Imperial Tobacco Canada

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Imperial Tobacco Company Canada is a Canadian cigarette manufacturing company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco. It was created in 1908 and bought out the Canadian interests of the American Tobacco Company, which was a monopoly in the United States until it was reorganized in 1911.[1]

Imperial Tobacco Canada has no relationship to Imperial Tobacco Group plc.


American Tobacco, which had acquired the Kinney Brothers Tobacco Company, makers of the then-popular cigarette brand Sweet Caporal (which commanded a 50% share of the Canadian cigarette market at the time Imperial Tobacco bought out American Tobacco), had entered the Canadian market by acquiring the Montreal-based American Cigarette Company and D. Ritchie and Company, forming the American Tobacco Company of Canada, Ltd.

Imperial Tobacco was the first Canadian cigarette manufacturer to be successfully sued by a Canadian governmental entity. The province of British Columbia's lawsuit against Imperial was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark case British Columbia v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., [2005] 2 S.C.R. 473, 2005 SCC 49. The Supreme Court ruled that the provincial Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act, which allowed the government to sue tobacco companies, was constitutionally valid.

On June 1, 2015, Quebec Superior Court ruled against Imperial Tobacco Canada, JTI-Macdonald, and RBH in two Quebec class action suits. The judgement against Imperial Tobacco is in excess of $10 billion - the highest tobacco judgement in Canadian history. The court found Imperial failed in its duty of care to Quebec consumers prior in 1998. The court required a $1 billion payment to plaintiffs within 60 days - regardless of appeal.[2]


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