SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Jurors on Friday began deliberating whether to award punitive damages against the nation's two largest tobacco companies to a dying ex-smoker.

The lawyer for Leslie Whiteley and her husband asked jurors for $115 million in punitive damages, saying the cigarette makers remain unrepentant for the harm they cause.

``All they care about is money,'' attorney Madelyn Chaber told a Superior Court jury that has already awarded $1.7 million to the couple.

Lawyers for the Philip Morris Cos. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. said they have already gotten the message, noting the $206 billion settlement reached in 1998 by cigarette makers and 46 states suing over health costs.

David K. Hardy, a lawyer for Philip Morris, suggested punitive damages of two to three times the amount awarded so far, or $3.4 million to $5.1 million. Reynolds lawyer Jeffrey Furr did not propose an amount.

Unless the jury awards a substantial amount, Chaber countered, ``they'll be breaking out the bottles of scotch in the boardroom, toasting the fact that they got away with it again.''

Deliberations began after 3 1/2 days of testimony and arguments about the companies' conduct and finances, factors they must consider in deciding on punitive damages. Votes of nine of the 12 jurors are needed for a verdict.

The verdict in Whiteley's favor Monday was the first for a smoker who started smoking after 1969, when surgeon general's warnings first appeared on cigarette packages.

Of the five other jury verdicts in the nation in favor of individual smokers, two in Florida and one in New Jersey were overturned on appeal; an $80 million verdict in Portland, Ore., was reduced to $31 million by the trial judge; and a $51 million verdict against Philip Morris in San Francisco a year ago was cut in half by Superior Court Judge John Munter, who is also presiding over Whiteley's case.