Smoking & Tobacco Articles

Tobacco related articles and smoking regulation in the USA. Interesting facts on cigarette smoking. Top tobacco news.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Debating Influence of Movies on Kids' Smoking

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The World Health Organization recommends slapping adult ratings on movies with scenes that depict smoking, an approach that some anti-cigarettes advocates believe could deter kids from lighting up.

Although WHO guidance is largely symbolic, and most nations have ignored it, supporters of controlling kids’ access to these images now say restrictive ratings could influence what movie makers are marketing to kids, according to their policy paper in this week’s issue of the journal PLoS Medicine.

In it, Christopher Millett, a public health expert at Imperial College London, and his co-authors from the UC San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, director Dr. Stanton Glantz, and consultant Jonathan Polansky, said that some governments provide “generous subsidies to the U.S. film industry” for movies that indirectly promote cheap cigarettes use in youngsters. They would like to turn that around with a policy that relies on economic disincentives, such as making sure that films that include cigarettes online use are ineligible for public subsidies.

However, others who are just as committed to reducing youngsters’ risk of cigarettes-associated cancer, heart disease and lung disease, don’t think there is enough evidence to demonstrate that controlling who gets into a movie theater can reduce the likelihood kids will become smokers.

Simon Chapman, a public health professor at the University of Sydney in Australia, and Matthew C. Farrelly, a public health policy researcher with RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., offered a four-part argument against the ratings.

First, they said, no one has definitively demonstrated that watching others smoke onscreen leads to more smoking among those in the audience. Furthermore, they said, most of the studies purporting to show that link are muddied by many other factors in kids’ lives.

“Movies showing smoking might have a lot more in them that might appeal to youth at risk of smoking than just smoking,” they wrote.

As a result, they discounted the strength of published estimates suggesting that 390,000 American youngsters smoke because of what they see onscreen, or that imposing adult ratings on films that include actors smoking would likely prevent 200,000 youngsters from becoming smokers. The figures fail to take into account that kids are drawn to smoking by far more than just what they see at the movies, they said.

Adult Film Ratings Don’t Shield Kids From Other Images of Smoking

A third element of their opposition to tougher ratings is that singling out the movie industry ignores the many other media that contain images of smoking, including the Internet.

On a more practical level, the two called adult ratings a “highly inefficient way” of shielding youngsters from depictions of smoking. Kids can easily do an end run around restrictions by watching movies at friends’ houses or downloading them either legally, or illegally, from the Web.

Finally, as a matter of principle, they objected to censorship of movies, books, art or theater as a means of tackling public health issues. Chapman and Farrelly suggested that censorship might turn off citizens and politicians who would otherwise support stricter cigarettes online control measures, such as blocking “commercial product placement by the cigarettes store industry.”

They suggested that movies and other media can promote not just the interests of government or policymakers but also act as a mirror and “reflect on what is in society.”

By JANE E. ALLEN, ABC News Medical Unit

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Armada Blue Cigarettes

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Armada Blue Cigarettes





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Monday, August 29, 2011

Armada Red Cigarettes

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Armada Red Cigarettes





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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Aroma Rich Apple Cigarettes

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Aroma Rich Apple Cigarettes





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Friday, August 26, 2011

Astru Non Filter Cigarettes

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Astru Non Filter Cigarettes





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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Atis Ardent Cigarettes

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Atis Ardent Cigarettes





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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Charlotte is test market for smokeless Cigarettes lozenges

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Bite-sized dissolvable “orbs” that look like breath mints and melt in your mouth are the cheap cigarettes industry’s latest attempt to fight falling U.S. cigarettes online sales.

Charlotte is one of two test markets for Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American’s newest products: dissolvable, smokeless cigarettes online lozenges that come as orbs, sticks or strips.

The products all contain less nicotine than cigarettes, between .5 and 3 milligrams instead of 12 to 15 milligrams. And, Reynolds spokesman David Howard said, they meet a “societal expectation.”

“There’s no secondhand smoke, no spitting and no cigarettes store butt litter,” Howard said.

But health officials still worry about the risks of smokeless options.

Smokeless cigarettes users may not get lung cancer, health experts say, but they risk mouth cancer, gum disease and tooth loss. Prenatal dangers for pregnant women also still exist.

“There are no safe cigarettes products,” said Dr. Matt Carpenter, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina who’s researching the effect of smokeless products on smoking habits.

Huntersville, N.C., resident Joey Hodge, who’s smoked for almost five years, sees the appeal of smokeless products that won’t be as tough on his lungs or make him smell like smoke. But the 20-year-old isn’t sold on Reynolds’s newest offering.

“They were definitely not the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted,” Hodge said. Plus, he added, the products “really didn’t do much” to satisfy his nicotine craving.

Hodge’s reaction isn’t the sort cigarettes makers are hoping for. As cigarette sales slide because of the health risks and social stigma, cigarettes companies are counting on smokers like Hodge to fuel the new smokeless market. The dissolvable products sell for about $2 for a 12-pack – comparable, Reynolds says, to its other smokeless products.

“They can enjoy cigarettes pleasure without bothering others and without having to leave the workplace, or the restaurant or the bar,” Howard said.

Analysts say new laws banning cigarettes in public places, like the ban on smoking in restaurants and bars that took effect in North Carolina last January, are among the factors driving a steep decline in cigarette sales.

“In recent years you’ve seen smoking banned in most states in most bars and restaurants. That kind of takes away the fun,” said Phil Gorham, industry analyst for investment firm Morningstar.

In its second quarter earnings report last month, Reynolds reported the number of cigarettes sold in the U.S. fell 4.4 percent. Gorham said companies like Reynolds can combat falling sales by increasing prices in the short term, but they’ll eventually need to diversify revenues.

While American sales of cigarettes drop 3 percent to 4 percent every year, the market for smokeless products grew 3 percent in 2009 and 7 percent in 2010, said Mary Gotaas, cigarettes industry analyst for researcher IBISWorld. This year, smokeless sales are expected to jump 8 percent, Gotaas said.

While Reynolds is testing its new dissolvables, Richmond, Va.-based rival Philip Morris has its own product in the works: a dissolvable cigarettes stick.

The growth of smokeless products worries some public health advocates who think the new products appeal to children. During the first round of testing, the orbs’ packaging resembled Tic-Tacs, creating concern that children might confuse them with candy, said Dr. John Spangler, professor of family health and community medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

For this round of testing, there’s larger packaging and new warnings. Packages now say “This product contains nicotine and is for adult cigarettes consumers only” and “There is no safe cigarettes product,” in addition to one of four required FDA warnings.

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the FDA is holding hearings exploring the implications of smokeless products. Right now, all cigarettes products must be age-restricted and kept behind the counter, just like cigarettes.

Warning labels on smokeless cigarettes products must cover at least 30 percent of the packaging and every product must carry one of four messages: “Smokeless cigarettes is addictive,” “This product can cause mouth cancer,” “This product can cause gum disease and tooth loss,” or “This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes.”

Howard said there’s no expectation that smokeless dissolvables will be regulated less strictly than other cigarettes products. But Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, one of 12 senators who called for the hearings, called dissolvables the latest way for cigarettes companies to stay “one step ahead of the sheriff.”

One issue on the committee’s agenda: the potential use of smokeless cigarettes products as quitting aids. Gotaas said that appeal is one of the factors driving smokeless sales.

Dean Torrance of Charlotte, a smoker for 20 years, has tried, and failed, to quit. She said smokeless products may be just what she needs. “I would like to be able to do smokeless to get me to stop,” Torrance said.

But doctors say there are safer ways to quit smoking. Both Spangler and Carpenter recommend their patients use tested and proven medications, such as nicotine replacement pills and patches, instead of other cigarettes products with unknown consequences that could keep them addicted.

Said Carpenter: “The very best thing that anybody can do for their health, if they’re a smoker, is to quit all cigarettes products completely.”

By Eleanor Kennedy

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Atis Dark Cigarettes

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Atis Noble Cigarettes

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Atis Noble Cigarettes





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Saturday, August 20, 2011

A legal history of smoking in Canada

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Smoking and cheap cigarettes laws in Canada have changed considerably over the last century. Here is a look at some key points in the evolution of smoking 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 cigarettes online companies

June 30, 2011

Nova Scotia and Manitoba announce their intention to jointly sue cigarettes online 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 cigarettes store 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes companies to recover health-care costs.

June 28, 2007

The Supreme Court of Canada upholds the 1997 Tobacco Act, which severely restricts cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes companies operating in Quebec. The lawsuits allege damages on the part of millions of Quebecers as a result of addiction to cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes council as well as Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans, Benson and Hedges, JTI-Macdonald, and a number of international cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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 cigarettes to post signs that read: “It is prohibited by federal law to provide cigarettes products to persons under 18 years of age. Il est interdit par la loi fédérale de fournir des produits du tabac aux personnes �gées 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 cigarettes products, regulates access to cigarettes, sets the rules for labeling and promotion of cigarettes products, and puts in place rules for enforcing cigarettes 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 cigarettes products in light of the risks associated with the use of cigarettes. It prohibits any person from selling or giving cigarettes to those under the age of 18. It also requires cigarettes 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 cigarettes 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

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Cigarettes Farmers in Transition to Sustainability

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As the American cheap cigarettes industry has fallen with the overwhelming evidence of smoking's negative health implications, the rise in international cigarettes online production competition, the mounting social taboo of smoking, as well a shift away from the government's Depression-era cigarettes online quota system of subsidies, cigarettes store farmers have had to come up with new ways to earn a living. This situation has, ironically, constructively contributed to the sustainable agriculture movement, causing some cigarettes farmers to convert their land and livelihoods into more sustainable enterprises that move away from growing cigarettes.

Sami Grover of Treehugger framed the transition for cigarettes farmers in a positive light concluding, "…it seems that the crises faced by many traditional agricultural sectors are also an opportunity for innovation. Given the potential for agroecology to increase global food production, it seems that the notion of 'get big or get out' is starting to feel a little out dated. 'Get nimble, or get out' might be more appropriate."

Organizations like the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) has played a significant role in facilitating this very type of innovation. Take for example, the previously cigarettes-centered farming community of Rockingham County, NC, which has come up with creative solutions that foster more enduring, sustainable local businesses that provide a substitute to cigarettes production.

Many farmers there have received assistance from RAFI's Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund (TCRF), a program that helps farmers build alternative sources of agricultural income via cost-share grants. The goal, they say, is to "keep farmers in farming." North Carolina farmers are eligible for $10,000 individual grants or $30,000 collaborative farmer project community grants. Priority is given to initiatives that offer opportunities for a new generation of farmers as well as those who made income from cigarettes during the time of the Master Settlement Agreement.

Piedmont Local Food (PLF) has been in partnership with RAFI through their TCRF program for two years, working as an online farmers market that brings in local growers and creates new markets such as restaurants and buying clubs for these farmers to sell their goods. This collaborative effort not only attracts economic opportunity to rural areas of the Piedmont Triad, but also helps cigarettes farmers to stay farmers:

One NC farmer who received a TCRF community grant was Paul Marshall of River Birch Vineyards, who organized the Triad Fruit Growers and set up a processing facility for local fruit producers to make juices and value-added fruit products to sell on the local market.

Worth Kimmel of Pine Trough Branch Farm, was a recipient of an individual grant and used the money to install a solar powered pump and fencing system that aids the rotational intensive grazing of his cattle.

As the American cigarettes industry has fallen with the overwhelming evidence of smoking's negative health implications, the rise in international cigarettes production competition, the mounting social taboo of smoking, as well a shift away from the government's Depression-era cigarettes quota system of subsidies, cigarettes farmers have had to come up with new ways to earn a living. This situation has, ironically, constructively contributed to the sustainable agriculture movement, causing some cigarettes farmers to convert their land and livelihoods into more sustainable enterprises that move away from growing cigarettes.

Sami Grover of Treehugger framed the transition for cigarettes farmers in a positive light concluding, "…it seems that the crises faced by many traditional agricultural sectors are also an opportunity for innovation. Given the potential for agroecology to increase global food production, it seems that the notion of 'get big or get out' is starting to feel a little out dated. 'Get nimble, or get out' might be more appropriate."

Organizations like the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) has played a significant role in facilitating this very type of innovation. Take for example, the previously cigarettes-centered farming community of Rockingham County, NC, which has come up with creative solutions that foster more enduring, sustainable local businesses that provide a substitute to cigarettes production.

Many farmers there have received assistance from RAFI's Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund (TCRF), a program that helps farmers build alternative sources of agricultural income via cost-share grants. The goal, they say, is to "keep farmers in farming." North Carolina farmers are eligible for $10,000 individual grants or $30,000 collaborative farmer project community grants. Priority is given to initiatives that offer opportunities for a new generation of farmers as well as those who made income from cigarettes during the time of the Master Settlement Agreement.

Piedmont Local Food (PLF) has been in partnership with RAFI through their TCRF program for two years, working as an online farmers market that brings in local growers and creates new markets such as restaurants and buying clubs for these farmers to sell their goods.

One NC farmer who received a TCRF community grant was Paul Marshall of River Birch Vineyards, who organized the Triad Fruit Growers and set up a processing facility for local fruit producers to make juices and value-added fruit products to sell on the local market.

Worth Kimmel of Pine Trough Branch Farm, was a recipient of an individual grant and used the money to install a solar powered pump and fencing system that aids the rotational intensive grazing of his cattle.

The USDA's Tobacco Transition Payment Program, also known as the "cigarettes buyout", which started in 2004 pays cigarettes producers and quota holders through 2014 to transition to other agricultural production or out of the cigarettes industry (these payments don't come from taxpayer dollars, but rather from cigarettes manufacturers and importers).

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Slow Recovery for Zimbabwe Cigarettes

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Sales of cheap cigarettes have fetched US$345.2 million (R2.4 billion) in Zimbabwe so far this year, with a seasonal average of US$2.78 a kilogram.

New small-scale and larger black growers now make up the vast majority of cigarettes online producers. Together with the few white farmers who remain on their land and some new younger white growers renting land from Zanu (PF) land invaders, they are now pushing production towards two-thirds of the annual output before the land grab began.

Zimbabwe Cigarettes

In 2004 there were about 4 000 mostly small-scale black cigarettes online growers and a handful of large-scale black cigarettes store producers.

In the 2010/11 season, industry insiders say there are about 47 000 registered growers. Among these are a few hundred black growers, also on land seized from white farmers, who are considered large-scale growers planting between 20ha and 50ha and producing world class leaf.

Banks will not lend to most new farmers because they do not have title deeds as security for the loans.

International cigarettes merchants advance money to growers and oversee production, often using evicted white growers as trainers.

"We were very good cigarettes farmers and it is in our interests for these new farmers to do well," says one former cigarettes farmer who lost his land in central Zimbabwe in 2003. "Our company lends many of these new farmers money. We watch and help supervise that crop from the beginning to the end because if we don't, and the farmer fails, then we will be out of jobs.

"The rules are changing. We used to insist we only assisted growers on undisputed land. But now the waters are muddied. All of us are asking fewer and fewer questions about who has the title deeds and we are just getting on with ensuring our growers do well.

"We know we will never get our farms back and we are just hoping for compensation… but I want to stay in Zimbabwe, it's my home, and I am proud of some of the growers."

He asks that neither he nor his company be identified.

Sharing the barns

Peter Garaziwa, 55, was a potato farmer in eastern Zimbabwe's mountains until 2004 when he was given white-owned land in a prime cigarettes area, Nyazura, south of his traditional home. This year, he says, he will have produced 32 bales of Virginia cigarettes produced on a farm known as Gazala.

He does not know what happened to the white farmer, and nor does he care, but says he uses barns built by the former owner to cure his cigarettes. "They are good barns, but we all have to share as there isn't enough space."

He is one of several hundred new farmers resident and producing on Gazala.

"This is my second year selling as I was studying how to grow it for a year before I started."

Most leaf grown by the new small-scale cigarettes farmers is lower grade cigarettes, and 50 per cent of the crop is bought by the Chinese Tobacco Company.

Before 2000 Zimbabwe regularly produced more than 220 million kilograms of cigarettes a year, most of it grown by white farmers. After land seizures the crop size fell each year until by 2009 Zimbabwe was producing less than a third of what it had regularly produced for 40 years.

Industry insiders said this year Zimbabwe would produce about 135 million kilograms, much of it by new farmers resettled on former white-owned farms.

Auction floors re-open

Farayi Kawadende is the information officer at Boka Tobacco, Zimbabwe's largest cigarettes auction, which has about 4 000 growers on its books. For the first weeks of the selling season it was selling about 6 000 bales a day.

"Good grades of cigarettes were going at US$4 a kilogram but the lower quality is selling for about US$0.80, which means hard times for those growers."

Boka Tobacco chief executive Rudo Boka recently reopened the company's auction floors, after a decade of difficulties and controversy following the death of her father, a staunch Zanu (PF) supporter.

"Many of those selling here are new small-scale farmers and so they have not done this before. First they have to register as growers with the Tobacco Marketing Board.

"Then they have to have file crop estimates and they need to book their cigarettes for sale," she says.

"It is tough at the beginning for them. And it has been hard for us too, but we are now able to pay the farmers on the same day their cigarettes is sold."

Boka says there are social consequences paying out thousands of dollars to peasant farmers coming to Harare to sell their crop. "Many of them have only occasionally been to the city before. So a lot of the wives come too, and not to shop. They come to be sure the money gets home."

Broke and borrowing

Not all of the new farmers are happy with the prices they received this year. A group of small-scale farmers, resettled since 2000 in Zimbabwe's top cigarettes producing area, Karoi, 200km north of Harare, say they cannot afford to grow cigarettes again because of poor prices.

"We didn't earn enough to plant again," says one. "We are broke and we can't borrow money, we are finished," says another, who prefers not to give his name.

This group of farmers aged between 28 and 45 were "100 per cent" behind President Robert Mugabe's land reform. "Without that we would never have got land, and we don't have much and only grow about 1ha of cigarettes, and that is very, very hard work."

These small-scale growers produce their crop with family labour. Traditional larger-scale producers say it will cost them about US$9 000 to US$11 000 per hectare of cigarettes.

"This crop will change and eventually I expect Zimbabwe will be like Brazil and Malawi where cigarettes is a small-scale crop," said a buyer from an international company.

Last season, 120 million kilograms were sold at the close of the auction floors. Some suspect that figure was boosted by South African growers who sneaked bales into the Zimbabwe sales to catch the high opening prices of more than US$4 a kilogram. Zimbabwe will probably earn more than US$350 million when the floors close in the next month or two.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

San Antonio Housing Authority To Ban Smoking Indoors And Outdoor

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To the list of places where smokers no longer will be able to light up � government buildings, parks, restaurants and bars � public housing residents in San Antonio soon will add one more: their own homes.

The San Antonio Housing Authority plans to impose a new policy in January that will prohibit residents from smoking indoors or away from designated outdoor spots at all 70 of its public sites.

The ban, which will affect about 15,800 residents, aims to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke and follows a growing nationwide trend to eliminate smoking at public housing authorities.

Since 2009, when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a directive that "strongly" encouraged housing authorities to adopt nonsmoking policies, the number of agencies that have banned the practice has more than doubled to an estimated 250, according to the Smoke Free Environments Law Project, a Michigan nonprofit that tracks the number.

San Antonio will become the biggest housing authority in Texas and one of the largest in the country to adopt a smoking ban, joining other major agencies in Boston, Detroit, Portland and Seattle.

"It's our responsibility to provide a living environment that's healthy, safe and comfortable and, frankly, your neighbor's smoke can often impair that," said Melanie Villalobos, a spokeswoman for SAHA.

The no-smoking rule will debut here in August or September at the newly renovated Lewis Chatham Apartments, a single, four-story building for the elderly on the South Side.

SAHA's other properties are expected to go smoke-free in January, but the details of how the new policy will work at each site, including the locations of designated smoking areas, remain undetermined.

Residents will be prohibited from smoking within about 20 feet of exterior doorways, and those who repeatedly violate the rule could face eviction.

The housing authority began putting out the word about the new policy earlier this year, opening the discussion at resident meetings and surveying tenants.

Later this month, the housing authority plans to launch an educational campaign about the hazards of smoking and secondhand smoke. Residents who want to quit the habit also can get free smoking-cessation aids such as patches and lozenges, provided through the agency's partnership with the American Cancer Society.

The housing authority put off a planned start date in July after studying how other agencies had dealt with the issue. Among the most important lessons was that residents were more agreeable to the change if they had time to prepare and received health information.

"The education campaign is the most important part," said Lori Mendez, the housing director for the elderly and disabled who has spearheaded the effort. "Residents need to understand the expectations."

Kids exposed to smoke

Many residents have yet to hear about the change, but so far the new policy has inspired a mix of strong support, ambivalence and anger.

A survey sent to all 6,029 households in January shows that a large majority of tenants support the no-smoking policy. Of the 200 residents who responded, 81 percent said they liked the idea, while 17 percent opposed it, and 2 percent said they had no opinion.

In some cases, smokers decried what they view as a violation of their rights.

"This is my house even though I'm receiving help from SAHA, and I should be able to smoke in my own home if I want to," one resident wrote.

Another resident who smokes on the balcony suggested forcing residents to go outside would put them at risk.

"It's dangerous enough at daytime. Understand that you will be putting people's lives in danger," the tenant wrote.

But many cheered the idea, and some smokers even welcomed the change as an inducement to help them quit.

Recent studies have shown secondhand smoke migrates into apartments through vents and air ducts.

According to a study published online in the medical journal Pediatrics in December, children who live in multifamily housing are exposed to secondhand smoke at greater levels than children living in detached houses, even in cases when no one smoked in their apartment.

The surgeon general has ruled that no level of exposure to cheap cigarettes smoke is safe. Every year, secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease among non-smoking adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And about 3,400 adults who don't smoke die annually from lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke, the agency says.

In public housing, the benefits of smoke-free homes may be more pronounced. Low-income children face higher rates of asthma and about 30 percent of adults smoke, compared with about 20 percent of those who live above the poverty level, said Donna White, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nationally, public housing is home to more than 1.2 million residents, including large numbers of children and elderly, with about 39 percent of tenants younger than 18, and 15 percent older than 62.

Rey Ramirez, president of the resident council at Westway Apartments on Culebra Road, said his elderly grandmother, who suffered from severe asthma and used an oxygen tank, had to contend with heavy secondhand smoke from a downstairs neighbor before she left the apartments because of health troubles.

"You can smell it � it's very, very strong," Ramirez said. "It's just common sense to get rid of it."

Smoke-free trend

The crackdown in public housing coincides with a stricter anti-smoking city ordinance that takes effect in August and prohibits smoking in all bars, restaurants and public places, including parks and bus stops.

It also comes at a time of increasingly aggressive public health initiatives launched by Mayor Julián Castro, who has overseen the city's new B-cycle bike share program and created a Fitness Council to look at new ways to encourage healthy living and spend $15.6 million in federal stimulus funds intended to reduce childhood obesity.

The national trend to go smoke-free in public housing puts agencies like SAHA at the forefront of a broader movement to take the fight against cigarettes online smoke into the private sphere.

Consumer demand for nonsmoking homes continues to rise, and more private landlords are learning that smoking bans make good business sense, said Jim Bergman, director of Smoke-Free Environments Law Project.

"Apartment owners are now recognizing that nonsmokers make up 80 (percent) to 85 percent of the adult population, and many smokers also don't smoke in their apartments because they don't want their clothes to smell," Bergman said.

In recent years, about 10 to 15 local governments in California have joined the movement, banning smoking in private apartment developments in their municipalities, he said.

California is the only state where local governments have adopted such ordinances. In Texas, few private landlords � less than 5 percent by Bergman's estimate � have gone to smoke-free apartments.

Health benefits for residents are the driving force behind the new restrictions, but non-smoking policies also reduce the risk of fires and offer financial perks.

Housing authorities can save more than six times the turnover costs to clean stained walls and window blinds and repair ducts and carpets damaged by cigarettes, according to a 2009 poll of housing authorities by Smoke-Free Housing New England. The cost of rehabilitating a nonsmoking unit is about $560, compared with about $1,810 for a light smoking unit and $3,515 where there was heavy smoking, the poll found.

But not everyone is convinced the housing authority will see much savings or success with the policy.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Something New From An Old Flame

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Faced with a growing crackdown on smoking, the iconic lighter brand is using its rugged, adventurous but trusted characteristics to extend its product lines.

The Zippo lighter has a CV to rival the most seasoned Hollywood actor. It has starred in more than 1200 TV shows, theatre performances and films including Die Hard, Indiana Jones and last year's release Buried.

The brand's global marketing director David Warfel insists Zippo has no paid-for product placement deals but has achieved fame through its iconic status built up over a 79-year history and the lighter's ability to perform on cue.

Yet this big screen success is bittersweet. While the company has garnered money-can't-buy exposure, each starring role continues to reinforce the brand as revolving around lighters.

This conflicts with Warfel's task since he joined Zippo three years ago, which has been to extend the brand's life beyond a single product. He is aiming to show global shoppers that the name can stand for more.

"The motivation for our diversification is the pressure on the cheap cigarettes industry and by association the effects on our business," explains Warfel.

Despite brimming over with all-American optimism, Warfel is realistic about the implications of the brand's association with smoking and the cigarettes online industry. As smoking becomes more of a taboo activity around the world, with countries implementing bans in public places, Zippo cannot afford to rely on its lighter alone.

"The crackdown on smoking is a global phenomenon and has forced us to support the position that the product is more than a cigarettes online accessory," he acknowledges.

"There is no doubt that our most common application is to light a cigarettes store product," he admits."But we have a valuable, highly recognised, positively perceived global brand. It is logical for us to extend into categories that are closely related to heat and flame but to also leverage it among other lifestyle products."

Those products include a range designed to light candles and camping fires, as well as personal handwarmers, pens, men's and women's bags, and, believe it or not, a men's fragrance.

The scent, says Warfel, is selling so well in Italy that demand has outweighed supply – despite initial scepticism from the media. It plays on the brand's "rugged, masculine" qualities and sits alongside Zippo men's accessories such as pens, wallets and small luggage.

Another equally seemingly tenuous brand link is Zippo's line of women's handbags, distributed solely in Italy. Warfel claims the brand, in a different typeface to the Zippo master brand, resonates in the Italian market.

The bag company already existed, Warfel explains: "After a while of challenging its use of our brand name, we thought: what the heck, we'll just buy it. We bought the company about 10 years ago and it turned out well because it brought us ahead when we wanted to extend our product line into leather goods."

Becoming an outdoor and lifestyle brand, however, is Warfel's main priority. He is realistic about going up against brands that already own this space, such as The North Face or Kathmandu, so he wants to position Zippo more around family campers.

"We are moving into products for the outdoors and I don't mean hard-core activities like guys who climb Mount Everest – that's not us," he insists. "We're more about recreational family products that are set around the campfire; products to get the campfire lit or firewood carriers. As we move into the home, hearth and patio sector, we are exploring products which support the patio environment, such as small flame heaters, and heat décor items such as tiki [bamboo] torches."

Warfel is upbeat about the challenge of carrying this all out without changing the brand itself or losing its traditional users.

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"In the markets where we have a longer history, such as Western Europe or North America, where there is a strong consumer perception that Zippo means 'lighter', it will be a little harder.

"The good news is our brand awareness is high, but you have to convert people from thinking vertically to horizontally. They need to recognise that Zippo makes good products, so if we introduce, say, writing instruments, those will be good too."

Warfel must balance exploiting brand heritage and nostalgia as well as moving ahead with Zippo's current brand strategy.

"There is a rich heritage I don't want to dismiss," he acknowledges. "We are fortunate that Zippo has become a brand with a personality. When people think of Zippo, they think of stories, of their grandfather, of movies, that all the tough guys in high school had our lighters. But I don't want to dwell on the past. I want to talk about the future and to be a hip, cool brand."

The way to achieving this has involved pulling together a tight, global strategy from what Warfel admits was previously "fragmented". He says the company's management were bold in deciding to move away from relying on their most successful product alone. "The onus for bringing me in was the company recognised the need to change the way they do things."

Zippo's recent marketing campaigns are a far cry from the cartoon print campaigns it used in the Fifties, blatantly promoting the product to smokers. Campaigns from the last decade highlight Zippo's lifetime warranty on its lighters and the environmental element of never having to replace it, compared with disposable lighters.

Zippo is chasing growth internationally, with key markets outside its American homeground including the UK, Italy, France and Germany. Emerging Eastern European markets are also vital, such as Poland, Russia and Romania. The importance of Asia can't be ignored; Warfel says China is its biggest market outside the US.

Warfel's media budget alters market by market: for example, the UK, US and China are very social media-oriented, while Italy and Eastern Europe still tend to favour high-impact print and TV campaigns.

Zippo is hoping to tie in all media elements for this year's global campaign to establish a link with live music, through concerts and music festivals around the world. The activity involves not just sponsorship but experiential elements such as photo booths where images are uploaded to the Zippo Encore music-themed website.

"We are using music as a way of speaking to our audience and to be where they are," says Warfel. "We are looking at a post-college male audience and research tells us that the one defining personality attribute is music. You can be into computers, extreme sports or fashion design, but everybody in this category seems to identify with music."

Despite the undoubted need for Zippo to face up to a future where the smoking industry is under greater pressure, the brand's core product still maintains its popularity. In the UK, 80% of Zippo's sales still come from lighter products and it's undeniable that for smokers with a lifelong habit, a Zippo lighter remains a desirable, even fashionable accessory.

When it comes to the stretchability of the Zippo brand, Warfel realises there is a limit, although he says there is no reason why well-selected extensions can't gain traction. He gives car marque Porsche as an example: "Why does this brand sell pens, wallets and sunglasses? They all conform to a design platform. Everything looks 'Porsche-y'. The pens are metallic and sleek. [Watchmaker] Montblanc has done a great job at this too – it also makes belts and briefcases, and in the store environment it all looks cool together."

In the lighter game, Zippo and Bic are probably the two names that first come to mind and the latter has had to face similar challenges to Zippo. But Bic's lighter business is surpassed by its stationery division, which brought in €127.7m (�112m) last quarter. However, Bic's budget, and even disposable nature, puts it in a different category from Zippo, Warfel claims: "You don't associate Bic with being a companion for adventure."

It is this link with adventure that Warfel is hoping will keep the spark alight for Zippo. Its success depends on whether consumers see the link with 'family recreation' and recognise the Zippo spark beyond lighters.

By MaryLou Costa

Marketingweek

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From Vogue Model to Crack Addict

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A FORMER model told yesterday how she was plucked from council estate obscurity to catwalk glamour – and ended up with a 600-a-day drug habit.

Deanna Ashby was talent-spotted at the age of 15 and became a top fashion model in the 1980s.

She was photographed by celebrity snapper Mario Testino and featured in Italian Vogue.

Deanna Ashby


And her likeness to Princess Stephanie of Monaco even meant she was mistaken for royalty.

But party girl Deanna enjoyed the high life too much. She spent 27 years battling heroin and crack cocaine addiction before quitting the modelling business and fleeing to Scotland.

She is now living in a two-bedroom rented flat in a deprived area of Glasgow’s east end and fighting a custody battle over her threeyear-old daughter.

Deanna has told her story to the Record to warn others about the dangers of drugs.

The mum-of-three said: “The two reasons I’m not dead now are probably because I had the money to pay for the drugs and I had to look after my children.

“At the height, I would say I was spending �600 a day on drugs for two years. I was the ultimate party girl – the life and soul of the party.

“My mum, who is the kindest woman in the world, told me I wasn’t her daughter any more.

“I want people to know how horrible it is.”

Deanna was 15 and living on a London council estate when her mum sent a photo of her to a competition to find new modelling talent being run by 19 magazine.


Weeks later, she answered the phone and was told she had got through to the last six.

Within months, Deanna was jetting all over the world, taking part in photoshoots with model Nick Kamen and appearing on giant billboards to promote boxer shorts by leading designer Paul Smith.

She was a regular in London’s top clubs and was often mistaken for Princess Stephanie.

Deanna said: “On one occasion, one of Princess Stephanie’s bodyguards paid me to pretend I was her, wearing the same clothes to fool the Press.

“It worked, but I felt bad when an old lady curtseyed to me in the street.

“I wanted to say to her, but it would have blown my cover as soon I spoke with my Cockney accent.”

When Deanna was 18, a bag of cocaine was left for her on the bed of a Milan hotel room.

She didn’t know what it was at first. But after dabbling in the drug, she quickly became hooked.

Deanna, 45, said: “I got a really nasty habit. My nose ended up falling apart as a result and my veins are shot.

“I was always thin, but the girls there were thin, thin, thin.

“Most of them didn’t eat. The girls who picked at bits of salad would all go and be sick in the toilets afterwards.

“It was a different world. In eight months of working, I had �21,000 in the bank, which was a lot of money back then.

“I was a size eight, but they’d say, ‘Deanna, you need to get a bit of weight off’.

“When I did, I got more work.” Deanna fell deeper into drugs and became trapped in a cycle of smoking crack cocaine and injecting heroin.

She said: “Now I think back on it, it is crazy.

“It was like a twin habit. I used to smoke crack to get high and then take smack to get down.

“It used to just be coke but then one night someone sprinkled some powder over my coke.

“That turned out to be heroin and that was me.”

At the height of her drugs habit, Deanna once smoked �1000 worth of crack in one evening.

She said: “I had crack psychosis and could see rats running across the floor. It makes your throat close up so the only thing you can do is suck an ice cube. Because of it, I now have severe asthma.”

Most of Deanna’s veins have collapsed because she injected them with heroin so often.

She added: “The combination of smack and cocaine in the syringe is called a snowball.

“People who take drugs often say they’ll never put a needle in their arm. But after a while it doesn’t work, you don’t get the same hit and the only way of doing it is through the bloodstream.

“It gives you the most unbelievable high and if you try it once, you want another one.

“So my advice is never to try any of it.”

As a top fashion model for the agency Models One, Deanna flew all over the world for photoshoots.

She did catwalk shows in Tokyo, New York and Milan and earned thousands of pounds for catalogue work.

Deanna also won a contract with L’Oreal and flew to Egypt and Kenya to take part in shoots for Freemans catalogue.

Her earnings meant she had the cash to buy top-of-the-range cars and a flat in trendy Ladbroke Grove in west London.

She was a regular at all the best parties and nightclubs and she featured in the gossip pages of newspapers.

Deanna even flew to Amsterdam once to buy specially cut diamonds.

When she fell pregnant with daughter Gemma at the age of 22, she quit the catwalk and became head booker for Models One.

Gemma’s dad is Karl Adams, the former Haircut 100 pop manager. A year after Gemma was born, the couple had another daughter, Zoe.

Even with two young children, Deanna’s career flourished.

She was in charge of bookings for top models including Jerry Hall and Naomi Campbell.

She also worked alongside her pal Davina McCall on the men’s booking desk.

Deanna, who was known as “the mouth from the south” because of her strong accent, said: “I loved being a booker and did it for about six years. I travelled to different countries and ended up running the desk.”

But while Deanna was doing well at work, her drug addiction was getting worse.

She ended up selling almost every material object she owned – including her diamonds from Amsterdam – to fund her habit.

Deanna had spells of rehab in the Priory and Clouds, the addiction clinic where Paula Yates sought refuge after the death of her partner Michael Hutchence.

But after she was released each time, Deanna went back on the drugs.

Eventually, she ended up in a Christian rehab centre in the Midlands where she met and married Glaswegian Ronnie Fullerton.

They settled in Reading, Berkshire, where Deanna fell pregnant with her youngest daughter, now three.

The family moved to Scotland to be closer to Ronnie’s family when their daughter was a baby.


The tot is currently living with her grandmother and father.

There is a custody hearing next month where Deanna hopes to win back her daughter.

The former model has been off heroin and crack for 18 months. She takes methadone to keep her on the straight and narrow.

Now, she wants to warn others about the dangers of addiction.

Deanna said: “Every day, when you feel down and want to go back there, you have to fight it. I think it is an illness I have.

“Now I spend all my money on filling my freezer with food and getting electricity cards. There is no money left for other things.”

She added: “I feel I have made mistakes but I’m where I am supposed to be.”

“I am lucky to be alive.

“I believe it is God who has kept me here.”

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