Campaigns and Lobbying: Key Activists and Their Roles

For years, various activists have been promoting tobacco control in Mexico and in Mexico City. In particular, the knowledge, expertise and political connections of representatives from NGOs organizations – including the Inter- American Heart Foundation (FIC), the Alliance for Tobacco Control (ACTA) and the Mexican Council Against Tobacco (CMCT) – played an important role in supporting the promotion and adoption of a comprehensive smoke-free law in Mexico DF. The World Lung Foundation provided expertise and support in the development of media campaigns to advance the smoke-free agenda. Complementing the work of NGOs was the National Institute for Public Health [INSP], a government agency under the federal Health Secretariat. INSP played a vital role in supporting the legislation and in coordinating and carrying out research studies.
Although all of these groups had been active in the past, most had been operating primarily with volunteers and therefore their impact was limited. Just prior to the campaign, some organizations had begun to receive significant funding from the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. This funding enabled paid staff and operational budgets for research, education and media, and greatly strengthened the capacity of tobacco advocates and their allies to act effectively.
To strengthen and coordinate their actions in support of the law, these activists and others came together under the umbrella of the CMCT. This enabled them to discuss joint strategies and actions and facilitated lobbying. To support the lobbying agenda, a public relations agency, with financial backing from Pfizer, was commissioned to lobby the Assembly in Mexico City, as well as the National Congress.
The speed with which the Mexico DF law emerged and its rapid adoption meant that tobacco advocates had to react quickly to the opportunity that presented itself. They coordinated their campaign, provided technical information, were visible in media campaigns, carried out studies and lobbied and worked closely with local politicians who were pushing for smokefree legislation.
Their specific involvement included:
– offering support, advice and guidance to politicians who were promoting and supporting the smoke-free law;
– actively organizing and participating in press conferences and utilizing massmedia to support the agenda;
– organizing street campaigns and the distribution of leaflets, posters, banners and brochures;
– participating in key research agendas.
A key part of the NGOs’s strategy was to create the “image” – particularly to the Legislative Assembly and its members – of an organized coalition with a common objective. By working together and combining their tobacco control and legal expertise under the umbrella of CMCT, legislators and the media perceived that there was a coordinated group of activists. As a result, they became well-positioned to lobby, regularly engage with key politicians and to provide and promote arguments to support the law. 4.4.7 Building on their success at DF level, NGOs have also pushed for effective and comprehensive smoke-free laws at the federal level. Working to strengthen the General Health Law, they have attempted to secure restrictions and requirements within the regulations that would make it very difficult to create smoking rooms at establishments – even if the law, in principle, permits them.

Kentucky tobacco farmers dealt late-season setback

Recent heavy rains that soaked Kentucky delivered a late-season setback to some tobacco farmers as their leaf ripens, dampening their hopes for a bumper crop after a couple of drought years.
More than a half-foot of rain fell across part of the Bluegrass State last week as the bulk of the burley tobacco crop was curing in tobacco farmersbarns – an autumn ritual when the long green leaves gradually change to reddish brown in a process that prepares the leaf for market.
The prolonged stretch of wet weather in the state that leads the nation in burley production at least briefly heightened the risk of tobacco being afflicted with mold or fungus that can rot away part of the leaf.
Fields with uncut tobacco turned into muddy bogs, slowing harvest and hurting leaf quality.
“It’s certainly putting a hardship on the farmers,” said Nick Carter, agricultural extension agent in Fayette County in central Kentucky.
Will Snell, a University of Kentucky agricultural economist specializing in tobacco, said burley, an ingredient in cigarettes, started out curing well, but the combination of high humidity and rain has been “very hard on the crop.”
That has added to the anxiety of farmers growing tobacco under contract for tobacco companies. A poor crop can be turned away or fetch a lower price.
“There’s a lot of fear with guys knowing that the tobacco companies aren’t going to take low-quality tobacco,” said Kenny Seebold, a UK extension tobacco specialist.
“Everybody here is on thin margins. They need all the income that they can get.”
A weekly report said some farmers indicated that the high humidity and wet weather are “taking a toll on housed tobacco,” according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Kentucky field office.
Snell said timing could be crucial in determining how well each individual crop cures this fall.
Burley that reached the barn early in the season “may still do well,” he said, but later-planted tobacco housed just before the onslaught of rains “may have some major issues.”
Another factor, he said, is that “some farmers crammed the tobacco in the barn too tightly due to limited barn space, and that is just adding to the problem.”
About one-third of the statewide tobacco crop – which includes burley and dark tobacco – was rated fair or poor, while the rest was considered good or excellent, according to the latest report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Two weeks earlier, before the heavy rain, slightly less than one-fifth of the tobacco crop was considered fair or poor. Dark tobacco is mostly grown in western Kentucky and is used in smokeless and chewing tobacco products.
The nation’s largest tobacco manufacturer, Philip Morris USA, remains upbeat about prospects for the Kentucky burley crop, which is blended with other types of tobacco in making cigarettes.
“Our perspective is that it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good year,” said David Sutton, a Philip Morris spokesman.
In Tennessee, also inundated with rain last week, 27 percent of the tobacco crop was rated fair or poor, with the rest in good or excellent condition. Three-fourths of Tennessee’s burley crop has been harvested and is in the curing stage.
Elsewhere in the tobacco belt, burley cutting in Virginia was 80 percent complete, as was the harvest of flue-cured tobacco, another type of tobacco. In North Carolina, the burley harvest was 72 percent complete and flue-cured harvest was 85 percent finished.
Some 21 percent of Kentucky’s burley crop was uncut at the start of this week, according to the most recent crop report, and the situation for those growers was more critical as heavy rains took a toll.
In northern Kentucky, fieldhand Clinton Yates was slogging in a muddy field Tuesday where yellow, wilted tobacco leaves showed signs of too much rain.
“My boots weigh 50 pounds apiece,” he said.
Around him were tobacco leaves stretching only a few inches long when they should extend 2 feet, he said. Yates said only 8 or 9 acres of tobacco in a 54-acre field would be salvageable.
“We’re going to put it in the barn and see what it will turn out like – as long as it doesn’t rain again,” Yates said.
This year’s burley production in Kentucky was forecast at 160.6 million pounds as of Sept. 1, up 9 percent from last year. Burley yield was projected at 2,200 pounds per acre, above last year’s output.
Seebold said he heard from some Kentucky farmers that the summer growing season was so favorable that the burley was “really heavy” and “hard to handle” during harvesting.
“There was a lot of good tobacco going into the barn,” he said. “In fact, we were thinking we might even see almost an oversupply of it.”
Rusty Thompson, a tobacco grower in Woodford County in central Kentucky, said the wet weather will slightly reduce yield for his burley now curing. But there’s also an upside – those conditions will turn the leaf a darker shade that tobacco companies prefer.
“We’ll sacrifice a little bit of yield, but the color … will be a little bit better,” he said.
Tobacco cures ideally in warm daytime temperatures followed by cool, dewy nighttime conditions, which allows the leaf to take in moisture at night and dry down in the day. Growers had a different problem the past two years, when dry conditions hampered tobacco curing, Seebold said.
Farmers got some welcome relief early this week with dry, windy conditions that could hasten the drying of tobacco curing in the barns, curbing any onset of mold and rot.
Gary Carter, agricultural extension agent in Harrison County in northern Kentucky, tried to remain upbeat about the crop’s prospects: “We could go into a dry time, and this would come out just fine.”

By BRUCE SCHREINER, Sep. 30, 2009

Tobacco Merrchant's Lawyer Opens at Finborough Theatre

Open Book – Plays by Writers in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre presents THE TOBACCO MERCHANT’S tobacco theaterLAWYER, the English premiere of a new play by Iain Heggie, directed by Liz Carruther and performed by Callum Cuthbertson.
A huge sell-out success in Scotland on tour and in Glasgow at both Òran Mór and the Tron Theatre, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre presents the English premiere of the witty one act satire THE TOBACCO MERCHANT’S LAWYER by award-winning playwright Iain Heggie, opening for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 29 September (Press Night: Thursday, 1 October 2009) at London’s Finborough Theatre.
1775. Glasgow is booming, but the American war is looming, and the city’s wealth is dependent on the import and export of American tobacco. Can the great port survive? However, this pressing question is NOT addressed by Enoch Dalmellington, Virginia Street. He is more concerned about marrying off his dreich pious humourless daughter Euphemia, being able to afford his pew at the Tron Kirk, and what to do about Mistress Zapata’s scurrilous predictions about life in 2009. Apparently “women will be attending university, the poor will all have water closets and his beloved Virginia Street will become a hotbed of sodomy!”
One of Scotland’s leading playwrights, award-winning playwright Iain Heggie was born in Glasgow in 1953. His Mobil prize-winning play, A Wholly Healthy Glasgow (1988), and his John Whiting award-winning play, American Bagpipes (1989), both premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and were later seen at The Royal Court. His short plays, The Sex Comedies (1993), have been produced many times in London, Scotland, Germany and Austria. His other plays include An Experienced Woman Gives Advice (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh), an adaptation of Moliere’s Don Juan (Tour of Britain and Ireland 2001), an adaptation of Marivaux’ Double Inconstancy (2003) retitled as Love Freaks (Tron Theatre, Glasgow), and King of Scotland (2001) and Wiping My Mother’s Arse (2002) which both premiered at the Edinburgh Festival and won Fringe First awards. His latest play Global Warming Is Gay (2008) was performed by students of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where Iain is a regular teacher of acting, specializing in improvisation. As a companion piece, Iain’s new one man show, Wide Asleep, performed by the writer, is also presented at the Finborough Theatre for a limited Sunday and Monday run of six performances, opening Sunday, 4 October 2009 (Press Night: Monday, 5 October).
Director Liz Carruthers was born in Edinburgh and has been a theatre director for over 20 years. She was Scottish Arts Council Trainee Director at Perth Theatre, Staff Director at Chichester Festival Theatre and Artistic Director of Cumbernauld Theatre. As a freelance director, her work has been seen at the Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow, Tron Theatre, Traverse Theatre, the Assembly Rooms, the Arches, the Gilded Balloon, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, the Purcell Rooms, Soho Theatre, the Gate, and touring venues all over Scotland and England. She has directed new plays by numerous Scottish playwrights including Ann Marie di Mambro, Louise Welsh, Stephen Greenhorn, Tom McGrath and John McKay. Recent work includes twelve new plays for Oran Mor, Glasgow and three Christmas productions for the MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling. Past productions have won the Guinness Pub Theatre Award, the LWT Plays on Stage Award and been nominated for the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland for Best New Play and Best Production for Children and Young People. The Tobacco Merchant’s Lawyer is her fourth collaboration with Iain Heggie.
Callum Cuthbertson has worked extensively in Scottish theatre with such companies as the National Theatre of Scotland, Tron Theatre, Traverse Theatre, 7:84 Theatre Company, Glasgow Citizens and TAG, Dundee Rep Theatre, Suspect Culture, the Arches Theatre Company and the very successful A Play, A Pie and A Pint seasons at Òran Mór in Glasgow. His numerous film and TV appearances include Breaking the Waves, Dear Green Place and Still Game. Callum has just finished work on the BAFTA award-winning Tank Commander – Gary’s War soon to be seen on the BBC. Callum is also a singer-songwriter who was signed to Stiff Records in the 1970s and has now returned to his first love with his band Plywood whose first LP will be released later this year.
Performances will run Tuesday, 29 September – Saturday, 24 October 2009. The performance schedule will comprise Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from 3 October). Tickets cost £13, £9 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £9 all seats, and Saturday evenings £13 all seats. Previews (29 and 30 September)will cost £9 for all seats. The performance lasts approximately 1 hour with no interval.
Finborough Theatre is located at The Finborough, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED. Tickets can be purchased at the box office by calling 0844 847 1652, or they can be bought online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.

September 29, 2009

Warning: Homegrown Tobacco Still Deadly

Across the backyards and victory gardens of America this fall, many weekend gardeners for the first time are harvesting a touch of poison amongst the squash and potatoes.
The poison, albeit all-natural and organic, is tobacco, an otherwise lovely plant with its elephantine green leaves and broad, five-petal flowers of yellow, pink or white.
Ever ingenious American smokers have turned to growing their own tobacco as the average price for smokes has climbed to over $6 a pack, a price hike largely the result of the $1.01-per-pack tax that went into effect on April 1, conveniently around planting season. Seed sales reportedly were through the roof this year.
Whether homegrown tobacco is cheaper is debatable. Growing tobacco is difficult for even the experienced gardener, and curing the leaves can be an art form.
But the parallel reasoning for growing your own — that homegrown tobacco is healthier by virtue of having none of the additives found in commercial cigarettes, as purported on various Internet sites — unfortunately is not true. The stuff will still kill you.
Not even marginally less harmful
Terms such as “healthier” or “safer” — as in the elusive safer cigarette that the tobacco industry is trying to create — should tell you who is shaping this argument. The proper term is “less harmful,” and even this is highly suspect. You’re still breathing in myriad cancer-causing agents; one or two fewer carcinogens, like one or two fewer bullets from a machine gun, doesn’t matter.
Commercial tobacco does contain a lot of junk. The industry has hundreds of additives in its arsenal to make cigarette smoking a more pleasant and addictive experience. Some of these additives are carcinogenic. But good ol’ natural tobacco, particularly when burned, has upwards of 40 known or probable carcinogens that trump any harm done by additives.
Also, homegrown tobacco still has those same wonderful heart-stopping qualities causing higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, and higher risk of artery clotting and stroke.
Part of the blame for the confusion goes to the anti-smoking movement. Its emphasis on tobacco additives has implied that natural tobacco is somehow healthier.
Maybe worse
While gardening is therapeutic, there’s irony in every puff of organic, homegrown tobacco, because the nicotine you’re absorbing is a deadly pesticide.
First, be careful handling fresh tobacco leaves. Touching wet leaves can cause green tobacco sickness, a type of nicotine poisoning. The sickness frequently affects tobacco harvesters, usually migrant workers lacking adequate protection.
Children exposed to high levels of nicotine from wet leaves often require hospitalization.
Next, should you succeed in growing your own, note that your exposure to the most deadly carcinogens — polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benzene — might be greater than that from a regular cigarette, depending on the type of tobacco, the nature of the rolling, and the probable lack of filter. Thousands of chemicals are created by lighting tobacco, and the quantity of poisons varies based on airflow, temperature and other factors.
Of alchemy and cigarettes
Creating a less harmful cigarette is theoretically possible. One problem is that this type of product could be used as an alternative to tobacco cessation. Another problem is that it might encourage others to smoke more.
The tobacco industry understands this, for it has been fudging or hiding data for years. Low-tar and light cigarettes indeed encouraged smokers to switch to these so-called safer products, which offered not even a marginal health benefit.
Nevertheless, Philip Morris USA and other cigarette makers are investing millions in the creation of the safer cigarette. One advance is a curing process that reduces the presence of nitrosamine, one of the more potent tobacco carcinogens.
Most public health experts have zero trust in the tobacco industry. In 2001, the Institute of Medicine issued a report faintly welcoming the creation of a safer cigarette as a feasible component of a harm-reduction strategy. The National Cancer Institute, however, remains adamantly against this.
Given the tobacco industry’s history of duplicity, Alan Bluma of University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society might have summed it up the best in his 2008 review in the Lancet, stating, “The search for a safer cigarette is akin to alchemists seeking to turn lead into gold.”

© Copyright: 29 September 2009 Livescience

Senate could gut legislation on flavoured tobacco

OTTAWA — The government’s proposed ban on flavours and additives in cigars and cigarettes, a key promise delivered personally by Stephen Harper in the last election to protect “susceptible” children, is at risk of unravelling in the Senate.
flavoured tobacco
The bill passed the House of Commons unanimously in June with the backing of all three opposition parties, but cracks in the Conservative and Liberal caucuses could mean the legislation is diluted in the upper chamber as early as Wednesday — against the objections of Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
In addition to banning “kiddie packs” of little flavoured cigars called cigarillos, the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act proposes to prohibit flavour and additives in tobacco products, with the exception of menthol. The bill would also put an end to all tobacco advertising in outlets that may be viewed or read by youth.
After a summer campaign involving Philip Morris International and its Canadian unit, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges, a group of parliamentarians led by Conservative MP Maxime Bernier now says the proposed ban on flavours is too broad because it captures some American blended cigarettes, made with sweeteners such as licorice, cocoa or vanilla to soften the bitter taste.
And some senators are pushing to add a clause to the bill to exempt these cigarettes, which make up less than 0.5 per cent of the tobacco market in Canada. They say the move won’t dilute the purpose of the legislation — to protect children from flavoured cigarillos popular among youth — but will shield retailers from a drop in sales of American blended cigarettes and protect the jobs of Rothmans workers in Quebec City.
The tobacco giant says the bill puts at risk the more than 300 jobs at the factory because it will have to rethink plans to expand production in Quebec City of global brands for export if the legislation passes without any amendments.
But an amendment floated last week by a Conservative senator from Quebec — to restrict the flavour and additives ban to products that taste sugary or fruity — would create a big loophole in the law, according to Health Canada and anti-tobacco advocates.
Health Canada’s assistant deputy minister for healthy environments and consumer safety last week told senators this proposal would result in a “loophole” with an ill-defined threshold for a sugary or fruity taste. Paul Glover also noted a basic “tenet of the act” is to treat “all product classes equally,” and gives time for importers of the tiny market share affected by the bill to reformulate their American blended cigarettes.
“It just makes the law unenforceable because it’s entirely subjective. You can’t go to a judge and say, ‘I think it smells fruity. Do you, your honour?'” added Cynthia Callard, executive director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.
Callard, who will be testifying before a Senate committee on Wednesday alongside a University of Ottawa law professor appearing on behalf of Philip Morris and Rothmans, also said tobacco companies could use the exemption to make cigarettes taste better with additives like molasses and cocoa.
“My belief is they care because Canada has often been the forerunner on regulatory controls on tobacco,” said Callard.
“It’s a globalized market, so Philip Morris treats all regulations globally, so even if they don’t have an immediate business interest, they have a long-term interest in not being regulated.”
Callard added the Senate should have been better prepared for the tobacco company’s push-back.
“What I’ve observed in this process, even though senators are seasoned politicians and they’ve been around the block several times, they forget the whole system. The companies will play these cards in a sequence and that they should be prepared. So I think that this government was caught off-guard by the cleverness of Philip Morris and by this willingness to create caucus dissent.”
During the last election campaign, Harper threw his weight behind the tobacco reform package.
“As a parent, I was appalled to see tobacco being marketed in a way that is so enticing to children. Flavouring and packaging them like candy, gum or a fruit roll-up, this just isn’t right. This practice can’t continue. We will not tolerate it,” Harper declared last September about fruit- and candy-flavoured cigarillos during a campaign stop.
Cigarillos are the fastest growing tobacco product on the market, with sales jumping from 53 million units in 2001 to an estimated 469 million last year. According to Health Canada, about a quarter of youth age 15 to 17 have tried the little cigars, available in flavours such as chocolate, grape and tropical punch.

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

Imperial Tobacco Canada says: Government of Ontario lawsuit is "hypocrisy"

MONTREAL, – Imperial Tobacco Canada is stunned that a province in which close to 50 per cent of tobacco products purchased are illegal is targeting the legal industry while continuing to turn a blind eye to illegal tobacco sales.
“We find it unbelievable that the Government of Ontario – a senior partner in the tobacco industry for more than 50 years – would use taxpayers’ dollars to sue legal tobacco companies rather than invest in eliminating the contraband market which, today, accounts for almost 50 percent of the cigarettes purchased in Ontario,” said Donald McCarty, Imperial Tobacco Canada’s Vice President of Law.
Recent studies have shown that the huge increase in illegal cigarettes in Ontario seems to have ended the thirty year decline in smoking rates, and signal an increase in the amount of youth smoking illegal cigarettes.
“Why isn’t the Ontario government going after the illegal manufacturers with the same zeal that it goes after the legal industry?” added Mr. McCarty.
In launching its suit against tobacco companies, the Ontario government may wish to show voters that it is taking action on health care but, in reality, years of legal wrangling with regulated tobacco companies will do nothing to stem the tide of cheap and prevalent illegal tobacco products.
Ontario, like the federal government and all provincial governments, has known of the health risks associated with tobacco use for decades. The Government of Ontario will spend millions pursuing the legal companies that it regulates in what will ultimately be an unsuccessful grab for an even higher share of the industry’s profits.
“We manufacture a legal product that is subject to unreasonably high taxation and we do this within tightly regulated parameters that are set by governments, including Ontario. In the fiscal year 2009, the government of Ontario pocketed more than $1 billion in taxes on the sale of tobacco products. It will continue to profit from tobacco sales even as it pursues an additional cash grab through the courts. This action is hypocrisy of the highest order and should be exposed as such,” said Mr. McCarty. “This action is even more hypocritical when one considers the major role played by the Government of Ontario and the governments of other provinces in the sale of other products for which the risks are well known, including alcohol and gambling.”
Mr. McCarty added that Imperial Tobacco Canada will defend itself vigorously against Ontario’s suit.
A release published by the Auditor General of Ontario in December 2008 stated that the province lost more than $500 million in uncollected tobacco taxes in 2007-2008 due to contraband Imperial Tobacco Canada estimates this number to be $1 billion today. Ontario is a world leader in illegal tobacco and has higher rates of contraband than such countries as Nigeria and Pakistan. Legal tobacco production in Canada is a highly regulated industry subject to over 200 laws and regulations, with provincial and federal regulators closely monitoring the industry and collecting billions in revenue.
For further information: Media Contact: Eric Gagnon Manager, External Communications, (514) 932-6161, ext. 2113

© Copyright: 29 Sept, 2009 Newswire

Bar and casino owners react to smoking ban

Local bar and casino owners are begrudgingly preparing to turn their businesses smoke-free as their four-year grace period from the smoke cigarettestatewide smoke ban will expire Thursday.
Some establishments are constructing outdoor smoking shelters to dull the sharpness of Montana’s changeable weather, and all bars and casinos will be hanging up fresh “no smoking” signs Thursday morning.
With exception to standalone bars and casinos, all indoor public places in Montana went smoke-free October 2005.
“The need to breathe smoke-free air has priority over the desire to smoke,” the measure reads.
Libby bar and casino owners are complaining less about the smoke ban negatively affecting business and more about the government’s heavy hand getting into individual rights.
“As far as (banning smoking at) a restaurant, a grocery store, a hardware store, I can see that. That is a place everyone has to go – bars and casinos are not,” said Maggie Clemons, owner of Maggie’s Casino. “I should have the right to put up signs that say ‘smoking building: enter at your own risk.’ People have the choice to come in or go elsewhere.”
It appears that, at least in Libby, the current smoke-free bars and casinos are a result of the 2005 legislation. The Crosscut Casino, for example, was built after the smoke ban passed and, according to employee Kim Convillion, owners “just figured there was no sense in messing up the machines and the interior for three years of smoking.”
Treasure Mountain Casino and Restaurant went smoke-free in 2005, said owner Mike Munro, because the only other options were either to prohibit minors from entering the building or remodel to physically separate the bar and casino from the restaurant.
With all businesses now smoke-free, it may level the playing field, though Clemons complains that as close as Bonners Ferry, Idaho, people can enjoy a cigarette in a bar or casino.
Clemons smokes, all but one of her employees smoke and she says most of her patrons also enjoy cigarettes. That’s why she said she built the casino five years ago with a high-quality ventilation system. Now she has constructed a roofed shelter beside the casino for smokers.
Clemons is uncertain whether or not business will slow, but does point out that smoking is why some people frequent the casino.
“There’s a lot of people that the only reason they come in and sit for five or 10 minutes is to relax and have a cigarette during their lunchtime,” she said, “and they don’t smoke at home or anywhere else.”
Corinne Vincent, a patron of Maggie’s, said that she will still frequent the casino regardless of the smoke ban.
“I’m a smoker and I really don’t have a problem with it (the smoke ban),” Vincent said. “If you want to have a cigarette, I guess you can just go outside. I think it will be an adjustment for a lot of people, but the law is the law and we’ll deal with it.”
Leann Monigold, manager of the Gold Pan Casino, believes that it may affect business in the short-term.
“I think people won’t stay as long. I think it will really affect business at least for a while,” Monigold said. “Once everybody kind of gets used to the fact that that’s the way it is, it will probably pick back up again.”
Monigold plans to equip the Gold Pan’s new smoking shelter with a heater for the crisp winter months.
Sandy Doubek, owner of the Pastime Bar, doesn’t have the space outside to build a smoking shelter. She doesn’t think the ban will change people’s habits of frequenting the bar.
“I’m kind of thinking people will still come out,” Doubek said. “They’ll just be standing on the sidewalk smoking.”
Some employees who smoke and work at the same time will have to adjust, Doubek said.
“All of my employees smoke so I’m thinking that might be a problem,” Doubek said. “I’m probably going to have set up some kind of rule that they can’t be outside (smoking) when the place is full.”
Bar and casino owners point out that the majority of their customers smoke, but if their business is smoke-free, they may attract a new non-smoking clientele.
Monigold said it’s possible, but looking over her casino on a Thursday afternoon, she counted only one in eight customers without a pack of cigarettes close by. She felt the trend wasn’t likely to shift very much.
Montana’s Clean Indoor Air Act
• Smoking is banned in all indoor public places. The final phase kicks in Thursday, outlawing smoking in all bars and casinos.
• Penalties for owners, managers or employees who allow smoking inside an establishment range from a warning on the first offense to a $500 fine on the fifth offense.
• Indoor smoking is allowed at private residences (unless it is also used as a daycare), in private motor vehicles, in smoking-designated hotel rooms and on sites that are used for cultural activities by American Indians.

Thewesternnews

Exclusion of menthol cigarettes in ban worries health experts

The Food and Drug Administration may have banned candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes Tuesday, but some public health experts still see a big hole in their efforts to keep teens from starting to smoke.vogue menthe
That’s because menthol, the top-selling flavor of cigarette and one increasingly popular with teen smokers, remains on the market.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which President Obama signed in June, authorized the FDA to ban all flavors of cigarettes except menthol.
The act required the FDA to create a Tobacco Products Advisory Committee, which will submit reports on such questions as “the impact of the use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health.”
Although teen smoking overall has declined, the proportion who smoke menthol cigarettes is rising — 17.5% from 2000 to 2002, according to the American Legacy Foundation, created as a result of the 1998 settlement between state attorneys general and the tobacco industry. About 44% of smokers ages 12 to 17 use menthol cigarettes, the foundation says.
“It makes no sense” to keep menthol cigarettes on the market, says Legacy CEO Cheryl Healton.
A 2002 study found 60% of middle school smokers smoked menthol, says scientist James Hersey with RTI International, an independent research institute in Washington, D.C. “I think menthol is easier to smoke, so kids will often start with menthol.”
And Hersey’s research suggests young menthol smokers are more likely to be addicted to nicotine than their peers who smoke non-menthol cigarettes. But studies of whether menthol smokers find it more difficult to quit than non-menthol smokers have had mixed results.
In a study of more than 4,000 middle and high school students, University of Georgia researchers Jerome Legge and Jessica Muilenburg found menthol smokers smoked more cigarettes than non-menthol smokers.
And among menthol smokers, blacks smoked more than whites, they reported last year. In the USA, about 80% of black smokers prefer menthol cigarettes, compared with only about a quarter of white smokers.
“Any proposed legislation should consider the special problems of menthol and its relationship to high cigarette consumption, especially for African-American adolescents,” Legge and Muilenburg concluded.
But, Legge said last week, a ban on menthol cigarettes could create an illegal market for them.

© Copyright: Usatoday

Marketers Fight the D.C. Squeeze

NEW YORK Did you ever think the next sale of Trojans or e.p.t. would help fund President Obama’s healthcare reforms? While Congress has backed off on taxing such products after pressure from Republicans and a flurry of behind-the-scenes industry lobbying, it still has marketers fully in its sights. The sparring over taxation and advertising regulations has only just begun.Obama's healthcare reforms
So far, marketers appear to be faring well in what American Advertising Federation’s evp of government affairs Clark Rector described “as busy a time as I can recall in quite a few years.” Given the activist bent of the Obama administration and the Democratically controlled Congress, he added, “the thinking is that the business community is under fire and marketing tends to be the most visible face of that.”
Last week, manufacturers of everyday consumer items such as condoms and home pregnancy tests were nearly included in proposed tax legislation for “medical device manufacturers” under a bill pushed by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, (D, Mont.) to help fund comprehensive healthcare. Baucus’ committee reconsidered as the tax on items $100 or less would likely have resulted in higher prices, which consumers could perceive as a stealth tax.
Less high profile than funding issues for healthcare reform are regulatory ramifications arising from a proposal to create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Intended to protect consumers from predatory lending practices, critics claimed the sweeping, vaguely defined legislation would impact businesses beyond banks and weaken the Federal Trade Commission.
“This is one of the most important pieces of legislation facing the ad industry right now,” said Dan Jaffe, evp of government relations at the Association of National Advertisers. “It’s a very broad law that affects every player in the advertising community: advertisers, agencies, media and the FTC — the major regulator we have a long history with.”
Proponents of that proposal claim the American business lobby, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been waging a scare campaign. But in releasing draft legislation of the bill last Friday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), head of the House Financial Services Committee drafting the legislation, bowed to the fierce opposition of business interest groups and scaled back.
Two weeks ago, one of Senator Baucus’s Democratic colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) published a letter in the St. Petersburg Times vowing to reintroduce an amendment to eliminate the tax deductibility of pharmaceutical TV advertising to help finance healthcare, an idea House Ways and Means chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), floated earlier this summer then dropped. Nelson himself has gone curiously quiet on his promise — his office has not responded to requests for clarification — while groups like the ANA declare the effort dead.
Nelson and Rangel projected eliminating the DTC TV deduction would raise $37 billion for healthcare reform, a high number given those marketers spent a total of $4.1 billion on ads in 2008, per Nielsen. But there’s no doubt lawmakers want to reach into some deep corporate pockets: In the 52 weeks ended July 2009, two sources of federal taxes, one currently in effect — tobacco products (and accessories) — and one potential, soft drinks, rung up $9.6 billion and $42.9 billion, respectively, in sales.
While there’s no current legislation for a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, the Center for Science in the Public Interest urged Senate leaders to consider one, which President Obama recently called worth “exploring.”
Coca-Cola didn’t return calls for comment; Dr Pepper and PepsiCo reps referred calls to the American Beverage Association, which has been on the offensive. It created a coalition called Americans Against Food Taxes, which has 400 member organizations and has encouraged 67,000 individuals to send opposition messages to Congress. On Sept. 16, the group launched a second wave of TV, print and radio ads, in a campaign that has included full-page ads in The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today. “It makes no sense to single out one product as the cure to obesity when all calories count,” said Kevin Keane, svp of public affairs at the ABA.
Even within the beleaguered ranks of tobacco manufacturers, it’s been a tough year: Three weeks into taking office in February, President Obama put into law an approximately 150 percent increase of a federal tobacco excise (adding $1.01 to the cost of a pack) and the government subsequently shifted ad jurisdiction from the FTC to the Food and Drug Administration, which wants to institute stronger product warnings and unprecedented restrictions on marketing like the type of imagery allowed in ads.
David Howard, an R.J. Reynolds rep, said when it comes to tobacco the industry has bipartisan foes. “[Politicians] can tax tobacco … because it doesn’t affect 80 percent of the population,” he said, but noted the steep increase this year penalizes smokers with household incomes under $50,000 — the same middle class to whom Obama made a campaign pledge he would not raise taxes.

Partnership for Tobacco Prevention

Hundreds of UCF nursing students poured into a crowded ballroom donning their signature blue and white community uniforms, ready Tobacco Preventionfor a special training seminar. The purpose was to learn the tobacco training curriculum in order to implement the program in the community.
The training was sponsored by the Central Florida Area Health Education Center (CFAHEC), who obtained funding by the Florida Department of Health through the master tobacco settlement. Offering tobacco-related trainings to current and future health care professionals is one of the major goals CFAHEC’s tobacco program has committed to providing in the local community.
The tobacco prevention training is geared toward middle school aged-youth to inform them of the health risks related to tobacco use. UCF’s nursing students will share with the middle school students just how dangerous tobacco products really are and the different ways their bodies will be impacted by the harmful chemicals. The lessons are presented by the nursing students in their clinical group teams in local middle schools and Boys and Girls Clubs. The various classroom activities are designed to stress the importance of tobacco abstinence while highlighting the negative implications of tobacco use such as emphysema, blackened lungs and the cost of this addiction.
“The children need to know that it’s not okay to use tobacco products just because their parents or siblings do,” says UCF nursing student Tarin Newill. “Hopefully they will share what they have learned from the program and encourage their loved ones to quit.”
The CFAHEC instructor demonstrated some of the exercises the students will implement in their classrooms. The nursing students were asked to carry cards labeled with various toxins found in cigarettes. Students held cards that read ‘carbon monoxide’, ‘arsenic’, ‘formaldehyde’, and many others. This matching exercise shows poisons and carcinogens and pairs them with their common use in the real world. Middle school students will make the connection that arsenic is used to kill rats and other pets, but is also a key ingredient in cigarettes.
“We are so grateful for this partnership with the UCF College of Nursing. With hard work and dedication from their students, we are able to impact many more young lives in our community,” noted CFAHEC trainer Bethany Majka. “The positive feedback the nursing students receive from the youth they are teaching is truly inspirational.”
A one-liter bottle filled with molasses and hair gel simulates the amount of nicotine and phlegm built up in a smoker’s lung in just one year. “Visuals like these will help the nursing students impress upon the young children how dangerous it is to start smoking; no matter how ‘cool’ they might think it is,” says Majka.
“The CFAHEC Tobacco Prevention Program will be implemented in classrooms all over the Central Florida community thanks to the CFAHEC grant and the hard work and dedication of our students,” explains Dr. Pamela Ark, coordinator of the college’s service-learning Community Nursing Coalitions program. The nursing program performs local community service through many programs. “UCF places a high value on community health education. Helping the children in our community become educated about the health risks of tobacco smoking will raise awareness and hopefully save lives,” adds Dr. Ark.

© Copyright: September 28, 2009 Ucf