Business, Economics and Jobs

Quebec sues big tobacco for $60 billion


A Palestinian man smokes a cigarette inside his shop in the old town in the West Bank city of Jenin on Friday.



The Quebec government is suing tobacco companies for health costs associated with the harm caused by tobacco products, the Associated Foreign Press reported. The government is taking into account damages from 1970 through those predicted in 2030.

Provincial Health Minister Yves Bolduc and Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier said in a Friday news conference that they are asking for $60 billion.  "The tobacco companies knew the harm they caused," Bolduc said, according to Toronto Sun. "The government of Quebec has a very good case."

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A parallel lawsuit is currently being heard in Montreal, filed by two million Quebec citizens, the Sun reported. They claim that tobacco companies conspired to hide the risks of smoking, used false marketing and deliberately violated the "rights to life, security and integrity of Quebec citizens," the Sun says.

The lawsuit makes Quebec the fifth Canadian province to sue tobacco giants, The Canadian Press reported. British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland have also filed lawsuits. In the US, tobacco lawsuits have brought a settlement of $206 billion over 25 years.