Imperial Tobacco Canada responds to new tobacco surtax



    MONTREAL, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada believes that
certain provisions of the federal government's Bill C-50, which include the
application of a surtax on "manufactured tobacco" sold in quantities equal to
or lower than 50 grams, will ultimately impede the introduction of new
smokeless tobacco products with potentially lower health risks such as Swedish
style snus.
    "While we acknowledge that there is no safe tobacco product, we believe
that adult Canadian smokers deserve to have product options that represent
potentially lower health risks than smoking, and we believe that the tobacco
industry should be encouraged, not discouraged, to bring these products to the
Canadian market," said Benjamin Kemball, President and CEO of Imperial Tobacco
Canada. "When certain provisions of the bill come into force next week the
price of snus will increase to such a degree that smokers might not consider
them a viable option."
    Products with potentially lower health risks than smoking, such as snus,
a smokeless tobacco used orally, which is not chewed or spit, are
traditionally sold in quantities much lower than 50 grams due to the nature
and usage of the product. When certain sections of Bill C-50 come into force,
the tax on snus will increase from $0.46 to $2.89 per tin; a 600% increase
that would make it more expensive than a pack of cigarettes.
    "It seems strange that while Australia, New Zealand and the EU are all
studying the harm reduction potential of snus, Canada, who claims to be a
leader in the area of tobacco control, seems to be turning a blind eye to this
important issue". Because of the illegal tobacco market, it has never been
easier or cheaper to buy cigarettes in this country. However, the Canadian
government appears to be focusing its attention on regulating out of the
market a tobacco product that has been observed as potentially less risky."
said Mr. Kemball.
    Despite all these challenges, Imperial Tobacco Canada is committed to
offer adult smokers in Canada products that may be less risky and to continue
to test market these products in Canada.

    About Imperial Tobacco Canada

    Imperial Tobacco Canada was founded on June 11, 1908 and continues to be
a Canadian tobacco industry leader. The company, whose head office is based in
Montreal, is a wholly owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT) since
2000 and directly employs 793 people.
    Imperial Tobacco Canada has shaped arts and culture, fashion, sports and
human services across Canada with its constant donations and contributions and
will continue to do so through its Foundation primarily in three focus areas:
Arts and Culture, Human Services and Post-secondary Education.
    Imperial Tobacco Canada conducts its activities under the concept of
sustainable development from an economic, social and environmental standpoint.
 For any additional information on Imperial Tobacco Canada please go to
www.imperialtobaccocanada.com.




For further information:

For further information: Sophie Alarie, Corporate Affairs, Imperial
Tobacco Canada, (514) 932-6161, x 2381, salarie@itl.ca


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