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non-USA, by Country
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Hot Docs: How the Mohawk tobacco industry caught fire  

Jump to full article: Toronto (Ont) Star (ca), 2012-05-03
Author: Linda Barnard

Intro:

Where there’s smoke there’s ire, at least when it comes to critics of the tobacco industry on native reserves, evidenced in Ojibway filmmaker Jeff Dorn’s Smoke Traders.

The TVO-commissioned documentary, which had its world premiere at Hot Docs Thursday, screens again Friday. It will air on TVO this fall.

Dorn, who works at CTV Ottawa, spent three years filming in the Mohawk communities of Akwesasne and Kahnawake, documenting a thriving economy both among cigarette runners and the growing number of native-run cigarette factories and tobacco companies.

The doc starts out with runners making trips across the St. Lawrence River, ferrying duty-free cigarettes from aboriginal land to areas where taxes push up the price of cigarettes. . . .

What was once shadowy enterprise, with smugglers bringing duty-free products from the U.S. to Canadian consumers of black market, tax-free smokes has evolved into a multi-million-dollar industry run by native factory owners who produce cigarettes for tax-free sales on Canadian and U.S. reserves.

“We (Mohawks) control 50 per cent of the industry in Quebec and Ontario,” said Dickson proudly. And if they sell cigarettes to non-natives who come to the reserve to buy them without paying taxes, that’s hardly Rainbow Tobacco’s problem.

As one man says in the doc: “Canada calls it illegal. We call it good business.” . . .

Filmmaker Dorn said he wanted to show another side of native life with Smoke Traders.

“I’m not promoting smoking or tobacco,” said Dorn, who kicked the habit himself just over two months ago.

“The thing that amazed me as an aboriginal man is there’s not much left in the community for people to grab onto and this is something the Mohawks have found. It’s a powerful took and it’s an economic engine. You have an industry that is creating jobs and employment.”

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Categories
· Health/Science
· Lawsuits
non-USA, by Country
· Canada
Organizations
· BAT
· Imperial (ca)

1980s 'safer cigarette' research opposed: former executive  

Former Imperial Tobacco Canada president testifies in class-action lawsuit
Jump to full article: CBC News (ca), 2012-05-03

Intro:

A former president of Imperial Tobacco Canada says the company's largest shareholder attempted to stop an effort to develop safer cigarettes.

Jean-Louis Mercier testified Thursday in the $2-billion class-action lawsuit against Canada's tobacco industry, which was launched by Quebec smokers.

Mercier said in the 1980s he came up with an idea after reading a report by the surgeon general of the United States. The report found tar and nicotine were among the cancer-causing agents in cigarettes.

The former president said he figured cigarettes would become safer if they contained lower amounts of the two carcinogens, so he spearheaded an internal study to try to develop a safer cigarette.

But Mercier said Imperial Tobacco Canada's largest shareholder, British American Tobacco, opposed the effort. He said BAT's chairman at the time sent a letter indicating ITC's research was risky.

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Categories
· Lawsuits
· Secret Documents
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

Day 22 - Second verse, same as the first.... 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-05-03

Intro:

Today's hearing entertained two returning witnesses. In the morning Michel Descoteaux (spokesperson for Imperial Tobacco during the 1980s and 1990s) continued his testimony. In the afternoon Jean-Louis Mercier (president of Imperial Tobacco during the 1980s) returned to continue the testimony he started over April 18th and 19th.

Both men settled into a grove of short answers (often a simple "no," or "I don't remember") and offered few new insights into how the company managed its affairs during their time as senior managers. The documents that were introduced during their testimony, however, shed more light into some of the "sub-plots" of the story of Big Tobacco in Canada.

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Categories
· Business (Tobacco)
· Business (General)
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

Province introduces legislation to ban sale of tobacco in pharmacies 

Jump to full article: Canadian Television (CTV) (ca), 2012-05-01

Intro:

The provincial government announced legislation Tuesday aimed at restricting the sale of tobacco in certain locations.

The proposed legislation would ban tobacco sales in pharmacies and health-care facilities and would prohibit the sale of tobacco products in vending machines.

"Research has shown that making it harder to buy tobacco products helps reduce the number of smokers and helps prevent youth from taking up smoking in the first place," said Jim Rondeau, the province's minister of healthy living.

Brothers Pharmacy says they had already decided to stop selling tobacco.

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Categories
· Secondhand Smoke
· Letter
· Asthma
· Outdoors
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

LETTER: Outdoor smoking affects other people 

Jump to full article: Victoria (BC) Times Colonist (ca), 2012-05-02
Author: Iris Gray Esquimalt

Intro:

The editorial on smoking says nonsmokers should learn to relax and stop telling other people what to do with their health. What the editorial fails to take into account is the effect of cigarette smoke on my health as a non-smoker.

I have severe asthma, and cigarette smoke is one of my triggers. Last summer, I attempted to go to a few events in public parks.

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Categories
· Smokefree Policies
· Dining/Entertainment
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

City council to ask province to standardize smoking ban  

Jump to full article: Kamloops (BC) Daily News (ca), 2012-05-01
Author: Michele Young

Intro:

Coun. Ken Christian put forward a motion calling for the province to consult with industry and bring in regulations to ban smoking in bars, pubs, restaurant patios, parks, playgrounds, beaches and at public events.

He also wanted a ban of at least 7.5 metres from doors, windows and air intakes of public buildings.

The retired environmental health official didn't have an easy time winning the support of his council colleagues.

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Categories
· Federal/National
· Tax
· Labels/Lights
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

Canadian Federal Excise Stamp Mandatory on Tobacco Products 

The government made the announcement yesterday that all tobacco products must carry the federal excise stamp beginning July 1.
Jump to full article: National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), 2012-05-02
Author: RSS Feed

Intro:

The Canadian government announced yesterday that, effective July 1, all tobacco products for sale anywhere in the Canadian market must carry the federal excise stamp. No person shall sell, offer for sale, or possess these tobacco products unless they are stamped in accordance with the Excise Act of 2001. Any person who contravenes this requirement is liable to a fine, imprisonment, or both.

The excise stamp indicates that federal excise duty has been paid and that the product was manufactured legally. It has state-of-the-art visible and hidden identifiers and security features similar to those found on Canadian banknotes, such as unique color-shift ink that changes from red to green when the stamp is tilted. The stamp also has hidden security features that only federal and provincial law enforcement agencies can detect.

These features allow law enforcement agencies, retailers and consumers to more easily identify counterfeit and contraband tobacco products. The federal excise stamp is distributed through a secure process administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

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Categories
· Lawsuits
· Secret Documents
non-USA, by Country
· Canada
Organizations
· Imperial (ca)

Day 21 - A tale of two testimonies: Bédard and Descoteaux 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-05-01

Intro:

Today two witnesses appeared before the Montreal tobacco trials -- Michel Bédard (former head of the industry-funded Smokers Freedom Society) in the morning and Michel Descôteaux (former VP of public affairs for Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd.) in the afternoon.

It would be an exaggeration to say that the two Michels gave us an experience of "the best of times and the worst of times," but there were marked contrasts in the testimony of these two friends and former spokepeople on tobacco issues.

The morning was marked by (my opinion) tortuous exchanges between Bruce Johnston, who gave example after example of the Smokers' Freedom Society acting as a provisional army for the Canadian tobacco companies, and Mr. Bédard, who gave example after example of how to avoid answering questions.

The afternoon, on the other hand, was (my opinion) a tightly focused interview between Bruce Johnston and Michel Descoteaux, who provided mostly clear answers about his role in explaining away Imperial Tobacco's decision to destroy scientific documents.

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Categories
· Lawsuits
· Secret Documents
· Lobbying
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

Day 20 - Mr Bédard and Canadian Astroturf 

Jump to full article: Eye on the Trials (ASPQ) (ca), 2012-04-30
Author: Posted by Cynthia Callard at 22:30

Intro:

After an week's break, the trial of the two Quebec class actions against tobacco companies resumed this morning without missing a beat. Lawyers for all 3 sides (the two plaintiffs, the three defendant tobacco companies and the federal government as defendant in warranty) were at the ready when Justice Riordan entered the room at 9:30.

The lawyers took up where they had left off eleven days ago: squabbling about witness scheduling and document exchange.

After listening to complaints from both sides - "mish mash!" "pell mell!" "midnight e-mails!" - Justice Riordan underscored his strong preference to have witnesses from each company scheduled following one another, and not interspersed with witnesses from other companies. In doing so, he dropped another hint about his approach to the case, saying that he would not be writing his judgement by theme, but would do so by company. "The policies were not the same for each company," he said. . . .

Mr. Bédard traced his involvement in the Smokers' Freedom Society to a suggestion from Pierre Lemieux, whom he described as a 'somewhat notorious' libertarian. After reflecting on the proposal and his feelings as a smoker of being under seige, he met with Mr. Lemieux and with Mr. Descoteaux, who was acting on behalf of the CTMC to discuss how this might be done.

Before long, an understanding had been reached and a formal approach was made to meet with the senior management of the then four member companies of the CTMC (Exhibit 197). Chief among Mr. Bédard's concerns at the time, the letter would suggest, was the issue of money. Of the seven items identified for discussion, five involve the need for financial guarantees. Eventually, Mr. Bédard reached an agreement with the companies that included financial protection for 5 years. (Exhibit 198A).

The Society's dependence on the industry, and Mr. Bédard's attempts to match the work of the Society to the interests of the industry were shown in semi-annual and annual reports. In the 56 pages of the first half-year report in March 1987 (Exhibit 202), Mr. Bédard warns that the organization faces and uphill battle and recommends expanding its work. He notes that the only members of the organization are "associated, in one way or another, with the tobacco industry."

His second annual report, made in November 1988, (Exhibit 203), after federal legislation to curb tobacco advertising and smoking in public places had passed, reports on the work of the Society during these eventful times to slow down these events.

The Society was active in virtually all of the challenges the industry was facing: it appeared before parliament to speak against legislation, (Exhibit 206, Exhibit 204) recruited test cases to challenge smoke-free laws, commissioned studies to dispute claims about second hand smoke, and helped "spontaneously-formed groups of smokers" push back local bylaws.

Out of this rich document, Mr. Lespérance drew Mr. Bédard's particular attention to what he had written about the relationship between the activities of the Smokers Freedom Society and the tobacco companies:

One element which frequently crops up in contacts between the SFS and the industry and which was publicly referred to at the last Infotab Workshop is the fact that organizations such as the SFS, FOREST, etc. can say or do things which the industry, for various reasons, cannot allow itself to do.

Mr. Lespérance questioned Mr. Bédard about ways in which activities of the Smokers Freedom Society had been aligned to the interests of the tobacco companies. These included the commissioning of a report (by Dr. Dollard Cormier) to counter conclusions of the Surgeon General and the Royal Society of Canada that nicotine is addictive, and an economic analysis (by André Raynauld) of the net economic benefit from smoking. (Exhibit 209)

To each example, Mr. Bédard provided a similar reply: he had wanted to study these issues in order to find out for himself whether the claims tobacco use faced were justified. "If your acts have consequences on third parties, you have to take them into consideration," he said.

It was in order to protect the Society's integrity that these actions were taken, he suggested.

If nicotine truly were addictive, then the concept of the freedom to smoke would be called into question. Similarly, if second hand smoke truly were unhealthy, then the right of smokers would have to be balanced against the impact on others. If smokers truly were a drain on the economy, then the freedom to smoke woul be weighed against the externalized costs.

As it turned out, all of the studies that Mr. Bédard commissioned came to the conclusions that supported the continuation of his work: the conclusions were that cigarettes were not addictive, second hand smoke was not harmful, smoking did not harm the economy.

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Categories
· Business (Tobacco)
· Cross-Border/Crime
· Business (General)
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

Ontario C-Stores Applaud Crackdown on Illegal Tobacco Operation 

Jump to full article: National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), 2012-04-30

Categories
· Smokefree Policies
· Colleges
· Op-Ed
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

LAWDAY: Smokers at Alberta pushed too far  

Current policies do enough to protect non-smokers
Jump to full article: Macleans Magazine, 2012-04-30

Categories
· Lawsuits
· Federal/National
· Labels/Lights
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

New and Strict Labeling Rules for Tobacco Companies 

Jump to full article: French Tribune (fr), 2012-04-29

Categories
· Opinion/Surveys
· Letter
· Sex/Fertility
· Op-Ed
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

Dating: Is Smoking a Deal-breaker for You? 

Jump to full article: Montreal Gazette (ca), 2012-04-29

Categories
· Cessation
· Letter
· Op-Ed
· Editorial
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

LETTER: B.C.’s stop-smoking program comes with a few conditions 

Jump to full article: BC Local News (ca), 2012-04-27

Categories
· Fires/Injuries
· Households
non-USA, by Country
· Canada

Fatal Alexandria house fire caused by cigarette  

Jump to full article: Canadian Television (CTV) (ca), 2012-04-27

Canada
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