Imperial Tobacco has criticised the proposed Canadian plain packaging regulations for cigarettes and has warned it may have to go to court if amendments are not incorporated.

Last week, government department Health Canada proposed measures to curb smoking and tobacco consumption that include the implementation of a plain and standardised appearance for all tobacco packaging.

“There’s a number of provisions that are basically impossible to comply with.”

The new packaging move is part of the government’s strategy to bring down tobacco consumption to 5% of the population by 2035.

The measures are intended to make the cigarette packaging plain, unattractive and unappealing to the young generation and keep people from smoking.

As per the new proposal, all tobacco packaging should have same colour and font.

Imperial Tobacco Canada corporate and regulatory affairs head Eric Gagnon said: “There’s a number of provisions that are basically impossible to comply with.

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“We still cannot understand how this government can justify legalising marijuana while imposing such extreme measures on tobacco products. We feel that the discrepancy is really astonishing.

“Going to court with the government is never something that we want to do or something we take easily, but if we don’t get heard I think it’s one of the options that we will have to consider.”

Health Canada cited research that showed plain and standardised packaging makes tobacco products less appealing to youth.

The proposed regulations also require companies to ensure cigarette packages have a standard size and shape and feature a standard opening (slide and shell).

The department has called for opinions from the public regarding the proposed packaging measures and the deadline for submission of comments is 6 September this year.