New type of tobacco

Camel orbs are the size and color of Tic-TACs and packaged as breath mints. But each ball packs about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette. Snus is another product that comes in a bright tin box with Camel logo on the lid. Tiny sacs contain soluble tobacco in mint or vanilla flavors.

Snus also has the same nicotine hit, like cigarettes. Big Tobacco is also a marketing nicotine strips that dissolve on the tongue. Some cigars are now in flavors such as grape and cherry.

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, for its part, insists on the fact that these products are instead for the adult consumer to which we would reply: Yes, true. What part of the adult tobacco craves white grape flavored blunts?

We recognize that nicotine delivery systems such as patches, chewing gum and even nicotine mints serve less harmful alternative to cigarettes and may help some smokers quit. Those products, many of which were previously available only by prescription, can be targeted to adult users.

But nicotine sold in the form of chocolates can only have one main objective: Getting kids hooked on one of the drugs in the world. And while regulators have taken reasonable measures to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children, they seem to be behind the curve, which prohibit the use of “new tobacco” and other nicotine products minors.

Jane Alleva, director of the local drug and alcohol abuse education coalition All Council On, attended seminars where she learned more about the risks associated with these products. She said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined fashion as “high risk” teenagers.

She told the assembly of local health directors last week that children can die from ingesting lethal amount of nicotine. For decades, from the 1970s, health officials have seen a steady decline in teenage smoking. But efforts hit a wall in 2009, when the decline leveled down.

In 2011, nearly 30% of high school males and 18% of women use some form of tobacco. This included both cigarettes and forms a “new tobacco.”

Among middle school students, 10% of boys and 8% of girls were using tobacco products. And now, 18 – 25 year olds have the highest rate of tobacco use in any age group in the country.

To some extent, this result is less public money spent on anti-smoking campaigns throughout the country. During the economic downturn, such programs have been among the first to be cut. And in some states, including South Carolina, have traditionally had little anti-smoking efforts in the first place.

But another factor is certainly the marketing of alternative tobacco products to young people. Let them hooked in high school, and they are customers for life – even if that life is reduced to the use of tobacco.

Health officials fought teen smoking for decades with great success, but these new products represent a growing threat and the new strategy on the part of Big Tobacco. Tobacco companies sell the same product in new packaging.

This is a threat that must be addressed not only to the health authorities, such as Alleva, but also by both government regulation and law enforcement. It’s quite simple: Don’t let the market tobacco addictive substance for our children and hit the sale of any tobacco products to minors.

Oil has become the new tobacco

When Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, testifies to the US Senate today about the company’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he British oil company BPwill be only the latest corporate leader in the Washington hot seat.
A lot is made in the UK of the fact that Mr Hayward is British and runs a UK-listed company, as if it accounts for the political anger that has exploded at BP over its failure to cap the gusher left behind by the Deepwater Horizon rig. In reality, nationalism has little to do with it – the sound and fury would be just as intense had it been ExxonMobil.
The heads of Goldman Sachs, Moody’s, Toyota and other corporate sinners have been paraded in Congress in recent months, with little sign that being a US company confers an advantage. Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman was born in the Bronx but he was treated as contemptuously as if he had worn a monocle, top hat and tails.
The contest on show today – also evident in President Barack Obama’s televised address to his nation from the Oval Office this week – will not be Americans against Brits but US politicians, channelling the mood of voters, versus big corporations.
For a time, it looked as if public anger over the financial crisis of two years ago would be confined to Wall Street banks. But the gulf spill raises a broader threat to companies and shareholders. Oil is becoming the new tobacco and other industries could well be next.
If chief executives were brought to Washington merely to be humiliated, investors would not care. But the fact that BP has been forced to suspend dividends and agree to put $20bn into an escrow fund for compensation and clean-up before anyone knows what it will cost is ominous.
It has echoes of the 1998 tobacco settlement in which the industry paid $246bn to states following legal action by their attorneys-general. Only 5 per cent of that money was spent on tobacco-related initiatives, with Virginia, for example, investing in higher education, fibre optic cables and research into energy.
Willie Sutton, the robber, sagely observed that he raided banks because that was where the money was, and US politicians know this lesson well. The voters do not have a lot since they are recovering from a loss of paper wealth in the housing bust and governments around the world (as well as US states) face yawning budget deficits.
Who does have cash? Large, dividend-paying companies such as BP. They include energy producers and utilities; consumer goods brands; food, drink and drugs companies – all of the mature businesses that cluster in indexes such as the FTSE 100 and the Standard and Poor’s 500.
Adam Posen of the Bank of England monetary policy committee has pointed out that UK companies hold financial surpluses equal to 8 per cent of gross domestic product. Industrial companies in the S&P 500 had a record $836bn in cash in March, according to Howard Silverblatt, an S&P index analyst.
Cash matters to investors. The S&P’s ” Dividend Aristocrats ” index of reliable payers in the S&P 500 includes Exxon, McDonald’s and Walmart, and S&P estimates that dividends have made up a third of total shareholder returns since 1926.
These reserves also make corporations what lawyers call “deep pockets” – defendants that are worth suing because they can afford to pay large sums in compensation. The tactics of Congress and President Obama against BP are reminiscent of tort lawyers, who are big funders of the Democrats.
It is now clear that BP not only took needless risks before the rig explosion, but was unprepared for the environmental disaster that followed. It is responsible for cleaning up the damage and for meeting fair compensation claims, as it has readily conceded.
Instead of sticking with the 1990 Oil Pollution Act, passed after the Exxon Valdez disaster, Washington has moved to impose punitive damages. At one point, politicians were telling BP to pay wages to all oil workers laid off as a result of Mr Obama’s suspension of gulf drilling, including those employed by others.
Meanwhile, in his address, Mr Obama proposed an effort to reverse decades of gulf coast environmental degradation that had nothing to do with BP. If the tobacco settlement is any guide, that will not stop states trying to raid the escrow fund – BP’s initial payouts to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi already have a pork barrel flavour to them.
Other corporations may look at all this and believe that they and their investors are liability-free because they have not spilled oil in the gulf, sold cigarettes, made cars that do not brake or constructed synthetic collateralised debt obligations.
That would be a mistake. Many of S&P’s dividend aristocrats rely on the goodwill of consumers and politicians to keep accumulating cash for payouts. The mood following the bail-out of Wall Street is now so hostile to corporations, and public budgets so strained, that any slip would make them vulnerable.
Robert Reich, the former US labour secretary who wants the US government to put BP into temporary receivership although many of its investors are UK-based, defines the affair as a “contest between citizenship interests and shareholder interests”.
That sounds good but most people are both. Investors and pensioners, both in the UK and the US, depend on BP and other dividend aristocrats for retirement. If politicians strip the aristocrats’ assets, the citizens will eventually pay for it.
By By John Gapper
Financial Times, June 17, 2010

Tobacco companies are marketing new products to minors

Tobacco companies are creating smokeless products for the market and utilizing social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to reach a younger audience.
They are mainly trying to market their products to children and teenagers so they will start smoking younger. They should not be doing that.
These companies are trying to diversify their products by creating smokeless and spitless tobacco. Camel has designed Camel Orbs, pellets that are shaped like Tic Tacs that fulfill the need for a tobacco buzz. Camel strips and Camel sticks are similar to gum and candy cigarettes. These products are a response to a society constantly pushing to become smokeless. Many places in public no longer allow people to smoke cigarettes, including restaurants and bars.
There’s nothing wrong with Big Tobacco trying to create these new products. But marketing these products to younger audiences is wrong.
The smokeless products are shaped just like candy, making it obvious that tobacco companies are trying to get younger people hooked on their products. If a young child swallows such a product, it could be disastrous.
Companies also are using social networking to advance their products. Since young people are the forerunners of such Web sites, Big Tobacco will bombard them with images of cigarettes and similar products.
Kids are unaware of the dangers of tobacco. They are constantly growing and changing, and the world is a strange and confusing place. They are easy to manipulate, and Big Tobacco is taking advantage of them. Companies should have to face the same penalties that everyone else does when cigarettes are solicited to children.
This is not to say the products are bad and don’t have a place. Many adults aware of the repercussions of tobacco products will probably adapt to these products. Many public places are banning smoking cigarettes.
Even entire cities are outlawing smoking cigarettes anywhere in public. These products will allow adults to get their fix without having to light up, avoiding complaints from surrounding people.
It may be impossible to stop tobacco companies from using social networks, where millions of kids and teenagers will see tobacco products. In the end, it is up to the person to decide whether to use tobacco products.
But these strategies are on the verge of manipulating children and teenagers against the will of their parents. Educating the young on the dangers of tobacco only goes so far.
Tobacco companies should be careful when going young in their marketing. We understand you have businesses to run, but children’s well beings are at stake.

© Copyright: October 16, 2009 Cm-life

RJR Bounces Back with New Injectable Tobacco Product

Years ago, during the much-publicized tobacco settlement, government officials advised the tobacco industry to branch out into new products, hopefully ones that won’t kill tens of thousands of people every year. Well, they listened. In fact, they were so Injectable Tobacco Productenthusiastic about the suggestion that they completely missed the last part.
Since that time the industry has spent its considerable fortunes developing new and innovative products that retain the same toxic allure that consumers and undertakes have come to expect. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to get it. Either afraid of change or simply jealous of all these awesome ideas federal regulators have stepped in every time to swat down the industry’s best new product categories.
This week the FDA banned flavored cigarettes on the grounds that the products were designed for and marketed to consumers too young to purchase them legally, and insiders say that it’s just a matter of time before the newly-empowered agency also bans the industry’s newest high-tech offering: tobacco in the form of dissolvable strips packaged to look like breath mints.
It’s just not fair.
Not to worry.
The same scrappy, resourceful industry that brought us scientific breakthroughs like the T-Zone is bound to have another amazing technological marvel up its sleeve. And indeed they have. On the very same day of the FDA’s announcement, RJ Reynolds launched a new product based on an entirely new delivery medium: injectable nicotine.
Hypo brand intravenous cigarettes will hit store shelves early next year and will come in three varieties: lights, menthols, and China white.
At first Hypos will require a doctor’s prescription, but with a little luck, and a few million well placed lobbying dollars, RJR hopes to secure over the counter approval by 2011.
Critics claim that the company’s shift toward injectable tobacco is a blatant attempt to further addict and enslave its customer base, but company-sponsored scientists say this point of view could not be more wrong.
It’s all about convenience.
Due to concerns over second hand smoke, there are fewer and fewer places where RJR’s customers can consume their products. Hypos can be enjoyed anywhere without fouling the air or making a scene. Instead of having to leave the school play to light up outside the school, mom or dad can just whip out a Hypo and shoot up right there in the auditorium.
Industry analysts predict groundbreaking success for the Hypo brand. After some initial hesitancy, existing customers will flock to the new product like, well, like addicts. But this new product is primarily focused on generating new customers. Marketing teams at RJR are already working on product placement deals for movies and TV shows. Researchers say they are just a month away from developing a way to French inhale with a syringe. At that point, no teenager will be able to resist Hypo’s rebellious allure.
According to sources inside RJR, the idea came up during a long brainstorming session a few years ago when some middle manager joked that he wished that the company had the patent on Oxycontin. That’s when it dawned on senior executives: they kind of did.

© Copyright: September 23, 2009 Ridiculopathy

Alcohol is the new tobacco

The fight against alcohol has begun. But the health lobby forgets that risk and harm are necessary parts of a worthwhile life.
By Ian Dunt
And so it begins. The British Medical Association (BMA) is calling for Britain to become the first country to ban alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotions. We know it won’t end there. This line of attack was the first front in the war against smoking, and it appears alcohol is now in the health lobby’s sights.
As an organisation, the BMA only comprehends the world through the prism of physical harm. Harm is bad. Non-harm is good. Nothing else fits in the equation. Unfortunately for them – but fortunately for us – there’s so much more to life than that.
Many things which cause harm are a fundamental part of a life worth living. Sex, for a start, has killed more humans throughout history than we could count, through sexually transmitted diseases, the act of giving birth and jealous husbands, to name but three. Cigarettes are the same. They kill millions. But there is a certain beauty to the sensual, subtle – almost mystical – nature of smoking which isn’t negated just because it is dangerous or addictive. Any rigorous exercise or extreme sport has killed humans in their thousands. On the other end of the scale, bacon butties – possibly the greatest invention in the history of man – will invariably end you if you enjoy them too often
Sometimes it’s worth giving up some safety for a little pleasure. It is risk and excitement and uncertainty that make life worth living.
The members of the BMA presumably lead satisfying, enjoyable lives. But as an organisation it now appears dedicated to firing off some of the most excruciating, deadening proposals in British society. Why? Because all of its calculations derive from the ideal of minimising physical harm. That is now all it cares about as an organisation. Quality of life, and the strange ethereal pleasures that are part of life’s rough-and-tumble, are kept off the books.
On a generous assessment, you could say that this message constitutes its operational role. It warns us of harm, and society debates the balance we wish to strike between safety and pleasure. But the BMA has gone well beyond advising. Its proposals are invariably paternalistic and authoritarian. They are about banning, and scrapping, and outlawing. They are not about advising autonomous individuals about the choices available to them. It has established an impressive level of influence in government, as evidenced by the smoking ban – one of the only political issues Tony Blair ever backed down on. There’s nothing surprising about this. A government as authoritarian as this one laps up the control-obsessed plans emanating from organisations like the BMA.
Now it’s going for alcohol. And yet alcohol is qualitatively different to tobacco. Firstly, it is not innately harmful. Secondly, it has positive and negative social and psychological consequences which cigarettes do not have (ie drunkenness). Thirdly, the argument that it affects the freedom of those not partaking in the drug is harder to make.
Everyone, deep down, understands John Stuart Mill’s central tenet of On Liberty; that we cannot take away someone’s freedom unless they are oppressing the freedom of someone else. That’s why the smoking debate so quickly rested on second hand ‘passive smoking’, the science of which, by the way, is deeply suspect when you analyse public spaces. With alcohol, the only defence available to health groups will be its societal effects, such as family breakdown and crime.
This is a problematic argument to adopt. Everything has a causal effect. The fact something has a ramification does not entitle you to define it as freedom-removing. Someone who really loves reading, for instance, might ignore his children for it. No legal ramifications follow from this.
Alcohol must be left alone. Not just because I enjoy drinking, although I do very much. Not just because it forms a vital part of Britain’s pub culture, which is not just about drunken fights in the street, but also about providing a vital social link, a basis for community, in Great Britain. And not just because alcohol’s negative effects on society are a product, not a cause, of other problems we have.
It must be saved because we need to tackle these arguments against harm at the root, on a philosophical level, and accept that there’s more to life than living for a long time. We also need to live well. Doctors must not become policy makers – any more than the drinks lobby should.

© Copyright: 10, Sep 2009 Politics