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Tobacco Companies’ Liability for Smokers’ Injuries

Autor:   •  May 15, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  4,209 Words (17 Pages)  •  429 Views

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Tobacco Companies’ Liability for Smokers’ Injuries

Yiyang Yang


  Since the emergence of tobacco products, the tobacco companies began to propagandize their products through different ways of market strategies which improve the market share of tobacco and gain huge economic benefits. Their strategies obtain an obvious effect: there is an expanding trend of smoking population in various of countries regardless of age and gender, even though scientists had discovered that tobacco products had huge potential to increase the rate of cancer of smokers. Later, more researches indicated that tobacco products would lead to smokers, or people around them, with a lot of diseases. More importantly, the main composition of tobacco products, nicotine, is highly addictive, which caused smokers being hard to quit smoking. Based on the fact that the jeopardize of tobacco products is enormous, should the tobacco manufacturer respond to the damage of smokers? In the United States history, there were four times of judicial practice experiencing Tobacco Litigation, including tobacco liability litigations. Discussion included the harm of tobacco products, the causal relationship between smoking and smokers, and the tobacco industry's defenses. There were also real cases that victim got compensation from tobacco companies.

    This paper will be divided into four parts. In the first part, the paper introduces the definition of tobacco products, including the composition of cigarettes and the jeopardize of nicotine for human body, especially for the additive part. After illustrating the tobacco products, the paper examines the product liability of Tobacco industry in the United States.

In the second part, the paper introduces the definition of product defects, which relates to the connotation of "unreasonably danger" in the United States.

In the third part, the paper analyzed the damage. The damage of tobacco products is very unique. In addition to diseases, death and other general personal damages, the paper also illustrates the loss of chance.

In the fourth part, the paper mainly discusses the tobacco industry's liability, and defenses method for Tobacco companies.

Key words: tobacco industry; product liability; loss of chance; proportional compensation; assumption of risk; comparative negligence.

Part One: Overview

1.Overview of Tobacco Products

From the botanical perspective, tobacco is an annual herb of eggplant family; There are approximately sixty different kinds of tobaccos. According to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, WHO (World Health Organization) defined tobacco products as " products entirely or partly made of the leaf tobacco as raw material which is manufactured to be used for smoking, sucking, chewing or snuffing; "(WHO,4) In this article, the meaning of tobacco products will adopt the definition above.

2. Special Nature of Tobacco Products


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