Canadian Smoking Ban Needs Modification

Published on November 5th, 2009 14:27

U.S anti-tobacco groups asked president to challenge Canada’s law banning flavored cigarettes and small cigars. Their request comes even as the administration takes its own steps to ban candy, clove and other flavored cigarettes.

Roger Quarles, president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, said: “Canada’s ban on blended cigarettes violates its WTO (World Trade Organization) obligations and could impose serious economic hardship on U.S. growers of burley tobacco. We are asking USTR (U.S. Trade Representative) to review our arguments and to take a strong stand for U.S. burley growers and American jobs”.

Philip Morris, which markets its Marlboro cigarettes product in approximately 160 countries, joined the burley growers and several other tobacco associations in asking USTR to press Canada on the issue at a WTO meeting on “technical” trade barriers next week in Geneva. Canada’s new anti-smoking law prohibited the manufacture, importation and sale of most flavored cigarettes and small cigars which went into effect earlier this month.

Anti-smoking scientists said that the fruit-flavored cigarettes were marketed like candy to lure young smokers, but the industry complained the law was too broad and would unfairly limit importation of U.S.-grown burley tobacco. Purposing to pressure the Obama administration to take up the issue, Republican Senator Jim Bunning from the tobacco-growing state of Kentucky has blocked the six-month-old nomination of Miriam Sapiro as deputy U.S. trade deputy.

The U.S. tobacco groups said that they are for the goal of banning candy-flavored cigarettes. But they said Canada could have done that without discriminating against American blend cigarettes by following the model recently set by the United States, France and Australia.

Obama, who has said he began smoking as a teenager and struggled as an adult to give it up, signed a law in June giving the U.S. government broad regulatory power for the first time over cigarettes and other tobacco products. And last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration used the new authority to execute a ban on candy, clove and other flavored cigarettes. But neither the U.S. nor the Canadian ban includes menthol-flavored cigarettes.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub. All rights reserved.

Related tags: smoking ban | tobacco Industry | flavored cigarette | small cigar | smoking law | smoke

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