Category Archives: Tobacco News

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.

New Documentary About Surgeon General’s Report


In January US Department of Health and Human Services celebrated the 50th anniversary of release of first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. In this regard they published a new report called “The Health Consequences of Smoking–50 Years of Progress”.

However, a new documental film recently released says that efforts to reduce smoking have become more symbol than substance.  The film is called  “Blowing Smoke: The Lost Legacy of the Surgeon General’s Report” and is directed by Alan Blum, chief of The University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society. The film says that annually huge money are spent on funds responsable for anti-smoking campaigns but seems like those money are wasted because smoking is still prevalent in the USA.

Back in January 11, 1964, when the Surgeon General’s Report was released, the author Dr. Luther L. Terry said that tobacco smoking is connected to lung cancer in males and is a health threat of serious importance to demand appropriate remedial action. However, mister Blum is pessimistic in this context. He says that the decades of anti-smoking efforts have failed because tobacco industry is very powerful and it does not want to lose its business.

Surgeon General Terry’s report of 1964 should have marked the beginning of the end of the Marlboro Man. Today Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, is the leading tobacco company which uses method of recruitment of college students as the new Marlboro sales force. It was estimated that though the number of American adults who smoke has lowered to 20%, the number of people who continue to smoke is almost the same as in 1964.

Blum speaks about the necessity to reduce demand for cigarettes, which remain the major cause of heart disease, cancer, emphysema, and high health costs.

FDA Launching Anti-Smoking Campaign Aimed at Youth

Anti-Smoking Campaign

The FDA launches ads with people having wrinkles and yellow teeth in order to show teenagers the effects of long-term smoking. The $115 million anti-smoking campaign is called “The Real Cost” and its main goal is to prevent teenagers from smoking and encourage them to quit.

The campaign starts on February 11 and will last one year. During the campaign will be shown ads in more than 200 markets throughout the USA. Also ads will be shown on MTV, magazines for teens and even social media.

Mitch Zeller, the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, told that children are our future, therefore it is important to educate them now about the effects of smoking. Statistics and numbers will not reach them, therefore FDA used visual tools which will reach them easily.

Zeller, who analyzed the anti-tobacco campaign called “Truth”, said that the new campaign is a “compelling, provocative and somewhat graphic way” of attracting the attention of more than 10 million young people that are open to cigarettes.

It was estimated that around 90% of adult people started to smoke by age 18 and more than 700 children under 18 become regular smokers every day.

The FDA intends to reduce by 300,000 number of young smokers within three years. “While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don’t believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. The new anti-smoking campaign is focused on things that matter to teenagers, for example, appearence and the desire to be independent.

In two of TV ads teeangers enter a store to buy cigarettes and when salesman says that cigarettes will cost more than they have, the teens give a piece of their skin or a tooth to pay for their cigarettes.

In future the FDA wants to target young adults aged 18 – 24 and people who influence teenagers, including family members, parents and peers.

New Jersey Has Worst Results in Anti-Smoking Funding


American Lung Association in its latest report “State of Tobacco Control” writes that New Jersey is failing in funding quit smoking and tobacco prevention programs.

Each year, the American Lung Association releases such an report which contains information on implementation of state policies regarding tobacco use, cessation, prevention, taxation, and for each state gives grades.

The American Lung Association says that the main aim of the report is to take serious actions agains smoking in order to eliminate secondhand smoke and reducing smoking rates among population.

New Jersey received an “A” grade for smoke-free air, “B” grade for  cigarette tax and “F” grade for tobacco control, prevention, spending and cessation. It means that some anti-smoking efforts are successful and some are not. Deb Brown, the American Lunch Association of the Mid-Atlantic’s CEO says that regretably, New Jersey is the only state that did not invest state money into funding the New Jersey Comprehensive Control Program.

In 2003 the Comprehensive Control Program got $30 million, but funding gradually lowered and is now non-existent.  Besides this, the state fails to help smokers wanting to quit adequately, thus it takes multiple attempts to quit smoking. However, in spite of these failed anti-smoking efforts, New Jersey manages to show good results in taxing tobacco products and providing smoke-free air for employees.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli is happy to see New Jersey’s grade in the air quality category but cannot say why Gov. Chris Christie has failed to fund the smoking prevention programs.  If a person likes to smoke — it is his personal choice, but non-smokers should be protected from tobacco smoke.

In  New Jersey smoking is prohibited in workplaces, restaurants, bars, schools, childcare facilities. Today the only public places where smoking is permitted ar casinos and gambling establishments.  In  New Jersey the highest smoking rates are reported in Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland.

Philip Morris International, Leading Maker of Cigarettes

Marlboro Cigarettes

Coca-Cola is a perfect model of a wonderful business. Altria Group and Philip Morris International are two tobacco companies that have so many important features with Coca-Cola that long-term investors ought to hold all three in the same regard

Coca-Cola, Altria and Philip Morris International are leading companies in their respective markets. Coca-Cola has a leading 17% of its market.

Altria and Philip Morris International  produce Marlboro, most popular cigarette brand, which has a biggest share of tobacco market. Marlboro enjoys a 42.6% share of the U.S. and international market.

Altria, that produces and distributes Marlboro within in the USA, has a 50% share of the U.S. cigarette market, 30% of the U.S. cigar market, and 50% of smokeless tobacco market.

Philip Morris International, that distributes Marlboro worldwide, was spun off from Altria in March 2008. Besides Marlboro, it owns 7 of the top 15 international cigarette brands that includes Philip Morris, L&M and Bond Street. Philip Morris International’s cigarettes brands have a 29% share of the world cigarette market, excluding China and the U.S.

Leading market share provide Altria, and Philip Morris International significant advantages. Smokers are literally addicted to cigarettes and show their favorite brand loyalty.

Besides pricing power, Philip Morris International and Altria, and have significant economies of scale in manufacturing and distribution. Each of these tobacco companies has fixed costs across a number of tobacco products sold in comparison with its competitors, which helps then to get higher operating profits.

Warnings on Every Cigarette Encourage More Smokers to Quit

cigarette packs

A research showed that health warnings on every cigarette would encourage more people to quit smoking.

The talk is about timelines that demonstrate smokers that every cigarette shortens their life by 11 minutes and a list of toxic substances found in cigarettes that affect health negatively.The results of the study were published in Tobacco Control Journal.

Researchers from Bangor University intend to continue work over this subject and want to encourage Government to take its results into consideration.  It should be noted that in November, ministers agreed to introduce plain cigarettes packs in order to make smoking less attractive for youth.

The Government  told about a review of the policy which could make tobacco companies use plain packaging by 2015.

In a study by Bangor University’s Business School there was found that people were 16% more likely to quit smoking if they used cigarettes with health warnings.

In the study participated 200 smokers from Greece and Scotland and there were given different regular cigarettes with warnings and without them. One cigarette variety had a timeline of 11 minutes printed on each cigarette to demonstrate how much each puff shortens smoker’s life. Another variety had a list of most toxic substances that it contains.

In 2012 Australia first introduced plain packaging for cigarettes and today all cigarettes brands are sold in olive-coloured packs with health warnings.  A study found that this measure is extremely effective and such warnings do encourage more smokers to quit.

Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs could Reduce Number of Smokers in the US


A new study published in Tobacco Control journal demonstrates that graphic warning labels on cigarette packs resulted in decrease in smoking rates in Canada by 20% in 2009. The authors of the study say that if the USA introdused graphic warnings, it would help to decrease significantly number of smokers in the country.

However, FDA depreciated the health impact of graphic warnings. Based on Canada’s experience, the FDA in 2011 estimated the impact of graphic warning labels on U.S. smoking rates, In August 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concluded that the FDA’s analysis performed by the agency has no enough evidence that the graphic warnings are likely to reduce number of smokers.

The authors of the latest study wrote that the model used by the FDA greatly depreciated the actual impact of graphic warning labels. They used statistical methods in order to compare smoking rates in Canada nine years after and nine years before graphic warnings were introduced. Thus they found that in Canada smoking rates greatly decreased after introduction of graphic warnings.

The newest results demonstrate that the potential reduction in smoking rates is 33-53 times greater than that was estimated by FDA. It proves that use of graphic pictures is effective when the talk is about reduction of number of smokers. According to Dr. Huang, the author of the research, these findings are extremely important for the initiative to introduce graphic warnings in the USA.

Franklin Board of Health Wants to Raise Tobacco Purchase Age


The Board of Health in Franklin wants to adopt a new tobacco regulation that would increase age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.  Bruce Hunchard, the Board Chairman, asked to include age limit in new tobacco regulation.

The proposal to limit age for cigarettes purchases came last month from Dr. Lester Hartman of Westwood & Mansfield Pediatrics. He told that the issue is very important because it was estimated that almost 90% of people become smokers before they turn 18.

The first town in the country that increased the age restriction from 18 to 21 is Needham that did it back in 2005.  In the MetroWest area around 10 towns have recently increased their tobacco purchase age.  During the past years Needham expanded its tobacco control regulations. According to Berns, changes that were made helped to promote tobacco education at the state level.

Department of Public Heath reports that the rate of sales of tobacco to minors in Needham is 79% lower than in other cities.

As you probably know, recently Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg signed a law which increases the legal age limit to 21. Health Department of the New York City cited data from Needham, saying that between 2006 and 2012, there was reduced by 50% number of high school students in town who smoked in the last 30 days. That is the reason why now more cities in the USA want to follow this example.

Franklin Health Director David McKearney told that new tobacco regulation in their town resembles the one in Needham. At the moment Franklin has no comprehensive tobacco control laws.

The details of the regulations were not discussed, but McKearney told that he wanted to include controls for flavored cigars and e-cigarettes. He will consider prohibiting smoking in membership clubs, which are excluded from the state’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law.

Graphic Warning Images On Cigarettes Reduce Smoking Among Young Adults


Recently in the USA there was made a new study on the effects of graphic health warning labels.

The study was performed by Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy and supported by FDA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The results of the study showed that use of graphic health warning labels in the USA have positive effects on the population, especially on young people.

The results of the study were published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research and they do confirm the results of several early studies which showed that graphic health warning labels play a significant role in preventing youth from smoking.

In 2009 there was adopted Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which required the FDA to include new warning labels on cigarette packs and in cigarette ads. In 2011, FDA published a final variant of the rule which demanded that graphic health warning labels to go with 9 new text warning statements. However, the introduction of these warnings was delayed.

This is the fist study which examined the effectiveness of graphic warning images among young adults in the USA. It used data from the Legacy Young Adult Cohort Study to examine the effects of graphic health warning labels on smoking intentions among 4,196 people between 18 — 34.

It was found that 53% of participants said that graphic images made them think about no to smoke cigarettes (40% smokers and 56% non-smokers). More than 23% of non-smokers and more than 10% of smokers said that warning images made them refuse from ciagrttes.

A past study showed that graphic health warning labels could reduce in the USA smoking-related problems by influencing smoking behavior of young adults. Also it demonstrated that both adults and youth are more likely to remember big warnings saying they have stinger impact.

Studies on the graphic health warning labels made in other countries worldwide demonstrated that use of graphic warnings resulted in higher quit smoking attempts and reduced relapse among ex-smokers.