Vaping ads should discourage youth, urge smokers to switch: Rothmans, Benson & Hedges

MARCH 21, 2019

Vaping ads should discourage youth, urge smokers to switch: Rothmans, Benson & Hedges

TORONTO, March 21, 2019 /CNW/ - Government should take action to prevent the advertising and promotion of vaping to youth while it explores how such technologies could help switch adult Canadians away from cigarettes, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (RBH) said today in its submission to Health Canada.

Vaping should never be advertised or promoted in a way that would target youth, so new rules are needed here, RBH said. Vaping should be responsibly regulated, marketed and sold only in a manner that would provide an alternative to cigarettes for current adult smokers.

Specifically, RBH welcomes restrictions on both the placement and content of advertising of vaping products, as well as retail promotions, to keep vaping away from youth.

But a complete ban on advertising and promotion of vaping would miss an opportunity to improve the health of the 4-million current Canadians smokers who might otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes.

Government should consider more opportunities to provide current adult smokers with readily-available and accurate information about less harmful alternatives to cigarettes, such as vaping.

Health Canada already acknowledges that there are different health risks between vaping and smoking. RBH encourages government to continue to be guided by this continuum of risk and the growing body of scientific evidence regarding the risks specific to each type of tobacco and nicotine-containing product. 

The goal of RBH is to stop selling cigarettes and to help transition adult smokers to less harmful alternatives if they are not going to quit nicotine completely.

The Government of Canada can make that happen even faster by embracing science, technology and innovation when it comes to alternatives to smoking for adults, such as vaping or heating, a process where consumers can heat, not burn tobacco.

QUOTES: Peter Luongo, Managing Director, RBH

"The best choice is to never start vaping, smoking or using any nicotine product or quit entirely.”

"We fully support the government's goal of curbing youth vaping. That's just common sense to set Canada on a path to be smoke-free."

"Vaping can be a responsible alternative to cigarettes for current adult smokers – and Health Canada should consider this in its new advertising rules on vaping."

"Breakthrough innovations in vaping and other smoke-free technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to help an entire population leave cigarettes behind."

"Innovative nicotine alternatives, such as vaping or heating, are different than smoking and should be part of a common-sense approach by governments to improve overall public health."

"The federal government can make Canada smoke-free faster by letting Canadians know more about their choices."

A complete copy of RBH's submission to Health Canada is available upon request.

About Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., an affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc., is one of Canada's leading tobacco companies and employs nearly 800 people across the country with its headquarters in Toronto and a factory in Québec City. RBH is a certified Top Employer 2019 in Canada for excellence in employee conditions.

About Philip Morris International: Building a Smoke-Free Future

Philip Morris International (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders. PMI is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the U.S. PMI is building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, PMI aims to ensure that its smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. PMI's smoke-free IQOS product portfolio includes heated tobacco and nicotine-containing vapor products. As of Dec. 31, 2018, PMI estimates that approximately 6.6 million adult smokers around the world have already stopped smoking and switched to PMI's heated tobacco product, which is currently available for sale in 44 markets in key cities or nationwide under the IQOS brand. For more information, see PMI and PMIScience websites.

SOURCE Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.

About RBH

Rothmans, Benson and Hedges (RBH), a subsidiary of Philip Morris International Inc., is one of Canada’s leading tobacco companies. We are also leading the Unsmoke Canada conversation and helping Canadians go smoke-free.

We employ more than 780 people in seven offices and one manufacturing plant across Canada.

At RBH, we think big, start small, and move fast by celebrating diversity of opinions to ensure the best ideas win.

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