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Do you support damages suits filed by former smokers who argue they have developed health problems, including lung cancer, because tobacco companies sold them cigarettes?

36 Comments
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I don't feel like smokers deserve to receive any money for damages from something they voluntarily did. I agree that the Tobacco Companies have probably changed risk data concerning cigarettes, and even took measures to make them more addictive. If you were to tell me the tobacco companies purposely geared marketing towards children,the poor, or less educated I would not fight your claim. But none of that means that people should receive money for buying into it. That is how Marketing works. All companies market their products or services to people whom they think they will be able to make the best profit on. People have known for a long time that smoking causes cancer and a myriad of other problems. We've known about this long enough, that people who didn't have this information are long dead.

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Smokers know the risks, especially anyone who began smoking after around 1980. I started at the tender age of 16 because, back in the 80's, it was still "cool." As long as I can remember, my friends and I always called cigarettes "coffin nails" and "cancer sticks." We knew, and we were young and dumb and didn't care.

Now that I am a bit older...yes, I want to quit. Yeah, it is VERY difficult. But to blame anyone but myself for any health problems smoking has given me is pathetic. People should take responsibility for their own actions and choices. This goes for all habits good and bad.

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Raise the taxes on cigarettes and alcohol so that they are much less affordable and the health problems they cause will decline commensurately.

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It amazes me that the tobacco companies are still allowed to market their toxic product. Submit cigarettes to the same kind of health and safety controls most other stuff gets submitted to and they'd be out of business tomorrow.

That said, anyone who started smoking in the last fifty years knows what they were doing and have no more claim on the tobacco companies than a junkie has on his dealer.

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I support them shuffling this mortal coil

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Of course the fag manufacturers should be held accountable, they are selling a highly addictive product and profitting from people's misery.

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Ban cigarettes. Full-stop. Sure, it will go underground, but there is no chance for lawsuits against the illegal tobacco drug dealers!

Sadly, Japan - and almost all the Asian countries (is it a genetic thing among Asians?) - is still very much hooked on tobacco. They love their smokes here, young and old. It makes going to cafes for a coffee a punishment - smokers are pugging away 3 metres away in the smoking section!

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smokers are pugging away

puffing away even!

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the Japanese government share in (Japan Tobacco) JT is presently 50%, does that mean my taxes pay for their claims ?

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"@cleo @beezlebub Agree totally. However they are too scared to raise the price of cigarettes in Japan , let alone ban them. There is a big enough suicide problem already and that would tip many many people over the edge

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....because tobacco companies sold them cigarettes??? Anything has to be purchased before it can be sold, strictly a personal choise.

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The education and knowledge is out there. If one still makes the choice to buy cigarettes, it isn't like they were misled into thinking it was a good choice! People know the consequences.

What would be really good to see is a massive wave of damages suits filed by non-smokers who developed health problems due to second-hand smoke. They should sue the pants off tobacco companies because the companies have failed to develop a smoke free cigarette! lol

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Unless the smoker is older than say 60, then no (wasn't a lot of good info that far back). Health awareness of cigarettes and tobacco has been around for a long time now. As Kapuna said, they had to purchase them to use them, so it is a choice. Alcohol is addictive to some, sex is addictive to some, even working, going to school, running, blahblahblah, is addictive to some. Some people are more inclined to be addicts to certain things than other.

Yes, nicotine is very addictive and is a problem causing people to come back to the product, but even knowing that I can't hold the people make them accountable for people suffering for their use. It's a second price you pay... just like over eating thus causing obesity is a price people pay, sexual promiscuity can lead to diseases, it's all hand in hand the risks and prices we pay. All actions have consequences.

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Packets in Japan did not have any warnings until recently and the government did not and does not push the dangers to health other first world nations do.

I am quite surprised at the nasty comments that are quite common on this site. I find common among foreigners in Japan, so i don`t socialise anymore.

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Normally I'd say no, because they chose to start smoking after all, and if they didn't have the will power to stop it's their own fault.

But I chose yes on this poll, because if there's one thing that'll make the tobacco companies stop making their muck it's if it costs them so much they go bankrupt!

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When I came to Japan, around 1991, the warning on cigarettes said, "There is concern that smoking can affect your health, so try not to smoke too much." It was quite amusing.

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I am heavily shocked at 83 people voting "YES" at this time.

I've never understood such people who smoke, who don't have their own responsibilities for their act, who don't learn about something before they buy, and at last who sue for the negligence of companies.

I think that smoking depends on a personal choice not a company choice.

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If there is substantial evidence that the person developed their complications before the official government health organization ruled that cigarettes cause harm to your lungs then yes. Its every company's responsibility to sell safe products to its customers. If you can't prove its unhealthy because big tobacco spent millions or billions on lobbyists or pro smoking campaigns then its there responsibility to own up to their lies now.

I view it like parents accidentally letting their kids play with toys made in china with lead paint in them. Before its discovered that there's lead in them, you can't blame the parents, only the toy company. After that fact though the parents are 100% responsible.

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The information about the hazards of smoking have been around for decades now and it's been suspected for even longer. Anybody that elected to disregard that information have only themselves to blame for any health complications related to smoking. Having said that...

I started smoking when I was 18 and havn't looked back. I know the risks associated, I follow the guidelines (even if some of them are outrageous), but I still love my fine tobacco products. I proudly own 4 pipes, a hookah, and a beautiful humidor.

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People first pick up their first cigarette because it was peer pressure or they want to be cool. Once you start you are hook or never tried it again. Maybe 20-30 years ago people weren't aware of the danger to smoking, but today people know about the danger of smoking. Smoke at your own risk.

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The govt is more liable than the cig makers. The govt is allowign them to leagally hook people on the stuff. I used to smoke, people know the risk.

Do it, die. Or quit. Nuff said

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These lawsuits are often based on predatory and unethical business practices on the part of tobacco companies. For example, tobacco companies often deliberately market their products to young people, who often don't have the maturity to make a wise choice about their health, and the tobacco companies intentionally manipulate nicotine levels to maximize addiction. So, in effect they target young people who have an invincibility complex and ensure that they become addicted to the product. They also imply the relative safety of certain cigarettes when they are no less harmful to people's health. Tobacco companies are merchants of death, and I'm all for any means of punishing them.

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When it came to the lawsuits against big tobacco in the US, the basis for the suits were that the Tobacco Companies KNEW that cigarettes caused health problems but did not warn the consumer. Since JT has not had severe health warnings on their tobacco products until very recently, it is conceivable that some members of Japanese society did not realise that smoking was bad for you, becuase they trusted a company where 50% of its ownership was/is the government.

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I think the real danger here is not that JT is selling a harmful product, though of course they are. The danger is that once this type of legal responsibility is applied to a company the floodgates are opened and any other company can be sued. Which essentially is how it should be, but in practice it gets a little stupid. For example did your carmaker tell you that a car could bring about death or serious injury? What about that drink of wine you had, was the bottle labelled with a warning that alcohol can make some people aggressive and can also be addictive? What about that bar of soap you bought, were you warned that it shouldn’t used internally? Yes all very stupid, but at some point we all have to take responsibility for out won lives. The law is there to protect us from the bad guys, not our own stupidity, that we just have to live with.

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The dangers have been known about for years - in general I would say no but then I would have to qualify that by the number of years that they have been smoking.

What is blatantly unfair is that when you see a 100 year old person saying that there secret to longevity is half a bottle of whisky and a packet of cigarettes a day!

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The dangers have only been known in Japan publically for about 10 years, 15 years ago tobacco companies promoted smoking like it would make you live longer, heck the government owns JT!

I think they should be held very accountable as they sold these products.

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On one hand the tobacco companies did what they could to make cigarettes more addictive. On the other the smokers were warned time and time again that smoking is a bad idea. While I think that the tobacco companies should pay a bundle into a government pool to help treat the illnesses tobacco causes I think that individual responsibility means that the individual smokers don't deserve a dime of cash compensation. Got lung cancer? You're hospital stay is paid for by Japan Tobacco. Want to buy a new car? You're on your own.

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The biggest problem is that there is a conflict of interest since the government owns half of Japan Tobacco. It is totally insane that the government is making profits off a product that has many negative effects on a person's health and on those around them. It's absolutely crazy that this product can be sold legally when other less dangerous drugs are banned.

The other problem is that most people start smoking when they are young and later find it difficult to quit. Kids should be educated about the dangers of tobacco and smoking. And there should be advertising and labels that clearly state what the risks are.

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Cigarettes are foul.

I cannot image for a minute that when a person smokes for the first time the horrible taste and coughing and choking that result do not give them at least some sort of clue that the things are bad for you.

People must take responsibility for their actions.

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twoyen: You have a good point there. It doesn't take a genius or multiple scientific studies to figure out that cigarettes are bad for you!! Pretty obvious, isn't it?

I recently quit and am now enjoying breathing freely!

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ciga-idiots- but if they can milk the system so be it !!!! Doees it mean also second hand smokers have rights too ??? I think second hand smokers should have rights to sue !!!

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Absolutely not! People need to realize their choices have consequences.

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gogoggo - "The dangers have only been known in Japan publically for about 10 years"

Thats not true. I've been in and around Japan since the mid eighties and can attest to that knowledge being public then.

I dont support smoking but its not fair to blame the tobacco companies for something they didnt do. IMO people know what smoking can do to them, have done since the 1960s but still believe themselves immune. This just attests to peoples ability to deceive even themselves.

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Firefighters the world over say it; paramedics say it; doctors repeat it almost as if it's a tape recording; nurses also tend to say it often:

"Inhaling smoke is dangerous to your health"

A six-year-old can easily understand this, and yet, adults, after inhaling smoke for decades, expect to be awarded (rewarded?) millions of $$$$ because they didn't "know" smoking was dangerous? These people DO know that the original Malboro Man died of lung cancer, right?

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In Japan people still think they are healthy. You can even smoke in hospital rooms. So, yes. I do support lawsuits to bankrupt this sick legal drug. All natural or nothing. Grow it yourself.

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I voted no and I have also been a smoker for the past 30 years. From the day I picked up a pack it said right on the side that I shouldn't. For me that was enough but i guess some people cant comprehend the big WARNING on the side and now want to make someone else pay for their stupidity. I dont expect anyone to pay for my stupidity either.

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