Arts Council will sell artwork donated by R.J. Reynolds

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County has acquired $700,000 worth of artwork that it plans to sell for the benefit of council programs and funded groups.
The artwork consists of about 3,000 pieces from the corporate collection of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which announced the donation Thursday.
The public will be able to view and bid on at least 25 pieces in the collection from Aug. 11 through Sept. 24. The rest of the collection’s pieces will go on sale in February.
“After more than 100 years of purchasing art to enhance the work environment of our employees, we have far more art than we can display,” said Mark Peters, the chief financial officer at R.J. Reynolds. “We were faced with the decision of whether to continue to store the pieces indefinitely or get them back into the community where they can be enjoyed by others.”
State and national artists and craftsmen of note created the collection’s pieces, which include dulcimers by Edd Presnell and paintings by Claude Howell (“Howard’s Fish House,” 1976), Maud Gatewood (“Barn in Snow,” 1977) and Catherine Ryan (“A Maddening Chess Set, Wonderland vs. Looking Glass,” 1977), along with prints, sculpture, pottery, ceramics and textiles.
Milton Rhodes, the council’s president and chief executive, called the council’s acquisition of the artwork “significant and very meaningful for several reasons.”
“Fundraising is extremely difficult in this economic environment,” Rhodes said. “So the generosity of R.J. Reynolds will benefit ultimately a host of local arts organizations and individual artists who received grants from the Arts Council.”
He said the council intends to make at least $700,000 from selling the collection’s items and that at least 1,500 pieces in the collection are worth less than $200.
Rhodes said council board members will decide in late August or early September how the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be spent.
“There are multiple ways that the trustees of the council can use that money,” he said, adding that these include the council’s endowment, operations and annual fund drive.
Catherine Heitz New, the council’s director of major gifts, spoke of a multipronged plan to sell the collection. During the plan’s first phase from Aug. 11 to Sept. 24, the public may bid on at least 25 premier pieces during an online auction. Those pieces also will be on display at the Womble Carlyle Gallery of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts on Spruce Street. An opening reception for the display will be 5-7 p.m. Aug. 11 in the gallery.
The group is setting up a website,, where bids may be placed, and it will go live Aug. 11. The reserve or starting prices for the auction pieces have not yet been determined, council officials said.
New said works selected for the display and auction beginning Aug. 11 are designed to “show the breadth of the collection.”
“They’re not necessarily the most valuable pieces, but they are considered highlights,” she said.
The second phase of the plan will entail a public sale of the collection’s remaining pieces Feb. 10-12 in Reynolds Place at the Rhodes center.
By: Ken Keuffel

Should the feds and Big Tobacco share the costs of smoking?

OTTAWA – Should the feds and Big Tobacco share the burden for the costs of smoking?
That’s one of the questions before the Supreme Court of Canada as it prepares to release a landmark ruling on Friday.
The top court’s decision will determine if the federal government should be dragged into court cases aimed at getting tobacco companies to foot the bills for smokers who get sick.
Those legal claims could run into millions, if not billions, of dollars.
The Supreme Court will rule on two cases in which the tobacco companies want Ottawa to also be held responsible for any damages that might be found.
One case involves a class-action suit against Imperial Tobacco by smokers who say they were tricked into thinking so-called mild or light cigarettes were less harmful than regular cigarettes.
The other concerns a lawsuit by the British Columbia government against tobacco companies to recoup billions of provincial health-care dollars spent on treating smoking-related diseases.
The cases have been challenged on several fronts. The tobacco companies tried to have the law that paved the way for the B.C. lawsuit declared unconstitutional. They failed.
Imperial Tobacco then petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court to add the federal government as a third-party defendant partially liable for health costs.
The B.C. Supreme Court rejected their argument. But the provincial appeals court overturned that ruling after accepting the company’s argument that Ottawa had a role in designing some tobacco strains and was responsible for its conduct around warning consumers of tobacco risks.
Along with B.C., three other provinces — Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador — are suing the tobacco companies. Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Quebec and Alberta have also announced their intention to pursue lawsuits.
A spokesman for Imperial Tobacco Canada declined comment until after Friday’s ruling. But the company released a statement after the B.C. Court of Appeal’s December 2009 decision.
“The government of Canada has been a senior partner of the tobacco industry for decades. They have legalized tobacco in Canada, heavily regulated it, and taxed it to the tune of billions of dollars every year,” the company said at the time.
“It is only right that the government of Canada stands next to the tobacco industry in these cases and be accountable for its role in the history of tobacco control strategy.”
Rob Cunningham, a lawyer with the Canadian Cancer Society, says Big Tobacco is trying to pass the buck.
“The tobacco industry’s tactic, historically for many decades in cases of this nature, has been to try and shift the blame,” Cunningham said.
“They say, ‘Well, we’re not responsible, somebody else is. For example, the smokers should have known the health effects. It’s not our fault.’ And here they’re trying to blame the federal government.
“We think the tobacco industry should be held responsible for its own actions and not try and shift the blame.”
By Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press

Japan Tobacco to Pay $450 Million for Sudan Cigarette Maker

Japan Tobacco Inc. agreed to pay $450 million for a cigarette maker operating in Sudan and oil- rich South Sudan, which gained independence this month after a rebellion that lasted almost 50 years.
Haggar Cigarette & Tobacco Factory Ltd. controls 80 percent of the market in Sudan and is “well established” in the Republic of South Sudan, the Japanese company said. The deal values the maker of Bringi cigarettes at 9.9 times last year’s underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, Japan Tobacco said in a statement yesterday.
Japan Tobacco, the world’s third-largest publicly traded cigarette maker, plans to boost overseas profit by at least 10 percent as an aging population and a higher cigarette tax weaken demand at home. Net income may expand 11 percent to 161 billion yen ($2.1 billion) this fiscal year on increased prices in Russia and other markets abroad, the Tokyo-based maker of Mild Seven, Camel and LD cigarettes said yesterday.
“This acquisition is positive because it shows the company is eager to grow overseas,” Mikihiko Yamato, a Tokyo- based analyst at Japan Invest KK, said by phone yesterday. “The company prefers making acquisitions in Asia, but it is difficult to find candidates in the region.”
Japan Tobacco gained as much as 4.9 percent to 354,000 yen, the highest intraday level since Jan. 13, before trading at 350,000 yen as of 10:38 a.m. in Tokyo. The stock has gained 17 percent this year, compared with a 5.8 percent drop in the broader Topix index.
Africa Foothold
The purchase of Haggar, which sold 4.5 billion cigarettes in Sudan last year, will be financed with existing funds and loans, Japan Tobacco said, without providing more details.
“Africa is a very energetic and growing market,” Akira Saeki, an executive vice president for Japan Tobacco, said in Tokyo yesterday. “Gaining a foothold there is a very significant step.”
Japan Tobacco’s cigarettes are sold in more than 20 African countries including South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria and Morocco, said Hideyuki Yamamoto, a company spokesman. The company has a 97 percent market share in Tanzania, he said.
Its two cigarette factories in the continent are in South Africa and Tanzania, and it has a tobacco leaf processing facility in Malawi, Yamamoto said by e-mail.
Lower Multiple
Japan Tobacco is paying a lower multiple for Haggar than was paid in similar deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The median price-to-Ebitda ratio in 10 takeovers or stake purchases in tobacco companies over the past five years was 13.5, the data show.
The ratio of 9.9 times Ebitda that Japan Tobacco said it’s paying for Haggar is lower than the multiple of 13.7 it paid for Gallaher Group Plc in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Japanese cigarette maker paid 7.5 billion pounds for LD maker Gallaher, excluding debt, the data show.
It bought RJR Nabisco Inc.’s international businesses, including the Winston and Camel cigarettes brands, in 1999 for $8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Japan Tobacco is buying the Sudan cigarette maker from its parent, Haggar Holding Company Ltd., according to the statement.
Net income for Japan Tobacco may total 161 billion yen ($2.1 billion) in the 12 months ending March 31, compared with 145 billion yen a year earlier, it said in a separate statement.
Rebel Attacks
Fiscal first-quarter profit rose 2.4 percent to 22.7 billion yen, with operating income falling 9.5 percent to 71.9 billion yen, the company said.
Oil-rich South Sudan, which became the world’s 193rd nation on July 9, has an adult illiteracy rate of 85 percent, and half of its 8 million people live on less than $1 a day, according to the United Nations.
This year has been South Sudan’s most violent since civil war ended in 2005, with 2,368 civilians dying in rebel attacks and ethnic violence, including cattle raids, compared with 940 last year, according to the UN. As many as nine militia groups operate mainly along the border with the north, close to oil fields.
South Sudan controls about 75 percent of Sudan’s daily production of 490,000 barrels of oil.
The UN Security Council on July 8 adopted a resolution for a 12-month peacekeeping mission, authorizing the deployment of 7,000 soldiers and 900 police to South Sudan.
By Shunichi Ozasa and Go Onomitsu

Ontario takes action to help the millions who continue to smoke

The Hamilton Academy of Medicine congratulates the Ontario government for its decision to fund smoking cessation medications as part of the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, effective August 4. This is an essential element of a comprehensive anti-smoking strategy that includes prevention programs, counseling and support, and tough tobacco control measures.
About one in five Ontarians still smoke, and in Hamilton specifically, the percentage is even greater as a result of the community’s health disparities and the fact that tobacco use is typically higher among populations with lower income and fewer social support networks.
Hamilton is a community requiring a specific approach to smoking cessation. Why? Hamilton does not fit the mold – the population is diverse and represents significant extremes in terms of health:

  • A 21 year difference in life expectancy separates some of our neighbourhoods.
  • Hamilton’s overall rate of low birth weight babies is more than 30 per cent higher than the Canadian average.
  • Between neighbourhoods, there is as much as 22 years between the average age of a person suffering a cardiovascular emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke.
  • In Hamilton, the smoking population is approximately 21 per cent – higher than the Ontario average of 19 per cent.

“Smoking is not a lifestyle choice, but rather a very powerful addiction,” explains Dr. Richard Tytus, Family Physician and Past-President, The Hamilton Academy of Medicine. “I constantly see patients who struggle with their tobacco addiction every day; many who began smoking before the age of eighteen. The availability of smoking cessation medications that can more than double the chance of success for someone trying to quit is a strong step towards creating smoke-free communities across the province.”
Through programs such as It’s Hamilton’s Time to Quit, The Hamilton Academy of Medicine and its partners are working to raise awareness of the resources available to support quitters in their journeys to become smoke free.
“Ultimately, today’s announcement will help us align our efforts to support smokers who need our assistance to overcome their addiction to nicotine,” says Dr. Tytus. “This is great news, especially for Hamiltonians.”
Wendy Stewart
Hamilton Academy of Medicine
(905) 528-1640

Slow recovery for Zimbabwe tobacco

Sales of tobacco have fetched US$345.2 million (R2.4 billion) in Zimbabwe so far this year, with a seasonal average of US$2.78 a tobacco zimbabwekilogram.
New small-scale and larger black growers now make up the vast majority of tobacco producers. Together with the few white farmers who remain on their land and some new younger white growers renting land from Zanu (PF) land invaders, they are now pushing production towards two-thirds of the annual output before the land grab began.
In 2004 there were about 4 000 mostly small-scale black tobacco growers and a handful of large-scale black tobacco producers.
In the 2010/11 season, industry insiders say there are about 47 000 registered growers. Among these are a few hundred black growers, also on land seized from white farmers, who are considered large-scale growers planting between 20ha and 50ha and producing world class leaf.
Banks will not lend to most new farmers because they do not have title deeds as security for the loans.
International tobacco merchants advance money to growers and oversee production, often using evicted white growers as trainers.
“We were very good tobacco farmers and it is in our interests for these new farmers to do well,” says one former tobacco farmer who lost his land in central Zimbabwe in 2003. “Our company lends many of these new farmers money. We watch and help supervise that crop from the beginning to the end because if we don’t, and the farmer fails, then we will be out of jobs.
“The rules are changing. We used to insist we only assisted growers on undisputed land. But now the waters are muddied. All of us are asking fewer and fewer questions about who has the title deeds and we are just getting on with ensuring our growers do well.
“We know we will never get our farms back and we are just hoping for compensation… but I want to stay in Zimbabwe, it’s my home, and I am proud of some of the growers.”
He asks that neither he nor his company be identified.
Sharing the barns
Peter Garaziwa, 55, was a potato farmer in eastern Zimbabwe’s mountains until 2004 when he was given white-owned land in a prime tobacco area, Nyazura, south of his traditional home. This year, he says, he will have produced 32 bales of Virginia tobacco produced on a farm known as Gazala.
He does not know what happened to the white farmer, and nor does he care, but says he uses barns built by the former owner to cure his tobacco. “They are good barns, but we all have to share as there isn’t enough space.”
He is one of several hundred new farmers resident and producing on Gazala.
“This is my second year selling as I was studying how to grow it for a year before I started.”
Most leaf grown by the new small-scale tobacco farmers is lower grade tobacco, and 50 per cent of the crop is bought by the Chinese Tobacco Company.
Before 2000 Zimbabwe regularly produced more than 220 million kilograms of tobacco a year, most of it grown by white farmers. After land seizures the crop size fell each year until by 2009 Zimbabwe was producing less than a third of what it had regularly produced for 40 years.
Industry insiders said this year Zimbabwe would produce about 135 million kilograms, much of it by new farmers resettled on former white-owned farms.
Auction floors re-open
Farayi Kawadende is the information officer at Boka Tobacco, Zimbabwe’s largest tobacco auction, which has about 4 000 growers on its books. For the first weeks of the selling season it was selling about 6 000 bales a day.
“Good grades of tobacco were going at US$4 a kilogram but the lower quality is selling for about US$0.80, which means hard times for those growers.”
Boka Tobacco chief executive Rudo Boka recently reopened the company’s auction floors, after a decade of difficulties and controversy following the death of her father, a staunch Zanu (PF) supporter.
“Many of those selling here are new small-scale farmers and so they have not done this before. First they have to register as growers with the Tobacco Marketing Board.
“Then they have to have file crop estimates and they need to book their tobacco for sale,” she says.
“It is tough at the beginning for them. And it has been hard for us too, but we are now able to pay the farmers on the same day their tobacco is sold.”
Boka says there are social consequences paying out thousands of dollars to peasant farmers coming to Harare to sell their crop. “Many of them have only occasionally been to the city before. So a lot of the wives come too, and not to shop. They come to be sure the money gets home.”
Broke and borrowing
Not all of the new farmers are happy with the prices they received this year. A group of small-scale farmers, resettled since 2000 in Zimbabwe’s top tobacco producing area, Karoi, 200km north of Harare, say they cannot afford to grow tobacco again because of poor prices.
“We didn’t earn enough to plant again,” says one. “We are broke and we can’t borrow money, we are finished,” says another, who prefers not to give his name.
This group of farmers aged between 28 and 45 were “100 per cent” behind President Robert Mugabe’s land reform. “Without that we would never have got land, and we don’t have much and only grow about 1ha of tobacco, and that is very, very hard work.”
These small-scale growers produce their crop with family labour. Traditional larger-scale producers say it will cost them about US$9 000 to US$11 000 per hectare of tobacco.
“This crop will change and eventually I expect Zimbabwe will be like Brazil and Malawi where tobacco is a small-scale crop,” said a buyer from an international company.
Last season, 120 million kilograms were sold at the close of the auction floors. Some suspect that figure was boosted by South African growers who sneaked bales into the Zimbabwe sales to catch the high opening prices of more than US$4 a kilogram. Zimbabwe will probably earn more than US$350 million when the floors close in the next month or two. –

San Antonio Housing Authority to ban smoking indoors and outdoor

To the list of places where smokers no longer will be able to light up — government buildings, parks, restaurants and bars — public housing residents in San Antonio soon will add one more: their own homes.
The San Antonio Housing Authority plans to impose a new policy in January that will prohibit residents from smoking indoors or away from designated outdoor spots at all 70 of its public sites.
The ban, which will affect about 15,800 residents, aims to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke and follows a growing nationwide trend to eliminate smoking at public housing authorities.
Since 2009, when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a directive that “strongly” encouraged housing authorities to adopt nonsmoking policies, the number of agencies that have banned the practice has more than doubled to an estimated 250, according to the Smoke Free Environments Law Project, a Michigan nonprofit that tracks the number.
San Antonio will become the biggest housing authority in Texas and one of the largest in the country to adopt a smoking ban, joining other major agencies in Boston, Detroit, Portland and Seattle.
“It’s our responsibility to provide a living environment that’s healthy, safe and comfortable and, frankly, your neighbor’s smoke can often impair that,” said Melanie Villalobos, a spokeswoman for SAHA.
The no-smoking rule will debut here in August or September at the newly renovated Lewis Chatham Apartments, a single, four-story building for the elderly on the South Side.
SAHA’s other properties are expected to go smoke-free in January, but the details of how the new policy will work at each site, including the locations of designated smoking areas, remain undetermined.
Residents will be prohibited from smoking within about 20 feet of exterior doorways, and those who repeatedly violate the rule could face eviction.
The housing authority began putting out the word about the new policy earlier this year, opening the discussion at resident meetings and surveying tenants.
Later this month, the housing authority plans to launch an educational campaign about the hazards of smoking and secondhand smoke. Residents who want to quit the habit also can get free smoking-cessation aids such as patches and lozenges, provided through the agency’s partnership with the American Cancer Society.
The housing authority put off a planned start date in July after studying how other agencies had dealt with the issue. Among the most important lessons was that residents were more agreeable to the change if they had time to prepare and received health information.
“The education campaign is the most important part,” said Lori Mendez, the housing director for the elderly and disabled who has spearheaded the effort. “Residents need to understand the expectations.”
Kids exposed to smoke
Many residents have yet to hear about the change, but so far the new policy has inspired a mix of strong support, ambivalence and anger.
A survey sent to all 6,029 households in January shows that a large majority of tenants support the no-smoking policy. Of the 200 residents who responded, 81 percent said they liked the idea, while 17 percent opposed it, and 2 percent said they had no opinion.
In some cases, smokers decried what they view as a violation of their rights.
“This is my house even though I’m receiving help from SAHA, and I should be able to smoke in my own home if I want to,” one resident wrote.
Another resident who smokes on the balcony suggested forcing residents to go outside would put them at risk.
“It’s dangerous enough at daytime. Understand that you will be putting people’s lives in danger,” the tenant wrote.
But many cheered the idea, and some smokers even welcomed the change as an inducement to help them quit.
Recent studies have shown secondhand smoke migrates into apartments through vents and air ducts.
According to a study published online in the medical journal Pediatrics in December, children who live in multifamily housing are exposed to secondhand smoke at greater levels than children living in detached houses, even in cases when no one smoked in their apartment.
The surgeon general has ruled that no level of exposure to tobacco smoke is safe. Every year, secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease among non-smoking adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about 3,400 adults who don’t smoke die annually from lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke, the agency says.
In public housing, the benefits of smoke-free homes may be more pronounced. Low-income children face higher rates of asthma and about 30 percent of adults smoke, compared with about 20 percent of those who live above the poverty level, said Donna White, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Nationally, public housing is home to more than 1.2 million residents, including large numbers of children and elderly, with about 39 percent of tenants younger than 18, and 15 percent older than 62.
Rey Ramirez, president of the resident council at Westway Apartments on Culebra Road, said his elderly grandmother, who suffered from severe asthma and used an oxygen tank, had to contend with heavy secondhand smoke from a downstairs neighbor before she left the apartments because of health troubles.
“You can smell it — it’s very, very strong,” Ramirez said. “It’s just common sense to get rid of it.”
Smoke-free trend
The crackdown in public housing coincides with a stricter anti-smoking city ordinance that takes effect in August and prohibits smoking in all bars, restaurants and public places, including parks and bus stops.
It also comes at a time of increasingly aggressive public health initiatives launched by Mayor Julián Castro, who has overseen the city’s new B-cycle bike share program and created a Fitness Council to look at new ways to encourage healthy living and spend $15.6 million in federal stimulus funds intended to reduce childhood obesity.
The national trend to go smoke-free in public housing puts agencies like SAHA at the forefront of a broader movement to take the fight against tobacco smoke into the private sphere.
Consumer demand for nonsmoking homes continues to rise, and more private landlords are learning that smoking bans make good business sense, said Jim Bergman, director of Smoke-Free Environments Law Project.
“Apartment owners are now recognizing that nonsmokers make up 80 (percent) to 85 percent of the adult population, and many smokers also don’t smoke in their apartments because they don’t want their clothes to smell,” Bergman said.
In recent years, about 10 to 15 local governments in California have joined the movement, banning smoking in private apartment developments in their municipalities, he said.
California is the only state where local governments have adopted such ordinances. In Texas, few private landlords — less than 5 percent by Bergman’s estimate — have gone to smoke-free apartments.
Health benefits for residents are the driving force behind the new restrictions, but non-smoking policies also reduce the risk of fires and offer financial perks.
Housing authorities can save more than six times the turnover costs to clean stained walls and window blinds and repair ducts and carpets damaged by cigarettes, according to a 2009 poll of housing authorities by Smoke-Free Housing New England. The cost of rehabilitating a nonsmoking unit is about $560, compared with about $1,810 for a light smoking unit and $3,515 where there was heavy smoking, the poll found.
But not everyone is convinced the housing authority will see much savings or success with the policy.

Something new from an old flame

Faced with a growing crackdown on smoking, the iconic lighter brand is using its rugged, adventurous but trusted characteristics toscene-with-Zippo extend its product lines.
The Zippo lighter has a CV to rival the most seasoned Hollywood actor. It has starred in more than 1200 TV shows, theatre performances and films including Die Hard, Indiana Jones and last year’s release Buried.
The brand’s global marketing director David Warfel insists Zippo has no paid-for product placement deals but has achieved fame through its iconic status built up over a 79-year history and the lighter’s ability to perform on cue.
Yet this big screen success is bittersweet. While the company has garnered money-can’t-buy exposure, each starring role continues to reinforce the brand as revolving around lighters.
This conflicts with Warfel’s task since he joined Zippo three years ago, which has been to extend the brand’s life beyond a single product. He is aiming to show global shoppers that the name can stand for more.
“The motivation for our diversification is the pressure on the tobacco industry and by association the effects on our business,” explains Warfel.
Despite brimming over with all-American optimism, Warfel is realistic about the implications of the brand’s association with smoking and the tobacco industry. As smoking becomes more of a taboo activity around the world, with countries implementing bans in public places, Zippo cannot afford to rely on its lighter alone.
“The crackdown on smoking is a global phenomenon and has forced us to support the position that the product is more than a tobacco accessory,” he acknowledges.
“There is no doubt that our most common application is to light a tobacco product,” he admits.”But we have a valuable, highly recognised, positively perceived global brand. It is logical for us to extend into categories that are closely related to heat and flame but to also leverage it among other lifestyle products.”
Those products include a range designed to light candles and camping fires, as well as personal handwarmers, pens, men’s and women’s bags, and, believe it or not, a men’s fragrance.
The scent, says Warfel, is selling so well in Italy that demand has outweighed supply – despite initial scepticism from the media. It plays on the brand’s “rugged, masculine” qualities and sits alongside Zippo men’s accessories such as pens, wallets and small luggage.
Another equally seemingly tenuous brand link is Zippo’s line of women’s handbags, distributed solely in Italy. Warfel claims the brand, in a different typeface to the Zippo master brand, resonates in the Italian market.
The bag company already existed, Warfel explains: “After a while of challenging its use of our brand name, we thought: what the heck, we’ll just buy it. We bought the company about 10 years ago and it turned out well because it brought us ahead when we wanted to extend our product line into leather goods.”
Becoming an outdoor and lifestyle brand, however, is Warfel’s main priority. He is realistic about going up against brands that already own this space, such as The North Face or Kathmandu, so he wants to position Zippo more around family campers.
“We are moving into products for the outdoors and I don’t mean hard-core activities like guys who climb Mount Everest – that’s not us,” he insists. “We’re more about recreational family products that are set around the campfire; products to get the campfire lit or firewood carriers. As we move into the home, hearth and patio sector, we are exploring products which support the patio environment, such as small flame heaters, and heat décor items such as tiki [bamboo] torches.”
Warfel is upbeat about the challenge of carrying this all out without changing the brand itself or losing its traditional users.
“In the markets where we have a longer history, such as Western Europe or North America, where there is a strong consumer perception that Zippo means ’lighter’, it will be a little harder.
“The good news is our brand awareness is high, but you have to convert people from thinking vertically to horizontally. They need to recognise that Zippo makes good products, so if we introduce, say, writing instruments, those will be good too.”
Warfel must balance exploiting brand heritage and nostalgia as well as moving ahead with Zippo’s current brand strategy.
“There is a rich heritage I don’t want to dismiss,” he acknowledges. “We are fortunate that Zippo has become a brand with a personality. When people think of Zippo, they think of stories, of their grandfather, of movies, that all the tough guys in high school had our lighters. But I don’t want to dwell on the past. I want to talk about the future and to be a hip, cool brand.”
The way to achieving this has involved pulling together a tight, global strategy from what Warfel admits was previously “fragmented”. He says the company’s management were bold in deciding to move away from relying on their most successful product alone. “The onus for bringing me in was the company recognised the need to change the way they do things.”
Zippo’s recent marketing campaigns are a far cry from the cartoon print campaigns it used in the Fifties, blatantly promoting the product to smokers. Campaigns from the last decade highlight Zippo’s lifetime warranty on its lighters and the environmental element of never having to replace it, compared with disposable lighters.
Zippo is chasing growth internationally, with key markets outside its American homeground including the UK, Italy, France and Germany. Emerging Eastern European markets are also vital, such as Poland, Russia and Romania. The importance of Asia can’t be ignored; Warfel says China is its biggest market outside the US.
Warfel’s media budget alters market by market: for example, the UK, US and China are very social media-oriented, while Italy and Eastern Europe still tend to favour high-impact print and TV campaigns.
Zippo is hoping to tie in all media elements for this year’s global campaign to establish a link with live music, through concerts and music festivals around the world. The activity involves not just sponsorship but experiential elements such as photo booths where images are uploaded to the Zippo Encore music-themed website.
“We are using music as a way of speaking to our audience and to be where they are,” says Warfel. “We are looking at a post-college male audience and research tells us that the one defining personality attribute is music. You can be into computers, extreme sports or fashion design, but everybody in this category seems to identify with music.”
Despite the undoubted need for Zippo to face up to a future where the smoking industry is under greater pressure, the brand’s core product still maintains its popularity. In the UK, 80% of Zippo’s sales still come from lighter products and it’s undeniable that for smokers with a lifelong habit, a Zippo lighter remains a desirable, even fashionable accessory.
When it comes to the stretchability of the Zippo brand, Warfel realises there is a limit, although he says there is no reason why well-selected extensions can’t gain traction. He gives car marque Porsche as an example: “Why does this brand sell pens, wallets and sunglasses? They all conform to a design platform. Everything looks ’Porsche-y’. The pens are metallic and sleek. [Watchmaker] Montblanc has done a great job at this too – it also makes belts and briefcases, and in the store environment it all looks cool together.”
In the lighter game, Zippo and Bic are probably the two names that first come to mind and the latter has had to face similar challenges to Zippo. But Bic’s lighter business is surpassed by its stationery division, which brought in €127.7m (£112m) last quarter. However, Bic’s budget, and even disposable nature, puts it in a different category from Zippo, Warfel claims: “You don’t associate Bic with being a companion for adventure.”
It is this link with adventure that Warfel is hoping will keep the spark alight for Zippo. Its success depends on whether consumers see the link with ’family recreation’ and recognise the Zippo spark beyond lighters.
By MaryLou Costa

From Vogue model to crack addict

A FORMER model told yesterday how she was plucked from council estate obscurity to catwalk glamour – and ended up with a deanna-ashby£600-a-day drug habit.
Deanna Ashby was talent-spotted at the age of 15 and became a top fashion model in the 1980s.
She was photographed by celebrity snapper Mario Testino and featured in Italian Vogue.
And her likeness to Princess Stephanie of Monaco even meant she was mistaken for royalty.
But party girl Deanna enjoyed the high life too much. She spent 27 years battling heroin and crack cocaine addiction before quitting the modelling business and fleeing to Scotland.
She is now living in a two-bedroom rented flat in a deprived area of Glasgow’s east end and fighting a custody battle over her threeyear-old daughter.
Deanna has told her story to the Record to warn others about the dangers of drugs.
The mum-of-three said: “The two reasons I’m not dead now are probably because I had the money to pay for the drugs and I had to look after my children.
“At the height, I would say I was spending £600 a day on drugs for two years. I was the ultimate party girl – the life and soul of the party.
“My mum, who is the kindest woman in the world, told me I wasn’t her daughter any more.
“I want people to know how horrible it is.”
Deanna was 15 and living on a London council estate when her mum sent a photo of her to a competition to find new modelling talent being run by 19 magazine.
deanna ashby Image 4
Weeks later, she answered the phone and was told she had got through to the last six.
Within months, Deanna was jetting all over the world, taking part in photoshoots with model Nick Kamen and appearing on giant billboards to promote boxer shorts by leading designer Paul Smith.
She was a regular in London’s top clubs and was often mistaken for Princess Stephanie.deanna-ashby
Deanna said: “On one occasion, one of Princess Stephanie’s bodyguards paid me to pretend I was her, wearing the same clothes to fool the Press.
“It worked, but I felt bad when an old lady curtseyed to me in the street.
“I wanted to say to her, but it would have blown my cover as soon I spoke with my Cockney accent.”
When Deanna was 18, a bag of cocaine was left for her on the bed of a Milan hotel room.
She didn’t know what it was at first. But after dabbling in the drug, she quickly became hooked.
Deanna, 45, said: “I got a really nasty habit. My nose ended up falling apart as a result and my veins are shot.
“I was always thin, but the girls there were thin, thin, thin.
“Most of them didn’t eat. The girls who picked at bits of salad would all go and be sick in the toilets afterwards.
“It was a different world. In eight months of working, I had £21,000 in the bank, which was a lot of money back then.
“I was a size eight, but they’d say, ‘Deanna, you need to get a bit of weight off’.
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“When I did, I got more work.” Deanna fell deeper into drugs and became trapped in a cycle of smoking crack cocaine and injecting heroin.
She said: “Now I think back on it, it is crazy.
“It was like a twin habit. I used to smoke crack to get high and then take smack to get down.
“It used to just be coke but then one night someone sprinkled some powder over my coke.
“That turned out to be heroin and that was me.”
At the height of her drugs habit, Deanna once smoked £1000 worth of crack in one evening.
She said: “I had crack psychosis and could see rats running across the floor. It makes your throat close up so the only thing you can do is suck an ice cube. Because of it, I now have severe asthma.”
Most of Deanna’s veins have collapsed because she injected them with heroin so often.
She added: “The combination of smack and cocaine in the syringe is called a snowball.
“People who take drugs often say they’ll never put a needle in their arm. But after a while it doesn’t work, you don’t get the same hit and the only way of doing it is through the bloodstream.
“It gives you the most unbelievable high and if you try it once, you want another one.
“So my advice is never to try any of it.”
As a top fashion model for the agency Models One, Deanna flew all over the world for photoshoots.
She did catwalk shows in Tokyo, New York and Milan and earned thousands of pounds for catalogue work.
Deanna also won a contract with L’Oreal and flew to Egypt and Kenya to take part in shoots for Freemans catalogue.
Her earnings meant she had the cash to buy top-of-the-range cars and a flat in trendy Ladbroke Grove in west London.
She was a regular at all the best parties and nightclubs and she featured in the gossip pages of newspapers.
Deanna even flew to Amsterdam once to buy specially cut diamonds.
When she fell pregnant with daughter Gemma at the age of 22, she quit the catwalk and became head booker for Models One.
Gemma’s dad is Karl Adams, the former Haircut 100 pop manager. A year after Gemma was born, the couple had another daughter, Zoe.
Even with two young children, Deanna’s career flourished.
She was in charge of bookings for top models including Jerry Hall and Naomi Campbell.
She also worked alongside her pal Davina McCall on the men’s booking desk.
Deanna, who was known as “the mouth from the south” because of her strong accent, said: “I loved being a booker and did it for about six years. I travelled to different countries and ended up running the desk.”
But while Deanna was doing well at work, her drug addiction was getting worse.
She ended up selling almost every material object she owned – including her diamonds from Amsterdam – to fund her habit.
Deanna had spells of rehab in the Priory and Clouds, the addiction clinic where Paula Yates sought refuge after the death of her partner Michael Hutchence.
But after she was released each time, Deanna went back on the drugs.
Eventually, she ended up in a Christian rehab centre in the Midlands where she met and married Glaswegian Ronnie Fullerton.
They settled in Reading, Berkshire, where Deanna fell pregnant with her youngest daughter, now three.
The family moved to Scotland to be closer to Ronnie’s family when their daughter was a baby.deanna-ashby
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The tot is currently living with her grandmother and father.
There is a custody hearing next month where Deanna hopes to win back her daughter.
The former model has been off heroin and crack for 18 months. She takes methadone to keep her on the straight and narrow.
Now, she wants to warn others about the dangers of addiction.
Deanna said: “Every day, when you feel down and want to go back there, you have to fight it. I think it is an illness I have.
“Now I spend all my money on filling my freezer with food and getting electricity cards. There is no money left for other things.”
She added: “I feel I have made mistakes but I’m where I am supposed to be.”
“I am lucky to be alive.
“I believe it is God who has kept me here.”

Australia’s new drug survey report

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey Report drugs2010, which indicates the behaviour and attitudes of Australians to drug use, shows reductions in daily tobacco smoking, a range of mixed findings on alcohol and an overall rise in illicit drug use.
The Australian Health and Welfare Institute (AIHW) report found the community is concerned about excessive alcohol use and smoking, and tends to support tobacco and alcohol harm reduction policies.
Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), Professor Michael Farrell, discusses some of the report’s findings.

International comparison

The report found that nearly 40% of Australians have used illicit drugs at some stage in their lives. This figure is a bit lower than in the United Kingdom but still well up there.
It’s pretty good-going level of drug exposure and there’s no question that it’s striking.

Increased cocaine use among young women

We’ve been aware of the upward trend of cocaine use in the general population. So to find that young women are, as I would describe it, “catching up with the boys” isn’t altogether a surprise.
We’ve seen, in a range of substance consumption trends, that there’s often an equalisation of behaviour over the genders over time.
But it’s obviously always a concern to see a drug like cocaine, which has very significant problems and harms associated with it, increasing in usage in the general population.
As with all of these types of trends, there’s obviously a range from low-level use to more frequent use and you’d expect to see that spectrum reflected and the harms growing with increased quantity and frequency of use.
The issue with a lot of these drugs is that you’ve got to have disposable income to be consuming them. We know this for alcohol and we know it for other commodities.
Affordability is a factor. Of course there are people who use drugs heavily who cannot afford them and have to resort to crime in order to obtain their drugs.
The other issue is that of availability. For a long period of time there was very little cocaine in Australia but it has grown; so clearly, the issue is why has it grown.
It’s obviously being imported and marketed. Whether there are international factors affecting that is another question. For instance, the US dollar is weaker right now and such factors may influence what’s happening.
In general, if you see affluence, you see a diversification of the drugs consumed.


Cannabis use has edged up after a previous period of decline, along with other drugs.
The messages around cannabis and mental health that we have seen internationally have had an impact on young people and influenced them to reduce their cannabis use. So it’s unfortunate that we haven’t seen more of a continued drop in cannabis use, particularly among older Australians.

Pharmaceutical drug abuse

The population noted concern around painkillers but there’s not really a big shift. Unlike the United States, prescription opiates remains a modest problem here to date. But it is an area we need to keep a watchful eye on.


Ecstasy use has declined significantly, particularly among younger Australians. NDARC’s own monitoring system, the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS), has also recorded declines among regular ecstasy users in Australia.
The composition or the quality of the pill is one of the factors influencing the fall in consumption among this group. But it’s really hard to make associations between these things in a causal way.
One of the issues we’ve been concerned with over the last few years is around getting the message out about reporting of idiosyncratic deaths with ecstasy. These idiosyncratic deaths happen rarely but it’s always a terrible, terrible tragedy when they do. The variable content of the pills clearly increases the risk of adverse consequences.
Although we cannot identify whether people are switching from one drug to the other, one would certainly be concerned to see cocaine use going up while ecstasy use is going down from the point of relative harm and addictiveness.
Cocaine is a much more addictive and problematic drug – not that they’re not all problematic but some are clearly more problematic than others.
This is clearly a concern to people, but the issue here is that someone might decide to take cocaine instead and this is pretty much a frying-pan-into-the-fire sort of decision.


The “alcopops” tax may have contributed to young people changing their choice of drink but their overall pattern of alcohol consumption hasn’t changed.
So they’ve switched away from one product but you’re not seeing any sort of overall change. Younger groups are more likely to consume alcohol in quantities that place them at risk. Overall, we have seen very little change in alcohol.
The increase in violence is probably related to binge drinking. There are two main concerns around alcohol – one is about people drinking excessively over a long period of time so that they have a range of physical complications, such as those around liver disease.
But there’s also the issue of alcohol and acute intoxication and all of the behaviours and harms around acute intoxication.
In particular, we know that heavy drinking and violence in and around licensed premises late at night is a serious issue and causes community problems, policing problems and physical assaults.

Steady alcohol use but increase in related violence

One has to be careful about these figures because they are self reported. You’d want to verify them, see how they match with reported trends in policing data.
I think there’s a perception that there’s a real problem around alcohol consumption in the night-time environment. The issues of physical violence and the associated demands on policing stem from that.

Trustworthiness of data

These kinds of surveys have been conducted internationally over a long time and people have become really confident about self reporting, from the point of view that participants do volunteer to be involved in these things and they seem to trust the confidentiality.
From that point of view, I think we get a reasonably good picture. We have to be clear, though, that there are certain aspects of behaviour that are pretty hard to capture with this sort of data. For instance, with alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, we can get a pretty good picture.
But with less frequently used drugs like heroin and even cocaine, it’s even harder because we tend to see sub-groups with very different patterns of behaviour.
That’s where the Drug Trends monitoring systems conducted at NDARC (for example surveys of sentinel groups of illicit drug users and analysis of hospital and deaths data), complement this kind of national population-level survey.
This allows us to begin to put the jigsaw puzzle together in a different way so that we can see how the different bits fit together and see whether they make overall sense.

New York Expects Big Tobacco Tax Payoff

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office expects the state to see an additional $27 million in tax revenue through renewed New York Taxesefforts to enforce New York’s $4.35-per-pack excise tax on cigarettes, including those sold by American Indian tribes on reservations, according to a Legislative Gazette report.
In 2010, the New York State Legislature passed a law requiring the collection of taxes on cigarette sales to non-tribal members. This past June, the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court denied a motion by the Seneca Nation of Indians to extend a ban on the collection of the taxes until a legal challenge against the state is decided, as CSNews Online previously reported.
“It has been our consistent position that cigarettes should be taxed under the law, and the courts have repeatedly agreed,” said Cuomo. “The law is the law, and we will enforce it. Everyone must pay their fair share, and that includes those who sell cigarettes.”
The Seneca and Oneida nations have both stated that their reservations are protected from taxes. “As always, our status as a sovereign nation prevents, by federal treaty, enforcement of state taxes on our territorial commerce,” said Seneca Nation President Robert Odwai Porter. “We will never take any action to collect state taxes or allow the state to do so on our territory. That is not something that’s open for discussion.”
The state Department of Taxation and Finance has created a tax-exempt coupon system in order to collect taxes on cigarettes sold to non-tribe members by American Indian retailers, according to spokeswoman Susan Burns. “The issue is that Native Americans were selling non-taxed cigarettes to non-Native Americans in their smoke shops and retail shops,” Burns said. “And the courts have ruled that the tax on non-Native Americans must be collected.”
Recently, federal and N.Y. state authorities seized large amounts of tobacco products that did not have tax stamps or had counterfeit ones — 19,744 cartons of cigarettes, 24,882 cigars and 33.75 pounds of tobacco with a total estimated tax value of $1.2 million were seized from 357 retail locations over three weeks, according to the report.
There was also a 14-percent increase in cigarettes with tax stamps from May to June, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance. The department inspects stamping agent facilities, which the Commissioner of Finances authorizes to place the stamps on tobacco products to ensure they are legally stamped. It also searches these facilities for unstamped tobacco products; gathers information about individuals who transport untaxed products; and stops vehicles it suspects are transporting untaxed products.
Overall, the state Division of the Budget estimated it will receive approximately $1.57 billion from cigarette taxes in 2011, said department spokesman Morris Peters.