Forwarded with permission from Ken Kyle, who is LDS and works at the Canadian Cancer Society, as director of public issues. The first item is a recent newspaper article, the second some background from Ken on his involvement with this. The Church News has been in contact with him about possibly doing a story on this.
Court rejects tobacco industry challenge of federal advertising law DONALD MCKENZIE Canadian Press Friday, December 13, 2002 MONTREAL (CP) - Canada's anti-tobacco lobby urged the federal government on Friday to crack down even further on cigarette manufacturers after a judge dismissed an industry challenge of the Tobacco Act governing advertising. Canada's three main tobacco companies argued the law forcing them to put warning labels on cigarette packages is unconstitutional because it unfairly limits their right to do business and market a legal product. But Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Denis rejected their view, noting in his ruling that cigarettes kill 45,000 Canadians a year. "They (tobacco companies) are trying to save an industry in inevitable decline and they have every right to do so," Denis wrote. "Their rights, however, cannot be given the same legitimacy as the government's to protect public health." The law also bans tobacco advertising in broadcast outlets, billboards, street kiosks, bus panels and store displays. Anti-tobacco officials were ecstatic with Friday's ruling. "It's just dynamite, dynamite," said Francois Damphousse, director of the Quebec office of the Non-Smokers' Rights Association. "It's a tremendous ruling because the judge has recognized that tobacco is a major, major public health problem." Donald McCarty, a vice-president at Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., said the industry was disappointed with the decision. He hinted at an appeal but also said negotiations with the federal government would help avoid years of legal wrangling. The judge also criticized the tobacco companies for using terms such as "light" on their cigarette packages. Rob Cunningham, a spokesman for the Canadian Cancer Society, called on Ottawa to seize the momentum created by the ruling and amend the law to eliminate prominent retail displays of tobacco products as well as what he called "deceptive" descriptions such as "light" and "mild." Alex Swann, a spokesman for Health Minister Anne McLellan, said the department was pleased with the decision and that the minister is looking at the "light" and "mild" issue. "The health minister will continue to look at possible measures that would be effective in fighting the problem of tobacco," Swann said from Ottawa. "On the light and mild issue specifically, the minister is examining options." McCarty, who was also speaking on behalf of Rothmans, Benson and Hedges Inc. and JTI-Macdonald Corp., said the companies agree that tobacco should be regulated. "We need to say that those regulations need to be reasonable," McCarty said. "The industry has always said that there are clearly serious risks associated with tobacco use. But tobacco is not the only product widely used in society that has risks attached to it. Recently in the United States, they've decided that obesity is now the No. 1 health problem there." Cunningham also said Denis upheld a ban on tobacco sponsorships of sports and cultural events. The ban takes effect next Oct. 1. "This is a massive and total victory for public health in Canada today," Cunningham said. "In historic terms, the tobacco industry has never been criticized to the extent that it has in this judgment." The case began last January. ======================= Mark -- Here is some background on the court decision last Friday, as you requested. Since 1986 I have been Director of Public Issues for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in Ottawa, Canada, reporting to our CEO at CCS headquarters in Toronto. This means I have been responsible for the CCS's lobbying and government relations activities to convince the Parliament of Canada, among other issues, to pass laws preventing cancer. (One of my projects a few years ago, for example, was to Co-Chair the international Smoke Free Skies campaign which organized public health and civil aviation authorities in many countries to successfully lobby the International Civil Aviation Authority (one of the United Nations family of organizations) to pass a resolution in 1992 banning smoking on international commercial flights.) In 1987 I worked with a few other individuals from other health groups and successfully lobbied Parliament to ban tobacco advertising in Canada in 1998. There was then a five year marathon battle in the courts after the tobacco industry challenged the constitutionality of these provisions. We eventually lost 5 - 4 at the Supreme Court of Canada in 1995. But the Supreme Court provided guidance for new legislation. I then headed up the CCS's efforts to work with other health groups to successfully lobby for replacement legislation - the "Tobacco Act", which was passed by Parliament in 1997. I later convinced the CCS's National Board to apply for and fund intervener status in the courts which we eventually received. I hired a young lawyer, Rob Cunningham, to be part of the legal team working with lawyers from the Government of Canada when this new Act was also challenged by the tobacco industry. The Canadian tobacco companies have now failed in their attempt to get the Canadian Tobacco Act overturned in court. Québec Superior Court judge André Denis last Friday upheld the constitutionality of the Act, which severely restricts the advertising media and types of advertisement that can be used to promote tobacco brands. He ruled that provisions of the Tobacco Act are fully justifiable under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He also upheld regulations under the Act that mandate picture-based health warnings on cigarette packs and require manufacturers to provide extensive reports to the Government of Canada on product ingredients and emissions as well as marketing activities and research. He also delivered a powerful criticism of the tobacco industry that is unprecedented in its magnitude in Canadian courts. The Court concluded that the tobacco industry advertised to youth, engaged in deceptive advertising, failed to disclose its knowledge of the health effects of tobacco use and was a willing accomplice to cigarette smuggling. The implications of this judgment are immense. For example, the Tobacco Act was the authority for picture-based government health warnings covering 50% of each side of cigarette packs. Other countries, such as Brazil, have copied this Canadian innovation. This provision is being considered in the current negotiations under the auspices of the World Health Organization for a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The final negotiations are next February in Geneva. Both Rob Cunningham and myself have been involved in these negotiations representing the Non-Government Organization (NGO) sector. The tobacco industry would have liked to have seen these warning knocked out by the courts because of their world precedent-setting nature. The CCS and other health groups in our tobacco control coalition having been pressuring the Government to ban the use of misleading descriptors, such as "light" and "mild". This judgment will make our job easier. We are also working to have the Government eliminate prominent package displays at retail outlets. Cheers. Ken Kyle Director Public Issues Office Canadian Cancer Society 116 Albert Street. Suite 1010 Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G3 T: 613.565.2522 ext. 300 F: 613.565.2278 E: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Let's Make Cancer History 1 888 939-3333 | www.cancer.ca -- Marc A. Schindler Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland “Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer, nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ==^^=============================================================== This email was sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n.YXJjaGl2 Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/register ==^^===============================================================