ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York's highest court says longtime heavy smokers with no known lung cancer or other related disease can't hold tobacco giant Philip Morris responsible under state law for their preventive medical scans.

The Court of Appeals, divided 4-2, is declining to recognize what the majority calls a new claim for ``a threat of future harm'' from smokers' exposure to the carcinogens in cigarettes.

The majority says otherwise they'd permit millions of potential plaintiffs to recover monitoring costs, flooding the courts with claims and depleting funds from those who are actually sick.

The dissenters say it's undisputed the company's cigarettes are addictive and lethal, while new, low-dose CT scans of the chest help in early detection of lung cancer, creating an opportunity save lives and alleviate suffering.