Altria Supports Revived FDA Tobacco Measure Opposed by Reynolds

Lawmakers are trying again to give the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco, an effort backed by Altria Group Inc., the largest U.S. maker of cigarettes, and opposed by smaller rivals.
The FDA could place restrictions on tobacco marketing and manufacturing under the legislation that House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman plans to bring before his panel tomorrow, according to spokeswoman Karen Lightfoot. A similar measure passed the House last year, and then stalled in the Senate.
President Barack Obama, who says he has kicked a smoking habit, has supported such legislation, while former President George W. Bush opposed it. The measure rekindles a fight between Altria’s Philip Morris USA, which makes half of the cigarettes sold in the U.S., and Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. The smaller manufacturers oppose restrictions they say would perpetuate Philip Morris’s position as the market leader.
“We continue to support tough but reasonable federal regulation of tobacco products,” Bill Phelps, an Altria spokesman in Richmond, Virginia, said yesterday in an e-mail. The company, which controls almost 51 percent of U.S. cigarette sales, led by its Marlboro brand, “would be supportive” of the Waxman bill that has circulated among House members.
The measure offered by Waxman, a California Democrat, would have “the effect of locking in market share,” Maura Payne, a Reynolds spokeswoman, said yesterday in a telephone interview. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based maker of Camel and Kool cigarettes had 28 percent of the market at the end of last year.
Less-Harmful Products
Reynolds, which started selling dissolvable tobacco tablets under the Camel name this year, is concerned the FDA wouldn’t do enough to encourage development of less-harmful tobacco products given the government’s focus on smoking prevention and cessation, Payne said.
“The bill does not establish a regulatory framework for recognizing harm reduction as a viable means of reducing tobacco- related deaths and diseases,” Payne said. That is “one of the most critical shortcomings.”
The measure “would allow the FDA to impose a de facto prohibition on a product used by approximately one fifth of all adults,” Lorillard said in an e-mailed statement. The company predicted the FDA “would ultimately move to ban the conventional cigarette product.”
Lorillard, which trails Altria and Reynolds in sales, said FDA regulation would provide “a competitive advantage” to its larger rivals.
The FDA is “already overworked by Congress” and is “already struggling to attend to its most fundamental responsibilities to keep the U.S. food and drug supply safe,” Lorillard said.
Young People
The FDA would regulate the marketing and manufacture on tobacco and establish new rules on marketing to young people, steps that would be funded through a fee on tobacco companies, under Waxman’s measure.
The bill would ban all tobacco advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds; prohibit free giveaways of non- tobacco items with the purchase of a tobacco product and restrict tobacco vending machines to adult-only facilities.
Waxman would also require larger and more specific health cautions on cigarette packs, with the warnings covering 50 percent of the front and rear panels of the package.
The Federal Trade Commission currently regulates tobacco labels and marketing to ensure they aren’t misleading or deceptive, authority that Waxman’s legislation would shift to the FDA.
The bill would also give the FDA authority to require recordkeeping and tracking to fight cigarette smuggling and allow states and localities to regulate the time, place and manner of tobacco use.
Source: Bloomberg ®

Young without Cigarettes

Researchers found that smoking cut the people youth. For example they observed that smokers and people with premature aging disease suffer same cell defect.
Cigarettes smoke causes the same cellular defect seen in people with Werner’s syndrome – a rare genetic disease that makes people age very fast.
Statistics show that smokers can die about 10 years before their time. Now researchers may have found a key to this process, giving them unexpected new paths to treatment.
The key comes from the observation that smokers aren’t the only people who age too fast. In their 20s, people with a rare genetic disorder called Werner’s syndrome get gray hair, thin skin, and hoarse voices.
They soon develop diabetes, hardening of the arteries, and weak bones. In their 40s or 50s, they tend to die of heart disease and cancer.
Smokers also age prematurely and tend to die of heart disease and cancer. That’s mean that between this rare disease and smokers there are a link.
Werner’s syndrome is caused by a mutation in a gene called WRN. The gene makes the WRN protein that protects and repairs DNA in every cell of the body.
Researchers collected lung cells from cigarettes smokers with emphysema. The cells had too little WRN protein. The smokers’ WRN genes were normal, but something was keeping them from making enough WRN.
When the researchers cultivated lung cells in the laboratory, they found that cigarette smoke extract decreased the cell’s WRN production — and made the cells age more quickly.
Source: Cigarettesworldnews ®

Ban won't choke businesses

Bar and restaurant owners predict steep revenue declines if South Dakota prohibits smoking in those businesses, but most studies of previous bans suggest those fears are unfounded – particularly for those that serve food.
Opponents of legislation that would expand the South Dakota smoking ban to bars and restaurant largely have set aside the health argument, but the threatened loss of revenue for the state and individual businesses remains their trump card in a bad economy.
Lobbyist Larry Mann has predicted a 30 percent drop in video lottery revenue, a significant hit to a state that takes half. Mike Trucano, a Deadwood video lottery machine vendor, said smoking bans in other states have swallowed 10 percent to 25 percent of business revenue. Advertisement
Supporters of the ban thus far have emphasized the health effects of secondhand smoke to sway lawmakers. But as the House bill moves to the floor as early as Monday, one health advocate is turning his focus to the economic effect.
Darrin Smith, senior director of advocacy for the American Heart Association in Sioux Falls, is preparing a handout for lawmakers that rebuts claims that liquor sales and gambling revenues fall when states ban smoking.
People opposing the ban have manipulated figures from other states when testifying before legislative committees, he said. Minnesota liquor tax revenues kept going up after that state’s October 2007 smoking ban, and Oregon video lottery officials say their revenue decline largely is a result of the bad economy.
“Legislators, the media and the public deserve honest and accurate, factual evidence,” Smith said.

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