Beware of tobacco industry interference

On May 31 people around the world celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This year, WHO has chosen the “tobacco industry” as its theme to emphasize the need to remain vigilant for any attempts of the tobacco industry to undermine the control of production activities, which adversely affects the tobacco drive.

Below is just one example of hidden advertising: During the inauguration of the newly constructed section C at the School of Economics Diponegoro University in Semarang March 22, 2012, executives of the company, Michael Bambang Hartono, said the company spent Rp 13.4 billion (1.5 million U.S. dollars) to build and support facilities for the university. This advertising will “concern» Djarum and “commitment” to improve the quality of education in Indonesia.

Cigarette Company also planted trees on the campus of the University in a clear show of concern for the environment. In his speech of thanks, rector of the university, Sudharto P. Hadi said that “concern for the environment is providing a good education. When we succeed in providing both, a person’s life will be balanced.”

Thus, the dean of the school of the University of Economics, Muhammad Nasir presented Mikhail Dedication to education for the development of the award during the collection of high school graduates.

WNTD should focus on the need to identify and counteract harsh and more active efforts of the tobacco industry to deceive the public, especially young people, students, teachers, trainers and academic supremacy of the serious health risks of smoking. It is true that the contribution of Djarum and other tobacco giants are significant in terms of money value. But in proportion, it may be not so much.

According to Forbes magazine, Djarum tycoons R. Budi Hartono and Michael have accumulated $ 14 billion this year. Construction of the school of economics is only one ten thousandth of their wealth. This “advertising” does not need to display mandatory health warnings, but the company has earned the “Outstanding Academic Award” and has received wide public coverage (Jakarta Post, March 28).

It is now known that the tobacco epidemic kills 6 million people a year. If unabated, by 2030, tobacco-related diseases claim the lives of up to 8 million people, with more than 80 percent of low-and middle-income countries. According to the Indonesian Ministry of Health, in 2010 approximately $ 229,990,000 was spent on tobacco-related diseases.

Why are so many victims? The answer to this question is: “Because smokers are hooked.” Nicotine is highly addictive substance in tobacco Tobacco is very dangerous. Even the tobacco industry recognizes that, as shown in the warning about the dangers of tobacco smoking contained in advertisements. Because of the addiction to tobacco manufacturers are stronger and richer than ever. They have become a major source of government revenue and major sponsors social events, as well as suppliers of scholarships for students and prospective athletes.

The earlier teens start smoking, the harder it is for them to quit the habit. In 2001 young smokers aged 10-14 years is 9.5 percent of smokers. This number increased to 17.5 percent in 2010, which indicates the success of the industry to attract young people to smoke (Basic Health Survey 2010). In our interaction with the tobacco companies at any time we receive funds, donations, grants, sponsorships, etc., there are three points we should always remember and will have more to remember not to forget them.

First, the tobacco industry are cruel to produce and promote products that are lethal kills more than five million people each year, smokers and nonsmokers alike (WHO 2012). The dead to prove tobacco killed more people than “The Second World War, AIDS, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, car accidents, murders and suicides combined.” Second, the tobacco industry tricks for the creation and development of addictive products, which are fatal, and to bring toxic products contained in cigarettes. Last, the tobacco industry pretends that it is cool by the orientation of young people to replace older smokers when they leave.

As tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death, the World No Tobacco Day 2012, and over the next few years, WHO urges countries to put the fight against the tobacco industry based on their efforts to combat the global tobacco epidemic.

High levels of taxation may limit the sale of tobacco

Ammonia, arsenic, butane, lead, tar and many of the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, and so it is with paan masala. Conversely, a dry anti-money laundering, belifal, dates, cherries, aniseeds, cardamom and mint can be a fantastic alternative for cancer tobacco products.

Search for alternative cancer “gutkha» and “paan masala” is the biggest problem. But the pensioner says that made it a viable alternative for the production of these dangerous products.

The solid and semi-options “gutkha» and “paan masala” has been named as “Amrita” and «Oorja”, which are available in small bags. These products are currently only used to encourage patients admitted to hospital cancer JK quitting tobacco.

Made from a dry anti-money laundering, belifal, dates, cherries, aniseeds, cardamom, mint and herbal aromas, these natural products are available in limited locations. These herbal alternatives are also recommended by doctorsJKCancerHospital. Hospital authorities will distribute Amrit and Oorja for patients and their attendants on the occasion of “No Tobacco Day” on Thursday.

“Tobacco is a substance which is not effective and the cancer has become an integral part of many people’s lives. Nevertheless, the substance poses a threat to the environment and humanity, because it is highly toxic. While users can not quit smoking is a habit environmentalists and doctors have cried hoarse on this issue, “Dr. Avadhesh Dixit, Director, JK Cancer Hospital, said.

“Amla is good for the hair, reduces the couch and enhance the body’s resistance, while belifal a good remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, tanning and much more. However, the terms give the energy and power, mint and cardamom, are the mouth fresheners. All these products are combined to replace the masala, “said Suman Tiwari, a manufacturer and developer of Amrit and Oorja.

“High taxes on tobacco and its products are only a means to curb the sale of cigarettes paan masalaand. Money spent on treatment of cancer patients much more than what the government receives as income from tobacco and its products,” said Dr. AK Nigam, chief physician of the chief Ursula Horsman Hospital, which is the nodal officer for the “No Tobacco Day” in the city. The WHO study showed that tobacco use is highest in lower socio-economic groups. There about 600 ingredients in cigarettes. Burning cigarette creates over 4,000 chemicals. At least 50 of these substances are known to cause cancer and many of them are poisonous. Thus, smokers are harmful light of their loved ones as well.

Armstrong vs R.J.Reynolds

Lance Armstrong, the cycling champion and cancer survivor, raises $ 1.5 million for the ballot measure to add $ 1 a pack cigarette tax to California, as well as the tobacco industry has put much of the $ 40.7 million to end it.

Voters June 5 presidential primary election will decide whether to raise taxes on the $ 1.87 package and send additional revenue for cancer research, and quit the program. Leading opposition Altria Group and Reynolds American., Parents of RJ Reynolds Tobacco, the two most sold in theUnited States. “I resent the ability of the tobacco industry to influence public policy in their favor, again and again, for a product that kills when used as directed,” Armstrong said through a spokesperson, Katherine McLane.

His non-profit charity Cancer, Livestrong, 29 supported the proposal, together with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. Armstrong beat testicular cancer to win the Tour de France seven times.

If the measure is approved,Californiawill become the last state with higher taxes to raise prices on tobacco smoking. Consumers pay the highest state tax at $ 4.35 pack of New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.At the national level, the average state tax is $ 1.46. The proposed increase would push California’s average price of the package is about $ 7.50, said Brian Miller, a representative of the Board of Equalization, the tax administrator of the state with reference to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in theUnited States, according to the CDC. California, the agency has not raised its 87-cents-a-pack tax since 1998.

Altria, through its subsidiaries, Philip Morris USA, John Middleton Company and the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, gave a combined $ 27.3 million to defeat the proposal 29, in accordance with the campaign data collected MapLight, nonpartisan research organization based inBerkeley, which tracks campaign donations. “Altria opposed the extra target to increase taxes on tobacco products,” David Sutton, a press of Richmond,Va.- based Altria, said by e-mail. He called the vote initiative “shortcomings” measures.

Reynolds American to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, American Tobacco and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco units gave $ 12.1 million, according to MapLight data. Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem,North Carolina, announced in March that it planned to cut 10 percent of theU.S.workforce by the end of 2014, as demand for cigarettes decreases. A spokesman for Reynolds, David P. Howard, referred questions to the coalition against the measure. California Republican Party has contributed $ 1.2 million to fight the proposal in accordance with the MapLight. “I can not think of much better uses for $ 40 million as saving lives from cancer and other deadly diseases caused by tobacco,” said Armstrong. Opponents say the initiative creates a nine-member committee to manage the funds that duplicate existing programs and not enough responsibility to the taxpayers.

“The language in the initiative have been mixed so that leaves room for fraud and personal profit,” George Runner, a member of the Board of Equalization, who spoke on the opposition, said by telephone. “And there is no way for the legislature to step back and fix these loopholes.” Supporters have raised about $ 8.6 million, according to MapLight, including $ 500,000 from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and $ 10,000 from Marc Benioff, CEO of San Francisco, Salesforce.com Inc, the largest seller of Internetclient software. The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News, parent Bloomberg LP.

The tax would generate about $ 735 million per year for fiscal 2014, according to legislative analysts. The Committee will depend on the checks, and there are provisions in so far as to protect against fraud and conflict of interest, said Jim Knox, vice president of legislative advocacy in the Department of California American Cancer Society, in a telephone interview. “This is a smokescreen from the tobacco companies,” said Knox. “They donate the money because they know that the tax increase would reduce sales and reduce their profits.”

49.3 million dollars raised in the cigarette tax fight behind the public records, said Daniel Newman, Map Light president. Proposition 8, the 2008 measure, which ended gay marriage inCalifornia, has received nearly $ 107 million, according toHelena,Mont-based National Institute on Money in State Politics.

The amount of money flowing into the opposition’s effort is not unusual, Newman said. “When there is a financial interest in the success or failure of this initiative, the corporation can afford to spend as much as is necessary in connection with the financial stakes involved,” said Newman. Matthew Lanford, 41, owner of Santa Barbara, cigars and tobacco, gave $ 1,000 in March against the measure. “Dollar for a pack of cigarettes – people adapt to that,” Lanford, who owns his business for 16 years, said by telephone. “This is a $ 10 pack in New York, and people continue to buy them.”

Smokers will go to the nearbyNevadaandArizonaand buy cartons at the time, his said. State excise tax of 80 cents per pack inNevadaand $ 2 inArizona, according to the CDC Office on Smoking and Health. The vote of a cigarette tax of California may indicate a level of support for the ballot initiative to Governor Jerry Brown in November, which temporarily raises income and sales taxes to help close the $ 15.7 billion budget deficit. “We’ll know much more, June 5, when the tobacco tax measure to a vote,” said Bill Whalen, research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Palo Alto.

“IfCaliforniavoters do not subscribe to a tax increase on cigarettes in a non-smoking state, and punish the tobacco companies, which nobody likes, courtesy of ads with a victim of cancer and Lance Armstrong, I’m not sure that raising taxes can go.”

Legislature OKs Medicaid cuts may not vote on the cigarette tax

The Illinois House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday passed pieces of repair Medicaid, including legislation reducing $ 1.6 billion from the program. Governor Pat Quinn commended the legislators, but they say that their work will not be finalized until they are at $ 1 per pack tax on cigarettes.

“Higher prices for cigarettes are also sound health policy. Smoking-related conditions, a significant burden on our system, Medicaid, and this measure will improve the health of our people and reduce future costs of Medicaid”, he said in a statement.

House voted 94-22 and the Senate voted 44-13 to accept a reduction in Senate Bill 2840, which range from the direct elimination of some programs – such as taking care of Illinois Rx, a prescription drug assistance programs for older people – to take additional measures to ensure that those who receiving assistance are eligible for it. The bill now heads to the table Quinn.

“There is nothing about this bill, somebody quite pleased,” said Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago. “This system was on the verge of collapse.” Quinn wants legislature to come up with $ 2.7 billion in a combination of Medicaid expenditures and a reduction in new revenue for fiscal 2013. Cuts approved Thursday are the result of months of negotiations, lawmakers from both parties. Nevertheless, a few days before the vote, some Republicans said the reductions do not go deep enough.

However, the minority leader in the House of Representatives Tom Cross, R-Oswego, called the Medicaid changes “very important”. “This is the beginning of a slow trip out of this deep hole,” Cross said.

Liquidation of Illinois Rx cares about will affect 180,000. In addition, the bill limits participation in the program with a family of up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Medicaid recipients will be limited to one pair of glasses every two years, and adults will not be able to receive chiropractic and Podiatric services.

About 36 medical fragile children, who tend to rely on the fans in their homes, lose the coverage of the bill, which limits Medicaid for these children in families with no more than $ 112,000 in family income. “There’s pain in this bill, but we try to minimize the pain,” said Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, who helped negotiate reductions. “This will allow us a much better path for the Medicaid program for years to come.”

Some lawmakers said the reductions will hurt minority Illinois residents in need. They said that the state instead should avoid interruptions of business or to expand sales tax state tax to come up with additional money for Medicaid.
“I do not know where he says (budget) must be balanced with the backs of the poor, from the back of the elders, from the back of the blind and disabled,” said Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago.

“I think it’s a moral disgrace. When we click a green light, we are pushing people to the grave?” Said Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago. Some opponents warn that government spending may actually increase the strength of contractions. Under the measure on Thursday, Medicaid recipients would be limited to four prescriptions without prior approval from the state. This may cause some recipients to do without some of the drugs, which can lead to hospitalization.

Thousands of current recipients are expected to be removed from the Medicaid rolls, when the state makes aggressive efforts to ensure that everyone who receives assistance shall be entitled to it. That would produce $ 350 million savings, although the Department of Health and Family Services Director Julie Hamos said the figure is just an assumption. It is estimated that 300,000 people in the list that should not be.

House Springfield area delegation – Reps. Raymond By, R-Springfield, rich Brauer, R-Petersburg, Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, Wayne Rosenthal, R-Morrisonville, and Jil Tracy, R-Mt. Sterling – all voted “yes.” State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, voted “no.” Central Illinois Sen. Larry Bomke-, R-Springfield, Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, Sam McCann, R-Carlinville, and John Sullivan, D-Rushville – all voted “yes.”

Legislative leaders divided the package into separate parts, with a carrot and stick in each bill, hoping to shepherd through the tough measures the General Assembly and to the table Quinn.
In addition, as part of the package, the House of Representatives and the Senate sent the Quinn bill that would allow Cook County to do more and more people in Medicaid through local and federal funds, not state funds. Voting in the House of Representatives on House Bill 5007 was 62-55, and 35-22 in the Senate.

Government regulation currently prohibits the expansion of Medicaid rolls. HB5007 creates a waiver that would allow Cook County to start registering people who will be eligible in 2014, when the health of President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan must be put in place. Refusal expires, if the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law of health.

In an effort to appease Republicans who came under fire from right-wing groups to consider is what helps to Obamacare, the Democrats have proposed another law, Senate Bill 3397 that would limit the number of unpaid bills Medicaid, the state can move from year to year. The state will be allowed only for $ 700 million in fiscal 2013 and $ 100 million in fiscal year 2014.

Poe, Brauer, Watson, Rosenthal, Tracy Mitchell, Bomke, McCann, Brady Sullivan and all voted “no” on HB5007. These three bills are related – if one fails or is not signed by the governor, others too will fail.

“The governor likes taxes on cigarettes,” Cross said. “The governor does not like what we call a section 25, which prevents it from passing bills with. That’s why you see some of these connections.” Another part of the package will combine $ 1 per pack tax increase and property and sales tax exemptions for hospitals, according to Danny Chun, a representative of Illinois Hospital Association. The account number for this part is expected in the Senate Bill 2194, but the language has not yet been filed.

Cross said he expects some members of the House Republican to vote for cigarette tax increases. Most believe that every bill in the package would have to collect support from Republicans and Democrats, as the solutions so unpleasant. “I think you’ll find a complete package of the passage,” said Cross, who said he opposes tax hikes on cigarettes. “There’s a number of people in our meetings that came to me and said, ‘you know what, I think we did a good job of reducing … I want to be able to support the cigarette tax. We have no assembly position. I said, “If this is how you feel, I can certainly respect that.”

The final part of the package, Senate Bill 3261, will include a requirement that hospitals provide free care for people with low incomes, if the treatment is medically necessary, said Chong. Hospitals in urban areas should provide such assistance to people with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $ 46,000 for a family of four. Rural hospitals must provide such assistance to people with incomes 125 percent of federal poverty level, which is $ 28,812 for a family of four.

Support for new tobacco California tax

Worldwide TV advertising campaign by tobacco companies substantially reduced in favor of tobacco tax initiative in less than two weeks before the election.

Voters back a proposal 29 to 53 percent to 42 percent, but that is a sharp drop with a much stronger support in the beginning of this year, according to a poll published on Wednesday, the Public Policy Institute of California. Only two months ago, two-thirds of likely voters said they would vote for higher taxes on cigarettes by $ 1 pack to support cancer research.

“A large drop in support for Proposition 29 speaks loudly about how well-funded opposition is able to raise voters’ doubts and distrust of state power, even when raising taxes is considered favorably,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the institute and chief executive officer. As a result, currently there is still doubt, the tobacco giants Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds, the U.S. is expected in the last days of the campaign to pour more money on top of $ 40 million, they have already contributed to stop the tax.

In the same poll, 63 percent of voters said they generally support the tax on tobacco products, but since there is no 29 campaign began running ads six weeks ago, she has focused mainly on the bureaucracy that will create a new fund, as well as the possibility that the revenues derived from tax – about $ 700 million a year – could be spent on the outside of the state research institutions. Take a look at Prop. 29, they are realizing that it is poorly written measure, which only has too many shortcomings, “said Joel Fox, president of the Small Business Action Committee and spokesman for 29 campaigns did not.

The survey showed strong support – 62 percent – as the sole state in the June 5 ballot, Proposition 28, which will reduce the amount of time legislators can serve from 14 to 12 years, although it would allow legislators to serve all 12 years in one house. Lawmakers are currently limited to six years in the Assembly and eight in the Senate.

And with the revised budget shows a $ 15.7 billion deficit, a tax increase initiative of Governor Jerry Brown in November, remained about the same – 56 percent support – both in the survey in April. Supporters of the tax on tobacco insisted on Wednesday that it is a feat that they are still leading, with the advantage of taking into account the money the two giants of Tobacco – Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds U.S. – lead to the opposition campaign.

“This suggests that voters can find out the truth,” said Chris Lehman, the proposal 29 in the campaign. Tobacco companies have invested $ 40 million in 29 is not the Treasury, compared with $ 11 million Yes on 29 campaign. There is 29 ad – the first major controversial area of Sacramento doctor gown to wear – almost single-handedly ran a few weeks before his supporters responded to ads. The American Cancer Society pony up $ 2.5 million this week Yes 29 campaign, as well as broadcast a new TV commercial on Tuesday night in Southern California markets during the TV series “Dancing with the Stars.” Ad mocks the “Big Tobacco” with actors, ostensibly in support of a cigarette.

The farmer declares its proximity to the major tobacco companies, “because they killed my wife, and that means one less mouth to feed.” Teenage class president, speaking at the scene, said that instead of wanting to become president, “I want to grow up and get lung cancer.” Ad will not run on television again, but a longer version of this posting is on a network, a campaign spokesman said. In addition to television advertising, not 29 campaigns relied on the mail flyers sent to the California Republican Party. $ 1.1 million effort – which includes the cost of production and distribution – is classified as in-kind contribution from the side, but it was made possible by $ 825,000 donation to the side of no 29 campaigns.

That raised the eyebrows of opponents who said it was yet another example of the tobacco companies to disguise its influence in the campaign. Although they have donated nearly all the money, not to 29 campaigns, tobacco companies have adopted a low profile that allows the anti-tax group to take the initiative. No 29 campaigns, it seems, skirted campaign finance law by giving money to the Republican Party to distribute leaflets, said Lance Olson, an attorney proponents of this measure.

“They could have sent it to you, but if they did, they would have to disclose their major sponsors,” said Olson. “Instead, they gave her the Republican Party, and as a result to avoid disclosure.” A spokesman for the opposition campaign, however, denied any attempt to mislead. “It’s all legal, fully disclosed, and it certainly was not disguised in any way,” said Beth Miller. “CRP went up to our campaign asking our help in communicating its position on this indicator. We would say in them.”

Australia says the Big Tobacco WTO help applicants

• Plan for Australia on the gray box call

The tobacco industry provides legal advice in Ukraine and Honduras in their problems in Australia, a new package of tobacco rules of the World Trade Organization, the Australian Health Minister Jane Halton said on Tuesday. “We know that the tobacco companies, because they recognized it, provide legal advice to members of the WTO in order to induce them to take action against Australia,” she said.

Halton spoke at the event on the sidelines of the annual ministerial meeting of the World Health Organization in Geneva, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for intensified “fight tooth and nail against one of the worst enemies of public health – tobacco industry.” Australia plans to introduce tough new rules for the tobacco packaging from 1 October, which will force manufacturers to abandon various colorful ads and sell their cigarettes uniformly gray bags with no decoration. Other tobacco products such as cigars should follow this example, on December 1.

“We believe that dealing with one of the last forms of tobacco advertising in this country – a package,” said Halton. “We are very confident that we can resist these attacks, our government will not be intimidated.” Smoking rates in Australia fell to 15.1 percent in 2010 to some 30.5 per cent in 1998. “Our goal over the next few years will reach 10 percent and, hopefully, lower,” she said.

Honduras and Ukraine to the WTO to challenge the motion, saying it was unfair to restrict trade, although no country has a significant share of the Australian market.  “We are far from both countries, and we are very, very little trade with them,” said Halton. And the plaintiffs have “requested consultations” with Australia, the first step in WTO litigation. The first round of talks was held last month, she said.

“We believe that some people in the meeting were British American Tobacco lawyers,” she told Reuters, adding that she was not aware of any date of the second round. The representative of the British American Tobacco has confirmed Reuters, the company provides assistance to address the WTO, but can not confirm that BAT lawyers were directly involved in the negotiations.

If the case is not settled by negotiation, Honduras and Ukraine can ask the WTO to establish a group of arbitrators to judge the dispute. If Australia were to lose, it may be forced to cancel some of its rules on tobacco products. Two trade dress, attracted a large number of countries as a third party observer disputes, and some diplomats see them as tests in the fight against tobacco companies to stop the global flow control, dramatically tightened the rules for the sale of cigarettes over the past decade.

British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris began to High Court challenges to Australian laws, saying they violate its trademark rights. Halton told Reuters, that it is expected that the Supreme Court decision could come in October. She also said that health should be taken into account in trade in the future. “When we negotiate new trade agreements, we must be very clear that the right to health of our society is of paramount importance. We will make sure we live up to our obligations under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,” she said, referring to the WHO treaty ratified by 174 countries.

Philip Morris “Chief Financial Officer Hermann Waldemer said he expects other countries to challenge the rules in the WTO, Australia, according to transcripts provided by the analyst calls a Thomson Reuters events st. Philip Morris spokesman told Reuters earlier this month that the firm was established to support the government, the problem of Australia’s simple packaging, but it does not support Ukraine in its complaint to the WTO.

Tobacco getting started in Bluegrass

Tobacco is set around the state.

About 30 percent of the expected crop was planted, but we missed the important part: the rain.
“We need a good rain,” said Andy Bailey, a specialist in the expansion of the University of Kentucky, which focuses on dark tobacco, but also working with Burley, which is common in Central Kentucky.

U.S. Department of Agriculture expects that the national area of ​​tobacco to fall 2 percent on an annualized basis, up to 317,950 acres in 2012. In Kentucky, it is expected that by 4 percent, to 80,700 acres.

Bailey, who works at Princeton in Western Kentucky, said Central Kentucky, where Burley is dominant, is in “great shape, lots of water wise” than in the western part of the state, where the dark tobacco used in snuff and other products is increased.

“The state of the crop still looks good,” Bailey said, warning that irrigation may be required in June, and not typical of early July.

Bob Pierce, the expansion of the UK tobacco specialist in Lexington, said he was concerned about the transplanted tobacco.

“We had a difficult situation with greenhouses. When it was so warm in the early stages, many of our greenhouses simply became too hot, and we had many problems with the uneven growth of plants,” said Pierce.

He said farmers typically receive about 85 percent to 95 percent from the convenience of these plants, but they are probably running 75 percent to 85 percent this year.

“Usually, it’s not such a big deal, because if you come a little short, someone got a few” Pierce said. “But this year, it seems, everything is a little short.

“We have to see how it plays out.”

Kentucky tobacco harvest peaked in 1919 with 648,000 hectares of crops, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Local teens help smoking hit all-time low in-NC

A new study shows a group of local teenagers are winning the fight against some very grown-up political obstacles: tobacco use and reducing the state budget.

A recently released survey by the State Department of Health and Human Services says the percentage of North Carolina teenagers who smoke; hit an all-time low this year, up nearly 50 percent over the last decade.

A new North Carolina Youth Tobacco Survey presented this week showed 4.3 percent of middle school students and 15.5 percent of students smoke cigarettes. This figure has decreased continuously in North Carolina since 2003.

The agency correlated with lower rates “Tobacco. Reality. Unfiltered” nonsmoking campaign. Since the campaign was launched in 2003, high school smoking declined by 55 percent from 9.3 percent to 4.2 percent and high school smoking declined by 43 percent from 27.3 percent to 15.5 percent.

“I think we all really delighted with these results and the fact that we are making a difference,” said Tiffany Jones, a junior at North Buncombe High School, who is working with local TRU and youth programs authorized solutions.

“But we also realize that in fact the fight is definitely not over, and there are a lot of work to be done.”

Good Teen Spirit

Jones joined a group of students from other schools in the city and county last week to break up a “quit kits” for veterans in recognition of National Armed Forces Day. The set includes gum to “pull off the binding,” as negative reinforcement for traction, candy fight oral fixation calls, and a list of reasons to quit smoking.

“I just want to say that I’m proud of you guys for being here and doing this,” one of a set of recipients said last week. “It gives me much hope.” Teens are quick to point out that each one has different causes take the anti-tobacco case, but they agree that peer education is the most effective way to keep teenagers from picking up the habit.

“It’s much more effective to have someone your age to tell you about such things,” said Emma Harper, a sophomore high school Asheville. “No one goes away or not to start smoking, because an adult comes along and shakes their finger and says:” Do not do it, it’s bad. “

The group, which represents rural and urban areas throughout Buncombe County, said that each of them knows who their age who smoke cigarettes. They said that the most common incentive to smoke is based on “the understanding that it relaxes and stress relief,” and that this is a common habit among their peers.

They said some teenagers are aware, come from families where parents buy cigarettes for them, but a lot of smoke away from home and parents who have no clue, they never picked up the smoke. Harper said that many young people have the misconception that more people their age smoke than it actually is, or “everybody does it” mentality that everything is not so.

“We talked to children in other schools – especially in the Near Asheville – who actually think that 80 percent of teens smoke,” said Tyler Long, another Asheville High student. “We know that this is obviously not true, but it’s amazing how many people think.”

Potential “stopped in progress” Despite the apparent success of the program in the TRU, adolescents and their adult advocates are concerned that funding cuts coming into effect in July will stop the progress they have made. The General Assembly eliminated funding from July 1 to TRU and other tobacco prevention programs in North Carolina.

The program was initially funded by the TRU Beauty and Health Trust Fund at the expense of Master Settlement Agreement with major tobacco companies, but funding for the program was transferred to the budget of last year and is not set to repeat it.

Governor Bev Perdue proposed a $ 10 million in its budget released last week to start rebuilding support for the initiatives. “About 100,000 students enter secondary school each year in North Carolina, and these children can not help the program, they have never experienced,” said Pam Seamans, executive director of the North Carolina Alliance for Health.

“We have seen in other states that have eliminated funding for those programs that progress stalls and rate of climb,” Seamans said. “We are so proud of the work of these young people do, so we do not want to see these gains evaporate.”

Altria CEO spends his last shareholder meeting

Outgoing Altria Group Inc CEO Michael E. Szymanczyk finished his last shareholders meeting on Thursday, as well as his first – fielding attacks the largest tobacco companies in the country.

The owner of top selling cigarette manufacturer Marlboro, Philip Morris USA, held its annual meeting on Thursday at the headquarters of the city of Richmond. He said the last day of Szymanczyk, who served as chairman and CEO since March 2008 and in the same capacity for Philip Morris USA from August 2002 to July 2008 the company allotted Philip Morris International, Inc

“It was a great honor to lead the restructuring of Altria”, said Szymanczyk, who was suffocated during his closing remarks of his 23-year career. “Altria and its companies have been significant changes since I first joined the company. Change is not something new for our company. They have been successful for more than a century, because they have demonstrated the ability to adapt to dynamic industries, and the world around them”.

Martin J. Barrington Szymanczyk replaced as CEO and chairman, and David R. Beran will serve as president and chief operating officer.

In his speech to shareholders, Szymanczyk Altria advertised in the premium brands like Marlboro and said the company is well positioned for further growth in a changing industry. In addition to Philip Morris USA, Altria owns U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, maker of brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal, and black and mild cigar maker John Middleton Company The company also owns a wine business and holds voting shares in brewer SABMiller.

In 2011, the company saw its net profit fall by 13 percent to $ 3.39 billion for the rental of legal and restructuring costs. Its net revenue excluding excise taxes fell almost 2 percent to $ 16.62 billion. Deliveries fell 4 percent to 135.1 billion cigarettes, mainly to reduce their premium brands.

However, its 2012 first-quarter profit rose nearly 4 percent, as price increases and spending cuts helped offset the decline in cigarettes. Deliveries fell 2.6 percent to 31.1 billion cigarettes, but the Marlboro brand of cigarettes and market share over the period from 42.3 percent of the U.S. retail market.

“For nearly 60 years, Marlboro was the cigarette smoke that the men to taste, and adult smokers were asked,” Well, where taste. Come to Marlboro Country,'” Szymanczyk said, adding that the company is evolving the brand to try to keep it growing and steal smokers from its competitors.

Like other tobacco companies, Altria is focusing on cigarette alternatives – such as cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco – for future sales growth because reduction in smoking will continue.

Altria also had to reduce expenses as tax increases, smoking bans, health and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher. After completing the $ 1.5 billion in long-term conservation programs in the past year, the company has released a plan to cut $ 400 million in “cigarette-related infrastructure costs” to the end of 2013 in anticipation of the expected decrease in volumes of cigarettes.

Szymanczyk said cost-cutting “is still a priority.”

Over the years, the question-answer sessions, tobacco company annual meetings are usually equipped with various groups to attack them for selling products that cause about 443,000 deaths per year in the final meeting of shareholders of U.S. Szymanczyk was no exception.

“With your retirement, I am sure that you look at the inheritance. You, of course, companies have a passion for success. I’m not sure to satisfy your customers and their preferences, if they have a death wish,” Anne Morrow Donley One of the founders of Virginia brand of cigarettes in public said Szymanczyk. “At some point in the future, you and the company could actually be charged with crimes against humanity – I am looking forward to it.”

63-year-old Szymanczyk not responds to those comments. He also refused repeated requests for an interview with the Associated Press.

Shareholders Thursday elected 11 directors to the board of the company and shareholders rejected a proposal that the company disclose its lobbying policies and practices.

Altria on Thursday also reiterated its full year adjusted earnings guidance of between $ 2.17 and $ 2.23 per share. She also said that its board declared a regular quarterly dividend of 41 cents per share. The dividend is payable July 10 to shareholders of record on June 15.

Big Tobacco is targeting teens

The federal government says the big tobacco deliberately vulnerable young people by selling cheap cigarettes. British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) has released a budget brand called Just Smoker which retails for $ 11.50 per pack of 25.

This is much lower than the average price of $ 16 and only slightly higher than the illegal counterfeit goods. BATA says he was forced to go down market, because the government’s decision to increase excise duty of 25 per cent in 2010 led to a massive increase in cheap cigarettes and smuggling.

But Health Minister Tatyana Plibersek does not buy that argument. “By reducing our prices are British American Tobacco seems to be directly aimed at vulnerable young people,” she said in a statement today. “We know that young people are the most price-sensitive smokers all.”

Minister of Health said BATA movement was “very disappointing” and counterfeit cigarettes, while there were tobacco companies overstated their presence as an excuse to push their own products more difficult.

The prohibition of cigarette advertising, which makes it illegal to sell smokes minors, the introduction of graphic health warnings and excise hikes led to a significant reduction in smoking, Ms Plibersek said.

BATA Representative Scott McIntyre said that the government is to blame for the price war by increasing the excise tax. Cheap price segment of the market has grown 63 percent since 2010, he said in a statement.

“Our customers were to trade for cheaper products or illegal cigarettes so we were forced to compete. “If the government continues to give us a specific increase in the excise duty as it did in the past, all they do is making the problem worse.”

Mr. McIntyre later admitted on ABC Radio, which is more cheap cigarettes, is likely to lead to an increase in the numbers of people lighting. “One would think (so) if the prices keep getting cheaper and cheaper, and there is huge growth in this area.”

Responding to a question whether the government would simply increase the excise tax back against BATA to move Ms. Plibersek said: “We will continue to look at what we have to do to continue to reduce the rate of people smoke in Australia.”