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Tobacco Companies

NEWS
August 17, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
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.
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HEALTH
July 21, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
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.
NEWS
June 27, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
NATIONAL
March 18, 2011 | By Andrew Zajac, Washington Bureau
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.
OPINION
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.
NEWS
January 7, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
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.
NATIONAL
January 5, 2011 | By Andrew Zajac, Washington Bureau
By late March, tobacco companies must begin telling the Food and Drug Administration about new additives and other alterations to most of their products ? enabling the agency to weed out ingredients that make cigarettes and other products more addictive or more harmful. The FDA was directed to collect the information by the 2009 Tobacco Control Act, and on Wednesday the agency offered guidance to the industry about the kind of details it's looking for. Tobacco products "are the only mass-consumed products in which users don't know what they're consuming," Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said in a telephone briefing.
OPINION
January 1, 2011
Smoking remains a particularly awful habit. Not only is it the leading cause of premature death in the United States, but it directly harms people who don't even touch it. All they have to do is be in the same vicinity as a smoker. Overeating is a national problem too, but there's no such thing as secondhand Twinkies. So it's heartening to hear that the results of a state survey, released in December, show that adults in California are less likely to smoke than adults almost anywhere else in the nation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 2010 | By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times
In the last two weeks of the campaign, oil companies have poured millions of dollars into promoting Proposition 26, a measure on Tuesday's ballot that would require a two-thirds vote, rather than a simple majority, for the state Legislature and local governments to assess many fees on business. Proposition 26 proponents, including the California Chamber of Commerce, tobacco and alcohol companies, as well as oil companies, call their effort the "Stop Hidden Taxes" campaign. Environmentalists and green-tech promoters, who have responded with millions of dollars of their own, call the initiative a "sneak attack" and "Prop.
NEWS
October 18, 2010 | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The FDA's deliberations over a possible ban on menthol cigarettes have touched off a firestorm of debate within the African American community, and among public health groups divided about how to wean black consumers from their heavy dependence on cigarettes spiked with the minty flavoring. On Monday, the debate among African American organizations burst into the open after the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP ,  joined ranks with the anti-smoking group, the American Legacy Foundation , in calling for a ban on menthol as a cigarette flavoring.
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