MONTREAL, April 25, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada today
announced that it has commenced proceedings to challenge the
constitutionality of the federal government's decision to increase the
size of graphic health warnings on cigarette packages to 75 percent.
Imperial Tobacco Canada recognizes the health risks associated with
smoking and agrees that consumers should continue to be informed about
those risks. However, it believes the current regulation, including the
existing 50 percent health warnings, provides sufficient information to
adult consumers in order for them to make an informed decision.
"In choosing to further regulate the legal and already heavily regulated
industry, it is clear that the federal government is avoiding the
country's number one tobacco problem, the illegal tobacco market. A
market that evades all taxes and current regulations and whose products
carry NO health warnings," said John Clayton, Vice President, Corporate
Affairs, Imperial Tobacco Canada.
Imperial Tobacco Canada contends that increasing the graphic health
warnings infringes on the Company's ability to communicate and is an
illegal violation of the Company's rights under section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Does anyone seriously believe that Canadians don't already know the
risk of smoking?" Mr. Clayton asked. "Increasing the size of the
warning from 50 to 75 percent will not lead to any measurable change to
public awareness. We have been forced to take this position for us and
for other industries that may be the target of over regulation."
The Government of Canada approved the increase in the size of graphic
health warnings in September 2011. All tobacco packaging in Canada must
comply with the new regulations by June 19, 2012.
SOURCE IMPERIAL TOBACCO CANADA
For further information:
Imperial Tobacco Canada Media Relations
514-932-6161 ext: 2113