The dangers of tobacco use are well-known in modern society. However, many heavy tobacco users became addicted in the years before such information was publicly available.
Regardless of when you started consuming tobacco products, you probably feel a sense of personal responsibility for any respiratory health issues you experience. While it is certainly true that tobacco consumption has an association with many forms of cancer, that does not mean you lose out on your basic rights just because you’ve used tobacco products.
For example, if you were a shipbuilder for the Navy or someone who worked in an automotive production facility before your retirement, you may have had environmental exposure to asbestos. If you now face a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you need to understand that your tobacco use has no influence on your right to compensation.
There is no medical correlation between tobacco use and mesothelioma
Tobacco can cause different kinds of cancer. Mouth and tongue cancer might be more common in those who use chewing tobacco, while those who smoke cigars or cigarettes may develop lung cancer or throat cancer.
Mesothelioma is a slow-growing but aggressive cancer that starts in your organ linings. Eventually, it will metastasize and spread to other parts of the body. Even if the cancer appears to have started in the lining of your lungs, your tobacco use played no role in its development.
There is currently no medical research that supports a causative relationship between tobacco use alone and mesothelioma. On the other hand, your workplace exposure to asbestos absolutely increases your risk of developing mesothelioma, which smoking could exacerbate.
Medical records will help you when you make your claim
If mesothelioma has already spread or if you are a surviving dependent of someone who recently lost their life to mesothelioma, you may worry that it will be hard to prove your claim that it was asbestos and not tobacco that caused the cancer.
Thankfully, regardless of where the cancer spreads, modern medicine has the ability to genetically sequence it and verify the kind of cancer that it was initially. In other words, medical records will support the idea that it was asbestos and not tobacco that led to the cancer, even if the symptoms are similar to those experienced by people who have COPD or lung cancer caused by tobacco use. Medical evidence and work history can help you successfully bring a claim for mesothelioma compensation.