Imperial Tobacco Canada has filed a legal challenge against New Brunswick's menthol ban, which took effect on January 1, 2016. 

"By prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes, the Government of New Brunswick has stepped beyond its legislative authority, which leaves us with no other choice than to bring this matter before the courts," said Tamara Gitto, Vice President, Legal and External Affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada.

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"Banning menthol tobacco products will not eliminate these products from the New Brunswick market as consumers turn to the well-established illegal tobacco market."

Gitto says the tobacco industry is one of the most regulated industries in Canada, at both the Federal and Provincial levels with over 200 laws and regulations including those that require 75-percent graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and laws that see tobacco products hidden from public view at retail outlets.

Anne-McTiernan-Gamble, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society in New Brunswick, says the ban is essential to combat youth smoking, and she calls the legal challenge nothing more than a public relations exercise.