MONTREAL, May 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Every year around the world, May
31st is known as World No Tobacco Day. While some of the industry's critics
are concerned with improving public health, a vocal minority seems more
concerned with simply driving the tobacco industry out of business,
assuming this will see an end to smoking overnight.
Imperial Tobacco Canada believes these critics should be careful what
they wish for and poses the question: "What would a world with no legal
tobacco industry really look like?"
"The reality is that there will always be a number of adults that will
continue to make a conscious decision to smoke despite the health
risks," said Marie Polet, President and CEO. "But instead of buying
legal, taxed cigarettes, made by legitimate tobacco companies and sold
by reputable retailers, they would turn to black market sources to get
what they want."
The tobacco industry is highly regulated, sells a legal product and is a
legitimate business. Imperial Tobacco Canada conducts itself in a
professional and responsible way, abiding by all the laws and
regulations set forth by governments across Canada.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the sophisticated network of
illegal traffickers, ready and waiting to step in and take over should
the legitimate tobacco industry cease to exist. Canada is already home
to more than 50 unlicensed and unregulated cigarette factories and 300
smoke-shacks located on First Nations reserves. Governments are already
losing billions of dollars in tax revenues annually, while a recent
study from the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit states that contraband
cigarettes undermine government smoking cessation efforts.
"These people don't abide by the law or follow government regulation,
they don't pay taxes, they don't care what's in their products and they
happily sell to minors. If the legal tobacco industry didn't exist to
supply tobacco products, illegal traffickers would fill the void and
this cannot be the outcome that society wants," said Ms. Polet.
Imperial Tobacco Canada has a long term commitment to sustainability;
strives to bring reduced harm products to the Canadian market;
continues to fight illegal tobacco trade; generates excise revenue; and
provides employment to thousands of employees and suppliers.
However, a world with no legitimate tobacco industry would see an end
Responsible product marketing: We want to be perfectly clear, kids should not smoke. Children are not
and will never be our audience. Our marketing is aimed at informed
adult smokers who are aware of the health risks associated with tobacco
use. But the same can't be said about illegal traffickers who are
already actively selling tobacco products without asking any
proof-of-age. Black market cigarettes are also significantly cheaper,
making them more accessible to children at pocket money prices.
Over $8 billion per year in taxes: That's the figure generated in tobacco taxes in Canada each year, at
least ten times the net profit of the entire industry.
Transparent, accountable and responsible manufacturers and a rise in
tobacco trafficking and associated criminality: The RCMP and the FBI have stated that among those who traffic illegal
tobacco some also deal in money laundering, drugs, human trafficking
and fund terrorist organisations.
Product quality: Illegal cigarettes are produced in factories that are not inspected and
for which there is no quality control. We work tirelessly to manage the
integrity of our entire supply chain and provide adults customers with
high quality products that comply with more than 200 laws and
Thousands of jobs: Imperial Tobacco Canada and the entire tobacco industry employ
thousands of people directly and indirectly.
Significant investment in research and development of reduced-risk
tobacco products: There would be no incentive for criminals to start doing this. British
American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Canada's parent company, continues
to work towards developing a range of potentially less risky tobacco
and nicotine-based alternatives that would meet adult smokers'
A vision of what the world would look like without a legal tobacco
industry has been brought to life in a series of pictures which can be
found at: www.bat.com on Flickr and on YouTube.
SOURCE: IMPERIAL TOBACCO CANADA
For further information:
Manager, Corporate Affairs
514-932-6161 ext: 2222