A mesothelioma sufferer has told the US Federal Court that the filter tips of 'Kent' cigarettes contained asbestos at the time she was smoking them.
Health Claims Wrong
Myrna Korsh, who has malignant mesothelioma, says the brand's micronite filter, far from protecting health as its makers claimed in the 1950s, is hazardous due to the asbestos that formed part of the filter's composition.
The former smoker is sueing the brand's manufacturer, Lorillard, and the filter makers, Hollingsworth and Vose (H&V) for $18 million, citing negligence, fraud, breach of warranty and product liability.
Asbestos Mesothelioma Link
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and normally fatal cancer which attacks the linings, or pleura, of the lungs. Research has proven the disease, which can have a latency period of up to 40 years, to be caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres.
Smokers Weren't Told
According to Ms Korsh, tobacco manufacturers were not only aware that asbestos was present in Kent filters for 5 years from 1952, but also failed to advise smokers of the fact.
Ms Korsh asserts that the variant in question was crocidolite, or blue asbestos, normally regarded as the type most likely to cause mesothelioma.
"Asbestos was intentionally included as an ingredient of the asbestos-containing filter material for Kent cigarettes by defendant H&V at the request of defendant Lorillard", the claimant said in her lawsuit statement, adding that the 2 firms "boasted" about the filter's supposed benefits to health.
Ms Korsh's suit said Lorillard had made a number of spurious claims for the product's properties, among them an assertion that Kent offered "the greatest health protection in cigarette history"; delivered "a really good smoke and real health protection"; and that the micronite filter is made of a "pure, dust-free, completely harmless material that … is used to help filter the air in hospital operating rooms".
Ms Korsh says she bought and smoked Kent because she believed the manufacturers' claims and assumed the alleged health properties made it the best brand on the market.