Tag Archives: tobacco

California to Raise Tobacco Buying Age to 21

Girl Smoking

California State Capitol wants to adopt a number of statewide anti-smoking laws. Four years ago former state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger folded his cigar smoking tent on grounds of Capitol and now the sate makes a new step towards reduction of tobacco use.

At the beginning, there will be adopted a bill increasing a legal smoking age from 18 to 21. Legislators talk about concerns about public and kids health, health costs, and adult responsability.

Ed Hernandez, state Senator, is the author of the bill called Senate Bill 151, which expands Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act (STAKE).

The existing anti-smoking law bans posession and purchase of cigarettes and tobacco products by people under 18.

However, the proposed extension of the law says:

“A person is prohibited from making various promotional or advertising offers of smokeless tobacco products without taking actions to ensure that the product is not available to persons under 18 years of age. Existing law also requires the State Department of Public Health to conduct random, onsite sting inspections of tobacco product retailers with the assistance of persons under 18 years of age.”

It increases to 21 the buying age and imposes that State Department of Public Health may make random compliance inspections of retailers. The major purpose of the bill is to prevent kids from becoming addicted to cigarettes at an early age.

According to California branch of the American Lung Association, 90% of smokers begin before they turn 19.

However, the opposers claim that if people can make military and vote at age of 18, it seems nonsense that they cannot buy cigarettes. Opposers agree with 21 as legal age, because drinking is more harmful than smoking.

Health experts say the law is needed, because annually 21,300 California kids start smoking.

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.


Lorillard Received FDA Approval for New Products

lorillard-received FDA-approval-for-new-products

This week Lorillard Inc. declared that is has received from FDA a notification about two of its tobacco products (non-menthol cigarettes) that were found “substantially equivalent” to tobacco products previously permitted to be sold on the USA market.

The finding made by FDA allows Lorillard to start marketing of the new products, which do correspond to all requirements of regulated tobacco products.  The FDA got the authority to regulate tobacco products in 2009.

Lorillard is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the USA. It was created in 1760 and is the oldest tobacco company in the USA. Lorillard is famous for production of Kent cigarettes.

This case is absolutely without precedent as nothing similar never happend before. Now FDA gave for the first time an approval for cigarettes. Lorillard is the only tobacco company which has received such marketing approval through the substantially equivalent pathway. The manufacturer intends to launch its new non-menthol cigarettes to adult smokers in the nearest future.

The representatives of the tobacco company say they are glad their tobacco products received the authorization from FDA and their products are substantially equivalent to existing tobacco products currently marketed. They said they are happy to be first company in US tobacco industry to be approved by such an authority. The company representatives add they believe that the research made in the field by FDA reflects sound science. This is an important step forward.

Supermarkets launch ban to display cigarettes

Open Tobacco Display

Supermarkets were banned from displaying cigarettes and other tobacco products after new rule became effective on April, 29.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson states that this step is the “right step” to discourage the younger generation from start smoking.

The open display ban was implemented as part of the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010, which will also touch on the sale of cigarettes from vending machines banned.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland have already introduced identical bans to avoid supermarkets from displaying cigarettes and tobacco products.

Stores that do not conform could be charged of a criminal offence or receive a fixed fine from trading standards officers.

“These bans are the right move to avoid teenagers in Scotland from try using cigarettes,” Mr Matheson said.

“It is well known that smoking is related to a variety of disease and is the major preventable cause of ill health. Annually, tobacco consumption is connected with more than 54,000 hospital admissions in Scotland.

“For this reason it is so necessary that this government works to improve health by lowering the amount of people who prefer smoking and evidence demonstrates that adolescents encountered with the advertising of cigarettes are more likely to start smoking.”

The Scottish Government’s Tobacco Control Strategy also supports the launch of standardized packaging.

Vicky Crichton, senior public affairs manager in Scotland for Cancer Research UK, claimed: “The following move is to get rid of all branding from cigarette packs. This would mean an end to the attractive, slickly designed packs that can appeal young adults into considering tobacco isn’t dangerous and would make all tobacco brands look the same.”

The Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance – which refers to more than 26,000 shopkeepers across the UK – has spoken out against the new rule.

TRA Scotland spokesman Geoff Barrett, who is a merchant in Glasgow, explained: “There is still no trustworthy data that launching this ban will prevent youngsters from smoking.

“That’s not really unexpected as we all know youngsters smoke because of peer pressure or because friends or families are smokers.

“Rather than burdening retailers with yet more rules and limitations, the Scottish Government should evaluate the problem of tobacco smuggling, which is very prevalent across Scotland and which is a major source of tobacco for Scotland’s young smokers.

“It also doesn’t make any sense that the UK Government is still considering standardized packaging before this latest restriction on display has even been introduced in Scotland, let alone evaluated.”

Supersmarkets are characterized as those with a relevant floor area exceeding 280 square metres. Smaller retailers have until April 6, 2015 to conform to the display ban.

Tobacco Review


Tobacco is a large perennial herbaceous blooming plant that belongs to the solanaceae or nightshade family. It is the world’s most commonly grown non-food plant and is selected by growers from more than 120 countries due to its performance under broadly different climatic and soil conditions to fulfill the requirements of many various markets.

The tobacco plant varies from one to three metres in height and produces 10 to 20 leaves from its main stalk. About 90 percent of tobacco grows between 40º north and 40º south, although it can be grown up to 60º north.

A native crop of the Americas, tobacco is grown in order to get its leaves. But, for commercial cultivation the flowers are take off in order to encourage the leaves to grow further down the stem. Variations in soil and climate create leaves that have particular features and need various methods of fertilization, insect and disease control, growing and curing. All tobacco types belong to the Nicotiana genus, even though the main source of industrial tobacco is Nicotiana Tabacum. Nicotiana Rustica is as well cultivated, albeit to a far lesser extent, and used in Oriental tobaccos.

Farmers have created a broad variety of morphologically various types, from the small-leaved aromatic tobaccos to the large, broad-leaved cigar tobaccos. Yet, each kind of tobacco is usually identified by the curing technique applied to it.

Curing is the last stage in the manufacturing of tobacco. After that, the leaves are marketed to be turned into the ultimate tobacco product, e.g. cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff.

With the aid of curing, the moisture content in the tobacco leaf is lowered from 80 percent to about 20 percent, therefore guaranteeing the tobacco’s preservability. Further, the various techniques of curing also enrich the leaf’s natural aroma. As various tobacco products need leaves with various characteristics, the unique flavour of each type of tobacco is what establishes its suitability for use in various tobacco products.

In curing barns leaves will be dried out some time. After the curing process is finished and the leaf has dehydrated completely, fresh air is released into the curing barn, a bit moistening the leaves as to enable them to be sent for sale without crumbling.

A licence to smoke

Female Smoker

Sydney University public health expert Simon Chapman has prompted the Australian government to provide smokers with yearly licences that would identify the quantity of cigarettes they could purchase.

Giving up the licence would be compensated with the payment of all the fees paid. If you give up smoking at 40, for example, you might be looking at a windfall of a few thousand dollars.

“If a person puts an additional dollar on a pack and put that into the incentive fund, the person stopping smoking would get all that money back as well,” Mr. Chapman said.

A specific glory of the licensing system would be a efficient anti-smoking strategy, with health authorities gaining from having a list of smokers’ data and details of their habit. Someone who, for example, proved resolve one year about quitting by claiming 10 cigarettes a day rather than 20 could be aimed with an individual incentive to take that final step.

Mr. Chapman wants governments to be bold in their thinking and treat tobacco like the dangerous substance it is.

Cigarettes, in contrast, are widely available to any adult person.

“Tobacco is marketed in the way it is as the style of marketing was set up long before the proof was in about the negative affects of smoking,” Mr. Chapman said. “But there is that evidence since the 1950s.” Certainly, the program would be complex. Licensed tobacco retailers would need to have a swipe-card reader and be prohibited from selling tobacco products to anyone who does not have a licence. People applying for a licence would take a test to find whether they completely knew the risks of smoking.

That the tobacco industry would struggle the initiative tooth and nail was evident from a declaration that British American Tobacco made this year.

“Manu adult people enjoy cigarette smoking and will continue to smoke and it’s their right. It is sold a controversial product, but it’s a legal.” Jeff Collin, a public health specialist from Scotland’s Edinburgh University, condemned Chapman’s proposal from a different perspective, stating that the target of anti-smoking campaigns should keep with the providers, rather than move to customers.

“Another apparent criticism is that, if tobacco is so dangerous, why not ban it?” Mr. Chapman said. “Some people are greatly hooked. It would be a formula for a very significant black market supplying those desperate people.”

Holyrood vow to snuff out tobacco habit in Scotland

Cigarettes Display

Smokers could confront tougher limitations on smoking as the Scottish Government intends to extinguish the habit over the next two decades.

On November 26, SNP ministers affirmed plans to release a timetable in 2013 on making Scotland smoke-free.

No details of the date or exact suggestions to reach the goal have been revealed.

Public health experts indicated ministers would have to focus on “distribution networks” such as stores if they want to fulfill the “ambitious but realistic” goal.

Smokers’ group Forest said laws had already gone too far and required an end to people being teased into quitting smoking.

New Zealand has established the target of becoming tobacco-free by 2025 and lately introduced a 40% increase in cigarette taxes over the next 4 years.

In Finland the government has said it plans to eliminate smoking totally by 2040.

It is considered the Scottish Government is supposed to make its tobacco-free goal within the same frame of time.

Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce a smoking ban in public places in March 2006.

According to the latest data, the percentage of Scots adults smoking dropped from 25.7% in 2006 to 23.3% in 2011.

In 1999, just in excess of 30% of adults in Scotland were smokers.

Professor Gerard Hastings, of Stirling University’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research, accepted the concept of targeting for a tobacco-free country.

He said ministers should examine more limited “distribution networks” for cigarettes.

He pointed to Sainsbury’s, which lately released the elimination of tobacco from sale at six supermarkets in reply to the Scottish Government’s health levy on business rates paid by big shops marketing cigarettes and alcohol.

He said that perhaps tobacco sales will be out of stores altogether, focus it in small stores and train up the staff of small outlets in public health issues so they know what they are working with.”

John Watson, of anti-smoking group Ash Scotland, said that if the Scottish Government establishes a date and declares it wants to be tobacco-free by this date, it will be great. He added that this will actually enhance the idea that Scotland is a leading nation regarding tackling tobacco.”

But Simon Clark, of Forest, said that people are no longer motivated or informed about quitting smoking.

The Scottish Government affirmed the new tobacco strategy to be released in 2013 would include goals for Scotland to be tobacco-free.

A spokeswoman said that the strategy will give attention to prevention, protection and cessation and will also contain both an analysis of quitting smoking services and goals for minimizing smoking across Scotland.”

Farmers find tobacco growing financially more rewarding

Tobacco Field

In spite of controversies around the tobacco cultivation, growers in Bangladesh consider it to be financially more profitable than other crops, as outlined by a review released lately by the Policy Research Institute (PRI).

The mean income of tobacco farmers is close to 30 per cent higher than non-tobacco farmers, the review stated mostly based on field-level study.

Tobacco has become a prime cash crop in a number of regions such as Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari, particularly helping the poor during the ‘monga’ period, the review mentioned.

Nielsen Bangladesh gathered and compiled the field level main information from the tobacco cultivating areas of Rangpur, Kushtia and Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). Review included farmers who are growing tobacco and as well farmers growing crops other than tobacco.

The PRI review stated that export quality tobacco cultivation has created employment for many farmers in the tobacco growing regions. In addition, another 100,000 jobs may have been generated in tobacco export-related activities, the review said.

The optimistic profits from tobacco cultivation have been as well shown in the growth of raw tobacco exports from Bangladesh. In the fiscal 2009-10, the tobacco export profits generated more than $50 million and the amount raised to more than $80 million in the next fiscal (2010-11).

Nevertheless, imposition of 10 percent tax on the export of tobacco in the FY11 budget has influenced adversely the country’s tobacco export. The worldwide blue chip cigarette firms intend to remove Bangladesh from the number of supply chain because of constant policy changes. As a result, the PRI review said, tobacco, being the second most crucial agricultural export after jute, may even fade from the Bangladesh’s export basket.

The review describing the farmers’ preference to tobacco cultivation over other crops said that the growers in the regions pointed out above cultivate tobacco as the crop produces earnings higher than other crops and they get the money at one-go under buyback guarantee provided by cigarette manufacturers. Furthermore, more than two-third tobacco farmers noted that tobacco did not contend with the manufacturing of other food crops.

The prevalence of poverty, the filed review unveiled, is much higher (47.5 per cent) among the non-tobacco farmers than the tobacco farmers (29.25 per cent).

Unlike widespread claims of health risk regarding the cultivation of tobacco, about 89 percent answerers covering both tobacco and non-tobacco farmers said that tobacco cultivation and green leaf handling do not lead to any disease. But, the review said more analysis is needed to find out why a section of tobacco farmers suffer from skin disease and respiratory problems.

Cigarette duty in the Cayman Islands doubled


With effect from September 17, the import tax on tobacco products, namely cigarettes, in the Cayman Islands is established to be increased by $2.10 per pack of 20 cigarettes, showing a 100 percent increase in tax, the Premier’s Office made an announcement on September 14.

In accordance with a news release, in line with the increase in duty on cigarettes, the import duty rate on alcohol will be increased as well. The increase will be made up of 30 cents per litre for all alcohol, among them ale, beer, wines, champagne and spirits.

Osbourne Bodden, who is an owner of a liquor store, gas station and fry fish hut in Bodden Town, said that it is a tactical move as taking into account that the cost of living for people is already high, any kind of heavy duties in tobacco and alcohol areas is going to make people’s lives that much more miserable.

Besides the increase in tax on cigarettes and alcohol, the Cayman Islands government will now establish a $100 inspection fee on all cargo containers and a fee of $2 per 100 pounds (or part thereof) on all loose cargo and packages.

Jacques Scott Group Managing Director Peter Dutton said that he knew about a forthcoming increase in tobacco and alcohol tax, but he had no idea what the specific increases would be. He said that he would have to crunch the numbers before he could estimate the potential effects on his business.

The dominant market rate for a 20-cigarettes-pack is nearly $6, together with $2.10 in import tax. Beginning with September 17, the import tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes will be $4.20. If shops pass on the entire tax increase to customers, that means the market rate for a pack of 20 cigarettes will increase to $8.

Meantime, the present price for a carton of 10 packs of 20 cigarettes is nearly US$31 in the airport’s duty-free stores.

The present tax on cigars is 102 percent of the value of the cigars. The tax on chewing tobacco that is sold in packages of nearly 1.3 ounces is $1.49 per pound.

Beer rush 

Contrary to the cigarette tax increase, the hike in tax on alcohol is relatively reasonable. The import tax on ale, beer and cider is up from $1.65 per litre to $1.95 per litre.

But, the more reasonable hike did not stop Cayman Islands retailers from making a run on alcohol products, especially beer, looking to store ahead of September 17.

The tax on table wine is up according to the new import fees from $3.30 to $3.60 per litre; the tax on champagne is up from $10.50 to $10.80 per litre; and the tax on spirits (containing less than 50% alcohol by volume, or 100 proof) is up from $11.55 to $11.85 per litre.

Russian channel to censor ‘The Simpsons’

The Simpsons Smoking

On August 31 a Russian national channel, 2×2, said that it would ban the broadcasting of “The Simpsons” cartoon episodes to conform a new regulation that prohibits scenes of violence, drinking and smoking till a late off-peak.

The 2×2 channel that is focused at young adults said AFP that it would remove episodes where the Simpsons family watches a humorous ultra-violent cartoon called “The Itchy & Scratchy Show” after the law becomes operational on Friday.

General Director Lev Makarov said that in accordance with the new regulation they cannot broadcast ‘The Itchy & Scratchy Show’ from ‘The Simpsons'” before 11 p.m.

He added that they will edit an ironic way all the programmes where there are episodes that are exposed to the new rule. For instance, they will black-out the screen and write a humorous message in a rolling caption.

Lev Makarov said that the 2×2 channel would move all its showings of another US cartoon, “South Park”, to after the watershed because of a periodic joke about one of the characters being murdered each episode.

He said that all the scenes from ‘South Park’ where ‘they killed Kenny’ should be removed until 11 pm. Thus, ‘South Park’ will be broadcasted after 11 pm.

The wide-ranging rule on “defending children from information causing harm to their health and development” says that scenes promoting youth to try drugs, tobacco or alcohol or admitting violence must not be displayed until 11 pm.

It got wide criticism from Russia’s Internet companies with corrections signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in July that permit the state to make a black list of websites and urge their closure.

Earlier the 2×2 channel has met legal difficulties over its cartoons.

In 2008, Moscow prosecutors charged 2×2 with extremism over an episode of “South Park” on the occasion of Christmas after a plaint was filed by members of a conservative group, but the charges were ultimately declined.