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PMI schedules annual meeting for May 7

| March 28, 2014

Philip Morris International said yesterday that it would hold its 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders at 9 a.m. on May 7 in the Empire State Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt New York for the following purposes:

  • To elect 10 directors;
  • To ratify the selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers SA as independent auditors for the company for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2014;
  • To vote on advisory resolution approving executive compensation;
  • To vote on two shareholder proposals, if properly presented at the meeting; and
  • To transact other business properly coming before the meeting.

Damning verdicts on e-cigarette research

| March 27, 2014

Recent U.S. research that has been widely reported to have shown that e-cigarettes are ineffective for smoking cessation has been branded as “complete garbage” by a highly respected public health professor.

Researchers from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF (the University of California at San Francisco) published a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine that purported to show that e-cigarettes were ineffective for smoking cessation.

But a blog by Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, has debunked both the methodology used and the conclusions drawn.

Siegel’s blog is at

Seigel was not the only person to attack the research. The American Council on Science and Health decried the fact that it was a “phony summary of a phony study” that got most of the attention.

The council’s verdict is at

Canadian doctors call for authorization of sales of e-cigarettes with nicotine

| March 27, 2014

A group of doctors, professors and health advocates are calling on the Canadian federal government to authorize the sale in Canada of e-cigarettes containing nicotine.

Writing in The Gazette on behalf of the group, Gaston Ostiguy said e-cigarettes offered a safer and more acceptable alternative to regular cigarettes for smokers to appease their addiction.

No doubt, tremendous strides had been made over the years to impose a strict regulatory framework on regular cigarettes, he said, and more could be done. But it was wishful thinking that one day nicotine use would be eradicated. The vast majority of smokers wanted to quit, but studies showed that only 10 percent of them were still abstinent after trying to quit during the previous year.

“In such a context, we believe that the time has come for tobacco control to move beyond the usual approaches of education, total nicotine cessation and prevention,” Ostiguy said. “In a landmark report published in 2007, the Royal College of Physicians makes a compelling case why harm reduction should no longer be ignored by health authorities to lower the death and disease caused by tobacco use.”

Ostiguy’s piece is at

Challenge to public-place e-cigarette ban

| March 27, 2014

New York City’s ban on e-cigarettes is being challenged by a smokers’ rights group that filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to overturn the legislation, according to a story by Mara Gay for The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition.

E-cigarettes were added to the city’s 2002 Smoke-Free Air Act, which originally had banned tobacco smoking in public places.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said there was no tobacco-industry or e-cigarette-industry involvement in the lawsuit.

The story is at

U.K. doctors want “progressive prohibition”

| March 27, 2014

Leading U.K. doctors have called for a ban on cigarette sales to people born after 2000: a program of “progressive prohibition” aimed at curbing smoking-related deaths, according to a story by Ben Lazarus for The Telegraph.

At the British Medical Association’s annual public health medicine conference, the doctors urged the BMA to lobby for a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone born in this century.

But Ian Kennedy, a public health medicine registrar, questioned whether banning cigarettes for a certain section of the population was a sustainable policy, and asked why 13- to 14-year-olds were being targeted.

Lazarus’ story is at

Legacy panel to discuss harm reduction

| March 26, 2014

The U.S.-based anti-tobacco organization Legacy is due to host a live webcast of a panel discussion addressing key findings in the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s report on the health consequences of smoking.

Legacy says the discussions will include how it might be possible, innovatively and more rapidly than presently is the case, to end the premature deaths caused specifically by cigarette smoking, since it is the burning of tobacco that produces the most lethal toxins.

“The burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products; rapid elimination of their use will dramatically reduce this burden …,” according to the surgeon general’s report. [However] “the promotion of non-combustible products is much more likely to provide public health benefits only in an environment where the appeal, accessibility, promotion, and use of cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products are being rapidly reduced.”

The “Warner Series” panel discussion will consider ways to speed the end of combustible cigarettes and the role that alternative products such as e-cigarettes could play in ending cigarette smoking.

The live webcast, which will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 31, will be at

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