Kim Mathews says she's been trying to quit smoking off and on for about ten years. She picked up the habit as a young teenager back in 1973.

"When I tried to quit I found that it's not as easy as just putting them down. Your body craves the nicotine," said Mathews.

In the case of 81-year-old Suwannee County woman Ann Huish, her husband's addiction and death is what brought her to a battle that some might say resembled that of David and Goliath.

Huish was awarded 3 million dollars in a lawsuit against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris Tobacco Company.

Tim Howard, a successful attorney who advocates for people who've lost loved ones as a result of tobacco addiction, says a case like this reveal how vulnerable people were years before commercials began speaking out against the product.

"Ninety percent of your smokers started when they were teenagers. Most of the time we do not give teenagers cocaine and heroine. And then they die drowning in their own blood," said Howard.

"The advertisements when I was younger were to buy cigarettes, nothing against cigarettes," said Mathews.

Howard says two thirds of Florida's active tobacco cases received verdicts in favor of the plaintiff. He says those rulings are a testament to how people are viewing tobacco companies these days.

"You'd see years ago Sylvester Stallone, Humphrey Bogart coming out smoking cigarettes, healthy, macho, sexy. The realty is decrepit, life destructing, and miserable way to die," said Howard.

As for the 81-year-old Suwannee woman, who's now a millionaire, she did not wish to comment about her personal loss.

WCTV contacted Phillip Morris and was told there was no one there to speak with us about the law suit. We also tried contacting RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company after hours via telephone and email, but have not heard back from them.

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