I read with interest about the recent tobacco trial in Florida. I was appalled at the verdict, as it appeared to be another example of our judicial system gone nuts. I, myself, was a smoker, and when faced with my mortality, I quit cold turkey some 30 years ago. I feel I have suffered some lung damage, and luckily it seems to be minor.
The question seems to be, did the tobacco companies knowingly sell a product they knew to be dangerous? Yes. Did they lie to the public about the inherent danger of using their products? Probably.
However, did these people continue to smoke in spite of knowing this product was dangerous? Yes.
When I was smoking some 35 years ago, did I continue to smoke in spite of knowing it was bad for my health? Yes. Do I have anyone to blame for this other than myself? No.
This is another one of the cases where the legal system and many people support the idea that if something bad happens to you, somebody should pay you for the loss of health or economic loss. This is completely contrary to the capitalist system that we live under and claim made our country great.
The idea of collecting money from someone else for my own actions, which I could have chosen to stop, is ridiculous and repugnant to me. If we allow this to continue, it could be the beginning of the end of our capitalist system. I have no love for the liquor industry, but I predict once the plaintiff lawyers have drained the tobacco companies dry, the liquor industry will be next.
Robert W. Yount, Koloa