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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Friday, October 04, 2002

Your People's Court

Hey, great news from the land of fruits and nuts! A jury found a woman who smoked, and got cancer - what were the odds? Let's see, she's 64, so she must have been born around 1938. Started smoking at 17, so call it 1955. And I am not even going to look up the date of the Surgeon General's report linking cigarettes to disease, but it was the early 60's. Of course, as a casual Hemingway reader, I know that cigarettes were referred to as "coffin nails" even before then, but so what. Hmm, is that a pun on "coughin' "? Ernie, we hardly knew ye.

Anyway, it doesn't matter, because when faced with a choice between the Surgeon General and the cigarette companies, she chose to believe the cigarette manufacturers, who were very reassuring on the connection between smoking and health. And they lied! Well, it was a more trusting era then, so a jury has awarded her $28 Billion dollars. Might be enough for some reading lessons, and maybe some self-restraint.

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