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January 24th, 2012:

Welcome to this electronic library of documents related to tobacco litigation in Canada

On this site you will find documents related to litigation efforts by individuals, groups of individuals and governments against tobacco companies.

This collection is organized by individual cases. Documents related to each case are accessible through separate index pages identified by case name and listed on the right hand side of each page.  A timeline of events in Canada is also provided (below).

Date Event


September 21, 2011 Quebec judge rejects agreement between federal government and plaintiffs in the recours collectifs.  Ruling.
August 26, 2011 Deadline by which any class member in the recours collectifs must submit comments or opposition to the agreement reached between the federal government and the plaintiffs.
August 25th Northwest Territories legislature gives assent to Bill 23, Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery lawsuit.
August 19th Bill 23, Tobacco Damages and Health Care costs Recovery lawsuit introduced in Northwest Territories legislature.  Debated on August 23
July 29, 2011 Supreme Court of Canada rules that the federal government cannot be held as a third party in the B.C. health care cost recovery suit nor the ‘Knight” case.  ruling
July 4, 2011 Federal government reaches a tentative agreement with the plaintiffs in the two Quebec recours collectifs.  The plaintiffs agree to waive any damages that might be paid by the federal government; in return the federal government agrees to collaborate with the plaintiffs and provide $1.6 million dollars

Notiice to class members.  Settlement with Federal government (French Only)

June 30, 2011 Manitoba and Nova Scotia announce that they will be pursuing medicare cost recovery lawsuits against the tobacco industry, and that they will be hiring the same consortium of law firms engaged by New Brunswick.  (Nova Scotia Press Release) (Manitoba Press Release)
June 17, 2011 PostMedia reports that  Imperial Tobacco has filed a third party notice against 18 native tobacco manufacturers and distributors. (Montreal Gazette. June 17, 2011)
April 27, 2011 Nova Scotia issues a new tobacco strategy which includes goals for litigation.

4.1 Explore taking legal action against tobacco manufacturers for its unlawful activities leading to increased tobacco use. The aims of such
litigation might be:
a) to recover costs associated with the past harms promulgated by the tobacco industry on the population of Nova Scotia,
b) to understand the scope of the industry’s misconduct in the past and in the present, and
c) to support new public health tobacco control measures to prevent tobacco manufacturers from being able to attract new users and retain
existing smokers.


February 24, 2011 Supreme Court of Canada hears appeals and cross appeals of decision to include/exclude the federal government from the B.C. cost recovery suit and the Knight case.  Webcast Hearing
February  8, 2011 Newfoundland files a statement of claim against tobacco companies.News release.
January 14, 2011 Supreme Court of Canada grants intervenor status to Ontario and New Brunswick in its review of third party claims in the B.C. cases.  For information click here.
January 10, 2011 Factums tabled in Supreme Court in two B.C. cases. (These can also be found on the SCC site

o    Federal government
(BC Health Care Damages, 33563 Factum -and Cross Respondent Factum)
(Knight Case, 33559, Factum and Cross Respondent Factum )

o    B.C. Government. 33563 – Cross Respondent Factum

o    JTI MacDonald (33563 BC)

o    Carreras-Rothmans (33563 BC)

o    BAT Industries  (33563 BC; Supplemental)

o    Imperial Tobacco Canada (33563 BC; supplemental)
(33559 – Knight)

o    Rothmans, Benson & Hedges (33563 BC; supplemental)


Oct 21, 2010 Supreme Court of Canada dismisses leave to appeal to the tobacco industry, and upholds the validity of the New Brunswick contingency fee arrangement. Decision. For other court documents click here
October 25, 2010 Alberta announces that it plans to launch a health care costs recovery action.
May 20, 2010 Supreme Court of Canada grants leave to appeal to the federal government and tobacco companies with respect to the December 8, 2009 judgement of the B.C. Court of Appeal on the inclusion of the government as a third party in the Knight class action and B.C. damages recover suits.
April 13, 2010 Settlement reached between Canada’s 10 provinces and the federal government and Japan Tobacco for $550 million. JTI pleads guilty to one offence under the Excise Act, and is fined $150 million, with a similar plea and fine of $75 million to Northern Brands.  Backgrounder
March 22, 2010 The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal denied class action certification in the Sparkes v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. “lights” class action.  Judgement
February 8, 2010 The federal government asks the Supreme Court of Canada for permission to appeal the December 8, 2009 judgments of the B.C. Court of Appeal. A cross appeal is filed by the tobacco companies


December 9, 2009 Prince Edward Island’s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act receives Royal Assent.
December 8, 2009 B.C. Court of Appeal rules in favour of tobacco industry third party claim against the federal government in both the Knight and B.C. governmentactions.
November 25, 2009 Prince Edward Island tables legislation to allow government lawsuits against tobacco companies for past wrongdoing.
October 2, 2009 Quebec asks the court to dismiss the challenge against its Bill 43.
September 29, 2009 Ontario files a statement of claim for $50 billion.
August 29, 2009 Imperial Tobacco, JTI_Macdonald and RBH file a constitutional challenge against Quebec’s Bill 43.
Motion to institute proceedings for declaratory judgment
July 21, 2009 New Brunswick authority to use contingency fee basis for lawsuit  is upheld when Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Thomas Cyr rejected a preliminary motion filed by 15 tobacco companies named in the lawsuit that sought to remove the team of lawyers representing the province.
June 19, 2009 Quebec law Tobacco-related Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act (Bill 43) comes into force.
June 17, 2009 Winnipeg Free Press reports that Deborah Kunka has filed a class-action suit alleging the industry has intentionally misled the public about the health effects of smoking and targets children to maintain their profits. Representing her is Regina lawyer Tony Merchant. Newstory
June 1-8, 2009 B.C. Court of Appeal hears arguments to overturn decisions rejecting “Third Party” claims against Health Canada in Knight and B.C. Government lawsuits.
May 14, 2009 Ontario’s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Actreceives Royal Assent. Bill
May 14, 2009 Quebec government introduces Tobacco-related Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act (Bill 43). Bill
May 11, 2009 Alberta introduces the Right of Recovery Act. Bill
April 29, 2009 PEI premier Ghiz tells reporters that PEI may join New Brunswick’s lawsuit, and that enabling legislation may be introduced this session.News story
March 4, 2009 Ontario government introduces Bill 155, Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act.


July 31, 2008 Government of Canada and all 10 provinces reach an agreement with Imperial Tobacco and Rothmans Benson and Hedges to settle claims arising from smuggling during the 1990s. Further work on criminal prosecution is dropped. Press release.  Agreement with RBH.  Agreement with ITL Agreement amongst provinces
April 10, 2008 B.C. Supreme Court dismissed third party claim against the government of Canada by tobacco companies sued by B.C. government.  ruling
March 13, 2008 New Brunswick files suit against tobacco companies operating in Canada.Statement of claimNotice of action
Feb 29, 2008 JTI-Macdonald files “action in warranty” (similar to 3rd party) forLetourneau and Blais cases.

Imperial Tobacco files “action in warranty” (similar to 3rd party) forLetourneau and Blais cases.

Rothmans Benson and Hedges files “action in warranty” (similar to 3rd party)

February 19, 2008 Ontario Superior Court resinstates fraud and conspiracy charges against six accused (in addition to Edward Lang), originally dropped in May 2007.Ruling


July 3, 2007 The B.C. Supreme Court rejects the Third Party Notice issued by Imperial Tobacco to the Government of Canada in the Knight case.  The government of Canada is no longer party to the case. Ruling on Third Party Notice
June 6, 2007 Imperial Tobacco file Third Party Notices to involve the government of Canada in the lawsuit brought by B.C. against it. Imperial Tobacco Third Party Notice.  JTI-Macdonald, Rothmans, Benson and Hedges do likewise.
May 30, 2007 Ontario Court orders  JTI-Macdonald Corp. and its former president Edward Lang to stand trial on charges that they exported billions of tax-free Canadian cigarettes into the United States so they could be smuggled back into Canada through the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve near Cornwall and sold on the black market.
April 26, 2007 Saskatchewan adopts the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. Bill
April 5, 2007 Supreme Court of Canada rejects appeal of B.C. Court of Appeal decision upholding B.C. legislation. Supreme Court Bulletin


December 15, 2006 New Brunswick issues call for proposals for contingency based litigants. call for proposals
December 11, 2006 A coalition of health groups “Campaign for Justice on Tobacco Fraud” calls on Ontario government to sue for health care cost recovery from tobacco companies. Press release

Premier Dalton McGuinty rejects call, saying “The other agenda is about punishing big tobacco. We have not embraced that agenda. That does not serve our purposes.”

November 21 2006 Saskatchewan introduces a Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. Press coverage
September 15, 2006 B.C. Court of Appeal upholds Justice Homes ruling that ‘ex-juris’ defendants should be included in action. Judgment – September 15, 2006
27 June 2006 Application is made to certify the Sparkes case as a class action. Application
June 22, 2006 New Brunswick’s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act is assented to. law
June 13, 2006 Manitoba’s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act is assented to. law
May 11, 2006 B.C. Court of Appeal upholds the certification of the Knight case.Judgment on Class Action
May 5, 2006 Montreal Gazette reports that Stan Smith has been sentenced to 8 months house arrest following a guilty plea for his conspiracy in smuggling cigarettes for JTI-Macdonald.
20 January 2006 Imperial Tobacco notifies the government of Canada that it is being named as a third party to the Sparkes suit. Third party claim


December 8, 2005 Nova Scotia’s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act is assented to.bill
December 1, 2005 Imperial Tobacco amends its third party claim. Amended Third Party Claim (December 1, 2005)
October 31, 2005 Ontario Superior Court Judge Cullity denies certification of Ragoonanan case as a class action. Ruling – 2005B
October 13, 2005 Nova Scotia introduces a Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Actbill
September 2005 Supreme Court upheld the legislation B.C. developed to manage the lawsuit.
September 29, 2005 Supreme Court of Canada upholds the validity of the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act.  Judgment September 29, 2005
June 27, 2005 Federal and provincial governments add their claims to that of the Quebec government.  Total claim exceeds $9 billion.

In addition to Quebec’s $1.3-billion claim, the federal government is seeking $4.3 billion (increasing its claim from $1.5 billion); New Brunswick $1.5 billion; Nova Scotia $326 million; British Columbia $450 million; Manitoba $23 million; Ontario $1.5 billion; and Prince Edward Island $75 million. Nova Scotia press release

June 26, 2005 B.C. Supreme Court (Justice Holmes) rules that even though some of the defendents are located outside of Canada, they can be included in the lawsuit. Judgment June 26, 2005
30 May 2005 Notices are issued to the public regarding eligibility to join the Quebec class actions, Blais and Letourneau
March 9, 2005 Ontario Superior Court Judge Cullity rejects Imperial Tobacco’s request to stop the Ragoonanan trial. Ruling – 2005A
March 8, 2005 Justice Winkler of Ontario Superior Court denies Imperial Tobacco’s request for costs to be awarded against class representatives in the Caputo case. Ruling March 8, 2005
February 2005 A third class action for deception arising from the sale of ‘light’ cigarettes is filed, this time in Quebec on behalf of representative claimant “Yves Gagnon.”  (rejected in 2006)
21 February 2005 Judge Pierre Jasmin of the Quebec Superior court authorizes both the Letourenau and Blais class actions.
Feb. 8, 2005 B.C. Supreme Court Justice Satanove rules that the Knight class action can be certified. This is the first class action against a tobacco company to be certified in Canada.  Judgment on Certification


December 2, 2004 B.C. Court of Appeal grants a stay of the B.C. litigation pending appeal to the Supreme Court. Judgment December 2, 2004
November 26 – 28 2004 RCMP agents searched the Montreal office of Imperial Tobacco Canada. The RCMP affidavit claims that smuggling led to $607 million in unpaid taxes to the federal government
October 25 – 29, 2004 Hearing on Class Action certification for the Knight case before B.C. Justice Satanove.
October 14, 2004 The federal government sides with tobacco companies in petitioning the court to not certify the Knight case. submission
September 3, 2004 Joe Battaglia dies of a heart attack.
August 24, 2004 JTI-Macdonald files an application of “Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA)” to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Filing the CCAA makes it possible for JTI-Macdonald to to continue business operations normally.
August 10, 2004 The Québec Revenue ministry requests and obtained a court order for JTI-Macdonald to pay nearly $1.4 billion immediately for unpaid taxes, penalties and interests. JTI-Macdonald subsequently filed for bankruptcy, and protection was extended (the most recent extension ends November 30, 2005). Other  provinces have filed notice of their own potential claims in this matter of more than $9 billion.
July 2004 The “Sparkes” suit is filed in Newfoundland against Imperial Tobacco, claiming that customers were deceived by the marketing of ‘light’ cigarettes. The case is very similar to the “Knight” case in British Columbia
July 9, 2004 Supreme Court of B.C. turns down tobacco industry request for a variance in scheduling. Judgment July 9, 2004
May 20, 2004 B.C. Court of Appeal reverses lower court order of June 2003 and unanimously (3:0) rules that the amended B.C. legislation  is fully constitutional. Judgment May 20, 2004
April 30, 2004: In the Knight Case, Imperial Tobacco Canada filed its Statement of Defense and also filed a third party notice against the Attorney General of Canada.  In this third party notice, the company argues that light cigarettes were manufactured to comply with federal requirements, and that the government should be required to pay any damages, should they be determined. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd – Statement of Defence;Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd – Third Party Notice
February 2, 2004 Justice Winkler of Ontario Superior Court rejects the Caputo class action.Ruling – February 5, 2004


August 13, 2003 The Attorney General of Canada filed a suit in Ontario against JTI-Macdonald for $1.5 billion to recover tax losses caused by what it called a “massive conspiracy” to smuggle cigarettes. These proceedings have now been stayed pending resolution of the bankruptcy protection.
June 5, 2003 B.C. Supreme Court rules that the amended Act is unconstitutional on the grounds of extraterritoriality.  Judgment – June 5, 2003
June 4, 2003 Ontario Superior Court upholds a Master’s ruling in the Caputo case.Ruling – June 4, 2003
May 8, 2003 The “Knight” case is filed in British Columbia against Imperial Tobacco for engaging in “deceptive trade practices” when it used the term ‘light’ on its Players Light cigarettes. Statement of Claim
May 1, 2003 Spasic
Imperial Tobacco Canada ltd and Rothmans, Benson and Hedges both file  statements of defense in the Spasic case. Statement of defence – ITL;Statement of defence – RBH
February 2, 2003 Ontario Superior Court rejects a further request of Imperial Tobacco and Rothmans, Benson and Hedges to strike down sections of the statement of the Spasic claim. Ruling – 2003
February 2003 The RCMP laid charges of fraud and against JTI Macdonald and 8 former corporate executives. Investigators claimed the companies defrauded Canada, Ontario and Quebec of $1.2 billion in tax revenue between 1991 and 1996.


September 10, 2002 The Ontario Court of Appeal reviews the Wilson judgement in the McIntyre case and rules that contingency fees are not necessarily disallowed in Ontario.  Ruling
February 20, 2002 Nova Scotian Peter Stright filed a claim against Imperial Tobacco for damages resulting from his Buerger’s disease caused by smoking.Statement of Claim Stright v. Imperial Tobacco Company Ltd.,  Supreme Court of Nova Scotia court file # 177663.
January 17- 19 2002 RCMP searched the premises of Rothmans, Benson and Hedges in connection with cigarette smuggling in the 1990s, as part of an investigation that is apparently ongoing.


October 21, 2001 Canada’s appeal of Justice McAvoy’s ruling is dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
July 26, 2001 The Ontario Court of Appeal rejects Imperial Tobacco as an intervenor in its review of the Wilson decision to allow a contingency fee basis for the McIntyre case against it.
June 21, 2001 Quebec Minister of Justice, Linda Goupil and Associate Minister of Health, Social Services and Youth Protection, announce the establishment of a special committee to review medicare cost recovery lawsuit against tobacco companies.
June 1, 2001 Justice Thompson rules against the Battaglia claim. Judgment
May 24, 2001 Newfoundland’s “Act to Provide for the Recovery of Tobacco Related Health Care Costs” is passed.
April 10, 2001 Janos Kardos drops his claim against Imperial Tobacco and signs a consent order to dismiss the claim. (Alberta Action No. 0001-05941)
March 22, 2001 The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal by Imperial Tobacco Ltd. and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc of the July 2000 decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal to allow the Estate of Mirjana Spasic to pursue their liability claim against them.
March 1, 2001 Judge Wilson of the Ontario Superior Court rules that Maureen McIntyre may enter into a contingency fee arrangement with her lawyers, Rochon Genova, to sue Imperial Tobacco over the death of her husband, Ronald McIntyre. The ruling is appealed by the Ontario government.
January 24, 2001 B.C. government re-launches its lawsuit. Statement of claim.  Press release:  B.C. starts next round in tobacco fight.  Summary of claim
Tobacco industry’s own words


December 5, 2000 Justice Peter Cumming of the Ontario Superior Court removes Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald from the Ragoonanan action.Ruling – 2000
November 20-28, 2000 The Battaglia case is heard in North York Small Claims Court before Justice Pamela Thompson.
September 6, 2000 Ontario appeals the rejection of its RICO suit
August 7, 2000 U.S. courts refuse to hear the Ontario complaint on the grounds that a foreign government such as Ontario could not sue in U.S. courts.
July 21, 2000 The Court of Appeal of Ontario strikes down Justice Cameron’s ruling and reinstates sections 8 – 15 of the claim (but strikes down section 16 of the claim). Ruling – 2000
July 6, 2000 A revised version of the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act is passed by the B.C. Legislature. Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act
June 30, 2000 Justice McAvoy of the U.S. District Court (New York) dismisses Canada’s case against RJ-Reynolds.  Ruling
June 2000 Imperial Tobacco rejects an offer to settle the Battaglia claim with an apology.
April 10, 2000 Calgarian, Janos Kardos files a claim against Imperial Tobacco for $2 million for damages resulting from the death of his wife, Shirley Cardos. (Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Action 0001-05941).
April 3, 2000 Ontario Small Claims Court judge orders a trial to hear Joseph Battaglia’s claim against Imperial Tobacco Canada ltd.  for damages resulting from his smoking Matinee cigarettes. Statement of claim. This is the first time ever an individual has won the right to take a tobacco giant to trial.
March 21, 2000 B.C. government announces that it will re-file its lawsuit. Press release: Province to continue tobacco legal action
March 2, 2000, Ontario filed a medicare cost recovery lawsuit against the tobacco industry in U.S. federal court under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
February 21, 2000 Supreme Court of British Columbia rules that the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act in British Columbia is unconstitutional based upon the extra-territorial scope of the Act. The BC Government’s action is dismissed. Judgment – February 21, 2000
January 11, 2000 Davina Ragoonanan, mother of Jasmine and sister of Philip files a claim against Imperial Tobacco Canada, Ltd., Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and JTI-Macdonald as a class action.  The suit claimed that the fire would not have happened if the tobacco companies had made their cigarettes fire-safe. Statement of Claim


December 1999 Les Thompson, a former RJR-Macdonald sales executive, was sentenced by a U.S. judge to 70 months in prison after pleading guilty to laundering $72 million U.S. from smuggling tobacco into Canada.
December 23, 1999 Ronald McIntyre dies from lung cancer on December 23, 1999 at the age of sixty-three.
December 21, 1999 The Government of Canada files a lawsuit in the United States Federal Court against RJR-Macdonald Inc., RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc., several related companies, and the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council related to the loss of tax revenues associated with smuggling.Statement of Claim
April 23, 1999 Ontario government announces that it will file a lawsuit in the United States against the tobacco industry under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.


16 December 1999 A Rimouski small claims court hears a claim for $300 from Cecilia Letourneau for reimbursement of the costs of her nicotine replacement therapy. The judge rejects the request.
18 November 1998 The Conseil quebecois pour le controle du tabac, with its representative client, Jean Yves Blais, files a request to proceed with a class action suit against RJR/JTI Macdonald, Rothmans, Benson and Hedges and Imperial Tobacco. Representing the case is Lauzon Belanger (
November 25 1998 In the Spasic case, Justice Cameron of the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) strikes out sections 8 – 16 of the statement of claim (those sections dealing with spoilation). Ruling – 1998
November 12, 1998: British Columbia files a lawsuit against tobacco companies operating in Canada as well as their foreign owners. Statement of claim.Summary of Statement of Claim (prepared by B.C. gov’t); Press release Province Sues Tobacco Companies
September 10, 1998 On behalf of representative client Cecilia Letourneau, Trudel and Johnston ( file a request for certification of a class action against Imperial Tobacco, Rothmans Benson & Hedges et JTI MacDonald for damages arising from addiction to their products.
June 11, 1998 British Columbia legislature revises the Tobacco Damages Recovery Actand renames it the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. (TDHCCRA).  Press release Historic tobacco legislation holds manufacturers accountable for prevention and health care costs.; B.C. government backgrounder on Strategy.
February 1998 Mirjana Spasic dies of smoking-related lung cancer. Her daugher, Ljubisa Spasic, continues the claim on behalf of her estate.
January 18, 1998 Phillip Ragoonanan, 16,  Jasmine Ragoonanan, 3,  Ranuka Baboolal, 15, die in a house fire in Mississauga, Ontario
January 6, 1998 British Columbia announces legal team to lead lawsuit. Memo from public relations firm to IMASCO reviewing announcement
September 16, 1997 A second suit is filed as part of the Spasic case against  B.A.T. Industries alleging intentional “spoliation of evidence” (i.e. that the tobacco companies destroyed evidence of their wrongdoing). Statement of Claim – BAT
July 28, 1997 Tobacco Damages Recovery Act adopted by BC Legislature with all-party support.
June 12, 1997 Joe Battaglia files an action in the Ontario Small claims Court against RBH, Imperial Tobacco and RJR/JTI MacDonald.
June 1997 British Columbia Premier, Glen Clark, announces intention to sue tobacco companies. Globe and Mail, June 16, 1997Press release.  Speaking notes
May 1, 1997 Mirjana Spasic files a claim against imperial Tobacco and Rothmans, Benson and Hedges for damages in the amount of $1,000,000 in association with her lung cancer. Statement of Claim – ITL and Schedule A.
September, 1996 British Columbia Minister of Health, Joy Macphail, expresses interest in suing tobacco companies to recover health care costs.
Thursday, June 1, 1995 A demand letter is sent on behalf of  Mr. Albert Chalut to Imperial Tobacco. (This case was not pursued).
May 26, 1995 The Letourneau class action is re-named and the statement of claim amended. Mr. Letourenau withdraws as a named class representative and is replaced with Lori Cawardine and Russel Hyduk.  Amended statement of claim
January 13, 1995 Toronto lawyer, Richard Sommers, attempts a class action suit against Canada’s 3 major tobacco companies. This is the first class action suit against tobacco companies outside of the United States. The case is called “Letourneau” after the first of the three plaintiffs named (Donald Letourenau, David Caputo, Luna Roth).
March 22, 1993 The Supreme Court of British Columbia issued reasons for its ruling that the limitation period had expired on the Perron case and that it could not proceed. Judgment – 1993
February 2, 1990 The Court of Appeal for British Columbia upheld a prior court ruling against RJR-Macdonald’s request that the Perron action be dismissed because the limitation period was over. Judgment – 1990
June  20th, 1988 Vancouver lawyer Russell Stanton filed a suit against RJR MacDonald Inc. on behalf of his client, Roger Perron. Roger Perron had lost both his legs through amputation as a result of Buerger’s Disease.  Statement of Claim,Writ of summons
February 26, 1987 Relatives and Friends of Dead and Dying Smokers announces its formation, and calls for product liability suits to be filed in Canada against tobacco companies.  Press release.  Backgrounder.

This library was produced Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. For questions or comments about the material listed here, please contact us at 613 233 4878.

Welcome to this collection of materials related to the plain packaging of cigarettes.

Plain packaging

This sub-site is intended provide access to researchers and governments about the history, research and policy context of proposals for plain packaging of tobacco products.

The plain packaging of cigarettes was first proposed in the late 1980s as part of a generation of package reform proposals, which also included the development of larger and graphic package warnings.  You can trace these developments through the Timeline which also provides links to relevant documents and sources.

In recent years, a number of governments have supported the idea of plain packaging, although none as yet have implemented requirements that would end the use of the cigarette package as a promotional tool.  In 2008, more than 160 nations agreed that the provisions of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that controlled advertising and labelling would be best implemented with plain packaging. You can read more about these developments, as well as the growing body of evidence in support of plain packaging by downloading research and related documents. (Because plain packaging is often studied and proposed in conjunction with other packaging issues, like deceptive terms and colours, you will also find research related to these parallel streams).

The tobacco industry has consistently opposed the development of policy measures which affect their ability to use tobacco packages. You can access Industry positions to packaging proposals, as well as analysis of their strategies on this site.

If you are looking for Information Products or material you can easily share with others, you can access it here.

Examples of plain packaging Prototypes are available.

Links to other sites:

Cancer Council Victoria
* Ash Australia tobacco industry activities

This site is maintained by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.
Thanks go to the researchers and analysts whose work is linked here.

Change the Rules – Campaign to ban flavoured and other tobacco products

HK’s DJ Tobacco flavored tobacco Peel is freely available and sold in Hong Kong – this needs to stop !

It’s time to
change the rules!

Governments must stop playing catch up with the industry’s never-ending ability to rejuvenate and renew its deadly products. We need laws to prevent companies from finding more and more inventive ways to attract young people.

New rules should ban all flavours, as well as all new tobacco products — unless authorities decide there is a health reason to do otherwise.

This is by far the most effective way to thwart the tobacco industry’s pervasive drive to invent new ways of attracting new consumers.

The Maori Affairs Select Committee Inquiry and the road to a smokefree Aotearoa

Download PDF : content

Norway divests $2 billion from tobacco companies

Today, the Norwegian Government announced that it will divest its funds from all companies which take more than five percent of their profits from tobacco production.

The Norwegian government pension fund, Global, which according to is considered to be the world’s second largest pension fund, has till recently held huge interests in the tobacco industry.

The Norwegian Minister of Finance, Ms Kristin Halvorsen, today announced that Norway will divest USD 2.1 billion which is currently invested in the tobacco industry and replace this with other stocks. A debate over categorical divestment of tobacco companies from the state-owned government pension fund has been going on in Norway since 2004 when ethical guidelines were introduced for the fund.

Tobacco control activists from a number of national non-governmental organisations have rallied the politicians since the guidelines were introduced, arguing that the investments are neither morally viable nor economically sensible.

“We are very proud to have taken part in moving tobacco control one step further toward halting the death toll from tobacco,” said the Secretary General of the Norwegian Cancer Society,  Ms Anne Lise Ryel.“By divesting from tobacco stocks our politicians have shown clearly and demonstrably that they prioritize public health and are willing to stand up and fight the detrimental health consequences caused by tobacco worldwide.”

According to WHO tobacco is the biggest preventable cause of disease globally, with an annual death toll of 5.4 million. This number is expected to rise to eight million a year by 2030 unless urgent action is taken. Currently 70 percent of deaths take place in the developing world.

“The significant point about divestment is its flow on effect: we fight back at an industry which draws its enormous profits from very cynical marketing tactics and unethical practices in countries without the capacity to introduce strict regulations,” said Ms. Ryel. “The tobacco industry is exploiting vulnerable populations in developing countries to fill their own pockets. Norway today has taken clear action to show that it wants no part in this practise.”

The newly released guidelines for WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), currently ratified by 164 countries worldwide, clearly states that governments should divest all holdings in tobacco companies in order to keep public health interests apart from economic influence.

“As far as we know Norway is the first country to follow the recommendation set out by WHO but we are expecting this to set an important precedence to be followed by other governments,” said Laurent Huber, Director of the Framework Convention Alliance. “We are aware that countries like Holland and Denmark also have big state-owned pension funds which are not consistent with the recent guidelines released on industry interference. We call on those governments to step up and follow the lead taken by Norway today,” he said.

The Tobacco Control Treaty – FCTC

Latest party: St. Kitts and Nevis

When: 21 June 2011

Total parties: 174, which covers 87.4% of world population


Illicit Trade
in Tobacco
Tobacco control for global health and development
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Tobacco Watch 2011 report

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The 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health
takes place 20 – 24th March 2012 in Singapore

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Destroyed documents: uncovering the science that Imperial Tobacco Canada sought to conceal

Background: In 1992, British American Tobacco had its
Canadian affiliate, Imperial Tobacco Canada, destroy internal
research documents that could expose the company to
liability or embarrassment. Sixty of these destroyed documents
were subsequently uncovered in British American
Tobacco’s files.
Methods: Legal counsel for Imperial Tobacco Canada provided
a list of 60 destroyed documents to British American
Tobacco. Information in this list was used to search for
copies of the documents in British American Tobacco files
released through court disclosure. We reviewed and summarized
this information.
Results: Imperial Tobacco destroyed documents that
included evidence from scientific reviews prepared by
British American Tobacco’s researchers, as well as 47 ori –
gin al research studies, 35 of which examined the biological
activity and carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke. The documents
also describe British American Tobacco research on
cigarette modifications and toxic emissions, including the
ways in which consumers adapted their smoking behaviour
in response to these modifications. The documents
also depict a comprehensive research program on the
pharmacology of nicotine and the central role of nicotine
in smoking behaviour. British American Tobacco scientists
noted that “… the present scale of the tobacco industry is
largely dependent on the intensity and nature of the pharmacological
action of nicotine,” and that “… should nicotine
become less attractive to smokers, the future of the
tobacco industry would become less secure.”
Interpretation: The scientific evidence contained in the
documents destroyed by Imperial Tobacco demonstrates
that British American Tobacco had collected evidence that
cigarette smoke was carcinogenic and addictive. The evidence
that Imperial Tobacco sought to destroy had important
implications for government regulation of tobacco.

Background: In 1992, British American Tobacco had itsCanadian affiliate, Imperial Tobacco Canada, destroy internalresearch documents that could expose the company toliability or embarrassment. Sixty of these destroyed documentswere subsequently uncovered in British AmericanTobacco’s files.Methods: Legal counsel for Imperial Tobacco Canada provideda list of 60 destroyed documents to British AmericanTobacco. Information in this list was used to search forcopies of the documents in British American Tobacco filesreleased through court disclosure. We reviewed and summarizedthis information.Results: Imperial Tobacco destroyed documents thatincluded evidence from scientific reviews prepared byBritish American Tobacco’s researchers, as well as 47 ori -gin al research studies, 35 of which examined the biologicalactivity and carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke. The documentsalso describe British American Tobacco research oncigarette modifications and toxic emissions, including theways in which consumers adapted their smoking behaviourin response to these modifications. The documentsalso depict a comprehensive research program on thepharmacology of nicotine and the central role of nicotinein smoking behaviour. British American Tobacco scientistsnoted that “… the present scale of the tobacco industry islargely dependent on the intensity and nature of the pharmacologicalaction of nicotine,” and that “… should nicotinebecome less attractive to smokers, the future of thetobacco industry would become less secure.”Interpretation: The scientific evidence contained in thedocuments destroyed by Imperial Tobacco demonstratesthat British American Tobacco had collected evidence thatcigarette smoke was carcinogenic and addictive. The evidencethat Imperial Tobacco sought to destroy had importantimplications for government regulation of tobacco.

Download full PDF : cmaj.080566.full

Tobacco-free campus guide

Why we should make campuses tobacco-free
– and how to do it

Why we should make campuses tobacco-free– and how to do it

Download PDF : Tobacco_Free_Campus_Guide_web_final

Heat on Labor over tobacco investments

Clancy Yeates

January 9, 2012

THE Gillard government is facing pressure to stop its multibillion-dollar Future Fund from investing in the tobacco industry and in companies that make nuclear weapons.

The Future Fund, which was set up by the former Howard government to help meet the long-term cost of public sector superannuation liabilities, revealed last year that it held $147 million worth of shares in cigarette producers.

The Greens, on whom the government depends to pass legislation in the Senate, plan to increase pressure for the fund to ditch the big tobacco stake and a separate $179 million holding of shares in companies involved in nuclear weapons production.

When the Senate resumes sitting next month after the summer break, the Greens will push for rules forcing the fund to divest its ”unethical” holdings.

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, who introduced a bill on the subject late last year, said it was a ”no brainer” for the Future Fund to offload its tobacco and nuclear holdings.

Senator Di Natale said it was completely inconsistent for the government to fight big tobacco with ”courageous” plain packaging laws, and ”then on the other hand to be investing $147 million in large multinationals who make the stuff”.

The plain-packaging laws were passed late last year, and Philip Morris has already lodged a legal claim saying the restrictions damaged its property.

While the government has refused to tell the fund what to invest in, Senator Di Natale said selling the shares would have little effect on the $73 billion fund’s returns.

”It would be very easy to divest ourselves of those shares without any impact on the bottom line, and I think it would be the socially responsible thing for the government to do.”

Previously, the fund has defended its investments in the companies on the grounds that they are not involved in illegal activities. The government has refused to intervene in its independent investment decisions.

However, there are overseas precedents for governments intervening in how public funds are invested. In October, the Canadian state of Alberta sold $US17.5 million worth of tobacco shares because it was suing tobacco firms for healthcare costs caused by smoking.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund sold its investments in tobacco in 2010, and has guidelines preventing investing in companies that damage the environment.

The Future Fund last year sold its holdings in companies that make cluster bombs and land mines – including defence giant Lockheed Martin – before a new treaty on the bombs came into force.

When Future Fund general manager Mark Burgess was questioned about the tobacco and nuclear investments in October, he said it was updating its environmental, social and governance strategy.

It is understood some government MPs are sympathetic to the Greens’ argument, but Finance Minister Penny Wong has stressed the need for the fund to make arm’s length investment decisions.

The fund’s record on social and environment issues was scrutinised last year when evidence emerged that its board had never discussed climate change.

Poll: Should the federal government’s Future Fund invest in tobacco companies?

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Councils told to stub out big tobacco pension deals

Campaigners take on town halls over £2bn investment as they prepare to take healthcare role

Nina Lakhani, Mark Patterson

Tuesday 24 January 2012

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Tobacco is responsible for more than 100,000 avoidable deaths in the UK every year

Hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been invested in the tobacco industry by councils which next year take on responsibility for public health, an investigation by The Independent has revealed.

Councils across England and Wales have at least £1.3bn of employee pension funds invested in tobacco companies such as Imperial and British American Tobacco, though the true figure is likely to top £2bn, with individual local authorities investing up to £125m each. The revelation last night prompted widespread condemnation from public health leaders trying to reduce the burden of smoking on the NHS.

It follows an announcement by the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, that £5.2bn will be available for public health spending in the year from April 2013, with councils set to receive just over £2bn to help reduce health inequalities and promote healthier lifestyles.

Last night health campaigners accused councils of a serious conflict of interest that would undermine the credibility of their public health efforts.

Martin Drockrell from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said: “When you consider the entire spend on public health for England, it looks like many councils have more money tied up in tobacco shares than they will be spending on protecting children and helping smokers to quit.”

Councils have long faced questions about the ethics of investing huge sums in the tobacco industry when smoking is Britain’s biggest killer. Concerns have been raised about the objectivity of their response to a forthcoming public consultation about the introduction of plain packaging. Health experts and tobacco firms believe this would significantly reduce sales, potentially damaging share prices and investors.

Lindsey Davies, president of the Faculty of Public Health, said: “This is a clear conflict of interest that will undermine councils’ credibility and the public’s trust in the health services they receive. We urge all councils to use the many alternative and more ethical, forms of investment for their pension funds that still maximise financial return.”

Reducing smoking rates – stubbornly stuck at 21 per cent – is one of the greatest challenges facing health officials. Tobacco is responsible for more than 100,000 avoidable deaths from lung cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive airways disease in the UK every year. Council pension funds insist they are duty bound to maximise financial return and cannot consider ethical issues. But a new report by Fair Pensions and ASH, seen exclusively by The Independent, says this is a simplistic, outdated interpretation of the law.

The report also claims that tobacco companies are no longer low-risk, high-profit investments as tighter regulation, higher taxes and outstanding law suits will hit long-term profit margins.

The London Borough of Newham Pension Fund statement of principles in 2010-11 excludes tobacco companies on the basis that outstanding litigation poses an investment risk. Not all analysts agree. Edmund Salveson from Brewin Dolphin said tobacco firms remained a “safe haven” for investors, having proven themselves adept at dealing with legal and regulatory challenges. Both BAT and Imperial said they continue to outperform the market and have long-term sustainable businesses.

Most councils adopt this position. Camden has the largest proportion, 3.7 per cent of its pension fund is in tobacco, while West Yorkshire has the single largest value amount of £125m. Many other local authorities, such as Berkshire, have no direct investment in tobacco but have invested in global tracking funds such as the FTSE 100, of which tobacco companies make up 2 per cent. Campaigners claim a council’s duty to protect the wellbeing of its citizens and minimise the burden on the public purse from smoking outweighs any duty to pension trustees.

But Councillor Ian Greenwood, chair of West Yorkshire Fund, said: “When councillors are involved with a pension fund they act as trustees and their sole responsibility is to its beneficiaries and should not have any political influence.”

Legal suit against plain packaging commenced

24 Jan 2012. Eleven senior counsel representing four tobacco companies and the federal government today appeared before High Court Justice William Gummow, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The meeting comes in preparation for the three-day hearing starting on 17 April in Canberra.

The counsels include Allan Myers QC, Alan Archibald QC and Bret Walker SC, three of Australia’s highest paid barristers. Philip Morris, British American Tobacco Australasia, Imperial Tobacco Australia and Japan Tobacco International are suing the government, claiming plain packaging violates the Australian Constitution because the government is trying to take their brands without paying compensation.

The plain packaging laws were passed by Parliament in November, but the introduction of the green packaging with health warnings will not come into effect until December this year. (pi)