Judge Rules in Favour of Health

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Judge Rules in Favour of Health

Saskatoon, September 25thJudge R. Barclay dismissed the application by Rothmans, Benson & Hedges to have Saskatchewan's Tobacco Control Act declared inoperative.

We are extremely pleased with this ruling, said the Lung Association of Saskatchewan Volunteer Chairman, Robert Ferguson.

In March 2002, the Saskatchewan Government proclaimed legislation that contained world precedent setting elements.

By preventing the display of tobacco products, we are finally saying to the public that this is a unique and extremely dangerous substance, said Ferguson.  We definitely should not be encouraging and promoting, in thousands of Saskatchewan stores, the sale of the product known to be the biggest cause of preventable illness and death in our country and province, he continued.

The tobacco industry does not display products to encourage brand switching as they continue to suggest.  This industry wants the public to think of tobacco as a product as common and innocuous as the gum and chocolate bars placed beside packs of cigarettes and tins of smokeless tobacco, on retail shelves.  This is simply not the case, added CEO and President Dr. Brian Graham.

Tobacco kills and injures when used exactly as it is designed and intended to be used.  Any consumption of tobacco is dangerous.

As a society we should do all we can to preserve health especially in our youth.  This includes making tobacco less visible and reinforcing the fact that most people in our province do not use these products.

In his ruling, Judge Barclay noted that the social problems created by tobacco consumption are complex and that innovative legislative solutions are required to address them effectively.  This has, in fact, been accomplished by the Provincial Government in enacting The Tobacco Control Act

The Lung Association of Saskatchewan congratulates Minister Nilson and the provincial government for standing firm in their resolve to reduce tobacco use.  The tobacco industry can be intimidating but this indicates that efforts can be expended to not allow them carte blanche in their distribution and advertising of such a dangerous and addictive product.

Not only is this good news for Saskatchewan, the ruling can potentially affect other jurisdictions throughout the world.  Since passage of the Tobacco Control Act, Ireland and the Province of Manitoba have followed suit and passed legislation to ban tobacco product displays from retail outlets.

The Lung Association of Saskatchewan is a member of the Canadian Lung Association that has been working for lung health for over 100 years.  The Lung Association is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that relies on donations from the public for its activities.  Please view the Lung Association website at www.sk.lung.ca for a comprehensive account of our research initiatives, community programs, health education services and clean air initiatives.

For more information contact:

Paul Van Loon
Vice-President of Health Education
Lung Association of Saskatchewan
1231 “ 8th Street East
Saskatoon, SK   S7H 0S5
Phone:  (306) 343-9640, ext. 226
1-800-667-LUNG (5864)
paul.vanloon@sk.lung.ca

Shaine Peters
Provincial Director
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT)
200 “ 1801 MacKay Street
Regina, SK     S4N 6E7
Phone:  (306) 757-5550
Fax:  (306) 757-5572
shaine@swatsask.com


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Page Last Updated: 25/09/2002