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Tobacco Product Issues

Compliance & Integrity

NSTC's success depends on our people and how we conduct business. We pursue our business objectives with integrity and in full compliance with all applicable laws.


We work hard to achieve a culture of compliance and integrity that

  • Prevents misconduct;
  • Identifies and addresses misconduct promptly and effectively when it does occur; and
  • Makes it easy for employees to always do the right thing.


Our compliance and integrity program starts with our Mission & Values, which is the foundation for how all employees conduct themselves. Altria's Standards for Compliance & Integrity outlines the structure for our Compliance & Integrity program, and our Code of Conduct outlines key risk areas and the principles that guide employees' actions.


Altria's Chairman, CEO and President, the Board of Directors and senior officers are accountable for Altria's Compliance & Integrity Program.


Speaking Up & Preventing Retaliation

Our compliance and integrity program is built on personal accountability. We require our employees to speak up if they believe misconduct has occurred or if something just doesn't seem right. We also make it clear that we will not tolerate retaliation against employees who raise good faith compliance concerns.


Training

All employees receive training on the Code of Conduct and how to use it in decision making. The Code also requires employees to speak up if they believe misconduct has taken place. We expect our employees to comply with the Code and company policies relevant to their jobs.


NSTC supports reasonable product regulation and complies with all applicable federal and provincial tobacco laws. Federal law requires periodic reporting on products imported or manufactured, manufacturing procedures, ingredients and constituents, sales by product, research activities and permitted advertising to adult consumers.


To learn more about tobacco laws in your jurisdiction, please click on your province below.

Despite efforts to persuade people never to start or to quit once they do, millions of adults will continue using tobacco products. For these consumers, reduced-risk products may offer a promising opportunity to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking.


Tobacco Harm Reduction

A strong public health consensus has formed that not all tobacco products present the same risk. Public health authorities agree that there is a broad continuum of risk among tobacco products, with cigarettes at the highest end of that spectrum. This continuum recognizes that most of the harm caused by tobacco results from the burning of tobacco.


NSTC has urged Health Canada to recognize the continuum of risk for tobacco products and to consider a tobacco control approach that complements effective prevention and cessation strategies with a focus on transitioning adult smokers to less hazardous products.


For more information on tobacco harm reduction, please refer to NSTC's submission on the government of Canada's Consultation on the Future of Tobacco Control in Canada.




Legislative Issues

Not all tobacco products are the same – nor should they be regulated as if they are. Unique product considerations should be factored into all government tobacco control efforts, including fiscal and health policy efforts.


Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products

The federal government has proposed plain and standardized packaging for tobacco products in Canada. While NSTC agrees with the government's stated goals of preventing youth use and helping users quit, we do not believe the government's proposal should be adopted. Plain packaging regulations have not been shown to decrease tobacco use and will significantly constrain legitimate communications to adult tobacco consumers about a legal product.


Under existing provincial restrictions, tobacco products are not visible at retail and in-store advertising is banned. Other federal and provincial laws impose significant restrictions on smokeless tobacco products, including restrictions on sampling, price promotion, advertising and strict labeling requirements that already occupy a significant amount of the package with non-promotional messages. Given the current regulatory regime, plain packaging for smokeless tobacco products is not necessary and does not represent reasonably tailored regulation of these products.


Click here to learn more about NSTC's position on the government's plain and standardized packaging proposal.


Tobacco Taxes

NSTC supports fair and appropriate taxation of tobacco products. Smokeless tobacco is heavily taxed at both the federal and provincial levels. In many jurisdictions, smokeless tobacco products are disproportionately taxed compared to cigarettes and other tobacco products that are smoked.


Federal and provincial governments should modernize tobacco tax categories to better reflect the variety of tobacco products on the market today. Smokeless tobacco should not be taxed the same as cigarette tobacco for rolling your own cigarettes. By establishing distinct categories for loose tobacco products – one for smoked tobacco and one for tobacco that is not smoked – tax policy would more accurately reflect the current tobacco product marketplace. Click here to read more about NSTC's positions on the taxation of smokeless tobacco products.


Underage Access Prevention

Children should not use any tobacco products, and we take our support of, and participation in, programs that help to reduce underage use of tobacco products very seriously.


In Canada, tobacco products are subject to significant restrictions that help to limit underage access. NSTC recommends that all provinces undertake the following legislative and policy actions:

  • Require a mandatory I.D. check for retail purchases of tobacco products
  • Establish provincial penalties for retailers or third parties selling or providing tobacco products to a minor
  • Implement and enforce bans on underage possession of tobacco products as part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy
  • Support provincial implementation of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association’s Responsible Retailer Training program. The infrastructure of this web-based training module is readily available for widespread access by retailers, and government support of this program would further strengthen underage access prevention.

Flavoured Tobacco Products

Tobacco products come in a wide range of flavour varieties, some which have a distinguishable dominant flavour or aroma other than tobacco. Such flavour varieties are not new; some flavour varieties of smokeless tobacco products – including peach and apple-flavoured snuff – have patents that date back to the 1800s.


The prohibition of all smokeless tobacco products with characterizing flavours other than tobacco is not an effective way to address the issue of underage tobacco use and is unfair to adult tobacco consumers who prefer such flavour varieties. Instead of a ban depriving adult tobacco consumers of products they want, the focus should remain on responsible marketing, responsible sale at retail and reducing underage access to tobacco products.


Any regulation of flavoured tobacco products should take into account the history of flavour varieties within each tobacco category.


Contact Your Elected Official

To speak out and make a difference on tobacco issues that matter to you, you may wish to contact your federal or provincial elected official.


To find your federal Member of Parliament, please visit www.ourcommons.ca/en. To find your provincial or territorial representative, click on your province or territory below.

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