Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - FP SASKATOON -

The pres­i­dent and CEO of Im­pe­rial Tobacco Canada is urg­ing gov­ern­ments to use the same logic to reg­u­late tobacco and nico­tine as they plan to do for mar­i­juana. Jorge Araya told a busi­ness au­di­ence Thurs­day his firm isn’t look­ing for a de­crease in taxes on tra­di­tional cig­a­rettes. Rather, Araya says Im­pe­rial Tobacco wants a com­pet­i­tive tax regime for other nico­tine prod­ucts such as e-cig­a­rettes, which rep­re­sent the in­dus­try’s fu­ture growth. Araya says he sup­ports a bill that seeks to le­gal­ize nico­tine-con­tain­ing va­p­ing prod­ucts. But he is against the pro­vi­sion that would re­quire tobacco com­pa­nies to have plain and stan­dard­ized pack­ag­ing for cig­a­rettes. He says brand­ing and low taxes dis­cour­age con­sumers from seek­ing il­le­gal prod­ucts that aren’t taxed or reg­u­lated. He says gov­ern­ments should rec­og­nize the need for tobacco to be com­pet­i­tive with the un­der­ground mar­ket.

Jorge Araya

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