Imperial Tobacco Canada files legal challenge against New Brunswick menthol ban

MONTREAL, March 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada, the country's leading legal tobacco company, has filed a legal challenge against New Brunswick's menthol ban, which took effect on January 1, 2016. 

"By prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes, the Government of New Brunswick has stepped beyond its legislative authority, which leaves us with no other choice than to bring this matter before the courts," said Tamara Gitto, Vice President, Legal and External Affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada.  "Legal action is not something we want to undertake, nor something we enter lightly, however the New Brunswick government has left us with no choice in the matter."

Banning menthol tobacco products will not eliminate these products from the New Brunswick market as consumers turn to the well-established illegal tobacco market. The RCMP has stated in a recent Telegraph Journal article that there "has been little change in the steady stream of contraband tobacco products smuggled into New Brunswick from other provinces, notably Quebec and Ontario."

"Imperial Tobacco Canada recognizes the health risks associated with smoking, and that is why we support responsible, fact-based regulation, especially when it comes to protecting young people," said Ms. Gitto. "However, we will continue to oppose excessive regulation that will not achieve any of the government's stated-objectives and that could actually prove counter-productive."

The tobacco industry is one of the most regulated industries in Canada, at both the Federal and Provincial levels. The industry must comply with over 200 laws and regulations including those that require the 75 per cent graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and laws that see tobacco products hidden from public view at retail outlets all while an illegal traffickers continue to operate with complete disregard for such regulation.

SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada

For further information: Media Contact: Lauriane Ayivi, Torchia Communications, 514-288-8290 ext. 233,; Marie-Emmanuelle Khoury, Torchia Communications, 514 288-8290 ext. 214,

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