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Imperial Tobacco comments on the bill to ban tobacco advertising

21 October, 2002

UK legislation banning advertising and promotion of tobacco products was passed by Parliament today, prohibiting tobacco companies from all forms of communication with their customers and effectively removing the principal means of competition between manufacturers.

Liz Buckingham, Group Communications Manager said: “We are not opposed to sensible regulation but we do not believe that banning tobacco advertising and preventing us from talking on a one-to-one basis with our adult consumers will achieve the government’s aim of reducing cigarette consumption. The prime role of advertising, in a mature market, is to encourage existing consumers to switch brands.

"However, we have been aware of the impending ban on tobacco advertising and promotion for some time, which has given us the opportunity to prepare for the eventual legislation.”

The fine details of the bill are still subject to consultation with the tobacco industry. Imperial Tobacco would welcome an opportunity to work constructively with the government to ensure that the final legislation is both practical and workable.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Alex Parsons, Group Media Relations Manager, 0117 963 6636


Notes to Editors

  • Imperial Tobacco is the world’s fourth largest international tobacco company and the UK’s leading cigarette manufacturer.
  • Imperial Tobacco has the number one brand in the UK in each of four product categories - Lambert & Butler (cigarettes), Golden Virginia (roll your own tobacco), St Bruno (pipe tobacco) and Rizla (rolling papers) and holds worldwide number one positions in roll your own tobacco and rolling papers.
  • The current Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill was introduced in July 2001, by Lord Clement-Jones, as a Private Members Bill in the House of Lords.
  • The Bill passed through the House of Lords and was approved on 15 March 2002. The UK Government announced it would support the Bill through the House of Commons.
  • The Bill passed the House of Commons Committee stage on 14 May 2002.
  • On 22 August 2002, The Department of Health announced a consultation document on draft regulations. Comments are invited by 15 November 2002.

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