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Are Lawsuits Against Tobacco Companies Justified?

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Are Lawsuits Against Tobacco Companies Justified?

A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it
leaves one unsatisfied. What more could one want? (qtd. in Hilts, 102).

Statistics show that there have been 1.1 billion smokers in the past 90 years, making it the most widespread addiction in the world. Those smokers make up 47% of the men and 12% of the women out of the whole world population. The age a person starts smoking is getting lower every year and, in lots of countries, including America, kids are already smoking regularly at age 15. Also, more than 400,000 Americans die each year from smoking, making it the most preventable cause of premature death. In fact, one in every five deaths in the United States is caused by smoking (Tobacco Stats).
The reason these statistics are important is because there is an ongoing controversy over whether or not the tobacco companies should be held responsible for injuries or deaths due to smoking. They are being blamed for deaths among smokers in the last half century. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the companies claiming that the companies failed to warn the consumer of the dangers of smoking, but there has yet to be a victory among the plaintiffs. So are these lawsuits justified or not?
Before discussing the arguments made for and against litigation against tobacco companies, it might help to first look back on the history of smoking and cigarettes. Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have smoked, sometimes in pursuit of relaxation, sometimes hoping to cure disease or promote health, sometimes in ritual. Smoking began long before tobacco was on the scene (Whelan, 1984, 28). When most people refer to smoking, they immediately think of cigarettes. Pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff are used today as well, but for the past few decades, cigarettes have been the main tobacco product. This fact is relatively new....

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