Imperial Tobacco threatens CC with lawsuit

Cannabis Culture received a lawsuit threat from Imperial Tobacco Canada on March 15, in reference to an illustration in the February/March issue of Cannabis Culture. The illustration is in an article called “Radioactive tobacco,” and is of a pack of cigarettes with a resemblance to a pack of Player’s tobacco, except that it is called “Chernobyl’s” and has warnings about radioactivity.
Imperial Tobacco claims that the illustration is a trademark violation, which has “depreciated the goodwill” associated with their products and “deceived the public.” They have demanded that Cannabis Culture recall all copies of the issue and destroy the offending page.

“We’re not going to start ripping pages out of our magazine just because some tobacco giant doesn’t like an article,” said Marc Emery, Cannabis Culture publisher. “They can forget that idea.”

The letter also complains that “the effect of the juxtaposition of the image of our client’s cigarettes and the content of the article suggests that our client’s tobacco products are radioactive.”

“The ‘Radioactive Tobacco’ article doesn’t just ‘suggest’ the radioactivity of tobacco products,” said Dana Larsen, Cannabis Culture editor. “It contains over 20 footnoted references, most to major scientific journals, showing that cigarettes are without doubt a major source of radiation exposure.”

The article Radioactive Tobacco, and the illustration in question, is online here: