Today a jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida found that a long time smoker, Stuart Hess, really was addicted to cigarettes. If you can imagine, Big Tobacco’s lawyers marched into the courtroom and argued that cigarettes were not addictive or, in the alternative, cigarettes were not addictive to Mr. Hess.
Mr. Hess had smoked cigarettes for 40 years and had tried numerous methods to quit, without success. Ultimately, Mr. Hess died from cancer and his addiction to nicotine endured throughout his chemotherapy.
Big Tobacco’s lawyers apparently argued that because Mr. Hess appeared to be “able to quit from time to time”, he was not addicted to cigarettes. Mrs. Hess attorney, Gary Paige, put it about as plainly as you can: “People smoke because they’re addicted, not because they choose to,” Paige said. “Nobody wants to be addicted to cigarettes. It’s as addictive as cocaine and heroin.”
What is it with an industry who can not even be honest enough to admit that cigarettes are and always have been addictive!
Finally, Mrs. Hess has found some vindication from Big Tobacco.