Ills of Tobacco: Who Is Culpable?

Re "L.A. Jury Awards $3 Billion to Smoker," June 7: If we are a government by and for the people, why did we choose for generations to ally ourselves with the tobacco industry and profit through taxation of its products? We could have outlawed tobacco, or at least not turned a buck from it. If smokers are now to be compensated, then we the people, through our federal and state governments, should be paying our share.

Maybe it would teach Americans a lesson about greed, influence peddling and politics and encourage them to elect representatives who are not tied to special industry interests.

Stu O'Guinn

Huntington Beach

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Ready the courtrooms for another plethora of litigation. With $3 billion awarded from Philip Morris to the latest smoker, we should see some staggering awards to those who die from overindulgence in food. Let the producers and purveyors of food beware.

This idea of making everyone responsible except the consumer will lead to eventual disaster and bring the free enterprise system to its knees. Let's put the blame where it belongs, on the individual who chooses to engage in unhealthy behavior.

Tom Joyce

Altadena

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If Philip Morris is to pay $3 billion, why pay it to one man? What are Richard Boeken and his lawyers going to do with all that money? Probably invest in something that is directly related to one of the many products (other than tobacco) that Philip Morris makes.

Ken Madson

Los Angeles

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