"And the industry did make changes to increase their safety," Furr said. "They did reduce the tar and nicotine, and testing was done by reasonable standards."
McClain said while filters were added to cigarettes, testing showed they didn't actually make smoking safer.
"Filters gave the illusion of filter, rather than the fact of filter," he said.
McClain said consumers were unaware of the addictive quality of nicotine. During the trial, he put on witnesses from tobacco companies who said that attempts to reduce nicotine were successful, but when consumers didn't buy the product, the companies continued to produce higher nicotine cigarettes so sales wouldn't be affected.
Furr agreed that consumers didn't want low-nicotine cigarettes, and that was their choice.
"The tobacco industry produced a state-of-the-art, reduced-risk cigarette," Furr said. "Safer cigarettes were rejected by consumers. Everyone agrees there is no such thing as a safe cigarette."
And Furr said the public has been aware of those dangers for a long time.
"Schools taught the dangers of smoking since the 1890s," Furr said. "The Surgeon General's report in 1915 said smoking is dangerous, addictive and leads to disease."
He pointed to more than 60 articles in Readers Digest, beginning in 1924, and reports in the national media that called attention to smoking and cancer risks.
Many people heeded those warnings, Furr said.
"Thirty million smokers quit by 1969," he said. "That would fill Mountaineer Field 500 times."
Jurors are expected to begin deliberating this week. Depending on their verdict, the litigation could extend to a phase two of multiple trials involving individual plaintiff and possible monetary awards.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.