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March 6th, 2012:

China’s Tobacco Monopoly Bigger by Profit Than HSBC, Wal-Mart

By Bloomberg News

March 6 (Bloomberg) — China National Tobacco Corp., the nation’s cigarette monopoly, may be larger by annual profit than HSBC Holdings Plc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to a rare release of the company’s financial data.

The state-owned tobacco company had net income of 117.7 billion yuan ($18.7 billion) in 2010 on sales of 770.4 billion yuan. Industrial Bank Co. released the figures in a statement late yesterday because China National Tobacco is buying a 5.2 billion yuan stake in the Shanghai-listed lender.

Authorities in China, home to a third of all the world’s smokers, have been criticized by groups including the World Health Organization for not doing enough to prevent tobacco use.

Critics say the tax revenue the government derives from the industry — more than $95 billion last year — has hindered efforts to discourage smoking.

“It would be better if they could also disclose more information about the health impact of their products, which we lack in China,” Wan Xia, a Beijing-based researcher at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences who is studying the effects of smoking in the country, said in a telephone interview. She said the figures released by Industrial Bank are the first she’s seen for China National Tobacco’s profit.

About 1 million Chinese die from tobacco-related illnesses every year, according to the WHO.

HSBC reported $16.8 billion of profit for its most recent fiscal year and Wal-Mart posted $15.7 billion. Figures for 2011 weren’t given for China National Tobacco.

18th Biggest

Its 2010 figures would make China National Tobacco the world’s 18th largest company by profit, one spot ahead of American International Group and just behind JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It would be the world’s 30th largest company by sales, just behind Allianz SE.

China National Tobacco made more in profit in 2010 than the combined total for Philip Morris International Inc., British American Tobacco Plc, and Altria Group, Inc., the world’s three- biggest listed tobacco companies, according to the figures.

China, the world’s most-populous nation is home to more than 350 million smokers. Almost three in every five men smoke.

The volume of cigarettes sold in China is expected to rise at an average 14 percent annually during the five years through 2015 to hit 1.8 trillion yuan in retail sales, researcher Euromonitor International said in a July report.

China has previously only disclosed annual sales and tax revenue figures for the tobacco industry and not specifically for China National Tobacco. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, which also runs China National Tobacco, said in January that the nation’s tobacco industry’s net income before taxes rose 22.5 percent to 753 billion yuan, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency.

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Aggressive Hermosa Beach outdoor smoking ban to begin

Hermosa Beach Mayor Howard Fishman

Mayor Howard Fishman lauds the city’s outdoor smoking ban on the Pier Plaza, one of the affected areas. Photo by Robb Fulcher

Hermosa Beach City officials and public health agency representatives gathered on the Pier Plaza to promote perhaps the most aggressive outdoor smoking ban in the region, which begins Thursday, March 1 (see map below).

The ban, approved by the City Council four months ago, nixes smoking at all of Hermosa’s outdoor dining areas, the popular Pier Plaza, the city pier, the Strand, the greenbelt parkway, and all city parks and parking lots. Smoking already is outlawed on the city-owned beach.

“With our outdoor lifestyle, the small minority who smoke in public places threatens the health and safety of the majority of our residents, visitors and workers who don’t smoke,” Mayor Howard Fishman said.

The ban will provide “a breath of fresh air” to diners, residents and visitors, Fishman said.

Violators of the ban can be fined $100 to $500, and after a third police citation, a misdemeanor criminal charge can be sought. Fishman said officials hope to avoid citations, and proponents of the ban have predicted it will be self-enforcing.

“Though California has some of the strictest laws in the nation regarding tobacco control, state law falls short when it comes to protecting the public from secondhand smoke in outdoor public gathering area. It has been left to cities to address this issue and to take necessary steps to more fully protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents and visitors from the well-documented harms of second and third hand smoke,” said Councilman Jeff Duclos, the city’s mayor pro tempore.

Public health officials have identified third-hand smoke as solid residue that settles onto furniture, clothing and other surfaces.

“We also cannot ignore that fact that the overwhelming majority of Californians – nearly 87 percent according to one report – are non smokers. They are entitled by law to full and equal enjoyment of public accommodations,” Duclos said.

“Something like 70 percent of smokers would quit if they could,” said Duclos, adding that the outdoor smoking ban could provide extra “incentive” to kick the habit.

Lisa Santora, chief medical officer of the Beach Cities Health District and a Hermosa resident, said she could now bring her 1-year-old son to the pier without subjecting him to possible health problems.

Santora, who is pregnant, said she could now dine on the Plaza without increasing the risk of a lower birth weight or premature birth for her unborn child.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am,” said Craig Cadwallader of Surfrider Foundation. “This has been a long struggle.”

Councilman Jeff Duclos speaks about the ban. Photo by Robb Fulcher

The ban was also backed by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-South Bay.

Banners announcing the ban were being hung on the Strand and throughout the city, and volunteers began carrying posters, table tents and coasters to restaurants with outdoor dining. County officials shouldered the costs of those materials.

Beer garden ban to stop social smokers

Extending smoking ban legislation to include areas outside pubs and bars could help to curb the rise of social smoking, says new research.

A study has found that while the number of people smoking has dropped overall, the number of people who smoke intermittently and describe themselves as ‘social smokers’ has risen.

Campaigners have described people who light up on pavements and patios as ‘anti-social’ and argue that introducing a smoking banon beer gardens could improve public health.

‘Introducing smoke-free outdoor bars could reduce social smoking by removing cues that stimulate this behaviour and changing the environment that facilitates it,’ says Professor Janet Hoek from the University of Otago in New Zealand.

During a study conducted at the University of Otago, researchers found that 12 out of 23 occasional smokers strongly supported the idea of banning smoking in outdoor areas, indicating that it would help them cut down or quit social smoking altogether.

Participants said that although smoking and drinking went ‘hand in hand’, they only smoked on nights out and considered themselves non-smokers.

‘This small study highlights some interesting points about what triggers social smokers to light up,’ says Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s Director of Tobacco Control, but more needs to be done to discourage smoking.

‘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.’

Mountain View City Council approves stringent smoking ban


Some Mountain View bar and restaurant owners tried to challenge a proposed new smoking law Tuesday night. They arrived at City Hall armed with a petition signed by 1,000 people.

The Mountain View City Council still voted 4-3 to ban smoking within 25 feet of outdoor patios and windows and doorways of work places.

Some smokers in a patio of the Mollie Mcgees Bar on Castro Street were trying to be sensitive to the concerns of non-smokers.

“We’ll all have to be outside in a parking lot or have to be walking up and down Castro Street smoking. None of us wants to do that, because we’re aware that smoking bothers some people,” said James Neal of Mountain View.

The John Akkiaya, the owner of Don Giovanni Restaurant located next to the bar, said he’s all for the ban.

“The people they see no smoking in the bar or the patio and they say ‘The hell with it. Let’s quit.’ And I hope a lot of people quit smoking because of that,” said Akkiaya.

At City Hall, about 20 people spoke their mind about the smoking ban. Both sides said it was a matter of individual rights.

“Everybody agrees second hand smoke is bad. I don’t think you will find anyone here who will disagree with that,” argued bar owner Rob Graham. “But the infringement of our rights as business owners and property owners, you’re creating this precedent.”

“I also have rights and I have the right to not have my life shortened by people who are using their rights,” countered Mountain View Judy Gordon.

The smoking ban will go in effect in 90 days and is essentially focused downtown Castro Street. Only people walking down the street and not stopping will be allowed to smoke.

Opponents said they will try to take this issue to the voters.

The vector of the tobacco epidemic: tobacco industry practices in low and middle-income countries

Download PDF : Lee Ling Glantz CACO Article Reprint

One month to go before tobacco display ban

The tobacco display ban will come into force for large retailers next month (image © Maree)

By Jon Whiteaker – 12:21PM – Tue 6th March 2012

With only a month to go before the enforcement of the tobacco display ban, all large retail stores are having to adapt their stores in time for the change in law.

On April 6th 2012 any retail stores larger than 3,013 sq ft (or 280 sq m) will have to keep all tobacco products out of sight of their customers, in an attempt by government to reduce cigarette smoking among young people, increase the numbers of those giving up and change attitudes to the habit.

Retail industry groups such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have criticised the move however, complaining that the new law is expensive for retailers at a time when finances are tight for many and that there is little evidence that the changes will have the desired affect.

Supermarket chains Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative and Waitrose have already been trialling the scheme, which the BRC estimates will effect as many as 6,834 shops and will cost £2,285 per store for the refitting alone.

Andrew Opie, Food Director at the BRC, also criticised the government’s suggestion that it may introduce plain packaging for all cigarette packages, which he argues make the impending law change pointless.

“Implementing the tobacco display ban is inconsistent, irrational and fails the government’s own better regulation principles,” Opie argued.

“It’s crazy to have forced large retailers to spend millions installing new shelves, introducing new signage and re-training staff while the same department is still considering new rules on packaging. If a decision is taken to go ahead with plain packaging, hiding tobacco products from view in store becomes irrelevant.”

Although Opie says that retailers are happy and willing to work with government to improve national health levels, he argues that the costs of the initiative will far exceed the official estimate of £2.4 million and in reality cost the industry around £15.6 million.

The government however has the support of charity organisations such as Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) and Cancer Research which argue that the law will help to cut down smoking numbers and be relatively easy for retailers to implement.

Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH, commented: “Despite the scare stories put out by the tobacco industry in the past, the countdown to implementation is going smoothly.

“Indeed many retailers have already covered up their displays and manufacturers are meeting the cost of adapting tobacco gantries with inexpensive covers, just as we said they would.

“In Canada and Ireland retailers found no short term impact on tobacco sales and no growth in smuggling. There’s no reason why it should be any different here.”

Smoking ban for outdoor dining

06 Mar, 2012 12:30 AM

The hospitality industry will eventually need to accommodate a ban on smoking in outdoor dining and eating areas, if proposed government legislation is introduced.

Minister for Health and Ageing John Hill said the move comes under an action plan to reduce smoking rates.

“One of the important things is to stop the take up of tobacco by kids and that’s really what it’s about, most people who start smoking start under the age of 18,” Mr Hill said.

“The tobacco industry targets children, that’s what they do, they’re an evil industry and I will do everything I can in public life to control them, I absolutely guarantee you that.”

Mr Hill said it was a concerted effort by the government to not only educate the public on the dangers of smoking but also ensure support systems were in place for smokers to kick the habit.

“The three things that we need to do to stop smoking is to have a very good social marketing campaign which we’re doing, put the price of tobacco up which the federal government has done and the third thing is take the glamour out of tobacco,” Mr Hill said.

Read more in Thursday’s edition of the Whyalla News.

Liverpool’s smoking ban widens

Crown Cafe owner Nufel Sarikaya says smoking bans will hurt business. Photo: ARMEN DEUSHIAN.

Crown Cafe owner Nufel Sarikaya says smoking bans will hurt business. Photo: ARMEN DEUSHIAN.

SMOKING in children’s playgrounds, sportsgrounds and skate parks will be the first public non-smoking areas after Liverpool Council approved a draft no smoking policy at its February 27 meeting.

The original policy came to the council in November and included a smoking ban in outdoor dining areas, bus shelters and taxi ranks.

The council voted to exclude these from the initial ban. However, they will be forced to include them when the state government’s strict new anti-smoking laws are passed in the next few months.

Under the laws, smoking will be banned in all outdoor dining areas by 2015.

Macquarie Mall’s Crown Cafe owner Nufel Sarikaya said the proposed ban would have a big effect on his business.

“There is no one sitting inside, they always like to sit outside and have a coffee and a smoke,” Mr Sarikaya said.

“People will still come, but I would say it will be down by 20 per cent.”

The mall’s Chocolate Room owner Diana Stefanovski said the government should focus on employment, education and health.

“I don’t think people will be willing to go somewhere else to smoke and then come back when they’re finished,” she said.

The council’s draft policy will go on public exhibition for the next 28 days.

Ottawa’s Smoking Ban makes impact on Gatineau’s bar scene

The City of Gatineau is once again forced to react after the Ottawa city council approved a motion, 21-2, to ban smoking in bar and restaurant patios. Beaches, playgrounds and parks among other locations will also become smoke-free after Canada Day.

“It is only a matter of time before a similar law is ushered into Gatineau’s City Hall,” said Éric Gaudreault, owner of Le Troquet – Bar and Bistro, which has two patios.

This seems like a déjà-vu for bars and restaurants owners in Gatineau, specifically for bars in le Vieux-Hull. On August 1, 2001 the City of Ottawa’s Smoke-Free Public Places and Workplaces Bylaws prohibited smoking inside bars and restaurants and in all workplaces and enclosed spaces open to the public. Yet, smoke still filled the air in bars and restaurants across the river, until May 2006. “It’s been there done that,” admitted Éric Gaudreault, referring to the 2001 anti-tobacco laws in Ottawa.

“There will definitely be an impact, more people will come to Hull,” admitted Gaudreault, “but it will not create line-ups or anything like that,” when asked if more people will end up in old Hull to light up. Frank Oliva, who worked as a bartender in Ottawa for over 5 years, agrees with Gaudreault. “People from Ottawa will definitely cross the river, especially on sunny days,” said Oliva, who worked at the DiESEL nightclub and the Earl of Sussex, which boasts one of the biggest patios in the ByWard Market.

While the number of smokers may rise in bars and restaurants in Hull during the summer days, Gaudreault isn’t getting too anxious. “I won’t be taking measures to prepare ourselves for having more clients,” said the owner of the Le Troquet. However, he does worry about a related problem. “A younger crowd does make its way here and hopefully they won’t be too much trouble on the patios,” added Gaudreault.

As for Oliva, he worries there will be too much smoke in the air, literally. “I think a majority of the people going to Hull will be smokers and it might make the patios too saturated with smoke,” said Oliva. “A few smokers on the patios aren’t a problem, but when there are a lot of smokers it gets unpleasant,” added Oliva.

In 2003, following Ottawa’s example, Gatineau had asked the Government of Québec to ban smoking in public places. With Gatineau city councillor Pierre Philion fighting to stop smoking on patios in Gatineau, it will not be surprising if they make a similar request. “Ottawa is usually the first to take decisions like this and if the law works why wouldn’t Gatineau follow suit?” said Oliva. The City of Gatineau will not be able to enforce similar laws until the province grants them permission since the public health is in the hands of the provincial government.

If a similar law passes in Québec, smokers might just transform their apartment and patios into smoking lounges and invite their friends over. “Due to the social aspect, I think people will always go out to bars,” said Oliva. “However, big smokers, those who don’t just smoke socially, might be tempted to stay home.” If you plan on turning your living space in a smoking lounge don’t be shocked to see your face become Jackie Child’s case.

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No smoke without fire: Cigarettes will cost one hundred million lives in UK unless current smokers quit

  • Royal College supports plain packaging for cigarettes on 50th anniversary of first smoking and health report
  • Cigarettes are 50% MORE affordable now than in 1965, they say

By Rob King

Last updated at 9:53 AM on 6th March 2012

One hundred million years of life will be lost in the UK unless smokers give up their habit, experts are warning.

On the 50th anniversary of its first report on smoking and health, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) says more than a fifth of the population still smokes.

With smokers losing an average of 10 years of life each, a hundred million years of life will be lost, it says.

The body believes the cost of tobacco should be raised, claiming that cigarettes are 50 per cent more affordable now than they were in 1965, despite being heavily taxed.

But calls for more legislation have been criticised by a smokers’ group, who say smokers are ‘treated like lepers and vilified’ for their habit.

Audrey Hepburn (right) lights up in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, watched by George Peppard (left) and Martin Balsam (centre). The Royal College of Physicians wants ‘unnecessary’ brand images for tobacco removed from films and TV programmes

Half of people who smoke are known to die from their habit.

The RCP published its first report on the issue in 1962 and has updated its findings for a one-day conference today.

More than six million people have died as a result of smoking since 1962 but at least 360,000 deaths have also been prevented owing to there being fewer smokers overall.

The RCP will today discuss ways to cut the number of smokers further, such as making cigarettes more expensive.

Real prices are undercut by discounting, small pack sizes and illegal supplies, it says.

The RCP wants ‘unnecessary’ brand images for tobacco removed from films and TV programmes watched by children and young people, and supports a move towards plain packaging for tobacco.


Furthermore, it wants the smoking ban extended to parks and other public areas, while saying children should be legally protected from smoke in cars and homes, and there should be mass media campaigns on the dangers of smoking.

Nine out of 10 smokers do not use the NHS to help them quit so the RCP wants to reach those people with better services.

Chair of the RCP tobacco advisory group, Professor John Britton, said: ‘Smoking is still the biggest avoidable killer in the UK.

‘Smokers smoke because of an addiction to nicotine that is usually established before adulthood.

‘There is so much more that can and should be done to prevent the death, disease and human misery that smoking causes.

‘Our Government needs to act at the highest level to tackle smoking head on, and eradicate it from our society and particularly our children’s futures.’

RCP president Sir Richard Thompson said: ‘This important conference marks another milestone in the RCP’s efforts to reduce unnecessary deaths and disease from smoking.

‘I hope that in another 50 years smoking, like slavery, will have passed into history.’

On the day the report was published Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told ITV Daybreak that there needed to be continued pressure to reduce the number of smokers.

Andrew Lansley told ITV Daybreak that there needed to be continued pressure to reduce the number of smokers.

Andrew Lansley said there needed to be continued pressure to reduce the number of smokers

‘There are still about eight million people in this country who smoke, it is still the largest avoidable cause of death,’ he said.

‘Fifty years after the smoking and health report, I will be joining the RCP today again and we will be making clear that we need to continue the pressure to reduce the number of smokers.

‘It is actually often about ensuring that we help those who want to give up smoking.’


A campaign showing the damaging effects of invisible second-hand smoke will be among a raft of measures introduced by the Government to cut the number of deaths.

More than 80 per cent of smoke cannot be seen but the campaign, to begin later this month, will feature TV, radio and newspaper adverts showing the fumes and how children can be exposed to them.

In a speech at the Royal College of Physicians, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will say today that the Government will not stop its battle to cut the number of smokers.

Supermarkets will be forced to remove tobacco displays on April 6 and all other shops will have to end them in April 2015.

The Government will begin a consultation on whether to ban logos and introduce plain packaging for tobacco in the spring.

Mr Lansley said: ‘There are no two ways about it – smoking kills. And our aim is simple – we must reduce rates of smoking.

‘I remember when it was acceptable to smoke anywhere, at work, on trains and in planes.

‘It’s easy to forget that wasn’t too long ago, and how far we have come. But we must do much more.

‘More than eight million people continue to smoke despite stark data that shows it kills half of smokers and around 90% of lung cancer deaths in the UK are caused by smoking.’

Smoking on the London Underground was banned in 1984, tobacco advertising was prohibited in 2002 and smoking in pubs ended in 2007.

More than 80,000 people die from smoking diseases every year.

He added: ‘We will be conducting a campaign to support people realising that second-hand smoke is not only something we need to get rid of in public places but it is something we need not to expose other people to in our own homes and cars as well.

‘I am not proposing legislation to go into people’s homes and cars and control what they do.

‘But I do hope that people will respond to that campaign because actually we are getting a very good response to our stop smoking services.

‘We have got the best stop smoking services locally in the world.’

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said: ‘There has been a seismic shift in attitudes to smoking since the early 1960s when the majority of adults smoked.

‘However, one in five Britons still smokes and around 200,000 children start smoking every year.

‘Although a great deal has been achieved, more still needs to be done, particularly to stop children getting hooked.

‘Putting tobacco products out of sight in shops will help but we also need to stop the marketing of tobacco via the packs.

‘Plain packaging of tobacco products is the logical next step to put an end to tobacco marketing and we look forward to the forthcoming Government consultation on this issue.’

Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said: ‘The authors of the first report on smoking and health were right to draw attention to the risks associated with smoking.

‘Regrettably, since 1962 education has been replaced by coercion and smokers are now treated like lepers and vilified for their habit.

‘Intolerance and scaremongering have replaced legitimate consumer information and common sense has given way to illiberal legislation designed to force people to give up a legal product.

‘Adults have a right to make informed choices about smoking, eating and drinking.

‘The 50th anniversary of the RCP report is an opportunity to remind politicians of their responsibilities in a liberal democratic society.’

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