THE TOBACCO TIMELINE
U.S. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
1933: The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933.
Tobacco farmers were being ruined as the market dropped, manufacturers hid their purchase plans and banks charged interest rates of up to 37%. 25% of all families in North Carolina were on relief as farmers appealed to the sympathetic Roosevelt administration. The Agricultural Adjustment Act guarantees price supports in exchange for limiting production via allotments and quotas; so long as farmers didn't grow past their seasonally allotted acreage, the government would buy the unsold tobacco. The plan is dependent on close communication with manufacturers, and their upcoming buying needs. The bill has undergone many amendments over the years, the most important being the 1938 bill authorizing marketing quotas and the 1949 act authorizing price supports.
1935: The Tobacco Inspection Act is enacted by Congress. This act established the framework for development of official tobacco grade standards, authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to designate tobacco auction markets where tobacco growers would receive mandatory inspection of each lot of tobacco to determine its grade and type, and provided for the distribution of daily price reports showing the current average price for each grade. The Agricultural Marketing Service's Tobacco Division was established to provide these services to the industry. (Other authorizing legislation: The Tobacco Adjustment Act; Public Law 99-198, Section 1161; The Naval Stores Act 1938: AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT is passed again, this time authorizing marketing quotas. 1949: AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT is passed again, this time authorizing price supports. 1965: The FEDERAL CIGARETTE LABELING AND ADVERTISING ACT is passed, requiring health warnings on cigarette packages only.
1969: Congress enacts the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, which amends the 1965 Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act to require the following warning: "The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health." The 1969 act also includes the phrase: "(b) No requirement or prohibition based on smoking and health shall be imposed under State law with respect to the advertising or promotion of any cigarettes the packages of which are labeled in conformity with the provisions of this Act." This proviso helps absolve the industry in many court cases, most recently in Pennsylvania's Carter case (1/27/03).
1970-04-01: REGULATION: The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act had been passed in 1969; The bill as signed into law by Richard Nixon on April 1, 1970 had been the result of over a year of fierce wrangling among the tobacco companies, broadcasters (who stood to lose a great deal of advertising income), the FTC, the FCC and Congress.
1971: REGULATION: UK Government bans cigarette advertisements on radio 1971-05: Charles E. Dederich, founder and head of Synanon, decided not only to stop supplying his community of ex-heroin addicts cigarettes without charge but also to ban smoking on Synanon property. The next year is one of the most tumultuous in Synanon's history to that point. About 100 people left. At least one member told the New York Times that quitting tobacco was much harder than quitting heroin. 1973: REGULATION: Congress enacts the Little Cigar Act of 1973, amending the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act to ban TV and radio advertising of little cigars. 1982: REGULATION: Congress passes the No Net Cost Tobacco Program Act, requiring the government's Commodity Credit Corporation, which pays for the government tobacco purchases, to recover all the money it spends on quota enforcement, price supports, and leaf grading programs. Now taxpayers no longer pay for losses incurred by the program, though they still pay about $16 million a year in administrative costs to run it. 1984: The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act was amended to require that one of the four warning labels listed below appears in a specific format on cigarette packages and in most related advertising. Here's the US Code
- SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.
- SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health.
- SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, and Low Birth Weight.
- SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide.
1985: Tobacco Improvement Act of 1985. Price supports for tobacco were reduced by this legislation and domestic tobacco manufacturers were required to purchase existing loan stocks. In addition, the price support and quota formulas were revised in an effort to generate more market-oriented price and production levels. 1986: Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986 extended the broadcast advertising ban to smokeless tobacco products.
1995: It is still legal to advertise cigars, pipe tobacco and hard liquor on TV.
In 1494, Romano Pane, the friar who accompanied Columbus, reported that the Indians also used tobacco by reducing it to a powder that "they take through a cane half a cubit long: one end of this they place in the nose, and the other upon the powder."--from The Facts About Smoking, Consumer Reports Books, 1991
The Arawak tribe of the Caribbean smoked both cigars and used the tobago, a soapstone pipe. In the North, Native Americans wrapped tobacco in corn husks or stuffed it into hollow reeds to smoke.
1588: Hariot on Tobacco in Virginia
"There is an herb called uppowoc, which sows itself. In the West Indies it has several names, according to the different places where it grows and is used, but the Spaniards generally call it tobacco. Its leaves are dried, made into powder, and then smoked by being sucked through clay pipes into the stomach and head. The fumes purge superfluous phlegm and gross humors from the body by opening all the pores and passages. Thus its use not only preserves the body, but if there are any obstructions it breaks them up. By this means the natives keep in excellent health, without many of the grievous diseases which often afflict us in England.
"This uppowoc is so highly valued by them that they think their gods are delighted with it. Sometimes they make holy fires and cast the powder into them as a sacrifice. If there is a storm on the waters, they throw it up into the air and into the water to pacify their gods. Also, when they set up a new weir for fish, they pour uppowoc into it. And if they escape from danger, they also throw the powder up into the air. This is alwavs done with strange gestures and stamping, sometimes dancing, clapping of hands, holding hands up, and staring up into the heavens. During this performance they chatter strange words and utter meaningless noises.
"While we were there we used to suck in the smoke as they did, and now that we are back in England we still do so. We have found many rare and wonderful proofs of the uppowoc's virtues, which would themselves require a volume to relate. There is sufficient evidence in the fact that it is used by so many men and women of great calling, as well as by some learned physicians."--Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, directed to the investors, farmers, and well-wishers of the project of colonizing and planting there. Imprinted at London in 1588.
Hariot was part of a group sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to establish the first English colony in the New World. He spent a year on Roanoke Island, 1585-1586.
Most of the members of the party fitfully searched around for gold, and complained "because they could not find in Virginia any English cities, or fine houses, or their accustomed dainty food, or any soft beds of down or feathers." But Hariot, who would be recognised in later years as a preeminent scientist, took accurate stock of the land and its bounties, and is reputed to have carried back with him on Sir Francis Drake's ship two strange plants: tobacco, and the potato.
The piece quoted above is part of a compendium of "commodities" he wrote to help maintain interest in Raleigh's doomed attempts to make money out of his expeditions to the New World--the English explorations then were very much commercial ventures.
After Hariot's return to England, he met and became great friends with Raleigh, and was his main contact with the outside world during the 13 years Raleigh spent in the Tower of London (where he grew his own tobacco).
Raleigh was beheaded in 1618, and reportedly had a pipeful just before going to the gallows.
Hariot suffered terribly from a "cancerous ulcer of the nose" from 1615 till his death 6 years later in 1621 at the age of 61. [Juraj Korbler says Hariot had "cancer of the lip" in "Thomas Harriot (1560-1621), fumeur de pipe, victime du cancer?" Gesnerus 9 (1952): 52-54]
1590: LITERATURE: Spenser's Fairie Queen: earliest poetical allusion to tobacco in English literature. Belphoebe includes tobacco with other medicinal herbs gathered to heal Timais (Book III, Canto VI, 32).
Into the woods thenceforth in haste shee went,
To seeke for hearties that mote him remedy;
For she of hearties had great intendiment,
Taught of the Nymphe which from her infancy
Her nourced had in trew nobility:
There, whether yet divine Tobacco were,
Or Panachea, or Polygony,
She fownd, and brought it to her patient deare
Who al this while lay bleding out his hart-blood scare.
1604: "A Counterblaste to Tobacco"
"Smoking is a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." -- James I of England, "A Counterblaste to Tobacco."
In his treatise, James also noted that autopsies found smokers' "inward parts" were "infected with an oily kind of soot." James also said if he ever had the Devil to dinner, he'd offer him a pipe.
With regards to second-hand smoke, James said, " "The wife must either take up smoking or resolve to live in a perpetual stinking torment."
On the other hand, James' was the first government to find taxes on tobacco to be enormously profitable. Trying to stamp out smoking, he first increased taxes on tobacco 4,000%, from 2 pence/pound to six shillings, 8 pence/pound. That stopped people from buying tobacco, but dried up the funds that had been coming into the Treasury. James then slashed taxes down to 2 shillings/pound and watched the money pour in. Other governments were quick to learn the same lesson.
From George Arents:
In 1604, there was published [in England], anonymously, the most famous of all tracts opposing the social use of tobacco, A Counterblaste to Tobacco, by King James.
The king reiterated his contempt for those who daily used a drug for pleasure, scorned the acceptance of a habit adopted from unbaptized barbarians [Indians in the Americas], bewailed the cost of what he called this "precious stink," and repeated some of the tales of hoor then used to frighten smokers. Among other things, he reminded his readers that some great tobacco-takers were found, upon dissection, to have lungs and brains covered by fine, black soot, obviously the result of smoking!
I should like to make a brief digression here to point out that, as James' subjects didn't accept his advice, he promptly raised the tobacco duty by four thousand percent. But within two years he found it profitable to reduce the duty and lease of monopoly of that tax. Thus he received a large income from the sale of the very thing he professed most to despise.
As a result of the high duty placed upon tobacco (a duty which was continually advanced during James' and Charles I's reign), a state arose similar to our own, during prohibition days. The common phrases and conditions of that era are also applicable to the tobacco trade in London then; the commodity was "free of duty"; sold by smugglers as "right off the ship"; the dandies knew where the best stuff was to be secretly had; domestic tobacco was doctored to give it the semblance of "Spanish," and the wide advertising smoking received, because of the campaign against it, induced many men and women, who had never smoked before, to take up the custom.-- George Arents, "Early Literature of Tobacco," privately printed for distribution at The Library of Congress, 1938. In April 1938 the Books, Manuscripts and Drawings Relating to Tobacco from the collection of Arents were on exhibition at the Library of Congress.
Though fitful attempts had been made before, the lasting "plantation" of English culture in the Americas starts here. The first permanent English colony was established in 1607, when the Virginia Company landed another ill-prepared group of adventurers in Jamestown. This sad colony--wracked by malaria epidemics, Indian attacks, intrique, laziness, torture, starvation and goulish cannibalism--could well have failed also, but was arguably saved not just by Pocahontas, but by her husband John Rolfe's cultivation of the desperate colony's only substantial resource: tobacco.
Without the success of Jamestown, the dominant culture south and west of New England could well be Spanish.
For more details, read the History of Jamestown
1880: 21-year-old Virginian James Albert Bonsack is granted a patent for his cigarette-rolling machine.
The Bonsack machine had been seen and discarded by the established cigarette manufacturers. In 1883, 27-year-old Buck Duke leased the Bonsack machine on a favored contract. By 1887, once Duke and Bonsack's mechanics had finished tinkering with it, it was capable of reliably rolling 120,000 cigarettes in 10 hours.
This not only takes the cigarette business out of the hands of the cigarette girls, it means that cigarettes can be made cheaply enough to satisfy a mass market.
But the market didn't exist. If he wanted to unload his stockpiling cigarettes, Duke had to create the market, and he used unique and spectacular promotions and advertising campaigns to do it.
The pressures created by the invention of the Bonsack machine led not only to the widespread use of cigarettes as America's favored form of tobacco, but to the modern era of mass-market advertising and promotion.
TIRC's first scientific director noted cancer scientist Dr. Clarence Cook Little, former head of the National Cancer Institute (soon to become the American Cancer Society). Little's life work lay in the genetic origins of cancer; he tended to disregard environmental factors.
From the complaint filed by the state of Florida in its 1995 lawsuit against tobacco companies:
59. In response to the publication of Dr. Wynder's study in 1953, the presidents of the leading tobacco manufacturers, including American Tobacco Co., R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, U.S. Tobacco Co., Lorillard, and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation- ration, hired the public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton, Inc., to deal with the "health scare" presented by smoking. Acting in concert, at a public relations strategy meeting, the participants decided to organize a committee to be specifically charged with the "public relations" function. . . . As a result of these efforts, the Tobacco Institute Research Committee ("TIRC"), an entity later known as The Council for Tobacco Research ("CTR"), was formed.
60. The TIRC immediately ran a full-page promotion in more than 400 newspapers aimed at an estimated 43 million Americans. That piece was entitled "A Frank Statement To Cigarette Smokers" . . .
A FRANK STATEMENT TO CIGARETTE SMOKERS:
RECENT REPORTS on experiments with mice have given wide publicity to a theory that cigarette smoking is in some way linked with lung cancer in human beings.
Although conducted by doctors of professional standing, these experiments are not regarded as conclusive in the field of cancer research. However, we do not believe results are inconclusive, should be disregarded or lightly dismissed. At the same time, we feel it is in the public interest to call attention to the fact that eminent doctors and research scientists have publicly questioned the claimed significance of these experiments.
Distinguished authorities point out:
That medical research of recent years indicates many possible causes of lung cancer.
That there is no agreement among the authorities regarding what the cause is.
That there is no proof that cigarette smoking is one of the causes.
That statistics purporting to link cigarette smoking with the disease could apply with equal force to any one of many other aspects of modern life. Indeed the validity of the statistics themselves is questioned by numerous scientists.
We accept an interest in people's health as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business
We believe the products we make are not injurious to health.
We always have and always will cooperate closely with those whose task it is to safeguard the public health.
For more than 300 years tobacco has given solace, relaxation, and enjoyment to mankind. At one time or another during those years critics have held it responsible for practically every disease of the human body. One by one these charges have been abandoned for lack of evidence.
Regardless of the record of the past, the fact that cigarette smoking today should even be suspected as a cause of a serious disease is a matter of deep concern to us.
Many people have asked us what we are doing to meet the public's concern aroused by the recent reports. Here is the answer:
We are pledging aid and assistance to the research effort into all phases of tobacco use and health. This joint financial aid will of course be in addition to what is already being contributed by individual companies.
For this purpose we are establishing a joint industry group consisting initially of the undersigned. This group will be known as TOBACCO INDUSTRY RESEARCH COMMITTEE.
In charge of the research activities of the Committee will be a scientist of unimpeachable integrity and national repute. In addition there will be an Advisory Board of scientists disinterested in the cigarette industry. A group of distinguished men from medicine, science, and education will be invited to serve on this Board. These scientists will advise the Committee on its research activities.
This statement is being issued because we believe the people are entitled to know where we stand on this matter and what we intend to do about it.
From The Facts about Smoking(Consumer Reports Books
The [tobacco] industry also created the Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC). Although the stated purpose of the TIRC was to encourage research on smoking, its chief accomplishment was to put forward the idea that scientists themselves held differing opinions about whether or not smoking was dangerous. For example, in 1954, a front-page article in The New York Times reported that a majority of doctors and scientists attending the American Cancer Society meeting believed that smoking caused cancer, but in the third paragraph of the article a representative of the TIRC is quoted as saying that the poll was "biased, unscientific and filled with shortcomings." In 1954, when Drs. Graham and Wynder reported that tobacco tar painted onto the skin of mice caused cancer, the TIRC countered with: "Doctors and scientists have often stressed the many pitfalls present in all attempts to apply flatly to humans any findings resulting from animal experiments. " Whatever the validity of the TIRC's criticisms, they served to encourage skepticism in the public's mind about scientific reports of the dangers of smoking. The tobacco industry also established the Tobacco Institute, whose avowed purpose was to promote "public understanding of the smoking and health controversy and . . . knowledge of the historic role of tobacco and its place in the national economy." In the first issue of Tobacco News, the institute's president said: "The Institute and this publication believe that the American people want and are entitled to accurate, factual, interesting information about this business [tobacco] which is so important in the economic bloodstream of the nation and such a tranquilizer in our personal lives."
From PR Watch:
Hill & Knowlton's role is described as follows in a 1994 lawsuit, State of Mississippi vs. the Tobacco Cartel:
The presidents of the leading tobacco manufacturers ... hired the public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton .... As a result of these efforts, the Tobacco Institute Research Committee (TIRC), an entity later know as The Council for Tobacco Research (CTR), was formed.
The Tobacco Industry Research Committee immediately ran a full-page promotion in more than 400 newspapers ... entitled "A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers."... The participating tobacco companies recognized their "special responsibility" to the public, and promised to learn the facts about smoking and health ... to sponsor independent research on the subject .... to cooperate closely with public health officials ....
After thus beginning to lull the public into a false sense of security concerning smoking and health, the Tobacco Industry Research Committee continued to act as a front for tobacco industry interests. Despite the initial public statements and posturing, ... there was a coordinated, industry-wide strategy designed actively to mislead and confuse the public about the true dangers associated with smoking cigarettes. Rather than work for the good of the public health, ... the tobacco trade association, refuted, undermined, and neutralized information coming from the scientific and medical community.
There is no question that the tobacco industry knew what scientists were learning about tobacco. The TIRC maintained a library with cross-indexed medical and scientific papers from 2,500 medical journals; as well as press clippings, government reports and other documents. TIRC employees culled this library for scientific data with inconclusive or contrary results regarding tobacco and the harm to human health. These were compiled into a carefully selected 18-page booklet, titled "A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy," which was mailed to over 200,000 people, including doctors, members of Congress and the news media.
From Merchants of Death: by Larry C. White
The year 1954 marked the beginning of the cigarette Big Lie. It was in this year that the cigarette companies got together to plot the strategies that would keep them viable far into the future, strategies that still guide their response to the fact that their products kill 10 percent of their customers.
Speaking frankly to investors in June of 1954, O. Parker McComas, then president of Philip Morris, said that the health problem must be taken seriously--that is, "carefully evaluated for its effect on industry public relations, as well as its effect on the consumer market." Therefore, he said, Philip Morns had joined with "practically all elements of industry" to form the Tobacco Industry Research Committee. There were great expectations for the TIRC: "We hope that the work of TIRC will open new vistas not only in research, but in liaison between industry and the scientific world." As for the nature of the TIRC, McComas said that it was similar to other industries' organizations such as the American Meat Institute, the American Petroleum Institute, and so on.
This was not for consumption by the general public, of course. An ad was run in newspapers across the country on January 4, 1954, that announced the formation of the TIRC and touted the committee's objectivity. "In charge of the research activities of the Committee will be a scientist of unimpeachable integrity and national repute. In addition, there will be an Advisory Board of scientists disinterestedin the cigarette industry. A group of distinguished men from medicine, science, and education will be invited to serve on this Board. These scientists will advise the Committee on its research activities."
There would be no pro-cigarette studies funded by the committee--fakes would be too easily discredited. Instead, research would be done around the periphery--keeping scientists busy on incidental issues, diverting attention from the main point: the link between cigarettes and disease. For example, one of the committee's first priorities was funding of studies on why people smoke. Another favored area for research was whether some people have a genetic predisposition to cancer. This could keep scientists busy indefinitely.
Still, it was obvious that independent scientists would continue to investigate the health effects of smoking. . . The basic public relations strategy was to emphasize the few studies that did not prove that smoking caused disease. What could never be mentioned was that a study that does not prove a relationship between smoking and disease cannot logically prove the opposite--that no relationship exists. . . With the advent of the TIRC, the cigarette companies could say that no one spent more on research on smoking and health than they did. Most important, the TIRC would serve the function of creating a controversy. The current name of the committee is the Council for Tobacco Research and it still serves the function of making it seem like there is a valid difference of opinion among scientists about whether smoking is dangerous.
The value of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee to the industry was revealed only a few months after its creation. At a meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in early June of 1954, the American Cancer Society announced that a majority of cancer researchers, chest surgeons, and pathologists believed that smoking might lead to lung cancer. This news was carried on the front page of The New York Times on June 7, 1954. But, unlike pre-1954 articles that had allowed the news to stand alone, this article included in its third paragraph a denunciation of the statement.
Timothy V. Hartnett, chairman of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee, called the poll of doctors "biased, unscientific and filled with shortcomings."
In February of 1956, Dr. Evarts A. Graham reported on another study in which he had painted mice with tobacco tars. He had been criticized for his earlier study of this kind because he had used only one type of mouse. In this new study he used other strains and also painted rabbits' ears with the tars. Again, he induced cancer.
This time the industry was ready for him--thanks to the Tobacco Industry Research Committee. When newspapers reported Dr. Graham's study they also reported the response of the TIRC: "Doctors and scientists have often stressed the many pitfalls present in all attempts to apply flatly to humans any findings resulting from animal experiments." To a scientist, the response was worthless, but it was enough to cast doubt in the public's mind. Most important for the industry, the TIRC provided smokers with some ammunition, some arguments that justified their not quitting.
Moreover, nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug effective in the release of stress mechanisms. But cigarettes -- we will assume the Surgeon General's Committee to say -- despite the beneficent effect of nicotine, have certain unattractive side effects: 1) They cause, or predispose to, lung cancer. 2) They contribute to certain cardiovascular disorders. 3) They may well be truly causative in emphysema, etc., etc. We challenge those charges and we have assumed our obligation to determine their truth or falsity by creating the new Tobacco Research Foundation. In the meantime (we say) here is our triple, or quadruple or quintuple filter, capable of removing whatever constituent of smoke is currently suspect while delivering full flavor -- and incidentally -- a nice jolt of nicotine. And if we are the first to be able to make and sustain that claim, what price Kent?
President John F. Kennedy had won the 1960 Presidential election by only 0.1 percent of the vote. His vice-president, Lyndon Johnson had successfully delivered the crucial Southern vote. Kennedy had an ambitious program to implement, and was fully aware many congressional committees were dominated by tobacco state legislators.
Yet the 1962 Royal College of Physicians' Report increased public pressure on Kennedy to take a public stand. At a press conference on May 23, 1962, Kennedy said in reply to a question on the subject, "That matter is sensitive enough and the stock market is in sufficient difficulaty without my giving you an answer which is not based on complete information, which I don't have, and, therefore, perhaps I will be glad to respond to that question in more detail next week."
Kennedy soon acceded to American health groups' long-standing request to create a Presidential Commission to study the matter.
Surgeon General Luther Terry worked closely with the tobacco industry on the commission. The industry was presented with a list of 150 "outstanding medical scientists" and were allowed to cross out any names they wished. Terry remembers only 3 or 4 were so eliminated. Industry views were made known to the committee members.
The scientists worked for a year in a sub-basement of the Nataional Library of Medicine in Bethesday, MD., and when their report was to be printed, it received the same clasification as a state secret.
On a carefully-chosen Saturday morning (to prevent a disastrous slide on Wall St.), January 11, 1964, at 9 AM, 200 reporters were physically locked into the State Department's auditorium to hear a two hour briefing by surgeon general Dr. Luther L. Terry and a panel of experts. The top-secret measures were felt necessary because of the bold and closely-guarded conclusion reached in a 357-page brown paperback book the reporters received titled Smoking and Health.
When the press conference was over, the reporters ran madly to the telephones. In 1964, in a country where over 50% of adult males smoked, a multi-billion dollar industry seemed to hang by the book's astounding verdict: smoking causes cancer.
Cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action.
At the time, 46% of all Americans smoked; smoking was accepted in offices, airplanes and elevators, and TV programs were sponsored by cigarette brands.
Within 3 months of Terry's report, cigarette consumption had dropped 20%, but, as was the pattern in England following the Royal Physicians' Report, was soon to climb back with a vengeance.
"It was a very dramatic and courageous thing to do," said Joseph Califano, the top domestic policy aide to then-President Johnson.
But the Johnson Administration had enough wars--domestic and foreign--to fight. The Administration didn't want to pull its resources from poverty and civil rights to undertake action which would undoubtedly entail severe social, economic and regional disruptions. "We wanted to get schools integrated, the voters' rights act passed, fair housing passed. And all of those things required us to take on the whole phalanx of Southern states," Califano said.
Smoking rates since 1965, from National Health Interview Surveys compiled by the U.S. Office on Smoking and Health.
% US Adult
Smokers in: % ALL % Men % Women
1965 42.4 51.9 33.9
1966 42.6 52.5 33.9
1970 37.4 44.1 31.5
1974 37.1 43.1 32.1
1976 36.4 41.9 32.0
1977 36.0 40.9 32.1
1978 34.1 38.1 30.7
1979 33.5 37.5 29.9
1980 33.2 37.6 29.3
1983 32.1 35.1 29.5
1985 30.1 32.6 27.9
1987 28.8 31.2 26.5
1988 28.1 30.8 25.7
1990 25.5 28.4 22.8
1991 25.7 28.1 23.5
In order to adhere to the recently passed Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, cigarette packages begin to carry labels which read: "Caution--cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."
Noted commercials include one in which a young boy is seen smoking his dad's discarded cigarette, a light-hearted Gene Kelly spot, and a heartfelt plea by William Talman, who played the prosecuting attorney in the Perry Mason TV series:
I have lung cancer. Take some advice about smoking and losing from someone who's been doing both for years. If you haven't smoked, don't start. If you do smoke--quit. Don't be a loser.
Talman died before the commercial aired.
Cigarette consumption declines each year for the next 4 years, for the first time in a century when cigarette consumption rose almost yearly. Some credit these commercials with helping as many as 10,000,000 Americans quit smoking between 1967 and 1970.
When the federal government moved to ban TV cigarette advertising, the industry did not fight it. Many credit their acquiescence to these commercials
January 2, 1971. Delayed for one day to allow a final glut of College Bowl ads, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969, which included a nationwide ban on tobacco advertising on television and radio, went into effect at midnight. Fairness Doctrine anti-smoking ads also disappear.
"It was going to be a whole new world now," recalled the company's acknowledged ad wizard, Jack Landry. As his farewell gesture to the medium he had used so effectively, Landry scheduled a ninetysecond Marlboro commercial, to begin at 11:58.30 and end precisely at the stroke of midnight. He sat home alone by his television set, watched four of his beloved cowboys gallop off into the sunset for the last time, and wept. "A lot of the excitement went out of the business then," George Weissman recalled. (RK)
Cigarette sales begin rebounding from their four year decline.
The bill also required an updated warning on cigarette packages: "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health."
The tobacco industry is reputed to have been hard-hit by the counter-ads required by 1967's Fairness Doctrine, which undoubtedly influenced their acceptance of this legislation. Feeling betrayed, advertising, broadcasting and publishing interests fought a losing battle.
The industry's advertising expenditures decreased over the next two years, but the industry soon found other venues in which to market: sports promotion, point-of-sales promotions, and increased use of the print medium.
RJ Reynolds' top-selling Winston brand, which had been eclipsed in the 60s by Philip Morris' Marlboro, was particularly hard-hit. While the sales impact of the Marlboro cowboy translated into print beautifully, Winston's identifier was a catchy if notedly ungrammatical jingle, "Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should."
Reynolds never found an effective visual substitute for their jingle.
Throughout the 70s Reynolds became distracted with myriad diversification missteps, and developed business practices which led to shelves full of stale Winstons.
Philip Morris quickly became the number one tobacco company in the US, and its Marlboro brand became the number one best-selling cigarette..
From Smoking and Health Now:
The suffering and shortening of life resulting from smoking cigarettes have become increasingly clear as the evidence accumulates. Cigarette smoking is now as important a cause of death as were the great epidemic diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and tuberculosis that affected previous generations in this country. Once the causes had been established they were gradually brought under control ... But despite all the publicity of the dangers of cigarette smoking people seem unwilling to accept the facts and many of those who do are unwilling or unable to act upon them.
From Smoking or Health:
Deaths from coronary heart disease are responsible for about half of the total excess deaths among cigarette smokers and are numerically greater than the excess deaths from either lung cancer or chronic bronchitis... That the association between smoking and heart disease is largely one of cause and effect is supported by its strength and consistency, its independence of the other risk factors, its enhancement in those smokers who inhale, and by the progressive lessening of the risk in those who give up.
From "Merchants of Death" by Larry C. White:
Take the case of Olympic diver Greg Louganis. He trained for the 1984 Olympics (where he was to win two gold medals) at the Mission Viejo training center in southern California. Mission Viejo had been the home of the top American swimmers and divers, including Mark Spitz, who won seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics.
The swimming club, and the town in which it is located, is owned by a subsidiary of Philip Morris called the Mission Viejo Realty Group.
Greg Louganis was born in 1960. By the time he was eight years old he had started to smoke. He said to a congressional committee studying cigarette advertising, "Smoking was more of a way of rebelling than something I enjoyed. I thought I was cool and that it would make me more grown up--like my parents who both smoked. I thought that my neighborhood pals would accept me if I joined the guys every day outside school to sneak a smoke. By the time I was in junior high, I was hooked on these deadly products, and I was willing to risk whatever future I might have had as a diver and an athlete, all to get my daily fix of those little tobacco sticks. I know now from reading the statistics on nicotine addiction and smoking habits that 85 to 90 percent of smokers start before or during their teenage years. As a diver I kept rationalizing that I didn't need a great amount of wind to succeed, just power and strength."
Louganis continued to smoke until he was twenty-three, even though he had to do it surreptitiously: "My diving coach at the time, Dr. Sammy Lee, would never coach me again if he ever found out that I had even contemplated the idea of smoking cigarettes." But then one day he had a personal epiphany that enabled him to quit smoking: "I had been practicing at the Mission Viejo facility one day and on the way out I noticed this twelve-year-old kid smoking. When I asked him why, he said that he wanted to be just like me! He knew I smoked and he figured that it did not seem to affect my diving performance, so he thought it must be all fight to smoke. At that point I began to question what I was doing, and I quit smoking. I realized that in a way I was a 'Marlboro Man' of sons .... "
Louganis later told me, "After I quit I wanted to tell every twelveyear-old that I had quit." So he started doing volunteer work for the American Cancer Society. According to his manager, Jim Babbitt, the Mission Viejo executives were not very happy about this: "They grimaced when the ACS was mentioned."
And they warned Louganis to "keep a low profile." "1 was very disappointed," he says. "Number one, I was acting as an individual and I don't feel that it was right for the company to have the power to say, 'Don't say this, it's against what our company is selling.' Maybe they could say that I was biting the hand that fed me, but I believe that there is a higher value."
Louganis's activities that the Mission Viejo executives and their masters at Philip Morris on Park Avenue found so displeasing reached a crescendo in January of 1984. In that Olympic year, Louganis was asked by the American Cancer Society to be national chairman of its annual Great American Smokeout. Babbitt was very enthusiastic. He told me, "I was pushing for it heavily. I thought this would have made Greg a hero in other areas than diving. It would have been a real coup for him, a great move for Greg and his career. And, after all, he's told me that he considers quitting smoking the greatest accomplishment of his life." An athlete of his stature in that position would have a major effect on the image of smoking among young people.
But it was not to be. Babbitt got the message from the public relations department of Mission Viejo. If Greg were to accept the honorary position from the American Cancer Society, he would be barred from training at Mission Viejo. "It was done very subtly, very polished. But also very definite." Louganis's coach, Ron O'Brien, was the best in the world. The diver could not contemplate competing in the Olympics without his guidance. But O'Brien worked for Mission Viejo.
Babbitt says the threat of Louganis's being sent away from Mission Viejo, away from his coach, was the sports world's equivalent of saying, "I'll kill your mother." And it didn't stop there. Two of the public relations people told Babbitt that if Louganis accepted the Cancer Society invitation, they too would be fired. "Heads would roll," Babbitt says.
Both Louganis and Babbitt agreed that there was really no choice. The diver declined the honorary position so that he could go to the Olympics. Of course, he could not explain why, at the time, since even this would have been considered a hostile act.
The most ironic footnote to this story is that after his great success in Los Angeles in the 1984 Olympics, his first offers for endorsement contracts came from tobacco companies, and a PM subsidiary. Louganis rejected them without discussion.
[Note: the only major endorsement Louganis landed was from swimwear manufacturer Speedo. Their association continues today. Speedo appears to be aware that Louganis has AIDS.]
In 1986, the Tobacco Institute of Australia ran newspaper ads that claimed there was "little evidence and nothing which proves scientifically that cigarette smoke causes disease in nonsmokers."
The Australian Federation of Consumer Organizations (AFCO) brought suit in Australian Federal Court under the Trade Practices Act.
Heavy guns and major resources of both sides were thrown into the case, which lasted 30 months. 320 reports were presented, including evidence from noted ETS-critic and Cato Institute lecturer Gary Huber (The financial connection between Huber's work and the tobacco industry was not revealed until Business Week broke the story in 1994).
The main evidence for the plaintiffs were reports from 1986 by the US Surgeon General, the National Research Council (US), the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) and the Froggatt inquiry into health and smoking (Britain).
The court found that even in 1986 there was "overwhelming evidence" that ETS triggers respiratory attacks in children, and "compelling scientific evidence that cigarette smoke causes lung cancer in non-smokers."
In a 211-page judgement, the court found that the TIA's advertised statement breached the Trade Practices Act and was likely to mislead people on the effects of ETS. Justice Trevor Morling granted an injunction which prevented the Tobacco Institute from running similar ads.
The Journal of the American Medical Association said in reference to the case,
"It is not surprising that the tobacco industry, which for decades has continued to obfuscate the causal link between smoking and disease despite massive evidence, should feel threatened by studies that show that nonsmokers may be harmed and killed by their products. After all, in 1991, the evidence that ETS causes lung cancer was reviewed and found, by a federal court in Australia, to be 'compelling.' And it's not surprising that scientist-editors at JAMA, who have read the evidence on both sides, believe that ETS is a great danger to nonsmokers and are depressed by industry tactics. . .
"It is interesting that the judge in the Australian case was generally critical of the narrow approach of the statistical experts called by the Tobacco Institute of Australia, and their tendency to be 'overcritical' of parts of every study while sometimes demanding "unattainable standards" of proof of causation. He was more favorably impressed by the broader approach of the epidemiologists, who stressed the importance of the pattern that emerged from all these studies -- studies 'supported by strong biological plausibility.'"
The following was the most famous exchange (April 15, 1994):
REP. WYDEN: Let me ask you first, and I'd like to just go down the row, whether each of you believes that nicotine is not addictive. I've heard virtually all of you touch on it--yes or no, do you believe nicotine is not addictive?
WILLIAM I. CAMPBELL (Philip Morris): I believe that nicotine is not addictive, yes.
REP. WYDEN: Mr. Johnston...
JAMES JOHNSTON (RJReynolds): Uh, Congressman, cigarettes and nicotine clearly do not meet the classic definition of addiction. There is no intoxication--
REP. WYDEN: We'll take that as a no. And again, time is short, if you can just, I think each of you believe nicotine is not addictive, I'd just like to have this for the record.
JOSEPH TADDEO (US Tobacco): "I don't believe that nicotine or our products are addictive."
ANDREW TISCH (P Lorillard): I believe that nicotine is not addictive.
EDWARD HORRIGAN (Ligget Group): I believe that nicotine is not addictive.
THOMAS SANDEFUR (Brown & Williamson): I believe that nicotine is not addictive.
DONALD JOHNSTON (American Tobacco Co.): And I too believe that nicotine is not addictive.
"Although it may seem intuitive to some that the Joe Camel advertising campaign would lead more children to smoke or lead children to smoke more, the evidence to support that intuition is not there," a commission statement said.
Commissioners Mary L. Azcuenaga, Deborah Owen and Roscoe Starek III voted against taking any further action. Dennis Yao and Chairwoman Janet Steiger issued strongly dissenting statemtents:
"I have reason to believe that the Camel campaign induced underage people to start smoking and that proceedings against such ads would be in the interest of the public," Steiger said.
Yao said, "There is evidence that the carton character has appeal to minors and that Camel has increased its market share among minors. There is also evidence that the decade-and-a-half decrease in smoking among minors has slowed down in the time since the Joe Camel campaign began."
The FTC's province was to determine not if the ads encouraged kids to smoke, but whether the ads encouraged kids to do something illegal--_buy_ cigarettes.
The Commissioners were forced to act under pressure from attorneys general of 27 states (who urged a ban in Sept. of 1993), the Surgeon General Antonia Novello, and the entire FTC staff (in August of 1993) urging them to ban Joe Camel.
The FTC seemed unwilling to address First Amendment legal issues that are, in the words of one observer, "on the periphery of settled law . . . I think it's an ugly baby that showed up on their doorstep. They don't know what to do with it."
While the decision was pending--with 2 Commissioners having already voted to ban, and the others hanging fire--another observer, Art Amolsch, publisher of the newsletter FTC:Watch, said, "It is a volatile issue, and I have a feeling there are some commissioners who would prefer not to vote, not to go on the record on this."
Had the FTC voted against the campaign, the matter would then have been turned over to an Administrative law judge, leading to a case that probably would have dragged on for years.
Fred Danzig, editor of the trade weekly Advertising Age, said, "We long ago called for RJR to kill the campaign on their own . . . Whether they're right or wrong is hardly the issue anymore because the public perception is that RJR is trying to lure kids to cigarette smoking simply by using a cartoon character."
Some issues that keep the pot stirring:
In 1991, 3 years into the campaign, over half of 3-6 year olds recognized Joe Camel, more than recognized Mickey Mouse or Ronald McDonald. 91% of six-year-olds match Joe Camel with his product, and Camel's share of the kid market had jumped by a factor of 50.
Nicholas Price, the British creator of the image (for an adult magazine in France in 1974), has said he is "mortified" that the character is being used to target kids.
After a 15 year decline, youth smoking rose in 1988--the first full year of the Joe Camel campaign.