A case of public fraud, government negligence and willful malice: why the
Senate should not sanction Bill C-32

OTTAWA, Sept. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Senate is set to resume debate over Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act. The Bill, leveraged on public fraud, government negligence and willful malice is designed to prohibit the sale of flavoured tobacco products in Canada.

This past August, the federal government released its annual findings from the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS, 2008). Once again, the government's own research clearly dispelled the myths and exposed the misrepresentations and outright lies that have come to form the foundation for Bill C-32.

    
    According to the federal government's own survey on little cigars /
cigarillos (plain or flavoured):

    - 92.1% of Canadians who choose to consume little cigars / cigarillos
      (plain or flavoured) - are of legal age to do so.

    - 82.3% of little cigars / cigarillos smokers are over the age of 20.

    - 58.3% of smokers are over the age of 25.

    - Among Canadians under the age of 19, 2008 actually witnessed a
      significant decline in smokers of little cigars/ cigarillos (plain or
      flavoured). Compared to 2007, there were actually 32,100 fewer little
      cigar / cigarillo smokers in this age group in 2008. This compares,
      interestingly enough, to an additional 8,731 new (non-flavoured)
      cigarette smokers that same year.
    

See graphs: http://files.newswire.ca/822/smokers.pdf

Bill C-32 is erroneously promoted as a necessary and important tool in addressing youth access to tobacco products - especially as it pertains to flavoured little cigars / cigarillos. Through a sustainable campaign of orchestrated fear and misinformation about these products and their market in Canada, waged over the better part of the last 2 years, some anti-tobacco groups and rogue politicians in Canada have succeeded in convincing the federal government that flavoured little cigars / cigarillos pose an unexpected, unusual and unique risk to Canadians - especially kids.

    
    In fact:

    1. The market for flavoured little cigars/cigarillos represents 0.5% of
       all tobacco products consumed in Canada every year. While obviously a
       very marginal market, it nonetheless remains a relevant one to those
       who trade and consume these legal products.

    2. Minors are not a target for this product and, as importantly, do not
       predominantly represent the marketplace. More minors are finding more
       interest and more illegal access to non-flavoured tobacco products.

    3. Bill C-32 will in no way address minors' access issues to
       tobacco/smoking - and Health Canada knows this. The Health Minister's
       own appointed experts (Ministerial Advisory Council on Tobacco
       Control) will have long ago conceded the point that banning tobacco
       products has no effective impact on youth uptake/consumption.

    4. Bill C-32 will make flavoured tobacco products much more affordable
       and much more accessible to Canadians, especially kids - since these
       products will thrive on both the illicit market and within the legal
       native market. According to a recent study published in the Canadian
       Medical Association Journal, Canadian teens not only have significant
       interest in and access to illegal tobacco distribution channels but
       those who do consume contraband tobacco products tend to consume 40%
       more tobacco.

    5. Bill C-32 will only come to cause financial hardship among those
       Canadians legally employed in this industry across Canada - while
       benefiting other tobacco companies and tobacco products.

    6. Bill C-32 will come to re-direct tens of millions of dollars in
       current legitimate government revenues into the waiting hands of a
       thriving underground economy in tobacco products. This new funding to
       criminal groups will greatly fuel other illegal activities in drugs
       and weapons trafficking across Canada.
    

Casa Cubana is a Montreal-based importer of quality cigar products. Established in 1998, the company's reach extends throughout Canada with a sales force servicing approximately 10,000+ direct accounts - to include wholesalers, retail chains, independent retailers, gas bars, grocery stores and the duty-free channel. Since 2003, the company has imported and distributed a variety of flavored cigarillos, to become a relevant and knowledgeable stakeholder in this marketplace.

SOURCE Casa Cubana

For further information: For further information: Luc Martial, (819) 682-2352, Cell: (819) 743-9140

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Casa Cubana

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