Saturday, March 28, 2009

20% of IL adults still smoke regularly

This article isn't old in a literal sense. But it is old if you count 2 weeks old an "old article."


Seems like despite a statewide smoking ban, 20% of IL adults still smoke, slightly above the national average of smokers (19 percent). That means the smoking rate in IL has actually gone up within the past year.

Me finds it VERY hard to believe (on the adult smoking rate going up in IL) based on the price of cigs around me. But I can't forget Chicago is likely the only town in IL where a pack was as high as 8 bucks in 2008. If I go outside of Crook County and downstate, a pack would likely be 4-5 bucks in the southern IL region.

Tobacco Shops preparing for the tax hike

A smoke shop that is planning to cut up to 9 workers when April comes. Sure does sound a LOT similar to smoke-free bars laying off workers due to a lack of customers.

It's sad to hear of even tobacco shops laying off workers and eventually some of those shops closing up shop in the long-term. But hey, you can thank the nation's first "colored" president for making those job losses happen.

If I was the first REAL bro for a President unlike him, I wouldn't have signed sh!t about making SCHIP a new law. Unless the funding of SCHIP included making alcoholics and fast food lovers pay more for taxes. The folks behind SCHIP would be filthy rich (in tax collections) if fast food lovers, the obese, and the alcoholics funded that program instead. There are more folks in those groups combined than smokers.

http://tinyurl. com/cuu5an

Tobacco shops brace for large tax increase
How do you feel about the higher tax?
Related article: Higher tax on tobacco to pay for children's health insurance
Saturday, March 28, 2009

DAYTON — Bob Fairchild, who oversees the Oregon Smoke Shop at 436 E. Fifth St., is taking the largest federal excise tax hike ever on tobacco in stride.

The tax increase, he said, may convince more people to roll their own cigarettes, though the tax on that type of tobacco also is increasing exponentially from $1.10 to $24.78 per pound come Wednesday, April 1.

Fairchild figures the business, which he describes as more of a pipe shop that doesn't sell large volume, might even benefit a bit when patrons of nearby bars see how much cigarettes in vending machines cost and look elsewhere for their smokes until the sticker shock wears off.

"Everybody's going to quit smoking when they're going to quit having sex," Fairchild said. "It's not going to happen.

"How many people stopped buying gas when it went up?" he said.

Other tobacco retailers are less certain. The percentage of Ohio adults who smoke has been gradually declining over the past 25 years, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Between 1984 and 2007, the percentage of men who smoked dropped from 31 percent to 24 percent, while the percentage of women who smoked dwindled from 26 percent to 22 percent.

The new tobacco tax could take a further toll on the smoking rate, and some local retailers are concerned it could be another blow to their business.

Ronald Houck, owner of the Wharf at 3464 Pentagon Blvd. in Beavercreek, is concerned the price hike will make his customers even more price-conscious and drive them to his biggest competitor, the Internet.

He's also concerned about the impact of sales on make your own (MYO) tobacco, which accounts for about a fifth of his business. Houck expects to lose 20 percent to 25 percent of his overall business after the tax takes effect, and said he'll cut about half of his nine employees. He also plans to convert part of his retail space into a lounge and charge people who come in to smoke.

Houck doesn't filter his criticism of Congress or of a proposal to raise Ohio's excise tax on tobacco products from 17 percent to 54 percent of the wholesale price, comparing such tax hikes on tobacco to Russia's pogroms.

"We'll survive it, but we're not going to be in very good shape when they get done," Houck said.

Mike Joo, part owner of the Smoke Stop chain of tobacco shops in Franklin, Huber Heights, Miamisburg and Germantown, said the magnitude of the federal tax hike puts his business in uncharted territory.

Some customers have stocked up on roll-your-own tobacco so they can hold off paying higher prices as long as possible, Joo said. Others have said they plan to quit.

"We hope the impact is going to be minimal, but it's all speculation at this point," he said.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program is a good program, Joo said, but "I think the cost should be experienced by everybody, not just people who use tobacco products."

Friday, March 27, 2009

IL may offer smoking ban exemption

(Article link at bottom)

Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye, 2009-03-25

Since Illinois' smoking ban went into effect 15 months ago, the law already has been amended once to clarify enforcement.

Now, Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, is seeking to make it even clearer.

Unlike Iowa, Illinois failed to provide an exception for religious ceremonies in its statewide smoking ban.

"If we can make our case to our members here why we're doing what it is what we're doing, there seems to be good support for it," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said opponents contend that federal law already addresses the religious exemption. . . .

A constituent and member of the Standing Bear Council, Larry Cooper came forward and told him otherwise. In fact, Cooper said he's been fighting for a religious exemption for more than six months prior to the ban's enactment. . .

Cooper, a member of the Chickamaka Cherokee tribe, took a copy of the act to the places where he intended to perform a ceremony, and tried to explain, but invariably the owners cited Illinois' state law.

"We've always had to bend," Cooper said. "The bending is over. I'm not bending for nobody. If they won't accept us there, we won't be there."

He said the Native American tradition always has been that tobacco is a sacred herb, whether it is burned or not.

Jump to full article:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My letta to a journalist


I'd like to respond to a quote from yourself that I read in a copy of an email reply you likely sent to a smoker.

"I agree with your statement that the government is made of of legal pushers, and would go even farther and say they are prostitutes for the tobacco industry."

If there are politicians who are "prostitute for the tobacco industry," it's a wonder why those politicians haven't been put in jail for engaging in illegal sex with tobacco reps. .

"Be that as it may, it still does not make cigarettes safe and healthy, and does not take away the fact that smoking is stupid and irresponsible, or has absolutely any social or economic benefits."

Well I know there are a lot of things in this world that have no social or economic benefits. Drinking too much alcohol isn't gonna help an intoxicated person make new friends. Drinking too much alcohol can also alter the alcoholic's behavior a lot more quicker than someone too many cigarettes. Never mind the fact someone spending say 30 bucks for 5 cups of beer iin a ballpark is just about as stupid as someone spending 50-60 bucks for a carton of cigarettes.

Gambling has no social and economic benefits either. A person who gambles away 500 bucks per month in a casino is just about as "dumb and stupid" as a smoker is to you.

I personally don't see the economic difference between someone gambling 500 bucks per week in a casino, and a smoker spending $2k per year on cigs. A gambler would actually be wasting more money than a smoker per year based on even gambling and losing 500 bucks per month. But I guess to someone like you, it's better for someone's health to waste 500 bucks per month in a casino compared to spending that money on cigs. If the gambler's yearly income is at a high level, and the gambler doesn't smoke or drink and avoids eating fast food per year, I can agree with a gambler at least wasting his/her money wisely compared to a smoker.

If there are any social benefits with gambling money, even I can't think of any. A gambler is a real type of person who would deny he/she has an addiction problem. As well as an alcoholic.

BTW, I know one way the government can stop being Big Tobacco's "prostitutes." They can look into banning tobacco sales and make tobacco in itself illegal. Why bother selling a product that's not (as you said) "unsafe and unhealthy?" Based on that logic, we need to stop selling everything that's unsafe and unhealthy, including banning alcohol.

Oh, I'm sorry. America already tried banning alcohol once, and it obviously didn't work. Because people still found a way to get their illegal drinks. I guess that means even if tobacco sales were banned and tobacco itself WAS deemed illegal in the modern USA, smokers would still find a way to even grow tobacco in their own backyard and make their own cigs.

If you don't believe someone would go as far as growing his/her own tobacco and make his/her own cigs (if I pretend tobacco is considered illegal for real), I'd suggest you oughta research those smoking advoacy sites you were already referred to. Making your own cigs and even growing your own tobacco are two things I never heard of til I read posts on those topics at the forum.

We all know about one leaf that's illegal, and weed is certainly unsafe and unhealthy for someone to smoke. But people still smoke it despite it being illegal. I guess those smokers are just about as stupid and dumb as tobacco smokers, right?

Politicians would need to find a new way to make money if tobacco ever becomes illegal at all. They can't fund SCHIP by banning tobacco sales, and they can't collect money off of smokers anymore as well. So that means a new group of Americans would have to make up for the loss of tobacco taxes (and fund SCHIP for that matter) by paying more for fast food in particular.

I actually heard of some areas in the US (if not across the whole nation) considering the idea of raising fast food taxes. If you think smokers are the only group that deals with paying high taxes at all, you're wrong. Gasoline tax increases is something else I recall hearing about recently. If a gasoline tax goes up, that would hurt nonsmokers financially too.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My "KIck CIgarettes" page has been updated

If anyone is curious in reading my review on the Kick Ultra Lights brand, you can view my updated "Kick Cigarettes" page. Of course, the link to this page is in the "Links" area of this page you're viewing.

Clicking on the Kick pic (at the top of my blog) will take you to the Kick Cigarettes page itself. NOT my page with reviews on the Kick brands I tried.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Duty-Free Tobacco Ban


EUROPE. European Travel Retail Council (ETRC) Secretary General Keith Spinks will address the key issue of a potential ban on duty free tobacco sales and the future of the trade in Europe when he addresses next month's ACI Europe Airport Trading Conference in Porto.

Hosted by ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, this year's event (20-22 April) centres on the theme 'Driving trends and strategies to maintain competitive advantage in a challenging trading environment' and will be held at the Alfândega Congress Centre in Porto.

Spinks will discuss the World Health Organisation' s (WHO) proposals to ban duty free tobacco sales through an extension to its tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The next round of negotiations on the treaty will take place at the end of June. The ETRC anticipates a proposal for an outright ban on sales of duty free tobacco products.

The ETRC said: "A duty free tobacco ban would have a hugely negative impact upon the airports industry and decimate duty free sales. The industry needs to come together and take action to ensure that the travel retail industry is recognised as a safe and secure retail channel."

Spinks will also address the future for the trade in Europe. The ETRC has been exploring how to establish a new regulatory environment that would recognise the unique nature of the duty free and travel retail channel across the EU. This would see airside retailing recognised as a separate market to the domestic market, and help prevent some of the problems the trade is encountering with issues such as merchandising or product labelling, the ETRC said.

"Spinks will also look at the recent steps taken by low-cost carriers to strictly enforce their single item hand baggage policy, and ask whether travel retail purchases should count as an item of hand baggage when boarding?

The keynote speaker at the Conference is BJ Cunningham, creator of DEATH Cigarettes, and other confirmed speakers include Duncan Garrood, Commercial Director, BAA; Peter Pullem, Managing Director, Lufthansa WorldShop GmbH; Jean-François Ninu, General Manager Travel Retail EMEA, L'Oréal; Peter Poungias, Director Commercial & Property, Hochtief Airport GmbH; Doug Benham, Associate Director, Macquarie Airports; Tony Wijntuin, Manager Retail, Hospitality and Services, Schiphol Group; and Luís Rodolfo, Director of Retailing, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal. The Moodie Report Deputy Publisher Dermot Davitt is among the moderators at the two-day event.

Silver sponsors of the event are Aelia, Lagardère Services and HMSHost, while exhibitors include McArthurGlen Luxury Retail/Collezioni, The Nuance Group, Media Lounge, The Change Group, Chauntry and American Express.

The event also incorporates the annual ACI ASQ (Airport Service Quality) Awards Ceremony and a number of social and networking activities, such as a Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A petition for stopping TV prescription drug ads

Here's an online petition I learned about.

A petition for stopping TV prescription drug ads

It may not be a petition related with smoking bans or FSCs. But it IS true Big Pharma makes a lot of prescription drugs that can affect a nonsmoker's health a lot more seriously than what smoking cigs will ever do to that person.

Big Pharma loves the idea of promoting their drugs to ex-smokers in particular. They like inventing lots of quit smoking medicine/gum/patches too which likely pose health risks.

Smokers Rights Newsletter: 3/20

The United Pro Choice
Smokers Rights Newsletter

March 20, 2009 - Issue #520

"There may be liberty and justice for all,
but there are tax breaks only for some."
- Martin A. Sullivan
Michael Siegel Evidence Mounting that Chantix May Be Associated with Suicidal Ideation and Behavior; Anti-Smoking Movement Plays a Role in This Possible Tragedy. By Michael Siegel.
Major Section of FDA Tobacco Legislation is Blatantly Unconstitutional and Will Be Struck Down; Bill Will Give FDA Seal of Approval to Cigarettes.
FDA: Bill Would Add Auto-Enrollment Feature to the Federal Thrift Savings Plan.

Apology: A Japanese doctor has apologized after saying that people should smoke themselves to an early death to save the country money on elderly care, according to his hospital.

Backlash: Doctors' boss likens smokers to pedophiles. NT Health Minister Kon Vatskalis is fervently anti-smoking but he rejected the idea. "We have enough difficulties recruiting health professionals to the Territory," he said. "Why would we place further restrictions on them?"
From The International Mailbag
The Canadian Smokers Rights Newsletter, read all the news.
Denmark:Sweet toothed smokers could pay for proposed tax reform.
Scotland: Shopkeepers count cost as cigarettes go under counter.
UK: Listen online, Freedom 2 Choose now has a radio show!
UK: FOREST 30th Anniversary and new facebook group.
UK: Double Standards as smoking ban is lifted for G20 leaders.
UK Video: By Phil Williams. With callous disregard for their own law that the government imposed on the UK populous, our leaders have decided to amend the smoking ban for the G20 summit. While they are perfectly happy to ignore the economic damage this ban has wrought on our hospitality trade (over 3000 pubs forced out of business), they now have the afront to amend the ban for themselves and themselves only.
From The USA Mailbag
KS: Hutch business owners flare over smoking ban legislation.
MI: Legislators Have Love/Hate Relationship with Tobacco.
OH: Perspective: Ohio ranks low on the freedom scale.
SC: Columbia. Huffing about ban on puffing in cigar bar.
SC: Smoking ban has become about property rights.
SC: The politics of public smoking: Lexington County.
WI: Cigarette tax unnecessary, unfair, unwanted.
WV: Bill would ‘fix’ mistake regarding smoking ban.
USA: ALERT: See the proposed state taxes increases.
USA: Stimulus Watch. Bill projects listed by state or territory.
The Slippery Slope After Tobacco
Aspartame and Diet Soda: HI asking FDA to Rescind Approval.
Barbie: WV lawmaker wants to ban Barbie dolls, and others.
Being Nude: In Thin Air of the Alps, Swiss Secrecy Is Vanishing.
Cameras: Snellville GA Suspends Red Light Cameras for 90 days.
Cellphones: Brain tumour link to teen cellphone use.
Facebook: How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer.
Internet: B.C. case could change Canadian web landscape.
Lunch: Parents' fury over 'mealtime Gestapo' at school which inspects lunches and confiscates junk food.
USA: 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.

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Illinois should be renamed "ILL-ANNOYS"

"ILL-ANNOYS" me with the high sales tax in Chicago.

"ILL-ANNOYS" me with new governor Quinn thinking about raising the state tax on cigs, and my mother would agree if we were talking about raising the price of license plates (anotha one of that "boy's" ideas).

A pack will be more than 10 bucks for sure in Chicago if Quinn raises the STATE tax and combined with the well-known fed tax increase.

I read lots of articles on the fed tax increase. Some media folks think a smoker will ask for a pack of say Marlboros, and when this smoker sees 6-7 bucks for the price, the smoker will say "You can keep the pack. I gotta quit smoking now."

If a smoker around me sees $10 for a Newport pack, that smoker won't botha buying it. He/she will buy LOOSE cigs instead. I know of one C-store that doesn't mind selling single Newports out of a pack. I guess selling individual cigs is illegal. But so is smoking weed and making love in alleys.

A smoker might still quit. But as one article puts it, serious smokers won't quit. The media should'vesaid serious smokers will buy individual cigs and packs in the streets.

But even the media wants to ignore the #1 thang a serious smoker will do. If you can't afford 10 bucks for a pack of Newports and you're from around me, you just do whateva it takes to get packs or even cartons.

The whole nation is talking about the cig tax increase albeit you gotta read online articles. But this summer, the nation will be talking about increased numbas of C-store robberies. That's one good reason to stock up now so a smoker won't have to go that route. But I know how certain folks around me think. Their version of stocking up on cigs will be different.

To them, a stock of cig cartons is gonna be like seeing $100 bills being stocked up on the shelf. Multiply that by 100-200 cartons in a C-store....even I would whistle at that amount of menthol cartons.