CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — Let's begin with the basics: Tobacco companies are inherently evil. They peddle poison that causes cancer and addicts people to their killer products. Second, smoking is nuts. Smokers know that. Spare the lectures. Can't stop, they say. Nonsense. Millions have. They'll stop eventually when the nurse thrusts the ventilator tube down their throat. I've been blessed. Never smoked. But for much of my generation, lighting up was a rite of passage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2012 |
Reporting from Sacramento -- The proposal is simple: Raise taxes on cigarettes to pay for cancer research. The push for it is quintessentially Californian, melding celebrity salesmanship and the whims of state voters, who have increasingly been called on to decide key policy questions. The pitchman for Proposition 29, which will appear on the June ballot, is seven-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, who is asking voters to increase taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $1. On Wednesday, he announced a $1.5 million contribution from his Texas-based foundation to the Yes on 29 campaign.
December 23, 2011 |
Amid the slew of college football bowl games over the next two weeks is a controversy over whether such games should be sponsored by tobacco companies. Health groups are speaking out against Camacho Cigars' involvement at the 2012 Discovery Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The company will have cigar smoking lounges at the game and other fan-related events as part of its three-year sponsorship deal with the Orange Bowl Committee. In a letter to the Orange Bowl Committee and the NCAA, leaders from 10 health organizations -- including Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Cancer Society -- bowl officials were asked to cancel the contract with the cigar company.
November 8, 2011 |
A federal judge has blocked the government from requiring tobacco companies to begin placing images of diseased lungs and cadavers on cigarette packages, saying the health warnings violated the firms' 1st Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, in a 29-page ruling Monday, granted the preliminary injunction because he believed there was a "substantial likelihood" the cigarette companies ultimately would win "on the merits of their position that these mandatory graphic images unconstitutionally compel speech.
August 17, 2011 |
In choosing a passel of new graphic warning labels that the U.S. government would have cover half of every cigarette package sold, officials of the Food & Drug Administration wrestled with one of the central questions of any public health campaign worth its salt: Would the warnings get a rise out of smokers? If the reaction of five of the nation's largest manufacturers of tobacco products is any indication, they will. On Tuesday, five of the nation's six largest tobacco manufacturers sued the U.S. government to block the new requirement that graphic warnings cover half of every pack sold by October 2012, calling the ruling a violation of their free-speech rights.
July 21, 2011 |
Tobacco company rep David Howard waxes enthusiastic when he talks about a new product his employer, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., has developed: a pellet of finely cured tobacco, binders and flavoring that dissolves in the mouth in 10 minutes. Under test market in two U.S. cities — Denver and Charlotte, N.C. — Camel Orbs will join two dissolvable tobacco lozenges already on the market if it graduates to broader distribution. And Howard is optimistic it will. "These products provide smokers with an option to enjoy the pleasure of nicotine without bothering others," Howard said.
June 27, 2011 |
Cigarette packages in the U.S. are about to be emblazoned with graphic, bordering on gory, images highlighting the dangers of smoking. But what really irks one tobacco giant is the prospect of gory but plain (i.e. brandless) labels, an anti-smoking measure about to be launched in Australia. Philip Morris Asia has threatened to sue the Australian government, saying its plan would hinder the company’s ability to differentiate its products from other brands, according to media reports . The Australian government counters that taking away brand-name appeal would cut down on smoking rates in the country and save money on healthcare. The proposed laws, which would take effect in January, would require packaging to be a drab, olive green color with standardized font and colors for brand and product names.
March 18, 2011 |
Despite evidence that menthol cigarettes are a significant factor in the rise of smoking among adolescents, a federal advisory panel on Friday stopped short of recommending a ban on the cigarettes. Instead, it urged further study of the issue, which suggested that the Food and Drug Administration would ultimately pursue more modest action, such as marketing restrictions aimed at reducing access for the young. The panel's long-awaited report on menthol cigarettes was met with a collective shrug from several tobacco companies, whose potent political and legal power could delay any new restrictions for years.
January 7, 2011
Cigarette makers do a lot more than shred tobacco and roll it up in thin sheets of paper. A December report by the surgeon general's office outlined a host of changes that tobacco companies have made over the years to render smoking easier to start and harder to quit. For instance, vents and other filter designs make the smoke feel less harsh even though it does the same damage. A bigger, quicker hit of nicotine means faster addiction. Strange to say, though, the government knows very little about these changes or when they took place or precisely what they entailed.
January 7, 2011 |
By late March, tobacco companies will have to reveal to the Food and Drug Administration what sorts of new additives they've recently put in their products. But the ruling doesn't apply to electronic cigarettes, whose makers are locked in legal battle with the FDA. Meanwhile, the e-cigs are starting to gain a pop-culture foothold – in the fall film “The Tourist,” actor Johnny Depp extols the devices’ virtues to Angelina Jolie, and Katherine Heigl showed up recently on the "Late Show with David Letterman" smoking the e-cigarette indoors.