ALBANY–Cigarette smokerspast and present are asking the State Court of Appeals to reinstate theirconsumer fraud claims against five major tobacco companies, a step thatwould create the largest class action in New York history.

The Appellate Division, FirstDepartment, ruled most of their claims, including fraudulent concealmentof the effects of nicotine and other chemical components of cigarettes,were preempted by the federal law that has required warning labels on cigarettepacks since 1969. It also found class actions would be unmanageable becausethe need for all class members to prove they were addicted to nicotinewould require “millions of individual trials.”

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