Electronic Cigarette – Pros and Cons

E cigarette is basically a battery powered device which Vaporize nicotine present in them without producing any toxic smoke.
It is a common thing that people are always suspicious about new products. Of course, there are pioneers who except innovations without any doubts, but they are in a minority. For the rest, who are still undecided whether electronic cigarettes can be a healthy alternative to traditional tobacco, cigarettespedia.com offers to read this article.
It should help you to weigh all the pros and cons of the electronic cigarette use and to determine your own, independent opinion. It is not emphasizing the benefits of electronic cigarette smoking or, conversely, focusing on its harm. The article aims at finding out the real facts concerning this relevantly new product.
If you open any user manual for electronic cigarettes, it declares that this product has the significant advantages over the conventional cigarettes. Here are some of them:

tick symbolDoes not contain the 4,000 chemicals, carcinogens or tar found in tobacco cigarettes
tick symbolNot affected by the smoking ban in the UK so can be used in public places legally
tick symbolThere is no second hand smoke
tick symbolLooks, feels and tastes like a normal cigarette
tick symbolInclusion of purified nicotine satisfies cravings thus making them a genuine alternative to a tobacco cigarette
tick symbolNon Flammable and therefore not a fire risk
tick symbolLess expensive when compared to smoking normal cigarettes
tick symbolCleaner – No ash or butts
tick symbolOdourless – no smell clinging to your clothes or furniture and no bad breath
tick symbolDesigned to satisfy both the psychological and physiological effects of smoking
tick symbolVarying strengths of nicotine cartridges are available as well as a variety of different flavours
tick symbolNicotine free cartridges are available
no symbolNo large scale tests or clinical studies have been conducted to date
no symbolContains nicotine – a highly addictive substance
no symbolLow public awareness
no symbolLooks like a normal cigarette – confusion is likely
no symbolEstablishment owners may be sceptical and not allow it on their premises
no symbolMisidentification may send signal it’s OK to light up a normal cigarette
no symbolThey are battery operated meaning that you could find yourself without and reaching for a normal cigarette
no symbolThere is still a possibility that this product could get banned

On the basis of mentioned above advantages some hospitals in USA (e.g. in Tampa, Florida) made a decision to allow the use of electronic cigarettes within their facilities. It was determined by the fact that smoking is a recreational privilege that while banned in most public places, can be done with the alternative electronic cigarette without offending others. This new invention allows the smoker to get their nicotine fix just like the coffee or soda drinkers get their caffeine fix. The benefits to management comes in the form of increased productivity in the workplace since the employees do not have to waste time traveling to designated smoking places; they no longer smell like a smoker and their employees health is not adversely affected by tobacco smoke.
In the mean time, the electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette, as it is often called) has been under the fire from the FDA since 2008. That year marked the start of the FDA’s efforts to prevent e-cigarettes from entering the United States. To date, there have been approximately 50 shipments refused.
FDA bans e-cigarettes
In May 2009, the US FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis tested the contents of cartridges by two vendors. Dyethylene glycol was detected in one of the eighteen cartridges. In addition, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) were detected in all of the cartridges from one brand and two of the other. Further concerns were raised over inconsistent amounts of nicotine delivered when drawing on the device. In July 2009, the FDA issued a press release discouraging the use of electronic cigarettes and repeating previously stated concerns that electronic cigarettes may be marketed to young people and lack appropriate health warnings. The researchers caution that electronic devices can be even more harmful than standard cigarettes, can lead to nicotine addiction. The availability of different flavors like strawberry can attract children to them.
The FDA’s study was reviewed in July 2009 by scientific consulting firm Exponent, Inc., in a report commissioned by the manufacturer of one of the electronic cigarettes tested by the FDA. Some of the criticisms in Exponent’s report are poor standards of documentation and analysis. Exponent lists previous studies that have detected TSNA levels in FDA-approved nicotine-replacement therapy products comparable to those the FDA detected in their study, and objects to the FDA making no comparisons to such products in their analysis of electronic cigarettes. Ultimately the review concludes that the FDA’s study did not support the claims of potential adverse health effects from the use of electronic cigarettes.
The presence of trace amounts of TSNAs in electronic cigarette vapor was previously documented in an October 2008 analysis performed by Health New Zealand Ltd. and funded by the electronic cigarette manufacturer Ruyan. However, unlike the FDA study, this study conducted detailed quantitative analysis and concluded that carcinogens and toxicants are present only below harmful levels. The final conclusion of the safety report is:”Based on the manufacturer’s information, the composition of the cartridge liquid is not hazardous to health, if used as intended.
The controversy surrounding electronic cigarettes and the FDA continues. As reported by CNN, New York Times and USA Today, the FDA lost its first battle against e-cigarettes in a federal court and is appealing the ruling. Although Green Smoke and other e-cigarette producers have tested their products with independent laboratories, the FDA and anti-smoking groups have not accepted this evidence of the product’s safety.
However, in March of 2009, Health Canada has issued the advisory against the use of e-cigarettes. The advisory stated “Although these electronic smoking products may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and, in some cases, as an aid to quitting smoking, electronic smoking products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction.” In other words, Health Canada is advising Canadians not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.
As to World Health Organization, it has declared that it doesn’t consider electronic cigarettes to be the legitimate smoking cessation aid. “WHO has no scientific evidence to confirm the product’s safety and efficacy. Its marketers should immediately remove from their web sites and other informational materials any suggestion that WHO considers it to be a safe and effective smoking cessation aid,” said Dr Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General of WHO’s Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster. WHO underlines that if electronic cigarette producers insist on their product to be an appropriate nicotine replacement therapy, they need to conduct clinical studies and toxicity analyses and operate within the proper regulatory framework to be able to provide scientifically grounded facts.
To make a conclusion, we must say that it is not proven yet that electronic cigarettes represent the secure aid for smoking cessation, although some benefits over the conventional cigarette smoking are obvious. At least electronic cigarettes do not produce second hand smoking and tar, which is so harmful for the human body. However, we would recommend to abstain from a constant use of this product, considering that its safety and the absence of negative impact on human’s health are not still accepted by the official bodies as US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization. And nobody knows whether they ever accept it.

Rush to buy cheap cigarettes

RETAILERS have reported a spending blitz on cigarettes after the Rudd Government’s price hike announcement yesterday.
The 25% rise in excise tax – equivalent to a $2.16 hike on a pack of 30 – applies from today, although some retailers are offloading existing stock at yesterday’s prices.
Coles spokesman Jim Cooper said management responded to yesterday’s rush by putting quantity restrictions on sales.
“We have seen quite a jump in sales of cigarettes,” he said.
“We’ve had to put a three-carton limit on to try to manage the demand.”
Mr Cooper said the price of cigarettes did not rise at midnight, given the previous rate of excise had already been paid on current floor stock.
He said that stock would most likely be cleared during the weekend, after which the additional 25 per cent would be applied.
A number of tobacconists told the Herald Sun they experienced a massive rush on cigarettes yesterday ahead of the price rise.
“We were almost cleaned out today, it’s been crazy,’’ one said. “It’s so busy.
“This has just come out of the blue.”
Smokemart also reported high demand in its stores, but would not comment further.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described his government’s decision to hike the price of cigarettes as a “tough” one that “won’t win the government any popularity”.
He said the tax would raise $5 billion over four years but he hoped it would encourage 87,000 people to kick the habit.
“Cigarettes are not cool,” Mr Rudd said.
Mr Rudd said the 25 per cent tax hike would be used to pay for better health and hospitals.
“This is a tough decision for the government,” Mr Rudd said. “It won’t win the government any popularity.
“The big tobacco companies will hate what we’re doing.
“The government, however, makes no apology whatsoever for what it is doing.
“It is the right decision for two reasons: it will help people to stop smoking and, second, it will raise more money to invest directly into the National Health and Hospitals Network.”
Mr Rudd also used Twitter to defend the new tax: “Not popular but will save lives, take pressure off our hospitals. $5 billion straight to national hospitals fund,” he wrote.
Mr Rudd denied the move was a headline grabbing stunt designed to take attention away from recent bad news which has included a series of government backdowns over childcare, home insulation and an emissions trading scheme.
He said the announcement had been made because the media had recently begun reporting a cigarette tax rise on the way.
The Herald Sun revealed a cigarette tax hike was looming on April 14th.
As a result, the Australian Tax Office had advised that smokers were stocking up on cigarettes prior to the rise coming into effect, Mr Rudd said.
“Cigarette price increases have been shown to be effective in cutting smoking, especially among young people who are particularly sensitive to price,” he said.
Mr Rudd also announced that Australia would be the first country to force cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging from July 1, 2012.
It will ban logos, images, colours and promotional words from cigarette boxes. New laws will also ban internet advertising of tobacco products.
The Government will also increase by $27.8 million to $85 million over four years spending on anti-smoking advertising campaigns.
Mr Rudd said smoking killed 15,000 Australians every year and was the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death.
“Cutting smoking will save lives, take pressure off our hospitals and deliver significant economic benefits, “ Mr Rudd said.
“It is one of the best investments in prevention and keeping people healthy and out of hospital that we can make.”
A government statement says the changes will cut tobacco consumption by six per cent and the number of smokers by two or three per cent.
But supermarket chain IGA says retailers will suffer as a result of the new measures.
The move treated smokers and retailers with contempt, chairman of the national IGA board Mick Daly said.
“It’s a lazy policy response being pushed by some health advocates,” he said in a statement.
“That amounts to a direct attack on approximately 16 per cent of Australians who have made legal and legitimate lifestyle choices.”
Mr Daly said it would undermine retailers and small businesses, while propping up the cigarette black market.
There was evidence the trade of illegal tobacco was increasing at a “disturbing rate”, he said.
“Organised crime feeds off the increased margins of profit often derived from taxing legal products beyond the reach of normal people, while legitimate retailers bear the impact and government reaps the cash,” Mr Daly said.
But a health expert says there will be one million fewer smokers by 2020 as a result of the measures.
Prof Rob Moodie, head of the Federal Government’s preventative health taskforce, said promotional packaging was a very important part of the tobacco industry’s appeal to young people.
By increasing taxes on cigarettes and rolling out measures such as plain packets there was a good chance there’d be one million fewer smokers nationwide by 2020.
“The evidence around this is good, in terms of peoples’ intention to smoke, their attraction to smoke,” Professor Moodie told ABC Radio.
“If you have labels like smooth or gold or silver, they are always perceived to be significantly less harmful.”
Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the move towards plain packets gives cigarette makers no room to gloss over the fact their product was a killer.
She defended the timing of the announcement, which comes before the results of a Senate inquiry into tobacco packaging, saying the plan was part of a range of budget measures on health.
“It has been decided for some time as part of a range of responses to the preventative health taskforce and it is, I think, a really exciting step for us to try and remove the last opportunity for tobacco companies to promote their product, particularly to young people” she told 3AW.
“It’s just part of the puzzle and just another step that will hopefully dissuade people from taking up this habit.”
The government is confident it can take the step towards plain packets legally, despite one tobacco company already preparing to challenge.
“We have firm advice this action can be taken,” Ms Roxon told ABC Radio yesterday.
“Our legislation will be very carefully drafted … we won’t be put off by the fact tobacco companies won’t like this action.”
Queried about the announcement’s timing, Ms Roxon said it was not unusual to make such announcements leading up to the budget.
A spokeswoman for Imperial Tobacco Australia said the company was preparing a legal challenge against the plain packaging move.
“Introducing plain packaging just takes away the ability of a consumer to identify our brand from another brand – and that’s of value to us,” she told ABC Radio.
“It really affects the value of our business as a commercial enterprise and we will fight to support protecting our international property rights.”
She also warned that easy-to-copy plain packaging could be counterfeited, and would circulate without health warnings and ingredients reporting.
Intellectual property and free trade expert Tim Wilson, from the Institute of Public Affairs, said the move could cost taxpayers $3.4 billion a year in compensation to tobacco companies.
“Stripping intellectual property from products is akin to stripping someone of their physical property and requires compensation,” he said.
Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton said the government had been sitting on a report that recommended the step for 10 months, and had only moved now to win favour in the community.
“If they were convinced I presume that they would’ve introduced the measure before now,” he told ABC Radio.
“It doesn’t surprise me that these sort of distractions are released in the run up to a Newspoll weekend, at a time when the government needs to distract people’s attentions away from their failings.”
Under the changes proposed in a world-first by the Federal Government, cigarette packets will be stripped of familiar logos and colourful imagery in a new bid to stop young people taking up smoking.
Australian Medical Association president Andrew Pesce said the plan wasn’t meant to get smokers to quit, but rather stop young people from starting.
Health groups have praised the proposals, saying the changes could make a significant difference to the number of Australians who smoke.
Cancer Council Australia chief executive Ian Olver said the move would stop some people smoking and cut cancer rates. It would make Australia a world leader in reducing tobacco deaths, he said.
“Tobacco companies cleverly tailor product packaging to attract people to the pack and send a message to smokers about the personality of the consumer,” Prof Olver said.
He said health warnings would be more prominent without other patterns on the packaging.
Quit praised the “gutsy” plan and said it would hamper the recruitment of new smokers.
With advertisment of cigarettes already banned, packaging was serving as the main way to lure people into the habit, executive director Fiona Sharkie said.
“By adopting plain packaging we can stop the tobacco industry from using the pack to recruit new smokers and promote their deadly and addictive products,” she said.
Drab standardised lettering will identify individual cigarette brands. Apart from that, the only “artwork” on packets will be government health warnings.
The ban on colourful images and promotional wording such as “smooth” is being billed as an assault on one of the last bastions of tobacco advertising.
Tobacco manufacturers have long regarded legally-enforced plain packaging as a violation of fair trading and competition principles.
Research has shown that attractive and colourful brand imaging reduces the effectiveness of health warnings.
The Government will now develop and test a generic package design to make the deadly habit less appealing, especially to young people.
By Phillip Hudson, Michael Harvey
AAP, April 30, 2010

The Tobacco Timeline

Tobacco in some form has been around for eons.tobacco time
About 6000 BC: Experts believe the tobacco plant, as we know it today, begins growing in the Americas
1492-10-15: Columbus mentions tobacco. “We found a man in a canoe going from Santa Maria to Fernandia. He had with him some dried leaves which are in high value among them, for a quantity of it was brought to me at San Salvador” — Christopher Columbus’ Journal
1499: Amerigo Vespucci noticed that the American Indians had a curious habit of chewing green leaves mixed with a white powder. First, they put leaves in their mouths. Then, after dampening a small stick with saliva, they dipped it in the powder and mixed the adhering powder with the leaves in their mouths, making a kind of chewing tobacco.
By 1586, tobacco had arrived in English Society. In July 1586, some Virginia colonists returned to England and disembarked at Plymouth smoking tobacco from pipes, which caused a sensation.
1600: ENGLAND: Sir Walter Raleigh persuades Queen Elizabeth to try smoking
1612: John Rolfe raises Virginia’s first commercial crop of “tall tobacco.” In 1613, the first shipment of Rolfe’s tobacco arrives in England.
1730: First American tobacco factories begun in Virginia–small snuff mills
1794: The U.S Congress passes the first federal excise tax on tobacco products. The tax of 8 cents applies only to snuff, not the more plebian chewing or smoking tobacco. The tax is 60 percent of snuff’s usual selling price. James Madison opposed the tax, saying it deprive poorer people of innocent gratification
1861-1865: During the Civil War, tobacco is given with rations by both North and South; many Northerners are introduced to tobacco this way. During Sherman’s march, Union soldiers, now attracted to the mild, sweet “bright” tobacco of the South, raided warehouses–including Washington Duke’s — for some chew on the way home. Some bright made it all the way back. Bright tobacco becomes the rage in the North.
1880s: U.S. Women’s Christian Temperance Movement publishes a leaflet that discusses evils of tobacco, especially cigarettes. Cigarettes are “doing more to-day to undermine the constitution of our young men and boys than any other one evil.”
1893: cigar-an-accessory-of-the-rich President Grover Cleveland is secretly operated on for cancer of the mouth.
1901: 3.5 billion cigarettes and 6 billion cigars are sold. Four in five American men smoke at least one cigar a day.
1902: Philip Morris sets up a corporation on Broad Street in New York to sell its British brands, including one named “cigs4us.biz/marlboro-cigarette“ named after “Great Marlborough Street,” site of Philip Morris’ original factory in London.
1904: A judge in New York sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children. 1908: New York city passes Sullivan Act, forbidding women to smoke in public. Managers of public establishments must not permit females to smoke. An earlier ordinance which would have forbidden men to smoke in the presence of women failed to pass. One Katie Mulcahy is arrested for lighting up. Two weeks after enactment, Mayor George B. McClellan vetoes the ordinance.
1929: Fritz Lickint of Dresden publishes the first formal statistical evidence of a lung cancer-tobacco link, based on a case series showing that lung cancer sufferers were likely to be smokers. Lickint also argued that tobacco use was the best way to explain the fact that lung cancer struck men four or five times more often than women (since women smoked much less).
1931: Cigarette Price Wars begin. Cigarettes sold for 14 cents a pack, 2-for-27 cents in the depths of the depression.
1940: Adult Americans smoke 2,558 cigarettes per capita a year, 2.5 times the consumption of 1930.
1940-1950: Muckraking pioneer George Seldes exposes the suppression of tobacco stories by the nation’s press As most tobacco-ad-laden newspapers refused to report the growing evidence of tobacco’s hazards, Seldes starts his own newsletter in which he covered tobacco. “For 10 years, we pounded on tobacco as one of the only legal poisons you could buy in America,” he told R. Holhut, editor of The George Seldes Reader.
1947: “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” hits airwaves. Written by Merle Travis for Tex Williams, is national hit.
1950: In the May 27, 1950 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association, Morton Levin publishes first major study definitively linking smoking to lung cancer.
1950: American cigarette consumption is 10 cigarettes per capita, which equals over a pack a day for smokers.
1951: TV series “I Love Lucy” begins its run at 9:00 PM. It is sponsored by Philip Morris. The animated titles that open the show each week feature stick figures of Lucy and Desi climbing a giant pack of Philip Morris cigarettes. It is the top-rated show for four of its first six full seasons.
1954: Marlboro Cowboy created for Philip Morris by Chicago ad agency Leo Burnett. “Delivers the Goods on Flavor” ran the slogan in newspaper ads.
1955: Smokers: Males: 56.9 percent; females: 28.4 percent
1955: CBS’ “See It Now” airs first TV show linking cigarette smoking with lung cancer and other diseases. (For the first time on TV, Edward R. Murrow is not seen smoking. He had not quit; he felt it was “too late” to stop. Murrow died of lung cancer in 1965.)
1964: First Surgeon General’s Report linking smoking and lung cancer: Smoking and Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. 1965: Congress passes the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act requiring the following Surgeon General’s Warning on the side of cigarette packs: “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health.”
1969: Pan American Airlines creates the first nonsmoking sections on its jumbo jets; United Airlines did the same two years later.
1971-01-02: REGULATION: TV: Cigarette ads are taken off TV and radio as Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 takes effect. Broadcast industry loses c. $220 Million in ads (Ad Age, “History of TV Advertising”). The last commercial on U.S. TV is a Virginia Slims ad, aired at 11:59 p.m. on the Johnny Carson Tonight show, Jan. 1, 1971. The ad featured actress Veronica Hamel.
1987: Aspen, Colo., becomes the first city in the United States to ban smoking in restaurants.
1992: Nicotine patch is introduced.
1993: VERMONT is the first state in the nation to ban indoor smoking; bars are exempt.
1993: Smoking prevalence among U.S. adults (18 years of age and older) is estimated to be 25 percent, compared with 26.3 percent for 1992. Forty-six million adults currently smoke (24 million men, 22 million women).
1997: Forty-eight million Americans have quit in the 21 years since the first Smokeout in 1976; 48 million still smoke; about 34 million say they want to quit. Between 1965 and 1990, adult smoking declined from 42 percent to 25 percent. The average age of a first-time smoker is 13. More than 3 million American adolescents smoke cigarettes.
1997: Attorneys General, tobacco companies come to landmark settlement. Agreement provides for unprecedented restrictions on cigarettes and on tobacco makers’ liability in lawsuits. Industry to spend $360 billion over 25 years, mainly on anti-smoking campaigns, use bold health warning on packs, curb advertising and face fines if youth smoking drops insufficiently. Subject to congressional approval.
1997: President Bill Clinton signs Executive Order 13058 mandating smokefree government workplaces. The order states that tobacco use is to be prohibited from all government-owned, rented or leased interior spaces or in exterior spaces near air intake ducts. The order also prohibits smoking in all recreational buildings and clubs aboard military installations.
2006: Judge releases final order, finding that the tobacco defendants (except Ligget) are racketeers, having lied for 50 years, and deceived the American public on health issues and marketing to children. All that judge can do under civil RICO, however, is enjoin them from lying in the future, or using “light” type descriptors. She orders them to issue corrective statements, and expands the Minnesota document disclosure requirements. If this injunctive relief is ever implemented, it will only be after years of appeals.
2010: By May 1, 38 states are either smokefree or have some type of smoking ban.
By Gene Borio, Tobacco.org

FDA Tobacco Panelists Are Challenged

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected a request by cigarette giant Philip Morris USA to remove four members of a key tobacco-products advisory panel that the company said had extensive conflicts of interest.
Altria Group Inc. disclosed in a quarterly financial report with regulators Wednesday that its Philip Morris USA unit asked the FDA last month to withdraw four nominees because they had financial and other conflicts, including having served as paid expert witnesses for plaintiffs in litigation against tobacco companies. The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee was formed in the wake of the landmark law enacted last year that gave the agency broad powers to oversee the industry.
The FDA denied the request in a letter to the tobacco purveyor on March 25. According to an agency spokeswoman, the letter said the “FDA followed existing law and procedure to recruit the best scientific experts and to ensure that [the panel] has a balanced composition of expertise to handle the many complex tobacco-related issues it will face.”
Philip Morris USA, the largest U.S. cigarette maker by sales, and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., another unit of Richmond, Va.-based Altria, requested that the agency remove as panelists Neal Benowitz, Gregory Connolly, Jack Henningfield and Jonathan Samet.
In a March 22 letter to the agency, the companies said the panelists have financial conflicts and “irreconcilable biases” that would undermine the credibility of the committee, which is charged with reviewing a wide range of tobacco products and making recommendations to the agency.
The four “appointees have pronounced and disqualifying conflicts and biases arising from their active and zealous participation as paid expert witnesses for plaintiffs in lawsuits” that attempt to cripple or destroy the industry, the letter said.
The four men are among nine voting members of the 12-member committee. Dr. Samet, a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, is chairman. Dr. Samet has provided expert deposition or trial testimony for plaintiffs in at least seven cases brought against tobacco companies, Altria said, and has charged fees of $300 per hour. He also has received grants from at least one pharmaceutical company that makes and markets products that help people quit smoking.
Dr. Samet said Thursday that he did not want to comment on Altria’s request other than to say the FDA “has fully reviewed my professional career,” including any perceived or real conflicts. He said that he did not personally keep any of the money paid for his expert testimony in tobacco-industry litigation. All of it, he said, went to Johns Hopkins University, where he previously worked.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Messrs. Henningfield and Benowitz have ties to pharmaceutical companies that market stop-smoking medicine.
Altria said in its quarterly financial report to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday that the FDA said it had satisfied itself, after an inquiry, that the panelists “did not have disqualifying conflicts of interest.”
Altria was a key backer of the legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama last year to make the FDA the industry’s regulator. It said in its letter that “we recognize and support the important role” of the advisory panel.
The FDA has said federal law permits it to grant waivers to allow some experts with conflicts of interest to serve on advisory committees, and it has done so on certain drug-advisory panels. FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said in an April 21 letter to staff members that it is “clearly better for the agency” when “advisors have no conflicts of interest.” However, she said, “I recognize the fact that many of the top authorities in specific areas may have conflicts of interest.”
Altria noted in its SEC filing that the FDA told the tobacco company that it would continue to screen all members of the advisory panel for potential conflicts of interest on matters taken up at panel meetings. This could lead some panel members not to participate in the discussion of certain topics.
APRIL 30, 2010

New York Moves Towards Total E-Cigarette Ban

The New York State Assembly has voted overwhelmingly 125-0 to ban e-cigarettes [e-cigs]; a product which has already been banned in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and New Zealand, restricted in Finland, Malaysia, and Singapore, pending restriction in the UK as a drug, and the subject of law suits by attorneys general in several states, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
The decision followed an email sent by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to New York’s legislators seeking to correct misinformation they apparently received from marketers and others. ASH previously helped persuade New Jersey and Suffolk County, NY, to ban the use of e-cigarettes in no-smoking sections.
ASH’s email noted that the FDA, the only agency both authorized and qualified to evaluate whether e-cigs are both safe and effective, has reported that e-cig use poses “acute health risks,” that “the dangers posed by their toxic chemicals . . . cannot seriously be questioned,” and that e-cigs have caused a wide variety of potentially serious problems “including racing pulse, dizziness, slurred speech, mouth ulcers, heartburn, coughing, diarrhea, and sore throat.” It ruled they are “illegal”
Virtually all of the major national and well-respected medical and antismoking organizations have also voiced strong concerns about the risks posed by e-cigarettes, and urged restrictions on their sales. These include the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence.
ASH also pointed out that the FDA, in its own words, “is concerned that electronic cigarettes, cigars, or pipes may introduce young people to nicotine use which may lead to an increase in the use of conventional tobacco products with well-known, adverse, health consequences. Additionally, it is unclear what health effects these products could have on users or if misuse or product failure could lead to nicotine poisoning or other serious adverse health consequences.”
The FDA also warned that “conference participants stressed the importance of parents being aware of the health and marketing concerns associated with e-cigarettes. It was stated that parents may want to tell their children and teenagers that these products are not safe to use. . . . Of particular concern to parents is that e-cigarettes are sold without any legal age restrictions, and are available in different flavors (such as chocolate, strawberry and mint) which may appeal to young people. . . . In addition, the devices do not contain any health warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes.”
Although some users claim that the products helped them to quit smoking, ASH countered by citing the FDA’s own findings: “at this time, we are not aware of any data establishing electronic cigarettes, cigars, or pipes as generally recognized among scientific experts as safe and effective. . . . There may be a perception among some users that electronic cigarettes, cigars, or pipes are safer alternatives to conventional tobacco products. There may also be a perception that these products are a safe and effective means to quit smoking conventional forms of tobacco. However, FDA is not aware of any scientific data to support those perceptions.”
Michael Eriksen, ScD, the former director of CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health and an FDA adviser warned: “I have seen no evidence that people switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes or other smokeless tobacco products. If you look at how smokeless products are marketed, they are sold as something to use at times you can’t smoke. The implication is you will increase nicotine exposure, not reduce smoking,”
ASH also raised concerns not yet addressed by the FDA: the extent to which the vapor exhaled by e-cig users — including propylene glycol (a respiratory irritant used in antifreeze and known to cause respiratory tract infections), nicotine (a deadly and addictive drug which can help trigger heart attacks), and other substances the FDA labels as “carcinogens” and “toxins” — could threaten the health of nearby nonsmokers.
ASH cited a typical reaction from a sensitive bystander: “My first exposure to e-cigarettes was last year in a hospital. Smokers were made to go outside but 3 e-smokers plus 2 staff were using the e-cigarettes inside . . . I have lupus and the vapor irritated my nose, eyes, throat, and chest, plus the nicotine was making me feel nauseous so there must have been significant quantities in the side-vapor.”
ASH, America’s first antismoking organization, and the one which started the nonsmokers’ rights movement by first getting smoking restricted and ultimately banned on airplanes and in many public places, believes that nonsmokers should not be subjected to the vapors emitted by e-cig users unless and until they have conclusively been shown to be completely safe, even to children, the elderly, those at increased risk, and those with special medical problems.
Public interest law professor John Banzhaf of ASH, argues that there is no possible justification for subjecting the great majority of Americans who are nonsmokers to the totally unnecessary risks posed by a mixture of toxins and carcinogens. Even if e-cigarettes did help some smokers quit — which the FDA denies — “it’s your monkey, keep him off my back.”
Professor of Public Interest Law at GWU,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
FELLOW, World Technology Network, and
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
America’s First Antismoking Organization
2013 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006, USA
(202) 659-4310 // (703) 527-8418


Doctors issue health warning over smoking in British film blockbusters

Some of Britain’s biggest recent films have come under fire from doctors who say they are more likely than Hollywood movies to include specific cigarette brands.Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones
They are demanding an overhaul of the film classification system so that cinema releases are given a higher age rating depending on the amount and type of tobacco consumption they portray.
Such a move is needed because the presence of smoking on the big screen is likely to influence young viewers, according to researchers from Nottingham University, writing in the journal Thorax.
They counted the number of incidents of smoking or smoking-related references or depictions in the 15 most popular films released in the UK between 1989 and 2008. “Although smoking imagery and branding images in the most popular films have become substantially less common over the past 20 years, it is apparent children and young people watching films in the UK are still exposed to frequent and, at times, specifically branded tobacco imagery, particularly in films originating from the UK”, Prof John Britton and colleagues write.
Bridget Jones’s Diary featured Renée Zellweger regularly smoking Silk Cut, as she does in the book on which the film was based. The film was rated as suitable for anyone aged 15 or over.
The authors write: “In About a Boy, the main character, Will [played by Hugh Grant], also smoked Silk Cut regularly throughout the duration of the film, mostly in the presence of a 12-year-old boy. In the novel on which this film was based, Will smoked infrequently and no brand was identified.”
The authors call on the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to factor depictions of smoking much more heavily into its ratings, just as it already does for portrayals of violence and illicit drug use.
The board currently rates about two-thirds of films which portray smoking as suitable for viewing by under-18s, even though 18 is now the legal age at which people are allowed to smoke, they add. Many medical leaders backed reclassification. “This is an important public health issue because impressionable children and teenagers look up to role models, including sporting heroes and TV and film stars,” said Prof Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
“While British TV has made great strides in reducing on-screen smoking, the film industry lags behind. There are still too many ‘heroes’ smoking in films shown across the UK.”
Prof Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “At present children are protected from images of hard drug use with an 18 certification, but films which show smoking in a glamorous way can still get a U classification. We believe that unless there is solid factual evidence for it, smoking should not be portrayed in films aimed at under-18s.”
And Prof Terence Stevenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “Where possible the censors should edit out non-essential scenes involving smoking from any film that is accessible to under-18s.”
Martin Dockrell of the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health said the UK should take action to outlaw product placement by cigarette manufacturers in films, as tobacco advertising is banned here. “The tobacco companies have a long history of product placement in films aimed at children including the Muppet Movie and Superman. This wouldn’t be allowed in the US and it is astonishing that it should happen in the UK where tobacco advertising is against the law. It is time we adopted WHO guidelines that recommend films should certify that no paid product placement.
A BBFC spokeswoman, Sue Clark, said it had no intention of changing its policy. “These doctors [the authors] are out of step with public opinion. We have asked the public specifically if smoking should be a classification or category-defining issue, and the response overwhelmingly was no, it shouldn’t.”The board flags up overt smoking content through its consumer advice, the short sentence on all film advertising which warns about sexual or violent content, and also by setting out on its website the factors underlying its decision to grant a film a particular rating, she added. “It’s then up to parents whether or not they stop their children seeing that film.”
BBFC assessors only use smoking as a criterion if it is “actively promoting smoking to a very young audience, of children aged 12 and under”, added Clark, who admitted that they had never seen such a film.
New films containing smoking are mainly set in the past, when smoking was more common, partly because of the 2007 ban on smoking in public places.
By Denis Campbell
The Guardian, 29 April 2010

Australia to Ban Logos on Cigarette Packets

Australia will become the first nation to ban branding on cigarette packages and will raise tobacco taxes by 25 percent, taking on British American Tobacco Plc and Philip Morris International Inc. in a renewed effort to combat smoking.
The cost of a packet of 30 cigarettes will rise to about A$16.70 ($15.40) at midnight from about A$14.50, and laws to mandate plain packaging will be introduced within 18 months, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in Sydney today.
Rudd, 52, is intensifying a four-decade long campaign to convince Australians of the risks associated with smoking, the biggest preventable cause of disease and premature death. About 15,000 people die each year from tobacco-related diseases in Australia, where sales of tobacco products totaled A$10.9 billion in 2009, according government statistics.
“The big tobacco companies are going to go out there and whinge, whine, complain, consider every kind of legal action known to man — that’s par for the course,” Rudd told reporters in comments broadcast on Sky News. “We, the government, will not be intimidated by any big tobacco company.”
London-based British American Tobacco, or BAT, had 46 percent of the retail market for cigarettes in 2006, according to a 2008 report on Tobacco in Australia by Cancer Council Victoria. Philip Morris, based in New York, had a 34 percent share and Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, of Bristol, England, had 18 percent.
Imperial Tobacco Australia is preparing a legal challenge, Cathie Keogh, a company spokeswoman told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio today.
Brand Identification
“Introducing plain packaging just takes away the ability of a consumer to identify our brand from another brand,” she said. “It really affects the value of our business as a commercial enterprise and we will fight to support protecting our international property rights.”
BAT “opposes plain packaging of tobacco products and believes any such proposals would not hold up to close scrutiny,” its local unit said in a statement today.
Packets will display only health warnings and basic product information. Rudd said the excise increase would provide A$5 billion over four years and the government plans to spend A$85 million on anti-smoking advertising in the next four years.
Smoking-related illnesses cost the nation’s economy as much as A$5.7 billion a year in lost productivity, the Australian Medical Association in Sydney said in a statement.
“The plain packaging will probably be a more effective deterrent for new and prospective smokers than established smokers,” said Andrew Pesce, the association’s president. “It should help prevent children and young people from taking up smoking in the first place by decreasing the attractiveness of the packaging.”
Lung Tumors
Australia began limiting cigarette ads on radio and television in 1972 and banned them four years later, curbing lung tumors, the country’s biggest cancer-killer.
The number of Australians who smoke has more than halved in the past 20 years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report in December. Australia has the third-lowest rate of smokers in the developed world, behind Sweden and the U.S., according to the report.
New cases of lung cancer fell to 60.6 per 100,000 men in 2006 from 80.6 per 100,000 two decades earlier, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in Canberra. The incidence in women jumped 46 percent to 30.3 per 100,000 over the same period.
Economic Benefits
“Cutting smoking will save lives, take pressure off hospitals and deliver significant economic benefits,” Rudd said in a statement.
The government excise is currently set at 26.22 Australian cents per cigarette and rises twice per year based on inflation rate increases. Australia’s taxes on tobacco are 62 percent of the total cost, compared with 80 percent in France, Rudd said.
Cigarette labels represented six of the top seven grocery brands in Australia in 2007, according to data from market researcher AC Nielsen and industry publication AdNews. Winfield, a BAT product, is top-selling brand with sales of more than A$750 million, outranking Coca-Cola, according to Nielsen.
New Zealand yesterday introduced laws to increase tobacco taxes by 33 percent by January 2012.
Tobacco companies were banned in the U.S. from marketing to people younger than 18 years in the Food and Drug Administration’s first moves in a decade to regulate the $80 billion industry. The restrictions, announced last month, prohibit cigarette makers from distributing branded merchandise such as T-shirts.
The FDA has said it will appeal a U.S. court ruling that overturned part of the law. In January, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled that some provisions violated advertisers’ free- speech rights by barring tobacco companies from using color and graphics to market their products.
By Gemma Daley and Marion Rae
Businessweek, April 29, 2010

Japan Tobacco January-March Group Net Profit Y31.5bn, Announce Price Hike

TOKYO -Japan Tobacco Inc. (2914) reported Wednesday that it swung into a net profit for the January-March quarter, thanks to Japan Tobaccoincreased sales of tobacco products in overseas markets, offsetting a sales drop at home.
The world’s third-largest tobacco company by sales volume after Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco PLC generated a group net profit of Y31.5 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, compared with a year-earlier loss of Y8.0 billion.
The company, commonly known as JT, posted revenue of Y1.483 trillion, slightly down compared with Y1.486 trillion in the previous year. Group operating profit rose 29% to Y43.9 billion from Y34.1 billion.
In addition, JT booked a special profit of Y16.7 billion, reflecting smaller penalties that its U.K. tobacco units Gallaher Group Ltd. and Gallaher Ltd. will pay the U.K. Office of Fair Trading. The special profit mirrors the discrepancy between the provision already set aside for the penalties, and the actual payments.
Separately, the company said it will book Y13.8 billion special loss for the July-September quarter to reflect a payment made by Canadian unit JTI-Macdonald Corp. to settle a longstanding dispute over alleged cigarette smuggling.
JT has been in a legal dispute with the authorities in Canada, which in 2004 claimed JTI-Macdonald had profited from contraband trade in cigarettes, and that it didn’t pay tax on those profits from 1990 and 1998.
JT obtained the unit via the 1999 purchase of the international operations of RJR Nabisco.
For the full year ended March, JT posted a net profit of Y138.45 billion, up 12% from Y123.40 billion. Its full year revenue came to Y6.135 trillion, down 10% from Y6.832 trillion.
For this fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, the company expects a net profit of Y133 billion, down 3.9%. Revenue is pegged at Y5.980 trillion, down 2.5%.
Japan Tobacco compiles its earnings based on Japanese accounting standards.
The Japanese government will raise the tax on tobacco by Y3.5 per cigarette effective Oct. 1, or Y70 per pack–the first tax hike since July 2006, and a much steeper rise compared with past increases.
To absorb the looming tax hike, JT plans to raise the price of its popular Mild Seven brand by Y110 per pack of 20 cigarettes, bringing the price of tobacco to around Y410 per pack.
Nikkei, April 28, 2010

British American Tobacco 1Q Volumes Drop 4%

LONDON -British American Tobacco PLC (BATS.LN) Wednesday posted an accelerating decline in cigarette volumes forBAT the first quarter as lower consumer spending in the global economic downturn hit sales of its cigarette brands.
“Our consumers are clearly finding economic conditions difficult, and volumes suffered as a result of market size declines,” said Chief Executive Paul Adams in a statement.
The London-based tobacco company said in a trading update that its revenue growth in the three months to March 31 was “solid”, despite a 1% drop in cigarette volumes. Stripping out acquisitions, volumes were 4% lower, compared with a 2.4% drop in the previous quarter.
The revenue growth was driven instead by strong price rises and the acquisition of PT Bentoel in Indonesia in June last year. Revenue has benefited further from the impact of exchange rates, the company said.
“There was continued pricing momentum and good growth in market shares, leading to solid revenue growth,” added Adams. “We remain on track for the year.”
The volume figures were a little softer than expected, said Nomura analyst David Hayes. He had expected a volume drop of about 3.2%, given difficulties in Turkey, Brazil and Japan. He is still confident however that volumes will improve as the year progresses.
The company’s shares remained flat at 2140 pence at 0715 GMT having dropped almost 8% since early March on fears of stagnating volumes. The company said in February that the worst of the recession had passed as it posted a 10% rise in full-year profit.
The company said Wednesday it had achieved a good performance despite lower industry volumes in a number of important markets, such as Japan, Brazil, Russia, Romania and Turkey.
It said rising levels of unemployment, together with increases in excise had hit the premium segment, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, while down-trading to illicit cigarettes had hit the low-price segment.
The company said that despite these difficulties, it had grown its market share compared with the previous quarter, while volumes of its four key brands–Dunhill, cigs4us.biz/lucky-strike-cigarette, cigs4us.biz/kent-cigarette and cigs4us.biz/pall-mall-cigarette–grew 6%.
By Michael Carolan

Michigan's workplace smoking ban takes effect on May 1

The mystery when Michigan’s workplace smoking ban takes effect at 6 a.m. Saturday is what will happen.inside smoking
Will bars and restaurants have their required “No Smoking” signs posted and ashtrays removed? Will smokers be defiant or even confrontational? Will local health departments be deluged with complaints?
Michigan need look no farther than Ohio, which began its ban three years ago, for answers.
In May 2007, the first month of the Ohio ban, local health departments wrote 5,124 tickets against restaurants, bars and workplaces.
Nick and Jimmy’s bar in Toledo wasn’t one of them.
“We have some customers who will just light up out of habit and we throw them out,” said owner Nick Tokles.
It’s a different story a few miles away. Fred Krieger has been fined $8,000 at his Krieger’s Pub. He nearly closed the pub, he said, because he also had a 25% drop in business he blames on the ban.
But Lucas County Health Department officials agreed to cut the fines to $1,000 if he stays clean through January. That’s no slam dunk in the shot and a beer tavern, most of whose patrons are smokers.
“They go into the bathrooms to smoke or behind a curtain,” Krieger said. “We can’t catch them all.”
In Ohio and other states with bans, complaints declined after an initial burst, but some establishments continue to take a calculated risk. At a Chicago bar near the Indiana border, smokers put $5 donations into a jug to help pay anticipated fines.
In Ohio in 2007
On the first day of Ohio’s smoking ban — May 3, 2007 — 189 violations were written against restaurants and bars that let patrons smoke, kept ashtrays on tables or allowed smoke to waft in from the outside.
Bill Delaney got his first violation on May 4. Since then, he has been issued another 54 tickets at Delaney’s Lounge in Toledo.
The 68-year-old, non-smoking, non-drinking Tea Party member hasn’t paid a dime and proudly defies the ban, placing big glass ashtrays across the bar and on every table, and even putting a sign in his front window: “This is a smoking establishment.”
His bartenders smoke, his waitresses puff away. His customers light up while playing video games.
“I figure I’m up to $7,000 to $10,000 in fines,” he said. “We know what it takes to run a business. What are they going to do next, tell me to stop selling Bud Light?”
For the nonsmokers who complain, Delaney has a simple message: “Don’t come to my bar. Or take me to court. Giving up is not in my vocabulary.”
Other owners are cagier about skirting the ban, putting money jars on their bars to help pay fines associated with the ban, or charging a buck or two for ashtray rental.
Still others gamely adhere to the law, even if it’s costing them customers.
“Our revenues have dropped like a rock — we’re down $10,000 a month,” said Fred Krieger, owner of Krieger’s Pub in Toledo. “And the majority of that is from the smoking ban.”
Other establishments embrace the ban. Every morning, employees at Nick and Jimmy’s in Toledo get out the broom and dustpan and sweep up the dozens of cigarette butts in front of the bar and restaurant, dropped by patrons who can’t smoke inside.
“It’s opened our customer base right up,” said owner Nick Tokles.
Some customers fled, Tokles said, but business quickly stabilized. And there has been a pleasant side benefit: Refrigerators, stoves and heating and ventilation equipment are breaking down far less often.
“We don’t have all that tar and nicotine going into the systems,” Tokles said. “We’re saving a lot of money.”
In a few weeks, the outdoor patios, where patrons in Ohio may smoke, will open and the butts will be gone, at least from in front of Nick and Jimmy’s restaurant.
Michigan law will not permit smoking anywhere food or drink is served, including patios. But establishments will be able to direct smoking patrons to outdoor, open-sided smoking huts.
A Free Press assessment shows that Michigan’s new law is tougher than laws in some of the 37 states that have some form of smoking ban — and more lenient than others.
Illinois’ 28-month-old smoking ban is similar to Michigan’s. About 9,000 complaints have been filed — 61% during the first year of the ban and only 742 so far this year.
A test case in Ohio
In Ohio, more than 49,000 violations have been issued, though the pace is slowing. The state has issued $1.1 million in fines, but collected just $472,972 and spent $1.9 million to enforce the ban. The state pays local health departments $115 for just about every smoking ban investigation they do.
The first smoking ban case to go to court — with Ohio trying to collect more than $30,000 in fines from 80 violations against Zeno’s Food and Spirits in Columbus — was a victory for the bar. The judge in Franklin County ruled that it was improper for the state to go after bar owners instead individual smokers.
Placing the burden of enforcing the ban completely on property owners “is ludicrous and defies basic notions of fairness,” Judge David Cain wrote in his ruling.
The state won a stay of the ruling so it can continue enforcing the smoking ban.
“We think the law will be upheld,” said Jen House, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health. “Ohio voters approved this in 2006 and we believe this is what they want.”
Bar owners disagree. Many would prefer to pay $250 or $500 a year for a special license that allows for smoking in establishments where alcohol sales are the primary source of revenue. Right now, Ohio’s only exemption is on outdoor patios of bars and restaurants, and specialty tobacco shops. When three casinos open in a couple of years, in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo, the smoking ban also is to apply to them. Michigan’s exemptions include the gaming floors of Detroit’s three casinos, and cigar bars.
“They haven’t fined one individual,” said Krieger. “But they want my little barmaid to go after a 300-pound guy who’s smoking.”
An upside in Illinois
Unlike Michigan, the gaming floors of Illinois’ nine casinos were not exempted from the state’s smoking ban.
Their combined revenues fell 21% in the first year of the smoking ban, said Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino and Gaming Association. That trend continued in 2009 and this year, though not as dramatically.
Swoik said the weak economy was partly to blame, but said most of the decrease was because of the smoking ban, which sent some gamblers to Indiana and Missouri casinos where smoking is allowed.
Joe Shanahan owns Metro, one of Chicago’s best-known music halls with a bar near Wrigley Field. He said the ban brought in new, non-smoking customers, and prompted many of his 100 employees to stop or cut back smoking — a change that reduced illnesses.
“I thought at one time it would really affect our business, but I feel it’s helped a little bit,” said Shanahan, an ex-smoker.
Freep, April 27, 2010