Published: Oct 11, 2011 5:21 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 11, 2011 9:39 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Big tobacco trials begin today in Fort Myers and 150 people are fighting cigarette companies for multi-million dollar payouts. They argue their illnesses were caused by cigarettes while Big Tobacco companies lied to the public.

As of Tuesday, jurors have heard compelling evidence from both sides.

John Szymanski is the first person taking Big Tobacco to task. He had his voicebox removed after he got throat cancer. He started smoking when he was 14 and couldn't stop. He says he had no idea they were bad for him, but lawyers for the cigarette companies say there's no proof that the cigarettes caused his cancer and he could have quit earlier if he wanted to because he quit later in life. His trial alone is set to last weeks.

More than 8,000 people across the state are slated to go to trial.