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Smoking and Asbestos Exposure

Many victims of asbestos exposure who suffer from lung cancer are reluctant to take legal action against the company responsible for their injuries, falsely believing that they would not be eligible for compensation due to their unhealthy habit. However, it is important to know that, when both asbestos exposure and tobacco use are involved, you can successfully file a claim, as the toxic fibers in your lungs are the real cause of your illness. Smoking only exacerbates the damage.

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Lung Cancer Develops in 26% of People as a Consequence of Both Asbestos Exposure and Tobacco Smoking

Nowadays, it is no secret that tobacco smoke is highly carcinogenic, being the primary cause of lung cancer. The disease is currently the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous mineral, is also a human carcinogen whose inhalation or ingestion can lead to a wide range of harrowing diseases, including lung cancer. Every year, approximately 6,000 people lose their lives to lung cancer stemming exclusively from occupational asbestos exposure, according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute. Nevertheless, the number of individuals who die of a combination of factors is significantly higher.

While both cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure are very dangerous, each of these factors causes a distinct type of lung cancer. Due to their microscopic size and rough texture, asbestos fibers cannot be expelled from the human body. Thereby, once asbestos fibers reach the lungs, they will remain there for decades, slowly producing irritation and scarring of the tissue. By contrast, tobacco smoke has a different structure on a molecular level and, while nicotine and other chemical particles will infiltrate your bloodstream after you smoke a cigarette, they will not attach themselves to any of your organs, as they are incomparably smaller. Your body eliminates nicotine within 1 to 10 days, depending on how heavy of a smoker you are.

Considering how dissimilar asbestos and tobacco are, it is only natural that each of these awful carcinogens will lead to lung cancer in a different manner. Thus, asbestos exposure will generally cause lung cancer within 15 to 35 years from the first inhalation of toxic fibers, whereas smoking will take a considerably longer time to trigger the disease – roughly 55 years from the moment you put the first cigarette in your mouth. When both factors are applicable to a person, their risk of developing lung cancer increases by 50 to 90 times, as the presence of a large number of asbestos fibers in the lungs entails a greater hazard than tobacco smoking. On the other hand, the risk of mesothelioma is not influenced by smoking.

A study from 2013 published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine evaluated the health of the lungs of 2,377 participants who were working with asbestos insulation. They were monitored between 1981 and 2008. The author of the research, Dr. Markowitz, concluded that “asbestos exposure increased the rate ratio of lung cancer by 5.2 fold, smoking by 10.3-fold, and both by 28.4-fold”. Additionally, a significant portion of the participants (61%) had developed asbestosis in the meantime, which would co-occur with lung cancer in more than half of the cases.

Can I Still File a Claim If I Am a Smoker with a History of Asbestos Exposure Suffering from Lung Cancer?

The answer is definitely yes. As numerous medical studies have proven, when both heavy asbestos exposure and tobacco smoking are present as risk factors, the person is still entitled to financial compensation from the asbestos trust fund of their former employer, as the fibers are the primary culprit behind their diagnosis. Before taking legal action, you will need evidence of your occupational asbestos exposure, which you can easily obtain by undergoing a chest X-ray. This simple test will reveal the quantity of harmful fibers in your lungs and will also help specialists determine the extent of the damage asbestos has caused to your lungs up to that point. Nonetheless, if you already have a lung cancer diagnosis, chances are you have at least one chest X-ray. For a second opinion, do not hesitate to ask our experts to evaluate your most recent chest X-ray, as they offer free screenings to former asbestos workers, who travel to our Birmingham office.

When you have a formal diagnosis, our lawyers, who have been specializing in asbestos cases since 1990, will gladly assess your situation and present you with the optimal approach. Because numerous of us have or have had someone in our families whose health was severely affected by workplace asbestos exposure, we are painfully aware of how terrible struggling with such a disease is, so we will strive to attend to the most complex and time-consuming aspects of the legal process on your behalf. This way, you will be able to continue taking care of yourself, spending time with your family, and focusing on your treatment. We will file a claim with one or multiple asbestos trust funds for you, which will subsequently pay out the financial compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. By letting our team deal with the legal process, you can rest assured we will obtain the maximum sum of money you are eligible for.

Quality Legal Assistance and Representation for Smokers Injured by Workplace Asbestos Exposure

If you struggle with lung cancer as a result of handling asbestos on the job and were also a smoker, we strongly encourage you to take legal action at your earliest convenience. Our law firm is renowned for handling almost exclusively asbestos exposure cases and we are confident we will recover the maximum compensation you deserve for your illness. Regardless of whether you are a past or current smoker, you are still eligible for money from asbestos trust funds if you were in contact with this carcinogen in the workplace. Therefore, you should not hesitate to contact one of our specialized lawyers, who will efficiently help you navigate the legal process and hold the wrongdoer liable. The only documents you need to provide your attorney with are your employment and medical records. Call us today and claim the financial compensation you deserve, which can also benefit the quality of the treatment and healthcare you are receiving.
Our standard fee is 40% contingency fee. Which means we only collect the fee once we successfully recover compensation for you. If we are not able to collect the claim, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket.

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