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British American Tobacco Sells Its First Bonds

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

discount pall mall cigarettesBritish American Tobacco Plc, Europe’s largest cigarette maker, raised 600 million euros ($828 million) from its first bond sale in 16 months. The 10-year securities were priced to yield 123 basis points more than the benchmark swap rate, according to a banker with knowledge of the transaction.

That compares with a spread of 105 basis points that investors demand to hold the London- based company’s 4 percent bonds due 2020 it issued in June last year, Bloomberg Bond Trader prices show.

The maker of Lucky Strike and Pall Mall cheap cigarettes sold bonds as European leaders hold emergency talks to ensure their week-old strategy to combat the region’s debt crisis doesn’t unwind. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou rattled markets after announcing a parliamentary confidence vote and his desire for a referendum on the bailout plan for his country.

“Given market uncertainty it is prudent to consider issuing some longer-term debt when the window of opportunity presents itself to pre-fund 2012,” Catherine Armstrong, a London-based spokeswoman for BAT, said in an e-mailed statement. “We intend to take advantage of any windows of opportunity in November to access the markets, but as our ability to access the market is headline and sentiment driven, timing is uncertain.”

Barclays Capital, Citigroup Inc., ING Groep NV and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc managed the sale. The notes were issued by B.A.T. International Finance Plc.

The tobacco company said investor demand was for bonds with maturities in the 2018 to 2022 areas.

Cigarette Prices Should Rise, Japan Health Minister

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

cheapest pall mall cigarettesTobacco taxes in Japan should be raised until the average price of a pack of cigarettes is about 700 yen ($9.15), or 75 percent higher than the current level, to cut medical costs, Health Minister Yoko Komiyama said.

The ministry, which is participating in a tax panel session, will push for increasing tobacco levies by 100 yen annually for three years, Komiyama said. Most panel members agreed with the idea last year, she said.

Efforts to raise duties have been complicated by government ownership of a controlling stake in Japan Tobacco Inc., the world’s third-biggest publicly traded cigarette maker, and concerns that tax revenue may decline for a country facing the world’s largest public debt. Smoking in Japan was responsible for at least 4.3 trillion yen in medical costs and economic losses in 2005, according to the Institute for Health Economics and Policy.

“At that level, we can expect people who want to quit smoking to stop, while maintaining the level of tax revenue,” said Komiyama, 63, who became minister on Sept. 2. “It’s also the best way to prevent underage smoking Pall Mall cigarettes.”

Almost 10 percent of Japanese under 20 years old had smoked at least once, with 1.2 percent of them smoking every day, according to a study funded by the health ministry in 2007.

Japan Tobacco Stake

The tax panel, led by Finance Minister Jun Azumi, proposes reducing the government’s stake in Japan Tobacco to a third from about half, he said Sept. 16. The maker of Mild Seven and Camel cigarettes has gained 22 percent this year in Tokyo trading, giving it a market value of 3.7 trillion yen, or $48 billion.

The average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes increased by 33 percent last October to 400 yen, or about $5.20. That compares with the average price of $10.80 in New York City, where taxes were raised in July 2010.

“If the price is over 500 yen, it will damage the sales of tobacco, but cigarette companies can still get profit since a tax increase will also benefit the profitability of the companies,” said Mikihiko Yamato, a research partner at Japan Invest KK.

Children’s Fund

Japan Tobacco rose as much as 5.2 percent, the biggest intraday gain in almost two weeks, to 367,000 yen before trading at 366,500 yen as of 12:33 p.m. on Tokyo’s stock exchange.

The proposal to increase taxes is in accordance with the manifesto of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, Komiyama said. The manifesto calls for abolishing a law that the government own more than half of Japan Tobacco’s outstanding shares and says tobacco-related issues should be included in the “health agenda,” she said.

The cigarette maker said Sept. 6 it wants the government to sell its shares and use the funds to finance reconstruction after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami left more than 20,000 people dead or missing.

The Children’s Investment Fund Management UK LLP, the London hedge fund founded by Christopher Cooper-Hohn, has been lobbying for Japan Tobacco to buy back at least 17 percent of its stock and raise dividends.

The volume of cigarette sales fell about 20 percent since the tax was added in October, and further price increases will accelerate the decline, Japan Tobacco has said.

6 Million Deaths

Central and regional governments raise about 2 trillion yen in tax revenue each year from tobacco, according to the finance ministry.

One of every four adults in Japan smoked in 2009, according to Japan Tobacco. That’s down from one in three in 2000.

“You have to have political will to bring down smoking rates,” said Judith McKay, a Hong Kong-based senior adviser to the World Lung Foundation who has campaigned for stricter tobacco control. “Japan is the one exception.”

In the U.S., one of every five adults smokes cigarettes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking was estimated to be responsible for $193 billion in annual health-related economic losses in the U.S. between 2000 and 2004, according to the CDC.

Tobacco-related illnesses comprise one of the biggest public-health threats and kill almost 6 million people, including 600,000 non-smokers, a year, according to the World Health Organization. Almost 80 percent of the world’s 1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, the Geneva- based agency said on its website.

Carried a Sign

Japan’s health ministry also will submit legislation at the session requiring businesses to ban smoking or provide separate smoking sections, Komiyama said. The ministry probably will give exceptions to restaurants and hotels for a few years and subsidize the purchase of ventilation equipment, she said.

“It may be extreme to say this, but I’m not stopping people from shortening their lives themselves,” Komiyama said. “But I don’t want to let them cause trouble for others.”

Komiyama began advocating anti-smoking measures when she became a lawmaker in 1998 and found other legislators smoked in the parliament buildings and at meetings. She said she had been careful about protecting her throat when she worked as an anchorwoman for public broadcaster NHK for more than 20 years.

“I walked around with a sign that said ‘no smoking at my table’ to every meeting I attended,” Komiyama said. “Then many lawmakers who didn’t enjoy the smoke began sitting near me. That’s how this started.”

Tobacco Selling in Prohibited Places

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

cheap pall mall cigaretteSale and consumption of tobacco may be banned within 100 yards of premises of educational institutes, but a look around the cityscape reveals an alarming number of vendors selling Pall Mall cigarettes and other tobacco products within the restricted zone outside schools and colleges across Noida.

Most of the vends have been found to be operating outside educational institutes in sectors 12, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 39 and 126. A number of kiosks have been set up in the vicinity of many hospitals.

“Under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, selling tobacco products within 100 yards of school and college premises as well as medical institutions is prohibited,” said a senior officer of the district administration. Moreover, schools and colleges are supposed to inform of any violation, but authorities allege they hardly receive any complaints.

The administration also claims that on its part they have been carrying out various campaigns to discourage tobacco use amongst youth. The most recent one has been setting up of an ‘anti-smoking cell’ that will penalize those who have a habit of smoking in public places. “Schools should make sure there are no shops within 100 yards of the their premises. School heads are supposed to inform authorities if shops near the school are found selling cigarettes,” said a member of the district ‘anti-smoking cell’. Local residents say that when they complain the kiosks are removed, but after a few days they come back. “Vendors close to educational institutions need to stop selling tobacco products, failing which they need to be taken to task very strictly,” said a concerned parent residing in sector 17.

Ironically, the district hospital gate in sector 30 is another venue where a ‘mobile’ tobacco vendor sets up shop. This gate is also the entry point for the chief medical superintendent, chief medical officer and a number of health officials. Shockingly, the CMO is one of the core members of the recently constituted ‘anti-smoking cell’. However, no one seems to pay heed to this menace.”I live in sector 28 and this shop right opposite the school located in sector 29 blatantly vends cigarettes to young school kids. If I can see this happening why can’t the people in charge?” asks Major (Retd) Carl Mascarenhas, a resident.

“There is a dire need to remove these permanent as well as the scores of makeshift carts that do brisk business outside many educational institutions,” he added.

Meanwhile, the ‘anti-smoking cell’ constituted by the district administration “will initially be active in Greater Noida and then Noida will also be covered,” said Hirdesh Kumar, district magistrate.

Teen Marijuana Use is on the Rise

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

pall mall cigarettes onlineMarijuana is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in America and a prime candidate for legalization in the not-so-distant future.

Given these twin facts, it is not surprising that marijuana use is on the rise for teens and that they question the harmfulness of periodically smoking Pall Mall cigarettes a joint. After all, they argue, it isn’t like heroin or cocaine, where taking it once might kill me.

It is also understandable that many adults — especially those who experimented with marijuana in their youth – feel uncomfortable discussing this drug with their child.

My hope is that parents will use the information below to talk with their teen about abstinence and/or harm reduction if drug use has already begun (e.g., not driving and/or engaging in risky sexual behavior while under the influence).

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a dry, shredded, brown and green mix of seeds, leaves, stems, and flowers derived from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa that contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), a powerful psychoactive or mind-altering chemical.

The plant itself is easy to grow and relatively inexpensive to purchase.

According to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug. This means it is illegal to buy, possess, manufacture, process, or distribute without a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license. Distributors and users both can be sentenced to jail time.

Street names for marijuana include pot, weed, Mary Jane, reefer, ganja, gangster, boom, and grass.

How It Works

Marijuana can be smoked in many ways. It can be rolled in the form of a cigarette (joint), mixed with tobacco and put it inside a hollowed-out cigar (blunt), or used in a pipe (bong).

The drug can also be brewed as a tea and/or cooked inside food. Perhaps the most well-known culinary product is “Alice B. Toklas brownies.” Made famous in the 1960s, these are ordinary brownies with chopped up marijuana added to the batter before cooking.

Why is marijuana pleasurable?

The simple answer is that regardless of how it is ingested, the drug increases the supply of dopamine – a “feel good” chemical – in the user’s brain, creating euphoria or a “high.” The following effects appear within a few minutes of inhaling, peak after about 10 to 30 minutes, and wear off within 2 to 3 hours.

However, this enjoyment carries with it some risk, as seen below in the section on negative consequences.

Who Is Using Marijuana?

The NIDA-funded 2010 Monitoring the Future Study (MTF) indicates that marijuana use has become increasingly popular for students in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, while their perceived health risk of using this drug continues to decline.

Most dramatic is the rise in reported daily marijuana use for all three grades.

Current reported daily use rates are 6.1 percent of 12th graders, 3.3 percent of 10th graders, and 1.2 percent of 8th graders compared to 2009 rates of 5.2 percent, 2.8 percent, and 1.0 percent, respectively.

For high school seniors — many of whom are new drivers — this reflects a daily or near-daily marijuana use by nearly one in sixteen students.

Equally powerful is the decline in student belief that using this drug is risky.

This perception decreased nearly 6 percent for 12th graders (from 52.4 percent in 2009 to 46.8 percent in 2010) and more than 2 percent for 10th graders (from 59.5 percent in 2009 to 57.2 percent in 2010).

There is no reason to believe these statistics are any different for local middle and high school students.

Clearly, both school and community prevention efforts are not enough. It is critical that parents educate themselves and their teens about the nature and potential consequences of marijuana use on developing minds and bodies.

Potentially harmful consequences of marijuana begin almost immediately after the first inhale, or toke. Within minutes, heart rate increases, bronchial passages relax and become enlarged, and eye blood vessels expand creating the red eyes associated with using the drug.

Heart rate may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute over the usual rate of 70 to 80 beats or may even double. Evidence suggests that heart attack risk during the first hour after smoking marijuana is as much as four times the person’s usual risk.

In addition, THC negatively impacts parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time, causing immediate impairment in:
These adverse responses are likely to end as soon as the drug wears off. There are, however, potential long-term effects of chronic marijuana use. Researchers agree that:

Daily or near-daily use of marijuana has the potential to create impairment in memory, learning skills, sleep patterns, and school performance

As many as one in six individuals who start using marijuana as teens become addicted to it

For youth with a family history of psychosis or schizophrenia, the risk of developing such psychoses in adulthood is significantly increased for those smoking marijuana five or more times a week.

Finally, the purity of street-purchased marijuana cannot be ascertained by visual inspection. The possibility that it has been laced with another, more dangerous substance such as cocaine, crack, PCP, or even embalming fluid exists with each buy.

As always, the keys to having a productive conversation are respectful listening and making it clear that health and safety are your prime concerns. Don’t be afraid to discuss the harm reduction strategies mentioned earlier. It is better that your child has a plan for action (or inaction) before his or her inhibitions are reduced by the drug.

If you can, make a contract with your teen that he will not engage in risky behaviors and will call you if she cannot handle the situation or need a ride home.

Finally, use the services of a counselor trained in this area if you still have questions. Trust that every effort you make will pay lifelong dividends to your child.

Dangers of Fake Cigarettes

Monday, August 15th, 2011

buy pall mall cigarettes onlineWigan smokers were today being warned about the added dangers of couterfeit tobacco after a haul was confiscated during a raid on a local pound shop. After receiving a number of tip-offs from the public, Wigan Council’s Trading Standards officers organised the raid which led to the seizure of 1,300 Pall Mall cigarettes and 1.2kg of hand rolled tobacco from an unnamed budget store in Leigh town center.

The illegal tobacco, which was being sold under the counter to customers, was found in a hideaway in the back of the shop.

Initial tests have shown it to be counterfeit and the products are now being sent for further examination.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet champion for communities and the environment, said: “The sale of counterfeit goods is a serious criminal offence and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

“The urge to buy things ‘under the counter’ can prove irresistible, particularly during a credit crunch.

“But people need to be made aware of the potential risks they may be taking. Counterfeit tobacco products can be unsafe and potentially even more harmful than the genuine item.

“All tobacco is unhealthy but counterfeit tobacco is made by organised criminal gangs without any regard to quality or safety standards.

“Please don’t turn a blind eye to this issue. It isn’t a victimless crime.

“Children and under-age adults could be getting hold of these products and potentially causing untold long term damage to their health.

“We are grateful to those people who came forward with information because without their help, ridding our neighbourhoods of these illicit and dangerous goods would be all the more difficult.”

In the last 12 months 25,000 cigarettes and 12 kilos of cheap illegal tobacco has been seized from shops and residential houses in the Wigan and Leigh area.

Earlier this year 67-year-old Ian Fitton, of Maple Crescent in Leigh, pleaded guilty to fraudulently evading paying any duty on a large stash of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco before Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutors told how officers from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and trading standards searched his house and discovered a large stash of counterfeit cigarettes – many of which were not even known to be available on the European market – and hand-rolling tobacco.

Heavy Smokers, Smoking Struggle

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

cheap pall mall cigarettes onlineA new study suggests another reason for why people struggle to quit smoking – a habit that kills tens of thousands of Canadians each year. People who smoke a pack or more of cigarettes daily had elevated levels of a protein known as monoamine oxidase in their brains in the early stages of abstaining from smoking Pall Mall cigarettes, a Canadian study reported Tuesday.

That chemical is found at high levels in people with clinical depression.

The Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health discovered the protein by doing brain scans of heavy smokers eight hours after having their last cigarette.

These smokers also reported increased feelings of sadness in questionnaires done as part of the study.

Monoamine oxidase is a protein that feeds on other chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, which helps regulate mood.

While past research has shown elevated levels of monoamine oxidase in people diagnosed with clinical depression, creators of this study said it was the first time it was studied in connection to cigarette withdrawal.

The researchers said such findings could explain why smokers are at a higher risk of suffering from depression – almost twice that of the general population, according to Jeffrey Meyer, a senior scientist with the Centre for Addiction who led the study.

The findings were based on brain scans of 48 subjects, half of whom were non-smokers and the smoking factions were evenly divided between those who smoke 15 to 24 cigarettes a day and those who smoke 25 or more.

Those in the heavy-smoking category saw their monoamine oxidase levels rise about 25 per cent eight hours after having their last cigarette. No significant change was seen among the more moderate smokers.

It provides another possible reason why quitting smoking is so difficult – creating unpleasant emotions among those attempting to stop. Meyer said the effect is completely separate from nicotine addiction.

The study said a key factor in the findings could be the presence of a substance called harman in cigarette smoke. This suppresses monoamine oxidase in the brain of a person who has just had a cigarette. The study shows that this substance rebounds to higher-than normal levels in heavy smokers in withdrawal.

“The more we understand about mechanisms, the more sophisticated prevention strategies we can come up with,” Meyer said.

For example, he suggested efforts could be made to develop drugs that suppress monoamine oxidase in people who are trying to stop smoking.

Loss of Liquor License After Smoking Ban Violations

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

discount pall mall cigarettes onlineDave Pitzer’s mad. “I am not paid by the state of Ohio over here to enforce their laws,” says Pitzer. He’s the son of the owner of Peg’s Pub. He invited us inside the darkened bar to show it has “No Smoking” signs up on the front door and beyond.

But Pitzer says, regardless, patrons want to smoke Pall Mall cigarettes and he doesn’t want to lose their business.

“When people light up, we tell them, by law you are not supposed to smoke in here. But I’d be a stupid business owner if I rand them out because they are paying customers. If I ran them out, I’d lose 30 to 50 percent of my business,” says Pitzer.

It’s illegal to smoke in any bar or restaurant in the state of Ohio. So over the last few months, Peg’s Pub has been cited by the state many times and the owners now owes more than fifty thousand dollars in fines.

Dave says his family’s been paying that down.

“We’ve been paying a hundred dollar a month money order for the last, ballpark year and a half,” says Pitzer.

Now the state has sent a certified letter telling the Pitzer family they’ve lost the liquor licence for Peg’s Pub. The smoking violations are simply too many.

Word about this has spread fast.

I found some folks who said Peg’s Pub is often the place to be.

“Oh yeah. This parking lot is packed. On Friday night, if we work late, its hard to find a place to park our service vans. So, it was a well established establishment,” says patron Tim Heim.

Peg’s Put remains open for now. Pitzer says he’s going to fight the state on this one. He says it’s not about smoking, but about getting the state to “butt out” of small business.

The Pitzer’s have 30 days to fight the judgement.