The Madison County Record Feb. 2, 2013, 8:26am

Those poor souls who are compelled to smoke should make a point of extinguishing their cigarettes properly when done.

We say “compelled,” because the belief among plaintiffs and plaintiffs attorneys suing tobacco companies seems to be that smokers have no choice, the powerful drug nicotine having overpowered their minds and wills and reduced them to zombie-like states.

Whether indulging personal preferences or responding to irresistible urges, all smokers know that cigarettes don’t go out automatically. You can get away with flicking a lit one on a paved city street or gravel country road (assuming the litter laws don’t prohibit that), but any place else you’re asking for trouble.

It’s best to crush the cigarette in an ash tray (if you can find one), grind it resolutely into the ground with the sole of your shoe, or submerge it ruthlessly in a puddle or toilet. Otherwise, you run the risk of it still smouldering.

Extinguishing an anti-tobacco lawsuit seems to be even harder.

Imagine trying to put a cigarette out for 13 years. That would be exasperating, not to mention amazing. No cigarette could burn that long. If a cigarette were that hard to put out, you’d have the makings of a good lawsuit.

Which brings us back to the lawsuit that won’t die. Do we even need to say who’s behind it? If we gave you ten guesses, would you say Stephen Tillery?

You’d be ten times right.

Tillery’s 2000 suit against Philip Morris, for allegedly misleading the public about the relative health benefits of light and low-tar cigarettes, may still be ALIVE!

Tillery’s trying to reignite a ten-year-old, $10 billion judgment in his favor (with $2 billion in attorneys’ fees) that was vacated in 2005. It looks like his latest appeal is headed to the State Supreme Court, again.

The justices should flush it one last time!

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