Daily Archives: May 12, 2009

Star Scientific Files First Quarter Financial Report

Net sales for first quarter 2009, which totaled $.15 million, were essentially unchanged compared with fourth quarter 2008 net sales of $.15 million. The company believes that sales of the company’s dissolvable smokeless tobacco products, Ariva and Stonewall, were adversely impacted by an increase in the Federal Excise tax on tobacco products contained in the SCHIP legislation, which became effective April 1. Wholesale and retail operations were reluctant to maintain inventory on hand beginning in late February, in an effort to minimize taxable inventory as of the April 1 effective date. Early second quarter sales data appear to indicate that dissolvable tobacco sales have rebounded as wholesale and retail inventories are being restocked. Star Scientific had a net loss of $5.2 million for first quarter 2009 compared with a $5.5 million loss for first quarter 2008.

Fight Against Tobacco Consumption in Zambia Stepped Up

THE Tobacco Free Association of Zambia (TOFAZ) has resorted to the use of performing arts in its campaign to discourage the cultivation and consumption of tobacco.

CIG WAR BURNS OUT

Despite its having been touted as a way to close budget gaps, city and state officials have backed off plans to crack down on the $1.6 billion black market for cigarettes.

Nicotine may prevent bioterrorism damage

British scientists say they’ve determined nicotine can delay the effects of ricin used during a bioterrorism attack.

Ban everything? What is next?

Nolan points that banning something legal is a recipe for disaster.
“What is next? Do we ban the use of trans fats from restaurants? They are a contributor to obesity and other harmful illnesses. Maybe they will have to ban farming, since that is very harmful to employees (according to a 2008 Penn State University study ‘agriculture is consistently among the most hazardous occupations in the United States.’) and you could keep adding to that list,” said Nolan. “What about mining? There is evidence that supports that mining is hazardous to the workers health and we are not talking about banning mining.”
But Nolan and others who are opposed to a 100 percent ban also see the state’s dependency on tobacco tax revenue being another challenge to the passage of an all-out ban without exemptions.
Currently, Michigan residents pay a $2 Michigan tax on every pack of cigarettes and 32 percent tax on other tobacco products, generating $1.1 billion in revenue for the state.
“The tobacco industry contributes millions to the state annually and a complete ban without exemptions will greatly impact Michigan’s budget,” said Nolan. “I think we are close to a smoking ban, but unless there are exemptions it is going to be tough. With a state hurting financially legislators I have spoke to have said the smoking ban is not a priority at this time.”

Tobacco firms’ 40 lobbyists put popular proposals at risk

Where there’s smoke, there’s hires. In this year’s legislative session, tobacco interests have retained 40 lobbyists – including seven former lawmakers – to influence proposals to limit cigarettes and change taxes on smokeless tobacco.

Philippines Effort to Cut Smoking Goes up in Smoke

The campaign against smoking, which kills close to 90,000 people a year in the Philippines – on a par with the number of deaths in natural disasters or conflicts – is becoming a losing battle.

Chances Bright for Legislation Seeking FDA Regulation of Tobacco

After 15 years of debate, tens of millions spent on lobbying and a roller-coaster legislative history, public health advocates say they believe Congress is finally ready to regulate tobacco — and their opponents privately agree.