** please make sure you change all of the items in RED to be personalized **
Also, if you could include the CC'd addresses below, we would be very grateful.
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
(MP Name), MP
Dear MP (Last Name),
I am a private citizen and I am writing to have my voice heard on an important matter related to standardized packaging under Bill S-5, the Tobacco and Vaping Regulations Act as it pertains to specialty tobacco products, namely cigars and pipe tobacco. I am submitting these comments as part of the consultation on the Tobacco Products Information Regulations posted for comment on June 23, 2018.
I respect the intent of the legislation and the proposed regulations, however, I do not support extending standardized packaging to the specialty tobacco market.
Cigars and pipe tobacco do not belong under these regulations as they represent a very small, niche segment of the tobacco market and are not what should be the main target - cigarettes and ‘big tobacco.’ Small businesses will be affected, public health issues will not be materially affected, and my own personal rights and freedoms will be compromised.
I worry that my local tobacconist, who is representative of many other family run small businesses across this country, would have to close should these regulations pass. Our local tobacconist retails these products extremely responsibly, and I have never seen a person under 20 inside. Them closing would be disappointing to me as they don’t seem to deserve this, and I have developed a relationship with the workers in this shop and enjoy the customer experience.
Myself and everyone I know who enjoys cigars and pipe tobacco does so responsibly and only occasionally. Cigars are not meant to be inhaled or consumed in packs as cigarettes are. I understand that these products aren’t “healthy” but they are a better alternative to cigarettes. In addition, I can’t imagine cigars appealing to youth given the cost, the association that cigars and pipe tobacco have, and the difficulty in finding a local tobacconist.
I admit that I am frustrated by the thought that one of my occasional hobbies, which I enjoy responsibly, will be at risk through this seemingly arbitrary government intervention. I say ‘arbitrary’ in relation to cigars and pipe tobacco as I am sure this segment is only a fraction of what the cigarette market is. My hope in submitting this is that Health Canada will take a common-sense approach before making these regulations final. Please grant an exemption for specialty tobacco products under the Tobacco Products Information Regulations.
Thank you for your consideration,