Higher tobacco taxes will benefit our children and grandchildren

Missouri tobacco tax is 17 cents per pack, by far the lowest in the country. The national average is $ 1.49 per pack. Proposal B on the ballot on November adds 75 cents to the tax.

This new tax will generate more than $ 250 million revenue, specially designed for elementary, secondary and higher education, as well as support for tobacco prevention and cessation. The rise in prices at this level always leads to a reduction in cigarette smoking, along with a surge in demand for smoking cessation programs.

But much more important is the enormous health benefits of B will offer our children for generations to come.

Nearly 10 out of 12 smoker’s life began smoking at the age of 16. Tobacco marketers spend more than $ 1,000 on advertising for each child or adolescent smokers in captivity. Our children often become addicted before they have developed the good sense to understand all the consequences of what they did. There are 1.5 million children living in Missouri today, and about 300,000 of them are projected to become dependent smokers at the age of 18. However, conservative econometric estimates show that 73% of the rise in prices will deter about 40,000 Missouri children today from dependent smokers. And smoking, of course, would affect their health throughout their lives. Early death occurs in half of all smokers who die on average 15 years ahead of their time.

Currently, Missouri has one of the highest youth smoking rates in the country, which leads to costly diseases: emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cancer, heart disease, asthma and stroke. Smoking also contributes to high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, and aging skin. Tobacco-related illnesses are estimated every home Missouri $ 586 a year, which we pay for through increased insurance premiums and taxes.

The damage to our grandchildren did not care. Our daughter smoking cigarettes will soon have their own children. Each year, in Missouri, smoking causes about 1,800 low birth weight and premature infants (450 preterm and 1350 underweight term births). Children of mothers who smoke are also more likely to have problems at school or mental retardation later in childhood.

How much will a cigarette smoker actually have to pay? A typical pack-a-day smoker spends about $1,600 per year for the habit, and the new tax will add $267 per year. Proposition B opponents argue that 73 cents is an “outrageous 729 percent tax increase.” However, the actual added cost is the same as just 3 cigarettes per day for the average smoker. Cut out 3 cigarettes, and it costs nothing.

A “Yes” vote on Proposition B in November is a vote for the health and welfare of our children and our grandchildren, and it will improve the quality of education and lower health insurance costs for everyone. Occasionally we have given the opportunity to do so much, so easily, for so much.

Dr. Cooperstock, professor of pediatrics at the women’s and children’s hospital at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He writes as a representative of the Missouri Department of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Plain packaging of tobacco products in India

The world is watching Australia progress towards tobacco plain packaging. A number of developed countries have announced that they will follow suit. But, as tobacco companies are losing traction in developed countries, it is likely they will be more and more new markets with their poison.

If the world is watching Australia move to plain packaging, imagine how people can sit and listen, if India, the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco products in the world, has developed a similar policy.

So, when the Australia-India Institute tobacco control task force held a high-level launch of its policy document on plain packaging at the Press Club in New Delhi, we all waited intently for a response from the government and department of health and family welfare.

We were more than encouraged by the response.

Support from the India representative of the World Health Organization and a number of politicians expected. But we were very happy support Shakuntala Gamlin’s in committing to move toward such a policy in India.

Steps in the right direction

Just like in Australia, Indian Tobacco Control law largely prohibits the advertising and promotion of tobacco products. But it is currently excludes packaging and point of sale displays such industry increasingly relies on the package for a promotion.

We’re sure the support of the Indian Department of Health and Family Welfare was not missed by the big tobacco companies. After all, this is a policy that would affect a fifth of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s tobacco users.

Given the many interests and a powerful tobacco lobby, we know that the introduction of such a policy in India will be difficult. It will take several years and require significant, ongoing advocacy and research.

At the launch of the policy document, the Joint Health Minister also said that it is closely monitoring the progress of Australia, and we can only assume that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been encouraged by the High Court last week. We believe that India can learn from this and other Australian experience in moving to a simple package.

A Helping Hand

Australia provides technical assistance to India in the field of research and advocacy through Australia, India Institute working group, which was convened with the idea of sharing experiences and using his considerable knowledge and experience on a normal package.

This task force was called enthusiasm from the international community in the fight against tobacco, and, encouragingly, from members of the target group in India. Indeed, the severity of Indian partners has prompted us to go beyond our original mandate and conduct research on the acceptability of plain packaging and the production of promotional packaging.

We have also developed useful tools for further dissemination of our work.

Local knowledge

We released the preliminary results of the market research on the target group through the Public Health Foundation of India on the issue of admissibility of plain packaging and the relation to packaging, brands and packaging color to run.

He showed that the children’s interest in tobacco packaging significantly affects colors and branding. This shows the importance of case studies in India, before taking such initiative. We found, for example, that the Indians see the dark gray as the least attractive color, whereas in Australia, chose the color olive green.

The study also found that the context in India is complex, with multiple forms of non-smoked tobacco and smoking, as well as different forms of the latter. All these forms of tobacco should be included in any legislation, as tobacco companies will find loopholes and replace one product to another.

In India, 5500 children try tobacco for the first time every day. Attractive packaging is designed to make sure that it will not be the last time. This policy initiative, if implemented, along with other proven interventions for tobacco control, will save thousands of lives and prevent thousands of young people from becoming addicted to a substance that kills more people worldwide than any other.

We believe that our target group can help Indian organizations such as the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and the Public Health Foundation of India to work towards plain packaging. But we need cooperation between health organizations and tobacco control, government agencies and the community, if we want to see a simple package to become a reality on the sub-continent.

Big Tobacco

Of course, we’re being far too tough on Big Tobacco, as so many contemptuous refer to it, after the failure of its high court challenge to the plain packaging legislation. If we just open our minds to the fact that British American Tobacco and others are saying, we can see how amazing they are public spirited.

They are worried not for themselves but about ”serious unintended consequences” unintended consequences they fear plain package will bring. According to their spokesman, Scott McIntyre, his only advantage would be” organized criminal groups that sell illegal tobacco on our streets.”  Illegal black market will continue to grow, when all packets look the same, and it’s easier to copy,” he said.

In case you have not heard, the country is faced with the rampant problem of illegal tobacco, a” crime of smuggling now three times as many counterfeit and contraband cigarettes” in Australia last year, compared with a year earlier. In general, the illegal tobacco market is equal to 13.4% of the legal services market. As the industry know? He commissioned the report Deloitte, Financial Services. The industry was concerned about the illicit tobacco scary market within a few years. Why? Not for myself, of course, but for what it costs the taxpayer in lost tobacco excise taxes.

You often see me criticize the industry trying to get taxpayer subsidies, but the tobacco people are all different. Last year, they ran ads desperately tried to dissuade the government from continuing with the simple concept of packaging and thus oblige industry to cost taxpayers millions in legal fees in response to a high court challenge Big Tobacco – not to mention the billions the government stood to lose in compensation should the court agrees that the government has assigned the intellectual property in the industry.

Fortunately, the court did not agree. He was also awarded costs on the industry, which I’m sure will come as a great relief to the patriotic people of tobacco. But the industry’s concern for the taxpayer does not end there. He railed against the 25 per cent increase in tobacco excise taxes in 2010 due to falling revenue will cause the jump in cigarette prices have more than the legal market in the hands of discounted criminal black market.

You can think of your innocence, plain packaging will reduce the number of young people taking up smoking, but that’s where you’d be wrong. As the industry is due to the full page ad last year, just a” package can manage the cost of tobacco down. And the decline in prices will make tobacco more accessible to young people.” British American boss developed elsewhere, it was a worry because it would undermine the health of the government’s initiative to curb tobacco use. See what caring people we are dealing with?

I think that plain packaging may undercut the” premium brands of cigarettes.” That would be good, but it would be easy eliminated by increasing the tobacco excise tax. Tobacco companies are not just critics. According to the Australian Association of retail, retail” now facing the costs of simple packaging operations, which will see a significant increase in the time required to complete the transaction, as well as all products are virtually identical.”

”Increases operating time, estimated business to half a billion dollars, equivalent to 15,000 jobs,” we were told. No back-of-envelope was offered in support of this remarkable claim, and in this case I would be inclined to regard it with skepticism. But what about the alleged thriving black market – how concerned should we are about this? Not really. We really only got the word in the industry about how great he is and detailed criticism, Quit Victoria calls into question the reliability of the report prepared by Deloitte.

The calculations are based on a survey of Deloitte with a very small sample, which does not seem to be completely random. He asks smokers about their purchases vintage tobacco, contraband cigarettes and counterfeit cigarettes and adds them to the answers together, even if you expect virtually all fake smokes also need to be contraband. As people know, cigarettes they purchased are illegal? The trouble is that these days a lot of cheap, foreign-made, funny cigarettes are imported legally.

Quit Victoria used an official survey by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2010, which had a very much bigger sample, to estimate the total use of illicit tobacco products is more like 2 per cent to 3 per cent of the overall market.This means loss of income of the taxpayer close to $ 165 million a year, over $ 1 billion. I’m sure that taxpayers everywhere to thank the industry for its concern on our behalf, but I do not think we should lose too much sleep over it.

Cigarette labeling suit

When St. Louis attorney Stephen Tillery argument made earlier this month that Philip Morris had admitted the facts set out in his latest petition, without giving a formal answer, lawyers, tobacco giant argued that both parties agree to do so.

Tillery, who represents the plaintiffs in the decade-old class action suit over cigarette labeling that he is seeking to reignite, told Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth that he did not recall such an agreement and assumed it was just part of Philip Morris’ legal strategy

Stressing the need to keep track of just how the decision will likely be appealed, oral motion Ruth gave Philip Morris “for leave to file a formal response. He also appealed to the lawyers to look at my e-mail and let him know if there is a record of the agreement. Two days later, Philip Morris filed a proposed answer to the petition Tillery in seeking relief from dismissal $ 10.1 billion sentence came in 2003 over claims that Philip Morris mislead their customers through the use of “light” and “low-tar” cigarette labeling.

In an attempt to show the judge that Tillery Philip Morris agreed to file a petition against it with all the factual and legal arguments, instead of dealing with the problems alone, the company has included an e-mail string between the two legal teams. In the February 2 letter Tillery, Larry Hepler, one of the lawyers representing the tobacco company, wrote, “As you know, the Court of Appeal declined to reach the base we have come to our motion to dismiss the petition, except for timing and said that Judge Ruth should consider these grounds into custody.”

Hepler, lawyer Edwardsville, continued: “With all the time that has passed, we believe that the best way to proceed would be for us to get our motion to dismiss and to file against your petition, which includes all of our legal and factual arguments against her to avoid, as you say, dealing in parts. ” “I think it makes the most sense, let me know what you think,” Hepler said. Tillery wrote back: “Just because I’m clear, you offer O, and then re-file your motion to dismiss, or simply provide your factual and legal response to the petition, so we do everything in one ear?”

Hepler Tillery answered the question with the proposed schedule, which said, Philip Morris will give a brief with all the factual and legal response to the petition, Tillery will respond to its brief within 30 days, and Philip Morris will give a reply within 21 days. After that, Hepler wrote one hearing will be held for Ruth to hear arguments on the application. In a letter sent Hepler, Tillery wrote that, as the only remaining basis for moving Philip Morris “, whether to dismiss the plaintiffs have sufficient grounds for exemption under Section 2-1401 of the Civil Procedure Code,” it seems that we could have done in a single hearing. “

Tillery added: “In other words, you must submit a factual and legal response to the petition, and then we move from one court hearing … If this is what you propose to do, I think we can work something out.’ After several email exchanges between the two, Tillery said: “We can make a deal,” and then offered a specific date for the parties to file their responses to questions. Hepler said the other proposed schedule, which will give both sides more time to file their replies and answers. Tillery wrote in response: “It will work.”

Although this issue in the absence of a formal response to the petition Tillery was just one of several issues discussed during the lengthy hearing on August 21, it has become quite controversial. Chicago attorney George Lombardi, who argued on behalf of the tobacco companies at the hearing, said Tillery not raise the issue before the hearing, he said the move was “gamesmanship.” Tillery Ruth said that in 2007, the state high court’s decision in People v. Vincent argues that if the defendant does not respond to the petition, it is an acknowledgment of the facts. The proposed response filed on August 23, Philip Morris argues Vincent Court based its decision not only on the failure of the state to file an answer, but the fact that it does not offer any response to the prisoner section 2-1401 petition.

“But nothing in this or any other case suggests that the parties agreed to the procedure here … somehow not enough, in the absence of point-by-point response to preserve the defendant’s right to challenge the fact that the plaintiff’s claims were factual assertions,” Philip Morris argued. Tobacco Company then offered a point-by-point response to all of the claims alleged in the petition of the plaintiff. He noted that he did not offer any new arguments, and thus providing the company’s request to file a response shall be without prejudice to the customers Tillery.

Ruth noted on August 21 hearing that just because he gave an oral motion Philip Morris “for leave to file a response does not mean that he would have approved it. It is unclear when he will rule on the matter or motion seeking relief from the judgment of dismissal.

Price history

In 2000, Tillery filed a lawsuit against Philip Morris on behalf of Sharon prices, arguing that tobacco companies deceptively promoted the health benefits of light and low-tar cigarettes. It did not make claims for personal injury, and to search for the difference between what smokers pay for cigarettes and what they would pay if Philip Morris did not disappoint them. After a bench trial in Madison County, now a retired Madison County Judge Nicholas Bryon in 2003 he was awarded the plaintiffs damages in the amount of $ 10.1 billion, which includes $ 1.8 billion in attorney’s fees.

After the Illinois Supreme Court ordered Byron to dismiss the case in 2005, Tillery request reconsideration. The judge denied his request, stimulating Tillery on appeal from the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied it. After the Illinois Supreme Court, Byron dismissed the case in 2006. Two years later, Tillery seeks relief from dismissal in Madison County Circuit Court. Philip Morris moved down petition under the statute of limitations, and for that asserts a basis for relief.

Ruth, who inherited the business from Byron, when he retired, ruled in favor of the tobacco companies, saying the statute of limitations for filing a request has expired. Tillery appealed and, as Ruth, the Fifth District Court of Appeal found that the statute of limitations applies and does not address the tobacco companies claim that the plaintiffs could not claim as a basis for relief.

The appeals panel remanded the case back to Ruth on facts. Philip Morris appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, which refused to violate a court of appeal last September. Although she wrote the majority opinion for the court in 2005, Garman disagreement with the decision of the court to refuse the application for a tobacco company for leave to appeal. She said that her colleagues had the petition Philip Morris “, because it inevitably comes to us in the normal course of the trial.”