Tobacco's Long Delay in Warning of Health Risks:
It is now widely known that smoking cigarettes or being exposed to second hand smoke can pose serious risks to one's health, while smoking itself can be highly addictive. However, there was a time when this information was not common knowledge. Many engaged in smoking while being unaware of the dangers posed to their health, as powerful cigarette companies deceived the public through concealing the addictive and risky nature of cigarettes. Although cigarette companies have since been forced to disclose the serious risks associated with smoking, these warnings have come too late for some.
In 1965, federal laws were first passed that made the Surgeon's General warning on cigarette packaging mandatory in the United States. Since then, additional laws have been passed requiring additional disclosure by cigarette companies on all forms of advertisement. As recently as January of 2012, the FDA revealed nine new graphic warnings that are expected to appear on cigarette packaging and advertising in the US, commencing in the fall of 2012.
Risks Associated with Cigarettes:
The FDA reports that "Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for 443,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and costs our economy nearly $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity." Multiple health risks have been associated with smoking, the most grave of which include:
- Cancer, including oral cancer and lung cancer
- Difficulty Breathing/Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Heart Disease
- Harm to the Fetus
Tobacco Litigation Help for Those Who Were Not Warned
Many today began smoking despite being warned of the serious risks associated with cigarettes. However, there are others who began smoking prior to when the cigarette companies were forced to warn about these risks. If you or someone you know began smoking prior to 1965 and are now suffering from the grave consequences of tobacco, we encourage you to contact our the tobacco litigation attorneys at O'Mara and Padilla as soon as possible. In California, as in many other states, the legal deadline (statute of limitations) to file a personal injury or product liability claim is 2 years from the date of injury, or two years from the date the injury could reasonably have been discovered. As such, it is essential that you not delay in seeking legal assistance. We welcome your call for a prompt and free initial evaluation of your case at O'Mara and Padilla. 858.481.5454.