On June 25th, Canada’s Federal Department of Health published draft regulations outlining new packaging requirements for all tobacco products sold in Canada. These new requirements include traditional cigars. As proposed, these regulations under the new Bill called Bill S-5, will cause unnecessary harm and injury to independently owned and operated cigar stores and their suppliers across Canada.
Our industry is not the big tobacco companies that produce cigarettes. Our industry, specialist tobacco product, is made up of cigar stores that are small family owned businesses. We sell these hand made products crafted by women and men in the developing world to adults here in Canada. Health Canada acknowledges that if their Bill is implemented fully, more than fifty percent of the cigars currently available in Canada will disappear from our shelves as most manufacturers will refuse or be unable to comply with the new rules due to cost.
Traditional cigars account for less than .01% of the tobacco products sold in Canada but are almost 100% of the business of Canada’s cigar shops. This new legislation, if passed without an exemption for specialist tobacco product, will cause unnecessary loss of jobs in Canada, and in the small factories making these products in Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
There is a better way to address the tobacco issues regulated in Health Canada’s Bill S-5: it is the Better Cigar Plan. The Better Cigar Plan achieves the aims of Health Canada’s legislation while insuring collateral damage to the traditional cigar industry is entirely avoided. We have until September 6th, 2018 to make our collective voices heard during what is called the Consultation Period.
The Better Cigar Plan adopts the British model for plain packaging. The Better Cigar Plan would ask that specialist tobacco products be exempt from Bill S-5. Britain exempted traditional cigars from their legislation because they realized that cigars have no appeal to youth. In doing so, health authorities in Britain managed to enforce Plain and Standardized Packaging on 99% of their tobacco market without causing unnecessary harm to the cigar industry in the UK.
We aim to achieve the same, insuring that small family-run enterprises across Canada would be spared the disastrous effects of this legislation.
We have drafted a letter that we need you to send to your local MP. Not sure who that is exactly or how to get ahold of them? We’ve got you covered!
Select your province from the dropdown below, then select your city. This will give you a list of your local MPs. Click on one of them and it will open up your email a new message which you can edit or send as is.
Once you've selected your province and city from the dropdown lists below, click on the email address of the MP you'd like to send the letter to and your email program should open with the pre-populated email for your MP. Be sure to sign your name at the bottom of the email.
If you use a web-based email (like gmail) or are having issues or and want to just copy and paste the email info, click here.
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