Courts to Decide on Tobacco’s Addictiveness

By Staff Writer

Despite overwhelming evidence to suggest that smoking cigarettes can cause addiction that requires substance abuse treatment, tobacco companies still maintain that their product is not addictive.

However, the question may soon be settled, at least in the eyes of the law. The Daytona Beach News Journal reports that there are currently more than 130 planned trials against tobacco companies in the state of Florida, the majority of which hinge upon the plaintiffs proving that they were addicted to cigarettes.

Many individuals who have struggled with tobacco addiction have filed suit in Florida since the state’s Supreme Court made it easier to do so in 2006, the news source reports. More than 8,000 lawsuits are currently pending.

One case that is presently being decided by jurors involves a woman who smoked for nearly 50 years before being diagnosed with a tumor in her lungs. She is seeking damages from the R.J. Reynolds Company.

Government agencies, such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, have stated that the nicotine in cigarettes is addictive, and that individuals may have a difficult time quitting on their own.