Newsflash: Smoking kills

Need money? Here’s a quick fix for you: start smoking and then sue all the tobacco companies for your ignorance in thinking that cigarettes have no negative effects.

It seems to be the new fad because a 72-year-old woman recently received $17.1 million in punitive damages after claiming her lung cancer and neurological disorder were caused by smoking.

Clearly, there have been countless studies to show that smoking cigarettes has a negative effect on the human body. Nevertheless, people continue to partake in the activity and get sick day after day.

Then, they have the audacity to sue a tobacco company for deceiving them into thinking smoking would not be detrimental to their health. What is even worse is the fact that juries are awarding millions of dollars to these lawsuit-prone, smoking fools.

This lady was not the first and will not be the last person to win a case against a tobacco company. In fact, last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a $16 million ruling against Phillip Morris.

Smokers should not be allowed to sue tobacco companies.

It is beyond me why anyone would want to purposely destroy his or her life. If you get hit by a car and die, that is a freak accident that you could not prevent. If you have a stressful job that causes blood pressure, that is something else that you cannot exactly prevent. However, going to the store, buying a pack of cigarettes and smoking ten per day is simply a personal choice. It is a consciously-made decision. Smokers willingly say they want to throw away their life today.

It’s not just the smokers’ life that is being thrown away though. Everyone who is around smokers when they are smoking that awful cigarette is also having minutes taken off their life because the effects of secondhand smoke are horrible as well.

According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths each year from lung cancer in people who don’t smoke. It also has been estimated to cause about 35,000 deaths per year from heart disease in nonsmokers.

Smoking does not just affect the lungs. It affects the entire body from the heart to the breasts, eyes and nose. Children who live with or are around smokers often have even worse consequences to their bodies.

Children who breathe secondhand smoke regularly are more likely to suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections and asthma. As a loving, caring person, how can anyone honestly feel good with smoking a cigarette or seeing someone smoke a cigarette near an innocent little child?

Tobacco companies do have some people on their side. Recent legislation has ruled on the companies’ side in preventing smokers from imbibing in certain locations that may help reduce the number of secondhand smoking cases.

For example, in Florida, smoking is prohibited in public places, all enclosed indoor workplaces and all educational facilities.

In the United States, an estimated 26.3 million men and 21.2 million women are smokers. As a result of their smoking, one out of every five deaths in the United States is caused by smoking. It is true that nicotine is addictive.

Nevertheless, so is sucking your thumb. As you matured, you stopped being addicted to sucking your thumb and ceased the activity. The same can be done with smoking.

Smoking is also a psychological addiction, stated Thus, not all smokers have to smoke, they just feel they should because they get comfortable smoking in certain situations or places.

Studies have shown that habits can be broken after 21 days. If smokers would just make the effort to stop, it can work.

Until then, society will continue to suffer as ignorance prevails. Corporations will continue to lose money on frivolous lawsuits as citizens try to get rich quick off their unwise actions.

Dominique Drake is a third year professional MBA student from Cleveland. Contact her at