Ontario intends to allow six other provinces to push forward with a costly and ultimately uncertain multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the tobacco industry rather than commit its own taxpayer dollars to the cause, Premier Dalton McGuinty has said.

McGuinty said he would rather keep Ontario focused on its ongoing efforts to develop education programs to help smokers quit the habit instead of joining the legal effort to recoup health costs from the industry — an agenda McGuinty said is aimed at “punishing Big Tobacco.”