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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bloomberg signs his last 22 bills

Michael Bloomberg signed a bill Monday to regulate the use of electronic cigarettes -- one of 22 bills he signed at City Hall that are the last he will sign as mayor of New York City, according to Evelyn Erskine, his deputy press secretary.

The legislation amends the Smoke-Free Air Act, which bans smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars, parks, beaches and places of employment. It now additionally prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in all areas where smoking is prohibited.

E-cigarettes will still be permitted in areas where smoking is allowed, in addition to retail e-cigarette stores and vapor lounges. E-cigarettes are "battery-operated products that turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and/or chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user," according to Food and Drug Administration spokesperson Jennifer Haliski.

Unlike a regular cigarette, there's no tobacco burned and when users inhale, instead of smoke, there's a steam-like vapor. Some e-cigarette devices claim to help people kick their smoking habit, but Bloomberg said he's not convinced and it's just another way to inhale nicotine.

"It works about as well as patches, which is to say it really doesn't work," he said. A pro-smoking activist read a brief statement lobbying against the bill, saying smoking is within a person's legal private life and not public health.

"You don't own me like state property," the lobbyist said to Bloomberg as she took out a cigarette from her pocket and lit up. The woman was escorted out of the meeting immediately afterward.

Aaron David Ross told CNN's Poppy Harlow he smoked cigarettes for 10 years. While he's still addicted to nicotine, he hasn't smoked a cigarette for two and a half years. He credits kicking the bad habit to e-cigarettes.

Ross said he worries many Americans are so opposed to smoking that they're stigmatizing something some say could save lives. Thomas Glynn, director of Cancer Science and Trends at the American Cancer Society, said that e-cigarette users should smoke with "cautious optimism."

"Anyone who uses an e-cigarette right now does not know what they're inhaling," Glynn said. "What we don't want to do is to take something out of the hands of people which could in fact help people stop using the traditional burn cigarette, which is the enemy."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tom Hanks Forced To Quit Walt Disney's Heavy Smoking In Saving Mr. Banks

Tom Hanks was forced to quit Walt Disney's heavy smoking habit in new movie Saving Mr. Banks, because of strict ratings guidelines. Hanks plays the movie legend in the new flick, but he admits that he had to stub out the scenes that featured him puffing on cigarettes.

The actor reveals producers made negotiations over the smoking issue, but they were prevented from showing Disney smoking onscreen, WENN reports during the movie's recent promo.

Hanks said: "We had a hard enough time trying to have him smoke... If we smoked cigarettes in this movie about Walt Disney making Mary Poppins, it would be rated R (restricted). That's just the way it works. You couldn't believe the negotiations. It came down to us not being able to light a cigarette or inhale a cigarette."

He continued: "You do see one big scene where Emma (Thompson) as (Poppins author P.L. Travers) storms into my office and you see me putting out a cigarette in the ashtray on Walt's desk. "I did always have a pack of cigarettes in my shirt pocket and sometimes I was playing around with them and a cigarette lighter here and there, but I never could smoke one.

"The man smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. People who knew Walt say that you could always hear him coming down the hall, because you'd hear him coughing from smoking all those cigarettes."Walt Disney passed away, aged 65 in 1966.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Philip Morris to Buy Russian Stake

In order to increase volumes, tobacco companies try to invade new markets. Thus two giant tobacco manufacturers, Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International, have declared that they have agreed to buy minority stakes in their Russian distributor Megapolis. Megapolis is main distributor of cigarettes in Russia, with 70% share in the Russian tobacco market. It has agreements with world … Continue reading

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Caruso’s Cigarettes

Listening now to Enrico Caruso’s last recording made in September of 1920, you would never suspect that you are hearing the voice of a heavy smoker. Caruso favored strong Egyptian cigarettes, even enjoying them between an opera’s acts before heading back on stage. In spite of his addiction, Caruso’s final recording—of the Crucfixus from Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle — boasts all the singer’s legendary attributes: the voice is strong, flexible and pure; full of expression and supported by unshakeable breath. Even through the hiss and crackle of the Victorola, the music seems to emanate from a voice at the top of its form, and therefore, too, from a body in robust health.

Yet the great tenor would be dead within a year of making the 78, and his smoking habit was a major factor in his demise at the age of 48. Pierre van Rensselaer Key’s classic early biography, written with aid of Caruso’s secretary Bruno Zirato, appeared just a year after Caruso’s death and offers a harrowing account of the tenor’s last stage appearances and the ensuing struggle for his life. Singing his signature role of Canio in Pagliacci at the Met on the evening of December 8, 1920, Caruso came to perhaps his most famous number, one he recorded several times —“Vesti la giubba.”

At the full-voiced high A at the crux of the aria, Caruso felt an “excruciating pain in his left side,” wires Key.  “[This] made him ‘sick all over’ and he momentarily saw black.” Even in such dire condition, Caruso was bent, literally, on safeguarding his reputation and simultaneously answering the demands of the theatre: he made a stage fall to divert attention from the vocal disaster. Key goes on:

    “[Caruso literally fell into the arms of Zirato. And amidst his sobs he managed to gasp, ‘My voice … I thought … it was … gone.’ Some minutes passed before the pain in his side had subsided enough to allow Caruso to move.  He lay crumpled and moaning in the arms of his secretary surrounded by anxious-faced members of the company. Then, supported on both sides, he walked laboriously to his dressing room. Zirato pleaded with Caruso to abandon the remainder of the performance; vain argument. Then, having been sent for, Doctor Horowitz [Caruso’s personal medical adviser] arrived. He brushed aside the attending opera house physician, Doctor Marafioti, and directly announced that ‘it was nothing serious.’ Horowitz diagnosed the ailment as intercostal neuralgia, and after strapping the singer’s left side with adhesive plaster, gave his permission for Caruso to continue with the performance. Though suffering intense pain, the tenor went on.”

Vicious bouts of coughing and hemorrhaging blood into his handkerchief ensued in the days that follwed, these episodes quelled only by plentiful helpings of morphine and codeine. Yet Caruso managed to continue to appear at the Met over the next two weeks; with the assurance of his doctor that the condition was still “nothing” he sang in La Juive on Christmas Eve, 1920.  It was his last public performance. By Christmas Day Caruso was screaming in pain. After returning to Italy to convalesce, he made some brave attempts to sing in private, but died in August of 1921 in the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nicotine is Good for You

Last week David O’Reilly, who is senior molecular biologist, said that nicotine, is good for you, which means that smoking is good for you. The statement comes from scientific adviser to the tobacco industry after scientists from New York University recently warned that electronic cigarettes users may inhale more nicotine and other toxins than regular tobacco smokers. It was estimated … Continue reading

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dancing with the Stars Mark Ballas Quits Smoking with Blueprint to Quit

Emmy-nominated choreographer, Dancing with the Stars® professional dancer and recording artist Mark Ballas, can now add "former smoker" to his credits thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The multi-faceted star has been smoke-free for more than 6 months thanks to the comprehensive, two-part quit-smoking resource, Blueprint to Quit, available exclusively at Walmart. Now, Ballas is telling his story and sharing his personal "Quit Steps" in hopes of helping others find a way to quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle.

Ballas, who began smoking as a teenager, can relate to the everyday struggle millions of Americans encounter when trying to quit smoking. Triggers like stress and being around other smokers always pushed him to light-up another cigarette, but when smoking began impacting his stamina and endurance – traits at the cornerstone of his career – Ballas turned to Blueprint to Quit, which combines two resources for quitting smoking: online behavioral support through QuitNet and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to address the physical dependence on cigarettes.

"Practicing the utmost discipline in so many parts of my life, I didn't expect quitting smoking to be a struggle," said Ballas. "Day in and day out, I juggled dance rehearsals, tapings, long nights at the studio writing and recording music, and yet quitting smoking was an ongoing fight until now, thanks to Blueprint to Quit. The program allowed me to tackle tough cravings, stick to a plan that worked for me and seek support when I need it. Now, I'm proud to say I'm smoke free – my days are easier and more enjoyable as a result. I hope I can help inspire other smokers who face the same obstacles start their quit journey."

Ballas developed a series of "Quit Steps" videos to illustrate the journey he took to becoming smoke-free. Quit Steps are inspired by the steps in the Blueprint to Quit program and are designed to help others create a plan to get through every stride in their quit. They show how Mark was able to get through those tough moments, his experiences with the NicoDerm CQ patch, the QuitNet behavioral support program and how support from his friends and family was the key to his success.

Blueprint to Quit is available exclusively at Walmart and provides smokers with a two-part plan, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as NicoDerm CQ patches and Nicorette gum and lozenges, to help with the physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking, and behavioral support through QuitNet.

QuitNet is available online and can help with the emotional changes associated with quitting smoking. is the web's largest quit-smoking community and provides smokers with access to trained experts and an online interactive community, as well as a variety of quitting materials and self-assessment tools.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Smoking Ban at SDSU Campus

San Diego State University Senate (SDSU) announced last week about introduction of smoking ban on campus which comes into action from January 1, the next year. Thus smoking will be prohibited on all 12 designated smoking areas on campus. The new smoking policy. will affect SDSU and its auxiliary organizations. William Eadie, the University Senate Chair, said that there are … Continue reading

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Philip Morris Expects Below-Target Profit Growth in 2014

Philip Morris International Inc., the world’s largest tobacco company famous for making Marlboro cigarettes brand, declared that in 2014 its per-share profit would raise more slowly than the company planned because shipments to Russia and Europe do drop. The company representatives told recently that in 2014 per-share profit excluding currency swings will raise from 6% to 8%. Its long-term target … Continue reading

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Paulina Gretzky: Where There's Smoke ... THERE'S A WOMAN ON FIRE!

Wayne Gretzky's daughter Paulina was smoking hot both figuratively and literally last night ... because we've learned she almost went up in flames at her local bar.

Sources at The Tipsy Goat in Thousand Oaks tell us, Paulina was sitting on the edge of one of the bar's outdoor fire pits when she turned to throw a cigarette into the flames.

We're told as she turned ... a corner of Paulina's sweater slipped into the pit, and before she knew it the entire thing was engulfed in flames.

Eyewitnesses say Paulina and several bar patrons ripped off her sweater -- or what was left of it -- and onlookers jumped into action, extinguishing the flames.

Paulina's people tell us ... she's fine.

That fire pit has caused Paulina trouble in the past.  We're told she was once booted from the joint for dancing on the very same pit.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mississippi Rejects Smoking Ban

Last week Mississippi rejected the proposal to ban smoking in commercial buildings inside the city limits. The proposal was rejected by the Board of Aldermen in spite of its support by the mayor Young. The idea of smoking ban came from Beverly Knox from the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition, whose major argument in favor of the ban was that it was … Continue reading