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Smoke Claims Continue Despite Increased Bans

Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio are among the top ten tobacco-producing states. These states also have the highest proportion of smokers in the general population and, unsurprisingly, a high proportion of tobacco and smoking claims in West Virginia.

Statewide and municipal smoking bans and clean air programs have been introduced across the country, but there is still no national ban on smoking in public places ― despite the fact that banning smoking in public is seen as an effective way of reducing the impact of passive smoking. Each state, and even local governments, can consider and implement their own controls on smoking in public places. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of cotinine, a biomarker relating to exposure to tobacco smoke, in non-smokers has steadily decreased due to the increase in the number of places that now ban smoking.

The defenses to lawsuits put forward by tobacco companies have changed over the years. Originally focusing on the scientific arguments, tobacco companies disputed the causal link between cigarettes and disease. However, few, if any, manufacturers are likely to put this view forward these days.  Instead, tobacco company defenses now assert that smoking their particular company’s product is not the sole cause of the plaintiff’s condition. Another defense utilized is that the consumer has free will to decide whether to smoke and must be accountable for their decisions. In view of the increase in warnings issued to cigarette buyers, as well as the rise in smoking bans, this argument is gaining in prevalence.

The lawyers at Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe handle many tobacco product liability claims in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Contact our office today to discuss your company’s defense to a smoking-related or tobacco products liability claim.

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