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Archive for April, 2011

Farmers Boycott Tobacco Sales

Friday, April 29th, 2011

cheap camel cigarettesBusiness at the three auction floors temporarily came to a halt today as farmers boycotted the trading of the golden leaf citing unviable prices ranging between US$0,80 to US$1, 10. Farmers at the three auction floors took their disgruntlement to a higher level by threatening to keep their tobacco and Camel, owing to what they term unviable pricing model and boycotted trading for more than two hours before the resumption of trading later in the day.

Farmers who spoke to the media at the auction floors said they were reaped off by buyers as tobacco was pegged at between US$0, 60 and US$I,20 at Tobacco Sales Floor.

At Millennium floors, a kilogramme was fetching between US$0, 80 cents and US$1. 20 while it was going for US$1 per kilogram at Boka Auction floors before it went up to $4.30 after the boycott. Farmers appealed for government intervention to bring sanity at the floors.

Boka Auction floors spokesperson, Ms Rudo Boka said the boycott was resolved amicably with the auction floor appointing a representative of all farmers at the floor, adding that trading resumed after deliberations with farmers, buyers and TIMB.

Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) chairman, Mr. Njodzi Machirori confirmed the development at the three auction floors but could not give a satisfactory reason as to why buyers were paying low prices.

Prices at the auction floors have been tumbling in recent weeks despite delivering the best tobacco as compared to what is normally delivered during the first days of the selling season.

Foreign Tobacco Companies Raise Cigarette Prices

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

best parliament cigarettesSmokers purchasing packs of Dunhill cigarette, Kent cigarette and Vogue cigarette will have to pay 200 won ($0.19) more than on Tuesday as two foreign Parliament cigarette companies, burdened by fixed prices in Korea, have raised or will raise their prices amid rising inflationary pressure.

The unexpected move has raised concerns over the effect on the nation’s already rising consumer prices.

Though the prices of other products have risen over the past nine years, cigarette prices have remained the same at 2,500 won per pack.

Since yesterday, the price of British American Tobacco cigarettes has gone up 8 percent to 2,700 won.

BAT holds the second largest market share in the Korean cigarette market, at 18 percent, which is estimated to be roughly 10 trillion won.

KT&G has the biggest market share, at 58 percent. Phillip Morris is third with a market share of 17 percent, followed by Japan Tobacco International, at 7 percent.

This is the first time since February 2002 that a tobacco manufacturer has raised prices on its own.

JTI joined BAT by announcing that it, too, will raise its prices to 2,700 won next month.

KT&G, Korea’s only cigarette manufacturer, said it currently has no plans to raise its cigarette prices.

The prices of cigarettes, as with other products sold over the counter, can be raised after the related regulations were changed in 2001.

Previously, a price hike on cigarettes had to be approved by the government but since July 2001 cigarette companies have only had to declare their intention to raise prices.

Manufacturers, however, claim they have had difficulty raising prices due to political and economic issues.

Politicians have been pushing to decrease cigarette prices for years in a bid to garner votes, especially with lower-income voters.

And with the government pledging to counter inflation, increasing prices without government support could lead to retaliatory actions such as tax probes or fair trade investigations.

In fact, higher cigarette prices could throw off the government’s strategy to curb inflation, which has already exceeded the 4-percent target.

Cigarette prices account for 1.08 percent of the consumer price index, which is more than the 0.11 percent for soju. With the recent price hike, the consumer price index is expected to grow 0.012 percentage points.

One Finance Ministry official did not hide his frustration at the price hike. “Compared to KT&G, which is obligated to use domestic tobacco, foreign brands, which import cheaper tobacco leaves, will have a much lower price burden,” the official claimed.

BAT says it had no choice but to raise its prices. “While the prices of other products have been rising over the years, cigarettes are the only products whose prices have been frozen for nine years,” a BAT official said. “For years we have been addressing the fixed price through cutbacks within the organization but our expenses, including labor costs, have recently shot up,” the official said. “We’ve tried but have reached the limi

Nova Scotia Needs Money for New Anti-Smoking Programs

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

gauloises cigarettes onlineA five-year tobacco control strategy that aims to reduce smoking Gauloises among young people in Nova Scotia is little more than smoke and mirrors because the plan lacks detail and new funding, the Opposition says. Health Minister Maureen MacDonald announced Wednesday that the provincial government wants to cut the smoking rates among 20- to 24-year-olds from 29 to 20 per cent by 2015-16.

A goal has also been set to decrease the rates for those in the 15- to 19-year-old age group from 15 to 10 per cent within the same time period. MacDonald said there is no new funding for the strategy, which has an annual budget of $3.6 million.

Liberal health critic Diana Whalen said while it is fine to set targets, the announcement was disappointing in its lack of specifics and new money to support enforcement and smoking cessation initiatives.

“There’s nothing definitive,” said Whalen. “We should have had the talks done and we should have today some clear direction about the action.”

But MacDonald said as part of its strategy, the government would step up enforcement to ensure that stores do not sell cigarettes to minors, though there are no plans to increase the number of compliance officers.

She said the government is also considering stiffer penalties that could see store owners lose their license to sell tobacco if they are found to have sold to minors.

“After 20 years of tobacco control work in Nova Scotia it is troubling to hear that one out of five tobacco vendors are still selling to minors,” said MacDonald. “This is unacceptable.”

The strategy also calls for additional measures such as amending the Smoke Free Places Act to prohibit smoking on property owned by the province’s nine district health authorities and the use of all tobacco products on school grounds.

The government will also consider legal action against tobacco companies to recover costs associated with past harms caused by smoking.

“The actions and directions identified in this strategy will help us prevent tobacco use and will help those using tobacco to stop,” MacDonald said.

Health officials said they plan to continue efforts to reduce the overall smoking rate, which stood at 20 per cent in 2008 — above the national average of 18 per cent.

Shops Need for Tobacco License for to Sell Cigarettes

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

cheap sobranie cigarettesThe Ministry of Health is reminding all retailers and vendors that wish to continue to sell captain-black and other popular cigarettes – that the tobacco license registration will start tomorrow.

Ministry spokesperson Peni Namotu says the registration will continue till the end of the year and application forms are available in all health facilities around the country.

Namotu says registration of all outlets to sell cigarettes is stipulated under the Tobacco Control Decree 2010.

“The requirement is the provision of a TIN number and a business license this is what is required of all vendors and retailers that wishes to have tobacco license in order to sell cigarettes.

Namotu adds the licenses will be reviewed annually depending on the assessment of the health ministry on how well the retailer or vendor complies with the Tobacco Control Decree.

Appetite Chemicals in Cigarettes

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

best cheap style cigarettes British and American tobacco companies deliberately added powerful appetite-suppressing chemicals to cigarettes to attract people worried about their weight, according to internal industry documents dating from 1949 to 1999. Chemical additives are just one of several strategies successfully used by tobacco companies over the past 50 years to convince people that smoking Style makes you thin.

Tobacco giants Philip Morris and British American Tobacco added appetite suppressants to cigarettes, according to the documents, released during litigation in the US. Four other major companies tested potential chemicals, including amphetamine and nitrous oxide , better known as laughing gas, but the documents, which are incomplete, do not reveal if such chemicals were ever added and sold to the public.

Untaxed Cigarette Sellers Arrested

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

cheap ok cigarettes Last week District Attorney Richard A. Brown unveiled the arrest of a dozen individuals, the seizure of more than 4,000 cartons of untaxed OK and other cigarettes and 22,000 untaxed cigars, and nearly $400,000 in money and property as he announced the formation of a new unit that will proactively investigate and prosecute individuals and businesses that deliberately fail to pay tax obligations associated with legal and illegal activities.

The Crimes Against Revenue Unit (CARU) “will enhance ongoing specialized efforts begun by this office in 2005, targeting tax evasion and other revenue and financial crimes, which has already returned to the state more than $5 million in sorely-needed revenues,” according to Brown, who estimated that the 12 defendants shortchanged New York State and New York City out of approximately $270,000 in tax revenue.

“This investigation targeted individuals who were bringing thousands of cigarettes from overseas with the intent of reselling them right here in New York City,” said Deputy Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York City Mona Forman. “No reporting, no taxes, no customs duties, just pure profit from the smuggler’s perspective. Cigarette smuggling can be a lucrative enterprise with the illicit proceeds used to fund other criminal behavior. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to dismantle organizations behind the illegal activity.”

Brown named Assistant District Attorney Andrew H. Kaufman as the head of CARU, which consists of two assistant district attorneys, three financial analysts, five detective-investigators, one sergeant-investigator and one paralegal. The unit is the result of state funding assistance provided to district attorneys’ offices within the 22 counties that are participating in the program.

Brown said that all cigarette packages sold in New York City must bear a joint New York City/New York State tax stamp and only a licensed stamping agent can possess untaxed cigarettes and affix the tax stamp on the packages.

In one of the cases, for instance, it is alleged that Bobirjon S. Shakirov, 36, of 110th Street, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight from the Republic of Uzbekistan on April 3 with 170 cartons of cigarettes (with a tax value of $10,982) in his luggage, which he did not declare on his United States Declaration form or verbally mention to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers.

Giuseppe Sciulara, 47, of Middle Village, was the subject of a long-term investigation focusing on the sale of untaxed cigarettes.

On November 22, 2010, a court-authorized search warrant was executed on Sciulara’s residence and garage, his 2002 Ford Explorer and a storage location on Metropolitan Avenue. It is alleged that more than eight master cases (each containing 60 cartons) of various cigarette brands, all having what appeared to be a Commonwealth of Virginia tax stamps on the carton packages, were recovered from the garage, a total of 566 cartons from his residence, 25 cartons from his vehicle and four empty half case cardboard boxes from the storage location. In addition, it is alleged that investigations recovered two bags containing a total of $45,620 in cash, a loaded .25 caliber handgun, assorted rounds of ammunition and a “BB” gun.

Ways to Stop Bone Loss After Age 50

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

cheap bond cigarettesWere you a wild child – drinking, smoking Bond and eating badly in your younger years? If so, you might be at risk for osteoporosis. Here’s how to prevent additional bone loss in 7 simple steps…

The excesses of youth – smoking, drinking and starving yourself skinny – are now showing up as bone loss and osteoporosis in women.

About 8 million women in the U.S. have osteoporosis, and 30 million more may get the disease, which can cause bones to break with something as harmless as a sneeze, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF).

But even if you’ve abused your body in the past, you still have time to save your bones with simple changes, like getting enough vitamin D, eating more fresh fruits and veggies and, yes, adding some weight if you’re too thin.

Read on for the latest studies and doctor-recommended tips.

1. Know where you stand
Not sure where you fall on the bone-strength scale? Head to your doctor’s office for a couple of helpful tests.

One is the software program FRAX (Fracture Risk Assessment Tool). Developed by the World Health Organization, it helps a physician calculate your probable osteoporosis risk over the next 10 years by assessing lifestyle, health, risk factors and genetic history through an online tool. Its predictions have proven to be “reasonably accurate” for women, but less so for men, according to a 2010 study by the Osteoporosis and Bone Biology Program at the Garven Institute of Medical Research in Australia.

A bone-density test is the most accurate, also known as a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, which you should get when you reach menopause – earlier if you’re at high risk – says Felicia Cosman, M.D., clinical director of NOF, medical director at the Clinical Research Center of Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y., and author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Osteoporosis (Warner).

During the simple noninvasive test, the patient lies on her back on a padded cushion as the screening device beams low-dose X-rays onto hips and spine to measure bone-mineral density.

The patient then gets a “T score” that compares her bone density with women in their 30s, when bone strength peaks. A T score of +1.0 to -1 indicates normal bone-mineral density. Scores of -1 to -2.5 indicate osteopenia, a condition in which bones are less dense than normal. (Many doctors consider this a precursor to osteoporosis.) Less than -2.5 indicates osteoporosis.

DEXA is easy, fast, cheap and painless, Cosman says.

“And the radiation risk is inconsequential,” she adds. At 0.5 millirem (mrem), a measurement used to calculate radiation, it’s less than a typical chest X-ray, which is 20 mrem, according to the Office of Radiation Protection, Washington State Department of Health.

2. Bone up with calcium
Your bones store up to 99% of the calcium your body needs for nearly every function, including blood clotting, muscle and nerve function. And women can lose up to 20% of their bone density during the 5-7 years following menopause because of a decrease in estrogen.

How the hormone strengthens bones isn’t clear. But a 2007 University of Buffalo study found that it may maintain bone density by preventing an enzyme called caspase-3 from triggering the death of osteoblasts, cells that help grow new bone and teeth.

That’s why women over 50 should get about 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily, according to updated guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in November 2010.

Your best sources for the mineral are low-fat and fat-free dairy products, such as milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt, but calcium supplements can fill nutritional gaps, says Katherine Brooking, M.S., R.D., a New York-based dietitian.

“Just don’t overdo it,” Cosman adds.

Too much calcium – more than 2,500 mg for adults 19-50, or more than 2,000 mg if you’re over 51 – can cause constipation and kidney stones, and it could interfere with the body’s ability to absorb other essential minerals such as iron and zinc, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health.

3. Get more vitamin D
“Without enough vitamin D, [women] could lose up to 4% of their skeletal mass per year,” says Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D., professor of medicine at Boston University Medical Center, who discovered calcitriol (vitamin D3), the hormonally active form of the vitamin. He’s also the author of The Vitamin D Solution (Penguin).

That’s why increasing vitamin D intake is essential. It helps maintain normal calcium levels in the bones and aids in its absorption.

You can get D from leafy greens and fortified dairy products, but the major source is sunlight, which triggers production of the vitamin in your skin.

But you’ll probably need a vitamin D supplement if you live in a cloudy climate, use sunscreen religiously and/or have dark skin, Holick says.

The IOM just raised its vitamin D recommendation to 600 International Units (IU) a day for women under age 71 and a maximum 800 IUs for women age 71 and older. But many doctors, including Holick, believe that women older than 50 need 2,000-3,000 IUs daily.

4. Eat your veggies
Milk and vitamin D aren’t the only ways to build strong bones. Fruits and vegetables also have high levels of nutrients essential for skeletal health, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K and several B vitamins, according to a large 2009 study conducted by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

Magnesium gets calcium into all cells; vitamins C and K regulate enzymes responsible for strengthening bone; and B vitamins help cells regenerate, according to the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.

Five servings of fruits and veggies a day is all you need, according to a 2005 landmark study at the Clinical Research and Regional Bone Centers at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y. Calcium-rich produce includes broccoli (180 mg/cup), cooked spinach (240 mg/cup), arugula (125 mg/cup), orange juice (300 mg/cup), kiwi (50 mg/cup) and dry figs (300 mg/cup).

5. Kick butts
Here’s another reason to quit smoking: It’s a leading cause of bone loss and fractures in women older than 40, according to a three-year study conducted on 4,332 women at Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil and published in 2010.

“Nicotine seems to have toxic effects on bone-forming cells and lowers estrogen levels, which in turn reduces bone density and leads to an earlier menopause,” Cosman says.

Cigarette smoking may increase spontaneous bone loss in women not taking estrogen, according to a two-year study on 270 postmenopausal women conducted at the Center for Clinical and Basic Research in Denmark.

Kicking the habit isn’t easy, so here’s some help: Your No-Fail Guide to Stop Smoking.

6. Drink moderately
If you drank heavily during your adolescent and teenage years – the critical bone-building time – you may have irreversible skeletal damage and a greater risk of future fractures and osteoporosis, according to a 2010 Loyola University Study on rats.

When researchers exposed adolescent rats to the human equivalent of binge drinking (defined as four drinks on one occasion) three days in a row, more than 300 genes responsible for bone formation and bone-mass maintenance were disrupted. And the damage was long lasting, researchers said.

But moderate drinking (about 1-2 glasses of wine a day) actually protects bones, especially if you’re postmenopausal, according to a 2009 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Moderate drinking may affect estrogen concentrations or suppress bone breakdown to release minerals used in the rest of the body, researchers theorize.

So go ahead and enjoy just one glass of wine with dinner, Cosman says.

7. You really can be too thin
Here’s a good excuse to hang on to those love handles: A little extra padding protects your bones.

A low body weight often goes hand in hand with low bone mass and increased fracture risk, according to a 2006 Rutgers University Study. And those extra pounds may even protect you from fractures if you take a tumble.

Trying to lose weight? A 10% weight loss results in up to 2% bone loss, the Rutgers researchers say.

Weight protects you in several ways, the study shows. First, just carrying around an extra load has a weight-bearing benefit. Also, fat is associated with bone-building hormones, such as estrogen. And when you lose weight, circulating estrogen decreases.

“If you’re naturally thin, you may want to gain a few pounds just to protect your bones,” says registered dietitian Timothy Carlson, Ph.D, editor of The Nutrition Forum, the newsletter of the Nutrition Division of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Nutrition.