Class Action Suit Against Tobacco Firms
A class action suit status was granted against the tobacco industry today by U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein, Brooklyn, USA. Experts say that the bill for the tobacco companies could hit as high as $200 billion. Tobacco companies are being sued becau
The trial is set to start on January 22, 2007. A class action means, in this case, any person who bought packets of cigarettes with the label 'light' or 'lights' on them. It could be an enormous number of people - many tens of millions.
As these 'light' health messages started on cigarette packets during the 1970s, who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people will not be able to witness the class action suit because they died prematurely from smoking.
The judge also indicated he is not adverse to including other words used on cigarette packets, such as 'low tar' in the class action suit.
Internal tobacco company documents indicated that the health risks for so-called low tar and/or light cigarettes were virtually the same as for other cigarettes. However, they promoted them as lower-risk alternatives to the public. Even though the industry knew these 'light' cigarettes made it more likely consumers would face serious illness and premature death, when compared to non-smokers, they still went ahead and promoted them.
Most people chose these 'light' or 'lights' labels for health reasons, over 90% of them. They did not chose them because they tasted better.
About five million people die each year worldwide as a result of smoking. How many died over the last century is impossible to know exactly - it must be in the hundreds of millions. Add to this the number who became seriously ill, disabled, lost a limb and one begins to see a tragedy unmatched by any war or epidemic in human history.
Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?newsid=52647
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