Altria raising price of cigarettes

Altria Group Inc., the largest U.S. tobacco company, will raise prices on Marlboro and 17 brands on March 9 ahead of an increase in federal tobacco excise taxes.
Altrias Philip Morris USA will charge distributors 71 cents more for a pack of Marlboro, the top-selling U.S. cigarette, Parliament, Virginia Slims and six other varieties, said Bill Phelps, an Altria spokesman. In addition, the company will raise list prices on Bensen & Hedges and eight other brands by 81 cents a pack.
The increase is the second by Philip Morris USA since December and comes before U.S. tobacco excise taxes rise by 62 cents a pack. Reynolds American Inc., which trails Philip Morris USA by sales, also raised some cigarette prices in December as manufacturers blunt the impact of falling demand from higher taxes and the recession.
This is primarily intended to cover the cost of the federal excise-tax increase, Phelps said. The tax is currently 39 cents a pack.

What Hurts Smokers And Helps Cigarette Companies?

Congress is about to begin deliberations of two competing approaches to tobacco regulation. The outcome of the debate will have an impact on business–and public health–for decades to come.
The first approach, known as the Kennedy-Waxman bill, will give the beleaguered Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco. On its face, this is a good thing. After all, cigarettes are the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
But the devil is in the details. First of all, the Kennedy-Waxman bill, named after its sponsors Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. Henry Waxman D-Calif., was in fact written by Altriaand an activist group, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CFTFK).
The bill has numerous provisions that, from a public health perspective, actually make matters worse, rather than better.
For instance, the bill will make it virtually impossible for companies to promote less harmful forms of tobacco. If the bill passes, we won’t replicate the good news coming out of Sweden, where tobacco-related deaths plummeted when smokers switched from cigarettes to the less harmful snus, or smokeless tobacco.
Snus is a pouch of tobacco that gives smokers the nicotine they crave without the myriad harmful chemicals that come from burning and inhaling tobacco. The risk of oral cancer from smokeless tobacco is low–far lower than the oral cancer risk from smoking cigarettes.
And switching from cigarettes to snus eliminates the risk of heart disease lung cancer and the other systemic diseases related to smoking. And of course, there’s no secondhand smoke from snus.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

People who are exposed to secondhand smoke may be more likely to have cognitive impairments than their peers, discount cigarettes smokers, a new study showed.
This study doesn’t prove that secondhand smoke exposure causes cognitive impairment, but it does show that cognitive impairment was more common among nonsmokers and former smokers with high levels of cotinine, a nicotine-related chemical, in their saliva samples.
The study included 4,809 adults of 50 year-old and older from England. They provided saliva samples and took various tests of mental skills, including memory and attention, between 1998 and 2002. Participants were considered cognitively impaired if their overall test score was in the bottom 10% of the group.
Never smokers with the highest salivary levels of cotinine were 70% more likely to be cognitively worsen than never smokers with the lowest salivary levels of cotinine. Former smokers with the highest salivary cotinine levels were 32% more likely to have cognitive impairment than former smokers with the lowest salivary cotinine levels.
Researchers found that not only secondhand smoke can cause cognitive impairment but also age, sex, education, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease play a very important role in cognitive decline.
This study raises the strong possibility that secondhand smoke causes cognitive decline, but further research is needed to establish a causal effect.
Source: Ourcigarettesnews ®

Over 50 p.c. of pre-university Bangalore students are smokers

The findings of a study, conducted by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bangalore, this year, shows that over 50 per cent of pre-university (PU) students pursuing courses in arts and humanities are smokers.
The rules and advertisements to discourage the use of tobacco products by the youth have had no impact on students in Bangalore.
The study revealed that 58.9 per cent of students of arts and humanities, followed by 30.6 per cent and 10.6 per cent students of science and commerce streams, respectively, use tobacco products.
The study was conducted in two stages in Bangalore’s 19 PU colleges on 1,087 students of first year PU (53 per cent) and second year PU (47 per cent). At least 18 colleges had one or more tobacco selling points within 100 yards of their campus. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2005 prohibits sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution. As much as 55.8 per cent of students said that peer pressure had influenced them to use tobacco products. . . .
As much as 18 per cent felt the need to smoke or consume tobacco when they saw film stars smoking or chewing gutka in films

Philip Morris

Background: The tobacco industry has organized research institutions to generate misleading data on indoor air quality, including secondhand smoke exposure and health effects. . . .
Results: Philip Morris sought to establish a network of air quality laboratories throughout Latin America. In El Salvador, in 1997, through Tabacalera de El Salvador (Philip Morris