Canadian Cancer Society welcomes 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
         business.
      -  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.

    Background:
      -  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 www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

For further information: For further information: Christine Koserski, Ontario Provincial Office, Canadian Cancer Society: (416) 323-7030, ckoserski@ontario.cancer.ca


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