Tag Archives: tobacco products

New York illegally forced anti-smoking signs to be displayed

New York City has no authority to oblige sellers of tobacco products to post anti-tobacco warnings, showing diseased lungs, dead corpse and decayed gums and tooth, a U.S. court of appeals decided this week.

anti-smoking poster in New York

The ruling delivered by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, comprised of three judges, was a defeat for New York health authorities, who were encouraged by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have turned anti-smoking campaigns into a crusade.

Major tobacco groups, led by Philip Morris USA, Reynolds American and Lorillard, together with two largest trade associations and two store chains, have submitted the lawsuit in June 2010, complaining the graphic labels will infringe their commercial rights. New York City agreed to put a temporary delay in enforcement of the pictures due to the litigation.

Judges Denny Chin, Peter Hall and Gerard Lynch declared that although “the intention of the City to increase the level of consumers’ education in this field is quite understandable,” but only federal legislation may “oblige retailers to display warning signs closer to cigarette displays.”

An attorney for Philip Morris USA declared in a statement that “this litigation has always been aimed at providing understanding over the authority to regulate the sizes and text in tobacco warnings.”

Smoking Ban in Bulgaria Left Tobacco Smokers Fuming

Bulgarian government announced last week it begins enforcement of a nationwide smoking ban in all public venues, among which are restaurants and bars, while its heavy smoking population was left fuming over the new measure.

ban on smoking in Bulgaria

The Balkan country, famous for its summer tourist destinations is home to the second highest smoking rates across European Union, behind Greece. The stats provided by Bulgarian Health Ministry demonstrate that 44 percent of Bulgarian population (7.4 million people in total) is smoking on regular basis.

From June 1st, all of the can be fined $150-300 for lighting up in cafes, bars, workplaces, restaurants, stadiums, playgrounds and school yards.

Up to this year all restaurants and cafes were permitted to designate smoking zones, physically separated from non-smoking ones, while smaller venues could decide to be either.

Cigarettes to Vanish From Store Shelves across England This Week

Packs of cigarettes and other tobacco products will be removed from the shelves in the supermarkets across Great Britain from Friday, as the latest legislation prohibiting their display in shops enters into effect.

cigarette displays in shops banned in England

Tobacco products will be stored hidden in closed shelves or under the counter according the stringent anti-smoking regulation implemented in England.

The measure obliges all supermarkets and large stores to remove cigarette displays at the points of their sale with allowed temporary displays under “particular limited circumstances”.

The law’s implementation was postponed until April 2015 for small shops, newsagents and tobacco stores in order to give them enough time to re-designate their venues.

Lawmakers claim that banning tobacco from displays will help to discourage teenagers and young adults from taking up smoking habit.

Illegal Cigarette Trade in EU Peaked in 2010

Philip Morris International Inc. last week disclosed the results of its latest demonstrating that illegal sales of contraband and fake tobacco products across European Union reached record level in 2010 since the company began studying the market in 2006.

The research, performed by KPMG, assessed that yearly consumption of illegal cigarettes grew by 3.1 billion sticks in 2010 as compared to 2009 to an aggregate of 64.2 billion units, representing nearly 10% of overall cigarette consumption across European Union. According to the information provided by European Anti-Fraud Office, the EU and national economies missed 10 billion Euros in taxes in 2010 due to the growth in illegal sales.

Illegal Cigarettes in EU

KPMG has carried out similar researches annually as part of the landmark collaboration convention between Philip Morris International, The EU member-nations and the European Commission. The analysis and its main conclusions will be taken into consideration by European Anti-Fraud Office and national governments.

Speaking about the results of the study, Timothy Lindon, Chief Compliance Officer for the PMI, declared that whereas it has been evident that law enforcement authorities across the EU have been doing their best to eliminate the issue, the study shows that illegal cigarette trade has been on the rise and presents a great challenge for the EU member-states.

“The illegal cigarette trade throughout the EU is currently bigger than legitimate combined cigarette markets of France, Switzerland and Finland, and contributes to growing criminality in EU member nations, since revenues from illegal tobacco trade are regularly allocated to fund other illicit activities, such drug trafficking, human smuggling and terrorist attacks. In many EU member states, there are currently two different tobacco markets, one legitimate market which is decreasing, and an illicit unregulated cigarette market which is increasing.”

Philip Morris International is strongly against the illegal cigarette trade and has performed a wide series of actions to eliminate this rising issue, including introduction of a worldwide tracing system, all-round know-your-customer measures, customer education and cooperation with national governments. The solution to this problem is the cooperation on both national and international levels, among multiple parties, such as enforcement bodies, governments, cigarette companies, wholesales and retailers, as well as strict and globally-enforced convention on illegal cigarette markets that combats all forms of smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products.

Philip Morris International is the number one international tobacco corporation, which manufactures seven of the world’s best-selling 15 global cigarette brands, including Marlboro, the top-selling cigarette brand in the world. PMI’s brands are available in almost 180 markets. In 2010, the tobacco giant accounted for approximately 16.0% share of the entire global cigarette market, excluding the United States, and 27.6% excepting the U.S. and China.

FDA Introduces Nine New Graphic Warnings

Within a few days Food and Drug Administration will introduce nine new graphic warnings that will demonstrate the negative effects of smoking. Among the advised images are diseased teeth and gums and a man with tracheotomy smoking.

The given labels will occupy the top half of the package, both front and back. Graphic warnings also should appear in advertisements and compose 20% of an ad. All cigarette producers should comply with this regulation till the autumn 2012.

New FDA Warnings on cigarette packs

New FDA Warnings on cigarette packs

Assignments to introduce new health warnings were part of a law adopted in 2009 that, for the first time allowed the federal government to regulate tobacco products, including fixing guidelines for marketing and labeling, prohibiting particular products and reducing nicotine. However the law doesn’t permit the FDA prohibit nicotine or tobacco.

The declaration follows reviews of scientific literature, various public comments and results from researches and studies conducted by the FDA.

Some of the warnings proposed last year included a mother blowing smoke in her baby’s face and cigarettes being flushed down to signify quitting. They included such phrases as “Smoking kills you” and “Smoking causes cancer” and demonstrate graphic warnings to prove the dangers of tobacco.

Whether the federal government chose these images for the new labels remains a question. In the last years, nearly 30 countries have implemented labels similar to those introduced by the FDA. The first US warning label was adopted in 1965, which stated “Smoking may be hazardous for your health”. Present labels – a black and white text were placed on cigarette packages in the 80s.

The new warnings come as the rate of Americans who smoke has dropped significantly since 1970, from approximately 40% to about 20%. The rate has delayed since about 2004. About 46 million in the U.S. regularly use tobacco products.

It is incomprehensible why decreases in smoking have stopped. Certain experts have referred to tobacco company discount coupons on smokes or absence of funding for programs to eradicate smoking or to help smoker kick the habit.

As it is impossible to state how many people stop smoking due to graphic warnings, certain studies state that particular labels do push people to quit. The new warnings assure an opportunity for a regular smoker to see warnings on the hazards of smoking more than 7,000 times per year.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in those countries where graphic warnings were introduced, a great number of smokers considered about quitting.

Camel Snus subject of nationwide study

The researches from the University of South Carolina commence a study with an objective of finding answers to two questions related to potential public health consequences of usage of smokeless tobacco.

Are smoke-free tobacco, for example, Camel Snus, help an adult smoker stop smoking – especially one who has no intention to quit?

Camel Snus smokeless tobacco

Camel Snus smokeless tobacco

Attempting to answer these questions is Matthew Carpenter, an associate professor from the University of South Carolina Department of Medicine. The research, which will be performed by Carpenter and his team, is funded mostly by the National Institutes of Health.

The nationwide study will comprise 1,250 adult smokers, half of them will be receiving Camel Snus or other smoke-free product, while the other half will not be given anything.

The scientists are willing to know if consumption of Snus results in reduction or quitting smoking. They also seek to estimate the quantity and patterns of consumption of Snus.

“The research will give strong and reliable evidence to initiate clinical and regulatory decision-making in the given controversial part of tobacco control,” the scientist admitted.

Matthew Myers, chairman of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stated studies of smoke-free tobacco products should estimate what health damage results from the usage of the product as well as the strategies used to market that product.

“In case a smoke-free tobacco product diminishes the risk of health complication, but leads to more people consuming tobacco, it might lead to more deaths, not fewer,” declared Myers.

Carpenter admitted they are not attempting to encourage consumption of smokeless tobacco products in their research.

“We’re simply willing to imitate the real-world actions of an adult cigarette smoker being exposed to smokeless products in certain environment, such as a convenience store, “Carpenter noted.

“If smokers decide to try such products, what could be the effect? We think regardless of the determination of the research, it would possess a public-health effect.”

The present research is based on a similar study Carpenter research team performed last year on Ariva and Stonewell smoke-free products manufactured by Star Scientific Inc.

The main conclusion of the latter research was smoking diminished by 40 percent after the 14-day examination period, however overall usage of tobacco remained unchanged.

“That means Ariva and Stonewall might be effective in reducing nicotine withdrawal and craving,” the scientist admitted in his summary. “We did not find any changes in overall nicotine craving or withdrawal, as surveyed smokers exchanged cigarettes for Ariva/Stonewall lozenges.

“We discovered no evidence that smoke-free products (Ariva and Stonewall) prevent smoking cessation. On the contrary, willingness to stop – during the 60 days and next six months – considerably grew among adult smokers who consumed smoke-free tobacco products in comparison to those who smoked cigarettes.”

Leading tobacco companies, headed by Reynolds American are focusing on smokeless tobacco products to obtain market share and increase sales since cigarette smoking rates across the country are falling. According to government data, approximately 42 million adult Americans are smokers, versus 53.5 million reported in 1983.

Philip Morris International acquires patent for an innovative nicotine-delivery system

The leading privately-owned cigarette maker said last week it has purchased the rights for an aerosol nicotine-delivery technology created by Jed Rose, head of the Duke University Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation. The school was not part of the agreement with tobacco Company and won’t get any payment. Terms of agreement are not revealed.

Smoking - nicotine-delivery system

“By removing the process of burning, developing a way of delivering nicotine through inhalation but without the hazardous chemicals, we might decrease the health complications and deaths related to smoking,” admitted Rose, who headed the initial tests in the 1980s which allowed to paving the way for development and commercial usage of nicotine patches as smoking cessation therapy.

“We hope that we created a technology that will help to leave tobacco burning in the past.”

Rose added that Philip Morris International, based in New York and Switzerland, will now focus on developing commercial products applying this technology. The nicotine-delivery system developed by Rose is different from the medical nicotine inhalers selling currently as cessation treatments since it delivers nicotine faster imitating nicotine delivery given by cigarettes.

“The other systems of nicotine delivery are not able to the satisfaction smokers they need,” Rose noted.

The agreement is an essential “step in the efforts to develop nicotine-delivery products that can potentially decrease the risk of smoking-related health complications,” Peter Nixon, Philip Morris International’s spokesman declared.

Nixon added that it might take up to five years to create a commercial nicotine product which could be used as an alternative to cigarette smoking.

The company’s shares gained more than 1 percent, totaling $70.42 after the agreement was revealed.

PMI move is the latest in the recent series of decisions by major tobacco groups to enter the market of smokeless tobacco products and innovative nicotine-delivery products while tax hikes, anti-smoking policies and social stigma contribute to falling demand for cigarettes.

In April, PMI’s main rival, British American Tobacco established a division named Nicoventures which will concentrate on alternative nicotine products. In 2009, Reynolds American, second-biggest tobacco group in the U.S. acquired purchased Sweden-based company Niconovum that manufactures nicotine pouches, gums and sprays helping smokers to quit.

“It’s a fact that people smoke to get nicotine fix and die from tobacco smoke,” states David Sweanor, a Canadian law professor who works with tobacco industry. The major question is, “Could you offer them nicotine without the tobacco smoke in a way that could be consumer acceptable.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to make up recommendations for companies interested in creating what the organization names modified-risk nicotine products.

“Changing regulations are contributing to an environment where competition would move this market category considerably,” the scientist added.

Philip Morris International, the leading private tobacco company in the world, yielding only to China National Tobacco Corporation, controlled by the government, spun off from Altria Group, owner of Philip Morris USA, which markets Marlboro, Parliament and other brands.

Tobacco companies encourage smokers to protest against taxes and bans

Major tobacco companies are doing their best to turn average smokers into the rebels by the latest underground campaign promoting mass protests against hefty taxes, regulations and smoking bans.

The campaign named “I Deserve to Be Heard” comprises putting small notes into cigarette packs sending smokers to certain website stating: “It’s time to tell the government you’ve had enough”.

Smokers protest against taxes

Smokers protest against taxes

The Australian government states it will concentrate efforts on eliminating the tobacconists’ campaign, as the spokesperson for Australian Minister of Health said the campaign is a vivid example of how low tobacco industry is ready to go to promote their dangerous goods.

Anti-tobacco organizations are shocked by the latest strategy, naming the campaign arrogant and unprecedented.

Local smokers have faced two considerable hikes in cigarette taxes during the last 12 months and the number of venues where puffing is permitted is decreasing annually since the federal and state legislatures implement extensions to cover more places by the bans.

Smoking is prohibited throughout the country in bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants, business centers and other places, while several states have prohibited, or intend to prohibit lighting up on beaches, parks and other outdoor facilities.

Business owners criticize the new regulations as well, especially after the lawmakers approved the law to require cigarettes to be sold in generic packages and under the counter, and implemented a set of further restrictions on marketing and advertising.

The I Deserve to Be Heard public campaign was introduced by Philip Morris International’s Australian unit, which markets Marlboro cigarettes, the world’s best-selling tobacco brand, L&M, and other world-known cigarette brands.

The campaign encourages adult smokers to contact their MP and support their smoking electorate.

The campaign has three targets – tax increases, smoking bans in outdoor venues, and generic packaging of cigarettes.

“Australia has been one of the most over-governed countries across the developed nations,” according to the website.

“If you are a smoker, you are definitely annoyed and frustrated.”

Philip Morris Limited issued a written statement, saying that the campaign concentrates on giving people who purchase the company’s products the chance to make their opinion heard regarding the excessive and senseless laws which affect them.

A spokesperson for Nicola Roxon, Australian Minister of Health stated the government was preparing to fight with the campaign, and considering the legal fight as well.

“Tobacco companies don’t want people to know that about 75 percent of adult smokers attempt to stop smoking or reduce consumption annually – people are aware that smoking is a deadly habit, while the smoking rate is dropping,” the spokesperson added.

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.




KT&G set to take the lead in slim-cigarette market with flagship ESSE brand

When asked what it the most popular cigarette brand in the world, the majority of adult smokers would probably name one of the iconic brands, such as Marlboro, Winston or Lucky Strike, produced by the world’s largest tobacco companies, Philip Morris International,Japan Tobacco International andBritish American Tobacco.

Esse slims cigarettes

Nevertheless, if considering only the slim cigarette market segment, it seems that those legendary brands were bypassed by a newcomer, named ESSE and manufactured by South Korean KT&G, which has been steadily growing and capturing international market share.

The Seoul-based tobacco maker reported a two-fold growth in exports, selling 20.8 billion ESSE cigarettes on the international market, up from 11.2 billion in 2009, to outstrip its major competitors, Philip Morris’s Virginia Slims and British American Tobacco’s Vogue.

According to Euromonitor International, a UK consulting agency, KT&G sold 29.2 billion ESSE cigarettes in 2009, while PMI sold 17 billion Virginia Slim cigarettes and BAT sold 11 billion Vogue cigarettes.

“Since its launch in 1996, we have developed Esse cigarette brand as our global flagship brand. This premium brand is currently selling in more than 40 markets across the world including Middle East countries and Russia,” admitted Huh Up, director of global businesses for KT&G.

“It should be mentioned that ESE is currently the best-selling brand in super-slim segment of cigarette market in Iran, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. In Russia, ESSE holds more than 10 percent share of the super-slim segment.”

Mr. Huh mentioned that KT&G, former state-owned cigarette maker, entered the global cigarette market a decade ago, after the domestic market demonstrated saturation.

Trying to promote ESSE and make it a world-famous tobacco product, KT&G showed its potential at organizing various marketing events.

At present, the company is an overwhelming leader of the Korean cigarette market, with 85 percents of the domestic super-slim market.

When one of the styles of ESSE, was launched in the domestic market, it took about a week to reach milestone sales of 10 million packs, becoming the shortest ever period for the company.

Currently, ESSE offers many styles, such as ESSE Super-Slims Menthol and ESSE Super-Slims Special Gold.

“While exporting ESSE brand to other markets, we have opened several manufacturing units in major markets to keep up with growing sales”, Huh admitted. In addition, the company is set to promote its other brands and acquire competitive brands in order to become a solid player on the international tobacco market.

KT&G invested nearly $100 million to establish a production line in Kaluga Region, Russian Federation, in order to supply Eastern Europe region with ESSE cigarettes.

In addition, the company as well: opened manufacturing units in Turkey and Iran to work with Middle East and Asian markets.