Submitted by Anne Landman on
California's First District Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to uphold a $2.85 million damage award against Philip Morris (PM) and R.J. Reynolds (RJR) in the case of Leslie Whiteley, a deceased woman from Ojai, California, who developed terminal, metastatic lung cancer at age 40. Whiteley had testified that she started smoking at age 13, using her lunch money to buy cigarettes, and that as a youth she disregarded the health warning labels on cigarette packs because tobacco companies promoted the benefits of smoking and the government allowed their sale. The tobacco companies argued that they weren't responsible for statements made by their trade group, the Tobacco Institute, during the 1970s and 1980s that scientific research was inconclusive about the dangers of smoking. The Court said that Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds were among the tobacco companies that founded and bankrolled pro-industry research groups like the Council for Tobacco Research that performed purportedly "independent research." Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline pointed out that the companies "never publicly contradicted any of the false or misleading statements made by these entities," and that RJR and PM "engaged in a campaign of deception ... intended, among other things, to provide a psychological crutch' to keep addicted smokers smoking."
Kevin of Streng... replied on Permalink
I wish more money would be put into graphic anti-smoking advertisements, especially videos/commercials. There's a campaign called "Every Cigarette is Doing You Damage" (from Australia I think) that is really good. I've used some of these videos when I'm trying to warn students about the dangers of smoking.
Infant replied on Permalink
This is a silly settlement. Anyone that smokes for 40 years and claims to not know it's bad for them is a complete moron and doesn't deserve any money. That's like saying "My crack dealer said this stuff was ok".
ellenjoy replied on Permalink
smoking cigarettes is addictive. the nicotine is the same addiction as heroin. smokers cannot just give it up. it is very hard to just stop smoking. i had to get help. i was totally addicted to nicotine and got very sick. after nearly 40 yrs of smoking, i have severe emphysema. when i started smoking, the tobacco companies lied to the public and made it fashionable and ok to do. when the warnings came out, it was too late for me. the addiction was overwhelming. now, i am on oxygen all the time and struggle to survive. as an ex smoker, yes i can tell you that i am partially responsible for believing in their products. i did not know that cigarettes have formalgyhide, sianyde, etc poisons in each cigarette. they never told the public the ingredients until it was too late.