The Government of Canada Can be a Global Leader in Smoking Harm Reduction: RBH
TORONTO, ON, September 22, 2023 – The Government of Canada should not miss the opportunity to position Canada as a leader when it comes to smoking harm reduction, one of Canada’s leading tobacco and nicotine companies said today.
With Parliament resuming, Mindaugas Trumpaitis, Managing Director of Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH) noted the recent Cabinet appointments of Mark Holland, Minister of Health and Ya’ara Saks, the new Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, stating that opportunities lay ahead for Canada, at the federal level, to drive change to help ensure Canada can meet its smoking reduction targets.
“There’s no doubt Canada can be a global leader in reducing the harm caused by smoking, but it requires actionable steps, such as creating policy that differentiates between smoke-free products and cigarettes,” said Trumpaitis.
According to RBH, government policy has not kept pace with the innovation of smoke-free products. Cigarettes burn tobacco and create smoke, which contains high levels of harmful or potentially harmful chemicals – the primary cause of smoking related disease. Alternative products, such as heated tobacco and vaping products, eliminate the burning of tobacco and smoke, which means that average levels of harmful chemicals can be significantly reduced compared to cigarettes.
While these smoke-free products are addictive and not risk-free, they offer adult smokers better and potentially less harmful alternatives compared to continuing to smoke cigarettes, and government policy should reflect this.
As part of the Government’s recently launched public consultation process to inform the second legislative review of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA), RBH is outlining three actions that could be taken by the newly appointed Ministers to help accelerate Canada’s smoking reduction ambition:
- Allow for informed choices by legalizing access to accurate information and data to ensure that adult cigarette smokers have the best available scientific information through comparative statements on all nicotine products such as heated tobacco, vaping, SNUS, and nicotine pouches;
- Ensure regulations differentiate cigarettes (combustible products) from smoke-free products (non-combustible products such as heated tobacco, vaping products, SNUS and nicotine pouches) instead of simply regulating as tobacco or non-tobacco products;
- Ensure that only smoke-free products that are scientifically substantiated and intended only for adult smokers can enter the market. We are emphatic in our message: These smoke-free products are not intended for people who have never smoked, people who have already quit, or anyone below the legal age of tobacco and nicotine use. Minors should NOT use any tobacco or nicotine-containing product. This is beyond question.
We share the same goal of building a smoke-free future for all Canadians and we have been transforming as a company to be part of the solution,” said Kory McDonald, Head, External Affairs, RBH. “Right now, Canadians have the right to be asking why our country is failing to take steps to support the adoption of alternative nicotine products. My hope is that, in our lifetime, we will instead be asking ‘do you remember when Canadians smoked?’”
To learn more about RBH, visit: https://www.rbhinc.ca/
About Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.
Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), an affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc., is one of Canada’s leading tobacco and nicotine companies and is working to deliver a smoke-free future. RBH is committed to sustainability and creating a positive impact on communities, the economy, and the environment. Currently, RBH employs nearly 800 people across the country with its headquarters in Toronto and a factory in Québec City. Discover more about the company at https://www.rbhinc.ca/ and stay updated on RBH’s transformation by following Twitter and LinkedIn.
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