Tobacco and asbestos exposure

Currently, over 34 million people use tobacco across the country, either by smoking or chewing. As a consequence, up to 16 million individuals struggle with diseases related to their unhealthy habits, from emphysema to lung cancer. However, numerous people also have asbestos exposure as a risk factor in their lives for diseases related to tobacco use. You may be inclined to doubt that these individuals are eligible to file a claim for asbestos exposure. Still, they can actually take legal action to recover the compensation they deserve. A medical professional who specializes in occupational diseases can tell whether the respiratory or lung disease is the result of tobacco smoking or chewing, or asbestos exposure. Therefore, if you use/used tobacco and were also exposed to asbestos, do not hesitate to call our legal team, as you might be entitled to compensation.

Claim Application

Medical specialists can precisely identify the cause of your lung or respiratory disease

Because diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic bronchitis can be caused by asbestos exposure and tobacco use, many people who have both risk factors in their lives and struggle with one of these diagnoses are reluctant to even think about filing a claim. Since most cases of pulmonary disease are the consequence of cigarette smoking, they falsely believe that this must also be their situation, so they do not undergo screening for asbestos.

However, medical specialists who focus on occupational diseases can tell the difference between, for instance, lung cancer caused by smoking and lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This is because asbestos fibers will show up on X-rays or more sensitive imaging tests in the lungs of a person with a history of asbestos exposure. Consequently, if you were exposed to asbestos and used tobacco too and now suffer from a disease that can stem from the former, we encourage you to undergo more in-depth testing.

Once asbestos fibers are found in your lungs or along your esophagus or larynx, the medical specialist will have evidence that your disease is the result of asbestos exposure and not tobacco use. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the fact that if you are exposed to asbestos and smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco, your risk of developing a disease is up to 50 times greater. But this does not mean you are not eligible for the financial compensation you deserve for having been exposed to asbestos, which is a toxic and carcinogenic mineral.

Eligibility criteria for victims of asbestos exposure who also used tobacco

We strongly encourage victims of asbestos exposure to file a claim with their former employer or with the companies whose products they handled in the military, as they deserve financial compensation for their unjust suffering. If you smoked cigarettes or chewed tobacco, but this has not been determined as the cause of your respiratory disease, you are most likely eligible to file a claim. Nevertheless, you will also have to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • you must have a letter from a medical specialist stating that your disease is solely the consequence of asbestos exposure and not tobacco use, more specifically, that there are asbestos fibers in your lungs or in your resected malignant tumors if you underwent surgery
  • your disease must have developed within 20 to 50 years from your first instance of asbestos exposure, as this is the telltale sign that it was caused by asbestos fibers embedded in tissue and not tobacco use
  • you must file your claim within the statute of limitations, which ranges between 1 and 6 years in our country, so we advise you to get in touch with a specialized attorney right away so as not to lose your right to compensation

If you have a history of asbestos exposure but still have doubts regarding whether you qualify for compensation, give us a call, and we will figure out your situation within roughly 20 minutes. Furthermore, we offer victims of asbestos exposure who do not have a diagnosis of cancer, a free of charge medical screening in Birmingham, Alabama, so if you live in close proximity, we invite you to come and have your lungs examined by the medical experts we collaborate with.

How asbestos exposure can impact your lungs and respiratory system

Asbestos exposure is notorious for taking a heavy toll on the health of the lungs and the respiratory system, just like tobacco use. Once asbestos fibers, which are very tiny, reach the internal tissue of the body, such as the inside of the lungs, they attach themselves to it. Within 20 to 50 years, the person who inhaled asbestos fibers can develop a disease affecting the lungs or the respiratory system due to the inflammation and tissue scarring asbestos fibers have gradually caused.

To make matters worse, if the person with a history of asbestos exposure is or was also a tobacco user, their chances of developing a serious disease increase substantially. When it comes to tobacco use, people generally smoke tobacco cigarettes or chew tobacco, both of which are habits that can worsen the effects of asbestos exposure on the respiratory system. However, cigarette smoking is considerably worse for the lungs than tobacco chewing. On the other hand, tobacco chewing is often associated with esophageal cancer, a disease that can also be the consequence of asbestos exposure alone.

The following are the diseases that make you eligible to file a claim for asbestos exposure if asbestos fibers are found inside your body, whether you are a tobacco user or not:

If you doubt what the cause of your lung cancer is in the event that it could be the result of both asbestos exposure and tobacco use, we highly suggest you visit a specialist who will order chest X-rays for you. Subsequently, your chest X-rays must be examined by a B-reader, who is a medical specialist that can distinguish lungs affected by cigarette smoking from lungs affected by asbestos exposure. As for the other diseases that can be caused by both asbestos exposure and tobacco use, you will also have to visit a specialist or even more than one, as misdiagnosis is very common in the case of asbestos exposure.

Common misdiagnoses tobacco users exposed to asbestos can receive

Because only victims of asbestos exposure who are also tobacco users with one of the diseases above are eligible for compensation, having the right diagnosis is essential. Not only will it qualify you for compensation, but it will also help you receive suitable treatment for your disease.

If you have a history of asbestos exposure and smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco but have not received one of the previous diagnoses upon your first medical appointment, we strongly encourage you to seek a second and even a third opinion. Misdiagnosis is unfortunately very common among victims of asbestos exposure. The following are the most common misdiagnoses in people exposed to asbestos who also use or used tobacco:

  • pneumonia
  • asthma
  • acid reflux
  • encysted lung effusion
  • lung abscesses
  • lung nodules
  • thoracic Hodgkin's disease
  • pulmonary embolism
  • tuberculosis
  • esophageal varices
  • achalasia
  • reflux esophagitis
  • caustic esophagitis
  • infectious esophagitis
  • esophageal ulcer
  • esophageal diverticulum
  • Boerhaave syndrome
  • acute tonsillitis

A timeline of studies, events, and lawsuits concerning tobacco

We provide quality legal assistance to tobacco users injured by asbestos exposure

With over 25 years of experience in helping people injured by hazardous substances recover the financial compensation they were eligible for, our legal team is ready to listen to you and thoroughly review your case. Although the legal process is very complex and challenging, your involvement will be minimal, as you will only have to send your lawyer your medical records, documents that will be used as evidence to support your asbestos claim.

In the meantime, you will be able to focus completely on your health and treatment, as we will take it upon ourselves to attend to the most difficult aspects of the legal process on your behalf. Eventually, within several months to one year, you will receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to from the liable asbestos companies. For additional information, do not hesitate to contact our law firm, and we will promptly answer your questions and address your concerns.