February 25, 1995 in Nation/World

Smokers Eager To Join Suit Against Tobacco Firms

Associated Press

Smokers around the country can’t wait to join the first national class action lawsuit against tobacco companies - but they will have to.

They’re flooding phone lines with calls to lawyers handling the lawsuit that accuses tobacco companies of hiding information about nicotine’s addictive power, and of manipulating nicotine levels to keep smokers hooked.

U.S. District Judge Okla Jones, who certified the suit as a class action Feb. 17, got so many calls that he summoned lawyers from both sides to his office and told them he wants a plan to add plaintiffs to the suit.

The companies, which deny that nicotine is addictive, have said they will appeal Jones’ decision.

Attorney John P. Coale said he did not expect to begin adding new plaintiffs for about three months.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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