May 1, 2017, Garfield Mahood and Brian Iler publish a feature article about the “ruthless” behaviour of tobacco industry executives in the Monitor, the magazine of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The CCPA is a leading progressive think tank. A fair amount has been written about the misbehaviour of cigarette companies but little if anything has been published about the unconscionable behaviour of the individuals behind the development and perpetuation of the tobacco epidemic. This article attempts to bring a measure of justice and accountability into the legacies of some of these individuals and suggests where public health should go as it attempts to reduce tobacco diseases.
January 18, 2016, Garfield Mahood’s article on plain packaging of tobacco products and the need for additional reforms that focus on primary prevention rather than on smoking cessation, tertiary prevention, is published in The Toronto Star and other Canadian newspapers during the National Non-Smoking Week. It points out the need for strong government actions designed to change the predatory behaviour of tobacco companies.
October 16, 2015, Garfield Mahood, president of the Campaign for Justice on Tobacco Fraud, Mary Jane Ashley, Professor Emerita of Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Fernand Turcotte, Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, publish a scathing critique of the Harper government’s track record on the tobacco issue in iPolitics. The authors explain how the government of Stephen Harper, contrary to its oft-repeated claims to be a world leader in tobacco policy, has either slowed or reversed progress in tobacco use reduction or, worse, has aided and abetted the interests of Big Tobacco.
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.
February 15, 2015, Garfield Mahood and lawyer Brian Iler publish “Charity law blocks progress on issues facing Canadians” in The Toronto Star, The Gazette (Montreal), Vancouver Sun and other Canadian newspapers. Many issues including tobacco-related ones, as well as environmental and poverty issues, require strong advocacy and law reform solutions. But when non-profits obtain charitable status, they are restricted to spending only 10% of their revenue on the very advocacy that is needed. This article explains how, for many non-profits, the rejection of charitable status can enable an organization to more effectively pursue its objectives.
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.