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
-- 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:
www.bat.com on Flickr and on YouTube.
MEDIA CONTACTS Eric Gagnon Manager, Corporate Affairs 514-932-6161 ext: 2222
SOURCE: IMPERIAL TOBACCO CANADA
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-0- May/30/2013 13:49 GMT
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