In an effort to recoup healthcare costs connected to smoking, the Alberta government is preparing to file a multi billion dollar lawsuit against tobacco companies.

Premier Alison Redford and Minister of Health Fred Horne made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Redford said the legal action made up a major part of the province's tobacco reduction strategy.

"Tobacco use has had a devastating impact on many generations of Albertans," Redford said in a press release. "The costs are not just to our health care system, but in the many lives cut short by the use of tobacco."

"Every year, more than 3,000 Albertans die from tobacco-caused diseases," Horne said in a press release. "As part of our focus on wellness and keeping Albertans healthy, we will be renewing our tobacco reduction strategy to further decrease smoking rates, reduce exposure to second-hand smoke and provide more support to people who want to quit using tobacco."

In the move, the province will join B.C., New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario in taking tobacco manufacturers to court over healthcare costs.

A number of other provinces: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec are expected to file similar lawsuits in the future.

The $10 billion figure is meant to cover the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses, which date back to the 1950s.

The full tobacco reduction strategy will be released in June.