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Jury: Nicotine addiction caused smoker's death - repercussions for Philip Morris?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29166147

According to the article, when the class action suit failed, the courts said that each case would have to be judged independently. This case could open the floodgates for all the others.

What do you think of this ruling? Is it right, or another case of blaming others for someone else's poor choices? Do you think that PM should be held responsible for this because of their history of hiding information from the public in regards to the dangers of cigarette smoking, or do you think that the information has been out for ages (regardless of who made it public), and that people need to take responsibility for their choices to start/continue to smoke?
post #2 of 20
It's the smoker's responsibility, they choose to smoke or even start smoking knowing the consequences

As for how long it's been known to cause cancer and other lung problems - since 1761. Well known by 1836 and in discussed in depth in medical books in 1925. I have a book somewhere that chronicles big newspaper articles over many many years - in it there is even an article from 1928 discussing the health risks from smoking, it even focuses on the risk smoking poses to pregnant women. So there is no one alive today (or has been alive over the last 100 years) that can possibly claim that they started smoking without knowing what it would eventually cause. And as for the addiction side of it, you don't hear of heroin junkies being incredibly shocked that the drug they use is killing them...
post #3 of 20
Phillip Morris won't pay. Smokers everywhere will pay, the manufacturer will just raise their prices. Again. It may be legal, but for smokers it is far from a free country.

It is the smoker's choice. People choose to go back to smoking after they quit, the company doesn't hold a gun to their heads and make them start again. There's plenty of reasons/excuses why people start smoking again, but the bottom line is because they like it. As a former smoker, I can say this for sure - I LIKED IT! I enjoyed it, and there are times when I would really like to smoke again. I was able to quit cold turkey, but I had smoked since I was 13 years old. Yeah, there were a couple times I quit and started again. There were times I said I was going to and didn't. Had nothing to do with addiction, had a lot to do with my own desire to quit.

You don't see alcoholics suing Coors or Jack Daniels for their liver failures. For some reason, that addiction is still the addict's fault. You don't see heroin or cocaine addicts suing their dealers or whoever. Same thing - it's their own fault. But somehow smoking is the manufacturer's fault? And can you really find an impartial jury that doesn't already think the tobacco companies are evil?

The whole thing is stupid, IMO.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
The whole thing is stupid, IMO.
i agree - i wouldn't be surprised if the ruling's overturned by a higher court.
just look at these quotes from the article:
Quote:
Hess’ own medical records show that he was able to quit from time to time but made the decision each time to resume smoking despite doctor’s advice to stop.
and
Quote:
Hess was well aware by the mid-1960s of government warnings about health risks.
post #5 of 20
They have warnings printed right on the pack. What an incredibly silly ruling.
post #6 of 20
It's the person's choice and continued actions. People now want to find others to take the blame for their own poor choices they make. They don't want to take their own responsibility. PM should not be accountable and sued. Maybe sue yourself for your choice that led to cancer!
post #7 of 20
The way everybody sues people and win over stupid stuff encourages everyone to be a victim. Like the hot coffee in the lap or cigarettes, or anything else.
post #8 of 20
I think it is ridiculous when smokers sue tobacco companies, it is a choice to start smoking, yes, it is addictive, but millions of people have broken their addiction so it can be done. Cripes, if people can break their addiction to hard-core drugs like heroin, than addiction to nicotine is nothing.

I'm a smoker, but I do so knowing the risks and if I should get sick than it is my own darn fault. Like Heidi said, I like smoking. I've quit a few times but I always go back
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I think it is ridiculous when smokers sue tobacco companies, it is a choice to start smoking, yes, it is addictive, but millions of people have broken their addiction so it can be done. Cripes, if people can break their addiction to hard-core drugs like heroin, than addiction to nicotine is nothing.

I'm a smoker, but I do so knowing the risks and if I should get sick than it is my own darn fault. Like Heidi said, I like smoking. I've quit a few times but I always go back
After being hospitalized recently for 9 days with COPD, the doctors told me that quitting smoking was more difficult than quitting heroin or cocaine. I have tried many times over the past 2 years to quit. This latest incident was my wake-up call and I have now been off cigarettes for over 1 month. I know, it's not a long time but it's better than I've done up until now.

Having said that, yes it is a person's choice to smoke or not and thousands and thousand have quit so I don't think any tobacco company should be held liable for a person's poor choices.
post #10 of 20
Smoking is very hard to stop. I have quit smoking 2 times in my life for 3 years the first time and 4 the second. Right now I smoke again. I think that the medicine and quitting aids should be affordable for the people who really want to quit smoking. I guess there is a new medicine on the market that is a nicotine inhibitor. My husbands Dr. just told him about it a couple months ago but he also said it was really expensive. I quit the second time using Zyban (wellbutrin) it worked but it was expensive for me without insurance. If I was offered the new medicine at an affordable rate I would start the process right away. I hate smoking it's an awful habit.

My husbands insurance won't cover all the cost of aids and medicine. I would think insurance companies would support quitting because of health issues later down the road and the expenses it costs to treat smoking related diseases. Isn't that ironic for a society that wants everyone to quit.

It is my fault I smoke but give me a fair chance to quit.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
Smoking is very hard to stop. I have quit smoking 2 times in my life for 3 years the first time and 4 the second. Right now I smoke again. I think that the medicine and quitting aids should be affordable for the people who really want to quit smoking. I guess there is a new medicine on the market that is a nicotine inhibitor. My husbands Dr. just told him about it a couple months ago but he also said it was really expensive. I quit the second time using Zyban (wellbutrin) it worked but it was expensive for me without insurance. If I was offered the new medicine at an affordable rate I would start the process right away. I hate smoking it's an awful habit.

My husbands insurance won't cover all the cost of aids and medicine. I would think insurance companies would support quitting because of health issues later down the road and the expenses it costs to treat smoking related diseases. Isn't that ironic for a society that wants everyone to quit.

It is my fault I smoke but give me a fair chance to quit.
You are so right. The medications and aid to help quit are not usually covered by insurance and are very expensive. I suppose "they" feel that if you can afford the cost of cigarettes you can afford the aids.

My family doctor has been after me for years to quit smoking but wasn't very pro-active in giving me any support or help.

The new aid that's available here in Canada is Champix (sp?). Unfortunately I've read that one of the side effects can be depression and that folks have actually committed suicide. That may be the extreme end of the spectrum but still a concern. When I was released from the hospital 2 weeks ago, they gave me a prescription for Champix but I didn't get it filled since I had not smoked in the 9 days of my hospitalization I figured I was probably over the worst of the cravings and would be able to do it without the Champix. So far, so good.
post #12 of 20
Good luck with that Yosemite - I'm on Day 5 of being nic free myself. (It was unplanned, but I'm rolling with it).

I hear ppl complain about the costs of the meds or NRT products - which I agree are expensive - but smoking is expensive so if you replace one with the other I dont see the cost problem?


I just found out yesterday that my state has a stop smoking program - and they supply the patch or gum free of charge. They offer reduced rx meds if you join a cessation program. They have 24 hr counselors and all kinds of guides on how to cope without the habit. I found out about this by accident - it is where that extra cig tax is going. Perhaps see if your state has something like that.

As far addiction and choice - I agree to a point. I would like to see some suffering of profit due to the extra components added to make it that much more addictive. I didnt think there was ever a question that indeed nicotine is addictive? (the case was about that?)

as far as comments of "quitting nicotine should be so easy" - plenty of heroin and meth addicts can give up their illicit drug but not smoking. It is considered the hardest substance to quit (on many levels).
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
as far as comments of "quitting nicotine should be so easy" - plenty of heroin and meth addicts can give up their illicit drug but not smoking. It is considered the hardest substance to quit (on many levels).
I have a few friends that have gone through recovery, and it's not that they can't quit smoking. They don't want to quit. They all say that coffee and cigarettes are they're vice, and they won't give it up. Not saying that's everyone...

Smokers and non-smokers alike have long known the health risks involved in smoking. They had the choice to start, and they have the choice to quit [or not] as well.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
I have a few friends that have gone through recovery, and it's not that they can't quit smoking. They don't want to quit. They all say that coffee and cigarettes are they're vice, and they won't give it up. Not saying that's everyone...
There are people who really want to quit smoking. Don't lump all smokers together as to say that we don't want to quit. It is the hardest habit I have tried to stop in my life. Even after quitting for years at a time it's a work in progress everyday to not smoke ever again. I've failed 2 times and will try again.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
There are people who really want to quit smoking. Don't lump all smokers together as to say that we don't want to quit. It is the hardest habit I have tried to stop in my life. Even after quitting for years at a time it's a work in progress everyday to not smoke ever again. I've failed 2 times and will try again.

With all due respect she did say "her friends", not all smokers did not want to quit. The respirologist at the hospital told me that it takes anywhere from 6 to 10 times of trying to quit before most folks can quit and that you shouldn't be too hard on yourself if you fail the first few times.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbycats View Post
There are people who really want to quit smoking. Don't lump all smokers together as to say that we don't want to quit.
I did not lump all smokers together and was careful to make that distinction in my post. Also, I was specifically responding to the comment made about addicts [of various drugs, i.e. heroin, etc.] being able to quit drinking and/or using but not smoking. Those that I know that went through treatment and gave up drugs and/or alcohol do not want to quit smoking as that is their vice now.
post #17 of 20
I've been smoke free since 11/12/08. It's been 3 months now and not a day goes by that I don't want a cigarette.

Like Yosemite, I had to have a major scare before I was able to quit. I had a chest cold [or so I thought] and was very short of breath. I went to my GP and they did the finger clamp thingy where they measure your blood oxygen. Mine was 72 [the nurse practioner couldn't believe I even made it thru the door to their office].

Anyway, long story short, I was in the hospital 5 days, had tons of tests and yes, I've got COPD. Even tho the doc said my case was 'mild' I'm still on oxygen at night, use a nebulizer twice a day, Spiriva once a day and Advair twice a day. Let me tell you, all that stuff is REALLY expensive!

No, it's no fun not being able to breathe and that's why I will NEVER light up again.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
I hear ppl complain about the costs of the meds or NRT products - which I agree are expensive - but smoking is expensive so if you replace one with the other I dont see the cost problem?
i guess it depends on several things - how expensive are the meds? $100 a month? $200? more? i don't spend more than $100 a month on cigarettes. if the meds are equivalent in price, then yes - one could simply switch out... but if the meds are more, then that would be different.
post #19 of 20
The medicine doesn't work right away and you have to take it for a period of time before it starts to work. I know that is with the Zyban. Yes, in the long run you save money from quitting smoking. It's just the initial expense that is expensive. If I had alot of money right now I would get the best quitting aids possible.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PookieBoy View Post
I've been smoke free since 11/12/08. It's been 3 months now and not a day goes by that I don't want a cigarette.

Like Yosemite, I had to have a major scare before I was able to quit. I had a chest cold [or so I thought] and was very short of breath. I went to my GP and they did the finger clamp thingy where they measure your blood oxygen. Mine was 72 [the nurse practioner couldn't believe I even made it thru the door to their office].

Anyway, long story short, I was in the hospital 5 days, had tons of tests and yes, I've got COPD. Even tho the doc said my case was 'mild' I'm still on oxygen at night, use a nebulizer twice a day, Spiriva once a day and Advair twice a day. Let me tell you, all that stuff is REALLY expensive!

No, it's no fun not being able to breathe and that's why I will NEVER light up again.

Pooky - your post scared the pants off me. I think I might re-read it often.

Best Wishes to you.

(PS: I really hate that ad for that medicine for ppl with COPD and how "breathing better may lead to..." and they mention great stuff like a second honeymoon. The commerical makes it seem like COPD is "no big deal". I hate that. We need to know the seriousness of it.)
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