Every adult makes informed decisions about what they do in their personal lives based on their understanding of their risks. From the food that they eat to the medical care they receive, adults make frequent decisions that affect their health and well-being.
For decades, it has been common knowledge that tobacco use can cause numerous medical issues. Long-term smokers may develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and have a higher risk of certain forms of cancer than other people. There’s also a strong association between asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma years later. Working with asbestos decades ago may be why you now have mesothelioma.
Does your long-term tobacco use mean that you cannot bring a claim against your former employer?
Tobacco use alone does not cause mesothelioma
Although tobacco users are more likely than the average person to develop mesothelioma, tobacco use alone is not a known risk factor for mesothelioma. Simply put, just smoking won’t result in anyone developing this deadly cancer of the organ linings.
Instead, it is a combination of tobacco use and asbestos exposure on the job that increases your risk. Researchers can conclusively connect between 70% and 80% of all mesothelioma cases with known asbestos exposure. There is no similar figure showing a worse risk for mesothelioma for those who use tobacco products without also having asbestos exposure.
Your former employer, their insurance company or the trustee managing their bankruptcy trust will not have grounds to deny a claim for compensation just because you used tobacco. Learning more about what causes and doesn’t cause people to develop mesothelioma can help you get compensation after your diagnosis.