Many of our clients with asbestos-related lung cancer also smoked tobacco. They often ask whether they can still file a case if they smoked. Smoking is not a cause of mesothelioma or asbestosis. Only asbestos exposure can cause these illnesses. Asbestos and cigarette smoke can work together to cause lung cancer and smoking can increase your chances of developing lung cancer. Our clients often ask, “Will that hurt my case? Will that help my case?” It’s a complicated question and the answer is also complicated. To learn more about smoking and asbestos exposure, watch Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford Senior Partner John P. Comerford in the video below.

Tobacco use can cause lung cancer by itself. Asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer, too. When you do both, it is like dropping a match into a can of gasoline. There is an explosion. The doctors call it a synergistic effect.

There have been specific studies on this. One study showed that if you smoke tobacco products, you have a tenfold increase in developing lung cancer. If you compare yourself to your neighbor who doesn’t smoke, your likelihood of getting lung cancer from smoking is increased ten times.

If you work with asbestos and don’t smoke, that’s a five-fold increase. If you do both like so many of our clients do, you have a 50 fold increase in developing asbestos-related lung cancer.

We can help you if you worked with asbestos and smoked.

About 15 years ago, Michael Ponterio and I tried a case in Niagara Falls. Someone was a tobacco user and developed lung cancer. He actually had asbestosis. We produced many doctors to testify that this poor gentleman was a victim of the synergistic effect. The jury in Niagara Falls awarded this gentleman, rightfully so, a large verdict to compensate him for the terrible injuries from the asbestos.

If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos and was a smoker, contact Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford today to learn about smoking and asbestos exposure and how it may impact your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.

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Since 1995, the attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC have been helping clients in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, NY, who have been injured due to asbestos exposure. Through our tireless efforts, we have helped to shape and reform asbestos laws throughout the state of New York. We have a full team of lawyers devoted to representing people exposed to asbestos.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us today and we will schedule an appointment to come to your home and meet with you and your family to explain your legal rights.