Health Canada and National Smokeless Tobacco Company meeting: Bill S-5 and Federal Tobacco Control Strategy – May 10, 2017

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Subject:

NSTC Business update, Bill S-5 and FTCS renewal

Date:

May 10, 2017

Participants:

Health Canada (HC):

  • Martin Joyal
    • Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, Tobacco Control Directorate (TCD) (Chair)
  • Saira David
    • Director, Labelling and Plain Packaging Office (TCD)
  • Manager, Regulations Division (TCD)
  • A/Senior Advisor to the Director General (TCD)

National Smokeless Tobacco Company (NSTC):

  • Jeremy Adams
    • Director of Government and Corporate Affairs (NSTC)
  • Rodrigue Gilbert
    • Senior Consultant, Sussex Strategy Group

Introduction:

The meeting was held at the request of the NSTC.

The Chair opened the meeting by doing round table introductions.

HC reiterated its international obligation to protect tobacco control policies from the vested interests of the tobacco industry. In addition, in the interest of transparency, the department stated that it would be making a record of the meeting publicly available.

NSTC Business Update 2017

NSTC provided an update on its past year of business, noting that it undertook a voluntary recall of several products. NSTC also noted that the flavoured tobacco products it sells in each province differ due to the varying ways in which provincial regulations have been drafted.

NSTC indicated that it had undertaken public opinion research on harm reduction through focus groups of medical professionals. NSTC then offered to provide Health Canada with a presentation on its findings.

NSTC Submission on a Renewed Federal Tobacco Control Strategy

NSTC provided an overview of the company’s submission to HC’s consultation on the future of tobacco control in Canada. NSTC requested that the Government of Canada adopt a health and tax policy approach based on the relative risks of tobacco products, and that the Government undertake research in this regard.

Bill S-5 Update

NSTC inquired as to whether HC would be undertaking any additional industry-specific discussions or consultations on plain and standardized packaging prior to regulatory development. HC indicated that input on proposed regulations would be sought through the Canada Gazette, Part I, as per the standard regulatory process.

NSTC requested that HC consider an exemption for smokeless tobacco products from the proposed plain and standardized packaging measures. NSTC also posed technical questions regarding the impact of proposed plain packaging measures on its current product packages (colour, material, and engraving). NSTC indicated that having different transition times for various categories of tobacco products would be beneficial for NSTC given the long shelf life of some products.

NSTC inquired as to whether any additional amendments to Bill S-5 were anticipated in the House of Commons. As this question pertains to a matter of policy, HC reiterated that these issues would not be discussed.

Conclusion:

The meeting was then concluded.

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