Canada flavor-free cigarettes law targeted by Kentucky grower ads..


October 19, 2009 - The Canadian government is being targeted in a new U.S. advertising campaign that alleges Ottawa's latest anti-smoking law violates international trade agreements by discriminating against U.S. cigarette imports.

In newspaper ads that will run next week in two widely read Capitol Hill newspapers, Kentucky's burley-tobacco growers say they've been side-swiped by legislation that bans candy-flavoured products marketed to youth.

Burley tobacco is air-cured tobacco used primarily for cigarette production. Its growth is centered in Kentucky.

The farmers also are preparing a World Trade Organization complaint that contends provisions in Bill

C-32, which received royal assent October 8, unfairly outlaws the sale in Canada of U.S.-style cigarettes blended with burley.

"We feel like this is ultimately a violation of trade treaties. We want to make sure the folks in the Canadian government are aware of that," Roger Quarles, president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Co-operative Association, said in an interview yesterday.

"It will eliminate an entire class of products from legally being sold in Canada."

At issue are amendments to the Tobacco Act that ban the use of certain flavours and additives in cigarettes and cigarillos that Ottawa says are marketed primarily at children and teenagers.

Health Canada says the legislation will prohibit the tobacco industry from adding fruit and candy flavors such as chocolate, grape, banana and peach to make their product more appealing to youth. Menthol cigarettes are exempt from the ban.

But Kentucky tobacco growers contend the legislation has been written so broadly that it also bans U.S.-blend cigarettes - including popular brands such as Camel and Winston - that include burley tobacco. Tobacco growers and manufactures say flavoring is added during normal processing only to mitigate the naturally harsh taste of burley.

Health Canada has responded by saying U.S.-style cigarettes are manufactured with flavorings, including "sugars and sweeteners to enhance their taste." Ottawa also has noted that cigarettes made with burley tobacco represent just 0.5 per cent of the total value of the Canadian market.

The Canadian government is being targeted in a new U.S. advertising campaign that alleges Ottawa's latest anti-smoking law violates international trade agreements by discriminating against U.S. cigarette imports.

In newspaper ads that will run next week in two widely read Capitol Hill newspapers, Kentucky's burley-tobacco growers say they've been side-swiped by legislation that bans candy-flavoured products marketed to youth.

Burley tobacco is air-cured tobacco used primarily for cigarette production. Its growth is centred in Kentucky.

The farmers also are preparing a World Trade Organization complaint that contends provisions in Bill

C-32, which received royal assent Oct. 8, unfairly outlaws the sale in Canada of U.S.-style cigarettes blended with burley.

"We feel like this is ultimately a violation of trade treaties. We want to make sure the folks in the Canadian government are aware of that," Roger Quarles, president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Co-operative Association, said in an interview yesterday.

"It will eliminate an entire class of products from legally being sold in Canada."

At issue are amendments to the Tobacco Act that ban the use of certain flavours and additives in cigarettes and cigarillos that Ottawa says are marketed primarily at children and teenagers.

Health Canada says the legislation will prohibit the tobacco industry from adding fruit and candy flavours such as chocolate, grape, banana and peach to make their product more appealing to youth. Menthol cigarettes are exempt from the ban.

But Kentucky tobacco growers contend the legislation has been written so broadly that it also bans U.S.-blend cigarettes - including popular brands such as Camel and Winston - that include burley tobacco. Tobacco growers and manufactures say flavouring is added during normal processing only to mitigate the naturally harsh taste of burley.

Health Canada has responded by saying U.S.-style cigarettes are manufactured with flavourings, including "sugars and sweeteners to enhance their taste."

Ottawa also has noted that cigarettes made with burley tobacco represent just 0.5 per cent of the total value of the Canadian market.

Reference: U.S. tobacco growers fighting bill Ottawa's ban on flavored products upsets farmers by SHELDON ALBERTS, Canwest News Service, 10/16/2009.

Related news briefs:
Canada - bill to ban flavored tobacco products gets final approval - Burley Tobacco..;
Canadian bill to ban flavored tobacco products worries Kentucky burley growers..;
Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey - 2008..;
Canadian House of Commons passes bill to prevent production of mini-cigars or cigarillos..; Canada - Bill C-32 to amend Tobacco Products Control Act..;
Canada - federal government introduces legislation to ban flavored tobacco products..;
Canada - little cigar/cigarillos smoking declined from 2007 - 2008..;
Canadian Cancer Society calls for federal ban on flavored cigars..;
Ontario to outlaw candy flavored cigars..;
Ontario poised to ban flavored cigarillos..;
Canada: a bill introduced to snuff out drive to recruit young smokers..;
Still sucking our youngsters in...

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