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Thread: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by EgoffTib View Post
    Fair enough, though battling one extreme with the other has a tendency to fail.
    I'm not battling at this point. I am just making an illustration. I gave up battling the issue with her when she got demeaning about people who died of cancer.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    I'd like to shed some light on this from a numbers perspective. I do and I do not agree with both sides on this argument. I feel like one side is wrong for pretending that 'will power' is more then enough to stop quitting. Why? Because this is from a point of PURE opinion. Nothing more nothing less. Let me show why :

    Addiction - Abstract: Volume 99(1) January 2004 p 29-38 Shape of the relapse curve and long-term abstinence among untreated smokers.

    Results: There is a paucity of studies reporting relapse curves of self-quitters. The existing eight relapse curves from two studies of self-quitters and five no-treatment control groups indicate most relapse occurs in the first 8 days. These relapse curves were heterogeneous even when the final outcome was made similar. In terms of prolonged abstinence rates, a prior summary of 10 self-quitting studies, two other studies of self-quitters and three no-treatment control groups indicate 3-5% of self-quitters achieve prolonged abstinence for 6-12 month after a given quit attempt.
    3-5% of people who attempt to self quit(cold turkey) succeed. That leaves a gap of over 90% who don't. Seems to me like it's not as easy to just 'quit' as some on this thread are suggesting.

    Now as to why I don't agree with the other side. Well it's not so much a disagreement as what kind of precedent this sets. If a person who as a result of smoking now has lung cancer says that they weren't fully aware of the consequences of their habits, how do we reply to that? Do we say that it was their obligation to become informed about the product? Why was it the obligation of a person who smoked for 15 years but not that of one who's smoked for 30? Why wasn't it the responsibility of somebody who smoked for 30 years to seek help for their addiction? I think that allowing this kind of lawsuit to go through sets a very interesting question as far as who we'll allow to file lawsuits against companies.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    I'd like to shed some light on this from a numbers perspective. I do and I do not agree with both sides on this argument. I feel like one side is wrong for pretending that 'will power' is more then enough to stop quitting. Why? Because this is from a point of PURE opinion. Nothing more nothing less. Let me show why :

    Addiction - Abstract: Volume 99(1) January 2004 p 29-38 Shape of the relapse curve and long-term abstinence among untreated smokers.



    3-5% of people who attempt to self quit(cold turkey) succeed. That leaves a gap of over 90% who don't. Seems to me like it's not as easy to just 'quit' as some on this thread are suggesting.

    Now as to why I don't agree with the other side. Well it's not so much a disagreement as what kind of precedent this sets. If a person who as a result of smoking now has lung cancer says that they weren't fully aware of the consequences of their habits, how do we reply to that? Do we say that it was their obligation to become informed about the product? Why was it the obligation of a person who smoked for 15 years but not that of one who's smoked for 30? Why wasn't it the responsibility of somebody who smoked for 30 years to seek help for their addiction? I think that allowing this kind of lawsuit to go through sets a very interesting question as far as who we'll allow to file lawsuits against companies.
    I think there is legitimacy to a lawsuit for someone who had already developed a smoking addiction during the period of cover-up by the tobacco industry. Not only does that show negligence by the tobacco company, but it is also intent to do knowingly do harm to the person and to society with their cover-up.

    If any other industry knowingly sold arsenic laced food products for a generation, would we permit that to go unanswered with a simple "derrr, well they didn't have to eat that particular brand of food"?

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Now as to why I don't agree with the other side. Well it's not so much a disagreement as what kind of precedent this sets. If a person who as a result of smoking now has lung cancer says that they weren't fully aware of the consequences of their habits, how do we reply to that? Do we say that it was their obligation to become informed about the product? Why was it the obligation of a person who smoked for 15 years but not that of one who's smoked for 30? Why wasn't it the responsibility of somebody who smoked for 30 years to seek help for their addiction? I think that allowing this kind of lawsuit to go through sets a very interesting question as far as who we'll allow to file lawsuits against companies.
    Good points. My main point is that adults don't pick up smoking. The habit starts when people are teens, too young to understand the consequences. Any adult who takes up the habit is a moron, but I'm not going to say they get what they deserve. People are people.

    I guess my other point is that once we found out how incredibly bad this is for us the people who made it should have stopped selling it. When they didn't the government should have stopped it.

    This is not the government interfering in business so much as the government defending us, as is their first job.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by sazerac View Post
    This is not the government interfering in business so much as the government defending us, as is their first job.
    I completely disagree. The government warned us that smoking was hazardous to our health. It is not the government's job to babysit us and smack our hands when we make poor decisions regarding our health.
    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." - Gandhi

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    I think there is legitimacy to a lawsuit for someone who had already developed a smoking addiction during the period of cover-up by the tobacco industry. Not only does that show negligence by the tobacco company, but it is also intent to do knowingly do harm to the person and to society with their cover-up.
    Well Jallman it's not like the negative effects of smoking haven't been known for well over two generations. As a matter of fact that history of anti-smoking campaigns go back a few centuries. I came up on this - the authors even make one of the chapters relevant to this discussion available :

    'Your body belongs to the Fuhrer' (1919-49)

    The most compelling evidence came from Germany. In 1929, Fritz Lickint showed a link between smoking and lung cancer and in 1935 said there was "no doubt" that it caused bronchial cancer too. Another German doctor, Franz Muller, wrote the pioneering 'Tobacco misuse and lung carcinoma' in 1939 and reported that 83 of the 86 lung cancer patients he studied had been smokers. Muller also found that lung cancer victims were six times more likely to be "extremely heavy smokers".


    Now I'm not saying this study was made readily available to everyone but I think it is a sign showing that the negative effects of smoking were already being studied way longer then two generations ago and a consumer can only claim negligence for so long. I think at the most the only people who should be allowed to file lawsuits against companies are people who were smoking 50 years ago. Not people who've been smoking for 25 or even 30 years.

    If any other industry knowingly sold arsenic laced food products for a generation, would we permit that to go unanswered with a simple "derrr, well they didn't have to eat that particular brand of food"?
    But that's kind of the point. Isn't it? Tabbaco companies knowingly sell arcenic products. Some responsibility falls on the consumer to inform themselves on the product. Specially when it is being recommended by doctors on television. Would you buy a bottle of over the counter stuff not knowing exactly what is in it? Likewise would you just grab a rolled up cigarette from anybody without asking what it is and if it's laced with anything?
    Last edited by Hatuey; 02-20-09 at 08:11 PM.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by EgoffTib View Post
    I completely disagree. The government warned us that smoking was hazardous to our health. It is not the government's job to babysit us and smack our hands when we make poor decisions regarding our health.
    But it is the government's job to look out for public health issues and a dangerously carcinogenic product with highly addictive qualities being marketed to young adults (often by having free samples passed out) most certainly is a public health situation.

    We don't permit asbestos in buildings anymore despite some people probably still stupid enough to use it. We don't permit the sale of meds that fail thorough investigative trials. Why do we permit the sale of a recreational substance that is as deadly or worse than asbestos or a shoddy medicine?

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    But it is the government's job to look out for public health issues and a dangerously carcinogenic product with highly addictive qualities being marketed to young adults (often by having free samples passed out) most certainly is a public health situation.
    Right. But if someone tells you that they didn't know that smoking can cause cancer or that it is a poor health decision, they are lying or live under a rock.

    We don't permit asbestos in buildings anymore despite some people probably still stupid enough to use it. We don't permit the sale of meds that fail thorough investigative trials. Why do we permit the sale of a recreational substance that is as deadly or worse than asbestos or a shoddy medicine?
    Tobacco Lobbies. I'm not saying it's fair, but it's the reality.
    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." - Gandhi

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    Quote Originally Posted by EgoffTib View Post
    I completely disagree. The government warned us that smoking was hazardous to our health. It is not the government's job to babysit us and smack our hands when we make poor decisions regarding our health.
    Yes they did, however, for the longest time for a generation, the government supported smoking.

    Hell some military troops at a time were given cigarettes for their rations.

    How is that warning people?

    I agree with Jallman, for those smoking in the mid 70s, and to even give a margin of error for up to early 80s there is NO REASON for people not to know smoking is hazardous.

    But for those generations that the government not only supported smoking but didn't do anything about it, I would say they have a legitimate gripe.

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    Re: Philip Morris told to pay 8 mln in smoker's death

    I guess it depends. How much disclosure was there at the time he started smoking? At what point did full disclosure occur? What attempts were made by the plaintiff to quit the product upon full disclosure, if any? Perhaps there is some liability here but certainly not in the amount of eight million dollars.

    Even if the company is at fault the man cannot absolve himself of responsibility. Quitting is hard, yes, but it is entirely possible. It simply requires a determination as to whether one holds their life in a higher regard than the pleasure they recieve from satisfying their addiction; this man chose his addiction over his life.

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