Tag Archives: tobacco products

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).

Philip Morris set grow market share in Armenia tobacco market .

Last year Armenian government approved several regulations to control local tobacco market and major tobacco companies. Regional senior manager of Philip Morris International, the leading tobacco group in Armenia, Sargis Tsaghikyan stated that the tobacco giant is set to show another great performance capturing more market share in 2011.

Philip Morris International and Armenia

Mr. Tsaghikyan said that Philip Morris Armenia offers solid and balanced brand portfolio in the local market, and is presented in all price categories, keeping in touch with all adult costumers’ needs. This makes the company believe that its business performance will be successful and the market share will continue to grow.

According to PMI Armenia is an emerging and very competitive market. And the Marlboro-maker has a 19.5 percent share of that market, the biggest among its major rivals.

In 2010 Philip Morris International offered the following brands to the Armenian smokers: Marlboro, L&M, Parliament, Chesterfield, Virginia Slims, Bond Street, Muratti Ambassador, Red&White and Assos Slims. L&M is the best-selling brand among PMI brands.

Last October, Armenian president signed into law amended Excise Tax Law and Tobacco Products Tax Law under which the tax rate difference among imported and locally manufactured tobacco products will be gradually reduced starting from Jan 1st 2011, therefore introducing equal approach to local and imported cigarettes. Philip Morris International welcomed these tax code amendments, as they are implemented in established time and prompt Armenian Tobacco Products Taxation equaling with World Trade Organization requirements.

Armenia adopted a universal and thorough legislative base to regulate tobacco industry and according to Philip Morris Armenia senior manager, the company is willing to cooperate with the government and public health authorities to establish norms and regulations for the domestic tobacco industry. The company believes it is vital that regulatory base is comprehensive, justified by evidence and covering all tobacco companies and products and that enforcement is adequate and even. These regulations could allow the authorities reach the public health objectives.

Philip Morris International is the largest international tobacco group in the world, selling its products in more than 160 markets. In 2009 the company had an approximately 15.4 percent share of global cigarette market excluding the United States, or 26 percent, excluding China and the USA.

On its official website, PMI states that smoking can cause addiction and severe health complications and recognizes that there is no safe form of tobacco consumption. The company supports strict and effective measure to regulate tobacco, and agrees that cessation should be the major aim of public health policies. At the same time Philip Morris International doesn’t target non-smokers and minors, and their marketing strategies are intended to adult smokers and set to encourage them top prefer PMI’s brands in favor of competitors’ products.

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.

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.

FDA to Consider the Impact of Menthol Cigarettes

Menthol cigarettes account for more than one-third of the American cigarette market, and menthol-smoking trend even keeps growing. Public Health advocates claim that the fame of menthol cigaretts particularly among new smokers should be decreased; however, it demands consideration and will lead to negative aftermaths.

Menthol and cigarettes

The latest meeting of the recently-formed Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, established after the American Food and Drug Administration was authorized to regulate tobacco industry, will be devoted to the health risks related to the consumption of menthol flavoring in tobacco. The meeting is scheduled for March 31 and will be held in Washington, DC.

The Committee will consider and advice to the FDA of the methods of regulating mentholated tobacco products. Menthol is the sole flavor not covered by the Tobacco Control Act, which banned such flavorings as fruit, vanilla and chocolate in cigarettes, however, it could be banned if there is reliable evidence on the risks of its prolonged consumption in cigarettes.

In conformity with a nationwide survey, smokers who took up cigarettes lately are more probably to consume menthol cigarettes than experienced cigarette lovers. Moreover, the number of present smokers who prefer mentholated cigarettes is growing.

According to the survey, the consumption of menthol cigarettes is higher among smokers who began puffing over the last 12 months (44.6 percent) than among experienced smokers (32percent). Also, among smokers who lit up during the last month, the number of those who preferred menthol cigaretes grew up from nearly 31 percent in 2004 to almost 34 percent in 2008. Such growth is the most perceptible among teenage tobacco users (4 percent increase) and among younger adults (from 34 percent to 41 percent).

Eric Broderick, Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration admitted that menthol flavoring may have its appeal in encouraging the smoking habit – one of the most severe problems of public health across the USA. He added that the evident fascination that mentholated cigarettes exert on adolescent smokers is very concerning since menthol tobacco products can lure more teenagers and younger adults to start the hazardous smoking habit.

The research demonstrates that the number of smokers who prefer menthol cigarettes among Black Americans (83 percent) is much higher than among Hispanic populations (32 percent) and White Americans (24 percent) and other populations. Among Black Americans, the experienced smokers were more probably to consume mentholated cigarettes than those who started smoking over the last 12 months, while the opposite behavior is found among other populations.

In addition, there was a considerable increase in the number of male menthol smokers, which went up from 26.9 percent in 2004 to 30.8 percent in 2008.

Menthol flavoring is an ingredient added to cigarettes in order to conceal the harshness of tobacco, by providing a feeling of coolness and freshness during the process of smoking. However, when concealing the harshness, mentholated cigs could ease the way to cigarettes for the adolescents. Several recent studies found out that menthol cigarettes can be harder to give up than the regular flavored ones.

Flavored Tobacco Products outlawed in the New York City

The New York City Council almost unanimously approved an amendment to federal ban on flavored cigarettes in order to expand it prohibiting all tobacco products with flavorings.

In conformity with the ordinance, such flavored items as cigarillos, cigars or chewing tobacco are now prohibited. The NYC public health department’s spokesman said that the legislation would prevent tobacco companies from making use of the loopholes in the federal ban that still allows flavorings in all tobacco products, other than cigarettes. Neither the federal ban, nor that of NYC includes menthol, wintergreen or mint flavors.

Camel flavored cigarettes

The neighboring state of New Jersey also prohibited exotic flavors in cigars.

Michael R Bloomberg, the NYC Mayor already expressed his support to the ordinance that would be passed to his office this week. After the legal approval, any tobacco store across the City caught on selling banned products would have to pay a $2,000 fine for the first violation whereas further violations could even lead to the cancellation of the retailer license. If adopted, the ordinance could become valid in four months.

The New York City Council member, Christine Quinn said that the tobacco industry used the flavorings to hide the hazardous effects of tobacco consumption and encourage minors to start smoking; however, the ordinance adopted by the council would put an end to that shameless practice and prevent the adolescents from becoming attracted by the colorful packs and tasty flavors and then getting addicted to tobacco use.

According to a survey carried out among students of local high schools, the rate of cigarillos and cigar-lovers grew threefold in comparison with 2001 percentage. A typical cigar contains three-five times more tobacco than an average cigarette. However, there are also small cigars, nearly of the same strength as cigarettes, but dramatically cheaper. Public health groups state that the introduction of flavorings was intended at minors, attracting them colorful images and teenage-oriented slogans.

Joel Rivera, the author of the ordinance stated that the flavorings are the latest interpretation of Joe Camel, a controversial symbol of Camel cigarettes that was prohibited in the 90’s.

Lewis Fidler, the lone opponent of the bill in the council confessed that he had switched to his favorite cherry cigars from good-old Marlboros. He added that there has been not enough reliable scientific evidence proving that adults and particularly, adolescents start smoking because of flavors.

He also said that though the sales of all kinds of tobacco products had been prohibited, the most efficient strategy in reducing teenage smoking rates is to increase prices, making tobacco products completely unaffordable to younger New Yorkers.

The National Association of Tobacco Outlets sent several letters to the Mayor asking him to veto the bill, since it would hurt sales dramatically, but the Mayor wasn’t available to respond.

Another smokers’ rights organization – Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment – declared that adult smokers are hurt by ridiculous restrictions on tobacco products in the sake of minors.

Flavored cigarettes are outlawed

Starting from 12 pm on September 21st, all flavored cigarettes excepting menthol cigarettes were barred from production and sales throughout the United States. Any individual distributing banned products and thus, violating the legislation would be subjected to fins and even jail terms.

According to the Tobacco Regulation Act, adopted by Congress two months ago and coming into effect last week, the FDA has been entitled to ban all cigarettes containing chocolate, candy, clove or fruit flavors, which public health experts consider to be a gateway for adolescents to becoming regular smokers.

Flavored cigarettes ban

The Food and Drug Administration sent an opened letter to all cigarette makers operating across America, notifying them about subsequent legal actions against the manufacturers who don’t phase out flavored cigarettes from production in violation of the law. Customs services agents will trace and detain the shipments of banned cigarettes imported to the country.

What flavors are prohibited by the law?

The law prohibits all flavored cigarettes, except menthol. The hugely popular clove cigs are as well banned. Yet, since the ban covers only cigarettes, many producers of flavored cigarettes, including the top clove cigarettes manufacturer, Djarum Co, instantly modified their plants to make flavored cigars, which are nearly identical to cigarettes in size and strength.

Other restriction to become valid soon

The prohibition of flavored cigarettes came up as the first restriction imposed by the FDA after it has been granted with the authority to regulate tobacco industry, in conformity with the law signed by President Obama in June. The FDA as well intends to implement drastic restrictions on developing and marketing tobacco products, require more grievous health warnings and prohibit such terms like “low tar”, “lights,” etc.

The reasons to ban the flavorings

Anti-smoking groups claim that prohibition of flavored cigarettes is drawn to reduce terrific smoking rates among minors and fencing teens off from taking up smoking. Many researches found that fruit and chocolate-flavored cigarettes are the most luring type of tobacco products when dealing with teenagers. Scientists agree in opinion that yummy flavors are put to mask the strength of cigarettes, what contributed to make it easier to get hooked on cigarettes.

Howard Koh, main anti-tobacco advocate in new President’s administration and Assistant Secretary for Public Health, who frequently named cigarettes a catastrophe for the health of younger generations, said that implementation of the ban signals about the beginning of the new era in the battle against tobacco consumption in the United States.

The Tobacco Control Act also requires tobacco companies to reveal the components of their production, with possible further bans of the most hazardous and addictive substances.

Moreover, although menthol flavored cigarettes are not included in the ban, the FDA spokesperson said that they would carry out laboratory analysis of the influence of menthol additive on the health of smokers, and probably ban menthol cigarettes too.

Smugglers get teenagers into trafficking cigarettes

Smuggling tobacco products to UK is getting so hugely profitable that smugglers even started to offer teenagers free trips to Spain in exchange for bringing cigarettes with them to the country.

According to UK Customs authorities, they are confiscating up to 50 million of smokes, and it becomes evident that criminal gangs are using teenagers to smuggle cigarettes into Britain by giving them flight tickets and money to have holidays in those European countries where cigarettes are less expensive.

cigarettes traffic in Europe

Officials state that 15-year-old boys and girls are asked to select minor airports like in Exeter, or Newcastle to travel to Europe, in order to escape detection. The most popular place to smuggle cigarettes from is Spanish tourist paradise – Canary Islands.

Gangsters book cheap flight tickets and give adolescents suitcases, to put there as many cartons of cigarettes as possible.

A UK Customs Department spokesman reported that in majority of cases the youngsters didn’t know that they were exploited by criminal syndicates involved in cigarette smuggling, Europe most booming type of organized crime, which emerged recently.

The spokesman said that cigarette smuggling became an integral part of modern organized crime, involving international criminal syndicates that as well take part in human trafficking and drug contraband.

In august, three 17 year olds from Exeter were detained with almost 200.000 illicit cigarettes in their luggage. September,1st a Newcastle boy barely avoided criminal charges after being arrested in local airport with 10.000 smokes in a suitcase. It was his fourth trip to Canary Islands, according to the documents.

In other case, five teenage girls were detained in Robin Hood airport with 100.000 cigarettes in the suitcases. Firstly, they said it was not their luggage, but after two days in jail admitted that were employed by a gang to stock up with cigarettes in return for a four-day free tour to Tenerife.

The girls refused to give police officers names or coordinates of organizers of their trips, but the policemen think that they are scarred for their families who could be intimidated by criminals.

Each of four girls carried 25.000 cigarettes which equals to £2,500 in lost taxes.

Customs spokesman reported that from the beginning of 2009 and up to this moment of time they officers have seized approximately 350 million of smuggled cigarettes, what could result in £65 million loss in duties from the budget.

Cigarette industry is also concerned with huge drops in profits. British American Tobacco, the largest cigarette maker in UK and major rival Imperial Tobacco declared that they have lost £600 million in profits last year.

Officials suggest smuggling cigarettes is becoming popular among syndicates mainly because of enormous profits it can provide.

Smugglers often distribute single-cigarettes or packs for about a half of their retail prices in the shops The UK is home to Europe’s highest cigarette prices, with a pack of cigarettes costing around £6 ($10) in Britain.

Maryland ridiculous tax policy prompts smokers to hit the road

During the first six months of 2009, the volume of tobacco products sales across Maryland have fallen by 25. Have the 25 percent of regular smokers that live in Maryland simultaneously dropped smoking looking for a healthy life? I don’t think so.

The major reason for such a dramatic drop is the increase in the state cigarette taxes, that made Maryland become the fourth state in the list of state with highest cigarette taxes.

Maryland smokers currently have to pay $2 for each pack of cigarettes they buy across the state. The previous tax was $1-per pack.

Tobacco tax revenue

One part of smokers decided to limit the consumption of precious smokes, and the other part simply turned their heads to flourishing black market.

Legislators state that they have increased cigarette taxes to help Maryland smokers kick down their harmful habit in favor of a more healthy life. However, this statement is rather ridiculous since the last thing that those adult smokers need is a nanny state telling them what they should do.

Nevertheless, as we all understand the actual aim of the tax increase is collecting more money to help cash-strapped state to cope with dramatic hole in the budget that local government has created by their own. Their intentions are rather clear, since it became popular recently to tax the unpopular minority instead of protecting their personal rights and freedoms.

Thus, as the independent analysts had anticipated, the amount of profit generated by exceptional tobacco taxes has been mush smaller than the government expected. It is just another proof to the axiom that lack of economic knowledge results in revenue losses.

Before approving the tax increase, the Maryland lawmakers should have looked on the state map better. The matter is that every state neighboring Maryland has lower cigarette taxes: Pennsylvania has a $1.35-a-pack, Delaware’s smokers pay $1.15 tax, Virginia is home to one of the lowest taxes in the nation with modest 30 cents per pack, and West Virginia has 55 cent-per pack cigarette tax. Since Maryland is very small in size, its residents prefer to cross the borderline to stock up for cigarettes in the neighboring states.

It was proven a long time ago, that the more restrictions the lawmakers place on a product, the more flourishing the black market becomes. Smokers seek cheaper cigarettes and the black market supplies them, so it is not surprising that police authorities claim they expect the number of detained cigarettes smugglers to double this year in comparison to the previous years.

Maryland authorities state thy have taken control on the smugglers of cigarettes. Police agents have been standing across the borders of Maryland to detain every person who has more cigarettes in their cars than the legal limit permits (two packs), and every individual caught on smuggling would face hefty fines and even prison terms.

Well, in my humble opinion, it is just a plain stupid initiative. I do really think that police officers should better crack down the gangs of smugglers instead of detaining people looking for the opportunities to buy cigarettes at lower cost since they simple could not afford paying $8 for every cigarette pack.




Smokers are fuming about the taste of fire-safe

Bill Peterson has been smoking Marlboro Reds for ten years, and during those years he truly enjoyed his smokes. But now, he has trouble getting used to the flavor of his favorite Marlboros. He says that the cigarettes now have a metal taste and make his tongue and throat itch.

“It has a different taste, and I don’t like that taste,” the 31-year-old accountant complained. “It tastes like a cheaper brand of poor quality.” A tobacco store manager who is now accustomed to such complaints told Peterson what was the problem.

Fire-safe cigarettes

So, Peterson found out that he was puffing on fire-safe cigarettes. Spreading across the country with a booming speed, the FSC are made to self-extinguish when are left burning and not used.

The principal aim is to prevent the ignitions that cause thousands of deadly residential fires annually because smokers forget to extinguish cigarettes or drop them on furniture or bedding.

Fire prevention groups struggled with tobacco companies for many years to demand the manufacture of fire-safe cigarettes in place of conventional ones, before the tobacco industry finally gave up.

So, with almost no bustle, all American states, excluding Wyoming, approved legislations demanding tobacco shops to sell fire-safe cigarettes only.

However, at the same time with the spread of FSC, many smokers started complaining about the bad taste of the new cigarettes. They have even launched an online site, collecting signatures to abolish fire-safe cigarette. Approximately 7.500 people have signed this petition.

Thousands smokers from different states wrote to tobacco companies that the new cigarettes cause cough, nausea, headaches, sore throat, and other adverse effects.

According to a research by Harvard Public Health Department, accomplished in 2005, fire-safe cigarettes contain up to 11 percent more carbon dioxide than traditional cigarettes. The FSC as well contained an increased amount of several additives that was not significant.

However, Philip Morris spokesman claimed that they had not put any chemicals in the fire-safe cigarettes.

The fire-safe cigarettes differ from conventional cigarettes only in the design of paper used to wrap tobacco. Fire-safe cigarettes contain two or three layers of less porous paper which contributes to self-extinguishing.

Philip Morris expects complete phasing out of traditional cigarettes by the first quarter of 2010, while major rival .J. Reynolds would stop the manufacture of traditional cigarettes even sooner.

However, as smoking rates keep falling, deaths in fires caused by tobacco products had been reduced significantly even before the FSC came to the market. According to statistics, in 1985, almost 2,000 people passed away in fires caused by smoking materials. In 2005, 800 deaths were registered.

When New York approved fire-safe cigarettes, becoming the first American state to do it, the number of cigarette-caused fires dropped dramatically: in 2003 there were 38 deadly residential fires across New York and only 24 fatal fires happened in 2007. So, looking on the example of New York, many states easily approved similar legislations.