Reducing smoking incidence should be the goal – not putting up more barriers to adult smokers trying to quit
MONTREAL, Nov. 15, 2023 /CNW/ – Despite the criticism from health groups, Imperial Tobacco Canada (ITCAN) believes that ZONNIC, a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) product authorized for sale by Health Canada, will help adult Canadians smokers quit. In addition to the youth access prevention measures ITCAN has already taken, ITCAN would support regulations that limit the sale NRT category to adults 18 years old and over.
“I want to be absolutely clear, ZONNIC is not a tobacco product. It is designed and intended to help adult smokers stop smoking – just like nicotine gum and lozenges,” said Eric Gagnon, Vice President, Legal and External Affairs, ITCAN. “It is licensed, regulated and advertised in the same way as any other smoking cessation product on the market. There should be no reason why ITCAN is singled out for adding another innovative choice to the market to help adult smokers quit.”
ZONNIC is not promoted any differently than any other competing smoking cessation product in Canada. ITCAN’s marketing guidelines require that all material be targeted at adults. Everyone appearing in ZONNIC advertising is 25 years old and older. In addition, the company has gone above and beyond the regulatory requirements in the terms of its market authorization by instructing retailers to require proof of age to purchase ZONNIC at convenience stores. ZONNIC is also sold behind the counter, which means the retailer must hand the product to the consumer. Furthermore, ZONNIC will be available in pharmacies before the end of the month.
“As for all of our products, our position has been consistent and strong on this point. Nicotine products are for adult consumers only. We believe that if we truly want to reduce the health risks of tobacco products, we need to introduce products that will be appealing to adult smokers and have them available where people traditionally buy their cigarettes. Health groups should be on our side with this rather than putting up roadblocks,” said Mr. Gagnon.
ZONNIC provides nicotine as part of an NRT program which increases the chances of quitting smoking successfully. ZONNIC can help adult smokers kick their smoking habit immediately or gradually. It is intended to provide a partial substitution for nicotine thus reducing the number of cigarettes smoked and may ultimately help adult smokers quit their smoking habit.
“We are aligned to Health Canada’s goal of reducing smoking rates to below five percent by 2035. But to get there we need to change the conversation to bring about impactful outcomes. Governments, health groups, and industry must work together in a meaningful manner to bring effective solutions to the market. Our door is always open to have those discussions” concluded Mr. Gagnon.
Imperial Tobacco Canada is Canada’s leading tobacco and vaping products company and is part of the world’s most international tobacco group: BAT. BAT is a global multi-category consumer goods business, operating in over 180 markets. Our vision is to build A Better Tomorrow™ by reducing the health impact of our business through offering a greater choice of enjoyable and less risky products for our consumers.
Our strong foundations, together with our capacity for cutting-edge innovation, are a platform for us to build more sustainable products for our adult consumers, and a more sustainable business for our colleagues, shareholders, and communities.
SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada