A ground-breaking class action lawsuit has been filed in BC Supreme Court against Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited. The representative Plaintiff, Kenneth Knight, is a former customer of Imperial Tobacco. Mr. Knight alleges that Imperial engaged in deceptive acts in the marketing of so-called "light cigarettes". The Plaintiff is seeking reimbursement as well as punitive damages and other remedies. The Plaintiff is not seeking damages for personal injury.

Airspace Action on Smoking & Health, together with Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, were pleased to have helped facilitate the lawsuit. "The tobacco industry has been getting away with murder. Their message has been that light cigarettes are safer and less harmful than regular cigarettes.  The truth is that they are not. In fact, evidence shows that light cigarettes are more harmful. So, smokers got the opposite of what they bargained for," asserted Airspace President Heather Mackenzie. "Light cigarettes are a complete scam and the tobacco industry's conduct is reprehensible. It is not surprising that smokers are now fighting back and seeking justice."

The lawsuit, brought under the BC Trade Practice Act (Deceptive acts or practices) and the BC Class Proceedings Act, was filed by the law firm of Klein Lyons who are experienced in the field of consumer class action litigation.

While this lawsuit is the first of its kind in Canada, a similar case has recently gone to trial in the State of Illinois. After hearing almost two months of evidence, Judge Byron found the industry's conduct over light cigarettes to be "so outrageous" and their motive to be so "evil" that he ordered the Defendant cigarette company, Philip Morris:

  • pay $10 Billion (US) in punitive damages for the deceptive and fraudulent scam of light cigarettes and,

  • reimburse all Plaintiffs for the cost of the light cigarettes they had purchased over the years.

The tobacco industry is the biggest drug lord in Canada and a leach on the health of our country.  Every year, 45,000 people in Canada suffer and die from nicotine addiction -- a number equal to more than 15 World Trade Center attacks. In fact, more people die in Canada from smoking than from alcohol, AIDS, heroin, crack, cocaine, homicides, suicides, car accidents, drunk driving -- all combined." confirmed Mackenzie.  "The death toll is horrific and we predict that the lawsuits will keep coming until the industry is toast."

"The tobacco industry needs to be put where it belongs:  out of business," said Mackenzie.

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