End of Parliamentary Commission on Bill 44: Acknowledgement and Caveat from Imperial Tobacco Canada

MONTREAL, Sep. 4, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - On August 31, Imperial Tobacco Canada, the country's largest legal tobacco company, presented its brief to members of the parliamentary committee on Bill 44, An Act to Bolster Tobacco Control. The company offered recommendations aimed at supporting effective and reasonable regulations and to genuinely improve public health.

Taking advantage of the end of the consultation period, which ended yesterday, Imperial Tobacco Canada wishes to thank committee members for their willingness to listen and their comments, and most particularly Ms. Lucie Charlebois, Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health.

Here is a summary of Imperial Tobacco's recommendations:

  • To help prevent smoking among youth, we recommend that the government emphasize prevention and education efforts with young people and their peers. In addition, to help prevent smoking among youth, the government should include a ban on providing or offering tobacco products to minors.
  • Bill 44 should ban candy-flavoured tobacco products, but it should exclude traditional flavours in cigarettes, such as menthol, which are consumed primarily by adults over age 30.
  • While we support the ban on selling e-cigarettes to those under the age of 18, we encourage the government not to subject e-cigarettes to the Tobacco Act, but to define a specific regulatory framework that will allow for fact-based communication with consumers and make these products available in the various distribution networks where smokers usually purchase cigarettes.
  • The Quebec government should include strong measures to tackle and curtail the illegal production and smuggling of tobacco products in the province once and for all.

"In addition to the privilege that was granted to present our brief and have a discussion with parliamentarians, we particularly appreciated the opportunity to share our views with regard to the bill being considered. We hope that the arguments and the proposals that we have raised will be food for thought for the government to improve Bill 44. As we have stated before, we support reasonable and factual regulations, especially if they are intended to protect young people," said Eric Gagnon, Head of External and Corporate Affairs, Imperial Tobacco Canada.

Furthermore, Imperial Tobacco Canada would like to address the general discomfort caused by a particular situation that occurred during its presentation. At the question period granted to Mr. Jean-François Lisée, MNA for Rosemont and member of the commission, despite the respectful atmosphere of the session, Mr. Lisée used disgraceful vocabulary. His labelling of company representatives as being "professional liars" had no place in such discussions.

"Out of respect for its approximately 500 employees and their families, Imperial Tobacco Canada cannot accept that such terms be used to describe those who work for the company and who are driven by values of respect and openness. We say it loud and clear that we do not accept such vocabulary," said Gagnon.


SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada

For further information: Kathleen Stelmach, Torchia Communications, 416-341-9929 ext. 227, 647-830-0354, kathleen@torchiacom.com; Lauriane Ayivi, 514-288-8290 ext. 233 (office), 514-567-1892 (cell), lauriane@torchiacom.com


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