Intended for healthcare professionals


Calling the tobacco industry to account in Quebec

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 29 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1900
  1. Neil Collishaw, research director
  1. Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada
  1. ncollishaw{at}

Court victories should benefit public health globally

On 1 March 2019, the Quebec Court of Appeal ordered the tobacco industry to pay $C13.5bn (£7.8bn; €9bn; $10bn) to smokers in Quebec who have lung cancer, throat cancer, or emphysema,1 upholding a judgment rendered four years earlier by the lower court.2 The credit for this unprecedented victory goes to a determined group of lawyers from three law firms.3 Summaries and full records of the trials are publicly available.45678 The case, which has already lasted more than 20 years, will face more delays or may even turn in a different direction before the judgment is executed.

On the basis of this precedent, …

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