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Archive for December, 2011

New Camel Snus Ads Urge Smokers to Seek Alternatives

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

cigarettesCall it perfect timing. As smokers across the country are asked to stomp out their cigarettes as part of the Great American Smokeout, new R.J. Reynolds print ads are asking them to do the same and try Camel Snus instead.

In a print advertising campaign hitting dozens of alternative weeklies nationwide, the locally based tobacco company wants to let smokers know there are smokeless alternatives out there.

“At a time when adult tobacco consumers may be considering their options, we want to make them aware of a tobacco product that could meet their expectations, Camel Snus,” a company spokesman said. “As trends in tobacco use change, Camel is transforming by offering adult smokers options, like smoke-free Camel Snus, to consider switching to.”

That message is communicated in the body copy of the new print ads: “Smokers, on Nov. 17th switch to Camel SNUS and enjoy smoke-free, spit-free, great-tasting tobacco packed in a pouch. Camel SNUS — it just might change the way you enjoy tobacco.”

R.J. Reynolds launched a similar campaign at the end of 2010 aimed at adult smokers whose New Year’s resolution list included to quit smoking. It was the company’s first campaign targeted specifically at encouraging smokers to switch to Camel Snus, as CSNews Online previously reported.

Reynolds began its first trial of Camel Snus in April 2006, with national distribution beginning in January 2009.

Cigarettes Safety Standards

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

online kiss cigarettesNew cigarette safety standards have come into force in an attempt to cut the number of people killed in house fires. They mean that every online Kiss cigarette sold in the EU must meet a reduced ignition propensity (RIP) requirement.

Cigarette paper must have special bands at intervals down its length so that, once lit, a cigarette will go out if it is not actively smoked.

The change has been welcomed by safety campaigners and anti-smoking groups.

According to latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government, around 2,800 fires in the UK were caused by smoking materials in 2008 -101 people died and 932 were injured.

It is estimated the new cigarettes could prevent 1,800 fires, 67 fire deaths and 600 casualties a year in the UK.

The anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) believes the new cigarettes could dramatically reduce the number of house fires.

Its director of policy and research, Martin Dockrell, said “Cigarettes are without doubt the most dangerous consumer product on earth – they kill 50% of people who use them.

“Finland has already introduced RIP cigarettes – last year the number of smoking-related fire deaths there fell 40%.

“You have to ask yourself why the tobacco companies resisted this change for so long. This simple change will dramatically reduce the number of household fires,” he said.

The London Fire Brigade has lobbied for the new safety standards to be adopted since 2005.

The chairman of London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority’s Community Safety Committee, Councillor Susan Hall, said the introduction of the law is a “watershed moment” for UK fire safety.

“Cigarette fires are a killer, destroying lives and properties across the country every day”.

“These new safety standards amount to an all-out attack on the single biggest cause of fire deaths in the country. But people still need to take care. Never smoke in bed and always dispose of cigarettes carefully,” she said .

Tobacco Use is Revolting

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

tobacco use onlineAs students at Summit Middle School, we are writing to tell Summit County teens how revolting it is to use tobacco. Not only does tobacco smell bad and cause cancer, but it’s also a tool that’s being used by big companies to make more money. And they are using kids to do it. That is extremely wrong.

It makes us feel bad when we see kids our age smoking cigarettes or using chew. If you start when you’re 16, you will be addicted a lot longer than if you start at 50. Tobacco is highly addictive, and it does damage that can’t be undone. And once you start, it is almost impossible to stop.

We don’t think kids really realize how addictive tobacco is and how many horrible poisonous chemicals are put in tobacco. They don’t realize that if they start using it now, it can ruin their lives forever, because they won’t be able to quit very easily. They start smoking or chewing for silly reasons, such as looking cool and impressing their friends. That makes us sad because we know that their future won’t be the best.

It also makes us mad because many non-smokers die from second-hand smoke, and that is not fair. Whenever we are around people who are using it, we hold our breath and try and get away from them as fast as possible. Or we cover our mouths because we really don’t want to breathe in that air.

People may not realize what a problem tobacco is. In Colorado, tobacco kills the most people. Here in Summit County, tobacco use among teens has increased by 7 percent in the last two years!

We are totally against the fact that lots of stores in our town still sell tobacco to minors, even though it’s illegal. It makes us feel that people are not worried much for the well being of kids. It makes us feel very worried for our friends.

But we blame the tobacco industry for these problems. It is absolutely revolting that tobacco companies are allowed to trick young kids into buying products that may look like candy and taste like candy but are really tobacco products! They even pay drug stores to put the tobacco with the candy aisle and at eye-level to get minors to buy it. They are taking advantage of the lack of knowledge given to teens about their products. They are taking advantage of kids in general.

We need more help educating people about how horrible tobacco is! We’re spreading the word ourselves. We especially want other teens to be aware, because 90 percent of adult smokers started before they turned 18! If we talk to teens now about how tobacco will affect their future, maybe they won’t start using it in the first place.

Percentage of Smokers Drops in Vermont

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

cheap leana cigarettesWhile 76,000 Vermont adults still smoke cheap Leana cigarettes, their numbers are declining. Results from an annual behavo­rial risk factor telephone survey released Wednesday peg the per­centage of adult smokers at 15 per­cent in 2010 compared with 17 per­cent in 2009. More than 7,000 Vermonters older than 18 were queried in the survey, which is funded by the U.S. Centers for Dis­ease Control and Prevention.

The Vermont Department of Health released the smoking data on the eve of today’s 36th anniver­sary of the Great American Smoke­out — a day when many smokers attempt to quit.

“We’re encouraged by the re­duction in the overall number of Vermont smokers,” Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen said. “We realize that quitting smoking is one of the most diffi­cult behavorial changes a person can make.”

Despite recent progress in shrinking the number of smokers, the state missed its 2010 target of 11 percent. The 2020 target for adults and youth will be 12 percent. The youth smoking rate today is 13 per­cent.

“We are definitely finding that folks are more addicted,” Yvonne Zietlow, media specialist for the health department’s tobacco con­trol program, said of the group who still smokes. Among Ver­monters with incomes close to the poverty level, the smoking rate is 30 percent, she said.

Smoking’s toll can be measured in lives and dol­lars, according to the health department. The state esti­mates 850 Vermonters die each year from smoking-re­lated illness, and tobacco use runs up a $233 million health care bill annually.

Vermont taxpayers pay a share of the health care bill because $72 million in smok­ing related costs are found in Medicaid, a government­subsidized health insurance program that covers people with low incomes.

Zietlow said the Great American Smokeout and New Year’s Day are often dates smokers choose for quit attempts. The time of year can also be stressful, making it hard to give up smoking, she said.

To support smokers’ at­tempts to quit, the Vermont Quit Network offers free nicotine replacement sup­plies, such as patches, loz­enges and gum, if smokers register for free online sup­port during November, De­cember and January.

Marion County Smoking Ban Not Supported

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

discount cigarettes online storeTwo days after the City-County Council president upstaged them, Smoke Free Indy and two council members began their push Thursday for a comprehensive smoking ban.

Their plan faces a rocky road. It goes further than President Ryan Vaughn’s surprise proposal and has many fewer exemptions, making Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s support unlikely.

But with both proposals facing political obstacles in coming weeks and months, the comprehensive ban’s sponsors may have an unlikely ally — bar owners who would be forced to banish smoking either way.

A group called Save Indianapolis Bars plans to lobby council members to minimize exemptions so private clubs and other competitors don’t gain a leg up. It counts about 1,300 bar owners, employees and patrons as members.

Two years ago, the group took out radio ads opposing an expansion of Marion County’s 2005 smoke-free law. But many bar owners now see the writing on the wall.

“What we’re looking at is trying to get them to not play favorites,” said Brad Klopfenstein, the group’s spokesman and managing partner of Claude & Annie’s on the Far Westside.

“If it’s a health issue that they’re concerned about,” he added, “exempting anybody pretty much says that it’s not a health issue.”

Some bar owners are preparing for “a horrible 2012,” Klopfenstein said, with the smoking ban expected to cause lost business and, in some cases, bars to close.

Anti-smoking advocacy group Smoke Free Indy, which backs only the comprehensive plan so far, estimates 370 bars and other establishments still allow smoking. Most likely would be covered under an expanded ban.

By the group’s count, Vaughn’s proposal would exclude about 60 from the smoking ban: nearly 20 cigar and hookah bars, five retail tobacco shops, and 35 nonprofit private organizations, including country clubs, social clubs, fraternal organizations and veterans halls.

Only the retail tobacco shops would be exempted by the proposal outlined by council members Angela Mansfield, a Democrat, and Ben Hunter, a Republican.

Both would close the current workplace smoking ban’s exclusions for stand-alone bars, bowling alleys and some other places.

An expanded ban would not cover Beech Grove and Southport, which lack smoking bans, or Speedway and Lawrence, which have bans similar to Marion County’s current law.

Hunter and Mansfield kicked off their push Thursday outside the council chambers in the City-County Building. They stood alongside Smoke Free Indy and other anti-smoking advocates, including Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director of the Marion County Health Department.

Smoke Free Indy has begun running radio and print ads dedicated to Alice Curry, Columbus, an advocate for smoking bans. Curry never smoked but died in July at 66 after a nearly two-year battle with lung cancer — possibly caused by lifelong exposure to secondhand smoke.

Once Democrats take control of the council Jan. 1 with a 16-13 majority, Mansfield is confident she’ll have 18 votes for a comprehensive ban among the 29 new and returning members.

But without Ballard’s support, that won’t matter.

Yet while Vaughn’s proposal has backing from Ballard, a fellow Republican, that’s not enough, either. Vaughn, who plans to introduce his proposal Dec. 5, can’t win passage without support from most Democrats, since most in his party oppose the idea.

So a stalemate is taking shape in the remaining weeks of the Republicans’ council majority.

Mansfield expressed hope that Ballard would sit down with her and Hunter “to see exactly where he is on the issue.” Marc Lotter, Ballard’s spokesman, said such a meeting shouldn’t be a problem in coming weeks, as long as Vaughn also is at the table.

An attempt to reach Vaughn on Thursday was not successful.

“We’re both open to compromise,” Hunter said. “We’ll look at (Vaughn’s) language when we get it in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Lotter and Lindsay Grace, Smoke Free Indy’s chairwoman, have conferred already, with Grace offering to assist in crafting Vaughn’s exemptions. The group is waiting to see his final proposal before expressing support or opposition.

“We’re talking,” Lotter said, “and we’re working toward the same goal.”

Mansfield, Hunter and Vaughn all say they want to rid bars of smoking before Super Bowl activities begin in late January, but Mansfield amended that goal Thursday: “I’d much rather see a good, comprehensive proposal in place, even if it’s after the Super Bowl.”

Vaughn said earlier this week that timing was the reason for his surprise push. He sees a requirement for a period of published notice as a stumbling block before the Super Bowl. Mansfield disagrees that it would be.

But Vaughn said supporters of a more comprehensive ban should support his proposal as an “interim step.”

Smoking Ban Warner Exemption Request

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

cheap mt cigarettes onlineAre snuffed out cigars and cheap MT cigarettes the smoking guns that have doused the dollars spent on gaming in Deadwood? Sen. Tom Nelson, R-Lead, believes so, and in an effort to light a fire toward putting the industry back in the black, will propose legislation that exempts Deadwood casinos from the smoking ban that took effect in 2009, a measure that passed 65 percent to 35 percent on that year’s general election ballot.

“As far as my legislative package goes, there are some things in there that need good discussion,” Nelson said. “I hope our legislators will see their way to help out our local economy.”

Nelson’s proposed exemption legislation reads: “Exceptions to the smoking ban in certain Deadwood gaming establishments and certain fraternal, service and veteran’s organizations,” and is followed up by a summary statement that reads: “Any gaming operator in Deadwood as licensed in 42-7B, PLUS specific fraternal, service or veteran’s organizations with an on sale liquor license shall be exempt from the smoking ban.”

Nelson said his primary goal is to get the exemption for Deadwood, in an effort to revive the sagging gaming economy.
“We now have a year’s worth of numbers to show,” Nelson said. “Every month since the smoking ban took effect, save December, we’ve either been down or flat. It’s partially the economy and yes, tourism is down. But if you look at the numbers just two years ago, Deadwood was consistently growing — 7 to 10 percent up every month. So being down 7 percent, for example, is actually a 14 percent swing. I believe that even if there originally was an exemption for Deadwood on the ballot, it still would have passed. I think there’s a different mindset about Deadwood, an ‘I don’t want it in my backyard, but it’s OK if it’s out there.’”

Nelson said that there is definitely room for maneuvering on the proposed measures. “For example, it may have to be just on the gaming floor only,” Nelson said. “I’ll put it in front of the governor’s staff and anything he can’t live with, we will come up with ways to make more palatable and hopefully, we can work with that as well.”

Rep. Fred Romkema, R-Spearfish, said that shown the numbers, he would support the exemption for Deadwood. “I’ve supported all previous legislation that sought to exempt Deadwood gaming from the smoking ban,” Romkema said. “Given data that would indicate that the smoking cessation or restriction contributed to the economic downturn of gaming establishments in Deadwood, I would support the exemption for Deadwood, segregated areas for smoking.”
Rep. Chuck Turbiville, R-Deadwood, also made a show of support for the measure.

“I support the pending legislation, not because I think we should have smoking in Deadwood,” Turbiville said “but because I look at it as a property rights issue. I think people should be able to do with their property as they see fit. With that in mind, I plan to support the bill as long as it does not go outside the boundaries of Deadwood, only designates casinos and is owner optional.”

Brad Hemmah, general manager of Deadwood Mountain Grand and First Gold said that the smoking ban makes it difficult for Deadwood casinos to stay competitive and would support the proposed legislation.

“I think it’s vital to the competitiveness of our industry,” Hemmah said. “I would support that language. Our competition in Deadwood looks at Deadwood as being one industry in itself, even though there are several owners and operators. We’re trying to compete against other casinos that don’t have the tax burden we uniquely have in Deadwood and it’s hard. It’s difficult to compete. As we go up against other casinos with smoking, including Nevada casinos, we’re having trouble competing. Not only can you smoke there, they have a full complement of games and other jurisdictions don’t have the tax burdens we have.”

Nelson will also propose a handful of other gaming-related legislation, including the following.

• A repeal of the additional 1 percent gross revenue tax imposed on Deadwood gaming.
Nelson will try to get 42-7B-28 repealed, which is a 2009 initiative designed to generate $4 million in additional revenues from Deadwood gaming.

Removing the cap of three retail gaming licenses for Deadwood gaming operators, which would amend 42-7B-26 to allow operator license holders to obtain an unlimited number of retail licenses.

• Eliminate the gross revenue tax in Deadwood being applied to free play, which would involve amending 42-7B-26 so that adjusted gross proceeds shall not include any free or promotional play provided by the operator to a customer that has no cash value.

“For example, we don’t tax farm inputs, such as seed and fertilizer,” Nelson said. “It’s only the final product that’s taxed. Free play is a marketing input.”

• Increase the bet limits on games in Deadwood from $100 to unlimited.

And place a measure on the ballot to expand the type of games offered in Deadwood.
“This obviously requires more discussion, but craps and roulette, primarily, come to mind,” Nelson said.

Non-gaming related legislation that Nelson plans to introduce includes changing some restrictions on personalized license plates to include allowing Gold Star families to display that emblem on motorcycles, Bronze Star recipients to display the appropriate plate and that single numbers or letters (other than one or two) be allowed as personalized plates on either motorcycles or automobiles.

“More than anything, I believe these were oversights when the original legislation was drafted,” Nelson said.
Nelson will also push to allow a refund of permit fee for precious metals mining operations, proposing that the annual permit fee of $50,000 on gold mining operations be refunded (or deducted) from the severance taxes paid if those annual taxes exceed $100,000.

“I feel the permit fee has unintended consequences,” Nelson said. “This was more geared toward uranium operations, more toward exploratory companies. In the case of Wharf, for example, they’re paying an unfair tax. In light of the fact that they pay millions in severance tax, $50,000 on top of that seems petty.”

Finally, Nelson will work to repeal the reduction in state aid to general education funding for any school district that receives proceeds from the Commission on Gaming.

Nelson cited the example of the Spearfish School District which received nearly $300,000 in pro rated gaming funds a couple of years ago. Instead of receiving the gaming funds on top of state aid, the district’s state aid was reduced by the amount they received from the gaming commission, making the fund distribution a “wash.”

Tobacco Industry Misled on Cigarette Additives

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

cigarettes additives onlineResearchers said Wednesday the tobacco industry of misled smokers over the safety of additives in cigarettes after they reanalyzed the data from a decade old study by scientists working for the American cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris.

The original study by the cigarette maker showed that there was “no evidence of substantial toxicity” associated with the additives studied.

The tobacco industry have deceived the public about additives in cigarettes, found a new study. More regulation could be placed on the tobacco industry. Cigarette butts fill an ashtray outside a construction site in Central, a business district in Hong Kong.

However, researchers at the Centre for Tobacco Control Research at the University of California said, after conducting their own analysis that the original studies “cannot be taken at face value” and were designed to intentionally hide the dangers of the additives.

The researchers compared their assessment to the results from the original “Project Mix” tobacco sponsored study and found that 15 different poisonous chemicals increased by an average of 20 percent.

Furthermore, researchers said that for “unexplained reasons” Philip Morris had purposely de-emphasized 19 of the 51 chemicals tested in their results which included nine of the 15 chemicals that were significantly increased.
Stanton Glantz, the lead author for the new research, said that the results were unsurprising and said there was a long history of big tobacco manipulating scientific results to benefit themselves.

Glantz said tobacco firms had spent many years preparing for the increasing likelihood tougher regulation for their products, including the regulation of additives.

Researchers explained that additives were sometimes used to make smoke feel less irritating, to make cigarettes more addictive and to add better taste.

The study went over about 60 million pages of documents from the tobacco industry that had been turned over during litigation.

“While the procedures to collect the data themselves appear sound, the way that the data were analyzed and interpreted is not,” researchers wrote.

In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration had prohibited flavor additives in cigarettes, with an exception on menthol.
Gantz said that the FDA and other law makers should now use the industry’s own data to eliminate the cigarettes-news/menthol-cigarettes-feel-freshness additives.