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US politician seeks cigarette packet change

The governor of Virginia has written to Taoiseach Enda Kenny urging him to reject proposals to introduce plain cigarette packaging. In a letter three days ago, Governor Bob McDonnell said there were other proven ways to regulate the industry based on “sound science” and without undermining “the great Irish business environment”.

The governor’s letter seen by The Irish Times made the case that both he and Mr Kenny had a mutual interest “in fortifying our economies” and said the initiative may undermine Ireland’s reputation as a country in which intellectual property rights are fully protected.

The intervention of the governor, whose state is a major centre for the tobacco industry, marks an escalation of US lobbying against plain packaging. Four senior congressmen wrote six weeks ago to Ireland’s Ambassador to the US, Anne Anderson, urging the Government to scrap the proposal.

The signatories included Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House of Representatives judiciary committee, as well as Howard Coble and Tom Marino, chairman and vice-chairman of the subcommittee on courts intellectual property and the internet.“We are increasingly concerned that the Irish parliament may mandate plain packaging of tobacco products,” they wrote.

“The US and Ireland are friends and strong trading partners. We encourage your government to consider more effective ways to regulate tobacco that do not jeopardise intellectual property rights.” Mr McDonnell of Virginia played up his Mayo connections as he urged Mr Kenny to reject plain tobacco packaging. “I bring you greetings from the people of Virginia,” he wrote last Tuesday. “I have enjoyed our several meetings in Dublin and Washington to share stories as sons of County Mayo!”

He argued that the packaging proposal will be very harmful to certain businesses and farmers in Virginia, without naming any. Again without naming anyone, he said “I have recently been briefed” on the proposal and said it may affect Ireland’s reputation as a country where intellectual property rights are fully protected.

Mr McDonnell, a Republican, leaves office next month at the end of a term blighted by controversy over his family’s receipt of lavish gifts from a businessman. Once a rising star of the party, last July he repaid a wealthy donor more than $120,000 in loans to his wife and a business he owns with his sister.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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Smoking Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Increases Risk of Lung Cancer

Smokers of Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Are at Greater Risk for Lung and Oral Cancer Than Smokers of Regular and King-Size Cigarettes, According to Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Global Tobacco Control

“We found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes have higher concentrations of tobacco specific carcinogens in their urine than smokers of regular or king size cigarettes,” said Constantine Vardavas, MD, senior research scientist, Harvard School of Public Health.

Vardavas and colleagues compared urine tests among 3,699 smokers of regular, king-sized and long or ultralong cigarettes using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 2007-2010. Smokers of king-sized cigarettes accounted for 53% of total smokers, smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes constituted 31.5%, and smokers of regular-sized cigarettes made up the remaining 15.4% of the smoker population. They found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes had significantly higher levels of NNAL — an indicator of tobacco-specific carcinogen — in their urine. In addition, researchers found that older smokers, non-Hispanic blacks, and females had a greater tendency to smoke long or ultralong cigarettes.

“While the significant risks of smoking are well known and accepted, very little information exists on the health risks of different sizes of cigarettes,” said Darcy Marciniuk, MD, FCCP and President of the ACCP. “This study indicates that there is an added risk to those smoking long and ultralong cigarettes.”

CHEST 2013 is the 79th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 26-31 in Chicago, Illinois. The ACCP is the global leader in clinical chest medicine, representing 18,700 members who provide patient care in the areas of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of the ACCP is to promote the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. For information about the ACCP, visit the ACCP website or follow the ACCP on Facebook and Twitter and the meeting hashtag, #CHEST2013.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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