Alberta passes bill allowing it to sue tobacco companies for health costs

EDMONTON — Health groups are celebrating after a bill was passed allowing the Alberta government to sue tobacco companies for health-care costs associated with tobacco-related diseases.

EDMONTON — Health groups are celebrating after a bill was passed allowing the Alberta government to sue tobacco companies for health-care costs associated with tobacco-related diseases.

Tony Hudson of the Lung Association says they are delighted Alberta has joined with other provinces to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the health-care impact of its marketing practices.

Under Bill 48, the Right of Recovery Act, the government can sue to recover the “cost of health services caused or contributed to by a tobacco-related wrong.”

Action on Smoking and Health spokesman Les Hagen also applauded the move.

He says the Alberta government now has a tremendous opportunity to help offset the rising costs of health care while holding the tobacco industry accountable for its actions.

Hagen also encouraged the government to launch a lawsuit as soon as possible.

The health groups estimate about 3,000 Albertans die per year from tobacco-related illness.

Alberta joins a list of provinces that have passed similar legislation, including Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

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