Imperial Tobacco Canada responds to Prime Minister Harper

    MONTREAL, Sept. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - In response to the Prime Minister's
call to crack down on the sale of cigarillos and flavoured cigarettes to
reduce their attractiveness to youth, Imperial Tobacco Canada would like to
ask the Right Honourable Stephen Harper to include in this crack down the
rampant illegal tobacco market that currently plagues Canada, targets Canada's
youth and undermines all of Canada's tobacco control policies.

    The facts and figures are staggering:

    - 13 billion illegal cigarettes are sold in Canada (2008).
    - 32.7% of cigarettes purchased in Canada are illegal.
    - Almost 50% of cigarettes purchased in Ontario are illegal.
    - The penetration of illegal tobacco among youth in Canada runs at about
      30%, with levels in some municipalities in Quebec as high as 70% and as
      high as 50% in Ontario (Youth access to un-taxed tobacco products.
      Study conducted in 2007).
    - 200 illegal cigarettes can be purchased for as low as $6.

    These findings seem to validate some of Health Canada's conclusions from
the recent Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, in particular the
stabilization of tobacco incidence among minors and, indeed the general
population, after many years of decline.
    Inaction on illegal tobacco sales gives minors unrestricted access to
cigarettes at pocket money prices. And, criminals who traffic illegal tobacco
do not ask for proof of age.
    Imperial Tobacco Canada does not produce or sell cigarillos or flavored
cigarettes, except mentholated products. The Company does not target minors in
any of its marketing practices.

For further information:

For further information: Sophie Alarie, Imperial Tobacco Canada, (514)
932-6161 x 2381,

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