News Manitoba

Manitoba suing Big Tobacco

Kevin Engstrom, QMI Agency
Allowing an illegal smoke shop to operate would only reward people for bad behaviour. It needs to be shut down. (QMI AGENCY FILES)

Allowing an illegal smoke shop to operate would only reward people for bad behaviour. It needs to be shut down. (QMI AGENCY FILES)

Manitoba has joined five other provinces in suing major tobacco companies in the hopes of recovering the costs of health-care services for tobacco-related illnesses.

The NDP government's announcement of the suit on Thursday, which the World Health Organization had declared World No Tobacco Day.

It came just days after the proclamation of the Manitoba Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act, which cleared the way for the civil litigation to proceed. Manitoba is co-ordinating its efforts with governments in B.C., Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI.

RECOVERING HEALTH-CARE COSTS

"This lawsuit seeks to recover the costs the health-care system has incurred as a result of the tobacco industry's misrepresentations and deceptive practices," said Justice Minister Andrew Swan, in a prepared statement.

Defendants in the suit include Rothmans, Benson & Hedges, Philip Morris, JTI-Macdonald, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Canada, and British American Tobacco.