Canadian bill to ban flavored tobacco products worries Kentucky burley growers..

October 6, 2009 - An hour and a half after hearing testimony, a Canadian Senate panel in Ottawa last week approved an anti-smoking bill that Kentucky burley tobacco growers fear may be bad for their business.

The bill, known as the Bill C-32 - Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, passed the Senate Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee on a voice vote and without amendments. It now awaits final action in the Canadian Senate.

Canada’s major health organizations are calling on the Senate of Canada to give priority to the passage of bill. The legislation would stop tobacco companies from using fruit, candy and other flavourings in cigarettes and cigarillos and would ban tobacco ads in publications that can be viewed by youth. C-32 was introduced in the House of Commons by Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq to implement a commitment made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Canada - federal government introduces legislation to ban flavored tobacco products...

Burley growers are worried that the bill will end the export of American burley to Canada.

We reported on June 17, 2009 that Kentucky tobacco growers contend the Canadian legislation has been written so broadly it could also bar American-blend cigarettes that include burley tobacco. (Canada - Bill C-32 to amend Tobacco Products Control Act..)

Burley is one of three kinds of tobacco mixed together with additives for blended tobacco. Some Kentucky lawmakers, led by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-1st District, have written to American and Canadian officials that because the pending bill in the Canadian Parliament prohibits many of the additives used in blended tobacco, the measure effectively bans burley.

With 85 percent of U.S. burley exported, the implications of the Canadian action and possible similar actions by other nations are enormous, the Kentuckians warned.

But the Canadian Senate panel did not change any provisions of the bill, despite warnings that the legislation could close the Rothmans, Benson & Hedges cigarette plant in Quebec, where blended tobacco is used.

Debra Steger, an international trade law expert with Rothmans, said that the blended cigarettes in question don’t have a flavored taste like chocolate or fruit — the real target of the legislation. Canada should focus on banning cigarettes that have flavors, not on additives, she said.

But Cynthia Callard, executive director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, told the Senate committee that the regulations should treat all tobacco products equally and not single out American-style blended cigarettes for special regulation.

An official with Health Canada, the federal government department that deals with health laws, said the new anti-smoking bill would not affect the blended cigarettes that are made in Quebec and then exported.

Reference: Canadian bill worries Kentucky tobacco growers, James R. Carroll (, Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/3/2009.

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