overturn 21 local smoke-free laws, and leave half a million workers exposed to smoke. Remember, Issue 4 is a constitutional amendment. If both issues pass, only Issue 4 becomes law. If Issue 4 wins, you lose. Vote no on Issue 4. Vote yes for Issue 5."

STRATEGY

Issue 4 and Issue 5 are competing statewide smoking laws, and voter confusion is inevitable. This is the rare instance in an issue campaign where a group promoting one issue has to go negative on another issue.



FACT CHECK

Issue 5, backed by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society, is a ballot initiative that would ban smoking in almost all public places.

Issue 4 is a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to head off an outright ban through less-restrictive regulations.

Even the names of the groups are confusing. Issue 5's committee is Smoke Free Ohio; Issue 4's campaign is called Smoke Less Ohio. (Note that the space between "Smoke" and "Less" changes the meaning considerably.)

Smoke Less Ohio's coalition does include a number of tobacco interests, which are disclosed on its Web site: the Cigar Association of America, the Lorillard Tobacco Co., the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, the Retail Tobacco Dealers Association, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Swedish Match and Swisher International.

It also includes lobbyists for nursing homes, bowling alleys, vending machines, grocers, bars, restaurants, gas stations - and 425 small businesses.

Smoke Free Ohio is correct: If Issue 4 passes - even by a small margin - it would wipe out a landslide by Issue 5. It would also block any other state or local legislation on smoking in the future. That's because Issue 4 is a constitutional amendment, and can only be repealed by a vote of the people.

Issue 4 would wipe out local laws banning smoking in 21 Ohio cities, mostly Columbus and its suburbs. The only Cincinnati-area city with a ban is Fairfield.

But if the issue is local control, it's worth noting that Issue 5 would also override Cincinnati's smoking legislation.

RESPONSE

"To be clear, as our amendment clearly states and we've stated time and again, it would have to be in a separately enclosed area," said Jacob Evans, a lobbyist for tavern owners and spokesman for Smoke Less Ohio. "The impression that they're creating that this will occur anywhere in the restaurant is misleading. ... What Ohioans want is a common statewide policy."

Tobacco farmers swapping crops

October 23rd, 2006 at 02:32 pm

http://verycheapcigarettes.com/N_E_W_S/October-23-2006/Folder_0/Tobacco-farmers-swapping-crops.676.html


Three stories high and a little more than a thousand feet deep, the cavernous tin barn structure standing in Darrell Jackson's backyard is in many ways a symbol of change for the state's tobacco industry in a post-buyout era. Six acres' worth of leafy, rust-colored burley tobacco dangles from its rafters in thick clusters, hanging limply like tattered rags -- a visible departure from the Henry County farmer's usual harvest.


Like many Southside tobacco farmers, Jackson has for years grown flue-cured tobacco, a heat-dried variety used in domestic blend cigarettes, as part of the federal tobacco-quota program.

But now that the program has been eliminated, and with it the geographic boundaries for growing certain types of tobacco, Jackson is switching some of his land over to the burley variety as a way to offset rising fuel costs and bring in some additional income for the farm.

"It beats the devil out of going up the road all the time to go to the factory," said Jackson, 43, who used to work at a furniture manufacturing company during the winter months, a downtime for flue-cured tobacco growers, to keep the cash flow steady.

Burley tobacco is a slightly different plant variety that is harvested once a year and hung out to dry in large, drafty barns for up to four months. Under the federal quota program, burley tobacco was grown only in certain geographic areas, such as in far Southwest Virginia, but those boundaries were lifted during the 2004 buyout, leaving behind an untapped market for tobacco growers in other parts of Virginia.

Seeing a new opportunity emerge for competitive tobacco markets, a handful of Southside tobacco farmers are now are sinking thousands of dollars into building barns for curing burley tobacco and reshuffling the regional boundaries of Virginia's tobacco industry.

The shift is one of many changes resulting from a massive overhaul of the industry in 2004 when Congress approved a $10 billion buyout eliminating a federal tobacco quota program established during the Great Depression to stabilize prices. In efforts to make U.S. tobacco growers more competitive on the world market, the buyout rid the industry of its quota leasing systems, causing market prices to drop and pushing the industry into a new free-enterprise market that allows growers to deal directly with cigarette companies.

So far the prospects of this year's harvest are looking slightly better than last year's, when growers scaled back production and acreage for flue-cured tobacco, the mainstay of central Virginia growers, hit a record low.

Flue-cured tobacco yields are expected to increase this year with about 17,000 acres being harvested statewide, a 21 percent increase over 2005, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but down 26 percent from 2004.

Tobacco production has yet to rebound completely, and as the market settles, many growers are still finding themselves on wobbly ground and fear being stubbed out by rising fuel and labor expenses.

"The profit margin is real tight," said Stan Duffer, a tobacco specialist with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, adding that this is a pivotal time for many growers -- and the industry at large in Virginia -- forcing them to think hard about whether they should stick with the business or retire.

One region hit particularly hard in terms of losing production was far Southwest Virginia, where burley tobacco has historically dominated the fields.

Because most burley tobacco farms were small, family-owned operations, the elimination of this federal program was an excuse for some tobacco growers to either retire or quit the business, said Danny Peek, a Virginia Cooperative Extension agent and regional burley tobacco specialist for Southwest Virginia.

Production of burley tobacco dropped by half after the buyout from 5,900 acres in 2004 to 2,800 acres in 2005, and the government estimates that figure will dip to 2,500 acres this year -- although Peek is wary of those predictions and says it is difficult to have reliable numbers at this point. Tobacco farmers are not required to report their acreage and many do not.

"I feel very confident that there are at least 3,200 acres [of burley tobacco] in all Virginia," Peek said, estimating that about 75 percent of that is still being grown in far Southwest Virginia.

Still, companies are scrambling to make up for a loss in burley production. Demand has been so great in some areas that the companies are offering monetary incentives in hopes of persuading farmers to add burley tobacco to their fields.

Johnny Angell, a tobacco farmer in Franklin County, said he split his tobacco crops between burley and flue-cured this year -- both of which are used to produce domestic-blend cigarettes.

Harvesting burley tobacco, he said, is slightly more labor intensive -- each stock must be cut and hung by hand -- but he can get on average 12 to 15 cents more a pound as opposed to selling flue-cured tobacco.

Angell, who has a contract with Richmond-based cigarette giant Philip Morris USA also notes that flue-cured tobacco, which is cured by artificial blasts of heat, requires substantial amounts of natural gas or heating oil. "You're sort of swapping one expense for the other," he added.

A dip in prices for flue-cured tobacco is also causing some farmers to make the switch-over to sowing their fields with burley tobacco.

Connell Macenhimer, a flue-cured tobacco grower in Franklin County, said he's receiving about the same price as he did 25 years ago under his current contract with the Stabilization Co-op, a group of buyers that offers farmers some price supports. He has already cut back his tobacco acreage this year to 55, down from 200 acres before the 2004 buyout, and if production costs continue to rise, he's thinking about cutting out of the business completely. "If I'm not going to make any money, I'm not going to do it," the 54-year-old farmer said, adding that he's had several other colleagues threaten to leave the business next year because of paltry profits made this year.

Some industry observers are skeptical that swapping one variety for another will do much good in solving all cost woes.

"Growers are just trying to do something different to survive but that hasn't been the answer," said Scott Reiter, a Campbell County Cooperative Extension agent. "The cost to produce tobacco has made it extremely tight to make any money this year -- for any of the varieties," he said, adding that the acreage in Campbell County dropped 60 to 70 percent for all varieties in the last two years. The county now has 12 tobacco growers.

Plus, shifting to burley production often means sinking more money into new equipment and building a barn. The cost of a new barn alone can be anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the structure's size, Reiter estimated.

"For several years you're just growing tobacco to pay for that barn," Reiter said.

Jackson acknowledges that he is in it for the long haul. The new barn set him back about $30,000 and will take three to four years to pay off. But with energy costs rising, he says he can't afford to double the cost of curing his tobacco. And Phillip Morris USA has already offered to reimburse him for up to $2,500 on the cost of building the new burley barn. "This right here," he said spreading his hand over a wilted, fan-shaped burley tobacco leaf. "There's a heck of demand for it."

Cities mull smoke-free laws

October 23rd, 2006 at 02:24 pm

http://oralcigarettes.com/Cigarettes-News/10-23-2006/page_Nr-0/Cities-mull-smoke-free-laws.748.html

ORANGE BEACH -- City officials from both of Baldwin County's beach cities are planning to ban smoking in most public places by the start of next year. The Orange Beach City Council held a public meeting Monday afternoon to start discussing a proposal to go smoke free in all but private homes and clubs, hotel rooms designated for smokers and bars.


Gulf Shores City Councilman Robert Craft attended the 3 p.m. meeting and said that his city was also pursuing a smoking ban: "We're very much inclined to do the same thing that you're talking about doing."


The Gulf Shores City Council will discuss the measure at its Monday work session, Craft said.

The proposal Orange Beach is mulling would make it illegal to smoke at any public property and in any work place. Exceptions to the ban would be private homes, private clubs, hotel and motel rooms designated for smoking, tobacco specialty shops, performance stages and bars -- defined as establishments that make 75 percent or more of their money on alcohol sales.

"We all know that the surgeon general came out in June with definitive results that secondhand smoke does kill and it's the third-leading cause of preventable death in the United States," said Orange Beach Councilwoman Tracy Holiday, who proposed the ordinance. "I think based on that we know this is a public health and safety issue."

Holiday said she wasn't sure that Orange Beach could prevent smoking on the beach because the city owns no public beach area. Craft said he wasn't sure yet how Gulf Shores would treat its many public beaches, or, for that matter, other outdoor areas such as golf courses. Enforcement of a smoking ban outdoors would be tricky, Craft said, and will be among the likely topics when council takes up the matter Monday.

In early August, Foley approved an ordinance that will prohibit smoking in most places open to the general public -- bars being the exception -- by Nov. 5. Fairhope followed a week later with its own similar tobacco ban that goes into effect on Nov. 20.

Tina Findley, a tobacco prevention and control coordinator for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said there's no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and even a small amount can cause health problems.

"Especially when a child is sitting in a restaurant and they're sitting there for an hour and they're around smoking, even if it's on the other side of the building, it's like they smoked three cigarettes themselves," she said.

£1.3m a day goes up in smoke

October 23rd, 2006 at 01:55 pm

http://hot-cigs.com/news/October-23-2006/folder0/163-1-3m-a-day-goes-up-in-smoke.1847.html



PEOPLE living in Scotland's most deprived areas are spending £1.3million on cigarettes EVERY day. Official figures obtained by the Sunday Mail reveal it is the poorest people who can least afford it who spend the most on tobacco. Richer smokers with money to burn buy fewer cigarettes and more of them appear to be giving up.


Deprived areas have three times as many smokers as more affluent places. Male smokers in the poorest parts of Scotland get through around 17 cigarettes a day and women average 16.

With a pack of 20 costing £5.20, that's £31 a week for men and £29 for women - almost a quarter of their weekly income.

Their weekly budget is below £131 - just above the official poverty line of £98.


The richest male smokers smoke an average of 13 a week and the women have 12.


Maureen Moore, chairman of anti-smoking group Ash Scotland, said: "The Executive have started to concentrate on this but projects need to be targeted at deprived areas where there is clearly a desperate problem. When we see people suffering cancer, heart disease and strokes, it seems obvious that finding ways of stopping people from smoking in the first place is the most cost effective solution."


An estimated 310,217 Scots in the poorest areas are smokers.


They spend an incredible £1,330,831 on cigarettes each day.


Habit


There are three times fewer smokers living in the most affluent areas - where the average weekly household income is above £800.


They spend £352,608 on cigarettes every day.


The figures from the Office for National Statistics are based on research done in council wards across the country.


A 20-a-day habit costs Scots £1900 a year with 89 per cent going straight to the taxman. Pro-smoking groups say the steady rise in tobacco tax has created a poverty trap.


Simon Clarke of campaign group Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) said: "We have a ludicrous situation here.


"The taxation of tobacco products has been counterproductive and contributes towards poverty.


"The people it hits are the less well off, the elderly and those who find it hard to give up."


Health Minister Andy Kerr said £4million has been dedicated to trying to help poor people quit.


He said: "It has long been recognised that there is a strong link between smoking and deprivation.


"That is why over the next two years, £4 million is being allocated to help target intensive cessation support to areas of deprivation. "We are taking cessation work into new environments such as bingo halls to reach out to more people."


Impact


SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell, who spearheaded the proposals to ban smoking in enclosed spaces, said: "Anti-smoking projects have had an effect in affluent areas where the number of smokers is going down and down and down.


"But it has had little or no impact in areas where it really matters.


"Smoking is an addiction and it's too simplistic to just expect those in deprived areas to stop buying cigarettes."

Smoking ban is no success

October 23rd, 2006 at 01:46 pm

http://mydiscountcigarette.com/News-Page/Oct-23-2006/folder-Nr-0/Smoking-ban-is-no-success.557.html

I read with some regret and no little disbelief the multi-signature letter in your Letters page in conjunction with your own editorial (26 September) regarding the so-called success of the smoking ban.


The smoking ban is anything but a success. It has caused financial hardship to many licence-holders who have watched their pubs, clubs and bingo halls empty since its introduction.

It, therefore, galls me to have to read such rubbish as "the smoking ban would not have worked without the hard work of licence-holders". They were badgered into enforcement of this unjust ban with threats of heavy fines by the Scottish Executive.

If all the body worshippers are so confident that the majority in this democratic country welcomes the smoking ban, then let them put it to the people in a general vote.

Tobacco tax's losers

October 23rd, 2006 at 01:35 pm

http://columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=22407rian.com/news/story.php?ID=22407

Situated just steps away from the MU campus, the Tiger Sinclair gas station has an advantage when it comes to tobacco sales.

Oftentimes, owner Cindy Mutrux said, students who are about to head out of state will come into the store to stock up on cheap cigarettes.

“I have kids from New York and Chicago that will buy five cartons to last them until they get back here because in their states, cigarettes are so expensive,” Mutrux said.


At 17 cents per pack, Missouri’s tobacco tax is second lowest in the nation. Because of this, cigarettes sold in the state cost much less than they do in other places, where the average tax added on is around $1.

If voters pass an initiative on Nov. 7 to raise the tobacco tax to 97 cents, the cost of a pack of cigarettes in the state will increase by 80 cents. This has tobacco retailers worried the incentive to purchase cigarettes in Missouri may disappear.

“The bottom line is, right now, Missouri has a tax advantage over all eight of our border states,” said Ron Leone, executive director of the Missouri Petroleum and Convenience Store Association. “If Amendment 3 passes, it will level that tax advantage and put us at a tax disadvantage.”

Currently, Leone said, tobacco retailers in Missouri’s border counties get much of their profit from smokers who cross over from states such as Illinois, where the tobacco tax is 98 cents.

If Missouri’s tax rises to almost a dollar, Leone said he worries that sales at convenience stores, gas stations and other tobacco retailers could be pinched.

“When we no longer provide a financial incentive for people to come to Missouri, not only is it going to hurt my members in terms of lost profits, but also lost sales and tax revenues,” he said.

In 2002, Illinois increased the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 40 cents. The state’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability estimates that over the past four years, a small portion of Illinois’ tobacco sales have been lost to border counties in Missouri and Indiana.

Kansas also raised its tobacco tax in 2002, to 79 cents per pack from 24 cents. Ron Spidle, owner of the discount retailer Smokes For Less, said he had to shut down four of his six stores in the state as a result of the increase.

If Missouri raises its tax, Spidle said he worries he may have to close some of his 10 stores in Missouri, including one in Columbia.

Kurt Ribisl, a researcher at the University of North Carolina who specializes in the study of tobacco control policy, said that although an increase in tobacco tax could hurt some retailers, it is not likely to cause the state’s economy as a whole to suffer.

“People say that if you raise the price up, all of a sudden you’ll get less money, but that’s absolutely false,” he said.

Ribisl recently studied the employment levels of tobacco retailers across the nation between 1994 and 2004. What he found, he said, is that although tobacco stores, gas stations and convenience stores did see a decline in sales and consequently, a decrease in employment, supermarkets and other large stores that sell tobacco did not.

“Employment is an indicator of the health of a retail sector, so if sales are really dropping in a store they often have to cut back on the number of people,” Ribisl said. “We saw that although there were some declining sales in tobacco stores and convenience stores, supermarkets and others that sell cigarettes actually showed an increase in employment over this period.”

Nationwide, he said, there are 51,343 supermarkets that sell tobacco, compared with 6,184 smaller tobacco retailers.

“Overall, they cancel each other out so there’s no economic harm,” Ribisl said.

Those in support of the tax increase argue that the true economic burden is the costs of tobacco-related illnesses.

“If we look at what economic impact smoking has had on our state, it’s $4.3 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control,” said Cindy Erickson, spokeswoman for the Committee for a Healthy Future, the Missouri-based group that proposed the tax increase. “If we were to reduce (smoking) we would be able to spend those revenues elsewhere.”

Tobacco retailers, though, say that any smoking declines will be hard to measure because it’s likely sales will be lost to the Internet.

In 2001, the national research group Forrester Research predicted that by 2005, 14 percent of all tobacco sales would be made over the Internet, resulting in a loss of $1.4 billion in state profits.

“When prices increase significantly there is a small portion of people who will turn to Internet,” Ribisl said. “But generally you’ll see 90 to 95 percent of people will still continue to buy cigarettes at local stores.”

Mutrux said that because her business depends on cigarette sales, she can only hope the proposed tobacco tax increase wouldn’t affect her business. But as a nonsmoker, she said she also wants to see others stop smoking.

“I encourage that,” Mutrux said. “But people are going to smoke regardless.”

Tobacco tax's losers

October 23rd, 2006 at 01:32 pm

http://columbiamissourian.com/news/story.php?ID=22407rian.com/news/story.php?ID=22407

Philip Morris hosts party for media

October 4th, 2006 at 06:39 am

http://mydiscountcigarette.com/News-Page/Oct-3-2006/folder-Nr-0/Philip-Morris-hosts-party-for-media.296.html


KUWAIT: Philip Morris Kuwait Company WLL hosted a Suhoor Party for the local media on Thursday. Hamad Al-Asfour, Manager Corporate Affairs welcomed visitors for a sumptuous Suhoor meal held at Atlantis Restaurant at Marina Hotel. Representatives from Philip Morris Middle East attended the event including Dubai based George Nassif, the director corporate affairs Middle East and Ruwaida Abu Ajram, communication manager.
"We invited you here to spend this Suhoor party with us because we treasures our friendship with all the newspapers here in Kuwait and we hope for more productive years to come. We thank you for coming and I hope you will enjoy our small token of gratitude," said Al-Asfour on the occasion.
The Suhoor party discourages minors from attending since the company was promoting tobacco products not suited for children.
Philip Morris is one of the largest tobacco companies in the world. They produce many of the world's best-selling cigarette brands, including the most popular brand worldwide; their brands are made in more than 50 factories around the world and sold in over 160 markets.
Founded in the 19th century, Philip Morris has grown into a worldwide organisation. Today Philip Morris International alone employs more than 80,000 people.

Showbiz News

October 3rd, 2006 at 12:54 pm

http://verycheapcigarettes.com/N_E_W_S/October-03-2006/Folder_0/Showbiz-News.421.html

James Bond actor Daniel Craig is not allowed to smoke in the new Bond film. The new 007 is furious with movie bosses who decided to cut out smoking scenes because they don't want to send the message that smoking is cool to young Bond fans.


Craig told Parade magazine: "I can blow off someone's head at close range and splatter blood, but I can't light a good Cuban cigar."

The news that Bond will not be smoking cigars in the film comes just days after it was announced he may drink lager instead of martinis in the film.

Craig may never utter the immortal lines "Vodka martini - shaken, not stirred" as film bosses have signed a deal with Heineken.

The film is not realised until November but has already been heavily criticised by fans.

Craig is the first blonde Bond and has admitted to being scared of boats, hating guns, sex scenes and martinis and losing two teeth in his first fight scene.

He told Parade: "Maybe I'm not the prettiest Bond that's ever been, and maybe I'm not the most suave.

"All I can say is there are millions of fans, and I don't want to let them down. I've worked my butt off for this movie. I'm not going to foul it up."

Tougher smoking ban eyed

October 3rd, 2006 at 12:28 pm

http://oralcigarettes.com/Cigarettes-News/10-03-2006/page_Nr-0/Tougher-smoking-ban-eyed.486.html




The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health surveyed Thursday the minefield it faces with a proposal to make all public places Kanawha County smoke-free, including bars. Putnam County approved a similar policy Tuesday, a move praised by the Kanawha health board. Several states, including Utah and Montana, took a similar approach as Kanawha County by enacting some sort of regulation, then phasing out smoking in bars and private clubs, explained Dr. Kerry Gateley, executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.


Kanawha County’s existing rule prohibits smoking in all eateries that rely on food for more than 20 percent of their sales. Restaurant bars can allow smoking if the smoking section is closed off from the eating area.

But some places have run into “definitional problems,” Kerry told board members. In Maine, the regulation exempted private clubs, but becoming a private club was extremely easy, he said.

The board needs to make sure such loopholes do not creep into Kanawha County’s regulations, Gateley said.

“A lot of states seem to struggle with this private club thing,” he said. “The easier this thing is to understand and interpret, the better.”

The smoke-free regulation will take hold gradually so that the public and businesses can adjust, said Dr. Steven Artz, the board’s president.

“The community has plenty of notice,” he said. “If they have adequate notice, I’m sure there will be some grumbling, but we can move forward over time. There will be some structure.”

Part of the reason for the all out ban on smoking is to even the ground between businesses that can allow smoking and those that cannot, board members said.

“Fortunately, the contiguous county just moved,” Artz said, referring to the lack of competition.

Gateley credited the board’s move toward a smoke-free policy for partly inspiring Putnam’s new policy. “What I understand from the Putnam situation is they learned a lot from us,” he said. “We set the ground I think.”

In other business:

Flu shots for the upcoming flu season are ordered, but coming in slowly because of manufacturing delays, Gateley reported.

The county ordered 15,000 doses, plus 11,000 for smaller health departments that usually see delays. The first shipment comes in today, but is only 744 doses. The state provided another 1,080, he said.

A letter from one vaccine company, Sanofi Pasteur, said that 40 to 50 percent of the order should come in by the end of October with the rest to follow in November or December.

The health department made no serious changes to the flu vaccine schedule yet. That

schedule is available online at www.kchdwv.com.

“The only problem I foresee is if they’re late on a shipment,” Gateley said before the meeting. “We want to wait until we have the shots in the cooler. We expect to have enough, but we expected that two years ago, too.”

In 2004, a manufacturing problem caused widespread flu shot shortages.
The health department continues to design a new building that will fit its needs. The two highlighted at Thursday’s meeting are parking and a large storage cooler for vaccines.

“A facility where we provide a clinic without up-to-the-door parking or valet parking is impractical,” Artz said. “Clients need front door access.”

As per the vaccines, Gateley said: “Hundreds of thousands of dollars of vaccines pass through here all the time and we have to keep them cool. We don’t just use a Kenmore refrigerator to do that.”

Smoking: Did you know...

October 3rd, 2006 at 12:07 pm

http://us-cigs.com/News/October-03-2006/CHAPTER0/Smoking-Did-you-know.128.html





TOBACCO use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the single most preventable cause of death in the world. It also causes chronic lung disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis), cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and cataracts. Nicotine, a powerful central nervous system stimulant found naturally in the tobacco leaf, is classified as a drug. It is one of the main ingredients in tobacco. In higher doses, nicotine is extremely poisonous. It is commonly used as an insecticide. The membranes in the nose, mouth and lungs act as nicotine delivery systems – transmitting nicotine into the blood and to the brain.


Nicotine is highly addictive. The addictive effect of nicotine is the main reason why tobacco is widely used.

Cigarette smoking causes 87% of lung cancer deaths and is responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, oesophagus, and bladder.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemical agents, including over 60 substances that are known to cause cancer.

The risk of developing smoking-related cancers, as well as non-cancerous diseases, increases with total lifetime exposure to cigarette smoke.

Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits, including decreasing the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease.

US Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona issued a comprehensive scientific report on June 26, 2006, which concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30% and lung cancer by 20 to 30%.

The report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, finds that even brief second-hand smoke exposure can cause immediate harm. .

Second-hand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemicals, and is itself a known human carcinogen.

Non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke inhale many of the same toxins as smokers.

Even brief exposure to second-hand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and increases risk for heart disease and lung cancer, the report says.

Cigarettes sweetened to lure young smokers

October 3rd, 2006 at 11:30 am

http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=28&ContentID=8584



New research suggests tobacco companies are sweetening cigarettes, which could make them more attractive to young people.

Additives included plum juice, maple syrup and honey to make products taste better. These ingredients were apparently identified from tobacco company websites.




A British newspaper, The Independent, reported findings of the study that examined sweet additives in tobacco. Results were published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.

The newspaper quoted researchers saying: “The addition of sugars in tobacco can enhance tobacco use in at least two ways — naturalisation of the harsh taste of cigarette smoke and generation of acetaldehyde, which increases the addictive effect of nicotine.”

It went on: “Moreover, the sweet taste and the agreeable smell of caramelised sugar flavours are appreciated in particular by starting adolescent smokers.”

Mike Daube, president of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, called on tobacco companies to reveal all their ingredients.

“We would like legislation at a Federal level that forces them to reveal everything that goes into cigarettes,” he said. “If we don’t know what goes into cigarettes we don’t know how harmful they are going to be in combination with other components.”

The newspaper quoted a cigarette executive’s denials that sugar additives encouraged young people to smoke.

He said that cigarettes sold in Britain typically did not have sugar.

Stop smoking programme launched

October 3rd, 2006 at 10:27 am

http://hot-cigs.com/news/October-03-2006/folder0/Stop-smoking-programme-launched.1789.html



Whoever said quitters never win, perhaps never had a clue that quitting can be a good thing. According to Winston Seale, an Orthopaedic Surgeon by profession at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and guest speaker at a recent session held by the Barbados Breathe Free Association, good things can happen when smokers stop smoking. Seale was speaking recently at the Opening Ceremony and Pre-Quitting Session of the Barbados Breathe Free Associations Stop Smoking Programme.

The programme, which will officially come into being on October 10, is being held in association with Sagicor Life Inc.

Seale told interested parties gathered at the Savannah Hotel in Hastings on Sunday, that there are 1.1 billion smokers in the world. By the year 2020, he said, studies suggest that the worldwide death toll due to smoking will be somewhere in the region of ten million. There is no part of the body which smoking does not affect, Seale has cautioned, noting that the effects will be manifested in different organ systems of the body, depending on the length of time spent smoking, and the frequency.

However, it is never too late to stop smoking, Seale has assured. There is positive hope and recovery even for long-term smokers who quit, since persons can gradually reverse much of the damage caused to bodily organs from the day they quit, Seale said. Outlining some of the good things that can happen to quitters, Seale has remarked that the carbon monoxide and nicotine levels in the body begin to decline within hours or days after the last cigarette. The cilia lining of the bronchial tree begins to grow back and a smokers cough disappears within a year after cessation. After ten to 15 years of quitting, the risk of developing cancer or heart disease gradually returns to nearly that of a non-smoker.

Meanwhile, Sagicor representative Juanita Blackman has lamented the marked increase in health insurance costs being paid out by her company. The company pays out twenty million dollars in claims annually, she says, noting that to date there are 20 000 insured lives. This presents a major challenge for the company.

In speaking about the nine-day Stop Smoking programme, President of the Barbados Breathe Free Association, George Best has noted that the programme will be in the form of a series of lectures and sessions to be delivered each night at 7:30 p.m. at the L.V. Harcourt Lewis Training Centre, at the Public Workers Credit Union, Belmont Road. The dates for the sessions are October 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, 23, 26 and 30. Individuals will not be condemned for their decision to smoke, the Association says, but will be provided with avenues based on a programme tested and proven in the US to successfully quit for good.

The programme is being hosted by the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church, and David Beckles, President of the East Caribbean Con-ference of Seventh-Day Adventist, says the programme is one designed to restore and prevent. Noting that the SDA church has always been in the forefront of health reform, he expressed the hope that not only lives will be healed through the programme, but more homes will be happy.

Editorial: Fear ignited effort to quit smoking

September 13th, 2006 at 09:38 am

http://oralcigarettes.com/news/September-06-2006/Page0/Editorial-Fear-ignited-effort-to-quit-smoking.44.html



I might as well quit reading and listening to the news. By definition, news is supposed to be fresh, interesting and important. Trouble is, when you reach my stage in life, news tends to remind me of something that happened long ago. As the fellow said, "There isn't anything new under the sun."
The other day I learned that the Food and Drug Administration had approved a drug that will help people quit smoking. It said that of people who use it, about fifty per cent succeed in kicking the habit. The account went on to say that people who try to quit smoking without any aid other than will power have a success rate of about five percent. Advertisement I don't know how they come up with these statistics, but it took me back many years. When I was in college, I smoked a pipe. I didn't particularly enjoy it, but I thought it made me look cool, a "college man" whatever that was supposed to be. Then I got my first newspaper job in Bloomington, Ill., and sat next to a guy who was to become my best friend at the office. His name was Harold Liston and like many of my friends, he is no longer with us. Liston was a cigarette smoker. While I was taking a tobacco pouch from my pocket, filling a pipe, tamping the tobacco down and getting it lighted after several tries with matches, Liston would flip a cigarette out of a pack, light up and be enjoying a smoke while I was struggling to keep the tobacco burning in my pipe. "This is nuts," I thought to myself, and gradually decided to give up the pipe and turn to cigarettes. I started by smoking O.P.'s. That stands for Other People's. Yes, I became one of those most annoying of cigarette smokers, someone who cadged smokes off of friends because he isn't sure yet whether he wanted to take up the habit on a permanent basis. After getting icy stares and unpleasant remarks, I decided I had better start buying my own. In those days you could get a pack of cigarettes for 10 or 15 cents a pack. I was making five dollars a day, so everything was relative. But I was hooked and soon got up to almost two packs a day. Not only did I enjoy it, but again, it made me feel "cool." After all, half the movie stars in those days smoked cigarettes, using them as props. If it was good enough for Humphrey Bogart and William Powell, who was I to shun smoking? In the last days of using the habit, I switched to Kools. These were the ones with a mentholated taste and were shunned by many smokers as too effeminate. The Marlboro Man would have been horrified if anyone offered him a Kool. When we moved to St. Louis in 1947, I was quite a smoker, as were many of my friends. Why when I met Friend Wife, she did some smoking, but never inhaled. Like many young women at the time, smoking was supposed to be equated with sex appeal, I guess. Well, I finally decided to quit, not for moral, but for health reasons. I began to experience chest pains, dizziness and other symptoms in the morning and became frightened. But it wasn't easy. Like Mark Twain said, quitting smoking was easy, he had done it hundreds of times. I would get through the day without a cigarette, then about 9 o'clock in the evening I would jump in the car, rush to the nearest convenience store, buy a pack of cigarettes, tear it open, and take a satisfying pull on one of the coffin nails. I went through this routine for a long time. I drove our son Lynn back to school after a Christmas break, and each of us bought a pack of cigarettes when we left home. His school, Millikin University, is in Decatur, Ill., not a very long trip. By the time I got home, I had four cigarettes left, and felt short of breath. It was probably all psychological. As indicated earlier, I am a cheap guy, so I couldn't throw those four away. No, I smoked them, then said "that was it." Somehow, I must have slipped into those five percent who quit on their own, because I haven't had another cigarette since. Oh, I missed them for awhile, especially after a meal or in the company of friends who were smoking. Finally the urge disappeared and the thought of trying a smoke today makes me a bit ill. Let me hasten to add, I have no quarrel with people who smoke. I did it much too long myself to pass judgment. I understand a pack today costs about four bucks. Even if I wanted to smoke again, that is way to much for a cheap guy. Jim Fox, a retired newspaperman who lives in Affton, writes a weekly column for the Journals.

Nicotine study faulty

September 13th, 2006 at 09:29 am

http://verycheapcigarettes.com/N_E_W_S/September-13-2006/Folder_0/Nicotine-study-faulty.198.html



The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently issued a report based on data from 1998 to 2004 that concluded "the amount of nicotine that is actually delivered to the smoker's lungs has increased significantly." The MDPH report cites Philip Morris USA and its Marlboro brand.


The principal reason the MDPH report seems to show an upward trend for Marlboro is because it did not include the earliest reported data from 1997 and the most recent reported data from November 2005. We believe that when one looks at the Marlboro data from all the years reported to the MDPH (1997 through 2005), there are variations in nicotine yields, both up and down, in different brand packings, but there is no trend in nicotine yields, up or down.

For example, the nicotine yield measured in Marlboro Lights King Size Box, the largest selling cigarette brand packing in the country, went up from 1997 to 1998, down in 1999, up in 2000, down in 2001, up in 2002, down in 2003, up in 2004 and down in 2005. The annual variability, both up and down, ranged from 0.01 to 0.11 milligrams of nicotine. These year-to-year variations occur because of the normal processes of growing tobacco and manufacturing cigarettes.

The MDPH report also links the nicotine measured by a smoking machine to nicotine "delivered to the smoker." Other public health authorities have said one should not link machine smoking to human smoking. For example, the World Health Organization Study Group on Tobacco Regulation concluded that "machine testing protocols are not likely to provide a valid basis for predicting health effects or for making claims about health effects because such protocols do not predict how the products will be used by individuals or at the population level."

We do not believe that the MDPH's conclusions about the trends in nicotine yields for Marlboro are supported by the 1997 through 2005 data. Even so, there are some fundamental conclusions that Philip Morris USA and the MDPH seem to share: Cigarette smoking is addictive, cigarette smoking causes disease and death, and comprehensive federal Food and Drug Administration regulation of the tobacco industry would be good public health policy.

Public packs in for hearing on smoking ordinance

September 13th, 2006 at 09:15 am

http://us-cigs.com/news/September-13-2006/CHAPTER0/Public-packs-in-for-hearing-on-smoking-ordinance.94.html


Doctors and health professionals voiced support for a countywide smoking ordinance Monday night, while restaurateurs, bartenders and smokers told Allen County commissioners to “butt out.” There were no real surprises but lots of passion at a packed public hearing in the City-County Building that lasted more than two hours. Those who support the proposed ordinance cited health studies linking secondhand smoke to illness. Those who are opposed cited economic concerns and advocated free enterprise and freedom of choice.


At issue is a smoking ordinance proposed by the commissioners that would be much stricter than the one now in effect in the city of Fort Wayne. The proposed ordinance would ban smoking in bars, restaurants and most public places countywide, with the exception of private clubs and some hotel rooms. Cities and towns within Allen County, including Fort Wayne, could opt out — or write even more restrictive ordinances.

Fort Wayne’s current ordinance requires restaurants to provide a separate, fully enclosed room for smokers. Many restaurants converted sections of their facilities for smokers several years ago. The proposed ordinance would render those conversions useless, as restaurants would be required to be completely smoke-free.

As the city’s ordinance stands now, patrons are still allowed to smoke in bars. Under the proposed ordinance, all bars in Allen County would have to be smoke-free. Many of the people who would have been appalled at the city’s ordinance 10 years ago were begging the commissioners Monday night to adopt an ordinance similar to the city’s.

“We feel that the city’s ban was a fair compromise,” said Don Marquardt.

Debbie Pieri, who has been with Piere’s Entertainment Center since its inception, came to the podium with an American flag and told commissioners that businesses such as hers felt as if they were fighting for freedom against their own local government.

Todd Smith, general manager at Piere’s, asked commissioners not to mess with the bars. “The nightlife in this town is all we have left.”

Mona Butler, who with her husband owns Showgirl I, expressed fear the smoking ordinance would cause a loss in revenue for all nightclub owners.

Mary Armstrong said the ordinance reminds her of communist Russia.

Paul Meridith, who is in the restaurant business, fears any smoking ban would drive patrons out of Allen County. He also noted that people go to bars of their own volition, saying, “When you walk into a smoking environment, you are voluntarily jeopardizing your health.”

Both Sam and Bud Hall, owners of Hall’s Restaurants, spoke against the ordinance. Bud Hall asked the commissioners to align the ordinance with the city’s.

Bob Carney, who owns Billy’s Downtown Zulu restaurant and gets a lot of business from Ohio, said, “I think I should have the choice to say whether or not people can smoke in my building.”

On the side supporting the ordinance were two Fort Wayne City Council members, John Crawford and Tom Hayhurst. Crawford is an oncologist; Hayhurst is a retired pulmonologist. Both spoke about how much more is known today about the effects of secondhand smoke. Hayhurst said in the early years of his practice, children would come in with respiratory illnesses, the causes of which were unknown. Today, those illnesses are often attributed to exposure to secondhand smoke, he said.

Bruce Hetrick, whose wife’s death from cancer was attributed to secondhand smoke, noted that “government has always restricted our rights when they interfere with someone else’s.”

Rita Bubb, a registered nurse, is a lung-cancer survivor who spoke in favor of the ordinance. “I had never been a smoker, but for most of my life, I had been around secondhand smoke.”

A dental hygienist, Nancy Mann, spoke of the periodontal disease associated with smoking. Several speakers associated with public-health groups referenced a recent report by the surgeon general that concluded there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Jonathan Ray, president of the Urban League, said while he supports personal choice, secondhand smoke “infringes on other people. That’s the bottom line.”

Many in the audience sported stickers saying they were against the ordinance. Applause, whistling and shouts of approval were heard after particularly impassioned speakers.

The three commissioners will take the testimony under advisement as they decide whether to modify, accept or reject the ordinance.

Smokers, there's help to quit

September 13th, 2006 at 08:47 am

http://hot-cigs.com/news/September-13-2006/folder0/Smokers-there-s-help-to-quit.1753.html


When Sandy Kellerman started smoking, she was 17 years old. She didn't need a reason to start. In fact, she had no reason not to. "Every adult I knew smoked," she said. Movie stars made smoking look glamorous and celebrities starred in cigarette ads. Many of those celebrities have since died of cancer. But 50 years ago, most people in Kellerman's circle of family and friends didn't think of smoking as a serious health hazard.


"I found an old McCall's magazine in an antique store," Kellerman, a Hot Springs Village resident, said. "One advertisement said that doctors recommended Camels for soothing the nerves. Another one said the same thing about Pall Malls."

Besides, smoking could come in handy, particularly on dates.

"When you needed an excuse to break up the clench, you could just say, 'Oh, I need a cigarette,'" she said with a laugh.

But through the years, smoking lost its charm, for society in general and for Kellerman personally. She tried to quit several times and eventually became a "closet smoker" — smoking about a pack a day after telling her grown children, her mother and other family members that she had kicked the habit.

Then in June 2005, her husband, a fellow smoker, was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). He had to quit, and his wife wasn't about to expose him to second-hand smoke. Besides, she was tired of living a lie, so to speak.

So at age 67, she did what she'd started out to do more than once. She quit smoking in August 2005 and doesn't plan on lighting up again.

"I still have flashes of wanting a cigarette, but it wasn't as hard this time. I had a lot more incentive," she said. "No way was I going to smoke around my husband."

To get past the physical part of her addiction, Kellerman used a nicotine patch. "I ignored the recommended timeline," she said. "When I started forgetting to use the patch, I just stopped."

Breaking the psychological part of the smoking habit can be even more difficult for longtime smokers. When the going got rough, Kellerman found herself repeating the words of advice from a friend, "The urge to smoke will leave whether you have a cigarette or not."

"That helped me more than anything, I think," she said.

To anyone who thinks it's not worth quitting after age 65, Kellerman says, think again.

"People with any sense are going to be afraid of what they're doing to their health by smoking," she said. "And it was awkward to be the only couple who had to leave a concert and go outside to smoke."

She's also saving money and setting a good example for her loved ones — without having to lie. And she feels better about herself.

"I smell better, my clothes smell better, my house smells better and I no longer get that 'stupid' feeling that you get when you light up," she said. And that feels good at any age.

If you would like some help to quit smoking, you may attend a four-part series of discussions to be held at Rutland Regional Medical Center on Sept. 12, 19, 26, and Oct. 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 6. Call 747-3768 for more information or to register.

City moves to clear air

August 17th, 2006 at 10:50 am

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/anchorage/smoking/story/8085222p-7977832c.html



Smokers have less than a year left to light up in Anchorage bars and bingo halls.

The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday night voted to ban smoking in those places -- and in homes where a baby sitter is working -- in a long-debated, long-awaited decision Tuesday night.

The indoor-smoking ban, which goes into effect next summer, passed 8-3, with Debbie Ossiander, Dan Sullivan and Anna Fairclough voting against it.

"What we've tried to address is smoking in enclosed areas where there are employees," said Dan Coffey, one of the original sponsors of the law.

Ossiander, the Assembly's vice chairwoman and a registered respiratory therapist, said, "I'm very aware of the health impacts of smoke and what it can do to you." But, she said, she believes in individual responsibilities and freedom.

"I believe that we are overreaching in government regulations into people's lives," she said.

During the debate Tuesday night, Ossiander at one point rattled off a long list of high risk jobs, like commercial fishing, or jobs where employees are exposed to toxins, like dry cleaners.

"I don't believe government can make every job completely safe," she said.

Allan Tesche, in his first Assembly meeting since emergency heart surgery in May, said it was cynical to say the Assembly can't make all work places safer.

"If we pass this ordinance, we are going to make work places safer," Tesche said just before the final vote. "That we can't do a perfect job is no excuse."

Tesche, countering the argument for personal freedom that was raised often during discussion, said no constitution guarantees the right to smoke.

Smoking has been against the law in most public buildings, such as restaurants, offices and government offices, in Anchorage since 2001. The new law, which Coffey and Dick Traini introduced in May, aimed to outlaw smoking in some of the only public places smokers have left, with the intention of eliminating unwanted exposure to secondhand smoke.

Sullivan, the Assembly's chairman, said that six years ago the panel decided to exempt from the no-smoking rules places where adults go, and adults should be able to make the decision.

"Now we've decided that adults can't make their own choices," he said. There are also more places now where nonsmokers can find a job, he said.

The proposal drew crowds to Assembly meetings more than once. Hours of often passionate testimony pounded on persistent themes: Those fighting the ban said it was a government intrusion into personal freedoms and that it would kill bars and businesses that allow smokers. Those supporting it said secondhand smoke is unhealthy and employees of bars and businesses are unwillingly putting their lives in danger. And, supporters said, smoking bans elsewhere haven't dampened the bar business.

By postponing the start date until July 1, 2007, Traini and Coffey said they picked up the support of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.

Coffey said it was crucial to apply the no-smoking rule to all applicable businesses, offering no exemptions, so nonsmoking establishments wouldn't lose money to the smoking ones.

Restrictions already ban smoking in licensed day-care centers. Now the smoking ban extends to a less-formal baby-sitter arrangement in someone's home, so long as a sitter is getting paid, even if the care is for just one child.

Ossiander tried to delete the baby-sitter provision, with vocal support from Paul Bauer. They said it would be impossible to enforce and it's up to a parent to decide not to put their child in a smoker's care. Ossiander's amendment failed.

"What level of secondhand smoke is acceptable for children?" Traini said. "None."

The new law prohibits smoking within five feet of an entrance to a bar. Smoking would be allowed in the outdoor area of a bar, such as a patio or a deck, as long as it's done at least five feet from the door.

It bans smoking within 20 feet of city and school buildings and 50 feet of hospitals. It bans smoking within 20 feet of any place of employment, so smoke doesn't enter the building through a ventilation system or window.

Smoking in private clubs is only OK if the club is not licensed to sell alcohol, is not open to the public and is not a place of employment.

Fairclough tried unsuccessfully to exempt veterans and military clubs from the ban.

Fairclough also tried unsuccessfully to exempt bingo halls, provided the hall has an enclosed place with an extra ventilation system.

The list of exemption can go on and on, Coffey said. But he and others said they were adamant about providing a level playing field among businesses.

Tesche said employees of bingo halls are no different than employees elsewhere who are under the protection of the secondhand smoke law.

Tesche's life-threatening experience this spring didn't appear to take away his argumentative tendency, although he didn't speak as much as he has in previous meetings.

"This government will not let people die on their own when we can take a simple regulatory measure and say you can't smoke indoors, take it outside," Tesche said. "That is exactly what government should be doing."

"Welcome back, Mr. Tesche," Sullivan said.

Surgeon General gets smoked

August 17th, 2006 at 10:31 am

http://hot-cigs.com/news/August-15-2006/folder0/Surgeon-General-gets-smoked.1670.html



Perhaps there was nothing nefarious about the unusually quiet departure of Richard Carmona as U.S. surgeon general. With the ultra-secretive and business-friendly Bush Administration, personnel changes don't always go down as advertised.

Depending on which explanation you believe, Dr. Carmona either resigned as head of the federal Public Health Service or he was not reappointed by President Bush when his four-year term expired on July 29 - the equivalent of being fired.

Some sources indicated that Dr. Carmona was told that he would not be retained as surgeon general, but who ushered him out and the reason were not revealed by the hunker-in-the-bunker folks at the White House.
In any case, Dr. Carmona merits praise for at least one major health initiative: The recent report that labeled secondhand tobacco smoke for what it indisputably is - a deadly health hazard to millions of Americans.
The surgeon general's report validated the need for a comprehensive statewide ban on smoking in public places, which we support and which Ohio voters are expected to decide in the Nov. 7 election.

As Dr. Carmona put it back in June, "I am grateful … to be able to say unequivocally that the debate is over. The science is clear: secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance, but a serious health hazard that causes premature death and disease in children and nonsmoking adults."

The declaration demolished the central claim of the special interests that oppose a smoking ban: that secondhand smoke is not hazardous to those forced to breathe it, whether as patrons or workers in public places.
Did Dr. Carmona's bold stand get him fired?

We wouldn't be surprised. After all, the business interests hard at work against a real smoking ban in Ohio are the same businesses routinely found on President Bush's list of influential campaign contributors.
They include owners of bars, restaurants, hotels, and bowling centers in the so-called hospitality industry as well as those that profit from tobacco sales, including the tobacco industry, grocers, liquor, beer, and wine wholesalers, and the oil industry.
This is the group that is promoting a misleading ballot issue with a disingenuous name: Smoke Less Ohio. It's a constitutional amendment which, if it makes the Nov. 7 ballot and is approved by voters, not only would not protect anyone but would institutionalize the presence of secondhand smoke in the lives of Ohioans by forever prohibiting a whole range of anti-smoking laws.

The genuine smoking issue headed for the ballot is an initiative law sponsored by SmokeFreeOhio, a public health coalition. It would institute a fair and uniform smoking ban in public places across the state.
In the meantime, Dr. Carmona is back in Tucson, pondering his future. The former trauma surgeon hasn't confirmed whether he was fired, but he did tell his hometown paper, the Arizona Daily Star, that he often felt frustrated in the federal post, especially "when science gave way to politics … What was done was not always my decision."

Regardless of the circumstances of his departure, Dr. Carmona managed what few appointees of this laissez-faire administration have even attempted - to advance the cause of legitimate public health protection for the American people.

For that, he deserves credit.

Study Shows How Secondhand Smoke Injures Babies' Lungs

August 17th, 2006 at 10:16 am

http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=7836



Quebec smokers are being left out in the cold, literally, by a recent provincewide ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

Not only has the new law, which came into effect May 31, forced bar and restaurant patrons outside for a cigarette, it seems some smokers are also having a hard time finding a place to live.

"There are more cases this year of people telling us they've been refused an apartment because they smoke," said Francois Saillant, head of Front d'action populaire en reamenagement urbain, a prominent local tenants' rights group.

Quebec's landlord association says some of its members have suddenly become interested in inserting no-smoking clauses into their leases.

"I think it's a result of the publicity surrounding the law preventing smoking in restaurants," said Martin Messier, president of the association.

"People are more concerned now about being in a non-smoking environment."

Messier says his association advises its members not to refuse smokers outright, but rather inform them they'll have to puff outside their apartment.

But Saillant claims landlords are taking advantage of the new law to give themselves more power in choosing their tenants.

"It's another restriction that for me is completely not justified," he said, noting especially that Montreal has low vacancy rates.

Bill 112, which was passed in concert with similar anti-smoking legislation in Ontario, forbids smokers from lighting up in bars and restaurants.

The sweeping restrictions also extend to the nine metres in front of any doorway leading to a health or social services institution, college, university or child-care facility.

Saillant believes landlords who discriminate against smokers are setting a disturbing precedent in their interpretation of the law and need to differentiate between public and private spaces.

"It's an extremely dangerous thing to get involved with, because now, quite clearly, we're messing with the private lives of people," he said. "That's not the business of the landlord."

Saillant even raised the possibility of smoking tenants using human rights arguments to challenge the decisions of their landlord.

According to the Quebec government, however, there is nothing in the new legislation that prevents landlords from inserting anti-smoking clauses into their leases.

Messier, for his part, maintains that only a relatively small percentage of landlords have so far insisted on smoke-free dwellings.

He adds that if prospective renters don't like it, they can always find somewhere else to live.

"It's not an intrusion into people's private lives," he said. "It's simply a condition that's prerequisite to the signing of the lease."

Mike Callaghan, who owns an apartment building in the southwest Montreal neighbourhood of St-Henri, admits it's often in the landlord's interests to weed out smokers.

"I would prefer (non-smokers) because it's definitely harder on an apartment when you get, especially, a heavy smoker," he said. "The walls can really take a beating."

But smoking alone isn't enough for Callaghan to turn a potential tenant away.

"I'm more concerned about the person themselves," he said. "Smoking, that's like a little side factor."

Given the wide-ranging nature of Quebec's new smoking bans, even Saillant - himself a lifelong non-smoker - believes smokers deserve a break.

"In an apartment people have their intimacy, it's their private life, and in a way it's the only refuge they have."

Customs seize illicit cigarettes

August 4th, 2006 at 08:33 am

http://smokker.com/news/04-08-06/Customs-seize-illicit-cigarettes.1694.html



Customs officers seized 3m counterfeit and illegally imported cigarettes in the North West in one 24-hour period.


HM Revenue and Customs officials said the seizures, which took place between 27 and 28 July, offer a snapshot of the ongoing work to tackle tobacco fraud.

The figure includes more than 2.5m non-UK duty paid cigarettes seized in an industrial unit in Lancashire.

Officers also stopped 34 passengers carrying 157,410 cigarettes through Manchester and Liverpool airports.

Freight consignments

Linda Paul, HMRC head of detection in the North West, said they were determined to stop those bringing tobacco illegally into the country.

She said their actions were responsible for undercutting small business, undermining efforts to reduce smoking and depriving the Exchequer of valuable tax revenue.

During the 24-hour period last week, customs officers seized cigarettes being posted to UK addresses and found other consignments hidden in freight containers.

"This illegal activity should be condemned by the public," said Mrs Paul.

"Cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting is an organised crime as these routine seizures demonstrate, often linked to money laundering and drugs."


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