May 2012 | Cigarettes for Sale Online | Premium Blog

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Role Of Exercise In Life Expectancy, Smoking Cessation


Exercise may help smokers to quit and remain smokefree, according to new data presented at the World Congress of Cardiology. Moreover, exercise increases life expectancy in smokers and non-smokers alike.

The study of 434,190 people who went through medical examination program at a private fee-paying company between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan revealed that active smokers (those engaged in at least moderate activity) were 55 per cent more likely to quit smoking that those that were inactive. Furthermore, these active smokers were 43 per cent less likely to relapse than smokers that were inactive.

Physical activity among these subjects was also shown to increase life expectancy, even among smokers. Smokers that participated in physical activity had an increased life expectancy of 3.7 years and a reduction in all-cause mortality of 23 per cent - equivalent to levels achieved by ex-smokers with low activity levels. The results also demonstrated that active ex-smokers increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years and reduced their all-cause mortality by 43 per cent - equivalent to the levels seen in inactive non-smokers.

"Exercise can help smokers to quit and quitting smoking has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing CVD and that must be the goal of all smokers," said Dr. C.P. Wen, National Health Research Institute, Taiwan. "If smokers can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all cause and for CVD in the long run."

The prospective study of 434,190 individuals in Taiwan was conducted over a period of 12 years. Leisure time physical activity of each individual was grouped into 1) Inactive, 2) Low active (15 minute/day), and 3) Active (30 minute/day).

Tobacco use and cardiovascular disease

Smoking is one of the major causes of CVD and directly responsible for one-tenth of all CVD worldwide. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as people who have never smoked. Moreover, second-hand smoke exposure is responsible for 600,000 deaths every year.

A person can substantially lower their CVD risk by stopping smoking. Within five years of becoming a non-smoker, a person's risk of having heart attack is halved and within 15 years the risk of developing CVD becomes nearly the same of someone who has never smoked.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Famous TV, Movie and Show Biz People smoking











Lives Lost Due To Global Ignorance Of Tobacco's Harm To Cardiovascular Health

A report released at the World Heart Federation World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai reveals significant gaps in public awareness regarding the cardiovascular risks of tobacco use and secondhand smoke. The report, entitled "Cardiovascular harms from tobacco use and secondhand smoke", was commissioned by the World Heart Federation and written by the International Tobacco Control Project (ITC Project), in collaboration with the Tobacco Free Initiative at the World Health Organization.

According to the report, half of all Chinese smokers and one-third of Indian and Vietnamese smokers are unaware that smoking causes heart disease. Across a wide range of countries, including India, Uruguay, South Korea and Poland, around half of all smokers - and over 70 per cent of all Chinese smokers - do not know that smoking causes stroke. Awareness of the risk of secondhand smoke is even lower. In Vietnam, nearly 90 per cent of smokers and non-smokers are unaware that secondhand smoke causes heart disease. In China, 57 per cent of smokers and non-smokers are unaware of the link. Even in countries with well-developed health systems and tobacco control regulation - such as Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia - between a third and a half of smokers do not know that secondhand smoke can damage cardiovascular health.

Professor Geoffrey T. Fong at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and Chief Principal Investigator of the ITC Project, commented, "This report shows a broad correlation between poor knowledge of the risks of tobacco use and high levels of smoking prevalence. To break this link and reduce the deadly toll of tobacco, more needs to be done to increase awareness of the specific health harms. Our research shows that the risks of tobacco use to lung health are very widely accepted. But we need to attain the same level of knowledge and awareness that tobacco use can cause heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease and secondhand smoke can cause heart attack. Health warning labels are known to be an effective method for educating the public on the health harms of tobacco products. A number of countries have introduced warnings about the increased risk of heart disease or heart attack, but no country has yet implemented a label to warn people that secondhand smoke causes heart disease. Increasing knowledge of these specific health risks will help encourage smokers to quit and help non-smokers protect themselves, so raising awareness is an important step in reducing people's exposure to tobacco smoke."

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world's leading cause of death, killing 17.3 million people every year. Eighty per cent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which are increasingly being targeted by the tobacco industry. Tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure causes about one-tenth of global deaths from CVD. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Smokeless tobacco products have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Secondhand smoke exposure increases the risk of heart disease by 25 per cent and more than 87 per cent of worldwide adult deaths caused by secondhand smoke are attributable to CVD.


Johanna Ralston, CEO of World Heart Federation, commented: "If people don't know about the cardiovascular effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, they cannot understand how much or how quickly smokers are endangering not only their own lives, but those of family members, friends, co-workers or other non-smokers who breathe tobacco smoke. In countries like India or China, so many people are at high risk for heart attack or stroke, and it strikes at a relatively early age: risks of CVD are far more present and immediate than most of the better-known fatal effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Knowing about cardiovascular risks of tobacco will help smokers take quitting seriously, and encourage people to demand and comply with policies that protect everyone from the harms of tobacco. The World Heart Federation calls on governments around the world to a make these policies an immediate priority, as they committed to do last year through the Political Declaration of the United Nations' High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases."

Dr. Douglas Bettcher, Director of the World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative, noted that, "This report provides conclusive proof that the level of information people have about the cardiovascular harms of tobacco use and secondhand smoke is still insufficient and therefore mass media campaigns and warnings are urgently needed to make people aware of these lethal harms. In fact, to avoid the enormous toll of needless deaths caused by tobacco use, a special UN high level meeting on non-communicable diseases recently called upon Parties of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to accelerate implementation of this Convention, recognizing the full range of measures, including measures to reduce tobacco consumption and availability. I hope that this report will boost the sense of urgency that world leaders and the public health community are trying to instill into the implementation of the WHO FCTC. This will mean the difference between death and life for almost six million people each year."

The report, which presents data from two major global tobacco research and surveillance studies - the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) and the ITC Project - recommends three steps to reduce the current and future cases of CVD due to tobacco use - which may total over 100 million people - among the one billion people throughout the world who smoke today, and of their families exposed to secondhand smoke:
  1. Support tobacco control policies outlined in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), including those that:
    a. Increase the price of tobacco products
    b. Eliminate tobacco promotion and marketing
    c. Implement 100 per cent smokefree laws in workplaces and public places - which is proven to significantly lower hospital admissions for heart attacks
    d. Make the necessary step-change in public awareness through committing to population-level strategies, such as large graphic warnings on tobacco product packaging and mass media public education campaigns - including warnings and messages about the risk of smoking and secondhand smoke to cardiovascular health
    e. Introduce plain packaging to discourage youth from starting smoking
  2. Increase training in cessation advice and support among health professionals
  3. Implement programmes and protocols to ensure cessation advice, support and aids are provided systematically

Monday, May 21, 2012

Potential Link Between Autism And Smoking During Pregnancy

Women who smoke in pregnancy may be more likely to have a child with high-functioning autism, such as Asperger's Disorder, according to preliminary findings from a study by researchers involved in the U.S. autism surveillance program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"It has long been known that autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and communication skills," says Amy Kalkbrenner, assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, lead author of the study. "What we are seeing is that some disorders on the autism spectrum, more than others, may be influenced by a factor such as whether a mother smokes during pregnancy."

The study was published in an advance online release by the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Smoking during pregnancy is still common in the U.S. despite its known harmful impacts on babies. Kalkbrenner found that 13 percent of mothers whose children were included in the study had smoked during pregnancy.

Kalkbrenner and colleagues' population-based study compared smoking data from birth certificates of thousands of children from 11 states to a database of children diagnosed with autism maintained by the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDMN). Of the 633,989 children, born in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998, 3,315 were identified as having an autism spectrum disorder at age 8.

"The study doesn't say for certain that smoking is a risk factor for autism," Kalkbrenner says. "But it does say that if there is an association, it's between smoking and certain types of autism," implicating the disorders on the autism spectrum that are less severe and allow children to function at a higher level. That connection, she adds, needs further study.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and several studies of possible links between environmental factors and autism are being published by Environmental Health Perspectives at the same time as Kalkbrenner's study. "The CDC recently released data indicating that 1 in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, making such environmental studies even more timely," says Kalkbrenner.

Because autism involves a broad spectrum of conditions and the interplay of genetics and environment is so complex, no one study can explain all the causes of autism, she adds. "The goal of this work is to help provide a piece of the puzzle. And in this we were successful."

Other research articles published in Environmental Health Perspectives show that polychlorinated biphenyls disrupt early brain development by interfering with the signals that promote normal neuron branching. A review article suggests research directions for exploring a potential link between pesticides and autism. An editorial calls for increased discovery research to identify possible environmental causes of autism in America's children.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alcohol Consumption Decreased In Heavy-Drinking Smokers By Anti-Smoking Drug Varenicline

The smoking cessation drug varenicline significantly reduced alcohol consumption in a group of heavy-drinking smokers, in a study carried out by researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco.

"Alcohol abuse is a huge problem, and this is a big step forward in identifying a potential new treatment," said senior author Howard L. Fields, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction at UCSF.

The study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology.

Study participants, who were seeking treatment for smoking and not for drinking, were randomly assigned to take either varenicline or a placebo. By the end of the study, participants assigned to varenicline had reduced their average number of drinks per week by 36 percent compared to those taking placebo.

The scientists found no correlation between the average number of drinks consumed per week by each subject and the average number of cigarettes they smoked, indicating that varenicline's effects on drinking behavior were separate from its effects on smoking.

While they cautioned that additional study was needed to further examine potential side effects, the scientists said they are optimistic about the potential of varenicline as a treatment for heavy drinking. "The drug is already widely used by smokers to help them quit," said Fields. "Many heavy drinkers also smoke, and this study indicated that, in this group, varenicline was effective in reducing both the number of cigarettes smoked and the number of drinks consumed."

Interestingly, in the study, varenicline did not change the number of times per week that subjects drank, said lead author Jennifer Mitchell, PhD, clinical project director at the Gallo Center and an adjunct assistant professor of neurology at UCSF. "People initiated drinking at the same rate, but they drank less once they started," she said. "If your usual pattern was to come home and have a few beers, you would still do that, but you might have one or two instead of four or five."

A medication that reliably decreases alcohol consumption would be of immense value in reducing the harm caused by alcohol abuse, Mitchell said. "If you currently drink seven drinks a night, and we can turn that into two or three, then you're not only drinking at a level that's going to harm you less, you're less likely to harm others, as well. If we could lower the rates of drunk driving, spousal and child abuse and other secondary effects of alcoholism, that would be tremendous."

They noted that the study corroborates earlier Gallo Center research indicating that alcohol and nicotine act through a common pathway in regions of the brain that provide a sense of pleasure and reward. Varenicline acts as a smoking cessation aid by blocking the pleasant effects of nicotine in the brain.

Few unpleasant or serious side effects were reported, suggesting that the drug can be well tolerated, said Fields. However, the scientists cautioned that the absence of significant side effects might have occurred because subjects were rigorously screened for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation, as well as alcoholism, before the study began. They recommended that the drug be tested for safety and effectiveness in populations with comorbid psychiatric conditions, as well as in treatment-seeking alcohol abusers who do not smoke.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Smokers With Variants In Specific Genes At Greater Risk For Hot Flashes

Women who smoke and carry specific variations in the genes that impact their metabolism are at higher risk of developing hot flashes in comparison with smokers who do not carry these gene variants, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).

Previous studies have shown that smoking is associated with earlier onset of menopause, increased odds of hot flashes and risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. The current study aimed to explore which smokers have the highest risk of hot flashes based on the presence of variants in specific genes involved in hormone metabolism as well as activation of toxins in tobacco smoke.

"Our report demonstrates the impact of smoking on hot flashes as a function of variants in genes involved in sex steroid metabolism in late reproductive-age women and suggests that certain smokers have increased susceptibility to hot flashes based on their genetic background," said Samantha Butts, MD MSCE, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the study's lead author. "Women who smoke and carry a particular gene variant may benefit from aggressive targeted approaches to smoking cessation, especially if they know that smoking is a significant contributor to their menopausal symptoms."

In this study, researchers examined 296 late reproductive-aged women who have been followed for the past eleven years in the Penn Ovarian Aging Study, a population based study of reproductive aging. Butts and colleagues took blood samples from study participants and evaluated their medical and reproductive history, menopausal symptoms and behaviors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. They found that women who smoked and carried single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in certain genes were at a significantly higher risk for developing hot flashes than smokers who did not carry these SNPs.

"The toxins in cigarette smoke that are believed to be associated with hot flashes are also present in many forms in the environment which means even non-smokers who have certain SNPs could be at risk for symptoms," said Butts. "Furthermore, it's possible that smoking behaviors in women carrying relevant SNPs could impact health risks well into menopause and could challenge reproductive success in young women aiming to become pregnant, making this an even broader public health consideration."

Maternal Smoking And Preterm Birth Risk Drops With Smoking Ban

A citywide ban on public smoking in Colorado led to significant decreases in maternal smoking and preterm births, providing the first evidence in the U.S. that such interventions can impact maternal and fetal health, according to an article in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website*.

Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke - whether the mother is a smoker or exposure is from environmental sources - is associated with premature births and low birth weight. The results of a "natural experiment" that compared outcomes in two cities, one with a smoking ban and one without a ban, showed reductions in both maternal smoking and premature births in the city with a smoking ban.

In the article "A Citywide Smoking Ban Reduced Maternal Smoking and Risk for Preterm, Not Low Birth Weight, Births: A Colorado Natural Experiment," Robert Lee Page II, PharmD, MSPH, Julia Slejko, BA, and Anne Libby, PhD, University of Colorado, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, concluded that a population-level intervention using a smoking ban improved maternal and fetal outcomes.

"Exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with not only death from lung cancer and heart disease but also risks to developing fetuses," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health. "The promising results of this study suggest that pregnant women and their fetuses represent an important population for further study of health and cost effects of smoke-free ordinances."

Should stratas consider non-smoking bylaws? A Langley couple was awarded $8,000 after second-hand smoke complaint

 Langley - The freedom to smoke on your balcony could be a hot topic at your next strata council meeting.

It comes after a Langley couple was awarded $8,000 by the BC Human Right Tribunal because of second-hand smoke at their condo.

The argument was she was pregnant and he has diabetes, and the smoke coming from a neighbours balcony was harmful to their health.

"It has a degree of precedent setting. It is a recommendation to strata corporations to consider a specific non-smoking bylaw," explains Kevin Thom, Executive Director of the Strata Property Agents of BC. "The standard schedule of bylaws, as provided for in the act, just talks about a nuisance or a hazard. That leaves a awful lot to definition."

He says a specific smoking bylaw would also make it very clear to any buyer that smoking is going to be banned in the building.

"Very similar to rentals or other situations. It does sort of open Pandora's box doesn't it?"

So, what if you don't like the smell of your neighbour's cooking?

"It has been a well proven medical fact that second hand smoke is very, very dangerous, and I think someone's pizza or linguini may not be," adds Thom.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some women may be genetically predisposed to smoking-related hot flashes

New study shows smokers with variants in specific genes at greater risk for hot flashes

Women who smoke and carry specific variations in the genes that impact their metabolism are at higher risk of developing hot flashes in comparison with smokers who do not carry these gene variants, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).

Previous studies have shown that smoking is associated with earlier onset of menopause, increased odds of hot flashes and risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. The current study aimed to explore which smokers have the highest risk of hot flashes based on the presence of variants in specific genes involved in hormone metabolism as well as activation of toxins in tobacco smoke.
"Our report demonstrates the impact of smoking on hot flashes as a function of variants in genes involved in sex steroid metabolism in late reproductive-age women and suggests that certain smokers have increased susceptibility to hot flashes based on their genetic background," said Samantha Butts, MD MSCE, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the study's lead author. "Women who smoke and carry a particular gene variant may benefit from aggressive targeted approaches to smoking cessation, especially if they know that smoking is a significant contributor to their menopausal symptoms."
In this study, researchers examined 296 late reproductive-aged women who have been followed for the past eleven years in the Penn Ovarian Aging Study, a population based study of reproductive aging. Butts and colleagues took blood samples from study participants and evaluated their medical and reproductive history, menopausal symptoms and behaviors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. They found that women who smoked and carried single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in certain genes were at a significantly higher risk for developing hot flashes than smokers who did not carry these SNPs.
"The toxins in cigarette smoke that are believed to be associated with hot flashes are also present in many forms in the environment which means even non-smokers who have certain SNPs could be at risk for symptoms," said Butts. "Furthermore, it's possible that smoking behaviors in women carrying relevant SNPs could impact health risks well into menopause and could challenge reproductive success in young women aiming to become pregnant, making this an even broader public health consideration."

Other researchers working on the study include: Ellen W. Freeman, Mary D. Sammel, Kaila Queen, Hui Lin and Timothy Rebbeck of the University of Pennsylvania.

The article, "Joint Effects of Smoking and Gene Variants Involved in Sex Steroid Metabolism on Hot Flashes in Late Reproductive-Age Women," appears in the June 2012 issue of JCEM.
Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's membership consists of over 15,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology

Friday, May 11, 2012

Many kids exposed to smoke despite parents' claims


More than half of kids who were part of a new study from California tested positive for secondhand smoke exposure -- despite only a handful of their parents admitting to lighting up.

Parents may think kids are only exposed if they're around someone actively smoking a cigarette, researchers said, or are unaware of where else their children might be breathing in smoke.

They said a blood test may help identify and reduce smoke exposure.
"What the test does is allow the doctor -- in consultation with the parent -- to figure out the source of exposure and then to eliminate it," said Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, an associate professor of pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston.
Winickoff, who co-wrote an editorial accompanying the study, told Reuters Health the test can also identify if a child is being exposed to smoke without the parent realizing it, such as by living in an apartment building where smoking is allowed.
Secondhand smoke exposure in kids has been tied to -- among other things -- sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory problems, ear infections and asthma.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco tested 496 blood samples left over from children -- most age one to four -- to determine how many of them were exposed to secondhand smoke.
The blood samples were initially taken at San Francisco General Hospital to test for lead exposure between November 2009 and March 2010. Lead exposure testing is common and part of standard pediatric care, according to the authors.
The researchers tested the leftover blood for cotinine, a chemical produced by the body after it is exposed to nicotine.
Overall, 55 percent of the blood samples had a measurable amount of cotinine, which meant those kids were exposed to smoke within the last three to four days.

Only 13 percents of parents, however, admitted their child had been exposed to secondhand smoke.
"I think parents do not understand the various sources of potential exposure," said Dr. Neal Benowitz, one of the study's co-authors from UCSF.

The researchers pointed out in their Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine report that some parents may also believe a child has to be around someone who is smoking to be exposed -- but that is not the case.
For example, kids can still get the effects of secondhand smoke if they spend time in a room where someone recently smoked.
Benowitz and his colleagues said testing children for cotinine could ultimately prevent diseases brought on by secondhand smoke exposure by helping to detect the source.

"Once you know there is exposure then you can talk to the parent," said Benowitz, who added that a doctor can ask if anyone inside the child's home or daycare smokes to identify the source.
Testing for cotinine is currently not readily available to the general public. Benowitz said it is also fairly expensive at about $90 to $100 per test, but that the price might come down as it becomes more widely used.

Winickoff said the best approach would be to integrate cotinine testing with routine lead testing.
As for what parents can do right now, Dr. Harold J. Farber, who studies smoking exposure and asthma at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, said they should keep their child away from places where people are smoking and places that allow smoking.
Farber told Reuters Health that it's also important for parents to stop smoking themselves.
"You can't be a parent who smokes and not expose your child. Keeping it away from your child isn't enough," he said.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tobacco retailers angered by "Roll-your-own cigarette tax "

Tobacco store owners claim their business would be affected dramatically if Washington lawmakers, desperate to cover $1 billion hole in state budget, would increase taxes for roll-your-own cigarettes.
Supporters of the tax hike say it would close a loophole that unfairly benefits to tobacco-rolling machine industry.

The rolling machines allow smokers roll their own cigarettes using loose tobacco and wrapping paper in cigarettes in nearly 10 minutes, at half price of pre-packaged cigarettes. That’s partially because state excise taxes – 15 cents per every cigarette – are not implied to the roll-your-own cigarettes.
Charles Bertrand runs two Tobacco shops in Washington and says that in case roll-your-own products will be taxed as conventional cigarettes he would have to shut down the business, as people will stop buying do-it-yourself tobacco products.
He admits less expensive alternatives are vital for the customers.

“Most of people coming here are low-income and elderly, they really believe that roll-your-own machines are a blessing for them,” Bertrand said.
However, supporters of increasing the tax on do-it-yourself cigs state the lawmakers should think about public health and fairness.


Democratic Rep. Steve Kirby, sponsor of the House Bill 2565 said that if passed, the bill would tax roll-your-own cigarettes like pre-packaged ones. The bill passed the House, but was not considered by the Senate.
Yet, Gov. Chris Gregoire said last week that she would support passing the cigarette tax to roll-your-owns and that the bill is still there for budget negotiations.

According to the bill, the tax would generate not less than $12 million in revenue for the state just in the first year, and about $13 million each year. Imposing the tax would increase the average price per carton of roll-your-own cigarettes from $34.50 up to $67.60, as the fiscal not states. All other additional taxes, such as occupation taxes, would in most part account for the rise.

Implementing the tax would be an important public health measure, some say.
“We are not reducing people’s addition to tobacco by offering them cheaper alternatives, including roll-your-owns,” Gov. Gregoire said. “… The public health problem is my biggest concern.”

Convenience stores owners also lobbying for the measure. They say they were hit by the 2009 federal tax increase, and now are further affected when customers switch to cheaper alternatives.
“The best answer in this case is to tax roll-your-own stores as if they were selling pre-packaged cigarettes, as that is exactly what they have been doing. … We now have many new companies that found a very wise way to avoid cigarette taxes,” admitted T.K. Bentler, director of the Washington Association of Neighborhood Stores, representing of nearly 4,000 convenience stores. He is also lobbying for Reynolds American, the maker of Camel cigarettes.

“We would shut down our businesses if this bill is approved,” said Joe Baba, the distributor of the roll-your-own machines. “… It’s Big Tobacco doing its best to level up the competition and return their customers.”