Current regulations miss an opportunity to ensure Canadians wanting to quit cigarettes have potentially less harmful alternatives
TORONTO, May 29, 2023 /CNW/ – To create lasting change for every Canadian, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH) continues to call for a harm reduction approach towards smoking that recognizes that the harmful chemicals in the smoke of a burning cigarette (combustion) are the primary cause of smoking-related disease, not nicotine.
Health Canada has started to acknowledge that not all nicotine products are the same and can play a role in helping adult smokers — Health Canada indicates that “switching completely to vaping nicotine is less harmful than continuing to smoke” — but regulations fall short of recognizing and properly regulating other smoke-free alternatives such as heated tobacco and nicotine pouches.
Since 2019, RBH has continued to build on its position as a leader in smoke-free products to help adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, transition to better alternatives. The company is focused on bringing to market scientifically substantiated, smoke-free products — providing the right product to fit individual needs. While these products are addictive and not risk-free, they offer adult smokers better and potentially less harmful alternatives compared to continuing to smoke cigarettes.
Smoke-free products are intended only for current adult smokers, and it is RBH’s position that no tobacco or nicotine-containing product should ever be in the hands of a non-legal age Canadian or an adult that isn’t currently smoking or using other nicotine products.
A smoke-free future is a shared responsibility. More action needs to be taken for Health Canada to reach its tobacco reduction target. Governments must help adult smokers by openly recognizing the harm reduction potential of smoke-free products and modernizing Canadian legislation.
- Legalize access to accurate information to ensure that adult smokers have the best available scientific information through comparative statements on all nicotine products such as heated tobacco, vaping, and nicotine pouches so they can make a fully informed choice based on the relative risk level of each product versus continued smoking.
- Update Canada’s Tobacco and Vaping Products Regulations to account for new innovations and differing risk levels between cigarettes and smoke-free products. Regulations should differentiate cigarettes (combustible products) from smoke-free products (non-combustible products such as heated tobacco, vaping products and nicotine pouches) instead of regulating as tobacco or non-tobacco products, as is currently the case.
- Create a registration standard and notification process for new smoke-free products to ensure that only those that are scientifically substantiated and intended for adult smokers can enter the market. This will encourage continued innovation for smoke-free products, while helping to protect youth and non-nicotine users against initiation.
“We have made considerable strides in our ambition to transform and deliver a smoke-free future but, for a change of this magnitude to happen, we need governments to ensure regulations are keeping pace with innovation,” said Mindaugas Trumpaitis, Managing Director, RBH.
“Right now, Canadians are not well informed about the alternatives to smoking that are available because our laws don’t allow them to have access to information about these options or to distinguish the relative risks of one product to another. Too few Canadians know that nicotine is not the primary cause of smoking related diseases. Why is Canada lagging behind other countries instead of being a leader in helping adults leave cigarettes behind for good?”
To learn more about RBH, visit: https://www.rbhinc.ca/
To see how RBH is transforming for good, access our 2021 Sustainability Report here: How we give back (rbhinc.ca)
Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), an affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc., is one of Canada’s leading tobacco and nicotine companies and is working to deliver a smoke-free future. RBH is committed to sustainability and creating a positive impact on communities, the economy, and the environment. Currently, RBH employs nearly 800 people across the country with its headquarters in Toronto and a factory in Québec City. Discover more about the company at https://www.rbhinc.ca/ and stay updated on RBH’s transformation by following Twitter and LinkedIn.
SOURCE Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.