Category Archives: Tobacco News

Smoking Hookah Still Popular Among Youth

Smoking Hookah

A new study found that a great number of young people think that using hookah will not damage their health. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that using hookah has the same effects on the body as using cigarettes. But data obtained by the latest study shows that many young people believe the water pipes are a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

During the study the researchers asked young visitors of three hookah lounges in Southern California what they think about using hookah. The respondents were young people aged 18 to 30 and the majority of them answered that they think that hookah is safe and will not harm their health. 47% of them believe that the tobacco smoke gets filtered through the water. Around one-third of young respondents told that they consider that fruits flavors used in tobacco help to detoxify harmful substances which makes hookah smoking safe. 16% believed that there is no nicotine in hookah tobacco and therefore is causes no addiction.

The results of the study are published in the journal Nursing Research and the researchers say that these young people’s beliefs are wrong. According to lead researcher Mary Rezk-Hanna, a nursing doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles, these days hookah smoking rates are very high among youth and the researchers wanted to find out the causes of it.

Previous study demonstrated that though use of cigarettes continues to drop, the use of hookah is on the rise, especially among college students. 60% of people participating in the UCLA study told that hookah smoking is a modern way of socializing with friends.

Rezk-Hanna says that the latest study highlights the importance of making more research in the field. Also it is necessary to increase public knowledge about the effects of using hookah, especially among youth.

Previously, Mobile City banned youth from smoking hookah.


Indonesia Refuses to Sign Convention on Tobacco Control


The Government in Indonesia took a decision not to sign Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in order to protect the countrys tobacco industry.

According to Faiz Ahmad, the chief of beverage and tobacco industries at the industry ministry, the decision is very effective because it will work due to existence of the agency which protects the tobacco industry.

It should be said that generally the support for tobacco industry in Indonesia has lowered. The only two authorities that still support it are the trade ministry and the industry ministry.

Faiz Ahmad said that the president of the country refused to sign the Convention due to lack of unanimity among the government agencies regarding the FCTC. Ahmad told about this during his visit to the Barito cigarette factory located in the village of Gondosari, sub-district of Gebog, Kudus, where he was with a group of legislators from the Commission VI of the House of Representatives

Moreover, some time ago the House sent a letter to the governemnt with a solicitation   to delay FCTC singing or not to ratify it at all.

While FCTC is not signed the existing regulation on tobacco industry remains effective. In case Indonesia adopts FCTC, the country will have to increase taxes on cigarettes. These days tobaco industry in Indonesia faces some difficulties due to high production cost as a result of high excise duty.

However, smokers say that if cigarettes prices would go high, they will seek for cheap cigarettes in online cigarette shops.

Ireland Leads EU on Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

Plain Packaging

The Irish government approved draft laws which make tobacco companies use plain packs on tobacco products sold in the country. This is a great and important step towards the improvment of public health, which will improve country’s reputation as a global leader in tobacco control.

If the law will be adopted, it will prohibit use of logos on cigarettes packs. The packs must contain graphic warnings and insriptions like “low tar” are prohibited. With this law Ireland is going to be first country in the European Union who introduced plain packaging for cigarettes.

It is expected that tobacco industry will oppose strongly to this law and their lobbists will defend the industry’s interests. The opponents of the law already told that the plain packaging initiative would cause negative reaction to foreign investors.

Minister for Health says that the goal of Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill is to make cigarettes packs look less attractive to users, especially youth. It will help to prevent people from starting smoking and make people aware about the effects of tobacco use.

Experts say that beautiful cigarettes packs make children start smoking at an early age and soon they easy become regular smokers. They become so addicted that later in life have difficulties with quitting. It is known that tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and 250 of them are harmful. Smoking may cause cancer, cardiovascular diseases and lung disease.

The tobacco industry will dispute the effectiveness of the proposed packaging measures and will talk about intellectual property rights. However, Australia managed to adopt such a law and this is an example to follow.

New Jersey to Increase Age to Buy Cigarettes

Smoking Woman

State committee in New Jersey proposed to increase to 21 legal age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes. If the proposal will be approved, the law will make New Jersey the first state in the USA who requires this age to buy cigarettes.

Back in 2006 the state increased minimum age to buy cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products from 18 to 19. However, Joseph Vitale and Richard Codey, who sponsored the law, told that it still does not prevent youth from smoking.

However, some say that young people may not quit smoking but just find other ways to get cigarettes. Health care providers say that the more young people are discouraged from smoking, the healthier the nation will be.

Karen Blumenfeld from Global Advisers on Smokefree Policy says that it is great that the entire New Jersey consiers such a law. Previosly, New York City increased smoking age to 21. Suffolk County changed its law that will come into action in 2015. Numerous studies found that 90% of young people start smoking before 21, therefore the minimum age to buy cigarettes should be increased.

Now the question is how the law will work and who will carry the responsability of breaking it. The  representatives of NJ Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association are worried about the fact that shop sellers will have to pay penalties for breaking the law. But how thay will determine the age of a person who buys cigarettes?  Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health,  says that it is necessary to ask for ID.

The committee voted 6-2 to approve the bill, which will be then sent to the full Senate for a vote.

In the USA, the state of New Jersey is on the last place in the rating of states who successfully fight smoking.

Tax Increase Will Not Reduce Tobacco Use


British American Tobacco Zimbabwe asked governments in Southern Africa to pay attention to the consequences of high taxes on tobacco products which were increased in order to reduce tobacco use among population.

On May 31 the world celebrated No Tobacco Day and with this regard BAT Zimbabwe released a statement which says that the company does not believe that increasing tobacco taxes will make people refuse from smoking. Instead they will look for cheap cigarettes.

In Southern Africa already are registered high tobacco taxes in comparision with other parts of Africa. In these conditions it would never do to increase taxes again. The economic environment in which the disposable income of smokers remains stretched.

Usually smokers react on cigarettes prices increase with turning to such cheap cigarettes as Doina and Armada which they buy in online cigarettes shops. This helps them to save money. People always look for attractive prices and they are ready to change premium brands for not popular brands.

BAT Zimbabwe asks governments, who want to reduce tobacco usage, to broaden the possibility of their considerations beyond increases in tax. Public health purposes cannot be the single aspect of consideration when using fiscal policy.

In reality, unintended consequences resulted from increases in tax on tobacco products may expose to a risk the achievement of these public health purposes.

The WHO estimated that today there are one billion smokers worldwide and that by 2050 this number could increase to 2.2billion.  BAT Zimbabwe says that there is a need for a different approach to tobacco taxation that takes into consideration all the potential unintended consequences.

WHO Calls for Tobacco Taxes Increase


On May 31 the world would celebrate No Tobacco Day. In connection with this the WHO calls the countries in the entire world to increase taxes on tobacco in order to encourage smokers to quit and prevent youth from becoming smokers.

The WHO estimated that increasing tobacco taxes by 50% in all countries worldwide will help to reduce the number of smokers by 49 million within the next 3 years.

These days smoking incurs considerable costs for families, governments and businesses because treating smoking related diseases is quite expensive. Smoking-related disease affect negatively businesses because low productivity leads to income drop.

The WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan considers that increasing taxes on cigarettes is the most effective way to reduce tobacco use among people.

High prices on cigarettes are very effective in discouraging young people from starting smoking and becoming regular smokers. Moreover, they encourage existing young smokers to reduce their tobacco use or quit.

According to Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director of the Department for Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases at WHO, increasing prices on cigarettes helps to reduce tobacco use among young people than among older adults. Adult smokers say that when taxes are increased they buy cheap cigarettes in the Internet.

The  WHO estimates that if all countries in the world increased tobacco taxes by 50% per pack, governments would gain US$ 101 billion in global revenue.  For example, fhose money could be used in social programmes.

Philippines and France are countries that increased taxes on cigarettes and this measure proved to be effective. Thus in France has reduced the number of people suffering from smoking related diseases, and in Philippines the Government gathered more money than it was expected and wants to spend them on health services.

Earlier FDA launched an anti-smoking campaign aimed at youth

Anti-Tobacco Sign Campaign in India


Due to upcoming World No Tobacco Day that is celebrated on May 31, the District Tobacco Control Cell (DTCC) in India has launched a signature campaign to support a proposal to raise taxes on tobacco products.

Health care providers are worried by the fact that these days a great number of adult population in Assam smokes cheapest cigarettes.

Main slogan of 2014 World No Tobacco Day is  ‘Raise Taxes on Tobacco’ . Activists started to gather signatures on Wednesday, May 21, and there is expected that there will be collected nearly one lakh signatures in a week’s time.

The main goal of the initiative is to increase involvement of the state government in the fight against tobacco and discourage people from smoking cigarettes and use of other smoking products.

It was estimated that around 40% of Assam’s adult population is addicted to nicotine and in the state there is one of the highest amount of people suffering from smoking-related diseases. Besides this, in the Assam there was reported growing number of individuals over 15 years of age who smoke cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.

According to Samiran Baruah, district nodal officer, DTCC, the situation is quite sad, because a lot of young people smoke and they do not understand that their health may be affected in some way. Signature sheets were put in prominent places in the district to attract people. Besides this, it is expected that hospitals and restaurants will help the campaign.

The final signature papers will be given to the state government so that it increases taxes on tobacco products. There were prepared more than 5,000 sheets and activists hope to collect nearly one lakh signatures.

Lorillard To Participate In The Goldman Sachs Global Staples Summit


The representatives of Lorillard Inc., the third largest tobacco company in the USA declared this week that Murray S. Kessler, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, together with David H. Taylor, Chief Financial Officer, will take part in the Goldman Sachs Global Staples Summit that will be held in New York.

The manufacturer of Kent cigarettes will make a presentation on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, starting from 1:20 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. Eastern.

The presentation may be seen on the Internet as it will be broadcast live on the Lorrilard official website, the Investor Relations section. Do not worry if you miss live presentation because after the event it will be available in an archived format for 30 days.

Lorillard was founded in 1760 and is considered the oldest tobacco company in the USA. Nowadays Lorillard Inc. through its Lorillard Tobacco Company subsidiary, is the third largest cigarettes maker in the USA. Most popular and successful cigarettes brand by Lorillard is Newport, which is number one among menthol cigarettes. This brand is second largest selling cigarette brand in the America after Marlboro.

Other cigarette brands made by Lorillard are  Old Gold, True, Kent and Maverick. Totally five brands include 43 different varieties which do vary in taste, flavor, strength, packaging and price.

The newest smoking product by the company is electronic cigarette blu eCigs which occupies a steady position on the market. Kent, Newport, True, Old Gold, Maverick, blu eCigs are the registered trademarks of Lorillard and its subsidiaries. The tobacco company produces all of its traditional cigarette products in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Anti-Smoking Activists Against Smoking in Movies

The Great Gatsby Smoking

Recently the anti-tobacco youth group Reality Check gave awards to such Hollywood starts as Woody Allen, Leonardo Dicaprio and Johnny Depp, people who promote smoking in movies.

They were called “Shame” by activists.

The organization includes a local chapter from Schenectady, Albany and Rensselaer counties. It analyzed for many years how Hollywood encourages people to smoke.

Reality Check’s International Week of Action gives her annual “Shame” and “Fame” awards one week before official 86th Academy Awards on March 2.

The Shame Award winners are:
1.  Actor Johnny Depp, for permitting the famous animated character he voiced in the cartoon “Rango” to smoke cigarettes.
2. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, for smoking in the movie “The Great Gatsby.”
3. Film director Woody Allen, for exposuring youth to tobacco smoke in his movies.

The Fame Award winners are:
1. Stanton A. Glanz & Jono Polansky of the Smoke Free Movies Network, for protecting children and teenagers from tobacco imagery in films.
2. Walt Disney Studios, for providing family entertainment with a assurance to protecting kids and teens from tobacco imagery.
3.  National Association of Attorneys General & The New York State Attorney General’s Office for their work to protect youth from tobacco imagery in movies.

The Motion Picture Association of American told it will not modify its rating system to attribute an R rating when smoking is showed in a movie.

Latest Surgeon General’s Report wrote that young people who see in movies smoking scenes are more likely to smoke in their adult age. Kids and teens who are exposured to smoking on TV are about twice as likely to start smoking as those who get the least exposure.

The anti-smoking young activists consider that movies with smoking scenes should be R rated.

Retailers in Ireland Worried About Introduction of Plain Packs

Plain Cigarette Pack

In Ireland the representatives of Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association ( CSNA) told that Australia adopted too strict measures in order to improve their legislation on tobacco packaging.

According to Vincent Jennings, who is CSNA chief executive, the introduction of plain cigarettes packaging in Ireland should be delayed. The initiative should be discussed first in order to determine all pros and cons.

On the meeting Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Vincent Jennings said that he was worried that there was not estimated the regulatory impact of the plain packs proposal.

The Public Health Bill entitled Standardised Packaging of Tobacco will introduce standardised plain packaging on all tobacco products.  The Bill will clarify the position and size of health warnings displayed on cigarette packets.

The Australian anti-tobacco measures included a 25% annual increase in excise taxes during four years.  Australian government totally spent A$85m (€56.3m) on tobacco policy, and A$28m of them were spent on high-risk and disadvantaged groups.

Mr Jennings added that the Australian government reduced the number of duty-free cigarettes from 250 to 50.

Australia introduced plan cigarettes packs in 2011 and it is the first country in the world who did this. Now many countries worldwide want to follow this example.