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Japan high court rejects appeal by smokers against tobacco company

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Japan [official website, English version] Thursday rejected an appeal by six smokers who sued the Japanese government and a maker for illnesses they claim were caused by their smoking habits over a 33- to 50-year period. Japan's high court affirmed a 2003 lower court ruling that acknowledged was hazardous to an individual's health but did not find a causal connection between smoking and the men's illnesses. The six men, three of whom have died since filing the suit in 1998, were seeking a total of $518,000 from the Japanese government and Japan Tobacco [corporate website], the world's third largest tobacco producer. Last year, began mandating stronger warning labels on cigarette packages. Reuters has more.

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