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March 1, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has blocked the federal government's plan to require cigarette manufacturers to cover half of each package sold with a graphic health warning. In his ruling, issued late Wednesday, Leon said the government mandate amounted to an "impermissible expropriation of a company's advertising space for government advocacy. " That decision confirms a temporary stay issued by Leon in November - a move that signaled his view that a suit brought last August by several tobacco manufacturers against the Department of Health and Human Services would likely prevail.
December 23, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
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.
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.
June 22, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots Blog
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday unveiled a group of graphic images and messages that will cover the top half of every cigarette package in the United States starting in fall 2012. FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post said graphic images meant to warn of tobacco's health hazards would appear on cigarette packs beginning this fall. They will appear on packs beginning in fall 2012. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said her agency estimated that the new campaign could induce as many as 213,000 established smokers in the United States to quit in its first year.
April 25, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it will act to ensure the government's right to impose marketing, manufacturing and safety restrictions on "electronic cigarettes," a nicotine delivery device widely billed as an alternative to cigarettes for those trying to quit and for smokers who can't light up. In a letter posted to the FDA's website Monday, Dr. Lawrence R. Deyton, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said...
March 25, 2011 | By Andrew Zajac, Washington Bureau
It's not often a tobacco company gets released from government regulation without asking. But that's apparently what happened to Star Scientific Inc. after it asked the Food and Drug Administration to treat two versions of its smokeless, dissolvable tobacco lozenges as "modified risk" because they contain lower levels of carcinogens than other tobacco products. The FDA responded that the products aren't considered smokeless tobacco at all and don't come under the 2009 tobacco law, according to a Star Scientific announcement on Wednesday.
March 18, 2011
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel says the removal of menthol cigarettes from the U.S. market would benefit public health. The agency's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee on Friday said the minty smokes hurt public health and offer no benefits. It was unclear whether the panel is recommending an outright ban of the cigarettes that are a key area for growth in the shrinking cigarette market. Many panels like the tobacco committee advise the FDA on scientific issues.
March 9, 2011 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
LONDON — Britain's Department of Health announced a ban on displaying cigarettes in stores around the country on Thursday, the nation's annual "no smoking day. " The action relegates cigarettes to a product kept below the counter. The new law will be introduced gradually, according to a statement from the health agency. It says that in large stores and supermarkets, the visible display of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco products will be illegal from April 2012, while in smaller stores it goes into force in 2015, "except for temporary displays in certain limited circumstances.
February 27, 2011 | By Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner who announced his retirement earlier this month, will kick off a state ballot initiative campaign in Los Angeles on Monday for a measure that would direct hundreds of millions of dollars toward cancer research by levying an additional $1 tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Organizers of the initiative known as the California Cancer Research Act, which was spearheaded by former state Senate leader Don Perata, gathered more than 433,000 signatures last year to qualify for the next statewide ballot, which is scheduled for February 2012.
January 20, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Individual states are failing "miserably" in their tobacco control efforts, trailing even the attempts of the federal government, according to the American Lung Assn.'s State of Tobacco Control 2010 report released Thursday. While the federal government has begun implementing the tobacco control policies made possible by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the Food and Drug Administration new powers to regulate tobacco, states have taken little new action to prevent or control smoking, instead diverting the vast majority of antismoking funds available under tobacco settlements to address general budget deficits instead.
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