March 4, 2009

Ontario wants to sue Big Tobacco

CANADA - Ontario wants to become the latest province to sue tobacco companies over the health care costs of smoking.

Smoking-caused health care costs Ontario taxpayers about $1.6 billion annually.

Attorney General Chris Bentley wants Ontario to join several provinces by passing legislation that would allow Ontario to reclaim expenses incurred when people are treated for smoking-caused illnesses. He's proposing a bill that would give the government the right to sue the companies directly. The bill would allocate liability among the companies by market share and measure the health-care cost to taxpayers of tobacco-related illnesses.

British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have all passed similar legislation. There is a growing movement in Ontario to become "smoke free" and ban smoking altogether.

Tobacco companies, worried about health care costs are thinking about pulling out of Canada completely.

See Also:
Smoking in Canada
Canada's Smoking Laws
Smokeless Cigarettes
Ontario and Quebec Ban Smoking in Public Places
Smoking Bans working in Toronto

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