New Brunswick's lawsuit has nothing to do with public health



    MONTREAL, March 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada is disappointed
that a senior partner in the tobacco industry, the Government of New
Brunswick, has decided to move forward with legal action that is simply a cash
grab and not in the interest of New Brunswick taxpayers.
    "Governments are senior partners in the tobacco industry. Governments in
Canada earn from tobacco 18 times the profits of the entire tobacco industry,
they heavily regulate the industry and have been fully aware of the risks
associated with tobacco products for decades," said Benjamin Kemball,
president and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada. "It is hypocritical that
governments, like New Brunswick, turn around and sue a legal industry that
they oversee and license while allowing an illegal tobacco industry to
flourish."
    Governments across Canada collect approximately $8 billion in taxes from
the tobacco industry; the province of New Brunswick collects over $80 million
a year.
    Imperial Tobacco Canada believes that this lawsuit will take years to be
resolved and will cost the New Brunswick taxpayers millions of dollars. A
similar action in British Columbia has been ongoing for almost ten years. It
has cost BC well over $20 million and it is still not over.
    "This lawsuit is a waste of taxpayers' money and will never result in the
monetary windfall the New Brunswick government hopes for," said Mr. Kemball.
"Under this arrangement, the only real winners here will be the lawyers,
including the US two plaintiffs law firms leading the invasion presumably to
introduce the 'jackpot justice' rampant in the United States."
    In the very unlikely scenario that any of the provincial governments
prevail, there is no hidden vault of money for settlements. The claims will
run into the billions of dollars for just one province. This is more than the
profits of the entire tobacco industry.

    Further information on Imperial Tobacco Canada is available on the
Internet at: www.imperialtobaccocanada.com.




For further information:

For further information: Media: Catherine Doyle, Manager, Corporate
Communications, (514) 932-6161, ext. 2113


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