The Canadian Cancer Society urges government and Nova Scotians to fight back as Big Tobacco attempts to block menthol ban

28 May 2015

Halifax -

This evening, Imperial Tobacco Canada announced they intend to file a legal challenge against Nova Scotia’s menthol ban. The ban, which is set to go into effect on May 31, would see all flavoured tobacco including menthol removed from Nova Scotia shelves. This implementation date will put Nova Scotia in the forefront of tobacco control measures on a global scale. The legal challenge names only menthol products in the filing.


“We know Nova Scotians will not tolerate Big Tobacco coming into our province and telling us how to run it,” says Barbara Stead-Coyle, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Cancer Society-Nova Scotia Division. “This is our legislation which protects the health and future of our youth.”


“This is nothing more than a scare tactic meant to intimidate the Nova Scotian government,” continues Stead-Coyle. “Make no mistake, this is all about bottom-line profits because we’ve hit them where it hurts. They are nothing more than corporate bullies. ”


In the filing, Imperial Tobacco cites data that menthol  is preferred by an older demographic. These claims have proven groundless and have been strongly refuted by studies undertaken by the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo.  The 2012-2013 Flavours Report, based on the national Youth Smoking Survey, confirms that 34% of high school student smokers in Nova Scotia smoke menthol.  This equates to 1,800 students.


“This legal challenge has absolutely no merit and Big Tobacco is lying to us when they say this isn’t a product used by youth,” says Stead-Coyle. “Every time we pass legislation against these products which we know can kill, Big Tobacco reacts. They puff up their chest and put up their fists as if to say ‘we can beat you, we are bigger than you are’.


“We can’t let them win. Not here in Nova Scotia. We must stand strong and prove to the world that Big Tobacco can be beaten,” urges Stead-Coyle.


The Canadian Cancer Society-Nova Scotia Division is set to hold a press conference tomorrow celebrating this momentous ban scheduled for the 31 which puts Nova Scotia on the stage as a world leader.


About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).

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Media contact information:
Heather Creighton Spriet
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications
Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division
Heather.spriet@ns.cancer.ca
(902) 423-6183