Leaked Document from Imperial Tobacco Shows How the CCSA and its Affiliate Were Used as Front Groups to Block Health Regulations and Tobacco Taxes

OTTAWA and MONTREAL, Oct. 18, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - A confidential presentation by Imperial Tobacco Canada to its multinational parent company, British American Tobacco, reveals both the objectives and tactics behind the company's decade-long campaign to "keep the contraband issue alive", despite the fact that contraband decreased substantially in the country during this period.

The document, provided by an anonymous whistleblower, shows how Imperial Tobacco used retailer and other business associations as front groups for their lobbying efforts aimed at preventing effective regulations and tax increases.

The Imperial Tobacco presentation describes the public relations and lobbying activities of two seemingly independent groups — the Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA) and the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) as "Our Campaigns".

The document explains how these groups succeeded in providing a "credible voice for contraband tobacco", a key strategic goal for the industry given its own lack of credibility. For example, the NCACT, which was set up by the CCSA and is managed by the lobbying firm Impact Public Affairs, is seen playing a key role in distancing Imperial Tobacco even further from its anti-regulation and anti-tax public relations campaigns ("Not just 'Big Tobacco'!"). The document also shows how the industry was able to recruit credible third parties (like municipalities), purportedly to combat contraband, in order to use as political leverage to influence government policies and prevent the implementation of effective tobacco control measures.

To see the complete press release, including the reactions from health groups, relevant links and references, click here: http://www.cqct.qc.ca/Communiques_docs/2016/

Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, Non-Smokers' Rights Association, Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control


SOURCE Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac

For further information: Cynthia Callard, Executive Director, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. 613-600-5794, cell ; Melodie Tilson, Director of Policy, Non-Smokers' Rights Association. 613-882-6125, cell ; Flory Doucas, Codirector and spokesperson, Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control. 514-598-5533 ; 514-515-6780, cell

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