I have a friend, a fellow smoker, who has this to say about our shared addiction: "Every time I light up, it's like having a big billboard on my forehead that says I'm a dumbass."
So I was rather amused when the U.S. Supreme Court provided a gateway for smokers to launch another round of suits against tobacco companies
. Three guys in Maine are launching a class action suit against Philip Morris. This time around, they're not claiming injuries to their health. They're saying Philip Morris committed fraud by implying that light cigarettes are not as harmful regular ones, since people who smoke lights simply wolf them harder to get the proper nicotine intake.
At Harvard Law School, I believe the term for such litigation is "utter bullshit."
Anyone who smokes knows they're not good for you. You see it in the bags under your eyes. You feel it after five minutes of pick-up basketball when your lungs have reached a state of full insurrection. You know it after that first cig of the morning, when the bright feel of a new day is reduced to the general wretchedness that comes from pumping one's body full of carcinogens. You don't need idiot-proof warnings labels to tell you this. Your body tells you every day...
But still, we keep smoking. Reason A is because they're delicious. Reason B is because we're a selfless people who live only to help the starving tobacco farmers of North Carolina. (This is obviously a lie, but give me a break; I'm trying to work the cover of nobility here.) And Reason C is because we're really, really weak. We simply lack the willpower to quit.
But according to three guys from Maine, we're not helpless little morons. No, we're victims, oppressed by Big Tobacco, which scammed us into believing Camel lights are better and more nutritious than conventional cigs. And now we have the right to sue because we're too stupid and weak to know better.
I don't know about you, fellow smoker, but as a longtime patron of light cigs, I probably won't be joining this class action suit. For one, taking vengeance against my oppressor by hiring some guy to throw paperwork at him seems rather unmanly. (Couldn't those Maine guys just steal a tobacco exec's patio furniture or something?) For another, announcing in court that you're a moron sounds fairly embarrassing. All it does is make that billboard on your forehead bigger.