All 50 states passe fire-safe cigarette legislation

“Fire Safe” cigarettes, hailed by the fire prevention organization the National Fire Protection Authority as an effective fire Fire safe cigarettesprevention tool, will be sold in all 50 states by July 2011 per recent.
Fire safe cigarettes have extra sections of paper lining along the cigarette that put a cigarette out if not regularly smoked. The extra paper effectively acts as a “speed bump” for a burning cigarette.
Most states already require the sale of fire safe cigarettes and all R.J. Reynolds Tobacco cigarettes sold nationally already have fire safe technology built in to them.
Wyoming is the 50th state to enact legislation requiring the sale of fire safe cigarettes. It becomes law there in July 2011. Already, 43 states have similar legislation in effect. Massachusetts was one of the first five to regulating cigarettes, with a 2006 law signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.
The NFPA has pushed for state-by-state legislation since 2006 for fire safe cigarettes as a way to reduce accidental fires, organizing the group the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes in March 2006. Within two years, 22 states enacted legislation requiring fire safe cigarettes.
According to the NFPA, unattended cigarettes are the leading cause of home fire fatalities, killing between 700 and 900 people a year. Most often fires start when people leave cigarettes burning while smoking in bed, drop them in couches or do not extinguish them fully in ashtrays.
A smoldering cigarette can take up to three hours to burn out completely, according to the NFPA.
Canada already has national legislation that requires the manufacture of fire safe cigarettes as far back as 2005.
In New York, where legislation is already enacted, smoking-related deaths have fallen sharply, according to the NFPA.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, makers of, Winston and cigarettes, also already makes all of their cigarettes with fire safe manufacturing practices since October 2007.
Cigarette-ignited fires are the leading cause of residential fire deaths. Each year in this country, 700 to 900 people die in cigarette-ignited fires. One quarter of those people killed — often including children and the elderly — are not the smoker. Fire-safe cigarettes are designed to self-extinguish if dropped or left unattended. They are less likely to ignite clothing, bedding or other material.
The most effective fire prevention tips for cigarettes are to fully extinguish them. If possible, drop cigarettes in a container of water or, like matches, run them under the tap.
Always keep watch of cigarettes and fully extinguish cigarettes by crushing them in ashtrays. Do not throw cigarettes out the window of cars or drop them on the ground.

California to Decide on Legalizing Marijuana

California voters will decide this November whether to legalize and regulate adult recreational use of marijuana. The secretary of marijuanastate on Wednesday certified that a Bay Area-based effort to put the issue on the ballot has collected enough signatures to do so.
If passed, California would have the most comprehensive laws on legal marijuana in the entire world, advocates say. Opponents are confident they will easily defeat the measure.
The vote will be the second time in nearly 40 years that people in the Golden State will decide the issue of legalization, though the legal framework and cultural attitudes surrounding marijuana have changed significantly over the past four decades. If Californians pass the measure, they would be the first in the nation to vote for legalization. Similar efforts in other states all have failed.
Backers needed to collect at least 433,971 valid signatures of registered voters, and Secretary of State Debra Bowen said they met that threshold.
If voters approve the measure, it will become legal for Californians 21 and older to grow and possess up to an ounce of marijuana under state law. Local jurisdictions could tax and regulate it or decide not to participate. Marijuana would continue to be banned outright by federal law.
Current state law allows a person, with a doctor’s approval, to possess an amount of marijuana that is reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs. People also can obtain cards identifying themselves as a patient, which helps in interactions with law enforcement.
“There is no state that currently allows adults to grow marijuana for personal (recreational) use, but what is totally different and will be a game-changer internationally is this would allow authorized sales to adults as determined by a local authority,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California state director of the Drug Policy Alliance Network, an organization advocating for changes in drug laws.

Key supporters

The major backers of the initiative – the founder of an marijuana trade school based in Oakland, a retired Orange County judge and various drug-law reform organizations – are planning to oversee a $10 million campaign to push the measure.
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said his organization will work hard to pass the proposition, adding that the California effort is notable because it probably will be funded by the marijuana industry.
“This is being launched at a time not only of mass nationwide zeitgeist around marijuana,” but acutely so in California, he said. “Almost all other (marijuana) initiatives were poorly funded, and what funding there has been … was purely philanthropic.”
But opponents, who probably will include a large coalition of public safety associations, said that once voters understand the implications of the measure, it will be handily defeated.
“The overarching issue is, given all the social problems caused by alcohol abuse, all the social and public safety problems caused by pharmaceutical abuse and the fact that tobacco kills – given all those realities, what on Earth is the social good that’s going to be served by adding another mind-altering substance to the array,” said John Lovell, a lobbyist for a number of statewide police and public safety associations.
Additionally, he said, employers and government entities that receive federal money may not be able to meet federal standards for drug-free workplaces if the measure passes, putting billions of federal dollars in jeopardy.

‘Sink like a rock’

“It’s terrible drafting … that will cause the state of California significant fiscal problems,” he said. When these issues are presented to voters, he said, the measure will “sink like a rock in the North Atlantic.”
Attitudes of voters in California have increasingly moved in favor of full legalization of marijuana. Californians passed Proposition 215 in 1996 to legalize marijuana for medical use. A bill in the Legislature would also legalize adult recreational use, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said it is an idea that should be debated, although he personally opposes it.
A Field Poll taken in April found that 56 percent of voters backed the idea of legalization and taxation of marijuana. The measure will add to an already crowded November ballot, with an expensive gubernatorial race looming along with other statewide offices.
Prominent candidates running for higher office, including Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is seeking the governorship, and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, a Democrat who is running for attorney general, have said they oppose the initiative. Don Perata, former Senate president pro tem and candidate for Oakland mayor, supports the initiative.
The major Republican candidates oppose the measure.
Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University, has spearheaded the effort and said he is not concerned about prominent political opposition to the plan, noting the similar lack of support for Prop. 215.
“I think the voters lead the politicians on this issue and they realize that,” Lee said.
This article appeared on page A – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Half of states ban tobacco use in prisons

A month before Virginia banned smoking in its prisons, Warden Daniel Braxton decided to kick his own 50-year smoking habit.
“I figured I’d be a good role model,” said Braxton of Augusta Correctional Center in Craigsville, Va.
A growing number of states are cracking down on tobacco use on prison grounds to prevent illness and help bring down health care costs.
Virginia, which instituted its ban in February, is the most recent state to do so, said Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
A USA TODAY review of the 50 states found 25 states that ban tobacco for staff and inmates on prison grounds.
Georgia plans to enact a smoking ban Dec. 1, according to Bronson Frick, associate director of the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.
Many other states have bans that primarily outlaw tobacco use but have some type of exception such as staff smoking areas, the review found.
The trend is growing, Frick said, because the bans help save the states money on health care and prevent guards and inmates from being exposed to secondhand smoke on the job.
“These policies work once they are in effect,” he said.
A gradual approach
Instead of a “cold turkey” approach, some of the prisons allowed their bans to phase in gradually, hoping that would create less of a stir among the prison populations.
In Virginia, inmates were notified in January 2009, more than a year before the ban launched, Traylor said.
“We already had eight facilities in our system that were either tobacco-free or had designated smoking areas for staff away from inmate areas,” Traylor said. “These eight facilities have proven that a gradual process is possible.”
The phase-in process for Virginia gave Braxton time to quit smoking. As for the prisoners, Braxton said he’s pretty sure some of them stashed tobacco at the facility, but none has been caught smoking.
“I’m not having any issues with them at all,” he said. “They hid some in the yard, but we have cameras, and I haven’t seen anyone dig up any tobacco.”
Ohio went tobacco-free March 1, 2009. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has had to discipline a few staff members over tobacco use, said Julie Walburn, chief of communication.
“In the past year, we’ve disciplined 33 staff for violations in some form of the tobacco ban, but when we employ over 13,000 staff, that really isn’t a demonstrative number,” Walburn said. Tobacco products have become a popular item on the inmate contraband market, she said.
“We are used to dealing with contraband. This is just another type,” Walburn said.
When Wyoming banned smoking in its prisons in 2006, it was more of an issue for staff than prisoners, said Melinda Brazzale, a spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Corrections.
“They did not break the rule, however,” she said. “They were used to just walking out the door and smoking, and now they actually had to go across a road or out of the facility and be away from it.”
Some opposition
Not all plans to ban prison smoking have been successful. Arizona attempted to ban smoking in its state prisons last year, but the legislation failed.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Bill Konopnicki, said there are plans to reintroduce the bill.
Michael McFadden, a spokesman for the Citizens Freedom Alliance, which mostly focuses on government interference with private-property owners, said the group is concerned with what prison smoking bans mean.
“Bans on smoking in prisons are not really separate from such things as bans on beaches, bans in bars or bans in private apartments: They are all facets of a larger and very well-funded movement to ban smoking from all aspects of life,” he said.
The American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project supports some bans, director David Fathi said, because in some cases, smoking in prisons can be a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments.”
“Just like prisoners have the right to drink clean water and eat edible food, prisoners have the right to breathe non-contaminated air,” he said.
Braxton said he’s glad he got the opportunity to see the benefits of not smoking, which have surfaced in the months since he quit.
“I can tell there’s a big, big improvement in my health just in that short period,” he said.
By Andrew Seaman, USA TODAY
Contributing: Katharine Lackey, The News Leader, Staunton, Va.

Lorillard Tobacco's Principal Scientist to Represent Tobacco Industry

GREENSBORO, N.C., – Lorillard Tobacco Company (NYSE: LO) today issued the following statement after notification that Dr. J. Daniel Heck, the company’s principal scientist, will serve as a non-voting representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry on the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration.
“With the full membership of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee now in place, Lorillard looks forward to working with the Committee and contributing to its scientific review of menthol and other topics,” the company said. “Lorillard remains confident that a serious examination of menthol science will show that the best available science does not support an assertion that menthol impacts public health.
“Dr. Heck has more than 30 years of professional experience in research and a strong record of peer-reviewed articles and studies,” the company added. “We are honored that he will serve as the representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry on the Committee, and we are confident his expertise will contribute to a fair hearing that is grounded in good science that advances public policy.”
Dr. Heck’s most recent manuscript, a comprehensive review of the use of menthol as a cigarette flavoring, was published in the January 2010 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Dr. Heck earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. He has served as Principal Scientist at Lorillard since 2003.
Dr. Heck is a Diplomate to the American Board of Toxicology and a member of the Society of Toxicology. He has served and continues to serve on numerous professional committees, including the Safety Evaluation Coordinating Committee of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) of the United States and the Cigarettes Ingredients Scientific Panel. Dr. Heck also peer reviews manuscripts for many prominent publications, including Toxicological Sciences and Food and Chemical Toxicology, and also serves on the editorial board of Inhalation Toxicology and Beiträge zur Tabakforschung International.
About Lorillard, Inc.
Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE: LO) is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the United States. Founded in 1760, Lorillard is the oldest continuously operating tobacco company in the U.S. Newport®, Lorillard’s flagship menthol-flavored premium cigarette brand, is the top selling menthol and second largest selling cigarette in the U.S. In addition to Newport, the Lorillard product line has five additional brand families marketed under the Kent®, True®, Maverick®, Old Gold® and Max® brand names. These six brands include 41 different product offerings which vary in price, taste, flavor, length and packaging. Lorillard maintains its headquarters and manufactures all of its products in Greensboro, North Carolina. For more information, visit the Company’s web site at
Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this press release are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, or the Reform Act. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, any statement that may project, indicate or imply future results, events, performance or achievements, and may contain the words “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “believe”, “may”, “will be”, “will continue”, “will likely result”, and similar expressions. In addition, any statement that may be provided by management concerning future financial performance (including future revenues, earnings or growth rates), ongoing business strategies or prospects, and possible actions by Lorillard, Inc. are also forward-looking statements as defined by the Reform Act.
Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events and are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Information describing factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements is available in Lorillard, Inc.’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including, but not limited to, our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the time they are made, and we expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update these statements to reflect any change in expectations or beliefs or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any forward-looking statement is based.
Contact: Gregg Perry +1-401-886-7200
SOURCE Lorillard, Inc.