Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ontario government's lawsuit against the tobacco industry

TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society is pleased the Ontario government is suing tobacco companies to recover tobacco-related health care costs.

"The lawsuit filed today will begin the process of holding the industry accountable for the harm they have done to the health of Ontarians," says Rowena Pinto, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Ontario Division, Canadian Cancer Society. "The tobacco industry's addictive products are responsible for 30% of cancer deaths."

Cost-recovery litigation could significantly benefit public health. In other jurisdictions, litigation has resulted in restrictions on the marketing practices of the tobacco industry.

Benefits of litigation:
- Justice: lawsuit against the tobacco industry will hold them accountable for their destructive behaviour.
- Truth: through the court process, tobacco industry documents will become public. Documents released through the court process, will shed light on the many deceptive and destructive practices pursued by the industry for decades. The public will finally understand that this is an industry that operates outside the rules of normal
- Compensation: potentially billions of dollars could be recovered as compensation for health care and other costs.
- Health: the process of litigation could result in greater restrictions on tobacco industry marketing and sales practices. For example, more restrictions on tobacco advertising.

- 13,000 people die of tobacco related illness every year in Ontario.
- Tobacco use is responsible for 30% of cancer deaths.
- Tobacco-related health care costs currently total more than $1.6 billion per year in Ontario.
- British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia have already passed similar legislation.
- British Columbia and New Brunswick have begun the process of suing the tobacco industry.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the improvement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For further information: Christine Koserski, Ontario Provincial Office, Canadian Cancer Society: (416) 323-7030,

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