Thursday, September 29, 2005 - Top court: B.C. can sue Big Tobacco

I've never smoked - and would be perfectly happy if the practice could be effectively banned. However, today's ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada is very worrying.

The Star's Report on the ruling

This basically allows a province to pass a law that makes people and companies retroactively liable for something. In the case that something is the sale of tobacco products, this something is a legal product - yes it's still a legal product on whose sales governments rake in $billions.

The arguments is that tobacco sellers knew of the risks caused by smoking - and hid the information. The inference is that governments didn't know. Poppycock! Almost as far back as tobacco has been available in western society people have known. King James I of England's viewed it as:

...a custome loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible stygian [dark and gloomy] smoke of the pit that is bottomless...

In other words, The Crown in the form of the King of England knew of the dangers. This very same Crown - in the form of the Province of BC somehow didn't.

The Crown should either make tobacco illegal - or stop bugging the tobacco companies.

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