A jury in Escumbia County, Florida has awarded the widow of a smoker a whopping $23.6 billion dollars in punitive damages from R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.  Seems that Cynthia Robinson's husband died of lung cancerat the age of only 36.  He began smoking--by the way--when he was 13.  Now you have to suspend your grip on reality to hear her statement to the court on the matter and you'd better sit down. 

Mrs. Johnson said--quoting from court records--"R. J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer."  Don't attempt to adjust your eyes or your logic circuits--she actually said that!  So judging from that illogical remark I suppose Mr. Johnson was supposed to get a call from the PR director at R. J. Reynolds letting him know that cigarettes can cause lung cancer!  Perhaps a personalized letter too!  EXCUSE ME--but the warnings on cigarette packages and other tobacco products have had a warning on them since I was a sophomore in high school--and believe me, that's been a while.  Long before Mr. Johnson was even born.

For years there have been news reports, medical reports, media campaigns against tobacco--specificlly cigarettes on the dangers which can result. Till now we have  turned smokers into something worse that a radical muslim terrorist.  Lighting up a cigarette now is worse than flying an airplane into a building.  It's madness.  This settlement is obscene and the jury needs serious couch time. Anyone today who doesn't know smoking is bad for you is an idiot.

Yet my father was a three-pack-a-day man for almost 70 years and he lived to be nearly 90 and never got lung cancer.  On the other hand, comedialn Andy Kaufmann died of lung cancer at a very early age and never smoked a day in his life--go figure!  We know smoking is bad for you and Mr. Johnson should have know it too and something tells me he did.  This is just more politically correct piling on by today's government and lawyers--they should take the money from the lawyers who got all this settlement money that was supposed to go to reimburse the medical community and lower our health care costs!  Remember that lie from the goverment and Big Law?