The Liability of Tobacco Makers
Cigarettes have an affect on almost everyone, even if a person does not smoke. A man
name Charles Green was affected by cigarettes, even though he never smoked a cigarette in his life. Green is 39 years old, and he used to be a very athletic person. That is, until he began working for a company full of smokers. Green worked behind a desk in an office building where everyone around him smoked. He was shoved in a little cubicle where smoke was thick in the air from his coworkers. After a time, Charles needed medication to help control his asthma from all of the smoke in his lungs. When he began to complain about the smoke, he was told to “Live with it.” When Charles decided to sue the company and the tobacco industry, he was awarded $60,000 for worker’s compensation. Green was not the only worker to sue tobacco companies, and he will not be the last (We’re Fighting). Is it right that people are allowed to put tobacco companies at fault for illness due to smoking?
Each year there are hundreds of court cases in the United States against tobacco
companies just like Charles Green’s case. Long term smokers and nonsmokers like Green are
suing large tobacco companies for injuries from smoking. They feel that tobacco companies
should be punished for making a product that millions of people use everyday. Although studies show that smoking cigarettes may cause cancer, tobacco companies claim that there is not a direct link. If the tobacco companies start losing the court cases, the price of cigarettes will increase. This increase is designed to keep people from buying cigarettes because of the high prices (Olsson).
Even though tobacco companies have only lost one case, the link between smoking
cigarettes and cancer should be enough to make them lose every time. How do they keep getting out of it? The main reason is proper labeling on each pack or carton of cigarettes. By putting a warning label on their products, issued by the surgeon general, they are telling people before the tobacco is bought that their product could do them harm. The law saying that tobacco products must have a label was issued in 1964. That means that these warning labels were being put on tobacco products before most of the victims had started smoking (Olsson).
On the other hand, victims feel that warning labels are not enough to keep people from
smoking. They say that tobacco companies try to get around the warnings by not putting
complete information on them. These people want all tobacco products to be removed from
normal stores because tobacco is a highly addictive drug. In their opinion, tobacco should
become harder to buy and it should cost a lot more to prevent people from smoking. Tobacco
companies have also been accused of adding more nicotine than the federal government allows in their cigarettes to keep people smoking. Although this...