Dying for a cigarette: who's to blame

Fletcher, Roland (2001). Dying for a cigarette: who's to blame. Law Teacher, 35(3) pp. 398–414.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2001.9993090


The tort of negligence is primarily concerned with the conduct of individuals within society and seeks to act as a deterrent by modifying a person's behaviour. However, within any society a conflict of interest(s) may arise resulting in harm including physical injury. The law of tort has evolved through case law, legislation and public policy, the last either by recognising a duty of care exists or restricting such a duty to prescribed criteria. Public policy has been an issue when dealing with claims in Britain against the tobacco industry for smoking related illnesses. In America actions brought against tobacco manufacturers have been successful. The Labour (then) Government has recognised the controversial issues involved in smoking tobacco and is attempting to address the health problems.

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