Imperial Tobacco Canada asks: "What would a world with no legal tobacco industry really look like?"

Imperial Tobacco Canada asks: "What would a world with no legal tobacco 
industry really look like?" 
MONTREAL, May 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Every year around the world, May 
31(st) 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 to: 

    --  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 
    --  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: on Flickr and on YouTube.

MEDIA CONTACTS Eric Gagnon Manager, Corporate Affairs 514-932-6161 ext: 2222



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