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Billionaire Andrew Forrest to Fund Anti-Smoking Suits, Australian Says

Several brands of Philip Morris cigarettes are displayed for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Philip Morris International is scheduled to release 2012 first quarter earnings on Thursday, April 19.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Andrew Forrest, who made his fortune through iron-ore mining, plans to use part of his charity commitments to sue tobacco companies for killing smokers, the Australian reported.

The Australian billionaire, through his Minderoo Foundation, is seeking legal advice on whether it is feasible to take action similar to a landmark Canadian case that saw a judge order three tobacco companies to pay A$15.6 billion ($12.2 billion) in damages to more than a million smokers, the newspaper reported, citing an interview with Forrest.

Forrest has pledged A$400 million for charity, including about A$75 million for eliminating cancer. The billionaire says tobacco is the basis for 30 percent of all cancers, according to the Australian.

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