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Smoke and Mirrors

The 3rd District Court of Appeals in Florida overturned a $145 billion dollar judgement against the five largest tobacco companies in the United States. Unfortunately it was overturned on a technicality which leaves the smokers free to sue the companies all over again.

Before we go any further, let me make this point as clear as I can... I think smoking is a disgusting habit. I don't like to smell it. I don't like to be around it. But, like anything else, people have the right to do what they want. If you want to smoke, do it. I also think that I have the right as a non-smoker to not be subjected to it, which I believe most smokers respect. Now, with that being said, I'll move on to the rest of my commentary.

The tobacco companies make money because people smoke. I also believe that people smoke because they want to. The tobacco companies are not holding guns to the heads of smokers and forcing them to light up. I won't deny that smoking is addictive, but like anything else, I believe that if people have the willpower, they can stop smoking. It is just like anything else... If someone commits to stopping drinking, they can. If someone decides to stop over eating and lose weight, they can do that, too. Food and alcohol can be very addictive as well.

Now, the argument that is made most often is that a person who has smoked for 30 years didn't know that cigarettes would cause lung cancer or they didn't know that it was bad for them. Interesting argument but I don't buy it. Unless you are illiterate or just plain stupid, you have had some sort of idea that smoking wasn't good for you. First of all, most humans know to fear fire and smoke. So, putting something on fire and emitting smoke into your mouth makes sense? No, not really. Also, in 1965
, the government passed a law requiring that all cigarette packaging have warning messages on them saying that smoking is hazardous to your health. Not to mention all of the information in the news, in the papers, from doctors, in schools and in cigarette advertising that says that smoking causes cancer. If after being inundated with all of this information and disregarding your common sense you still smoke, the you either know what you are doing or you don't care about the consequences. Either way, that is your decision.

So, why are people so hell bent on suing the tobacco companies? Two reasons. First of all, money. Well, that one makes sense, I guess. If you can't get rich through hard work, litigate. Find someone with a lot of money and sue them for all they are worth. Secondly, people don't want to take personal responsibility for what has happened to them. They want to point the finger at someone else and blame them for all their problems. People don't want to admit that they have done anything stupid.

If you want to smoke, feel free to do it. The tobacco companies will gladly continue to supply you. You want someone to blame if and when you get sick? Look in the mirror. You did it to yourself.

Comments

I just want to harp on one thing...

If you can't get rich through hard work, litigate. Find someone with a lot of money and sue them for all they are worth.

Here lies the problem. If some folk would get off their lard sacks and get busy and stop being such lazy bums, you would find that less people would smoke. Addiction remains because people fail to find something of 'better' substance to replace it with...no I am not talking about drugs. Hard work and exercise would rid folks of the lingering antigins that ultimately make them lazy and looking for an easy payday. Drugs are drugs. They eventually take away from you one way or the other. Trust me, I know...I smoke.

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