Over the past 10 years,Canada has become one of the most heavily regulated tobacco markets in the world .
The manufacture, sale and use of tobacco products are subject to over 200 laws and regulations nationwide enacted at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. Legislation in all 13 provinces and territories bans the use of retail display (2005-2010), and federal regulations restrict the use of nearly all ingredients (2010). Recently, the government adopted a law to increase the size of graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging from 50% to 75% of the package surface (2012). In some provinces, the tax on tobacco products represents 85% of the retail price.
Given the health risks associated with the use of tobacco products, we agree with the need for regulation. We support effective, evidence-based regulation that can help reduce the impact of tobacco consumption on public health, while balancing the rights of informed adult consumers to choose the product they prefer.
Like any business, we believe we have a role to play in the regulatory process. We take that role seriously, and we want to be part of discussions. We speak out regularly on issues that affect our company, industry and its stakeholders, and aim to contribute constructively and transparently to the public policy debates around tobacco.