In launching a $50-billion lawsuit against tobacco companies, Ontario is joining what many expect will eventually become a national battle to recover health costs linked to smoking.
The governments of British Columbia and New Brunswick have already filed claims against cigarette manufacturers and most of the other provinces have passed legislation enabling them to make similar cases.
“Let’s be clear: This is important for the people of Ontario who have paid a lot of money for health-care costs directly related to tobacco use over the decades,” Ontario Attorney-General Chris Bentley told reporters yesterday. “We believe the taxpayers should be compensated for the costs that they have paid. That’s what this lawsuit is all about.”
After years of legal wrangling in the United States, tobacco manufacturers agreed in 1998 to pay state governments $246-billion (U.S.) over 25 years to help pay for the costs of treating people with smoking-related illnesses. …
That $246-billion settlement is not correct. It turned out to be well over $300 billion.
… And why is it that smokers do not consider this littering? Most don’t toss anything else on the ground.