FDA plans to spend $600M on multimedia tobacco education campaigns

RICHMOND, Va. — The Food and Drug Administration is planning to spend about $600 million over five years to educate the public about FDAthe dangers of tobacco use. Declines in U.S. smoking rates have stalled in recent years.
Dr. Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, told The Associated Press that the multimedia campaigns are aimed at reducing death and disease caused by tobacco, which is responsible for about 443,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
The first campaign will target youth, minorities and other groups including gays, the military and people with disabilities. Ads will run in print and on TV, and the campaign will also use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Deyton said the FDA’s investment reflects the significant health impact that tobacco use has on the nation. There are about 46 million adult smokers in the U.S. The share of Americans who smoke has fallen dramatically since 1970, from nearly 40 percent to about 20 percent. But smoking levels haven’t changed since about 2004.
“One of the big lessons that I’ve learned is that we might have great public health programs, but they will fail if we do not adequately educate the public about them,” Deyton said, adding that it wouldn’t be helpful “if we just sat back and put out regulations and didn’t say anything about them.”
The agency already has started other public education efforts like the “Break the Chain” campaign to encourage retailers to enforce federal tobacco laws. Upcoming campaigns will include educating the public on the ingredients in tobacco products.
Tobacco companies will foot the bill through fees charged by the FDA under a 2009 law that gave the agency authority over the tobacco industry.
The FDA collected nearly $260 million in user fees for fiscal 2009 and 2010 combined, and should collect $450 million this year. User fees will grow to $712 million by 2019. Fees are collected quarterly and based on each company’s share of the U.S. tobacco market.
The primary target audience for the FDA’s first campaign is youth aged 13-17, young adults aged 18-24 and people who influence teens, including parents, family members and peers. Other audiences of special interest include minorities, gays, people with disabilities, the military, pregnant women, people living in rural areas, and low-income people.
The FDA said tobacco use almost always starts during adolescence and teenagers may be more susceptible to nicotine addiction. About 3,450 kids in the U.S. try their first cigarette every day and 850 become daily smokers, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Deyton said the agency hopes the first campaign under the contract will coincide with new graphic warning labels set to appear on cigarette packs by September 2012. The labels, which are being challenged by some tobacco companies, include images of the corpse of a dead smoker, diseased lungs, a smoker wearing an oxygen mask and a man wearing an “I Quit” T-shirt.
The agency plans to contract with outside companies to develop and execute the campaigns.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has tobacco-related health education programs.
News of the campaign follows an announcement last month that the FDA and the National Institutes of Health are launching a joint, large-scale, national study of tobacco users to monitor and assess the behavioral and health impacts of tobacco regulations. It will follow more than 40,000 users of tobacco-product and those at risk for tobacco use ages 12 and older.
Washingtonpost.com

The long shadow line: History and the war on drugs

It is fair to say that the global drug war began 400 years ago this autumn, when a man named John Rolfe obtained tobacco seeds tobacco policefrom the Caribbean.
Rolfe was a colonist in Jamestown, Virginia, the first successful English settlement in the Americas. Most people know him today, if they know him at all, as the man who married Pocahontas, the “Indian princess” in countless romantic stories. A few history buffs understand that by taking tobacco to Jamestown, Rolfe launched the Virginia tobacco market – the primary force behind Jamestown’s eventual success. That success hints at a third, still more important role: inadvertently, Rolfe’s tobacco set the template for today’s £200bn trade in illegal drugs.
Tobacco rose and fell and rose and fell in a 400-year smoking spree that established a pattern for the trade in all addictive substances. Beginning with tobacco, governments have sought to ban drugs as soon as they arrive, invariably invoking their destructive effects on family and nation. Without exception, the bans have produced waves of criminality and the criminals have become threats to political stability in the areas in which they operate (the Caribbean in the 17th century, northern Mexico in our own time). Governments waffle between turning blind eyes to the criminals and fighting them bloodily. The ultimate ends of this process – legalisation, social stigma, and, most direly, unfashionability – suggest what will happen to the global market for marijuana and heroin.
Nicotiana tabacum, as botanists call it, was the first global commodity craze. Fun, exotic, hallucinogenic and addictive, it was – is – a near-perfect consumer product. England fell under its spell in the 1580s, when the survivors of the nation’s first, unsuccessful colonies – the Roanoke ventures of Sir Walter Raleigh – landed in Brighton with strange, fiery clay tubes at their lips. Obviously conscious of the impact of their appearance, they descended on the docks, smoking languidly, like so many Elizabethan versions of James Dean and Humphrey Bogart. By 1607, when Jamestown was founded, London’s streets were jammed with more than 7,000 tobacco “houses” – café-like places where the city’s growing throng of nicotine junkies could buy and consume tobacco.
None of this was exceptional. Between 1580 and 1610, Nicotiana tabacum, a species originally from the Amazon, became a fixture in every inhabited part of the earth. Almost immediately it attracted governmental ire. Bans on tobacco, some enforced by the death penalty, were enacted by France, Russia, Sweden, the Ottoman and Mughal empires, and the Japanese shogunate. The smoking weed quickly became so ubiquitous in Manchuria, according to historian Timothy Brook, that in 1635 the Khan, Hong Taiji, discovered that his soldiers “were selling their weapons to buy tobacco”. Enraged, he prohibited smoking.
No anti-tobacco crusader is better known than King James I, whose Counterblaste to Tobacco, issued in 1604, proclaimed that smoking was “lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the nose, harmefull to the braine, [and] dangerous to the lungs”. James sought to ban tobacco outright, but was rebuffed by a hostile Parliament. Pope Urban VIII was more successful. Infuriated by reports that priests were celebrating mass with lighted cigars, the Pope promptly – and successfully – prohibited smoking in the pulpit.
Demand continued unabated. Even as James thundered against tobacco’s destructive effect on society, the weed itself was sometimes sold for its weight in silver in London. In the English colony of Bermuda, farmers routinely purchased brides for bags of tobacco (typically, the weight was about 100lb). Across the globe, gangs of young smokers in Edo (Tokyo) were so outraged by the high price of a smoke that they routinely ransacked tobacco warehouses. Customs officials in Istanbul, unable to afford a pipeful, routinely shook down visitors for smoking supplies.
Coupled with high demand, tobacco criminalisation drove up its price, which led to an explosion of tobacco bootleggery that continues to the present day. Pirates grew and sold tobacco throughout the Caribbean, especially in Venezuela. Outraging the Spanish crown, Spanish and Indian smallholders in remote colonial areas converted their wheat and maize plots to tobacco, then sold the harvest to Dutch and English pirates. So powerful did the gangs become that the Spanish ambassador to England complained that English demand was causing the collapse of law and order in tobacco country. (This is not confined to the past: cigarette smuggling remains a major industry in pirate havens from southern Italy to South-east China, but is also common in less rambunctious areas; police in suburban Maryland rolled up an alleged tobacco ring in the eastern US just last month.) Even as moralists like James thundered that tobacco was destroying the family, royal tax officials were eyeing its legalisation. Few programs generate revenue more reliably than a tax on an addictive substance.
In economic terms, addicts’ cravings are inelastic – they are relatively insensitive to cost. If they keep getting their hit, they will happily pay the higher prices associated with government-imposed taxes, fees and levies. Within a year of his Counterblaste, the English government had instituted its first tobacco tax.
Prohibitionists might note a disturbing parallel. Everywhere in the world, the lure of tobacco money eventually overwhelmed efforts to prevent addiction. The son of Hong Taiji, the Manchu Khan who banned tobacco, finished seizing China and in 1644 became the first emperor of the Qing dynasty. He, too, fought against tobacco. But Hong Taiji’s grandson, the Kangxi emperor, started smoking at the age of seven – and watched new tobacco taxes become major financial contributors to the Qing state.
One by one, other states slowly followed the Manchu lead, legalising and taxing tobacco. Marijuana is following the same path, slowly becoming tax fodder in nation after nation. Here Mughal India was perhaps the first society to reverse course (the East India Company later added opium taxes to the mix). Decades later, countries such as the Netherlands followed the Mughal path. Even in the notoriously anti-drug US, places such as California and Massachusetts, hard hit by recession, are considering marijuana’s use as a taxable commodity.
Yet history should not give too much encouragement to the forces behind unfettered legalisation, either. If tobacco and other drugs are a guide, legalisation is followed, eventually, by social disapproval. Everywhere that tobacco has become a fully accepted commodity its use has – eventually, after decades – declined. The tobacco-besotted colonial US, the nation that held the world’s most permissive views on tobacco during the 17th and 18th centuries, ultimately became the land where bewildered European and Asian smokers would be ejected from restaurants, cafés and bars. Even as recently as the 1980s, Britons mocked the “puritanical” anti-tobacco crusades in the US. They have fallen into line. So have the Italians, Turks and even the Chinese.
Drugs that become uncool fall into disuse, as tobacco is falling into disuse today. If history is any guide, our grandchildren’s grandchildren will regard today’s struggles over marijuana, cocaine and opium as bewildering fossils of an unsavvy past.

Australia seeks world backing on tobacco legal fight

CANBERRA – Australia is confident the world’s toughest anti-tobacco laws will soon pass parliament, but the government warned on Thursday that the anti-smoking fight was not over and urged other nations to reject a possible WTO challenge backed by big tobacco.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the minority government was bracing not only for a court challenge to its plan to force cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging from 2012, but also an intellectual property dispute at the World Trade Organization.
“A tobacco company themselves can’t bring a claim in the WTO. A state has to do that,” Roxon told Reuters in an interview.
“I won’t be surprised if tobacco companies are out there looking for a country to claim on their behalf, and we urge countries not to do that.”
The new laws, expected to easily pass parliament next week with backing from the conservative opposition and Green crossbench senators, are being closely watched by New Zealand, Canada, the European Union and Britain, which are considering similar restrictions.
The legislation is in two parts, one of which mandates that cigarettes can only be sold in plain olive green packaging and another part restricting tobacco company trademarks.
The pathfinding plan has infuriated tobacco firms including Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, which have threatened a High Court challenge. Tobacco nations like Nicaragua, Kenya and Ukraine also say the measures breach global trade rules.
Despite political unease at home over potential compensation claims that tobacco companies have said could mount to billions of dollars, Roxon has been a passionate advocate for the laws within the Labor government, which has a one-seat buffer with the backing of Green and independent MPs.
Her father, Jack, a one-time smoker, died of esophageal cancer at 42, when Roxon was just 10, leaving her pharmacist mother alone to raise three daughters.
“Big tobacco companies do have big tentacles that reach far and wide across the world. I’ve made very clear to my international colleagues that they need to look at this not only from a health perspective, but from a trade perspective,” Roxon, now 44, said.
Australia says the new laws reflect its obligations under the World Health Organization’s 2005 framework against tobacco, which urges states to consider plain packaging laws. The WHO estimates more than 1 billion around the world are regular smokers, with 80 percent in low and middle income countries.
Industry analysts say tobacco companies are worried that plain packaging could spread to emerging markets like Brazil, Russia and Indonesia, and threaten growth there.
In Britain, tobacco companies have been fighting in courts for the right to sell cigarettes in vending machines, while tobacco companies in the U.S. are challenging more graphic health warnings on cigarette packets, claiming the changes violate their right of free speech.
An Australia parliamentary committee looking into the legislation and possible grounds for a legal contest received submissions from as far afield as Europe and Kenya, and even cigarette retailers in Peru and Rio de Janeiro.
“We don’t know how much (tobacco firms) seek to influence other players, but we certainly become suspicious when you see comments made by people apparently completely disconnected to Australia … when the lines are exactly reflecting — almost parroting — tobacco companies,” Roxon said.
Australia’s tobacco market generated total revenues of around $10 billion in 2009, up from A$8.3 billion in 2008, although smoking generally has been in decline. Around 22 billion cigarettes are sold in the country each year.
Australia wants to cut the number of people who smoke from around 15 percent of the population to 10 percent by 2018. Health authorities say smoking kills 15,000 Australians each year with social and health costs of around $32 billion.
Roxon said she had experienced enormous support from other health ministers at a recent United Nations health meeting in New York, and was sharing Australia’s legal preparations with other nations likely to follow Canberra’s plain-pack lead.
“Ultimately that’s going to be worrying the tobacco companies, but that is absolutely going to be better for consumers and people who would otherwise be future patients,” she said.
By Rob Taylor

Are lawmakers smoking out tobacco brands?

Australia faces some imposing legal hurdles in its attempt to ban tobacco trademarks. However, as Matt Packer writes, this has not stopped other countries from thinking about extinguishing them.
First statement: Tobacco is not good for you and is best avoided if you are interested in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Second statement: Intellectual property (IP) is a fundamental asset in enabling manufacturers to fully exploit their products, and should be safeguarded.
From a lawmaking viewpoint, is it possible to believe that both of those statements are true without becoming horribly conflicted? It’s a complicated question – and it looks as though it will take a lawsuit, and more, to answer it.
In Australia, the quandary has been brought into sharp relief by legal action against the government launched on 27 June by Philip Morris Asia (PMA) – parent company of Philip Morris Ltd, which serves the Australian market. Both companies are divisions of the powerful industry leader, Philip Morris International. In its suit, PMA is aiming to block plans spearheaded by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to enforce plain packaging across all tobacco products sold in the country: part of a wider drive to boost public health.
However, PMA argues that the government scheme is legally flawed on two counts: i) it flies in the face of time-honoured provisions for trademark protection contained in Australia’s IP laws; and ii) it flouts the terms of a major trade treaty between Australia and Hong Kong that enforces mutual support for all bilateral exports. Crucially, PMA is headquartered in Hong Kong, putting its relationship with Philip Morris Ltd firmly under the treaty’s jurisdiction.
While this battle plays out, there are signs that it could, in the near future, migrate to the European Union (EU) and the UK. With that in mind, this article looks at tobacco-brand developments in each region – starting with a more detailed look at the Australia-Hong Kong treaty.

Australia

That 1993 document – known in full as the Agreement Between the Government of Hong Kong and the Government of Australia for the Promotion and Protection of Investments – has three main clauses that are critical to the lawsuit between PMA and Australia:
Article 2(ii) states that investments and financial returns of each contracting party shall, at all times, be accorded fair and equitable treatment, and shall enjoy full protection and security in each party’s area. Neither contracting party shall, without prejudice to its laws, in any way impair by unreasonable or discriminatory measures the enjoyment or disposal of investments in its area by the other party.
Article 6(i) provides that each party shall not deprive the other of investments, nor subject it to measures with effects equivalent to such deprivation – except i) under due process of law; ii) for a public purpose related to internal needs; iii) on a non-discriminatory basis, and iv) with compensation. That compensation must amount to the value of the investment immediately before the deprivation, or before the impending deprivation became public knowledge – whichever was earliest.
Article 10 holds that any dispute between an investor of one party and the other that has failed to reach an amicable settlement shall – after a period of three months from written notification of the claim – be submitted to such procedures for alternative settlement as may be agreed between the parties. If no such procedures have been agreed, the parties shall be bound to submit it to arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.
Wayne Condon, principal at Australian IP law firm Griffith Hack, told NewLegal Review: ‘An “investment” is defined to include IP Rights including trademarks, trade names, know-how and goodwill. No doubt PMA will seek to rely upon article 2(ii) of the Agreement by suggesting that Australia has – by promulgating the plain tobacco packaging legislation – impaired the use and enjoyment of PMA’s investment in PML.’
In addition, there are interesting points in Article 6(i) on laws enacted for public purposes according to internal needs, which chimes with Gillard’s health mission – the catch being that a mandatory compensation payout from Australia would appear to be required. This leads to Article 10: the compulsory, three-month discussion period that has already been triggered by PMA’s lawsuit – and which is set to expire in late September.
According to Condon, issues that the parties are likely to discuss include:
• Whether the plain-packaging legislation – which has been announced, but not yet formally introduced – is unreasonable or discriminatory;
• Whether the legislation is saved from contravening the Agreement by the ‘without prejudice to its laws’ exception in Article 2(ii);
• Whether the plain packaging legislation has been proposed ‘for a public purpose related to the internal needs’ of Australia; and
• Whether PMA’s use and enjoyment of its investments in PML have, in fact, been impaired.

Europe & UK

Legal smoke signals

While the EU and UK have yet to feel the onset of a PMA-style lawsuit, both are taking a serious look at how tobacco is marketed, with a heavy emphasis on health effects. This year, the European Commission launched a consultation on the potential for revising Europe’s Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC), which aims to assist single-market support for the tobacco industry while protecting public health. In light of current trends, this could see the health part of the directive taking priority. Results of the consultation and details of forthcoming work on the topic are due in early 2012.
Meanwhile, the UK government has weighed in with its tobacco-control plan, Healthy Lives, Healthy People, published in March this year. This suggests a number of steps for the practical implementation of relevant clauses in the Health Act 2009, which provided for a ban on the display of tobacco products in large stores from April 2012, and smaller stores from April 2015. The government has also announced that it will examine whether plain packaging would be of use for preventing young people from taking up the habit, and for encouraging long-term smokers to quit. A consultation on these matters is likely to be launched this autumn.
So how would EU manoeuvres on tobacco branding affect the legislative independence of the UK? John Noble, director of the British Brands Group – a non-profit membership organisation for brand holders – told NewLegal Review: ‘The UK legislation would focus on reducing the number of young people taking up smoking and on helping adults to quit. As such, the UK would be able to legislate alone. However, were it to do so, there may be practical implications – such as illicit imports from Europe – that may reduce the effectiveness of the policy.’

Lingering effects

There are numerous other consequences to consider, not least of which is whether such legislation would actually stimulate imitative products. Condon is not convinced that it would. ‘It has been suggested by some commentators that the move to plain tobacco packaging may, paradoxically, increase the prospect of tobacco counterfeiting,’ he said. ‘This seems to be somewhat fanciful, based upon a proposition that potential counterfeiters are more likely to be motivated to copy plain-packaging get up than they are to copy logo marks. There appears to be no objective basis for the proposition that tobacco counterfeiting is likely to be encouraged by a move to plain tobacco packaging.’
Noble acknowledges Condon’s view, but doesn’t rule out de-branding as a potential stimulant for counterfeiting. ‘Certainly, plain packaging isn’t going to make it more difficult to counterfeit tobacco packaging,’ he said. ‘Intuitively, you would think that plain packaging would be much easier to copy effectively – although some counterfeiters are already sophisticated in their ability to copy complex packaging designs. The key point is that plain packaging will make it much harder for consumers to differentiate and distinguish one product from another – be it between one brand and another, or between genuine and fake.
‘Counterfeiters are opportunists, who counterfeit whatever sells,’ he added. ‘They may find that counterfeit plain packs arouse less suspicion among consumers, and are less easy to detect by authorities – both of which will encourage counterfeiting.’

Good intentions, bad habits?

For Noble, much of the EU and UK progress on tobacco packaging will depend upon circumstances. ‘If the UK is the only market in the EU with plain packaging,’ he said, ‘and packs carrying logos are as attractive as the government maintains, there may be an increase in illicit imports of branded packs from other EU markets – whether they are counterfeit, or genuine, but non-duty paid, products.
‘Were plain packaging introduced,’ he stressed, ‘we believe there is a real risk that competition and innovation would be reduced and the market will become increasingly price led. Were price competition to strengthen, bringing lower prices, the policy would have the opposite effect to the one intended, with potentially more people smoking more. These factors mitigate against plain packaging as an effective policy measure in any sector, unless there is very clear evidence that a particular market works counter-intuitively.’
In April, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) advised the Australian government: ‘By eroding the means of asserting IP Rights, the measure[s] proposed would restrict trade, hamper consumer choice and safety, subvert trademark laws and increase counterfeiting and illicit trade – while encouraging lower-priced legal and illegal commerce in tobacco products.’ Noble agrees with the ICC. ‘We see that as a succinct summary of the implications of plain packaging,’ he said. ‘We urge governments to give full weight to these factors in weighing up the pros and cons of plain packaging as an appropriate regulatory tool.’

Chewing tobacco joins ‘banned foods’ in India

New Delhi, – Chewing tobacco, like gutka and paan masala, has been included among banned “food products” in the government’s new food safety guidelines. The move has been welcomed by health activists as increasing incidence of oral cancer is being reported in the country, with the 2010 figure at more than 70,000.
Coming soon after the ban on the usage of plastic pouches to package chewing tobacco and pan masala, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the health ministry issued a notification prohibiting use of tobacco as an ingredient in any food product.
The food safety notification which was announced and enforced early August says: “Product not to contain any substance which may be injurious to health. Tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food product.”
Clearing the air about terming tobacco as a “food product”, FSSAI director V.N. Gaur said that chewing tobacco, like gutka or paan masala, can be called a “food” because it is consumed like any other food product.
“It (tobacco product) is a food product. Anything that is consumed is called food and anything that is food and contains nicotine or tobacco must be banned,” Gaur said.
That gutka and paan masala can be termed as food product was also affirmed by the Supreme Court. In the Ghodawat Paan Masala case, the apex court said: “Since paan masala, gutka or supari are eaten for taste and nourishment, they are all food within the meaning of Section 2(v) of the Act.”
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday informed parliament that 70,261 people were detected with cancer of mouth, tongue and hypopharynx in 2010 because of such products, also known as “smokeless tobacco products”.
Quoting data from the Indian Council of Medical Research, Azad said the numbers of those affected have been rising – 66,129 in 2008 and 68,160 in 2009.
Welcoming the new notification, health activists said the guidelines will act as a deterrent to the “non-smoking tobacco industry”.
“The current notification which defines tobacco as food and bans it is a welcome step. It’s only logical that things like gutka or paan masala which can be chewed and digested like any other food item is termed as food,” Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, executive director of the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), told IANS.
This, she added, could deal a blow to the Rs.8,000 crore worth gutka industry in India.
Added Rajeev Sharma, a health activist who mobilises youth groups to campaign against smoking: “The notification is definitely a good step. But for it to really mean anything, the government should ensure a strong and effective implementation”.
Mukhopadhyay said: “The notification, however, should have gone one step forward instead of just saying that tobacco should not be used as a food ingredient. It seems to wash its hands of the implementation bit…the government should put in place a mechanism by which it is implemented.”
One way of implementing the directive better is better awareness, she said.
“There should be a public notice about this notification. How many people know that the government has announced something like this? Secondly, the government should write to the gutka industries about this notification and tell them that they cannot add nicotine to any food product,” Mukhopadhyay said.
Mentioning an example of ineffective implementation of rules, she said that despite the Supreme Court’s order banning the sale of chewing tobacco and other paan masala products in plastic packets, it is openly being done so.
The order came into force March 1, 2011.
The president of Smokeless Tobacco Federation (India), Sri Gopal, said that the industry suffered a loss of 40 percent after the ban on plastic packages came into effect.
“Paper packaging of tobacco products has cost us a fall of 40 percent in business,” Gopal said.
He, however, refused to acknowledge the latest notification by the FSSAI.
“The tobacco product industry is not governed by the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) or the FSSAI,” he said, thereby putting a question mark on if the notification will actually change anything or it is just a string of words on paper.
By Azera Rahman
azera.p@ians.in

Michigan Bar Owners Bounce Lawmakers to Protest Smoking Ban

Some days, politicians could use a drink. But lawmakers in Michigan may soon find it harder to get one.
Hundreds of bar owners in the Great Lakes State plan to deprive lawmakers of their hospitality by banning them from their establishments in protest of the state’s smoking ban.
A new group, Protect Private Property Rights in Michigan, claims it has more than 500 bar owners statewide pledging to blacklist almost every lawmaker. The idea is to persuade the Legislature to at least revisit the ban, which went into effect last year.
“We’re going to have to remind Lansing that our bars are in fact private property, so therefore they are now persona non grata as of Sept. 1,” said Stephen Mace, director of the group and a bar worker himself.
How effective the ban is could depend on how much Michigan’s lawmakers cherish their local watering holes. Mace said the primary goal is to get a discussion started again in the capital — he said many of the Republican candidates who swept into office last November were opposed to the ban but haven’t done much to address it since their swearing-in.
“The bar owners and workers felt they were being ignored by the new Legislature,” Mace said.
Mace said businesses and the government have lost millions of dollars as a result of the smoking ban, which applied to most businesses across the state when it went into effect on May 1, 2010. Mace claimed that “in excess of 100” small bars closed down in the first year as a result of the ban.
According to the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, overall sales at bars and restaurants were down about 20 percent between May and July of last year after holding steady in the months before the ban. Sales of alcohol, food and lotto tickets all fell — the drop-off in revenue was more pronounced among smaller establishments.
However, the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association was not thrilled with Mace’s latest idea. While the group opposes the smoking ban, spokesman Peter Broderick said there are better ways to voice the industry’s frustration than by banning lawmakers.
“It could only hurt you to alienate your legislators,” Broderick said. “We’d rather have people invite our legislators in for a burger and a beer and talk about it.”
A handful of proposals are floating around the state capital to modify the ban, including one that would allow for special smoking rooms.
A spokeswoman with the American Cancer Society, which fought hard for the ban, said it would oppose any move to revise the bill.
“Any attempt to open it up is an attempt to undo it altogether,” spokeswoman Judy Stewart said.
Supporters of the smoking ban pushed it as a way to cut down on secondhand smoke and improve the health of Michigan residents. Stewart claimed about 1,500 people in Michigan die every year due to secondhand smoke exposure and that the ban will reduce the chronic diseases associated with that.
Mace said his group is not pro-tobacco, but the reality is the ban is hurting business, and bar owners should have the right to make their own decisions about allowing smokers.
He said his group’s ban on lawmakers will have exemptions, just like the law does for casinos. He said rank-and-file lawmakers will be banned, but the head honchos — the governor, lieutenant governor and top members of the House and Senate — will still be allowed.
“In the way that the smoking ban exempted the casinos … the big guys get looked after,” Mace said.
By Judson Berger
Foxnews

A legal history of smoking in Canada

Smoking and tobacco laws in Canada have changed considerably over the last century. Here is a look at some key points in the evolution of smokingpacksmoking legislation.
July 29, 2011
The Supreme Court of Canada rules that the federal government cannot be held liable in lawsuits directed at recovering smoking-related health costs from tobacco companies
June 30, 2011
Nova Scotia and Manitoba announce their intention to jointly sue tobacco companies for health-care costs related to smoking between the 1950s and 1980s.
Feb. 8, 2011
Newfoundland and Labrador move ahead with a plan to sue the tobacco industry to recover smoking-related health costs. However, the suit is criticized because the government hired the former law firm of then-premier Danny Williams to seek millions in damages.
Dec. 30, 2010
The federal government says it will introduce legislation requiring tobacco companies to include larger and more graphic warning labels on cigarette packages. The new anti-smoking ads are to cover 75 per cent of packaging.
Oct. 25, 2010
Alberta says it will launch a suit against tobacco companies to recover health-care costs related to smoking.
July 5, 2010
A new law banning cigarillos and flavoured cigarettes comes into effect across Canada. The measures were contained in a 2009 amendment to the Tobacco Act.
Sept. 29, 2009
Ontario says it will sue tobacco companies for $50 billion in smoking-related health-care costs going back a half-century under the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act.
March 13, 2008
New Brunswick files a lawsuit against tobacco companies to recover health-care costs.
June 28, 2007
The Supreme Court of Canada upholds the 1997 Tobacco Act, which severely restricts tobacco companies’ right to advertise. The companies had argued that the law infringed on their freedom of expression. The court ruled unanimously that the regulations were a reasonable limit that can be justified under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Jan. 18, 2007
The Manitoba Court of Appeal agrees to hear the provincial government’s appeal of a lower court ruling that forced it to extend its smoking ban to include First Nations bars and gaming establishments.
Jan. 17, 2007
The Ontario government allows government-owned casinos in Windsor and Niagara Falls to build shelters for smokers. Under Ontario law, bar and restaurant owners are not allowed to build such shelters, although other businesses, such as offices and factories, are.
Jan. 1, 2007
Public smoking bans come into effect in Calgary and Lethbridge, Alta. The Calgary law gives one-year exemptions to casinos, bingo halls and businesses that have separate ventilated smoking rooms. Lethbridge has exemptions for patios and employee smoking rooms.
Five months later, the Alberta government says it will ban smoking in all public places and work sites in the province.
Dec. 1, 2006
A new law in Nova Scotia bans smoking in all public places, including restaurant and bar patios. The only exception is for designated rooms in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Nov. 9, 2006
Imperial Tobacco, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-Macdonald announce they will voluntarily phase out the use of “light” and “mild” on their cigarette packaging in Canada.
Sept. 15, 2006
The B.C. Court of Appeal rules that 15 multinational tobacco companies are subject to the province’s law allowing the government to sue cigarette companies for the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses.
Aug. 15, 2006
A judge on the Court of Queen’s Bench in Manitoba strikes down the part of Manitoba’s smoking ban that exempts First Nations reserves, ruling that it discriminates against businesses outside reserves and violates the Charter of Rights.
May 31, 2006
Laws banning smoking in all enclosed public places come into effect in Ontario and Quebec. The Ontario law also includes a ban on any tobacco displays that serve as decoration or promotion.
Sept. 29, 2005
The Supreme Court of Canada rules that the British Columbia government can sue cigarette companies for the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses dating back 50 years and into the future.
A provincial court judge in Manitoba upholds the province’s anti-smoking law despite a court challenge by a bar owner who argued that the law discriminates on the basis of race because it does not apply on native reserves.
Aug. 22, 2005
The Quebec Court of Appeal upholds most of the federal Tobacco Act from 1997, but said it is unfair to forbid tobacco companies from exhibiting their company names when they sponsor an event. However, the companies are still not able to sponsor an event using a brand name.
March 18, 2005
The Supreme Court of Canada says provinces that want to limit tobacco displays have the right to do so.
Feb. 25, 2005
The Manitoba government joins British Columbia’s Supreme Court fight to recover $10 billion in health-care costs from cigarette companies.
Feb. 21, 2005
The Quebec Superior Court certifies two class-action lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages against three tobacco companies operating in Quebec. The lawsuits allege damages on the part of millions of Quebecers as a result of addiction to tobacco products and smoking-related illnesses.
January 2005
The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Saskatchewan can reinstate a controversial law that forces store owners to keep tobacco products behind curtains or doors. The so-called “shower curtain law” was passed in 2002 to hide cigarettes from children but was struck down a year later by an appeal court.
December 2004
The Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear an appeal of the B.C. Court of Appeal’s ruling that the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act is constitutionally valid. The appeal is filed by lawyers acting for the tobacco council as well as Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans, Benson and Hedges, JTI-Macdonald, and a number of international tobacco companies.
May 2004
B.C.’s Court of Appeal rules unanimously that the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act is constitutionally valid. The act is designed to make tobacco companies pay for the cost of treating health problems caused by smoking.
June 2000
Law passed that requires cigarette packages to carry one of 16 new health warnings that cover half of the cigarette pack and include graphic images such as cancerous lungs and diseased mouths. The new warning labels appeared on packages starting in January 2001. Some examples include:

  • Children see children do
  • Cigarettes hurt babies
  • Tobacco use can make you impotent
  • Don’t poison us
  • Each year the equivalent of a small city dies from tobacco use
  • Where there’s smoke there’s hydrogen cyanide
  • You’re not the only one smoking this cigarette

February 1999
New regulations come into effect requiring retail establishments that sell tobacco to post signs that read: “It is prohibited by federal law to provide tobacco products to persons under 18 years of age. Il est interdit par la loi fédérale de fournir des produits du tabac aux personnes âgées de moins de 18 ans.”
April 1997
Ottawa passes the Tobacco Act, which replaces the Tobacco Sales to Young Persons Act and the Tobacco Products Control Act. The new legislation provides standards for tobacco products, regulates access to tobacco, sets the rules for labeling and promotion of tobacco products, and puts in place rules for enforcing tobacco laws.
1994
Legislation requires cigarette packs to carry new warning message including:

  • Cigarettes are addictive
  • Tobacco smoke can harm your children
  • Smoking can kill you
  • Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in non-smokers

1993
The legal age to buy cigarettes is raised to 18.
January 1989
Tobacco Products Control Act is passed, replacing the Tobacco Control Act. Cigarette manufacturers are required to list the additives and amounts for each brand.
May 1988
The Tobacco Sales to Young Persons Act (TSYPA) is passed, replacing the 1908 Tobacco Restraint Act. The purpose of the TSYPA is to protect the health of young Canadians by restricting their access to tobacco products in light of the risks associated with the use of tobacco. It prohibits any person from selling or giving tobacco to those under the age of 18. It also requires tobacco vending machines to be removed from all public places except bars and taverns.
Ottawa passes the Non-Smokers Health Act (Bill C-204) to ensure federal workplaces are smoke-free and to prohibit passengers on aircraft, ships and trains from smoking in areas other than a designated smoking room. It also amends the Hazardous Products Act to prohibit tobacco advertising.
New legislation also requires cigarette packages to carry the following health warnings:

  • Smoking reduces life expectancy
  • Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer
  • Smoking is a major cause of heart disease
  • Smoking during pregnancy can harm the baby

1908
The Tobacco Restraint Act is passed, making it illegal to sell cigarettes to those under 16 years of age.
CBC News

Senecas say tobacco taxes not "Indian problem"

seneca Indians
ALBANY, N.Y. — The Enforce the Law, Collect the Tax Coalition applauded the Cuomo Administration’s announcement that it has begun shutting down the unstamped, untaxed reservation cigarette trade, and it urged the Administration to promptly collect taxes on all brands, including Native American manufactured products.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo late last week directed Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, director of state operations Howard Glaser and New York State Department of Taxation & Finance commissioner Thomas H. Mattox to update New Yorkers on the Administration’s efforts to enforce the state’s cigarette tax.
As a result of efforts by the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance, State Police and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, in the past three weeks, the state of New York has conducted 357 retail inspections, increased cigarette tax stamps 14% from May to June, seized 19,744 cartons of cigarettes, seized 24,882 cigars and seized 33.75 pounds of tobacco.
Jim Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), said, “We’re pleased with the Administration’s continued commitment to full and fair enforcement of the law. All cigarettes sold to New Yorkers need to be tax-paid–regardless of who manufactures them–or else our state will continue to lose billions in legitimate tax revenue and law-abiding retailers will continue to lose jobs and customers to the cigarette tax evasion epidemic.”
The estimated tax value of property seized is approximately $1.2 million. If the cigarettes were sold in New York City, approximately $289,000 in additional taxes would have been evaded. New York collects approximately $1.7 billion in total cigarette and tobacco taxes and the new enforcement efforts are expected to raise an additional $27 million in tax revenue.
“It has been our consistent position that cigarettes should be taxed under the law and the courts have repeatedly agreed,” Cuomo said. “The law is the law, and we will enforce it. Everyone must pay their fair share, and that includes those who sell cigarettes.”
The Department of Taxation & Finance and the Division of State Police signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure continued close coordination between the State Police and Tax Department investigators in enforcing cigarette tax statutes and seizing cigarettes being brought to market without taxes paid.
The enforcement initiative includes inspecting stamping agent facilities to verify inventories and insure compliance with state law, gathering information as to who is delivering and picking up untaxed cigarettes, inspecting stamping agents’ delivery vehicles to insure that they are only transporting stamped product, stopping certain vehicles when there is probable cause to believe that they are being used to transport untaxed product in violation of state law and working to develop information on the movement of large shipments of untaxed product.
In the aftermath of federal and state court decisions upholding the state’s power to collect these taxes, some tribal sellers have argued that they will continue to sell untaxed and unstamped Native American manufactured products to New Yorkers. The Administration noted in its press conference, however, that the law allows the state to collect taxes on Native American manufactured cigarettes no less so than other brands sold to non-tribal purchasers.
“Allowing some manufacturers to evade the state’s highest-in-the-nation excise tax of $4.35 per pack would simply replace one loophole with another, perpetuating the sale of illegal cigarettes all over the state, including on street corners and other locations where the laws just aren’t being enforced,” added Calvin. “That’s not good for New York, it’s not good for honest retailers who play by the rules, and it isn’t good for the men and women in law enforcement who are confronted by a massive cigarette contraband problem.”
Seneca Nation president Robert Odawi Porter responded in a statement: “As always, our status as a sovereign nation prevents, by federal treaty, enforcement of state taxes on our territorial commerce. 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.”
“As far as trying to tax tobacco brands manufactured on Nation territory, they are already subject to federal regulation, as well as our own Nation rules. These businesses have the same rights to make and sell cigarettes as anyone else in the United States. Secondly, courts have never addressed the state’s authority to tax federally regulated native brands. Nothing in current court decisions grants the state taxing authority over these products.”
“Finally, the Seneca Nation wants to reiterate that tobacco taxes are not an ‘Indian problem.’ The problem is created by New York’s excessive taxing of tobacco products and its open borders.”
“The Nation always stands ready to discuss with the state any efforts to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of New Yorkers.”
CSP Daily News

Report on the health and economic impact of comprehensive smoke-free laws

Each year, tobacco use causes hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and costs billions of dollars in medical care and productivity losses insmoking-ban the United States. Strong tobacco control policies at the state level can help reduce the burden of tobacco use. Saving Lives, Saving Money: A State-By-State Report on the Health and Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Smoke-Free Laws, provides new information about the public health and economic benefits to states that implement smoke-free laws.
Comprehensive smoke-free laws reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, encourage people to quit or cut down on smoking, and prevent youth from starting to smoke. As these laws reduce smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, data show that they reduce disease and heath care spending, and they improve employee productivity.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) commissioned leading experts to derive updated and expanded estimates for the public health benefits and economic savings in the 27 states that currently do not have a comprehensive smoke-free law in place.
The estimates show that in each of these states, a smoke-free law would result in fewer smokers, fewer smoking-related deaths, and fewer youth who become smokers. In addition, a comprehensive smoke-free law in each state would substantially reduce health care costs associated with several smoking-related diseases.
SAVING LIVES
The data show that comprehensive smoke-free laws would decrease the number of adult smokers by tens of thousands in many states. North Carolina, for example, would have 78,100 fewer adult smokers by adopting a comprehensive law that closed the current loophole that allows smoking in non-hospitality workplaces. The results also show that nearly 400,000 fewer young people would become smokers if states without a comprehensive smoke-free law adopted one, further reducing the health and economic burden of smoking. The reduction in smoking-related deaths avoided by implementing smoke-free laws ranges from several hundred in states with smaller populations to more than 110,000 in Texas. Non-smokers’ deaths would be prevented in every state that applies a smoke-free law. If each of the 27 states without a comprehensive smoke-free law had such a law in place, the following estimates of public health benefits would apply:

  • Adults Who Would Quit Smoking: 1.03M
  • Youth Who Would Never Start Smoking: 398,700
  • Reduction in Smoking-Related Deaths: 624,000
  • Reduction in Deaths of Non-smokers: 69,500

SAVING MONEY
The total estimated savings in health care costs from adopting comprehensive smoke-free laws adds up to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in most states. Seven states would each save at least $80 million in spending on lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes, and pregnancy complications over five years. All together, the 27 states without a comprehensive smoke-free law currently in place could save an estimated $1.32 billion in treatment of those conditions over five years.

  • Lung CancerTreatment Savings: $316.11M
  • Heart Attack and Stroke Treatment Savings: $875.57M
  • States’ Medicaid Program Savings: $42.79M
  • Smoking-RelatedPregnancy Treatment Savings: $128.26M

WHAT STATES CAN DO
There is still much work to be done – 27 states have no statewide smoke-free law in effect or have a law that does not cover all workplaces or populations. Hospitality and casino workers, who studies show are exposed to dangerous secondhand
smoke on the job, continue to be denied their right to breathe smoke-free air in a large number of states. Opponents of smoke-free legislation continually battle to weaken existing laws through loopholes and exemptions, further complicating efforts to achieve the benefits of these laws. States in which some residents are covered by city or county smoke-free laws would see greater health and economic outcomes if a strong, comprehensive statewide law were implemented.
ACS CAN recommends that all states aim for statewide laws that are comprehensive and protect all workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

  • Smoke-free laws should cover all workplaces.
  • Venues should be 100 percent smoke-free with no exceptions, such as allowing smoking in certain places or at certain times.
  • Statewide smoke-free laws should not preempt local authorities from enacting stronger smoke-free laws in their jurisdictions.

Is tobacco control no longer a federal priority?

When he announced the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy in the spring of 2001, Allan Rock, then the health minister, called smoking the single smoking-publicmost pressing public-health issue in the country.
A decade later, it remains so. Smoking claims an estimated 37,000 lives a year in Canada. Almost five million Canadians are still regular smokers.
“What’s the plan to end this scourge of preventable deaths?” you may ask.
Well, currently there is no plan. The 10-year, $480-million strategy (the FTCS for the cognoscenti) expired on March 31. It has been extended for one year so that Health Canada can conduct a “review,” but the future is, at best, uncertain.
The silence of the current Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, on this issue is, frankly, puzzling.
The most significant achievement of the Conservative government on the health front has been investing in strategies – a cancer strategy, a mental-health strategy, along with targeted funding for brain research, to name just the high-profile initiatives.
Strategic investment of public money makes good business sense: Done properly, it is a way of stating priorities, setting goals and measuring results.
Is the implied message in the current foot-dragging that tobacco control is no longer a priority? Hopefully, the Conservatives are not abandoning this strategy because it was a Liberal initiative. Smoking is a massive public-health problem, not a matter for petty partisanship.
Over the past decade, there has been a lot of progress on tobacco control at the federal, provincial and municipal level (regardless of party affiliations), as well as in private industry:

  • Smoking bans in public spaces and workplaces are now the norm, even in hard-core smoking spots such as bingo parlours and prisons.
  • Tobacco smuggling is down markedly.
  • A number of restrictions have been placed on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, including removing tobacco from display in many retail settings.
  • There has been a crackdown on tobacco sales to minors.
  • The issue of second-hand smoke is now being taken seriously, leading to initiatives such as banning smoking in cars where children are present.
  • All provinces have created legislation that will allow lawsuits to recover damages from the tobacco industry.
  • Smoking-cessation measures such as nicotine patches are now funded in some jurisdictions.
  • Graphic warnings are featured on all cigarette packages and those warnings are being bolstered.
  • Canada has become a signatory of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a massive international effort.
  • Canada has developed one of the most comprehensive tobacco monitoring systems in the world.

But that monitoring tells us this: In the past decade, the smoking rate has fallen to 18 per cent from 25 per cent. That falls well short of the target of 12 per cent established in the FTCS. And, worse yet, the smoking rate has held steady for several years now, which tells us that new smokers are replacing those who die.
Big Tobacco is still winning, which means that public health needs to step up the battle.
Changing a profoundly culturally ingrained habit and getting millions to kick an addiction is no small challenge.
But, by any objective measure, the FTCS is a failure, at least in recent years. But before we abandon it, let’s understand why the plan has faltered.
A recent letter to the Health Minister from the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control provides some good insight into the problems. Here are some of the problems the group highlights:

  • Health Canada is simply not investing adequately in tobacco control. Over the past five years, it has routinely underspent its program budget by $9-million to $15-million annually.
  • Investment in mass-media campaigns has dried up; the initial plan was to spend $50-million a year on social marketing, but Health Canada spent $27-million in 2001, falling to $9-million by 2004, then nothing in recent years.
  • Smoking rates are highest in aboriginal communities, yet Ottawa inexplicably canceled the first nations and Inuit tobacco control strategy and replaced it with a few small projects.
  • Health Canada’s tobacco control directorate has been markedly downsized.
  • Ottawa has spent hundreds of millions on tobacco-crop buyouts, an approach deemed counterproductive as tobacco production has actually increased.
  • The federal government has settled lawsuits with tobacco companies for paltry amounts, and no criminal charges have been laid.
  • * There is a burdensome bureaucracy that makes it difficult for non-profit groups working in tobacco control to get funding. In fact, many anti-tobacco initiatives have ground to a halt because groups have lost their funding – at least temporarily – with the expiry of the strategy.
  • The highly praised move to ban flavoured cigarillos is being openly circumvented; companies have simply increased the weight of products so that they are listed as cigars.

In far too many instances, government has announced wonderful initiatives but they are not backed up with on-the-ground implementation and enforcement.
The Federal Tobacco Control Strategy should be more than a series of photo opportunities; it should be a living, breathing program that systematically addresses the many challenges posed by smoking.
In 2001, Allan Rock said this while announcing the strategy: “We all know there’s no single, simple answer that’s going to cure all this tomorrow. The best evidence, however, shows that the most effective public policy is for governments to join hands with communities in a broad integrated and sustained strategy to change attitudes and influence behaviour.”
In 2011, the evidence remains. Only the action is lacking.
By André Picard