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Widow of chain-smoker wins record damages from US tobacco firm

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Widow of chain-smoker wins record damages from US tobacco firm

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The widow chain smoker Michael Johnson, who died of lung cancer at age 36, has won record damages from one America’s biggest cigarette makers, R J Reynolds.

Cynthia Robinson claimed that the company concealed the health dangers and addictive nature of its products. She was awarded 23 billion dollars, the equivalent of around 17 billion euros, by a jury in the US state of Florida.

Her husband, a hotel shuttle bus driver, smoked one to three packets of cigarettes a day for more than 20 years, starting at age 13, according to Cynthia Robinson’s solicitor.

R J Reynolds tobacco company plans to challenge the verdict. Such industry appeals are often successful.