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February 21st, 2012:

Philip Morris turns to Kraft as general counsel resigns

21 February 2012 | By Yun Kriegler

International cigarette and tobacco company Philip Morris International has appointed Kraft Foods general counsel Marc Firestone to head its legal department as current general counsel David Bernick resigns.

Firestone has been the executive vice president, corporate and legal affairs and general counsel of Kraft Foods since 2006. During his tenure, he oversaw the US food conglomerate’s £11.5bn takeover of British chocolate maker Cadbury in 2010 (19 January 2010).

It will not be the first time that Firestone has held a position at Philip Morris. He joined the tobacco giant in 1988 and assumed various senior roles, including senior vice president and general counsel, prior to joining Kraft Foods in 2003.

Kraft Foods has named Gerhad Pleuhs as Firestone’s replacement, effective from April. Pleuhs currently serves as deputy general counsel at Kraft.

A recent filing by Philip Morris to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed that Bernick recently informed the company of his intention to resign effective from 30 June 2012.

PMI’s CEO Louis Camilleri stated in an internal announcement: “I regret to inform you that David has concluded that his ambitions would be best served by pursuing other attractive avenues available to him.

“I wish to take this opportunity to both acknowledge David’s accomplishments and thank him wholeheartedly for the significant value he has brought to Philip Morris since he joined us in March 2010. His contributions to the function he leads and to numerous Philip Morris strategic priorities, not least of which included the invaluable insights and creative work on our Next Generation Products, will endure for years to come.”

Prior to joining Philip Morris in March 2010, Bernick was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, where he served for 31 years and was a member of the firm’s management committee for over 15 years.

The document also indicated that Bernick will receive CHF4.1m (£2.8m) as his annual incentive compensation award for 2011. In addition, he will receive a payment of CHF1.45m (£1m) for agreeing to not compete with the company for 12 months.

gardens ban ‘would help smokers quit’

21 Feb 2012

Banning smoking in pub gardens would cut cigarette use by discouraging people who only light up when they drink, according to research.

Campaigners said that a ban on smoking outside bars and pubs could improve public health, and described people who smoke on patios and pavements as “anti-social”.

Most “social smokers”, who only reach for a cigarette while on a night out, support the idea of extending smoking ban legislation to cover such areas, according to academics.

Ash, the anti-smoking campaign group, said the idea of an outdoor ban would be worth investigating if evidence emerges that it can help occasional smokers.

Their comments came after researchers at the Otago University in New Zealand found 12 out of 13 “social smokers” that they interviewed strongly supported extending anti-smoking legislation.

The interviewees said that although smoking and drinking went “hand in hand”, they considered themselves non-smokers because they only lit up on nights out.

The academics, writing in the journal Tobacco Control, concluded that introducing a policy of smoke-free bars would help social smokers quit by “changing the environment that facilitates it”.

Martin Dockrell, of Ash, said there was currently no evidence available that banning smoking in pubs’ and bars’ outside areas reduced social smoking.

However, he noted: “In New York there are plans to limit smoking in some outdoor places.

“It will be interesting to see if it has any effect on occasional smokers.”

Paul Barlett, a councillor in Stony Stratford near Milton Keynes, who is trying to get the town to go smoke-free, said: “Whatever we can do to discourage smoking has to be encouraged.

“If there was a move to stop smoking outside bars and in pub garden I would support it.”

He argued those who lit up in such spaces were being “anti-social”, particularly if there were children about.

Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “This small study highlights some interesting points about what triggers some social smokers to light up.

“Given that a quarter of all cancer deaths are due to tobacco, Cancer Research UK believes one key measure that would reduce the attractiveness of smoking would be to remove all branding and colourful designs on packs.

“This would reduce the appeal of tobacco to young people and increase the impact of health warnings on the packs.”

Dame Helena Shovelton, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation said: “The BLF could consider supporting this call for legislation but more research needs to be done to find out if it would make a difference to people’s smoking behaviour.”

However, Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ lobby group Forest, said: “This study can’t be taken seriously: it’s based on just 13 people.

“Aside from that, the smoking ban was brought in allegedly to protect bar workers. Banning smoking outdoors would have nothing to do with that.

“I would also query that social smoking, having the odd cigarette, is an unhealthy activity.”

Anti-smoking campaigners are keen to extend the ban on smoking in public places.

Last November the British Medical Association called for a law to ban smoking in private cars, arguing there was strong evidence that it could be dangerous to others in the vehicle.

The Welsh Government is looking at the idea, as well as another to ban smoking in children’s playgrounds

Outdoor dining smoking ban for NSW

Smoking bans are to be put in place at playgrounds, public transport stops, entrances to public buildings and sports ground s in NSW. Source: AdelaideNow

ANTI-tobacco laws just got tougher in NSW with bans to be put in place at playgrounds, public transport stops,entrances to public buildings and sports grounds, with outdoor dining to follow.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced today that while the public smoking bans will be put in place as soon as they pass through parliament, possibly within a couple of months, the commercial outdoor dining areas will not be introduced until 2015.

Currently some council areas have some of these smoking bans in place but the new tobacco reforms – as part of NSW Tobacco Strategy 2012-17 – will now be uniform across the state.

“The aim of this is to reduce the number of people who are smoking and to reduce the exposure to people, particularly children and families of third-party tobacco smoke,” Ms Skinner said.

The NSW Heart Foundation backed the reforms.

Outdoor smoking bans

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“This is an historic moment in our State’s history and one that will help to protect the thousands of people in NSW who don’t smoke,” NSW Heart Foundation CEO Tony Thirlwell said.

“There is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke evidence shows that a non-smokers exposure to second-hand smoke can result in up to a 30 percent increase in risk of heart disease,” he said.