updated 11/12/2010 1:15:46 PM ET 2010-11-12T18:15:46

A lawsuit accusing Lorillard Tobacco Co. of trying to entice black children to smoke has gone to trial in Boston.

The son of a Boston woman who died of lung cancer in 2002 is suing the maker of Newport cigarettes, claiming the company lured his mother to begin smoking at age 13 by giving away free samples at the housing project where she lived.

But a lawyer for North Carolina-based Lorillard said in opening statements Friday there is no evidence that the company gave away cigarettes to children at the Orchard Park housing project in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood.

The company's lawyer also argued that it was Marie Evans' choice to start smoking and to continue smoking, despite warnings from her doctors, for 40 years.

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