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Campaign for Justice on Tobacco Fraud / Campagne pour obtenir Justice face à la Fraude du Tabac
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MISSION

Our mission is to reduce the disease and
death caused by tobacco industry products.

Transnational tobacco companies have been proven in courts of law to have committed conspiracy, fraud and negligence on a grand scale. They have lied about tobacco risks, nicotine addiction, nicotine manipulation, targeting kids, the risks of so-called 'light' and 'mild' cigarettes and second-hand smoke. Their wrongful behaviour related to smuggling in Canada was unprecedented. A judge said of a Canadian company and its international parent "The acts committed in furtherance of the conspiracy here represent the largest offense of its nature in Canadian history." We intend to seek justice for society, especially for the victims of Big Tobacco, by supporting litigation against the industry that has the potential to lead to public health benefits and changed industry behaviour. Our mission then is to reduce the disease and death caused by tobacco industry products.

IT'S ABOUT JUSTICE

"Over the course of more than 50 years, defendants lied, misrepresented and deceived… to make money with little, if any, regard for individual illness and suffering… the evidence of Defendants’ Fraud is overwhelming." - U.S. Federal Judge Gladys Kessler in a judgement branding tobacco companies as racketeers. At the time of the wrongful behaviour involved, all of these companies were parents of or sister corporations of Canada’s three major cigarette manufacturers. Much of the behaviour roundly condemned by the U.S. federal court also took place in Canada.

quotesTHREE MILLION DEATHS

A message from Health Canada about the threat
to public health from tobacco products.

A 1994 World Health Organization report predicts up to one-half of all regular smokers will die of tobacco use. This means that of all current smokers in Canada, three million will die at the hands of one product – tobacco. Half of those killed will have shortened their lives, on average, by about 23 years. The death rate from tobacco products continues to rise. In fact, tobacco now kills three times more people than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, murder, AIDS and illicit drugs, all combined. These deaths will continue to occur unless strong measures are taken to address the problem. In addition, tobacco-related diseases represent a multi-billion-dollar financial burden on our health care system. A burden that impacts everyone, smokers and nonsmokers alike. This public health tragedy is preventable."

This is an excerpt from a Health Canada advertisement that appeared briefly following the World Health Organization report. But the text was too honest to be given to Canadians and was quickly pulled. Health Canada’s leadership in response to such an ominous prediction has been woefully inadequate.
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NEWS

In the week of May 17, 2015, as a project of our Campaign to mark World No Tobacco Day (May 31), more than 60 Canadian health and legal experts wrote to provincial attorneys general and health ministers as well as to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley about each province’s tobacco industry health care cost recovery litigation. At the same time, the Campaign released a previously confidential poll that shows that the public has almost zero knowledge about the alleged behaviour which, if proven in court, would become the largest and most destructive fraud in Canadian history. The news release, template of the letter and national poll follow.

In June 2014, to launch our Campaign, we wrote to the attorneys general and ministers of health of the provinces and territories and urged them to make public health objectives key outcomes of their health care cost recovery litigation with Big Tobacco. The 137 signatories included professors of law and public health, university deans of public health and medicine and the CEOs of major health agencies.

THE TEAM BEHIND THE MESSAGE

Our Board of Directors is committed to the
reduction of tobacco industry-caused disease.

The Campaign for Justice on Tobacco Fraud / Campagne pour obtenir justice face à la fraude du tabac is a non-profit organization incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Incorporations Act. For decades, the tobacco industry, governments and even health agencies have focused responsibility for the tobacco epidemic on individual behaviour rather than corporate misbehaviour. Health interests and health professionals have concentrated campaigns on persuading addicted smokers to quit smoking, tertiary prevention. There has been inadequate attention paid to critical primary prevention, pressing governments hard to stop the wrongful conduct that leads to the addiction of smokers before the age of responsibility. In the absence of governments being willing to talk about primary prevention, tobacco industry spin, “freedom of choice” for example, has too often dominated the public debate. We will strive to change the conversation.

Board of Directors

  • board member - alex-hukowich
    Alex Hukowich, MD, CCFP
    Medical Officer of Health and Coroner (retired)
  • board member - clifford-garfield-mahood
    Clifford Garfield Mahood, OC
    Health Advocate
  • board member - pamela-mccoll
    Pamela McColl, BA
    Author and Publisher
  • board member - robert-solomon
    Robert Solomon, LLB, LLM
    Distinguished University Professor
  • board member - alix-stevenson
    Alix Stevenson, BA (Hons), LLB
    Lawyer
  • board member - fernand-turcotte
    Fernand Turcotte MD, MPH, FRCPC
    Professor Emeritus of Public Health
  • board member - tyler-ward
    Tyler Ward, JD
    Masters Candidate, Health Policy and Equity, York University
board member - alex-hukowich

ALEX HUKOWICH, MD, CCFP

Medical Officer of Health and Coroner (retired)

Dr. Hukowich graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in medicine and received his license Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) in 1971. He interned in Family Medicine at St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s Hospitals and Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr. Hukowich established a solo private practice in South Porcupine, Ontario and was appointed Coroner for the District of Cochrane in 1973. He received his Certification from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) in 1976 and, in 1978, his diploma in Public Health from the University of Toronto. Dr. Hukowich served as Medical Officer of Health of the Porcupine Health Unit, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and Coroner for the County of Northumberland. He retired as Medical Officer of Health in 2004.

board member - clifford-garfield-mahood

CLIFFORD GARFIELD (GAR) MAHOOD, OC

Health Advocate

Clifford Garfield (Gar) Mahood is the Founder and President of the Campaign for Justice on Tobacco Fraud / Campagne Pour Obtenir Justice Face À La Fraude Du Tabac, (CJTF). Gar has a lengthy history in the field of tobacco control. He was the founding Executive Director of the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA) and held that position for 36 years. Early in 2012, he embarked on his plan to incorporate the CJTF and press for health outcomes from tobacco-related litigation. The NSRA, Gar's life work to date, is a national, non-profit, health advocacy organization. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the NSRA pressed for the elimination of second-hand smoke in public places and workplaces from Calgary to St. John's. Then, while working closely with the Canadian Cancer Society and other agencies, the NSRA led campaigns for a world precedent-setting ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship (1988), for global precedent-setting tobacco package warnings (1994), for Canada’s Tobacco Act (1997) and for the world’s first warnings using pictures, colours and more dramatic graphics (2000). In 1990, in a document leaked to delegates at the 7th World Conference on Smoking OR Health in Perth, Australia, Infotab, the international tobacco industry's research and intelligence gathering agency, described Gar as the No. 1 individual threat to the tobacco industry in the world at that time. In 2000, the NSRA was the recipient of the inaugural international Luther L. Terry Award in the "Outstanding Organization" category. An international selection panel cited the NSRA as a global leader in tobacco control. Prior to joining the NSRA, Gar served for three years as Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association. Gar is the recipient of a World Health Organization tobacco control gold medal, the Canadian Cancer Society's Citation of Merit for "creative and forceful leadership in the cause of cancer prevention," and the Canadian Public Health Hero Award from the Canadian Public Health Association / Public Health Agency of Canada. In 2007, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, for "a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large."

board member - pamela-mccoll

PAMELA MCCOLL, BA

Author and Publisher

Pamela McColl is an independent award-winning book publisher based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has had a longstanding interest in the tobacco issue. In 2012, this culminated in her publication of the first-ever, smoke-free edition of the famous holiday poem, Twas The Night Before Christmas. This beautifully illustrated book generated international media attention to the impact of tobacco imagery on youth culture, especially in movies. Pamela initiated the Western Canadian Smoke-Free Movies Committee and continues to work towards changes in film classification in order to better protect young audiences from the influence of tobacco. And she has just written and published a book on pregnancy and smoking cessation, Baby and Me, Tobacco Free. Pamela and her work have been featured in the international media, print, TV and radio appearances including The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, New York Post, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, The National Post Macleans Magazine, and National Public Radio, "The View" with Barbara Walters.

board member - robert-solomon

ROBERT SOLOMON, LLB, LLM

Distinguished University Professor

Professor Solomon is a Distinguished University Professor in the Faculty of Law and Master of Public Health Program, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University. He has been engaged in research on alcohol and drug policy, and tort, criminal and health law for more than 40 years. He has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and government and other reports. He served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Addiction Research Foundation, frequently appeared as an expert witness before Parliamentary Committees, briefed senior Parliamentarians, and worked as a consultant for numerous government and other agencies. He has been the National Director of Legal Policy for Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada since 1998. In this capacity, Professor Solomon was responsible for developing ongoing legal policy reviews of the federal and provincial impaired driving legislation. The International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety honoured Professor Solomon with the 2007 Widmark Award for his "outstanding and sustained" contribution to traffic safety research. He received the 2010 Kaiser Foundation National Award for Excellence in Public Policy and was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his work on alcohol and traffic safety policy.

board member - alix-stevenson

ALIX STEVENSON, BA (HONS), LLB

Lawyer

Alix is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor. She first engaged in tobacco control advocacy while attending undergrad studies at the University of Western Ontario in 1974. At the time, smoking was tolerated by students and professors, even in lecture halls. She initiated a campaign to end this practice which included withholding her tuition fees and mobilizing the support of the student body. Her efforts succeeded in creating a university bylaw banning tobacco use in classrooms. Subsequently, as a founding and executive member of the London branch of GASP (Group Against Smokers’ Pollution), Alix directed public awareness campaigns, predominantly for the annual National Education Week on Smoking and Health. Following graduation from law school in 1982, Alix moved to Goderich, Ontario with her physician husband Dr. Donald Neal and practised law in Lucknow and Goderich. In 2002, she again took up her work with others in tobacco control to successfully lobby for its first tobacco control bylaws.

board member - fernand-turcotte

FERNAND TURCOTTE, MD, MPH, FRCPC

Professor Emeritus of Public Health

Dr. Turcotte is Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at Université Laval. He graduated in medicine from the University of Montreal and in public health from Harvard University. As a co-founder and former chair of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Laval, most of his research activities related to the prevention of chronic diseases associated with toxic exposures either in the workplace or in the general environment. For 18 years, Dr. Turcotte was Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Public Health. He was also a member of the advisory committee of the population health program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. For three decades he has been involved in the shaping of public policy to protect public health. In 1998, the Canadian Public Health Association gave Dr. Turcotte its highest honour, the R. D. Defries Award and Honourary Life Membership.

board member - tyler-ward

TYLER WARD, JD

Masters Candidate, Health Policy and Equity, York University

Tyler Ward has a B.A. in political science from York University and a J.D. (social justice option) from the University of Ottawa. He is now articling in Iqaluit for the Law Society of Nunavut. Tyler is the former head of a student-led tobacco divestment group called E-BUTT at the University of Toronto. He campaigned to have the U of T become the first university in Canada to divest of its tobacco industry holdings. This was followed by a successful campaign to have the School of Public Health, University of Alberta, also reject tobacco industry funding. He is the recipient of Toronto Public Health's Smoke-Free Ontario Award, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Free Canada's Norman C. Delarue Award, and the Non-Smokers' Rights Association Award of Merit.

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BIG TOBACCO COSTS US ALL

Tobacco Industry products cost the Canadian economy
$4.4 billion annually in direct health care costs and over
$12 billion each year in indirect costs such as lost productivity.
But the real tragedy lies not in dollars but in lives lost, ruined health and families torn apart.

Contact Information

Campaign for Justice on Tobacco Fraud
Campagne pour obtenir justice face à la fraude du tabac
  • Box 83513, 87 Avenue Road
  • Toronto, ON M5R 3T6
  • Garfield Mahood, OC
  • President
  • Alex Hukowich, MD
  • Secretary, Treasurer
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