Canadians deserve a new approach to health policy on tobacco - Imperial Tobacco Canada invites governments to adopt a progressive approach to public health policy

MONTREAL, May 29, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - On World No Tobacco Day 2014 (May 31), Imperial Tobacco Canada calls on Health Canada and government across the country to adopt a policy of tobacco harm reduction as a more progressive approach to tobacco regulation.

Over the past decade governments have implemented various tobacco control measures with the objective of reducing consumption.  Even with a growing number or regulations – some, such as taxation, that have become extreme and counterproductive - a certain percentage of the adult population continues to choose to smoke.

"The reality is that there will always be a number of adults who make a conscious decision to smoke despite the health risks," said Marie Polet, President and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada. "Today, the Canadian tobacco landscape is vastly different from that of a decade ago and we believe it's time for a new progressive approach to be considered by governments looking to reduce tobacco consumption. One such solution is to offer adult smokers a choice of substantially less risky products such as e-cigarettes."

Despite the already highly regulated tobacco environment, a small but vocal group of extremists refuse to acknowledge that tobacco remains a legal product, and refuse to evolve from the 'all or nothing' approach of the past; an approach that is outdated, irresponsible, and has unintended consequences.  

"If governments, and health groups, truly have public health as their objective, they will look to innovative and progressive ways to reduce tobacco use," continued Polet. "The concept of 'Tobacco Harm Reduction' offers a viable approach. For this to work, governments and the public health community need to embrace this concept and the products that support it."

Many arguments currently being made by the scientific community, the industry, and public health campaigners demonstrate the need for policy makers to carefully consider the benefits of tobacco harm reduction and give it their full support.

"We believe that tobacco harm reduction provides a promising public health policy direction," concluded Ms. Polet. "The current path of heavy-handed regulations and excessive taxation has many unintended consequences such as contraband, government lost tax revenue, as well as increasing harassment on the segment of the adult population that wishes to retain its right to smoke. It is time for government to look at new options, tobacco harm reduction in particular. We believe we should be a part of this discussion, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate on making this policy a reality."

British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Canada's parent company, invests approximately $350 million per year in research and development which is enabling it to develop an expanding range of alternative tobacco and nicotine products that strike a balance between harm reduction, regulations and the legitimate needs of educated adult consumers.

 

SOURCE: Imperial Tobacco Canada

For further information: Sebastien Dolan, Spokesperson, 514-932-6161 ext: 2222, www.imperialtobaccocanada.com


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