Category Archives: Smoking Room

Tobacco Companies Promote Their Products in Developing Countries

Suffering tough restrictions in the United States, multinational tobacco enterprises are more and more promoting their products in developing countries, mostly among women and adolescents.

While smoking rates in certain industrially developed countries are dropping at about 1% per year, those in developing countries are rising at around 3%.

Virginia Slims cigarettes

According to estimates, if present trends continue within next 30 years, more than 7 million people from developing countries will die from tobacco related illnesses.

For the past years, tobacco companies as British-American Tobacco, Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds have been extending rapidly in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

“In the US, Hispanic minorities have been mostly attracted by the tobacco manufacturers since the early 1960s, and have received a great dose of advertising,” said Jeanette Noltenius, an expert on tobacco and alcohol abuse issues.

Bureau of Census, U.S. Department of Commerce stated that the number of young Latino smokers will increase by 2020, constituting 19% of young American smokers, up from 9 at present.

Since 1980 the American trade officials, conducted a long campaign to open and promote markets in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. For instance in Taiwan all these efforts brought to increased levels of smoking mostly among women and kids.

These actions have urged the Asia-Pacific Association to stand against what they suppose an invasion of their countries by U.S. companies attracting Asian women and children.

Various researches demonstrate that in the poorest households in emerging countries, 10% or more of the total household expenditure is comprised in tobacco. Thus there is less money for main items like food, education and health that brings to unbalanced diet, illiteracy and premature death.

Currently in China tobacco enterprises are moving continuously inland with intensive advertisement campaigns. It was estimated that of the world’s 1.71 billion smokers, more than 350 million live in China, where the rate of lung cancer has been raising 4.75 % per year.

The Chinese government officials are facing a dilemma of advertising tobacco cessation programs while it substantially depends on profits from the state-run tobacco company.

Researches from the School of Public Health at the University of California declare that increasing the tobacco tax by the equivalent of 15% per cigarette pack could save more than 13 million lives and accumulate $9.5 billion in revenue for the Chinese government.

While U.S. anti-smoking organizations wait a particular moment for action, those in developing countries are less effective. Such countries’ policies and programs won’t be efficient unless transnational tobacco companies are made to limit their persistent promoting.




Philip Morris International is Expecting a Drop in Demand for its Tobacco Products

Chris Nelson, representative of the PMI, stated the tobacco industry may have problems in surpassing last year’s record sales due to the increase in the excise duties, which affected cigarette products. Nelson also stated that the increasing political crisis in the Middle East, which is the main destination for Filipino workers, might also be a reason of the slump in the demand for cigarettes.

Philip Morris International Drop in cigarette sales

“Last year, it was the case with significant volumes and a great demand. But this year our sales might suffer, tacking into account current situation in the Middle East,” the representative stated without giving any details.

“We shouldn’t forget about the increase in excise duties in January and higher prices would clearly influence demand,” Nelson declared.

But the market would proceed to develop because of propitious demographic like the country’s growing adult population.

“The industry’s growth has always been associated with the country’s population, which has been increasing by 1.7 % to 1.8% annually. Since 2005 the industry has increased by about 2%.

“The market is rather price sensitive since it is an indicator of the consumer’s expendable income. Any sudden tax increase would weaken the market. It would be judiciously to admit that the demand would be influenced but overall, the industry prospect, not peculiar to 2011, is favorable. The only warning is that the right excise duty system should be in place,” Nelson stated.

The cigarette producer has been forcing for the prolongation of the present excise duty system, which is expiring in 2013.

“Excise duties collection on tobacco products have raised significantly to P31.6 billion last year, surpassing the government’s objective of P25 billion. This proves one more time, that the system works and there is no motive for it to be changed,” Nelson said.

The Act Increasing the Excise Duties Rates Imposed on Alcohol and Tobacco Products, stipulates for increases every two years from 2005 to 2001. The scheme settles that alcohol and cigarettes are placed in four categories with changing duty rates.

“There are few laws in many countries which produced such an effect as the RA 9334 that permitted government to levy more taxes and at the same time. It is an evident success, which works very well,” Nelson said.

Starting from January 1, all cigarettes packed by machine with the net retail prices of less than P5 (0.11 USD) per package would be levied P2.72 (0.06 USD).

Cigarette contrabandists will lose their cars and assets

Confiscation of the untaxed tobacco products have raised greatly in the past five years despite drastic measures on ports and a blitz on stores and markets.

Approximately 200 million untaxed tobacco products intended for the illegal market, which would have sold at an expected loss to the Exchequer of close to €65m, are planned to be confiscated by the end of this year.

confiscated and crushed cars

A three-year strategic plan aimed at untaxed tobacco products will see an increase in the number of Customs operations aiming people distributing cigarettes in shops, housing estates and under the shop’s counters.

Robert Hogan, the head of Custom’s Criminal Investigation Branch, stated that they planned to affect smugglers strongly next year.

He stated in an interview that there would be raised confiscations of both properties and cover loads, as legal goods are often smuggled into the country in the same transport containers as illegal cigarettes.

At present, if a person is stopped with untaxed tobacco products, they may take back their car or trailer after paying a fine.

“We practiced that in the past, because we do not have enough place and means to keep all vehicles. In the next year we will face an increase in the asset seizure. That means that we take the car and it won’t go back to the proprietor. Even if we have to spend more than €500 on crushing them, we will do that. In the proper sense of the word we are hitting them in the wallet; they do not receive the car back,” Mr. Talbot stated.

He also underlined that, from the next year, cover loads will also be confiscated to the State. The vehicles that can be crushed are those which carry illicit product to the shops or transporting an illegal load from a container to a house.

Mr. Talbot said that Ireland was apparently the most important target, because it was like a secret door to the UK.

The average price of a 20-pack of cigarettes in Ireland constitutes €8.55; this is more than 13 times the cost of a pack of cigarettes in Ukraine.

Customs that introduced a High Level Group to aim at tobacco also plan to raise the number of people prosecuted under the law.

In 2008, 85 people condemned of smuggling and distributing untaxed cigarettes, which increased to 165 in 2009.

Only 50 million cigarettes were confiscated in 2006 but this figure rose sharply to 218 million in 2009.

135 million counterfeit tobacco products were seized in 16 maritime containers brought from China, Russia and Thailand.

Smoking Rates among Teenagers are at Their Lowest Level

Cigarette sales to young people constitute the lowest level since New Hampshire started its annual surveys.
According to a recent survey, sales to teenagers fell to 8.6 % in 2010, down from 14% last year.

teenage-smoking-rates

“This is good news for New Hampshire teenagers and their parents,” declared Joseph Harding, director of the state Health and Human Services’ Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services. It is very known that if children use tobacco it affects their development and raises their risk of consuming alcohol and various drugs.

These findings demonstrate what can be achieved by creating partnerships that resolve issues affecting the health of our people,” he stated.

“I do not know why it happens, maybe because the legal age is 18 now or they have listened to the health care professionals, but I observed the drop in the number of smoking teens,” stated, Mary Ellen McGorry, principal of Manchester High School.

She underlined that school proposes various programs to help students, as for example Kicking Butts.

Tobacco consumption is also included in the health curriculum. I suppose that part of it is education and the price is also a big part of it. Tobacco products price has increased significantly,” she said.

Students of a local school said that they were amazed by the results.

Megan Rayno, 18, said that approximately a half of her friends smoke regularly. “Everyone I know smokes,” she said.

“Half of the children in our school use tobacco products,” stated Ben Brien, 17, of Allenstown school.

“In fact someone asked me today if I smoke and he was surprised when I answered no,” said Aeven Kenney, 18, of Pembroke school.

Teenagers in Epping had a similar sentiment about minor smokers.

“I suppose that is has been increasing. I know a lot of people who smoke this year but didn’t smoke last year,” stated Epping High School student Natalia Dore, 15.

One thing Epping students observed is that if teenagers are smoking, they are not lightning up on schoolyards.

Michael Milford, 14, stated that there are some places around the town, as for instance cross-country road, a place behind the town hall and simply out of school, where teenagers mess around after school, but he hasn’t seen them smoking near school.

Sergeant John Atkinson said that he thinks that smoking among teenagers may be on rise if tacking into account everything he is seeing and hearing from local youth.

“However, I believe that fewer teens are smoking today in comparison to those times when I was a teenager,” John said.

The Great American Smokeout – “Put Away Your Cigarette for This Day!”

Put away cigarettes at least for a single day, and maybe you will not want to light up again. This message was sent by anti-smoking organization as they celebrate the 35th Annual Great American Smokeout.

put-away-cigarette

It was estimated that more than 400,000 Americans die every year from smoking related diseases, as for instance lung cancer. While Nebraska’s population constitutes 1.8 million, about 2,000 Nebraskans die each year from smoking-related diseases. It was proved long ago that smoking is a real killer and it still continues to be a multibillion dollar industry.

Current decision implemented by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to place health warning labels on cigarette packs will be an essential knock over the head, according to Community Connections Tobacco Free Lincoln County Coordinator Megan Shelton.

“People and most of all children are usually too visual. I can run on for hours about the consequences and dangers of smoking, but these graphic packages will be especially effective for those children who are thinking about trying to smoke and also for those who expose themselves and those around them to those dangers by smoking tobacco products,” she stated.

Shelton said that the Great American Smokeout was quite effective in increasing awareness to these problems.

“The problem with tobacco consumption is something that will not hurt anyone. You are not going to smoke one cigarette and have a smoking related disease that day. It is a process that takes time, that is why such a day as the Great American Smokeout is a day that is aimed to encourage people to kick their habit and increase the awareness about the consequences of smoking and the harm that is caused to those who use this dangerous product,” Ms. Shelron said.

Ms. Shelron stated that she hopes that namely this day people will mark as the beginning of a new life, a life where there is no place for tobacco. Also this day is very important in continuing to inform and educate people on tobacco dangers.

The American Cancer Society and the Nebraska Department of Health have a common message for the Great American Smokeout which is “Less smoking, more birthdays”.

“Stopping smoking is probably one of the best things a person can do in order to improve his/her health. I think that The Great American Smokeout is an excellent chance to make the first step in this direction,” declared Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer.

TPSAC weighs the consequences of menthol cigarettes ban

During the last meeting of recently created Tobacco products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) the participants discussed the pros and cons of banning menthol flavoring in cigarettes, with four of seven speakers focused the Committee’s attention on the message that banning menthol would result in the growth of black market.

consequences of menthol cigarettes ban

Gilbert Ross, American Council on Science and Health’ Executive/medical, declared that ACSH at the beginning to know that menthol flavoring was not covered by the FDA ban on flavorings in cigarettes and carried out a review on that issue. During that research they discovered no physiological toxicities or disorders related to menthol flavoring in cigarettes, in addition to what is already found in cigarettes.

He said they were very surprised to understand that it was very difficult to put a ban on menthol cigarettes, as it has been evident that smokers who prefer menthol cigarettes have been quite loyal to consuming namely menthol cigarettes, so banning menthol flavoring would increase the probability of creating a black market, which in its turn would give under-aged smokers an access to menthol cigarettes and other banned substances.

Bruce Levinson, a senior staffer at Center for Regulatory Effectiveness warned the audience about the dangers that could be caused by black market. He cited a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives document, which said the black market doesn’t care about quality standards of the products, or the age of potential buyers, and that black market is linked with terrorism and organized crime.

Mr. Levinson also asked the TPSAC to review the report by ATF on the contraband and black market, and even invite the ATF to take part in the next meeting to give the Committee a view on the potential consequences of menthol ban from the point of view of black market.

Fredrick Flyer, vice president of Compass, a company hired by Lorillard Inc. to carry out economic analyses of the ban, admitted that despite they only had access to Lorillard’s data on Newport, nation’s top-selling menthol cigarette, they found relatively low elasticity in preference for the product.

He said that since there is a strong demand for menthol cigarette brands, the black market would benefit from the ban on legitimate sales of menthol cigarettes.

Lyle Beckwith, National Association of Convenience Stores senior vice president, declared that black market already benefits significantly from the sales of tobacco products, due to price difference, making the legal businesses suffer. He added that in case the menthol cigarettes were banned, there would be an increased demand on them at black market.

However, not all the participants of the meeting were focused on economic consequences of menthol cigarettes ban. Gary Giovino of the State University of New York, declared that the menthol cigarettes are equally dangerous as the non-mentholated ones, so they have been concerned that menthol simply masks the harshness of tobacco.

He cited The National Youth Smoking Cessation Survey that discovered that teenagers were more likely to prefer menthol cigarettes than young adults, and said they believe that banning menthol cigarettes would help to reduce smoking rates in teenagers.

Smoking Ban is not Observed on Kolkata Stations

It is very difficult to believe that smoking on railway territory has been prohibited for more than two decades, when looking on hundreds of passengers deliberately smoking their cigarettes on trains and railway platforms in suburban Kolkata.

Smoking on railway territory

While commuters accuse the railway authorities for not implementing the ban and accepting bribes to let lawbreakers remain unpunished, officials invoke helplessness and declare that all this happens due to the lack of awareness about the law among passengers.

“We often lead anti-smoking inspections and lawbreakers are punished,” declared, Purusottom Guha, divisional railway manager of Eastern Railway’s Sealdah division.

He acknowledged that it was just impossible to effectuate daily inspections on all train compartments and stations as employees of this division have also another duties to perform.

“We check approximately 832 of local trains, each having 10 carriages daily,” he said. More than 1.8 million commuters travel by local trains in Kolkata every day.

During an investigation that was held in some suburban stations as Agarpara, Bidhannagar and Barrackpore were found some hawkers selling cigarettes without any restriction.

At big terminal stations as Howrah and Sealdah, where officials are always present, there is no smoking and also there are no hawkers selling cigarettes. But once trains depart from these stations, commuters quickly light up on the train.

When Guha was asked why his department doesn’t take actions against hawkers, he stated that tobacco products are obtainable only in private stands and not in stands directed by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.

“That is why we can’t do anything against them,” he stated. Commuters state that the situation hasn’t changed for years, in spite of the Section 167 of the Railways Act 1989 which prohibits smoking on trains and railway stations. Smoking on trains and railway stations is fined according to the Criminal Procedure Code.

A daily passenger on the Howrah station, stated: “At each station you can find hawkers selling various tobacco products. And passengers smoke even in the presence of a check –man.”

“Our primary duty is to protect railway property and assure security to passengers in trains. It is the responsibility of ticket collectors to enforce the ban. The ticket collectors fine passengers for such violations as unbooked luggage or ticketless travel, but they do not punish any passengers for smoking,” stated Railway Protection Force officer in Howrah station.

Ticket collectors on the contrary accuse RPF personnel for not punishing smokers and liberate them after accepting bribes. Eastern Railway representative Samir Goswami stated that RPF personnel and officials of the anti-fraud departments effectuate daily inspections in order to prevent smoking and selling of tobacco products on trains and stations.

Smoking Spouses Shorten their Wives’ Lives

A research that examined the repeated effect of good habits on mortality in Asian women discovered that husbands who smoke at home are shortening their wives’ lives.

Also researches found out that Chinese women with various healthy habits usually live longer than their compatriot peers with less healthy lifestyles.

Smoking celebrity Patrick Swayze

Researches headed by Sarah Nechuta of Vanderbilt University in the United States used data from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study that collected information on more than 71000 non-smoking and non-drinking Chinese women aged 40-70 years between 1996 and 2000, and developed a healthy lifestyle score.

The healthy lifestyle score was based on five factors related to mortality, weight, waist-to-hip ratio, exposure to second-hand smoke, whether the woman were engaged in sports activities and also fruit and vegetable consumption.

The more healthy habits a woman had, the higher her score was, thus having no or few healthy habits gave her a low score.

The women who participated at the study were examined for around nine years, during which 2,860 of them died, 1,351 of cancer and 775 of cardiovascular disease.

Those women who died were more likely than survivors to be underweight, overweight or obese, they had higher waist-to-hip ratios, were not engaged in sort activities and ate less fruit and vegetables than survivors, according to the study.

“Probably the good news is that the majority of these factors can be improved by one’s motivation in order to eradicate unhealthy behaviors once and for all. For example, it would not be so difficult for women in China or elsewhere in Asia to raise the energy expenditure by engaging in some sport activities and eat more fruit and vegetables,” stated Wei Zheng, a co-author of the study and director of the epidemiology center at Vanderbilt.

Also the women who died were more likely than survivors to have had a husband who smoked, and that was a key player in al this situation.

Women in China and various Asian countries are exposed to tobacco smoke in a greater degree, because there is a high smoking prevalence among Asian men.

Changes in exposure to spousal smoking may start with raised awareness by both women and their husbands about the harmful health effects of smoking.

Making husbands to stop smoking for their wives will also require changes in the social environment and possible bans on smoking at home.

The majority of study combinations of established lifestyle factors and mortality were led in the US and Western Europe, where women’s lifestyles differ drastically from those of their Chinese counterparts, according to the study.

Researches on the health habits of Western women and longevity included those women who smoked and drank alcohol, something that many Asian women don’t do.

Cigarettes made in U.S. are more carcinogenic

A research carried by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that cigarette brands produced by U.S. tobacco companies in comparison with cigarettes brands produced in other countries, possess higher levels of toxic chemicals that provoke cancer.

As concluded the CDC research team, the USA tobacco mixture comprises more cancer-causing substances than cigarettes manufactured in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Carcinogens and our life

In the course of research scientists examined 126 smokers from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The examined smokers were aged 18-55 years and smoked daily around 15 cigarettes for the last 12 months.

The examined participants were devoted to “American Blend” cigarette brand for more than 3 months. The CDC team hasn’t specified what kind of U.S. brand was used, only stating that it as a popular “American blend”.

Among the brands that appeared in research were Players in Canada produced by Imperial Tobacco, Lorillard’s Newport, Marlboro produced by Philip Morris USA, UK’s Benson & Hedges and Winfield in Australia produced by British American Tobacco.

More than 2000 cigarettes butts were examined by the research team.

After examining cigarettes made in Canada, USA, Australia, and the United Kingdom, the scientists found out that tobacco products from United States identifying as ‘American Blend’ contain high levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines and cancer-causing chemicals that favor the development of malignant tumors.

Whereas cigarettes made in other countries contained other types of tobacco that have shown lower levels of carcinogens.

In order to calculate the levels of TSNA, the researches measured the quantity of these substances in cigarettes butts, in saliva and urine of those smokers who participate in the research. They came to conclusion that smokers of cigarettes made in USA were exposed to three-time higher levels of carcinogens than smokers who prefer cigarettes brand from other countries.

“It is obvious that cigarette brands that are produced in different countries differ in methods of fags’ production and also in applied ingredients”, said Dr. James Pirkle, vice manager for science at CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. “All of those tested tobacco products demonstrate high amount of cancer-causing substances, although, the study shows that the levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines differ from nation to nation, and cigs made in U.S. contain the highest levels of this substances” the scientist concluded.

The obtained data are published in the latest ‘Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention’ Journal.

The present research is one more proof showing the severe consequences of tobacco usage,
that is the major cause of preventable deaths all around the world, tacking the lives of more than
5 million people per year.

According to the recent report presented by the World Health Organization, more than 8 million of people will die till 2030 if tobacco usage is not reduced.

14 Months since the Introduction of Smoking Ban

In conformity with the latest research published in the Britain Journal of Medicine, over 1,200 heart infarctions were prevented across the country within 14 months since the implementation of anti-smoking regulation.

Smoking room

In the first research since the implementation of the ban the numbers of heart attacks in adult patients reported by hospitals throughout England from the five years prior to the introduction of the smoke-free legislation in July 2007, were compared with the information collected during 14 months after the ban had entered into effect.

The research carried out by the University of Bath scientists concluded that emergency hospital admissions for myocardial seizures decreased by 2.4% in the 14 months after England banned smoking in enclosed public spaces.

Forced to light up outside, smokers reduce the numbers of cigarettes consumed daily, resulting in the reduction in heart attacks among both smokers and non-smokers.

This reduction in coronary heart diseases helped Nationwide Health System save approximately £8.4million and prevented nearly 200 deceases.

The rate of survivors from heart attacks in England is 85%, so 1,200 cases of prevented infarctions could result in nearly 180 deaths, which have been prevented thanks to would be expected to die.

Scientists consider that myocardial infarctions are only one of numerous diseases caused by tobacco use and passive smoking that were decreased after the implementation of smoke-free policy.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) director Deborah Arnott admitted that reduction in lung cancer rates will also be reported very soon.

Study has already shown that smoke-free legislation has considerably decreased the exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among non-smoking population and minors, which will as well, led to further benefits for public health.

Both smoking and passive smoking is believed to rise the likeability of heart seizure by contributing to the blood becoming more predisposed to clotting, lessening the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol and increasing the jeopardy of higher heart rhythms.

England is home to 23% of smokers among adult male population and 21% of smokers among adult women. According to NHS, there are 230,000 myocardial infarctions reported across England annually, with more than a half of them in adults aged 40-75 years.

Callum Young, senior manager at the British Heart Foundation, stated the Foundation praises the research’s results, which have demonstrated that many lives have been saved because of the introduction of smoke-free policy.

He added they are looking forward to other studies focused on examining the rates of other health complications related to smoking, as not only cardiovascular system is harmed by smoking.

Public health groups have also expressed delight by the results of the latest research and urged the lawmakers to intensify the efforts on reducing tobacco use, by cracking down the black market and prohibiting cigarette vending machines.