Oh, did it ever.
I've only smoked once in my life. I tried a barkey and then nearly coughed my lungs out. It was no fun. Tobacco is not to smoked. It is to be used as a medicine.
But something else is not be smoked either. Authoritarianism. It's much more deadly than tobacco ever thought of being.
During the national debate a few years back, when tobacco companies were the subject of each day's Two Minutes of Hate, I remember people claiming to be surprised that the tobacco companies had been lying when they said that tobacco didn't increase anyone's risk for cancer.
A gigantic class-action lawsuit against tobacco was a dry run for something much bigger.I was about 8 or 10 years old when it first occurred to me that putting smoke in your lungs on a regular basis could end up killing you. So why would someone much older and smarter than I claim ignorance about such a basic fact?
To form the basis for a gigantic class-action lawsuit--that's why. And why would they want to have a successful lawsuit? The money? Yes, but that was purely secondary. It was a dry run for something much bigger.
Myles Allen of Oxford University told Reuters in 2006 that
If the evidence [of man-caused global warming] hardens up ... it has all the ingredients of the tobacco case"It has thus far been very difficult to prove that anyone in particular has been guilty of causing global warming (partly because there has been no proof--only wishing and worrying--that mankind is having much of an affect at all). But since the success of the tobacco action, new vistas have been opened for adjudication in the area of climate change!!
Increasing the odds of an adverse event can be enough to make an entity liable for damages - as seen with tobacco companies. Class-action lawsuits against them have been underpinned by scientific evidence that smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer.And simulate they will! It worked once with tobacco. And now, the sky (with all of its deadly man-made greenhouse gases) is the limit!
It is not possible to link any individual case of the disease to smoking because there are other causes too. Similarly, no particular climate event can be blamed on global warming, but now Allen and colleagues have shown they can calculate a change in risk.
The only difference, says Allen, is that the risk attached to smoking was calculated by comparing the fate of large numbers of people, some smokers, some not. The same statistical techniques cannot be applied directly to the climate because the Earth has only one climate system. They have to use simulated models to generate comparisons.