Imperial Tobacco ‘shocked’ by Health Canada’s proposed package regulations

OTTAWA — Imperial Tobacco says Health Canada’s proposed plain packaging regulations for cigarettes are confusing and warns it may have to go to court if changes aren’t made.

Eric Gagnon, head of corporate and regulatory affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada, says his organization is ‘shocked and confused’ by the proposed regulations.

Health Canada published its draft regulations last week and opened a 75-day consultation period for people to provide written submissions on its proposed changes to cigarette packages, which aim to make them drab and unattractive.

Gagnon says his company can’t understand the government’s decision to legalize marijuana while imposing ‘extreme measures’ on tobacco products.

One of the regulations Gagnon tackles is a proposal to axe flip-top packaging and return to slide and shell packs, because he says it would take two years to build new machines to change the packaging format.

Gagnon says Imperial Tobacco will raise its concerns during the consultation period and hopes they’re considered — otherwise it may have to go to court.

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