The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Tobacco Trends in Next Five Years

by Scout
Director, National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

Examples of the 17% of cigs that don't have appropriate tax labels.

Hey y’all, we’re at the closing plenary of the CDC tobacco conference listening to Dr. Andrew Highland give an update of tobacco trends over the next five years. Let me try to match this guys speedtalking with some speednotetaking, ok? (and mucho gracias to him for the visuals in this post).

Tobacco Trends in Next Five Years

  1. More taxes! Currently my tiny home state, lil Rhody, leads the country in cig taxes with a lovely $3.46/pack tax. But… seems like we’re behind the world on average and sincethey’ve found this is one of themost effective tools to help motivate folk to quit, we’re gonna see more and more. Now if they’d just also use the money for cessation, or even just public health bans.
  2. More tax evasion and illegal cigarette commerce. Interesting concept, eh? The speaker gave the example that if he took the rear seats out of his minivan then loaded it with cigarettes from a tax free state then took them to NY, he’d clear about $25k in one run. And as he noted, the penalties are relatively minor. In fact, in a recent study they found that 17% of a representative sample of submitted cigarette packs didn’t have their appropriate tax stamps.
  3. More clean indoor air policies – again to reiterate the main point of the recent Institute of Medicine report, passing a good clean indoor air policy alone can disappear 1/5 of the heart attacks in the region. This is big, and how big it is is relatively new news to the health arena, so look for more work to get these strong policies passed everywhere.
  4. More comprehensive tobacco programs. We know they work, one example was in the 1st 15 yrs of CA tobacco control (ack, he changed the slide, what were those numbers??),

    Example of a store before and after retail ad ban.

    it cost oh (trying ot remember) about $11B and saved about $86B. (<- don’t quote me on that, but the proportions are close, and were those really Bs? Not Ms? I think so.)

  5. Quitting? Quitlines are cost effective, but most folk quit unaided. We should encourage quit attempts, reduce social acceptability of smoking, and focus on clean air policies. Pricing and clean indoor air policies are by far the most cost effective of all cessation activities.
  6. Youth smoking? Little evidence that school based education alone is effective. Little evidence that youth restrictions alone are effective. Policy changes affect youth too, in fact youth are more price sensitive than adults so we should really focus on this tool.
  7. FDA? Light and mild being banned this month. New labels coming in this month. They will also be ramping up enforcement all across the country. But… states can and still should be doing old-fashioned tobacco control. Limiting tobacco outlets and tobacco advertising is still a wide field of opportunity.
  8. What does this all mean for state tobacco control programs? Each state should have clean air, high prices, and a comprehensive program. But after that, there’s a lot of room to get creative. States can limit number of tobacco outlets; limit where ads are placed in a retail setting; and eliminate buy-one-get-one-free offers – these steps may really curb smoking. But, get your warchest in order because there will be legal challenges from you know who.

    Example of how the tobacco companies will convey "Light" cigs without using the newly banned word.

    (<-maybe some of the taxes should be set aside for the legal challenges.) What does the industry think of retail ad bans? Precedent from out of the U.S. shows they will counter with “research” showing ad bans promote organized crime and black market sales. (ask me for the link to the website they’ve created about this “research”, I’d prefer not to put it here.)

Some odd notes

  • On the coming ban on “Light” and “Mild” labeling. The industry is likely to replace the wording with things like “Ultra Smooth” or, in something that’s been shown to be effective, change their box colors so the lighter colors indicate the former “Light” cigarettes.
  • Check out “Urban Wave” on youtube or FB to see some examples of how the industry is creating ‘stealth’ marketing opportunities.


  • We’ve gotta think BIG! We still have 430k tobacco deaths/yr. We know lots of what works; high prices, clean air, and comprehensive programs all work! If you’ve got all that, explore the creative options beyond that. Look at this as an investment in your future, the payoff can be very large in terms of lives and cost-savings, and the faster you do it, the faster the payoff begins.

June 10, 2010 Posted by | CPPW | , , | 1 Comment


Good Morning…


There has been so much great information shared at this conference. One of the sessions that I went to talked about MPOWER. This is another common term that is tossed around … like MAPPS this is another acronym that has been identified as a key strategy for our work… Older than MAPPS but still a commonly used acronym for our work…


Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies

Protect people from tobacco smoke

Offer help to quit tobacco use

Warn about the dangers of tobacco use

Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and Sponsorship

Raise taxes on tobacco

The presentation addressed Local Responsibility and noted local governments have a statutory responsibility to address tobacco use as a dominant threat to the health of their communities, especially among vulnerable populations such as:

  • Those experiencing tobacco-related disparities
  • Youth
  • Persons with lower levels of education
  • People with substance abuse issues

With that being said I wanted to share some points that focused on Aligning MPOWER policies and local public health accreditation domains

1. Monitor health status and understand health issues facing the community.

●● Local surveillance and analysis of tobacco use prevalence.

2. Protect people from health problems and health hazards.

●● Educate and inform decision-makers about the research on comprehensive clean indoor air legislation and enforce it when implemented.

3. Give people information they need to make healthy choices.

●● Use paid and earned media to educate and inform regarding the dangers of secondhand smoke, especially for children, lactating mothers, and people with compromised cardiac or respiratory health.

4. Engage the community to identify and solve health problems.

●● Develop or support community partnerships to address tobacco use.

5. Develop public health policies and plans.

●● Work with community partners to develop a county plan to address tobacco use including the adoption of evidence-based policies such as expanding smoking restrictions.

6. Enforce public health laws and regulations.

●● Conduct enforcement procedures with tobacco retailers to reduce unlawful tobacco sales to minors.

7. Help people receive health services.

●● Provide training and coordination among all healthcare providers in the county to promote brief cessation interventions and referrals.

8. Maintain a competent public health workforce.

●● Support the attendance of LHD staff at state and national tobacco control conferences and trainings.

9. Evaluate and improve programs and interventions.

●● Ensure that each tobacco control component is being evaluated and is helping the overall program achieve its goals and objectives.

10. Contribute to and apply the evidence base of public health.

●● Publish the results of local tobacco-related surveillance and program evaluation in peer-reviewed journals.

These are some of the main points I wanted to share with you all to digest at the moment hope I did not throw too much at you…


June 10, 2010 Posted by | CPPW | Leave a comment


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