пятница, 29 января 2010 г.

Measure aims to prohibit sale of electronic cigarettes to minors

Frustrated by a lack of federal regulations governing electronic cigarettes, Arizona policy makers are taking the initiative to ban sales of the tobaccoless devices to minors.
Senate Bill 1053, sponsored by Sen. Carolyn Allen, R-Scottsdale, makes it a petty offense to sell, give or furnish the cigarettes to underage teens.
E-cigarettes, as they are called, resemble traditional cigarettes and emit a puff of nicotine vapor when inhaled. A major distributor, NJOY, is based in north Scottsdale.
The bill glided through the Senate's Committee of the Whole on Thursday. It must get final approval in the Senatebefore advancing to the House.
According to a Senate bill fact sheet, there are no federal regulations regarding e-cigarettes and they are not required to display health warnings like conventional cigarettes.
Jennifer Boucek of the Arizona Attorney General's Office said the danger lies in the cigarettes' ability to attract young people with flavors such as strawberry and chocolate.
"We believe children are at risk now," Boucek told The Arizona Republic.
Boucek said the Attorney General's Office proposed the idea to Allen, who could not be reached for comment. The law also prohibits minors from accepting or possessing the cigarettes, with fines of up to $300.
Despite efforts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to detain imports into the United States, a federal judge ruled earlier this month that distributors are free to import them. Electronic cigarettes are largely manufactured in China.
NJOY CEO Jack Leadbeater said the devices are for committed adult smokers only. The company has taken "numerous steps" to ban access of the products to young people, he said.
"We applaud taking steps to protect our youth, while maintaining appropriate access to the adult committed smokers," Leadbeater said.
An opponent of the bill, Rick Galeener, said he is tired of government regulations invading personal freedoms. Galeener, who smokes regular cigarettes, said he believes political correctness has gone too far.
The FDA has denounced the cigarettes as "highly addictive" due to their nicotine content. Public-health experts said that more should be done to regulate marketing of the products, which are mostly sold online and in shopping malls.
An analysis released by the FDA last year showed some samples of the cigarettes contained carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient found in antifreeze. The analysis has been disputed by distributors and users of the cigarettes.

среда, 27 января 2010 г.

OAP's fag savings go up in puff of smoke

A chain-smoker is battling with customs after they seized his year’s supply of cigarettes.
Widower Len Penman, 72, from Stantonbury, went to Adinkerke in Belgium and spent £800 on tobacco.
The 30-a-day pensioner bought 3,200 Superking cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars and three grams of Golden Virginia tobacco – within the legal importation limits.
But a customs officer at Coquelles accused him of wanting to sell the goods despite Mr Penman arguing that he was going to smoke them all himself.
Since the trip on June 17, friends have written letters attesting to his 56-year habit.
But correspondence from HM Revenue and Customs maintains that Mr Penman’s motive was ‘commercial importation’.
The former Wolverton Works vehicle maker said: “I bought the limit so I wouldn’t have to go back there for another 12 months.
“I saved up the money to get the coach over there. They told us how much we were allowed to bring back and I stayed within that limit.
“But the bloke at customs accused me of wanting to sell them. He said to me: ‘I don’t think you smoke’. I showed him the nicotine on my nails and he still didn’t believe me.
“I’ve written letters galore to them. I feel like the bloke who seized them should be up for robbery.” The former Transport and General Workers Union branch manager said he has been made to feel like a drug smuggler.
However, he cannot afford the appeals process which would mean an overnight stay in Dover and solicitors’ costs running into thousands of pounds.
The village of Adinkerke attracts tobacco tourists to stock up on cheap cigarettes but HM Customs can use their discretion in confiscating from those they believewill sell them.
Mark Lancaster MP, who has fought the case on his constituent’s behalf, said: “I was shocked that Mr Penman could have been treated in this manner having followed the guidelines to the letter. I have and will continue to do all I can to get to the bottom of this.”

понедельник, 25 января 2010 г.

Community reacts to governor's cigarette tax hike proposal

STATEWIDE -- It's something smokers just don't want to hear.
"The government should be out of our business and should stop telling people what to do and what not to do."
Those who want to light up may have to pay an extra buck in taxes for a pack of cigarettes. This as part of Governor Paterson's 2010-2011 budget proposal. The governor wants to hike up the cigarette tax from $2.75 to $3.75.
"It’s ridiculous, now they're raising it up a dollar everyone is going to quit"!
That's exactly the point the American Cancer Society wants to make.
"You know it’s hard to get excited for a tax increase in this economy. This is tax increase that New Yorkers can feel very good about its actually good for public health and financial health and it will help in three ways it will save money creating new revenue and it will save lives because it will get individuals from stop smoking or even starting and all of that money will go to offsetting the cost of health care, " said American cancer society regional vice president Diana Martin.
Businesses agree, some saying after the Governor's first cigarette tax hike they've seen more people opting to buy smoking cessation products.
" I've seen less people buying less cigarettes and more people quitting and trying to quit with Chantix and some of the other things that are available to them, " said Mobile clerk Sandra Blanchard.
The governor's cigarette tax increase proposal will help close the $7.4 billion budget gap the state faces by reeling in about $200 million each year in revenue.

пятница, 22 января 2010 г.

Philip Morris targets S.F.'s cigarette fee

In what has become a familiar scenario, Philip Morris USA has filed a complaint in San Francisco Superior Court over the city's new 20-cent fee tacked onto packs of cigarettes.
The move likely foreshadows a lawsuit - the second time in 18 months the tobacco giant will have sued San Francisco over its cutting-edge cigarette policies. The company said the city's first-of-its-kind ban on cigarette sales in drug stores including Walgreens violated its constitutional rights to advertise its products, but its claim was rejected in court.
Now, Philip Morris and some local retailers say the city's 20-cent charge on cigarette packs, the brainchild of Mayor Gavin Newsom that was implemented Oct. 1, violates state law because voters didn't approve it. The city argues that since it's a fee, rather than a tax, voter approval isn't required.
Newsom said the city completed an extensive study showing that it costs San Francisco $7.5 million every year to clean up cigarette butts tossed onto city streets - and that smokers should be the ones picking up the tab.
"Twenty cents a pack - that's what it costs us," Newsom said of the clean-up, adding he wasn't surprised by Philip Morris' complaint. "We anticipated this. I think they'll lose. They lose most of their lawsuits."
Newsom has long said he believes chewing gum is the real culprit when it comes to littering the city's streets, but he's not ready to levy a fee on packs of gum. Even in open-minded San Francisco, that would likely be a real, um, sticky situation.

четверг, 21 января 2010 г.

Burglars steal cigarettes, lottery tickets from store

Burglars broke into Pappy's General Store at 600 White St. in Bowmanstown early Tuesday and stole $300 worth of cigarettes and $2,700 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets, according to state police.
The store's video surveillance system shows two people dressed all in black with black backpacks and hooded coats throwing a rock through the front door around 2:15 a.m. They grabbed the cigarettes and lottery tickets and fled in an unknown direction, state police said.

понедельник, 18 января 2010 г.

Police blotter: Woman charged with shoplifting cigarettes

Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office

Lakelia Ann Dickey, 24, on Friday night was charged with strong-armed robbery, shoplifting and giving false information to police.

Dickey is accused of using force or intimidation to take a carton of Newport cigarettes from Walgreens, 2410 Reidville Road, on Oct. 30, 2009.

Armed robbery

Deputies are investigating an armed robbery that occurred early Saturday at Waffle House, 2230 Chesnee Highway.

An employee said a man wearing a "gauzy" mask that partially covered his face, gloves with fur lining, dark pants and a blue hooded sweatshirt entered the restaurant about 2:30 a.m. Saturday and demanded money.

The suspect, described as about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 240 pounds, held an arm behind his back as if he were armed, the employee said.

Witnesses said the man arrived in a white, four-door Buick and left in a gold, four-door Lincoln or Cadillac.
Spartanburg Public Safety Department

Report: Man hit with blunt object

A 47-year-old man told police that he was walking on Highland Avenue near Norris Street early Saturday when an unknown suspect hit him on the head from behind with a blunt object.

The victim said the assailant then hit him in the face with a stick or bat and went through his pockets but took nothing. The victim described the suspect as about 5 feet 9 inches tall, wearing black coveralls and a dark baseball cap. The victim said he heard two or three other people in the background but could not provide further information.

пятница, 15 января 2010 г.

Man brandishes shotgun, demands cash, cigarettes

A man brandished a sawed-off shotgun at a Redford pharmacy and demanded cigarettes and cash, according to Redford police.
The man walked into the CVS Pharmacy on Telegraph about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, a police spokesman said, and pulled the shotgun from under his coat.
The cashier complied, and the robber left in a silver, four-door vehicle.
Other incidents reported to Redford police include:
Two robbers were apparently familiar with operations at the Gold N Time Fine Jewelry when they stole three expensive rings from the store. One of them went into the store about 2:30 p.m. carrying a large wad of bills, according to police reports.
At his request, a salesperson brought out three diamond rings with gold settings. As the first robber was looking at the rings, another buzzed the locked door to gain entry. When the salesperson unlocked the door, both men fled with the three rings reportedly valued at more than $12,000 each.
Police said the robbers were apparently knowledgeable about the front door's locking system and were able to circumvent the system. They can't, however, circumvent the surveillance system, said police, who are reviewing the videos for clues.
A woman told police she was driving westbound on Schoolcraft near Inkster about 10:30 p.m. Sunday when her vehicle was tailgated by a vehicle containing three men. When she pulled into a gas station to avoid the vehicle, it followed her, police said, and three men wearing ski masks approached her vehicle — one carrying a silver handgun.One of the men demanded the woman's belongings, police said. When she did not comply promptly enough, one of them said, “Bitch, you think I'm kidding?” He then made a menacing gesture. The men escaped with her purse and other belongings.
A resident in the 9500 block of Inkster told police she returned to her home about 8 p.m. Sunday to find the front door wide open and the house ransacked. She said her diamond earrings were stolen along with $125 she had hidden. The intruder apparently broke a side window to get into the house.

понедельник, 11 января 2010 г.

EU to crack down on cigarette smuggling

Brussels is mobilizing itself to cope with smugglers of cigarettes, which are causing annual losses of around €7 billion. The dam on the road to the EU smuggling will be developed in Poland, where in 2009 authorities seized 750 million cigarettes, which is 100 million more than in the preceding year.
However, this is only the tip of an iceberg as Poland is also the main distribution center of cigarettes floating from the East to the European Union countries. The stakes are high as each successful shipment of a container of cigarettes with 100,000 packs means net earnings of zł.2 million for the smugglers.
"Tobacco products are on the top of the smuggling list in the EU. International gangs see it as more beneficial than drugs.
Profits are comparable, penalties lower, while there is social approval in some countries," said Piotr Dziedzic from the Finance Ministry.

среда, 6 января 2010 г.

Marijuana Use Rises Among Teens; Cigarette Smoking Lowest Since '75

Marijuana use among teenagers increased this year after previous declines, while the use of other illicit drugs like cocaine mostly declined.
According to an annual National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded survey of nearly 47,000 students, almost one-third of 12th-graders and more than one-quarter of 10th-graders reported using marijuana in 2009. Almost 12% of eighth-graders reported marijuana use, an increase from about 11% in 2008.
The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, asked teenagers to report on the use of smoking, alcohol use and drug use, including non-medical uses of prescription painkillers and over-the-counter cold and cough products.
The report showed cigarette smoking was at the lowest point since the survey started in 1975, although the use of smokeless-tobacco products increased on some measures this year.Daily cigarette use by 12th-graders was 11.2%, a slight drop from 11.4% in 2008, while any use during the past 30 days was 20.1%, also a slight decline from 2008. Smokeless-tobacco use during the past 30 days in 2009 was reported by 8.4% of students in 12th grade, up from 6.5% in 2008.
Researchers said one of the reasons smoking rates have declined is that the percentage of students who reported ever trying smoking has "fallen dramatically." For example in 1996, 49% of eighth-graders reported trying cigarettes, compared with 20% this year.
Alcohol use stayed about the same last year, with more than half of 10th-graders and about two-thirds of seniors reporting alcohol use in the past year.
The survey showed past-year use of cocaine decreased to 3.4% from 4.4% in 2008 among 12th-graders, along with declines in the use of hallucinogens and methamphetamine.
The use of over-the-counter cold and cough medicines to get high, however, edged up among all age groups, with 6% of 10th-graders reporting non-medical use of the products last year.
The annual survey also found continuing high rates of prescription-drug abuse, with almost 10% of 12th-graders reporting non-medical use of the painkiller Vicodin last year, the same rate as 2008. Almost 5% of high-school seniors reported using OxyContin for a non-medical use in 2009, a slight uptick from 2008.
Researchers said 66% of teens reported obtaining the prescription drugs from a friend or relative, while 19% said they received the drugs with a doctor's prescription, and 8% said they bought the drugs from a dealer.

понедельник, 4 января 2010 г.

Negeri Sembilan Customs Seize Cigarettes Worth RM685,056

Negeri Sembilan Customs officers intercepted a lorry after a two-kilometre chase in Terengganu on Tuesday and seized smuggled "kretek" (clove) cigarettes valued at RM138,816 on which duty of RM546,240 had not been paid.
Negeri Sembilan Customs director Mohd Kassim Ismail said they caught up with the lorry at Km79 of Jalan Kuantan-Kuala Terengganu near Kampung Meraga Beris in Kemaman at about 8am.
"Checks revealed that the lorry had a fake plate number and was laden with 8,680 cartons of kretek cigarettes of various brands," he told a news conference at Wisma Kastam here Thursday.
The lorry driver fled into some undergrowth nearby after realising the presence of the Customs officers, he said.