вторник, 25 августа 2009 г.

Oregon moves to block e-cigarette sales

The Oregon Attorney General's Office is suing an electronic cigarettes importer that sells plastic devices marketed as being safer than regular tobacco cigarettes.
Attorney General John Kroger filed the lawsuit Tuesday, the same day a county in New York banned sales of what's called e-cigarettes to minors; both moves are the first of their kinds in the nation.
Typically imported from China, e-cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes, down to their battery-powered glowing red tip. Instead of burning, e-cigarettes vaporize certain mixtures, which can include liquid nicotine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has not approved the sale of e-cigarettes, recently reported hat a test of 19 brands found more than half contained a cancer-causing substance.
Kroger has filed suit against Florida-based Smoking Everywhere Inc., which had refused state requests to restrict its sales, and its chief executive, Elico Taieb.
Meanwhile, Smoking Everywhere and a major importer, Sottera Inc., are suing the FDA in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., claiming the agency doesn't have the authority to regulate their product.
Smoking Everywhere has continued to operate in Oregon as the federal case proceeds, Tuesday's lawsuit contends. Kroger already has reached an agreement with Sottera, maker of the Njoy brand, to halt sales here.
"It's my duty to protect the public from products that are falsely advertised as safe," said Kroger, who has said that e-cigarettes' flavored options are a further concern as they may appeal to young people.

понедельник, 17 августа 2009 г.

Man pleads guilty to smuggling cigarettes abroad

MIAMI — Authorities say an American has pleaded guilty to smuggling more than 27 million cigarettes from the U.S. into some European Union countries.

Authorities in Miami say 57-year-old Roman Vidal pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud. They say he was trying to avoid paying more than $6.5 million in customs and tax duties.

They say he arranged to buy cases of cigarettes from Panama along with other cargo such as yarn and wood flooring to cover them up. Authorities say he directed the preparation of documents that declared only the cover materials, not the cigarettes.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 10.

Vidal's attorney didn't immediately return a telephone message and an e-mail.

вторник, 11 августа 2009 г.

Focus of cigarette laws is wrong

Recently I had the misfortune of sitting through the trial of a small business owner, charged because one of their employees sold a pack of cigarettes to a tobacco cop snitch. Using underage kids to try and entrap an unsuspecting clerk is a despicable act -I thought entrapment was illegal?

This was a three-day trial for one pack of cigarettes. What a flagrant waste of taxpayers dollars. We were appaled at the vindictiveness of the crown, who urged the judge to impose a $10,000 fine on a mom and pop operation.

The irony of this is what kid would be stupid enough to buy cigarettes for $10 a pack when they can get them for a fraction of this price on the street?

After further research I discovered that if an employee at the beer store sells to a minor they receive a letter of discipline, after the third offence they are fired. The liquor store, a government-owned business, is the same -a disciplinary letter and then the employee is fired. No one fines them, takes their licence away or threatens to shut them down when an employee has an off day or is overworked and mistakenly sells to a minor.

Why is the law different for stores that sell alcohol to minors? I've never heard of anyone under the influence of tobacco killing someone while behind the wheel of a car.

Incidentally, the store owner, who did not sell the cigarettes, was fined $4,000 plus court costs and lawyers fees.

Another example of justice served?

четверг, 6 августа 2009 г.

Cigarette smuggling brings $5,000 fine

A man smoked out by border officials with five cartons of undeclared cigarettes was smacked with a $5,000 fine Wednesday.
It was the fifth time 48-year-old Janusz Gorecki of Mississauga was caught attempting to smuggle goods into the country.
“That you would take this risk time and again is very surprising,” said Judge Joseph Nadel, in St. Catharines court Wednesday.
Federal prosecutor Darren Anger said the commercial truck driver was crossing the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge on Feb. 27 when customs officials ran his name and found he’d been subject to previous seizures.
They searched the truck and found five cartons of cigarettes in the well of the cab behind fridge unit.
Anger said Gorecki told officials the cigarettes were for himself and he could only buy the brand from Smokin’ Joes.
By hiding the cartons, he attempted to evade $215.51 in taxes.
The joint submission for a $5,000 fine was to deter Gorecki and others from smuggling, Anger said.
Gorecki was convicted and fined $2,700 in February 2007 while the other three prior incidents involved seizures only.
The judge said he felt bad for imposing such a large fine for a paltry offence but added it was Gorecki’s fifth attempt at smuggling.
“Prior lesser sentences have failed to deter you,” Nadel said.