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Greenville Prison Guard Allows Contraband Cigarettes

Friday, September 16th, 2011

discount classic cigarettesA guard at the federal prison in Greenville, caught with contraband Classic cigarettes in his pants, pleaded guilty Thursday to five federal charges, admitting he took thousands of dollars of bribes for smuggling. Just days after Dreaux Michael Perkins started working at the prison in October 2009, he had a conversation with an inmate about his finances.

That chat led to a deal, in which Perkins took cash to smuggle contraband cigarettes to the inmate, Khalat J. Alama, who then resold them for a profit to fellow inmates, Perkins’ plea agreement says.

One of Alama’s relatives wired $600 to Perkins, who lives in Greenville, at a grocery there on June 4, 2010, as payment, his plea says.

On May 12, 2011, Perkins met a woman identified only as “Liz” at a St. Louis restaurant, accepting $2,000 in cash and multiple packs of cigarettes. He then went straight to the Argosy Casino in Alton and gambled away all his bribe money, his plea says.

Perkins was caught with 60 cigarettes in two plastic bags when federal agents searched him at the prison two days later. One was hidden in his underwear; the other in a pocket.

Officials said Perkins lied twice to an FBI agent investigating the case: once, before he was searched, when he denied having any contraband, and again when he denied accepting the $2,000 bribe money.

Perkins pleaded guilty in federal court in East St. Louis of one count of bribery, two counts of honest services wire fraud and two counts of lying to the FBI.

At sentencing Dec. 22, the Army veteran could face 18 to 37 months in prison under federal guidelines, as well as a fine of $4,000 to $60,000.

A Bureau of Prison official said that while Perkins is still employed, it would not be unusual for someone in this situation to be placed on leave and dealt with administratively after the criminal case is resolved.

Alama, 26, has pleaded not guilty. He is serving a sentence of more than 15 years on a drug conspiracy charge and has been moved from the Greenville prison. His lawyer, Robert Herman, declined to comment on the case Thursday.

Anti-Smoking Activists Influence on Tobacco Price

Friday, September 9th, 2011

discount classic cigarettesPressure from anti-smoking activists has impacted on the price of tobacco and Classic cigarettes which currently stands at about US$2.66 per kg from about US$3.43 per kg last year.

Tobacco Association of Zambia (TAZ) general manager Knox Mbazima said the price has gone down due to the World Health Organisation (WHO) framework convention on tobacco control which sets out specific steps for governments to address tobacco use and adopt tax and price measures to reduce tobacco consumption.

Mr Mbazima said the sector is no longer profitable, adding that the cost of production is high at about US$10,000 per hectare.

“We have faced a lot of challenges such as low prices and the pressure is too much for the farmer especially that the production cost has gone up. It is difficult for the farmer to break even with such prices,” he said.

Mr Mbazima said this in an interview in Lusaka recently, adding that there is need to reduce the cost of production if the farmers are to break even.

Mr Mbazima said while the price of tobacco is not controlled locally, there is need for the country to reduce the cost of fertiliser and fuel.

“We do not control the price of tobacco as the price is controlled externally, but as a country we can bring down the cost of production by reducing the cost of fertiliser and fuel,” he said.

He, however, said the number of TAZ members has increased with small-scale farmers being the majority. Mr Mbazima said the association currently has about 2,000 members out of which 1,800 are small-scale farmers.

He said tobacco has increased on the TAZ floor to over 16 million kgs from 12 million kgs last year representing a 25 percent increase.

Smoking Cautions in Stores

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

classic cigarettes onlineThe city of Philadelphia may require retailers to post controversial health warnings wherever tobacco is sold. The Health Department is gathering public comment on the proposal this week.

In a similar move last year, New York City tried to force shopkeepers to post retail signs on the health harms of tobacco.

That effort, which included images of decayed gums and diseased lungs, was shot down in federal district court. A judge colorfully called retailers “merchants of morbidity” but said only the U.S. government has the authority to regulate tobacco advertising and labeling.

Giridhar Mallya leads policy and planning for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. He said point-of sale warnings may educate people who underestimate the health risks of Classic cigarettes and cigars.

“We are aware of the New York litigation that occurred in regard to the New York City,” Mallya said. “It’s important for people to know that that initial decision is being appealed in U.S. Circuit courts. Here in Philadelphia we believe that there is appropriate legal authority and standing.”

New York City posters were dubbed “too graphic” by some opponents.

Mallya says Philadelphia’s point-of-sale signs would include both text and images, but the Board of Health has not decided what images would be used.

The Philadelphia Dominican Grocers Association opposes the proposal. President Danilo Burgos said anti-smoking education is important, but shouldn’t be foisted on retailers.

“It’s the easy way out for officials to blame mom and pop stores,” Burgos said. “We don’t know of a lot of education programs they have going on in our public schools.”

Unlawful Tobacco Products

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

classic cigarettes onlineWe have control over what we are eating and drinking and should have the privilege of breathing clean air. We should not only ban smoking Classic cigarettes everywhere, but make all tobacco products illegal.

If the states are allowing it for tax purposes, weigh the revenue against the suffering and medical expenses. Where is the profit?

The letter to the editor on July 25 by Tom Gwin (“Smokers infringe on others’ rights”) is excellent. The letter of July 26 by Terry Weaver (“Smoking bans infringe on individual rights”) is not logical.

You can’t compare drinking with tobacco. Both are harmful but alcohol does not have the stifling, stinking aroma. I have no connections with bars or grills but I do encounter the smothering air when I get out of my car at the grocery parking lot. Someone has always just filled the air with smoke, and it is impossible to dodge. I can’t hold my breath long enough to avoid it. Just that exposure smothers me and gives me a headache.

If your lungs could talk, they would be crying out, “Why are you punishing me and wasting your money?” What have you accomplished by pulling this detrimental polluted aroma into your body and blowing it back out?

No Realization of Banning Smoking Regulation

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

cheapest classic cigarettes onlineRecently enforced the Tobacco Control and Regulation Act-2068, which had came into effect from Sunday, has raised a concern in the society with the suspicion that it would not come into proper implementation. Not only in the nation level but also the international communities applaud the government’s effort to control smoking Classic cigarettes through the law.

As per the provision of the law, everybody will be responsible to ban smoking in public places. Interesting part of the law is that it has also provisioned even to checking sales in the market places. If anybody ignores the act and smoke in public places like public offices, educational institutions and others public places the government can slap a fine ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 100,000. However, Nepal is not new to enforce the law as most of the developed countries and even some developing nations of South Asia have also already exercised the same act.

Despite being the moral responsibility of the every individual to abide by the act, there are looming suspicions that it would not come into proper implementation as it was declared without making sufficient grounds. There is obvious that not only the smoking but also the consuming tobacco and alcohols and others injurious habits should be prohibited from the country.

Abiding the law, which are directly associated to the people and the nation, should not be taken as the merely respect to the law and the government. If the government became success to implement the act and the people become supportive to implementation the law, it will not only be proved as the benefit for the individuals but also to the country at large. Nevertheless, people are already informed about the smoking and its implication in the health rather than the recently enforced law ant its provisions. So, the government must take strong initiatives to implement the law.

There is an established trend that no laws are coming into proper implementation in Nepal due to the government’s apathy. Now people have suspicions that the law too, would not come into proper implementation. The act has invited numerous doubts over the proper implementations. The government has declared about the law without pinpointing the enforcement agencies.

It would have envisaged that District Administration Office (DAO) is the government agencies to enforce the law but none of the state agencies even the DAO are informed to implement the law. Interestingly, the health Ministry has not any mechanism to monitor the implementation aspect of the law. If the government is really serious to implement the law rather than limiting it on the paper, it must clear the looming confusion over the implementing agencies with enhancing the capacities of the concerned agencies.

Tobacco Sales Decline in Utah, Tobacco Tax Hike

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

buy classic cigarettes onlineOne year after a $1 increase in Utah’s excise tax, sales of tobacco products have dropped 15 percent. The decrease has lawmakers and anti-smoking advocates cheering, pointing to it as an encouraging sign that the increased levy has spurred people to stop smoking Classic cigarettes.

However, tobacco industry insiders counter that people may just be buying their tobacco products at out-of-state retail stores.

“Depending on how you want to look at the data, clearly there’s been a move there downwards,” said David Sutton, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA. “We suspect what it is, as it is in most states, is cross-border sales.”

When the numbers are tallied, figures show approximately 10 million fewer packs of cigarettes were sold in Utah since the additional dollar was tacked onto the price on July 1, 2010. In contrast, tobacco sales jumped 20 percent in Evanston, Wyo. — a town just north of the Utah border — where the excise tax is more than $1 less. That translates into more than 400,000 packs of cigarettes sold in one town at a time when Wyoming sales were flat statewide, the news outlet reported.

Despite decreased sales, revenue from the tobacco tax has almost doubled to $119 million, according to the Utah Tax Commission. “You kind of get the best of both worlds,” said Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clearfield) who sponsored the increase. “We’ve had a huge decrease in smoking, basically, and had a huge increase in revenue from the tax.”

But as a consequence, small businesses may be paying the price. Jim Gibbs, owner of The Tobacco Store in South Salt Lake, said he’s already had to lay off one part-time employee and could have to cut his own salary in half. He said the increased tax hit especially hard since he was already losing money because of the poor economy.

“I might be on a slow decline of going out of business,” Gibbs said. “I’m just barely hanging on.”

There were early signs that the tax increase would have a noticeable effect on tobacco sales. As CSNews Online reported, Utah’s cigarette tax rose from 69.5 cents per pack to $1.70 on July 1, 2010. That month, orders for the tax stamps that have to be attached to every pack sold in the state fell dramatically.

Specifically during the first month, the Utah Tax Commission sold stamps for roughly 2.8 million packs of cigarettes, approximately half as many as it sold on average for the first five months of 2010, and a drop from the more than 9 million stamps it sold in June, the month before the increased tax took effect.

ASH Determined to Implement Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

best classic cigarettes onlineA 42 member’s Anti-Smoking group had smashed the threats of tobacco companies opposing to the plain packaging policy to be implied on cigarettes. As per David Crow, Chief Executive of British American Tobacco (BAT) Australia, objected to the policy saying that the policy could encourage duplicate Classic cigarette brands would have a better business in future.

The ASH group also comprised of people from SIDS and Kids, NSW Council of Churches, Australian Council of Social Service, and the Cancer Council Australia. As per Stafford Sanders, spokesman of the Protecting Children of tobacco lobby group said that the policy had made tobacco industries in a serious fix.

As per the ASH tobacco, the tobacco industry’s target the youth by introducing music, fashion and sport in their promotional activities, the group wanted to save children from being addicted to tobacco.

Dr Wayne Cooper, chair of the St George Division of General Practice, had brought into notice that by selling cigarettes at a low price, the commodity became easily available to children and may encourage smoking at a higher rate with people who already had a habit to smoke therefore, he suggested that plain packaging was an effective measure, to encourage people to quit smoking.