The sacred origin of tobacco and the first pipe
c. 6000 BC: Experts believe the tobacco plant, as we know it today, begins
growing in the Americas.
c. 1 BCE: Experts believe American inhabitants begin finding ways to use
tobacco, including smoking (via a number of variations), chewing and in
enemas (which were probably hallucinogenic).
c. 1 CE: Tobacco was "nearly everywhere" in the Americas. (American Heritage
Book of Indians, p.41).
600-1000 CE: UAXACTUN, GUATEMALA. First pictorial record of smoking:
A pottery vessel found here dates from before the 11th century. On
it a Maya is depicted smoking a roll of tobacco leaves tied with a string.
The Mayan term for smoking was sik'ar
The Chiapas Gift, or The Indians' Revenge?
1492-10-12: Columbus Discovers Tobacco; "Certain Dried Leaves" Are Given
as Gifts, Thrown Away.
On this bright morning Columbus and his men set foot on the New
World for the first time, landing on the beach of the island he named "San
Salvador." The indigenous Arawaks, possibly thinking the strange visitors
divine, offer gifts. Columbus wrote in his journal, "the natives brought
fruit, wooden spears, and certain dried leaves which gave off a distinct
fragrance." As each item seemed much-prized; Columbus accepted the gifts
and ordered them brought back to the ship. The fruit was eaten; the pungent
"dried leaves" were thrown away.
1492-11: Jerez and Torres Discover Smoking; Jerez Becomes First European
Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres, in Cuba searching for the Khan
of Cathay (China), are credited with first observing smoking. They reported
that the natives wrapped dried tobacco leaves in palm or maize "in the
manner of a musket formed of paper." After lighting one end, they commenced
"drinking" the smoke through the other. Jerez became a confirmed smoker,
and is thought to be the first outside of the Americas. He brought the
habit back to his hometown, but the smoke billowing from his mouth and
nose so frightened his neighbors he was imprisoned by the holy inquisitors
for 7 years. By the time he was released, smoking was a Spanish craze.
1497: Robert Pane, who accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage
in 1493, writes the first report of native tobacco use to appear in Europe.
1518: MEXICO: JUAN DE GRIJALVA lands in Yucatan, observes cigarette smoking
by natives (ATS)
1519: MEXICO: CORTEZ conquers AZTEC capitol, finds Mexican natives smoking
perfumed reed cigarettes.(ATS)
1530: MEXICO: BERNARDINO DE SAHAGUN, missionary in Mexico, distinguishes
between sweet commercial tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and coarse Nicotiana
1531: SANTO DOMINGO: European cultivation of tobacco begins
1534: CUBA, SANTO DOMINGO: "Tall tobacco"--sweet, broadleaved Nicotiana
tabacum--is transplanted from Central American mainland to Cuba and Santo
1548: BRAZIL: Portuguese cultivate tobacco for commercial export.
1554: ANTWERP: 'Cruydeboeck' presents first illustration of tobacco. (LB)
1535: CANADA: Jacques Cartier encounters natives on the island of Montreal
who use tobacco.
1556: FRANCE: Tobacco is introduced. Thevet transplants Nicotiana tabacum
from Brazil, describes tobacco as a creature comfort. (ATS)
1558: PORTUGAL: Tobacco is introduced.
1559: SPAIN: Tobacco is introduced.
1560: PORTUGAL, FRANCE: Jean Nicot de Villemain, France's ambassador to
Portugal, writes of tobacco's medicinal properties, describing it as a
panacea. Nicot sends rustica plants to French court.
1564 or 1565: ENGLAND: Tobacco is introduced by Sir John Hawkins and/or
his crew. For the next twenty years in England, tobacco is used cheifly
by sailors, including those employed by Sir Francis Drake.
1566: FRANCE: Nicot sends snuff to Catherine de Medici, Queen of France,
to treat her migraine headaches. She later decrees tobacco be termed Herba
1568: FRANCE: Andre Thevet provides first description of tobacco use. In
Brazil, he wrote, the people smoke it and it cleans the "superfluous humours
of the brain". Thevet smoked it himself. (LB)
1570: Claimed first botanical book on tobacco written by Pena and Lobel
1571: SPAIN: MEDICINE: Monardes, a doctor in Seville, reports
on the latest craze among Spanish doctors--the wonders of the tobacco
plant, which herbalists are growing all over Spain. Monardes lists 36 maladies
1573: ENGLAND: Sir Francis Drake returns from Americas with 'Nicotina tobacum'.
1575: MEXICO: LEGISLATION: Roman Catholic Church passes a law against smoking
in any place of worship in the Spanish Colonies
1577: ENGLAND: MEDICINE: Frampton translates Monardes into English. European
doctors look for new cures--tobacco is recommended for toothache, falling
fingernails, worms, halitosis, lockjaw & cancer
1580: CUBA: European cultivation of tobacco begins
1580: TURKEY: Tobacco arrives (AHS)
1580: POLAND: Tobacco arrives (AHS)
1585: ENGLAND: Sir Francis Drake introduces smoking to Sir Walter Raleigh
1586: Ralph Lane, first governor of Virginia, teaches Sir Walter Raleigh
to smoke the long-stemmed clay pipe Lane is credited with inventing (BD).(TSW)
1586: GERMANY: 'De plantis epitome utilissima' offers one of first cautions
to use of tobacco, calling it a "violent herb". (LB)
1586: ENGLAND: Tobacco Arrives in English Society. In July 1586, some
of the Virginia colonists returned to England and disembarked at Plymouth
smoking tobacco from pipes, which caused a sensation. William Camden (1551-1623)
a contemporary witness, reports that "These men who were thus brought back
were the first that I know of that brought into England that Indian plant
which they call Tabacca and Nicotia, or Tobacco" Tobacco in the Elizabethan
age was known as "sotweed." (BD)
1587: ANTWERP: First published work totally on tobacco, 'De herbe panacea',
with numerous recipies and claims of cures. (LB)
1588: Hariot writes about tobacco in Virginia
1590: LITERATURE: Spenser's Fairy Queen: earliest poetical
allusion to tobacco in English literature. (Book III, Canto VI, 32).
1595: ENGLAND: Tabacco, the first book in the
English language devoted to the subject of tobacco, is published
1595 (approx.): Matoaka is born to Chief Powhatan. She is given the nickname
"Playful One" or "Mischief"
1596: LITERATURE: Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humor is acted
on the 25th of November, 1596, and printed in 1601. In Act III, Scene 2,
Bobadilla (pro) and Cob (con) argue about tobacco. (BD)
Seventeenth Century--"The Great Age
of the Pipe"
When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers therefore are
the founders of human civilization. -- Daniel Webster. 1782-1852.
Tobacco comes into use as "Country Money" or "Country Pay" in the colonies.
Tobacco continues to be used as a monetary standard--literally a "cash
crop"-- throughout the 17th and 18th Centuries, lasting twice as long as
the gold standard.
So prominent is the place that tobacco occupies in the early records
of the middle Southern States, that its cultivation and commercial associations
may be said to form the basis of their history. It was the direct source
of their wealth, and became for a while the representative of gold and
silver; the standard value of other merchantable products; and this tradition
was further preserved by the stamping of a tobacco-leaf upon the old continental
money used in the Revolution. --19th century historian (DB)
1600s: Popes ban smoking in holy places. Pope Urban VIII (1623-44) threatens
excommunication for those who smoke or take snuff in holy places.
1600: BRAZIL: European cultivation of tobacco begins
1600: ENGLAND: Sir Walter Raleigh persuades Queen Elizabeth to try smoking
1601: TURKEY: Smoking is introduced, and rapidly takes hold while clerics
denounce it. "Puffing in each other's faces, they made the streets and
markets stink," writes historian Ibrahim Pecevi.
1602: ENGLAND: Publication of Worke of Chimney Sweepers by anonymous
author identified as 'Philaretes' states that illness of chimney sweepers
is caused by soot and that tobacco may have similar effects. (LB)
1602: ENGLAND: Roger Markecke writes A Defense of Tobacco, in response
to Chimneysweeps (LB)
1603: ENGLAND: Physicians are upset that tobacco used by people without
physician prescription; complain to King James I.(TSW)
1604: ENGLAND: King James I writes "A Counterblaste to Tobacco"
1604: ENGLAND: King James I increases import tax on tobacco 4,000%
1605: ENGLAND: Debate between King James I and Dr. Cheynell.(TSW)
1606: SPAIN: King Philip Ill decrees that tobacco may only be grown in
specific locations--including Cuba, Santo Domingo, Venezuela and Puerto
Rico. Sale of tobacco to foreigners is punishable by death.
1606+: ADVERTISING: ENGLAND: America and advertising begin to grow together.
One of the first products heavily marketed is America itself. Richard Hofstadter
called the Virginia Company's recruitment effort for its new colony, "one
of the first concerted and sustained advertising campaigns in the history
of the modern world." The out-of-place, out-of-work "gentlemen" in an overpopulated
England were sold quite a bill of goods about the bountiful land and riches
to be had in the New World. Daniel J. Boorstin has mused whether "there
was a kind of natural selection here of those people who were willing to
believe in advertising."
1607: JAMESTOWN saga begins
1610: ENGLAND: Sir Francis Bacon writes that tobacco use is increasing
and that it is a custom hard to quit. (LB)
1610: ENGLAND: Edmond Gardiner publishes William Barclay's The Trial
of Tobacco and provides a text of recipies and medicinal preparations.
BArclay defends tobacco as a medicine but condemns casual use(LB)
1612: CHINA: Imperial edict forbidding the planting and use tobacco.(TSW)
1612: JAMESTOWN: John Rolfe raises Virginia's first commercial crop of
1614: SPAIN: King Philip III establishes Seville as tobacco center of the
Attempting to prevent a tobacco glut, Philip requires all tobacco grown
in the Spanish New World to be shipped to a central location, Seville,
Spain. Seville becomes the world center for the production of cigars. European
cigarette use begins here, as beggars patch together tobacco from used
cigars, and roll them in paper(papeletes). Spanish and Portuguese
sailors spread the practice to Russia and the Levant.
1613-89: RUSSIA: Tobacco prohibition under the early Romanoffs (AHS)
1614-04: JAMESTOWN: John Rolfe and Pocahontas (Rebecca) are married
1614: ENGLAND: First sale of native Virginia tobacco in England; Virginia
colony enters world tobacco market, under English protection
1614: ENGLAND: "[T]here be 7000 shops, in and about London, that doth vent
Tobacco" -- The Honestie of this Age, Prooving by good circumstance
that the world was never honest till now, by Barnabee Rych Gentleman
1614: LITERATURE: Nepenthes, or the Vertues of Tabacco, by William
Barclay; Edinburgh, 1614. Touts tobacco's medicinal qualities, and recommends
exclusively tobacco of American origin (BD)
1614: ENGLAND: King James I makes the import of tobacco a Royal monopoly,
available for a yearly fee of £14,000.
1616-06-03: JAMESTOWN: John Rolfe and Pocahontas arrive in London
1617: Dr. William Vaughn writes:
Tobacco that outlandish weede
It spends the braine and spoiles the seede
It dulls the spirite, it dims the sight
It robs a woman of her right
1617: MONGOLIA: Emperor places dealth penalty on using tobacco.(TSW)
1618-48: THE THIRTY YEARS WAR accounts for the extension of smoking. (AHS)
1618-48: ENGLAND: SIR WALTER RALEIGH, popularizer of tobacco in England,
is beheaded for treason.
1619: ENGLAND: An unhappy King James I incorporates British pipe makers.(TSW)
1619: JAMESTOWN: First Africans brought into Virginia. John Rolfe writes
in his diary, About the last of August came in a dutch man of warre
that sold us twenty negars. They were needed for the booming tobacco
crop, but had been baptized, so as Christians could not be enslaved for
life, but only indentured like English colonists-- for5-7 years
1619: JAMESTOWN: First shipment of wives for settlers arrives. Future husbands
had to pay for his prospective mate's passage (120 lbs. of tobacco).
1619: ECONOMY: Tobacco begins being used as currency. It will continue
to be so used for 200 years in Virginia, for 150 years in Maryland, adjusting
to the vagaries of shifting values and varying qualities. (see 1727, "Tobacco
1619-12-04: BERKELEY, VA: The very first American THANKSGIVING celebrated
a good tobacco crop. The holiday was abandoned after the Indian Massacre
1620: ENGLAND: 40,000 lbs of tobacco are imported from Virginia. (LB)
1620: BUSINESS: Trade agreement between the Crown & Virginia Company
bans commercial tobacco growing in England, in return for a 1 shilling/lb.
duty on Virginia tobacco.
1620 (about): JAPAN: Prohibition in Japan (AHS)
1621: Sixty future wives arrive in Virginia and sell for 150 pounds of
tobacco each. Price up since 1619.(TSW)
1621: ENGLAND: Tobias Venner publishes "A briefe and accurate treatise,
comcerning....tobacco" claiming medicinal properties, but condeming use
for pleasure. (LB)
1624: REGULATION: POPE URBAN VIII threatens excommunication for snuff users;
sneezing is thought too close to sexual ecstasy
1624: ENGLAND establishes a royal tobacco monopoly.
1628: REGULATION: SHAH SEFI punishes two merchants for selling tobacco
by pouring hot lead down their throat.(TSW)
1629: FRANCE: RICHELIEU puts a tax on smoking.(AHS)
1630: SWEDEN learns to smoke.(AHS)
1631: AGRICULTURE: European cultivation of tobacco begins in Maryland
1632: REGULATION: MASSACHUSETTS forbids public smoking
1633: AGRICULTURE: CONNECTICUT Settled; first tobacco crop raised in Windsor.
1633: REGULATION: TURKEY: Sultan Murad IV orders tobacco users executed
as infidels. As many as 18 a day were executed. Some historians consider
the ban an anti-plague measure, some a fire-prevention measure.
1634: REGULATION: RUSSIA: Czar Alexis creates penalties for smoking: 1st
offense is whipping, a slit nose, and trasportation to Siberia. 2nd offense
is execution.(TSW) (BD)
1634: REGULATION: EUROPE: Greek Church claims that it was tobacco smoke
that intoxicated Noah and so bans tobacco use.(TSW)
1635: REGULATION: FRANCE: King allows sale of tobaccco only following prescription
1636: BUSINESS: SPAIN: Tabacalera, the oldest tobacco company in the world,
1637: REGULATION: FRANCE: King Louis XIII enjoys snuff and repeals restricions
on its use.(TSW)
1638: REGULATION: CHINA: Use or distribution of tobacco is made a crime
punishable by decapitation. Snuff, introduced by the Jesuits in the mid-17th
century, soon became quite popular, from the court on down, and remained
so during much of the Qing dynasty (mid-17th century - 1912.)
1639: REGULATION: NEW YORK CITY: Governor Kieft bans smoking in New Amsterdam
1640: Greenwich Village, NY is known to Native Americans as (var.) Sapponckanican--
"tobacco fields," or "land where the tobacco grows."
1642: POPE URBAN VIII'S Bull against smoking in the churches in Seville.
1647: REGULATION: TURKEY: Tobacco ban is lifted. Pecevi writes that tobaco
has now joined coffee, wine and opium as one of the four "cushions on the
sofa of pleasure."
1647: REGULATION: Colony of Connecticut bans public smoking: citizens may
smoke only once a day, "and then not in company with any other."
1648: Smoking generally prohibited. Writers now hostile to it. (AHS)
1650: REGULATION: Colony of Connecticut General Court orders -- no smoking
by person under age of 21, no smoking except with physicians order.(TSW)
1650: Spread of smoking in Austria. (AHS)
1650: REGULATION: Pope Innocent X's Bull against smoking in St Peter's,
1657: REGULATION: Prohibition in Switzerland.(AHS)
1659: ITALY: VENICE establishes the first tobacco appalto.
In 1629, Niewu Amsterdam's Gov. Wouter Van Twiller appropriated a farm
belonging to the Dutch West India Company in the Bossen Bouwery ("Farm
in the woods") area of Manhattan island, and began growing tobacco. The
first Dutch references to the Indians' name for the area appear around
. . . a contract whereby the exclusive right to import, manufacture,
and trade in tobacco was farmed out [by the state] to a private person
for a certain consideration
1660: ITALY: Pope ALEXANDER VII farms out tobacco monopolies
1660: ENGLAND: THE RESTORATION OF THE MONARCHY The court of Charles
II returns to London from exile in Paris, bringing the French court's snuffing
practice with them; snuff becomes an aristocratic form of tobacco use.
During Charles' reign (1660-1685), the growing of tobacco in England, except
for small lots in physic gardens, is forbidden so as to preserve the taxes
coming in from Virginian imports..
1660: The Navigation Act mandates that 7 enumerated items--one of which
was tobacco--may only be shipped to England or its colonies.
1661: VIRGINIA Assembly begins institutionalizing slavery, making it de
1665: HEALTH: EUROPE: THE GREAT PLAGUE Smoking tobacco is thought
to have a protective effect.
1665: HEALTH: ENGLAND: Samuel Pepys describes a Royal Society experiment
in which a cat quickly dies when fed "a drop of distilled oil of tobacco."
1666: AGRICULTURE: Maryland faces oversupply; bans production of tobacco
for one year.
1670: AUSTRIA: COUNT KHEVENHILLER's appalto is established.
1674: RUSSIA: Smoking Can Carry the Death Penalty.
1674: FRANCE: LOUIS XIV establishes a tobacco monopoly.
1675: REGULATION: SWITZERLAND: The Berne town council establishes a special
Chambres de Tabac to deal with smokers, who face the same dire penalties
1676: RUSSIA: the smoking ban is lifted.
1676: TAXES: Heavy taxes levied in tobacco by Virginia Governor BERKELEY
lead to BACON'S REBELLION, a foretaste of American Revolution. (ATS)
1679: Abraham a Santa Clara and the plague in Vienna.
1689-1725: RUSSIA: PETER THE GREAT's advocacy of smoking.
1693: ENGLAND: Smoking banned in Commons chamber: "no member do presume
to take tobacco in the gallery of the House or at a committee table"
1698: RUSSIA: PETER THE GREAT establishes a trade monopoly with the English,
against Church wishes.
1699: LOUIS XIV and his physician, FAGON, oppose smoking.
The Eighteenth Century--Snuff
ENGLAND: George III's wife known as "Snuffy Charlotte"
FRANCE: Napoleon said to have used 7 lb. of snuff per month
1700: REGULATION: RUSSIA: Peter the Great smokes and repeals bans on smoking.(TSW)
1701: HEALTH: MEDICINE: Nicholas Andryde Boisregard warns that young people
taking too much tobacco have trembling, unsteady hands, staggering feet
and suffer a withering of "their noble parts."
I701-40: PRUSSIA: Tobacco councils of Frederick I and Frederick William
1705: VIRGINIA Assembly passes a law legalizing lifelong slavery. .
. . all servants imported and brought into this country, by sea or land,
who were not christians in their native country . . . shall be . . . slaves,
and as such be here bought and sold notwithstanding a conversion to christianity
1713: LEGISLATION: Inspection regulations passed to keep up standards of
Virginia leaf exports (not effective until 1730). (ATS)
1724: REGULATION: Pope Benedict XIII learns to smoke and repeals papal
bulls against clerical smoking.(TSW)
1727: ECONOMY: "Tobacco notes" Become Legal Tender in Virginia. Tobacco
Notes attesting to quality and quantity of one's tobacco kept in public
warehouses are authorized as legal tender in Virginia. Used as units of
monetary exchange throughout 18th Century. The notes are more convenient
than the acutal leaf, which had been in use as money for over a century.
1730: LEGISLATION: Virginia Inspection Acts come into effect, standardizing
and regulating tobacco sales and exports to prevent the export of "trash
tobacco"--shipments diluted with leaves and household sweepings, which
were debasing the value of Virginia tobacco. Inspection warehouses were
empowered to verify weight and kind and kind of tobacco.
1730: VIRGINIA: BUSINESS: First American tobacco factories begun in Virginia--small
1747: LEGISLATION: Maryland passes its own Maryland Inspection Act to control
quality of exports.
1750: RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS: Gilbert Stuart builds snuff mill in Rhode
Island, ships his products in dried animal bladders
1755.10: Virginia's tobacco crop fails because of extended drought conditions.
1758: LEGISLATION: Virginia Assembly passes wildly unpopular "Two Penny
Act," forbidding payment in percentage of tobacco crop to some public officials,
such as the Anglican clergy. The crop was small at this period, making
tobacco a seller's market. The law mandating a regular salary for these
officials severely cut the clergy's real income.
1759: GEORGE WASHINGTON, having gained 17,000 acres of farmland and 286
slaves from his new wife, MARTHA DANDRIDGE CUSTIS (these added to his own
30 slaves), harvests his first tobacco crop. The British market is unimpressed
with its quality, and by 1761, Washington is deeply in debt.
1753: SWEDEN: Swedish Botanist Carolus Linnaeus names the plant genus,
and describes two species, nicotiana rustica. and nicotiana tabacum."
1760: BUSINESS: Pierre Lorillard establishes a "manufactory" in New York
City for processing pipe tobacco, cigars, and snuff. P. Lorillard is the
oldest tobacco company in the US.
1761: HEALTH: ENGLAND: John Hill performs perhaps first clinical study
of tobacco effects, warns snuff users they are vulnerable to cancers of
1761: HEALTH: ENGLAND: Dr. Percival Pott notes incidence of cancer of the
scrotum among chimneysweeps, theorizing a connection between cancer and
exposure to soot.
1762: General Israel Putnam introduces cigar-smoking to the US. After a
British campaign in Cuba, "Old Put" returns with three donkey-loads of
Havana cigars; introduces the customers of his Connecticut brewery and
tavern to cigar smoking (BD)
1763: Patrick Henry argues a tobacco case, the "Parson's Cause."
The clergy had been paid in tobacco until a late 1750s Virginia law
which decreed they should be paid in currency at the fixed rate of 2 cent/lb.
When tobacco began selling for 6 cents/lb, the clergy protested, and the
law was vetoed by the Crown. The old Virginia law was still sometimes adhered
to, however, and some clergy sued their parishes. Henry defended one such
parish (Hanover County) in court. He berated England's interference in
domestic matters, and convinced the jury to give the plaintiff/clergyman
only one penny in damages.
1771-12-17: REGULATION: FRANCE: French official is condemned to be hanged
for admitting foreign tobacco into the country.
1776: AMERICAN REVOLUTION Along "Tobacco Coast" (the Chesapeake),
the Revolutionary War was variously known as "The Tobacco War." Growers
had found themselves perpetually in debt to British merchants; by 1776,
growers owed the mercantile houses millions of pounds. British tobacco
taxes are a further grievance. Tobacco helps finance the Revolution by
serving as collateral for loans from France.
1780-1781: VIRGINIA: "TOBACCO WAR" waged by Lord Cornwallis to destroy
basis of America's credit abroad (ATS)
1781: Thomas Jefferson suggests tobacco cultivation in the "western country
on the Mississippi." (ATS)
1788: BUSINESS: Spanish NEW ORLEANS opened for export of tobacco by Americans
in Mississippi valley. (ATS)
1789-1799: FRENCH REVOLUTION French masses begin to take to the
as the form of tobacco use least like the aristocratic snuff. The hated
tobacco monopoly is abolished (to be resurrected by Napoleon)
1791: HEALTH: ENGLAND: London physician John Hill reports cases in which
use of snuff caused nasal cancers
1794: TAXES: The U.S Congress passes its first tax on tobacco. The tax
of 8 cents applies only to snuff, not the more plebian chewing or smoking
tobacco. The tax is 60% of snuff's usual selling price.
1795: HEALTH: Sammuel Thomas von Soemmering of Maine reports on cancers
of the lip in pipe smokers
1798. HEALTH: Famed physician Benjamin Rush writes on the medical dangers
of tobacco and claims that smoking or chewing tobacco leads to drunkenness.
1798. The United States Marine Hospital Service is established. The service
will become the Public Health Service in 1912 and had been made part of
the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1953.
The Nineteenth Century--The Age of the Cigar
1800: CANADA: Tobacco begins being commercially grown.
1805: LEWIS AND CLARK explore Northwest, using gifts of tobacco as "life
1810: CONNECTICUT: Cuban cigar-roller brought to Suffield to train local
1820: American traders open the Santa Fe trail, find ladies of that city
smoking "seegaritos." (ATS)
1826: ENGLAND is importing 26 pounds of cigars a year. The cigar becomes
so popular that within four years, England will be importing 250,000 pounds
of cigars a year.
1826: MEDICINE: The purified form of the nicotine compound is obtained
1828: GERMANY: Heidelberg students Ludwig Reimann and Wilhelm Heinrich
Posselt write exhaustive dissertations on the pharmacology of nicotine,
concluding it is a "dangerous poison."
1830s: First organized anti-tobacco movement in US begins as adjunct to
the temperance movement. Tobacco use is considered to dry out the mouth,
"creating a morbid or diseased thirst" which only liquor could quench..
1830: PRUSSIA: Prussian Government enacts a law that cigars , in public,
be smoked in a sort of wire-mesh contraption designed to prevent sparks
setting fire to ladies' "crinolines" and hoop skirts. (BD)
1832: TURKEY: Invention of the paper-rolled cigarette? While Southwest
Indians, Aztecs and Mayans had used hollow reeds, cane or maize to fashion
cylindrical tobacco-holders, and Sevillians had rolled cigar-scraps in
thrown-away paper (papeletes), an Egyptian artilleryman [in the Turk/Egyptian
war] is credited with the invention of the cigarette as we know it. In
the siege of Acre, the Egyptian's cannon crew had improved their rate of
fire by rolling the gunpowder in paper tubes. For this, he and his crew
were rewarded with a pound of tobacco. Their sole pipe was broken, however,
so they took to rolling the pipe tobacco in the paper. The invention spread
among both Egyptian and Turkish soldiers. And thus . . . (Good-Bye to All
1832: AGRICULTURE: TUCK patents curing method for Virginia leaf.
1839: AGRICULTURE: NORTH CAROLINA: SLADE "yallercure" presages flue-cured
Bright tobacco. Charcoal used in flue-curing for the first time in North
Carolina. Not only cheaper, its intense heat turns the thinner, low-nicotine
Piedmont leaf a brilliant golden color. This results in the classic American
"Bright leaf" variety, which is so mild it virtually invites a smoker to
inhale it.(RK), (ATS)
1836: USA: Samuel Green of the New England Almanack and Farmers Friend
writes that tobacco is an insectide, a poison, a fillthy habit, and can
kill a man. (LB)
1842: Opium War. Treaty of Nanjing forces China to accept opium from British
1843: FRANCE: SEITA monopoly begins manufacture of cigarettes.
1843: MEDICINE: The correct molecular formula of nicotine is established
1845: JOHN QUINCY ADAMS writes to the Rev. Samuel H. Cox: "In my early
youth I was addicted to the use of tobacco in two of its mysteries, smoking
and chewing. I was warned by a medical friend of the pernicious operation
of this habit upon the stomach and the nerves.''
1845: ART: Prosper Merimee's novel, Carmen, about a cigarette girl
in an Andalusian factory, is published
1846-1848: MEXICAN WAR US soldiers bring back from the Southwest
a taste for the darker, richer tobacco favored in Latin countries, leading
to an explosive increase in the use of the cigar. (The South remains firmly
attached to chewing tobacco.)
1847: ENGLAND: Philip Morris opens shop; sells hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes.
1848: GERMANY: REGULATION: Abolition of the last restrictions in Berlin
1848: ITALY: "Tobacco War" erupts as Italians protest AUSTRIAN control
of the tobacco monopoly.
1849: BUSINESS: J.E. Liggett and Brother is established in St. Louis, Mo.,
by John Edmund Liggett
1852:Washington Duke, a young tobacco farmer, builds a modest, two-story
home near Durham, NC, for himself and his new bride. The house, and the
log structure which served as a "tobacco factory" after the Civil War may
still be seen at the Duke Homestead Museum.
1852: Matches are introduced, making smoking more convenient.
1853-1856: EUROPE: CRIMEAN WAR British soldiers learn how cheap
and convenient the cigarettes ("Papirossi") used by their Turkish allies
are, and bring the practise back to England. The story goes that the English
captured a Russian train loaded with provisions--including cigarette, and
1854: ENGLAND: BUSINESS: London tobacconist Philip Morris begins making
his own cigarettes. Old Bond Street soon becomes the center of the retail
1854: FRIEDRICH TIEDEMANN writes the first exhaustive treatment on tobacco.
1856-1857: ENGLAND: A running debate among readers about the health effects
of tobacco runs in the British medical journal, Lancet. The argument
runs as much along moral as medical lines, with little substantiation.(RK)
1856-1857: ENGLAND: The country's first cigarette factory is opened by
Crimean vet Robert Gloag, manufacturing "Sweet Threes" (GTAT)
1857: BUSINESS: James Buchanan "Buck" Duke is born to Washington "Wash"
Duke, an independent farmer who hated the plantation class, opposed slavery,
and raised food and a little tobacco.
1859: Reverend George Trask publishes tract "Thoughts and stories for American
Lads: Uncle Toby's anti-tobacco advice to his nephew Billy Bruce". He writes,
"Physicians tell us that twenty thousand or more in our own land are killed
by [tobacco] every year (LB)
1860: The Census for Virginia and North Carolina list 348 tobacco factories,
virtually all producing chewing tobacco. Only 6 list smoking tobacco as
a side-product (which is manufactured from scraps left over from plug production).
1860: BUSINESS: Manufactured cigarettes appear. A popular early brand is
1860: BUSINESS: MARKETING: Lorillard wraps $100 bills at random in packages
of cigarette tobacco named "Century," in order to celebrate the hundredth
anniversary of the firm (BD)
1861-1865: USA: THE CIVIL WAR: Tobacco is given with rations by both North
and South; many Northerners are introduced to tobacco this way. During
Sherman's march, Union soldiers now attracted to the mild, sweet "bright"
tobacco of the South, raided warehouses--including Washington Duke's--for
some chew on the way home. Some bright made it all the way back. Bright
tobacco becomes the rage in the North.
1862: First federal USA tax on tobacco; instituted to help pay for the
Civil War, yields about three million dollars.(TSW)
1863: SUMATRA: Nienhuys creates Indonesian tobacco industry Dutch businessman
Jacobus Nienhuys travels to Sumatra seeking to buy tobacco, but finds poor
growing and production facilities; his efforts to rectify the situation
are credited with establishing the indonesian tobacco industry.
1863: US Mandates Cigar Boxes. Congress passes a law calling for manufacturers
to create cigar boxes on which IRS agents can paste Civil War excise tax
stamps. The beginning of "cigar box art."
1864: AGRICULTURE: WHITE BURLEY first cultivated in Ohio Valley; highly
absorbent, chlorophyll-deficient new leaf proves ideal for sweetened chewing
1864: BUSINESS: 1st American cigarette factory opens and produces almost
20 million cigarettes.
1864: First tax levied on cigarettes.
1865-70: NEW YORK CITY: Demand for exotic Turkish cigarettes grows in New
York City; skilled European rollers imported by New York tobacco shops.
1868: UK: Parliament passes the Railway Bill of 1868, which mandates smoke-free
cars to prevent injury to non-smokers.
1873: BUSINESS: Philip Morris dies. (Yes, that Philip Morris)
1873: Myers Brothers and Co. markets "Love" tobacco with them of North-South
Civil War reconcilliation.
1874: BUSINESS: Washington Duke, with his sons Benjamin N. Duke and James
Buchanan Duke, builds his first tobacco factory
1875: BUSINESS: Allen and Ginter offer a reward of $75,000 for cigarette
rolling machine. (LB)
1875: BUSINESS: R. J. Reynolds founds R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to
produce chewing tobacco, soon producing brands like Brown's Mule, Golden
Rain, Dixie's Delight, Yellow Rose, Purity.
1875: BUSINESS: Richmond, VA: Allen & Ginter cigarette brands ("Richmond
Straight Cut No. 1," "Pet") begin using picture cards to stiffen the pack
and give the buyer a premium. Some themes: "Fifty Scenes of Perilous Occupations,"
"Flags of All Nations," boxers, actresses, famous battles, etc. The cards
are a huge hit.(RK)
1875: ART: Georges Bizet's opera, Carmen, based on Merimee's novel
about a cigarette girl in an Andalusian factory, opens.
1876: CENNTENNIAL CELEBRATION: PHILADELPHIA: Allen & Ginter's cigarette
displays are so impressive that some writers thought the Philadelphia exposition
marked the birth of the cigarette as well as the telephone. (CC)
1876: Benson & Hedges receives its first royal warrant from Edward
VII, Prince of Wales.
1878: BUSINESS: J.E. Liggett & Brother incorporates as Liggett &
Myers Company. By 1885 Liggett is world's largest plug tobacco manufacturer;
doesn't make cigarettes until the 1890's
1878: BUSINESS: Trading cards and coupons begin being widely used in cigarette
packs. Edward Bok suggested to a manufacturer that the blank "cardboard
stiffeners" in the "cigarette sandwich', might have biographies on one
side and pictures on the other. The American News Company-distributed Marquis
of Lorne cigarettes were the first to have the new picture cards in each
c.1880s: USA: Women's Christian Temperance Movement publishes a "Leaflet
for Mothers' Meetings" titled "Narcotics", by Lida B. Ingalls. Discusses
evils of tobacco, especially cigarettes. Cigarettes are "doing more to-day
to undermine the constitution of our young men and boys than any other
one evil" (p. 7). (LB)
c.1880s: ADVERTISING: Improvements in transportation, manufacturing volume,
and packaging lead to the ability to sell the same branded product nationwide.
What can be sold nationwide can and must be advertised nationwide. Advertising
agencies sprout like wildflowers. The most advertised product throughout
most of the 19th century: elixirs and patent medicines of the "cancer cure"
c.1880s: ENGLAND: BUSINESS: Mssrs. Richard Benson and William Hedges open
a tobacconist shop near Philip Morris in London.(RK)
1880s. JB Duke's aggressive saleman Edward Featherston Small hires a cigarette
saleswoman, Mrs. Leonard.
In .St. Louis, when retailers ignored him, Small advertised for
a saleswoman. A petite, thin-lipped widow, a Mrs. Leonard, applied for
the job and was accepted. This little stunt gave the Dukes thousands of
dollars of free publicity in the local newspapers.
1880: Bonsack machine granted first cigarette machine
1881: BUSINESS James Buchanan ("Buck") Duke enters the manufacturered
cigarette business, moving 125 Russian Jewish immigrants to Durham, NC.
First cigarette: Duke of Durham brand
. Duke's factory produces 9.8 million cigarettes, 1.5 % of the total
1883: BUSINESS: Oscar Hammerstien receives patent on cigar rolling machine.(TSW)
1884: BUSINESS: Duke heads to New York City to take his tobacco business
national and form a cartel that eventually becomes the American Tobacco
Co. Duke buys 2 Bonsack machines., getting one of them
to produce 120,000 cigarettes in 10 hours by the end of the year. In this
year Duke produces 744 million cigarettes, more than the national total
in 1883. Duke's airtight contracts with Bonsack allow him to undersell
1886: USA Patent received for machine to manufacture plug tobacco. (LB)
1886: Tampa, FL: Don Vicente Martinez Ybor opens his first cigar factory.
Others follow. Within a few years, Ybor city will become the cigar capital
of the US.
1886: JB Duke targets women with "Cameo" brand.
1887: PALESTINE: A traveler reports that the Arabs of the Syrian Desert
get giddy and headaches from a few whiffs of tobacco. They smoke a local
plant 'Hyoscyamus'. (LB)
1887: USA: Advice from the cigar and tobacco price list of M. Breitweiser
and Brothers of Buffalo, Item #5 -- "If you think smoking injurious to
your health, stop smoking in the morning". (LB)
1887: USA: Two men held pipe smoking contest that lasted one and a half
hours. Victory was declared when one man filled his pipe for the tenth
time, his oppenent did not. (LB)
1887: His contracts with Bonsack unknown to his competitors, Buck Duke
slashes prices, sparking a price war he knew he'd win.
1889: SCIENCE: Nicotine and nerve cells reported on. Langley and Dickinson
publish landmark studies on the effects of nicotine on the ganglia; they
hypothesize that there are receptors and transmitters that respond to stimulation
by specific chemicals. (RK)
1889: USA: ADVERTISING: Buck Duke spends an unheard-of $800,000 in billboard
and newspaper advertising.
1889-04-23: BUSINESS: The five leading cigarette firms, including W. Duke
Sons & Company, form the American Tobacco Company. It's president is
c.1890s: USA: Women's Christian Temperance Movement publishes "Narcotics",
by E. B. Ingalls. Pamphlet discusses evils of numerous drugs, tobacco,
cocaine, ginger, hashish, and headache medicines. Offers 16 suggestions
to workers. (LB)
c.1890s: INDONESIA: BUSINESS: "Kretek" cigarettes invented. The story is
that Noto Semito of Kudus was desperate to cure his asthma. He rolled tobacco
mixed with crushed cloves in dried corn leaves--and cured his respiratory
ailments. He then Began manufacturing clove cigarettes under the name BAL
TIGA (Three Balls). He became a millionaire, but competition was so fierce
he eventurally died penniless in 1953.
1890: Peak of chewing tobacco consumption in V. S., three pounds per capita.
1890: "Tobacco" appears in the US Pharmacopoeia, an official government
listing of drugs.
1890s: SCIENCE: Pure nicotine is first synthesized.
1890: 26 states and territories have outlawed the sale of cigarettes to
minors (age of a "minor" in a particulary state could be anything from
1890: BUSINESS: Dukes establish the American Tobacco Company, which will
soon monopolize the entire US tobacco industry. ATC will be dissolved in
Anti-Trust action in 1911.
1890: LITERATURE: My Lady Nicotine, Sir James Barrie, London
1892: REGULATION: Reformers petition Congress to prohibit the manufacture,
importation and sale of cigarettes. The Senate Committee on Epidemic Diseases,
while agreeing that cigarettes are a public health hazard, finds that only
the states have the authority to act. The committee urges the petitioners
to seek redress from state legislatures.
1892: BUSINESS: Book matches are invented, but are a technological failure.
Since the striking surface was inside the book, all the matches caught
fire often. By 1912, the technology would be perfected.
1893: REGULATION: The state of Washington bans the sale and use of cigarettes.
The law is overturned on constitutional grounds as a restraint of free
1894: BUSINESS: By now, Philip Morris has passed from the troubled Morris
family, and is controlled by the Thompson family (RK).
1894: BUSINESS: Brown & Williamson formed as a partnership in Winston-Salem,
making mostly plug, snuff and pipe tobacco. (RK).
1894: LITERATURE: Under Two Flags by Ouida (Louise de la Ramee).
Cigarette, the waif heroine "Rides like an Arab, Smokes like a Zouave."
Cigarette is describes as "Enfant de L'armee, Femme de la Fume, Soldat
de la France."
1896: REGULATION: Smoking banned in the House; chewing still allowed
1898: SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR: Congress raises taxes on cigarettes 200%
1898: IN COURT: Tennessee Supreme Court upholds a total ban on cigarettes,
ruling they are "not legitimate articles of commerce, because wholly noxious
and deleterious to health. Their use is always harmful."
1899: Lucy Payne Gaston, who claims that young men who smoke develop a
distinguishable "cigarette face," founds the Chicago Anti-Cigarette League,
which grows by 1911 to the Anti-Cigarette League of America, and by 1919
to the Anti-Cigarette League of the World.
1899: The Senate Finance Committee, in secret session, rolls back the wartime
excise tax on cigarettes.(RK)
1899: BUSINESS: Liggett & Myers taken into Duke's Tobacco Trust. Duke
has finally won the Bull Durham brand of chew.
1899: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company incorporates..
Twentieth Century--The Rise of the Cigarette
1900-1950: Growing Pains
1900: LEGISLATION: Washington, Iowa, Tennessee and North Dakota have outlawed
the sale of cigarettes.
1900: STATISTICS: 4.4 billion cigarettes are sold this year. The anit-cigarette
movement has destroyed many smaller companies. Buck Duke is selling 9 out
of 10 cigarettes in the US.
1900: REGULATION: US Supreme Court uphold's Tennessee's ban on cigarette
sales. One Justice, repeating a popular notion of the day, says, "there
are many [cigarettes] whose tobacco has been mixed with opium or some other
drug, and whose wrapper has been saturated in a solution of arsenic.".
1900: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds reluctantly folds his company into Duke's Tobacco
1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states.
"[O]nly Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy,
while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws
on the books, were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were
the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10).
1901: ENGLAND: END OF AN AGE: QUEEN VICTORIA DIES. Edward VII, the tobacco-hating
queen's son and successor, gathers friends together in a large drawing
room at Buckingham Palace. He enters the room with a lit cigar in his hand
and announces, "Gentlemen, you may smoke."
1901: BUSINESS: Duke fuses his Continental Tobacco and American Tobacco
companies into Consolidated Tobacco.
1901: BUSINESS: UK: Duke's Consolidated buys the British Ogden tobacco
firm, signalling a raid on the British industry.
1901: BUSINESS: UK: Imperial is born. The largest British tobacco companies
unite to combat Duke's take-over, forming the Bristol-based Imperial Tobacco
1902: BUSINESS: In an end to the war, Imperial and American agree to stay
in their own countries, and unite to form the British American Tobacco
Company (BAT) to sell both companies' brands abroad.
1901: 3.5 billion cigarettes smoked; 6 billion cigars sold
1902: Philip Morris sets up a corporation in New York
to sell its British brands, including one named "Marlboro."
1902: BUSINESS: ENGLAND: King Albert, long a fan of Philip Morris, Ltd.,
appoints the Bond St. boutique royal tobacconist.(RK)
1902: USA: Sears, Roebuck and Co catalogue (page 441) sells "Sure Cure
for the Tobacco Habit". Slogan "Tobacco to the Dogs". The product "will
destroy the effects of nicotine". (LB)
1903: BRAZIL: Souza Cruz founded.
1903-08: The August Harpers Weekly says, "A great many thoughtful
and intelligent men who smoke don't know if it does them good or harm.
They notice bad effects when they smoke too much. They know that having
once acquired the habit, it bothers them . . . to have their allowance
of tobacco cut off."
1904: BUSINESS: Connorton's Tobacco Directory lists 2,124 "cigarettes,
cigarros and cheroots." (GTAT)
1904: BUSINESS: Cigarette coupons first used as "come ons" for a new chain
of tobacco stores.
1904: BUSINESS: Duke forms the American Tobacco Co. by the merger of 2
subsidiaries, Consolidated and American & Continental. The only form
of tobacco Duke does not control is cigars--the form with the most prestige.
1904: MEDICINE: The first laboratory synthesis of nicotine is reported
1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking
in front of her children.
1904: New York CIty. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an
automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer
1904: Kentucky tobacco farmers form a violent "protective association"
to protect themselves against rapacious tactics of large manufacturers,
mostly the Duke combine. They destroy tobacco factories, crops, and even
murder other planters. Disbanded in 1915.
1905: POLITICS: Indiana legislature bribery attempt
is exposed, leading to passage of total cigarette ban
1905: U.S. warships head to Nicaragua on behalf of William Albers, a Amaerican
accused of evading tobacco taxes
1905: REGULATION: "Tobacco" does not appear in the US Pharmacopoeia, an
official government listing of drugs. "The removal of tobacco from the
Pharmacopoeia was the price that had to be paid to get the support of tobacco
state legislators for the Food and Drug Act of 1906. The elimination of
the word tobacco automatically removed the leaf from FDA supervision."--Smoking
and Politics: Policymaking and the Federal Bureaucracy Fritschler,
A. Lee. 1969, p. 37
1906 BUSINESS: Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company is formed
1906 BUSINESS: R.J. Reynolds introduces Prince Albert pipe tobacco
FOOD AND DRUGS ACT of 1906 prohibits sale of adulterated foods
and drugs, and mandates honest statement of contents on labels. Food and
Drug Administration begins. Originally, nicotine is on the list of drugs;
after tobacco industry lobbying efforts, nicotine is removed from the list.
Definition of a drug includes medicines and preparations listed in
U.S. Pharmacoepia or National Formulary.
1914 interpretation advised that tobacco be included only when used
to cure, mitigate, or prevent disease.
1907: REGULATION: Teddy Roosevelt's Justice Department files anti-trust
charges against American Tobacco.
1907: REGULATION: WASHINGTON passes a law making it illegal to "manufacture,
sell, exchange, barter, dispose of or give away any cigarettes, cigarette
paper or cigarette wrappers."
1907-01-26: REGULATION: THE TILLMAN ACT. Congress enacts law prohibiting
campaign contributions by corporations to candidates for national posts.
However, no restrictions were placed on the individuals who owned or managed
1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New
York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists
could not do."
1908: CANADA: LEGISLATION: The Tobacco Restraint Act passed. Bans sales
of cigarettes to those under 16; never enforced.
1908: ENGLAND: Legislation to prohibit the sales of tobacco to under 16s
-- based on the belief that smoking stunts children¹s growth
1908: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds release, Prince Albert pipe tobacco, "the Joy
Smoke.", catapulting Reynolds to a national market. (RK)
1909: 15 states have passed legislation banning the sale of cigarettes.
1909: SPORTS: Baseball great Honus Wagner orders American Tobacco Company
take his picture off their "Sweet Caporal" cigarette packs, fearing they
would lead children to smoke. The shortage makes the Honus Wagner card
the most valuable of all time, worth close to $500,000.
1910: THE STATE OF TOBACCO: Per capita cigarette consumption: 94/year.
Per capita cigar consumption: 77/year. (International Smoking Statistice)
Because of the heavy use of the inexpensive cigarette by immigrants, New
York still accounts for 25% of all cigarette sales. A New York Times editorial
praises the Non Smokers Protective League, saying anything that could be
done to allay "the general and indiscriminate use of tobacco in public
places, hotels, restaurants, and railroad cars, will receive the approval
of everybody whose approval is worth having." (RK)
1910: TAXES: Federal tax revenues from tobacco products are $58 million,
13% from cigarettes.
1911: BUSINESS: THE INDUSTRY IN 1911:
1911: Tobacco -growing is allowed in England for the first time in more
than 250 years.
1911-08-3: PUBLISHING: LIFE MAGAZINE's cover features a diapered baby girl
smoking one of her mother's cigarettes. The caption: "My Lady Nicotine."
1911-05-29: "Trustbusters" break up American Tobacco Co. US Supreme Court
dissolves Duke's trust as a monopoly and in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust
Act (1890). The major companies to emerge are: American Tobacco Co., R.J.
Reynolds, Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company (Durham, NC), Lorillard and
BAT. RJ Reynolds says, "Now watch me give Buck Duke hell."
Duke's American Tobacco Co. controls 92% of the world's tobacco business.|
Leading National Brand: Fatima, (first popular brand to be sold
in 20-unit packs; 15 cents) from Liggett & Myers, a Turkish/domestic
blend. Most popular in Eastern urban areas. Other Turkish/domesitc competitors:
Omar (ATC); Zubelda (Lorillard); Even the straight domestic brands were
seasoned with a sprinkling of Turkish, like Sweet Caporals (originally
made for F.S. Kinney and later for American Tobacco)|
Leading Brand in Southeast: Piedmont, an all-Bright leaf brand.|
Leading Brand in New Orleans: Home Run, (5 cents for 20) an all-Burley
1911: Dr. Charles Pease states position of the NonSmokers'
Protective League of America:
1912: BUSINESS: Newly freed Liggett & Myers introduces "Chesterfield"
brand cigarettes, with the slogan: They do satisfy
1912: BUSINESS: Book matches are finally perfected by Diamond Co. Now the
appeal, in portability and ease of use, of cigarettes is even greater.
1912: BUSINESS: The IMPERIAL TOBACCO COMPANY OF CANADA is incorporated
with the assistance of British-American Tobacco (which had been created
by the joining of Imperial Tobacco and American Tobacco) to produce and
market tobacco products across Canada
1912: BUSINESS: George Whelan puts his United Cigar Stores company under
a holding company, Tobacco Products Corporation, and starts buying small
1912: USA: Reprint of report of the perfection of a nicotine oil spray.
This makes it easier to apply the nicotine extract as an insecticde to
1912: USA: The members of the Non-Smokers' Protective League received editorial
ridicule in various newspapers. One newspaper states, "Smoking may be offensive
to some people, but ecourages peace and morality". Pipes and cigars are
easily defended, but cigarettes may be a problem. (LB)
1912: HEALTH: First strong connection made between lung cancer and smoking.
Dr. I. Adler is the first to strongly suggest that lung cancer is related
to smoking in a monograph.
1912: USA: Article on substitutes for tobacco, such as ground coffee, coffee
bean, hemp, leaves of the tomato or potato or holly or camphor, or "the
egg plant, and the colt's foot". (LB)
1912: USA: Article titled "How some men stop smoking"; in which they never
stop for more than a few hours. The question is raised, "How can we break
ourselves of it? -- not the tobacco, but the thought that we ought to stop
1912: MEDICINE: The first lobectomy--removal of a lobe of the lung--for
lung cancer is accomplished in London by surgeon Hugh Morriston Davies.
The patient dies 8 days later because the lung cavity is not drained, a
procedure not followed in such cases until 1929.
1912: SINKING OF THE TITANIC Men in tuxedos are observed smoking
cigarettes as they await their fate. (RK)
1912: REGULATION: TRADING WITH THE ENEMY ACT. It is under this act that
Cuban cigar smugglers would be prosecuted. It carries a maximum penalty
of $250,000 and 10 years in jail.
1912: The UNITED STATES MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE becomes the PUBLIC HEALTH
1912: BUSINESS: ENGLAND: Walter Molins and his son, Desmond form MOLINS
MACHINE CO. LTD., specializing in the making of cigarette machinery.
1912: BUSINESS: PERCIVAL S. HILL becomes president of The AMERICAN TOBACCO
1913: AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE CONTROL OF CANCER is formed to inform the
public about the disease. It will later become the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY.(RK)
1913: BUSINESS: Birth of the "modern" cigarette: RJ
REYNOLDS introduces CAMEL
1913-14: ADVERTISING: PRINCE ALBERT tobacco uses CHIEF JOSEPH of the Nez
Perce Indians in its ads.
1914: HEALTH: Lung cancer death rate is 0.6 per 100,000 (US Census Bureau);
371 cases reported in the US. (RK).
1914: REGULATION: Smoking banned in the Senate chamber; chewing still allowed
1914: OPINION: Thomas Edison writes to Henry Ford that the health danger
of cigarettes actually lies in "the burning paper wrapper" which emits
acrolein. Acrolein has an irreversible "violent action on the nerve centers,
producing degeneration of the cells of the brain, which is quite rapid
among boys. . . I employ no person who smokes."
1914: BOOKS: The Social History of Smoking, by G. L. Apperson (London)
1915: BUSINESS: Liggett & Myers reconstitutes Chesterfield in the Camel
mode; shortens slogan to: They Satisfy
1915: BUSINESS: Thorne Bros. sell majority stake in Montgomery Ward to
Liggett & Myers was given about 28 per cent of the cigarette market:|
Fatima (the only 15¢ Turkish blend|
and the cheap straight domestic brands. |
P. Lorillard received 15 per cent of the nation's business:|
and all straight Turkish brands|
American Tobacco retained 37 per cent of the market:|
Pall Mall, its expensive all-Turkish brand|
R. J. Reynolds received no cigarette line but was awarded 20 per cent of
the plug trade.|
Tobacco is a dirty weed. I like it.
It satisfies no normal need. I like it.
It makes you thin, it makes you lean,
It takes the hair right off your bean.
It's the worst darn stuff I've ever seen.
I like it.
--Graham Lee Hemminger, Penn State Froth, Tobacco
c. 1915: OPINION: Release of poster with quote from biologist Davis Starr
Jordan, "The boy who smokes cigarettes need not be anxious about his future,
he has none" (LB)
1916: Henry Ford publishes anti-cigarette pamphlet titled "The Case against
the Little White Slaver". (LB)
1916: BUSINESS: To compete with the phenomenal success of RJR's Camel,
American introduces Lucky Strike, the name revived from an 1871 pipe tobacco
brand that referenced the Gold Rush days. On the package, the motto: "It's
Toasted!" (like all other cigarettes.) .
1917: BUSINESS: There are now 3 standard brands of cigarettes on the US
market: Lucky Strike, Camel and Chesterfield.
1917: BUSINESS: American Tobacco unleashes an ad campaign for Lucky Strike
aimed at women: "Avoid that future shadow," warns one ad, comparing ladies'
1917-18: WORLD WAR I Cigarette rations determined by market share,
a great boost to Camel, which had over a third of the domestic market.
Turkish leaf is unavailable; American tobacco farmers get up to 70 cents/pound.
Those opposed to sending cigarettes to the doughboys are accused of being
Virtually an entire generation return from the war addicted to cigarettes.|
According to General John J. Pershing:
1918: War Department buys the entire output of Bull Durham tobacco.
Bull Durham advertises, "When our boys light up, the Huns will light out."
1918: Frederick J. Pack publishes his "Tobaco and Human Efficiency," the
most comprehensive compilation of anti-cigarette opinion to date. (RK)
1919: HEALTH: Washington University medical student Alton Ochsner is summoned
to observe lung cancer surgery--something, he is told, he may never see
again. He doesn't see another case for 17 years. Then he sees 8 in six
months--all smokers who had picked up the habit in WW I.
1919: Richard Joshua (R.J.) Reynolds, 68, dies.
1919: The 18th Admendment ratified by states. (LB)
1919: Evangelist Billy Sunday declares "Prohibition is won; now for tobacco".
The success of alcohol prohibition suggusted to some the possibility of
tobacco prohibition (LB)
1919: Lucy Payne Gaston's tactics are attracting lawsuits; she is asked
to resign from Anti-Cigarettel League of the World.
1919: BUSINESS: George Whelan Tobacco Products picks up tiny Philip Morris
& Company, Ltd. Inc, including PM's brands Cambridge, Oxford Blues,
English Ovals, Players, and Marlboro
1919: BUSINESS: Manufactured cigarettes surpass smoking tobacco in poundage
of tobacco consumed. (RK)
1919: BUSINESS: ADVERTINSING: Lorillard unsuccessfully targets women with
its Helmar and Murad brands. (RK)
1920: THE STATE OF TOBACCO: Per capita cigarette consumption: 419/year.
Per capita cigar consumption: 80/year. (International Smoking Statistice)
1920-06-11: Republican party leaders, meeting in the "smoke-filled room"
(Suite 408-10 of Chicago's Blackstone Hotel) engineered the presidential
nomination of Warren G. Harding.
1921: BUSINESS: RJR spends $8 million in advertising, mostly on Camel;
inaugurates the "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel" slogan. (RK)
1921: TAXES: State tobacco taxation begins. Iowa becomes the first state
to add its own cigarette tax (2 cents a pack) onto federal excise levy
1922: REGULATION: 15 states have banned the sale, manufacture, possession,
advertising and/or use of cigarettes.
1922: BUSINESS: RJR takes Industry leadership. from American for first
1922: BUSINESS: Manufactured cigarettes surpass plug in poundage of tobacco
consumed to become US's highest grossing tobacco product. (RK)
1922: OPINION: "Is There a Cigarette War Coming?" in Atlantic magazine
says, "scientific truth" has found "that the claims of those who inveigh
aginst tobacco are wholy without foundation has been proved time and again
by famous chemists, physicians, toxicologists, physiologists, and experts
of every nation and clime." (RK)
1922: PEOPLE: Lucy Payne Gaston runs for President of the U.S. against
"cigarette face" Warren G. Harding, whom she asks to quit smoking. Within
two years they both will be dead, he of a stroke mid-term, she of throat
cancer. (There is no record of her ever having smoked.)
1923: BUSINESS: Camel has 45% of the US market.
1923: NEW JERSEY: A Secaucus teacher's attempt to get her job back after
being fired for cigarette smoking reaches the state Supreme Court, but
1923: ARTS: "Confessions of Zeno" by Italo Svevo
1923: BUSINESS: Camel has over 40% of the US market.
1924: Lucy Payne Gaston dies of throat cancer.
1924: STATISTICS: 73 billion cigarettes sold in US
1924: BUSINESS: Philip Morris introduces Marlboro, a women's cigarette
that is "Mild as May"
1924: Durham, NC: James B. Duke creates Duke University.
You ask me what we need to win this war. I answer tobacco as much as
Tobacco is as indispensable as the daily ration; we must have thousands
of tons without delay.|
Duke gives an endowment to Trinity College. Under provisions of the
fund, Trinity becomes Duke University
1925: HEALTH: Lung cancer death rate is 1.7 per 100,000 (US Census Bureau)(RK).
1925: BUSINESS: Philip Morris' Marlboro, "Mild as May," targets "decent,
respectable" women. "Has smoking any more to do with a woman's morals than
has the color of her hair?" A 1927 ad reads, "Women quickly develop discerning
taste. That is why Marlboros now ride in so many limousines, attend so
many bridge parties, and repose in so many handbags."
1925: BUSINESS: Helen Hayes, Al Jolson and Amelia Earhart endorse Luckies
1925: BUSINESS: Both Percival Hill and Buck Duke die by end of the year;
Duke was 69. George Washington Hill becomes President of American Tobacco
Co. Becomes known for creating the slogans, "Reach for a Lucky" and "With
men who know tobacco best, it's Luckies two to one"
1925: SOCIETY: Women's college Bryn Mawr lifts its ban on smoking.
1925: OPINION: "American Mercury" magazine: "A dispassionate review of
the [scientific] findings compels the conclusion that the cigarette is
tobacco in its mildest form, and that tobacco, used moderately by people
in normal health, does not appreciably impair either the mental efficiency
or the physical condition." (RK)
1926: BUSINESS: P. Lorillard introduces Old Gold cigarettes with expensive
campaigns. John Held Flappers, Petty girls, comic-strip style illustrations
and "Not a Cough in a Carload" helped the brand capture 7% of the market
1926: BUSINESS: Lloyd (Spud) Hughes' menthol Spud Brand and recipe sold
to Axton-Fisher Tobacco Co., which markets it nationally.
1926: BUSINESS: ADVERTISING: Liggett & Myers' Chesterfield targets
women for second-hand smoke in "Blow some my way" ad.
1927: LEGISLATION: Kansas is the last state to drop its ban on cigarette
1927: BUSINESS: PR Firm Hill and Knowlton established.
1927: BUSINESS: British American Tobacco (BATCo) acquires Brown & Williamson,
and introduces the 15-cent-pack Raleigh. Raleigh soon reintroduces the
concept of coupons for merchandise.
1927: ADVERTISING: Luckies target women
A sensation is created when George Washington Hill aims Lucky Strike
advertising campaign at women for the first time, using testimonials from
female movie stars and singers. Soon Lucky Strike has 38% of the American
market. Smoking initiation rates among adolescent females triple between
1928: HEALTH: Lombard & Doering examine 217 Mass. cancer victims, comparing
age, gender, economic status, diet, smoking and drinking. Their New England
Journal of Medicine report finds overall cancer rates only slightly less
for nonsmokers, but finds 34 of 35 site-specific (lung, lips, cheek, jaw)
cancer sufferers are heavy smokers.(RK).
1929: HEALTH: Statistician Frederick Hoffman in the "American Review of
Tuberculosis" finds "There is no definite evidence that smoking habits
are a direct contributory cause toward malignant growths in the lungs."(RK).
1929-Spring: ADVERTISING: Edward Bernays mounts a "freedom march" of smoking
debutantes/fashion models who walk down Fifth Avenue during the Easter
parade dressed as Statues of Liberty and holding aloft their cigarettes
as "torches of freedom."
1929: BUSINESS: Whelan's Tobacco Products Corporation crashes shortly before
the market; Philip Morris is picked up by Rube Ellis, who calls in Leonard
McKitterick to help run it. (RK).
1929: BUSINESS: Philip Morris buys a factory in Richmond, Virginia, and
finally begins manufacturing its own cigarettes.
1930: BRAND CONSUMPTION:
Early 1930s: Bonnie & Clyde & RJR. "No doubt the most notorious
devotee to Camels was Bonnie Parker who, with Clyde Barow, toured what
was evidently the Reynolds factory in the early 1930s."--The RJ Reynolds
Tobacco Co., Tilley, 1985
1930s: BRITAIN has highest rates of lung cancer in the world
1930: HEALTH: 2,357 cases of lung cancer reported in the US. (RK) The lung
cancer death rate in white males is 3.8 per 100,000.
1930: SCIENCE: Researchers in Cologne, Germany, made a statistical correlation
between cancer and smoking.
1930: TAXES: Federal tax revenues from tobacco products are over $500 million,
80% from cigarettes.
1930: BUSINESS: The successors of the Tobacco Trust, led by RJ Reynolds,
hike cigarette prices (at the beginning of the Depression), leaving a perfect
opening for Philip Morris, Brown & Williamson, and other small manufacturers
to counter with low-priced brands..
1931-06: Cigarette Price Wars begin. Cigs sold for 14 cents a pack, 2-for-27
cents in the depths of the depression. Even with cheap leaf prices and
manufacturing costs, and with "Luckies" advancing, RJReynolds President
S. Clay Williams ups "Camel" prices a penny a pack. Others follow suit.
The major TCs are seen as greedy opportunists. Dime-a-pack discount cigs
eat into the majors' market share, taking as much as 20% of the market
in 1932; PM releases "Paul Jones" discount brand. In 1933, TCs lower prices.
Discounts maintain 11% of the market for the rest of the 30s (RK)
1931: Parliament features the first commercial filter tip: a wad of cotton,
soaked in caustic soda.
1932: BUSINESS: Zippo lighter invented by George G. Blaisdell
1933: LEGISLATION: The Agricultural Adjustment Act of
1933 institutes price supports, saves tobacco farmers from ruin
1933: BUSINESS: B&W introduce a menthol cigarette, Kool, to
compete with Axton-Fisher's Spud, the only other mentholated brand.
1933: BUSINESS: Philip Morris resuscitates and revitalizes its Philip
Morris as a tony, but only premium-priced ("Now only 15 cents") "English
1933-11-25: ADVERTISING: The Journal of the American Medical Association,
"after careful consideration of the extent to which cigarettes were used
by physicians in practice," publishes its first advertisement for cigarettes
(Chesterfield), a practice that continued for 20 years. (ASG)
1933: ADVERTISING: Chesterfield begins running ads in the New York State
Journal of Medicine, with claims like, "Just as pure as the water you drink
. . . and practically untouched by human hands."
1933-04-17: ADVERTISING: Bellboy JOHNNY ROVENTINI first goes on the air
on the Ferde Grofe Show, his distinctive voice making the famous, "Call
for Philip Morris." Already famous himself as the world's smallest bellboy,
after his discovery by PM, he soon became the world's first living trademark.
1934: LEGISLATION: GARRISON ACT is passed outlawing marijuana and other
drugs; tobacco is not considered.
1934: ELEANOR ROOSEVELT is called the "first lady to smoke in public."
1935-09: THE PRESS: FORTUNE magazine reports on "Alcohol and Tobacco" (two
of its chief advertisers), concluding (page 98), "the sum total of our
knowledge of the 'evil' of smoking does not add up to much more than a
1936: BUSINESS: B&W introduces Viceroy, the first serious brand
to feature a filter of cellulose acetate. (RK)
1936: BUSINESS Viceroy intorduces a cellulose filter that it claimed removed
half the particles in smoke.
1936: BUSINESS: RJR discontinues RED KAMEL brand
1936: GERMANY: German cigarette manufacturer CIGARETTEN BILDENDIENST offers
coupons in cigarette packs which are redeemable for a coffee-table book
on Hitler. More coupons bought "home album" pictures suitable for pasting
into designated spots. Goebbels oversaw production of the book. (Fahs,
1937: Federal Government establishes the National Cancer Institute at Bethesday,
1937: BUSINESS: 'Printers Ink' reports that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.,
and Ligett & Myers Tobacco Co. each spent at least two million dollars
on advertising in the first half of 1937. (LB)
1937: BUSINESS: By the end of the year, Camels are ouselling Luckies and
Chesterfield by about 40%. (RK)
1938: LEGISLATION: Federal FOOD, DRUG AND COSMETICS ACT supercedes 1906
Act. Definition of a "drug" includes "articles intended for use in the
diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man
or other animals" and "articles (other than food) intended to affect the
structure or any function of the body of man or other animals"
1938: LEGISLATION: AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT is passed again, this time
authorizing marketing quotas.
1938: SCIENCE: Dr. Raymond Pearl of Johns Hopkins University reports that
smokers do not live as long as non-smokers.
1938: MEDIA: Consumer Reports rates 36 cigarette brands.
||Lucky Strike Regulars
||Old Gold Regulars
1938: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE:
CR notes that Philip Morris lays "great stress in their advertising upon
their substitution of glycol for glycerine. The aura of science surrounding
their 'proofs' that this makes a less irritating smoke, does not convince
many toxicologists that they were valid. Of the many irritating combustion
products in tobacco smoke, the modification of one has probably little
more than a psychological ffect in reducing irritation felt by the smoker."|
In blindfold tests, finds little to distinguish brands|
Knocks "the obvious bias of cigarette manufacturers, as well as of the
'scientists' whm they directly or indirectly subsidize."|
Rates nicotine content, finding:|
Chesterfield: 2.3 mg nicotine|
Marlboro: 2.3 mg nicotine|
Philip Morris: 2.2 mg nicotine|
Old Gold: 2.0 mg nicotine|
Camel: 1.9 mg nicotine|
Lucky Strike: 1.4 mg nicotine(RK)|
1939: HEALTH: "Tobacco Misuse and Lung Carcinoma" by Franz Hermann Muller
of the University of Cologne's Pathological Institute finds extremely strong
dose relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
1939: BUSINESS: Tobacco companies are found price-fixing.
1939: BUSINESS: ATC introduces "king size" Pall Mall. With Pall Mall and
Lucky Strike, American will rule the 40s.
1939: Fortune magazine finds 53% of adult American males smoke; 66% of
males under 40 smoke..
1939: GERMANY: Hermann Goring issues a decree forbidding the military to
smoke on the streets, on marches, and on brief off duty periods.
1939-1945: WORLD WAR II As part of the war effort, Roosevelt makes
tobacco a protected crop. General Douglas McArthur makes the corncob pipe
his trademark by posing with it on dramatic occasions such as his wading
ashore during the invasion and reconquest of the Philippines. Cigarettes
are included in GI's C-Rations. Tobacco companies send millions of free
cigs to GI's, mostly the popular brands; the home front had to make do
with off-brands like Rameses or Pacayunes. Tobacco consumption is so fierce
a shortage develops. By the end of the war, cigarette sales are at an all-time
1940: HEALTH: 7,121 cases of lung cancer reported in the US. (RK).
1940: CONSUMPTION: Adult Americans smoke 2,558 cigarettes per capita a
year, nearly twice the consumption of 1930. (ASG cites per capita consumption
for 1940 at 1,976.)
1940: MEDIA: As most tobacco-ad-laden newspapers refused to report the
growing evidence of tobacco's hazards, muckraking pioneer George Seldes
starts his own newsletter in which he covered tobacco. "For 10 years, we
pounded on tobacco as one of the only legal poisons you could buy in America,"
he told R. Holhut, editor of The George Seldes Reader.
1940: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE BY COMPANY:
4. Philip Morris|
5. Old Gold (RK)|
1940: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE BY BRAND:
3. Liggett & Myers|
4. Brown & Williamson|
5. Philip Morris (7%) |
1941: MEDIA: Reader's Digest publishes "Nicotine Knockout"
1941: HEALTH: An article by Dr. Michael DeBakey notes a correlation between
the increased sale of tobacco and the increasing prevalence of lung cancer
1942: BUSINESS: Luckies uses the dye shortage to change its package from
green to white. It's slogan: "Lucky Strike green has gone to war." Ad campaign
coincides with US invasion of North Africa. Sales increase 38%.
1942: SCIENCE: British researcher L.M. Johnston successfully substituted
nicotine injections for smoking Johnston discusses aspects of addiction
including tolerance, craving and withdrawal symptoms. He concludes: Clearly
the essence of tobacco smoking is the tobacco and not the smoking. Satisfaction
can be obtained from chewing it, from snuff taking, and from the administration
of nicotine. The experiment is reported in the British medical journal
1942: LITIGATION: 17-year-old Rose Cipollone begins smoking Chesterfields.
1942: ARTS: FILM: Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart, and Now
Voyager with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid are released.
1942: GERMANY: The Federation of German Women launch a campaign against
tobacco and alcohol abuse; restaurants and cafes are forbidden to sell
cigarettes to women customers.
1942-12-14: THE PRESS The first complete,documented, and authoritative
story on tobacco as a cause of diseases and a shortener of life appeared
in the Dec 14 1942 issue of IN Fact. --IN Fact, Nov. 14, 1949
1942: ADVERTISING: Brown and Williamson claims that Kools would keep the
head clear and/or give extra protection against colds.
1943: BUSINESS: "Lucky Strike Green Has Gone to War." Lucky Strike's green/gold
pack turns all-white, with a red bull's eye. The war effort needed titanium,
contained in Lucky's green ink, and bronze, contained in the gold. ATC
took this opportunity to change the color of the pack--hated by women because
it clashed with their dresses--to white.
1943: ADVERTISING: Philip Morris places an ad in the National Medical Journal
which reads: "'Don't smoke' is advice hard for patients to swallow. May
we suggest instead 'Smoking Philip Morris?' Tests showed three out of every
four cases of smokers' cough cleared on changing to Philip Morris. Why
not observe the results for yourself?"
1943-07: GERMANY: LEGISLATION: a law is passed forbidding tobacco use in
public places by anyone under 18 years of age.
1944-07-15: THE PRESS: JAMA publishes as its main item "The Effects of
Smoking Cigarets." George Seldes claimed mainstream news coverage of the
article was generally suppressed.
1945: GERMANY: Cigarettes are the unofficial currency. Value: 50 cents
1945-04: THE PRESS: College of Physicians & Surgeons publishes "The
Effect of Smoking Tobacco on the Cardiovascular System," written by Dr
Roth of the Mayo Clinic.
1946-12-02: THE PRESS: Newsweek runs a story by Dr Wm D Stroud, professor
of cardiology at the UPenn Graduate School of Medicine, "Smoke, Drink,
and Get Well."
1946: A letter from a Lorillard chemist to its manufacturing committee
states: "Certain scientists and medical authorities have claimed for many
years that the use of tobacco contributes to cancer development in susceptible
people. Just enough evidence has been presented to justify the possibility
of such a presumption." (Maryland "Medicaid" Lawsuit 5/1/96)
1947-05-18: THE PRESS: NY Times Sunday magazine carries a glowIng tribute
to tobacco by staff writer W B Hayward, "Why We Smoke -- We Like It." The
sidebar, purporting to show an opposing side, contains no mention of recent
studies indicating links to heart disease, cancer and decreased longevity.
1947: CULTURE: "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)," Written by Merle
Travis for Tex Williams, is national hit. The lyric "Puff, Puff, Puff,
And if you smoke yourself to death" is later used in Cipollone case as
defense that Rose Cipollone knew cigarettes were dangerous.
1947: LITIGATION: Grady Carter begins smoking Lucky Strikes
Do We Smoke Cigarettes? from The Psychology of Everyday Living by Ernest
1948: HEALTH: The Journal of the American Medical Association argues, "more
can be said in behalf of smoking as a form of escape from tension than
against it . . . there does not seem to be any preponderance of evidence
that would indicate the abolition of the use of tobacco as a substance
contrary to the public health."
1948: HEALTH: Lung cancer has grown 5 times faster than other cancers since
1938; behind stomach cancer, it is now the most common form of the disease.
1949: LEGISLATION: Agricultural Adjustment Act is passed again, this time
authorizing price supports.
1. Camel (RJR) (24%)|
2. Lucky Strike (ATC) (22.6%)|
3. Chesterfield (18%)|
-- Combined 10 cent brands (12%)|
4. Raleigh (B&W) (5.1%)|
5. Old Gold (3%)|
5. Pall Mall (PM) (2%)|
1949: STATISTICS: 44-47% of all adult Americans smoke; over 50% of
men, and about 33% of women.
Twentieth Century--The Rise of the Cigarette
1950 + : The Battle is Joined
When the decade begins, 2% of cigarettes are filter tip; by 1960,
50% of cigarettes are filter tips.
1950: BRAND CONSUMPTION:
1950: MEDIA: TV pop-music series "Your Hit Parade" starts its 7-year-run;
one of the first hits on TV; it is sponsored by Lucky Strike.
1950: ADVERTISING: Lucky Strike's "Be Happy, Go Lucky" wins TV Guide's
commercial of the year. (Cheerleaders sing: "Yes, Luckies get our loudest
cheers on campus and on dates. With college gals and college guys a Lucky
1950: STATISTICS: American cigarette consumption is 10 cigarettes per capita,
which equals over a pack a day for smokers..
1950: HEALTH: Three important epidemiological studies provide the first
powerful links between smoking and lung cancer
||Lucky Strike Regulars
||Old Gold Regulars
1951: MEDIA: TV series "I Love Lucy" begins its run. It is the top-rated
show for four of its first six full seasons. It is sponsored by Philip
1951: BUSINESS: RJR introduces its Winston filter tip brand, emphasizing
1952: USA: Federal Trade Commission slaps Philip Morris on wrist concerning
claims about Di-Gl reducing irritation. (LB)
1952: BUSINESS: P. Lorillard introduces Kent cigarettes, with the "Micronite"
filter. At the press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Lorillard
boasted that the "Micronite" filter offered "the greatest health protection
in cigarette history." Its secret: asbestos.
1952: BUSINESS: Hollingsworth & Vose gets 100% indemnity
agreement from Lorillard on filters.
1952: ADVERTISING: Liggett & Myers widely publicizes the results of
tests run by Arthur D. Little, Inc. showing that "smoking Chesterfields
would have no adverse effects on the throat, sinuses or affected organs."
The ads run, among other places on the nationally popular Arthur Godfiey
radio and television show.
1952-09: READER'S DIGEST republishes Roy Norr's "Cancer by the Carton"
article (December, 1952) from the October, 1952 Christian Herald. Norr
was the publisher of possibly the first anti-smoking periodical, the "Norr
Newsletter about Smoking and Health" (NYC)
1953: Dr. Ernst L. Wynder's landmark report finds that painting cigarette
tar on the backs of mice creates tumors--the first definitive biological
link between smoking and cancer.
1953-12-08: Dr. Alton Ochsner gives a speech in NYC, saying, "the male
population of the United States would be decimated if cigarette smoking
increases as it has in the past unless some steps are taken to remove the
cancer-producing factor from cigarettes." Tobacco stocks drop 1 to 4 points
the next day. This speech is considered by some the last straw, which led
tobacco executives join together and to seek out John Hill.
1953-12-10,11: In response to an urgent telegram from Paul Hahn (ATC),
cigarette executives meet in New York City for first time since price-fixing
scandal of 1939, and agree to consult with John Hill.
1953-12-15: Plaza Hotel, New York City: Tobacco executives meet to find
a way to deal with recent scientific data pointing to the health hazards
of cigarettes. Participants included John Hill of Hill & Knowlton,
his key aides, and the following tobacco company presidents: Paul D. Hahn
(ATC), O. Parker McComas (PM), Joseph F. Cullman (B&H), J. Whitney
Peterson, U.S. Tobacco Co. Here's the text of BACKGROUND
MATERIAL ON THE CIGARETTE INDUSTRY CLIENT, the H&K memo covering
the meeting, and here's the document in .pdf format, Minnesota
Trial Exhibit 18905
1953-12-28: Hill meets again with tobacco execs to report on his initial
study of the smoking and health problem.
1954: AGRICULTURE: HURRICAINE HAZEL devastates tobacco-growing areas of
1954: LITIGATION: PRITCHARD VS. LIGGETT & MYERS: First tobacco liability
suit (dropped by plaintiff 12 years later).
1954: LITIGATION: EVA COOPER sues R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY for her
husband's death from lung cancer. He had smoked Camels. The court rules
there was no evidence smoking caused his cancer.
1954: LITIGATION: PHILIP MORRIS hires DAVID R. HARDY to defend the company
against a lawsuit brought by a Missouri smoker who had lost his larynx
to cancer. This case was the beginning of PM's association with SHOOK,
HARDY & BACON. The case was won in 1962; the jury deliberated one hour
1954: Doll and Hill publish The Mortality of Doctors and Their Smoking
Habits, in the BMJ; it leads to most doctors giving up smoking
1954-01-04: BUSINESS: Tobacco Industry Research Committee
(TIRC) announced in a nationwide 2-page ad, A FRANK STATEMENT TO CIGARETTE
In the May 27, 1950 issue of JAMA, Morton Levin
publishes first major study definitively linking smoking to lung cancer. |
In the same issue, "Tobacco Smoking as a Possible Etiologic Factor in Bronchiogenic
Carcinoma: A Study of 684 Proved Cases," by Ernst L. Wynder and Evarts
A. Graham of the United States, found that 96.5% of lung cancer patients
interviewed were moderate heavy-to-chain-smokers. |
1950-09:30: RICHARD DOLL and A BRADFORD HILL publish first report on Smoking
and Carcinoma of the Lung in the British Medical Journal, finding that
heavy smokers were fifty times as likely as nonsmokers to contract lung
The ads were placed in 448 newspapers across the nation, reaching a
circulation of 43,245,000 in 258 cities.
TIRC's first scientific director was 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.
1954-04: BUSINESS: TIRC releases A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE ON THE CIGARETTE
CONTROVERSY, a booklet quoting 36 scientists questioning smoking's
link to health problems.
(The booklet) was sent to 176,800 doctors, general practitioners
and specialists . . . (plus) deans of medical and dental colleges . . .
a press distribution of 15,000 . . . 114 key publishers and media heads
. . . . days in advance, key press, network, wire services and columnist
contacts were alerted by phone and in person . . . and . . . hand-delivered
(with) special placement to media in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
and Washington, D.C. The story was carried by hundreds of papers and radio
stations throughout the country . . . . staff-written stories (were) developed
with the help of Hill & Knowlton, Inc. field offices. (Hill &
Knowlton memo, May 3, 1954.)
1954: BUSINESS: RJR introduces its Winston filter tips brand, emphasizing
taste, not health.
1954: BUSINESS: Philip Morris buys Benson & Hedges, and in the bargain
gets its president, Joseph Cullman III
1954: ADVERTISING: Life Magazine runs ads for L&M featuring Barbara
Stanwyck and Rosalind Russell testimonials for the brand's new "miracle
product," the "alpha cellulose" filter that is "just what the doctor ordered."
These ads will figure prominently in the Cipollone trial 30 years later.
1954: ADVERTISING: Marlboro Cowboy created for Philip Morris by Chicago
ad agency Leo Burnett. "Delivers the Goods on Flavor" ran the slogan in
newspaper ads. Design of the campaign credited to John Landry of PM. At
the time Marlboro had one quarter of 1% of the American market.
1955: REGULATION: FTC publishes rules prohibiting references to the "throat,
larynx, lungs, nose, or other parts of the body" or to "digestion, energy,
nerves, or doctors."
1955: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE: American Tobacco is still #1 in US, with
33% of the market. Philip Morris is sixth.
1955: TV: CBS' "See It Now" airs first TV show linking cigarette smoking
with lung cancer and other diseases. (For the first time on TV, Edward
R. Murrow is not seen smoking. He had not quit; he felt it was "too late"
to stop. Murrow died of lung cancer in 1965.)
1955: LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone, now 30, switches from Chesterfield to
1956: HEALTH: Lung cancer death rate among white males is 31.0 in 100,000,
resulting in 29,000 deaths.
1956: BUSINESS: P. Lorillard discontinues use of "Micronite" filter in
its Kent cigarettes.
1956: BUSINESS: RJR's Salem, the first filter-tipped menthol cigarette
1957: PEOPLE: DR. EVARTS GRAHAM dies of lung cancer. He wrote to DR. ALTON
OCHSNER 2 weeks before his death, "Because of your long friendship, you
will be interested in knowing that they found that I have cancer in both
my lungs. As you know I stopped smoking several years ago but after having
smoked much as I did for years, too much damage had been done."
1957-07-12: Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney issues "Joint Report of Study
Group on Smoking and Health," stating that, "prolonged cigarette smoking
was a causative factor in the etiology of lung cancer," the first time
the Public Health Service had taken a position on the subject.
1957-03: MEDIA: READERS DIGEST article links smoking with lung cancer,
discloses that the tar and nicotine yields of the filter brands had been
rising steadily for several years and now approximated the level of the
older and presumably more hazardous unfiltered brands. (RK)
1957-07: MEDIA: READERS DIGEST article rates tar/nicotine levels. RJR's
filterless Camel, for example, yielded 31 mg. of tar and 2.8 mg. of nicotine
per cigarette compared with 32.6 mg. and 2.6 mg. per Winston. Marlboro
has one of the worst; in response, Leo Burnett goes into 2 years of the
unsuccessful "settleback" campaign--Marlboro men in relaxed poses.
1957: MEDIA: Ad agency BBDO drops READERS DIGEST over tobacco article.
Barry McCarthy, onetime executive at Batten, Barton, Durstine &
Osborn, said that in the 1950's, probably 1957, he was the account supervisor
on the Reader's Digest business when the Digest ran one of its many anti-cigarette
articles. American Tobacco, maker of Lucky Strike, was a major client at
the same time. The article enraged J. T. Ross, American's public relations
man, and he got the client to insist that B.B.D.O. decide between the magazine
and the tobacco company. Since the latter billed $30 million or so, which
was huge by 1950's standards, and the Digest a couple of million, the agency
relucantly dropped the Digest
--NYT, April 7, 1988; Advertising; RJR Flap Not the First In Cigarette
Ad History By Philip H. Dougherty
1957: REGULATION: Pope Pius Xii suggests that the Jesuit order give up
There were only 33,000 jesuits in the world at that point, so the
industry was not worried about losing this handful of smokers. They feared
that the Pope or other church leaders might ask, as a magazine headline
once put it, "When are Cigs a Sin?"--E. Whelan, "A Smoking Gun"
1957: REGULATION: Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act is amended. The manufacturer
must bear the burden of demonstrating the product is safe and effective.
Products previously on the market, those "generally recognized among experts
as safe," or "natural constituents of food" are exempt.
1957-07: REGULATION: BLATNICK HEARING: First testimony presented to Congress
on smoking and health; Blatnick's subcommittee dismantled. After hearing
that filtered cigarettes deliver about as much tar and nicotine as unfiltered
due to the stronger tobaccos used, Minnesota congressman John Blatnick's
subcommitte moves to grant the FTC injunctive powers over deceptive cigarette
advertising. The House strips Blatnick of his chairmanship and dissolves
1957-03-01: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: At the cooperative British tobacco industry
Tobacco Research Council laboratory at Harrogate, an internal report by
Batco refers to cancer by the code name, zephyr: "As a result of several
statistical surveys, the idea has arisen that there is a causal relation
between zephyr and tobacco smoking, particularly cigarette smoking,"
1957: HEALTH: The British Medical Research Council issues "Tobacco Smoking
and Cancer of Lung," which states that "... a major part of the increase
[in lung cancer] is associated with tobacco smoking, particularly in the
form of cigarettes" and that "the relationship is one of direct cause and
1957: HEALTH: In the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr.
Winea J. Simpson asked what effects smoking might have on the unborn child.
The incidence of premature births and of all the complications that go
with prematurity was twice as great for smoking mothers as it was for nonsmoking
mothers. Simpson's paper confirmed that children of smokers are not only
born early, but also weigh less and are more likely to be stillborn or
die within one month of birth. (ASG)
1957-12: LITIGATION: Green v. American Tobacco Co. Filed. The case will
conclude until 1970--12 years after Green's death.
1958-02-20: REGULATION: Blatnik Commission report is delivered to Congress.
"The cigarette manufacturers have deceived the American public through
their advertising of filter-tip cigarettes . . . Without specifically claiming
that the filter tip removes the agents alleged to contribute to heart disease
or lung cancer, the advertising has emphasized such claims as 'clean smoking,'
'snowy white,' 'pure,' 'miracle tip,' '20,000 filter traps,' 'gives you
more of what you changed to a filter for' and other phrases implying health
protection, when actually most filter cigarettes produce as much or more
nicotine and tar as cigarettes without filters. . . The Federal Trade Commission
has failed in its statutory duty to 'prevent deceptive acts or practices'
in filter-cigarette advertising."
False And Misleading Advertising (Filter-tip Cigarettes). Twentieth
Report By The Committee On Government Operations Shortly after, Blatnik's
1958: Roy Norr and the Reverend Ben-David found The Reporter On Smoking
And Health newsletter
1958: BUSINESS: Tobacco Institute Formed
1958: DOCUMENTS: Senior PM scientist J.E. Lincoln writes to Ross Millhiser,
then-Philip Morris vice president and later vice chairman: "This compound
[benzopyrene] must be removed from Marlboro and Parliament or sharply reduced.
We do this not because we think it is harmful but simply because those
who are in a better position to know than ourselves suspect it may be harmful."
Four months later he wrote "that law and morality coincided . . . Act on
the doctrine of uncertainty and get the benzpyrene (sic), etc., out of
the cigarettes." Lincoln later became PM vice president of research. (AP)
1958-06: DOCUMENTS: "REPORT ON VISIT TO U.S.A. AND CANADA," 17th of April
to 12th May 1958," by H. R. Bentley, D. G. I. Felton, and W. W. Reid, produced
by B.A.T. Company, Ltd. 3 British-American Tobacco Co. scientists, after
visiting the United States and discussing smoking research with 35 tobacco
industry scientists and officials, write: "With one exception (H.S.N. Greene),
the individuals whom we met believed that smoking causes lung cancer if
by 'causation' we mean any chain of events which leads finally to lung
cancer and which involves smoking as an indispensable link. In the U.S.A.
only Berkson, apparently, is now prepared to doubt the statistical evidence
and his reasoning is nowhere thought to be sound."
1959-11: HEALTH: Dr Burney publishes an article in JAMA confirming the
position of the Public Health Service on cigarettes' causitive relation
to lung cancer.
1959-Fall: The "Vanguard Issue." Vanguard was a tobaccoless smoke introduced
in the Fall of 1959. The product's creator, Bantop Products Corporation
of Bay Shore, Long Island, immediately ran into problems advertising it.
Bantop claimed the tobacco industry conspired to prevent its "Now Smoke
Without Fear" ads. In the New York metropolitan area, for example, only
one newspaper would accept the ads. (ASG)
1960: LITIGATION: Green v. American Tobacco Co. Decision. Lawyer/Doctor
Larry Hastings is first to win a liability suit against tobacco for causing
death. Miami Federal District Judge Emett Choate asked the jury to consider
(1) Was cancer primary in the lung? (2) Did this cause his death? (3) Did
the smoking of Lucky Strikes cause his cancer death? In all three instances,
the 12-man jury voted "yes." The fourth interrogatory asked, "Did the cigarette
company have knowledge of the harmfulness?" The jury said, "no." Therefore,
no money was awarded. In retrial, judge tells jury to side with defendant
if the product did not endanger an important number of smokers. Jury does.
1960: LEGISLATION: FEDERAL HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES LABELING ACT (FHSA) of
1960 Authorized FDA to regulate substances that are hazardous (either toxic,
corrosive, irritant, strong sensitizers, flammable, or pressure-generating).
Such substances may cause substantial personal injury or illness during
or as a result of customary use.
1961-06-01: POLITICS: The presidents of the American Cancer Society, the
American Heart Association, the National Tuberculosis Association, and
the American Public Health Association submit a joint letter to President
Kennedy, pointing out the increasing evidence of the health hazards of
smoking and urging the President to establish a commission.
1961: HISTORY: The Tobacco Institute stages a celebration of the 350th
anniversary of America's first tobacco crop. The festival features Pocahontas
and a cigar-smoking John Rolfe.
1962: UK: First Report of the British Royal College of Physicians of London:
1962: STATISTICS: Per-capita consumption of cigarettes stands at 12 per
day among adult Americans
1962: LEGISLATION: KEFAUVER-HARRIS DRUG AMENDMENTS TO THE FOOD, DRUG AND
COSMETICS ACT requires that drugs must be proven effective and safe before
sold and manufacturers are to registered with the FDA.
1963: LEGISLATION: FDA expressed its interpretation that tobacco did not
fit the "hazardous" criteria stated of the Federal Hazardous Substances
Labeling Act (FHSA) of 1960, and withheld recommendations pending the release
of the report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and
1963:: LITIGATION: 7 tobacco liability suits are filed
1963:: LITIGATION: KC, MO. Local, 20-lawyer firm, Shook Hardy Bacon, wins
John Ross case (filed in 1954) for Philip Morris. SHB goes on to become
virtually synonymous with tobacco litigation.
1963:: BUSINESS: PM dispenses with tattooed sailors, et. al., and settles
on the cowboy as the sole avatar of the Marlboro Man
1963-07-17: LITIGATION: B&W's General Counsel ADDISON
YEAMAN writes in a memo, "Moreover, nicotine is addictive. We are, then,
in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug effective in the
release of stress mechanisms." Yeaman was concerned about the upcoming
Surgeon General's report, and was writing of "the so-called 'beneficial
effects of nicotine': 1) enhancing effect on the pituitary-adrenal response
to stress; 2) regulation of body weight."
1963:: INDONESIA: PT Hanjaya Mandala (HM) Sampoerna is established
1964-01-11: 1st Surgeon General's Report linking smoking
and lung cancer: Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee
to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service
1964:: LITIGATION: 17 tobacco liability suits are filed
1964: Tobacco industry writer suggests tobacco control
advocates have psychiatric certification that they are not sufering
from pyrophobia and suppressed fear of the 'big fire' or atom bomb
1964: BUSINESS: LIGGETT Joins TIRC
1964: BUSINESS: TIRC changes its name to the Council for Tobacco Research-USA,
1964: BUSINESS: MARLBORO Country ad campaign is launched. "Come to where
the flavor is. Come to Marlboro Country." Marlboro sales begin growing
at 10% a year.
1964-02-07: The AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSN accepts a $10 million grant for tobacco
research from six cigaret companies.
1964-02-28: The AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSN supports the tobacco industry's objection
to labeling cigarets as a health hazard, writes in a letter to the Federal
Trade Commission, "More than 90 million persons in the United States use
tobacco in some form, and, of these 72 million use cigarets... the economic
lives of tobacco growers, processors, and merchants are entwined in the
and local, state, and the federal governments are recipients of and dependent
upon many millions of dollars of tax revenue."
1964-03-19: Rep. FRANK THOMPSON Jr. (D-NJ) charges that the AMERICAN MEDICAL
ASSN has entered into a deal with tobacco-state congressmen to gain their
votes against MEDICARE.
1964-09-10 to 10-15: BUSINESS: Sir PHILIP ROGERS and GEOFFREY TODD, senior
officials of the BRITISH RESEARCH COUNCIL arrive in US on month-long fact-finding
reports will not be seen by the public until 10/2/96.
1965: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: TIRC sets up secretive, lawyer-directed SPECIAL
1965: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: A study by the TIRC finds that pregnant women
who smoke have smaller babies and are more likely to give birth prematurely.
1965: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: B&W's "PROJECT JANUS" begins issuing scientific
reports on the health effects of smoking, about 30 substantial reports
1965-08-01: UK: Government bans cigarette advertisements on TV
1965: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE: American's share of the market sank from
35% in 1965 to 17.8% in 1971. By 1978 they were down to 12%.
1965: LEGISLATION: Congress passes the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising
Act requiring the Surgeon General's Warnings on cigarette packs.
1966: Congress votes to send 600 million cigarettes to flood disaster victims
1966-01-01: Health warnings on cigarette packs begin
1966: BUSINESS: RJR's filter-tip Winston becomes top-selling cigarette
in the US
By now, the distribution of free cigarettes at annual medical and
public health meetings has stopped.
The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Public Health Service Review
1967: 2nd Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
A Public Health Service Review
1967: William H. Stewart's Surgeon General's Report concludes that smoking
is the principal cause of lung cancer; finds evidence linking smoking to
1967: Federal Trade Commission releases the first tar and nicotine report.
1967: FCC applies TV Fairness Doctrine to cigarette ads
1968: 3rd Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
1968 Supplement to the 1967 Public Health Service Review
1968-01: PROPAGANDA: "To Smoke or Not to Smoke--That Is Still the Question,"
by Stanley Frank, a widely read sports writer, appears in True Magazine.
A few months later, a similar but shorter article appeared in the National
Enquirer entitled "Cigarette Cancer Link is Bunk" written by "Charles Golden"
(a fictitious name commonly used by the Enquirer.) The real author was
Stanley Frank. Two million reprints of the True Magazine article were distributed
to physicians, scientists, journalists, government officials, and other
opinion leaders with a small card which stated, "As a leader in your profession
and community, you will be interested in reading this story from the January
issue of True Magazine about one of today's controversial issues." The
cost for this was said by Brown and Williamson, Philip Morris and R. J.
Reynolds. It was subsequently disclosed that author Frank had been paid
$500 to write the article, by Joseph Field, a public relations professional
working for Brown and Williamson. Brown and Williamson reimbursed Field
for that amount..
1968. BUSINESS: Philip Morris introduces Virginia Slims brand, aimed at
1968. LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone, now 43, switches from L&M to Virginia
Slims and Parliaments.
1968. BUSINESS: American Tobacco begins buying into Britain's Gallaher's
1968. BUSINESS: 'Bravo', the attempt to create a non-tobacco based (lettuce
based) cigarette, fails (World Tobacco, 1968, p1) (LB)
1968. Motor Sports: Colin Chapman's Team Lotus becomes the first Formula
One team to accept tobacco sponsorship. January 1968 an article entitled
1969: SUPREME COURT: U.S. Supreme Court applies the Fairness Doctrine to
cigarettes, giving tobacco control groups "equal time" on the air to reply
to tobacco commercials
1969: 4th Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
1969 Supplement to the 1967 Public Health Service Review Confirms link
between maternal smoking and low birth weight
1969: REGULATION: FCC issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ban cigarette
ads on TV and radio. Discussions, both in Congress and in private between
legislators and tobacco companies, result in cigarette advertisers agreeing
to stop advertising on the air in return for a delay in controls on the
sale of cigarettes.
1969: BUSINESS: Philip Morris gains a controlling interest in the Miller
Brewing Company (nee 1855), then only the 7th largest brewery.
1969. BUSINESS: American Tobacco drops "tobacco" from parent; American
Brands, Inc. established with headquarters in Old Greenwich, CT, as parent
company of American Tobacco Co.
1969. BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds Tobacco drops "tobacco."
1969. MOTOR SPORTS: WINSTON CUP racing is born when NASCAR driver Junion
Johnson suggests to RJR they sponsor not just a car, but the whole show.
1969: DOCUMENTS: A Philip Morris memo from scientist William Dunn to Dr.
Helmut Wakeham, Philip Morris' director of research and development, warned
against referring to tobacco as a drug. Dunn wrote, "I would be more cautious
. . . do we really want to tout cigarette smoke as a drug? It is, of course,
but there are dangerous FDA implications to having such conceptualization
go beyond these walls."
1970: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE: American Tobacco's share of the US market
has fallen to 19%.
1970: BRAND CONSUMPTION:
1970: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. becomes a subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds
1970: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: Roper Researchers tell Philip Morris, True
answers on smoking habits might be difficult to elicit in the presence
of parents. . . We recommend interviewing young people at summer recreation
centers (at beaches, public pools, lakes, etc.)
1970 (approx): INDUSTRY RESEARCH: Philip Morris purchases the Institut
fur Industrielle und Biologische Forschung GmbH, or INBIFO, a biological
research facility in Cologne, Germany.
1970-03: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: "The Mouse House Massacre" A major research
project on smoking and emphysema is dismantled. Former scientist Joseph
E. Bumgarner told in a deposition how he and 25 other members of Reynolds'
biological research division in Winston-Salem, N.C., were abruptly ordered
to surrender their notebooks to the company's legal department and then
were fired. .
1970-03-31: LEGISLATION: President Nixon signs a measure banning cigarette
advertising on radio and television, to take effect after Jan. 1, 1971
1970-04-01: LEGISLATION: Stronger mandatory cigarette label is required.
Label is changed to read, "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined
That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health."
1970-12: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: RJR closes down its "mouse house" facility
in Winston-Salem, NC..
1971: 5TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
A Report of the Surgeon General
1971: BUSINESS: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco becomes R.J. Reynolds Industries
1971-01-02: REGULATION: TV: Cigarette ads are taken off
TV and radio as Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 takes effect. Broadcast industry
loses c. $220 Million in ads (Ad Age, "History of TV Advertising")
1971: UNITED AIRLINES is the first major carrier to establish seperate
sections for smokers and nonsmokers
1971: SPORTS: RJR sponsorship of NASCAR's Winston Cup Series begins.
1971: SPORTS: Virginia Slims Tennis begins.
1971-04: Cigarette manufacturers agree to put health warnings on advertisements.
This agreement is later made into law.
1971: UK: Second British Royal College of Physicians of
London Report: Smoking and Health Now Refers to cigarette death
toll as "this present holocaust."
1971: UK: Cigarette Smoking and Health--Report by an Interdepartmental
Group of Officials finds that, all things considered, tobacco use brings
in more money than it costs in health and disability. Report is unknown
to the public until the Guardian publishes an account on May 6,
1972: 6TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
A Report of the Surgeon General
1972: HEALTH: ETS: Surgeon General's Report addresses first study of "public
exposure to air pollution from tobacco smoke"
1972: LEGISLATION: Tobacco advertisements are required to carry health
1972: BUSINESS: Marlboro becomes the best-selling cigarette in the world
1972: BUSINESS: Marlboro Lights introduced
1972-05: BUSINESS: Tobacco Institute memorandum from Fred Panzer (VP) to
TI President Horace R. Kornegay, Panzer describes the industry's strategy
for defending itself in litigation, politics, and public opinion as "brilliantly
conceived and executed over the years" in order to "cast doubt about the
health charge" by using "variations on the theme that, `the case is not
proved.'" The memorandum urges more intensive lobbying, and advocates public
relations efforts to provide tobacco industry sympathizers with evidence
"that smoking may not be the causal factor [in disease]." Until now, the
industry has supplied symmpathizers with "too little in the way of ready-made
1972: DOCUMENTS: RJR research scientist Claude Teague writes in a memo,
"the tobacco industry may be thought of as being a specialized, highly
ritualized and stylized segment of the pharmaceutical industry." Significantly,
he added that,"Tobacco products, uniquely, contain and deliver nicotine,
a potent drug with a variety of physiological effects. . . Happily for
the tobacco industry, nicotine is both habituating and unique in its variety
of physiological actions, hence no other active material or combination
of materials provides equivalent 'satisfaction..'"
1972-05-24: DOCUMENTS: PM scientist Al Udow writes memo stating that rival
brand Kool had the highest nicotine "delivery" of any king-size on the
market. "This ties in with the information we have from focus group sessions
and other sources that suggest that Kool is considered to be good for 'after
marijuana' to maintain the 'high' or for mixing with marijuana, or 'instead."
He wrote that Kool's high nicotine is a reason for its success, and that
"we should pursue this thought in developing a menthol entry. . . The lessened
taste resulting from the lowered tar can be masked by high menthol or other
flavors. Many menthol smokers say they are not looking for high tobacco
taste anyway. . . A widely held theory holds that most people smoke for
the narcotic effect (relaxing, sedative) that comes from the nicotine.
The 'taste comes from the 'tar' (particulate matter) delivery. . . . Although
more people talk about 'taste,' it is likely that greater numbers smoke
for the narcotic value that comes from the nicotine."
1973: 7TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking
1973 Finds cigar and pipe smokers' health risks to be less than cigarette
smokers, but more than nonsmokers.
1973: Civil Aeronautics Board requires all airlines to create nonsmoking
sections. This is the first federal restriction on smoking in public places.
1973: Arizona becomes the first state (in modern times) to pass a comprehensive
law restricting smoking in public places.
1973: SPORTS: Marlboro Cup horse racing begins.
1973: SPORTS: Tennis' "Battle of the Sexes." Billie Jean King, wearing
Virginia Slims colors, and Virginia Slims sequins on her chest, defeats
1973: SCIENCE: RJR report on success of PM's Marlboro and B&W's Kool
brands states, "A cigarette is a system for delivery of nicotine to the
smoker in attractive, useful form. At normal smoke pH, at or below 6.0,
the smoke nicotine is...slowly absorbed by the smoker. . . As the smoke
pH increases above about 6.0, an increasing portion of the total smoke
nicotine occurs in free form, which is rapidly absorbed by the smoker and...instantly
perceived as a nicotine kick."
1973-07-12: BUSINESS: RJR director of marketing and planning R.A. Blevins
Jr writes in a memo that free nicotine, advertising expenditures and cigarette
size of Winstons and Marlboros all affected market share "independently
and collectively," but that "the variability due to 'free nicotine' was
significant and its contribution was over and above that of advertising
expenditures and [cigarette size]."
1973-07-12: BUSINESS: RJR senior scientist Frank Colby sends Blevins a
memo suggesting that the company "develop a new RJR youth-appeal brand
based on the concept of going back--at least halfway--to the technological
design of the Winston and other filter cigarettes of the 1950s," a cigarette
which "delivered more 'enjoyment' or 'kicks' (nicotine)." Colby said that
"for public relations reasons it would be impossible to go back all the
way to the 1955-type cigarettes."
1974: 8TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking
1974-01-07: Monticello, Minnesota decides to go non-smoking for a day,
in a "D-Day" organized by Lynn Smith. The event goes statewide in November,
and in 1977 goes national--the first Great American Smokeout.
1974: SPORTS: UST creates the Copenhagen Skoal Scholarship Awards Program
for student athletes (in conjunction with the National Intercollegiate
1974: LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone, now 49, switches to True cigarettes.
1974: ADVERTISING: Joe Camel is born. Used in Poster for French ad campaign
for Camel cigarettes.
1974: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: Harrogate lab in England is closed down.
1974: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: PM pollsters try to find out why competing brands
like Kool were slowing Marlboro's growth among young smokers.
1974: CANADA: The Canadian Council on Smoking and Health is formed. Charter
members include the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Heart Foundation,
the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Lung Association.
The Non-Smokers' Rights Association is also formed. (NCTH)
1974: US Trade Act. The threat of punitive tariffs, as provided under Section
301, will be used to force Asian markets considered to have "unfair" or
"discriminatory" trade restrictions to open up to U.S. tobacco companies'
products and advertising. .
1975: 9TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking
1975. Military stops distribution of free cigarettes in rations.
1975. BUSINESS: American Brands assumes control of Britain's Gallaher's
1975: BUSINESS: PM's Marlboro overtakes Winston as the best-selling cigarette
in the U.S.
1975-08-01: MINNESOTA Clean Indoor Air Act, the nation's first statewide
anti-second-hand smoke law goes into effect to protect "the public health
and comfort and the environment by prohibiting smoking in public places
and at public meetings, except in designated smoking areas." It is the
first law to require separation of smokers' and nonsmokers.
1976: 10TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
Selected Chapters from 1971 through 1975 Reports
1976: LITIGATION: Norma Broin, a 20-year-old non-smoking Mormon, gets a
job as a flight attendant for American Airlines (Broin vs. Philip Morris,
1976: SOCIETY: Formation of the Cigarette Pack Collectors Association and
first of its conventions. (LB)
1976: LITIGATION: Donna Shimp sues New Jersey Bell Telephone for not protecting
her from second-hand smoke. Ruling in her favor, the judge said, "if
such rules are established for machines, I see no reason why they should
not be held in force for humans."
1976: UK: TV: Peter Taylor's Death in the West--The
Marlboro Story made by Thames Television is shown.
1976-07-23: UK: BUSINESS: BAT Industries is formed when Tobacco Securities
Trust Company Limited (TST) merges with British-American Tobacco Company
1976: SOCIETY: The Tobacco Institute provided funds to the Smithsonian
Institute for the creation of a one-tenth scale model of the colonial ship
Brilliant. The first cargo carried by the Brilliant was tobacco in 1775.
1977: 1st Great American Smokeout
1977: UK: Royal College of Physicians of London third
report: "Smoking or Health."
1978: 11TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking,
1978: A Roper Report prepared for the Tobacco Institute concludes that
the nonsmokers' rights movement is "the most dangerous development to the
viability of the tobacco industry that has yet occurred."
1978: BUSINESS: Philip Morris obtains the international cigarette business
of the Liggett Group Inc. and also takes on the Seven-Up Company,
1978: USA: A tobacco trade journal reports that "cigarette purchases are
2.5 times as great when an in-store display is present compared to when
no advertising or display treatment is employed", and that cigarette sales
drop when parents shop with their children. (Tobacco International, 22
Dec 1978, p. 33). (LB)
1979: 12TH Surgeon General's Report: Smoking and Health: A Report of
the Surgeon GeneralDr Julius B. Richmond, first
reviews health risks of smokeless tobacco.
1979: State Mutual Life Assurance Company of America, Worcester MA, issues
a 41 page report titled, "Mortality differences between smokers and non
smokers." The abstract reads: "Cigarette smokers are subject to a mortality
risk significantly higher than that of non smokers. These differences are
real; they emerge at early durations, contrary to what may earlier have
been believed. They are not deferred to older ages; they are statistically
significant at anyreasonable level."
1979: REGULATION: Minneapolis and St. Paul become the first U.S. cities
to ban the distribution of free cigarette samples. (Dan Freeborn, MN Star-Tribune)
1979: DOCUMENTS: A BAT memo said, "We also think that consideration should
be given to the hypothesis that high profits additionally associated with
the tobacco industry are directly related to the fact that the customer
is dependent up on the product . . . We are searching explicitly for a
socially acceptable addictive product." On the other hand, the memo warned,
"one must question both the ethics and practical possibilities of society/medical
opinion permitting the advent of a new habituation process ... "
1979-01: ADVERTISING: Mother Jones magazine publishes "Why Dick Can't Stop
Smoking." According to MoJo in 1996, As a professional courtesy, Mother
Jones gave tobacco manufacturers advance notice of the cover story so they
could pull their ads from the issue. Philip Morris, Brown & Williamson,
and others responded by canceling their entire commitment: several years'
worth of cigarette ads. In a show of corporate solidarity, many liquor
companies followed suit.
1979: ADVERTISING: Tobacco Institute launches ad campaign against nonsmokers'-rights
1979: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE:
1979: BUSINESS: Top 20 Brands Sold:
1980: 13TH Surgeon General's ReporT: The Health Consequences
of Smoking for Women: A Report of the Surgeon General
1980: LITIGATION: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation v. Public
Service Commission of New York. US Supreme Court sets guidleines for the
regulation of commercial speech:
Filter cigarettes account for 90% of U.S. cigarette sales|
#4: American Tobacco's share of the US market has fallen to 11%. Only half
ATC's cigarette volume have filters|
1981: 14TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking
-- The Changing Cigarette: A Report of the Surgeon General
1. For an ad to be protected by the First Amendment, the advertsing must
be lawful, and not misleading|
2. Given that, for an ad to be banned, the state's interest must be "substantial;"|
3. The ban must "directly advance" the state's interest; and|
4. The ban must be no more extensive than necessary to further the state's
1981: CONSUMPTION: Annual consumption peaks at 640 billion cigarettes,
60% of which are low-tar brands. .
1981: LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone loses a lobe of her right lung to cancer;
continues to smoke cigarettes.
1981: LITIGATION: CBS Chicago news commentator Walter Jacobsen accuses
Brown & Williamson of engaging in a lurid advertising campaign to get
young people to smoke.
1980: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE: American Tobacco's share of the US market
has fallen to 11%.
1980: ENTERTAINMENT: Superman II: Lois Lane lights up. In fifty years of
comic book appearnces, Lois Lane never smoked. For a reported payment of
$42,000, the company purchases 22 exposures of the Marlboro logo in the
movie featuring the children's comic book hero, and Lois Lane, strong role
model for teenage girls, gets a Marlboro pack on her desk and begins chain
smoking Marlboro Lights. At one point in the film, a character is tossed
into a van with a large Marlboro sign on its side, and in the climactic
scene the superhero battles amid a maze of Marlboro billboards before zooming
off in triumph, leaving in his wake a solitary taxi with a Marloro sign
on top. The New York State Journal of Medicine published an article titled
"Superman and the Marlboro Woman: The Lungs of Lois Lane." Thoughout the
80s, "Superman II" is frequently re-run on TV in prime time.
1981: BUSINESS: Hamish Maxwell, 57, becomes CEO of Philip Morris (1981-1991),
succeeding George Weissman
1981: Insurance companies begin offering discounts for nonsmokers on life
1981: Stanton Glantz at UCSF receives a copy of "Death in the West"
1981: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: 1981 PM study investigates the link between pricing
and smoking levels
1982: 15TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking
-- Cancer: A Report of the Surgeon General
1982: BUSINESS: Harrods' (department store) name goes on a a cigarette;
this is one of the first instances of tobacco companies "renting names"
of other companies (See "Harley Davidson" cigarettes) (LB).
1982: HEALTH: Surgeon General's Report (Koop) finds possibility that second-hand
smoke may cause lung cancer.
1982: LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone loses her right lung to cancer; continues
to sneak cigarettes.
1982: LEGISLATION: 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
the price-support program. 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
1983: 16TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
Cardiovascualr Disease; A report of the Surgeon General Cites smoking
as a major cause of coronary heart disease
1983: LITIGATION: Cipollone suit filed; Rose finally quits smoking.
1983: BUSINESS: US Tobacco introduces Skoal Bandits -- a starter product,
with the tobacco contained in a pouch like a tea bag.
1983: REGULATION: San Francisco passes first strong workplace smoking restrictions,
banning smoking in private workplaces
1983-06-06: MEDIA: Newsweek runs a 4 page article, "Showdown on Smoking"
on the nonsmokers' rights movement. Issues before & after carried 7-10
pages of cigarette ads. The June 6 issue carried none. Estimated loss of
revenue as a result of publishing the article: $1 million. --Larry C.
White, "Merchants of Death."
1983: BUSINESS: Philip Morris overtakes RJR to become the #1 tobacco co.
in the US in sales.
1983: USA: BUSINESS: The creative director of a New York advertising agency
spoke of working on tobacco advertisements, "We were trying very hard to
influence kids who were 14 to start smoking". (Medical J of Australia,
5 March 1983, p.237). (LB)
1984: 17TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, A Report of the Surgeon General Cites
smoking as a major cause of chronic obstructive lung disease.
1984: The Advocacy Institute, which pioneered the use of electronic media
for tobacco control advocacy through the creation of the Smoking Control
Advocacy Resource (SCARCNet), is founded
1984: UK: British Medical Association uses black edged postcards to notify
MPs of smoking related deaths
1984: CESSATION: FDA approves nicotine gum as a "new drug" and quit-smoking
1984: LITIGATION: Rose Cipollone dies of lung cancer at 58.
1984: REGULATION: Tobacco industry is required to turn over a general list
of cigarette additives annually to the Department of Health and Human Services'
Office on Smoking and Health. The List is then locked in a safe. Disclosure
to any other party is a crime. OSH allowed to study the list, but lacks
1984: SPORTS: Champion Diver Greg Louganis almost represents
American Cancer Society at Olympics
1984-03: MEDIA: THE SATURDAY EVENING POST stops accepting tobacco advertising.
The magazine was threatened with a partial advertising boycott by non-tobacco
divisions of tobacco companies in response to the decision. ("Smoking and
Health Reporter", 1985, p3). The Post's publisher is Cory SerVaas, MD.
1984-04-15: INDUSTRY RESEARCH: Another "Mouse House Massacre" The Philip
Morris labs at which nicotine researchers Victor DeNoble and Paul Mele
worked are abruptly shut down.
1985: 18TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking
-- Cancer and Chronic Lung Disease in the Workplace: A Report of the Surgeon
1985: HEALTH: Lung cancer surpasses breast cancer as #1
killer of women.
1985: Stanford MBA student Joe Tye's 5 year old daughter becomes so delighted
with a Marlboro billboard, she begins squealing with delight and says,
"Look Daddy, horses!" Tye later founds STAT (Stop Teenage Addiction to
1985: LITIGATION: Brown & Williamson sues CBS and Chicago news commentator
Walter Jacobsen for libel for his 1981 commentary. B&W wins a $3.05
million verdict--the largest libel award ever paid by a news organization.
1985: BUSINESS: Philip Morris buys food and coffee giant General Foods
(Post's cereal, Jell-O, Maxwell House Coffee for $5.6 billion.
1985: BUSINESS: Philip Morris buys food and coffee giant General Foods
(Post's cereal, Jell-O, Maxwell House Coffee for $5.6 billion.
1985: BUSINESS: Philip Morris begins publishing Philip Morris Magazine
1985: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds Industries buys food products company Nabisco
Brands for $4.9B; renames itself RJR/Nabisco.. Ex-Standard Brands/Nabisco
head Ross Johnson takes control of company.
1985: BUSINESS: A tobacco trade journal reports on the job of the tobacco
"flavourist" and chemist. One job of the flavourist is to "ensure high
satisfaction from an adequate level of nicotine per puff". One job of the
chemist is "to ensure adequate levels of nicotine and tar in the smoke".
(World Tobacco, March 1987, pp. 97-103).
1985-01-17: BUSINESS: B&W lawyer J. Kendrick Wells writes "Re: Document
Retention" memo in reference to "removing the deadwood."
1985: SOCIETY: Ritz-Carlton Boston hosts a cigar-smoker private dinner
party for 20 gentlemen. It soon becomes a regular event in Ritz-Carltons
across the country..
1986: 19TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Involuntary
Smoking, A Report of the Surgeon General (C. Everett Koop) finds smokeless
tobacco to be cancer-causing, and addictive
1986: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds Industries, Inc. becomes RJR Nabisco Inc.
1986: BUSINESS: Philip Morris sells off Seven-Up.
1986: BUSINESS: Ex-Philip Morris CEO GEORGE WEISSMAN, begins reign as chairman
of Lincoln Center (NYC).
1986: USA: The CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE of the Library of Congress
wrote a 19 page document titled "The proposed prohibition on advertising
tobacco products: A constitutional analysis". It concluded that (a) commercial
speech does not have the same protection under law as non-commercial speech,
(b) Congress had the authority to regulate tobacco advertising and (c)
Congress had the authority to completely prohibit tobacco advertising under
the conditions set in the Central Hudson case and/or the Posadas case.
1986-07: RJR Heir Turns Against Tobacco. The grandson of tobacco company
founder RJ Reynolds, PATRICK REYNOLDS, speaks against tobacco at a House
Congresional hearing chaired by Congressman Henry Waxman; he advocates
a complete ban of tobacco advertising, and recounts his memories of watching
his father, RJ REYNOLDS, JR., die from emphysema.
1986: UK: BUSINESS: IMPERIAL GROUP is purchased by HANSON TRUST PLC
1986: LITIGATION: U.S. Tobacco wins SEAN MARSEE trial in Oklahoma, the
only smokeless-tobacco liability case ever tried.
1987: REGULATION: Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole refuses to
ban smoking completely on airplanes, despite a unanimous recommendation
from the National Academy of Scientists and Surgeon General C. Everett
1987: BANS: Congress bans smoking on domestic flights of less than two
hours. Takes effect in 1988.
1987: BANS: Beverly Hills, CA and Aspen, CO ban smoking in restuarants
1987: Department of Health and Human Services goes smoke-free.
1987: ADVERTISING: Joe Camel's USA Debut. A North Carolina advertising
agency uses Joe Camel to celebrate "Old Joe's" 75th anniversary.
1987: JAPAN: A tobacco trade journal reports on a group of Japanese "smoke
lovers" who participated in a panel discussion on smoking. One panelist
said, "The life expectancy of Japanese is said to be the world's longest
now, and why must we be so timidly concerned about health? Let's enjoy
life and smoking" (World Tobacco, Sept 87, p.18). (LB)
1987: JAPAN: The Tokyo Customs Office attributes the increase in cigarette
imports to the permeation of promotional activities of the suppliers of
foreign tobacco products. (World Tobacco, Sept 87, p.7).(LB)
1987: BUSINESS: Ross Johnson attempts a leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco.
1987: BUSINESS: Introduction of "Go to Hell" cigarettes. Each pack comes
with two messages, first, "I like'em and I'm going to smoke'em", second,
"Cheaper than psychiatry, better than a nervous breakdown". (Tobacco International,
1988: 20TH Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking:
Nicotine Addiction, A Report of the Surgeon General (C. Everett Koop)
calls nicotine "a powerfully addicting drug." In 618-page summary of over
2,000 studies of nicotine and its effects on the body, Koop declares, "It
is now clear that . . . cigarettes and other form of tobacco are addicting
and that actions of nicotine provide the pharmacologic basic of tobacco
1988: BUSINESS: Philip Morris report, "Smoking Among High School Seniors"
suggests fewer youngsters were smoking in the early 1980s because participation
in athletic programs was increasing.
1989: BUSINESS: RJR releases Premier, its smokeless cigarette, for
1989: BUSINESS: PM spends $300,000 test-marketing a version of its Next
brand called "De-Nic," which contained only .1mg nicotine. The Kansas City
Star reported that apparently the major market for Philip Morris¹
³De-Nic² cigarettes was tobacco researchers, who ran out and
bought them for use in studies in which it was found that though they tasted
³very similar² to regular cigarettes, and were smoked in much
the same way, smokers¹ brain waves did not change as they do with
1988: BUSINESS: Philip Morris acquires Kraft, Inc. for $12.9 billion
1988: ADVERTISING: McCann-Erickson ad agency creates "Smooth Character"
line for Joe Camel campaign.
1988-01-06: LITIGATION: Merrell Williams begins work for lawfirm Wyatt,
Tarrant & Combs analyzing secret Brown & Williamson tobacco documents.
1988: DOCUMENTS: .Cipollone trial reveals "Motives and Incentives in Ciragette
Smoking," a 1972 confidential report prepared by the Philip Morris Research
Center of Richmond, Virginia. It reads in part, The cigarette should
be conceived not as a product but as a package. The product is nicotine.
. . . Think of the cigarette as a dispenser for a dose unit of nicotine.
. . . Think of a puff of smoke as the vehicle of nicotine. . . . Smoke
is beyond question the most optimized vehicle of nicotine and the cigarette
the most optimized dispenser of smoke.
1988: LITIGATION: New Jersey Judge Lee H. Sarokin, presiding over the Cipollone
trial, says he has found evidence of a conspiracy by 3 tobacco companies
that is vast in its scope, devious in its purpose, and devastating in
1988-04-07: CESSATION: First World No-Tobacco Day, sponsored by World Health
Organization as part of WHO's 40th anniversary.
1988-06: LITIGATION: Liggett Group (L&M, Chesterfield) ordered to pay
Antonio Cipollone $400,000 in compensatory damages for its contribution
to his wife's death. In the years before the 1966 warning labels, Liggett
found to have given Cipollone an express warranty its products were safe.
First ever financial award in a liability suit against a tobacco company;
award later overturned on technicality; plaintiffs, out of money, drop
1988-Fall: BUSINESS: Ross Johnson informs RJR Nabisco board he intends
to lead a management buy-out, and purchase the company for $17 billion.
The ensuing debacle will become the largest LBO ever, with Henry Kravitz'
KKR emerging the winner in 1989, paying a record $24.9 billion.
1988-11-17: Great American Smokeout; ex-Winston model David Goerlitz quits
smoking after 24 years.
1988-12 to 1993-03:Jeffrey Wigand works at Brown & Williamson.
1988-89: CANADA: LEGISLATION: Federal laws are enacted to prohibit tobacco
advertising and ensure smoke-free workplaces. Cigarette packs must carry
one of four specified health warnings: "Smoking reduces life expectancy;"
"Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer;" "Smoking is a major cause
of heart disease;" or "Smoking during pregnancy can harm the baby." (NCTH)
1989: 21st Surgeon General's Report: Reducing the Health Consequences
of Smoking, 25 Years of Progress, a Report of the Surgeon General
1989: , 1989
1989: ADVERTISING: Saatchi and Saatchi design Northwest Airlines' Smoke-free
Skies campaign; RJ Reynolds withdraws its Oreo account, which Saatchi had
had for 18 years.
1989: BUSINESS: Marlboro has 25% of the American market
1989: BUSINESS: RJR abandons Premier, its smokeless cigarette, after
unsuccessful test-marketing in Arizona and Missouri.
1989: BUSINESS: KKR buys RJR Nabisco for $29.6B.
1989: CANADA: The government requires cigarette manufacturers to list the
additives and amounts for each brand. RJ Reynolds temporarily withdraws
its brands, and reformulates them so they are different from their US versions.
Philip Morris withdraws its cigarettes from the Canadian market entirely.
1989: UAR: Dubai Islamic Bank in the United Arab Emirates has banned smoking
by staff and customers because Islam forbids harming the body. (Reuters,
27 July 19189). (LB)
1990: 22nd Surgeon General's Report: Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation,
A Report of the Surgeon General
1990: BRAND CONSUMPTION:
The Millenia Approaches
1990: LITIGATION: Mississippi jury rules that cigarettes killed Nathan
Horton, but does not award damages, finding both Horton and American Tobacco
shared culpability equally.
1990: Ben & Jerry's joins RJR/Nabisco boycott by dropping Oreo cookies
from its ice cream.
1990: USA: Ellis Milan, president of the Retail Tobacco Distributors of
America said, "President George Bush often talks of 1,000 points of light.
I'd like to think those points of light are coming from the glowing ends
of cigars, cigarettes and pipes across the country, and symbolize the cornerstone
of this nation -- tobacco"(LB)
1990: PEOPLE: HAMISH MAXWELL, CEO of PHILIP MORRIS and a heavy smoker,
undergoes a quadruple bypass.
1990-01-01: Smoking is banned on all domestic flights of less than 6 hours,
except to Alaska or Hawaii. Smoking is also banned on interstate buses.
1990: BUSINESS: The Uptown Fiasco. RJR begins test-marketing "Uptown" cigarettes
targetting blacks. Health and Human Services secretary Louis Sullivan,
along with many black civic and religious leaders denounce the cigarette.
RJR cancels the cigarette.
1990-02: BUSINESS: Marketing firm Spector M. Marketors, under contract
for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company developed plans to promote "Dakota" brand
cigarettes to the "virile female," including 18- through 20-year-old women
1990-08-22: RUSSIA: Scores of angry smokers block street near Moscow's
Red Square for hours in protest of summer-long cigarette shortage
1990: INDIA: A tobacco trade journal reports that India is selling its
first cigarette specifically aimed at women, MS Special Filters, "the sort
of market targeting that can get you pilloried in the US." (World Tobacco,
March 1990, p. 11). (LB)
1990: PEOPLE: Philip Morris CEO Hamish Maxwell, a heavy smoker, undergoes
quadruple bypass surgery.
1990: NYC Passes Tobacco Sampling Law. Prohibits giveaway or discounted
distribution of tobacco products in public places and at public events.
Exempts tobacco retailers in their stores and wholesalers or manufacturers.
1991: LITIGATION: Mildred Wiley, a nonsmoker, dies of lung cancer at 56.
Her husband, Philip of Marion, Indiana, will bring a suit that in December,
1995 will be the first to establish second hand smoke as a workplace injury
eligible for workers' compensation.
1991: LITIGATION: Grady Carter is diagnosed with lung cancer.
1991-02-07: AUSTRALIA: The AFCO Case: Federal court
examines ETS studies, finds data valid
1991: ADVERTISING: Joe Camel's own line of merchandise is touted by RJR
as bringing in $40 Million/year in advertising billings.
1991: ADVERTISING: JAMA publishes 2 noted studies of Joe Camel and kids:
1991: ADVERTISING: Saatchi and Saatchi unit Campbell Mithun tests a campaign
for Kool that featured a cartoon smoking penguin wearing shades, a buzzcut
and Day-Glo sneakers.
1991: BRITAIN: The British government will no longer provide financial
aid to tobacco companies in developing countries. (AP, 9 Feb 1991). (LB)
1991: BUSINESS: Johns Hopkins University announces that it will sell all
its $5.3 million worth of tobacco stock. (LB)
1991: BUSINESS: Marlboro Medium is introduced
1991: BUSINESS: PM Chairman Hamish Maxwell (1981-1991) retires. Michael
A. Miles (1991-1994) becomes chairman & CEO, the first non-tobacco
man to do so.
1991: SPORTS: Health and Human Services Secretary Louis W. Sullivan asks
sports fans to boycott events sponsored by tobacco companies, and urges
promotors to shun tobacco money. His plea is ignored.
1992: 23rd Surgeon General's Report: Smoking in the Americas: A Report
of the Surgeon General
1992: STATISTICS: Per-capita consumption of cigarettes stands at 7 per
day among adult Americans
1992: CESSATION: Nicotine patch is introduced.
1992: Smokmg and Health in the Amencas A 1992 Report of the Surgeon
General, in Collaborahon with the Pan Amencan Health Organization
1992: LITIGATION: Supreme Court rules that the 1965 warning label law does
not shield tobacco companies from suits accusing them of deceiving the
public about the health effects of smoking.
1992: LEGISLATION: NYC passes Vending Machine Law. Bans distribution of
tobacco products through vending machines except those placed at least
25 feet from the door of a tavern.
1992: LEGISLATION: NY State passes Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act.
Prohibits free distribution of tobacco products to the public, tobacco
sales through vending machines or to minors. Requires merchants to post
signs saying no sales to minors and to ask for age identification of anyone
under 25. Allows parent of a minor who purchased tobacco to bring a complaint
against the vendor.
1992: LITIGATION: U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., begins criminal probe
1992: ENTERTAINMENT: Pinkerton Tobacco Co., under pressure from the FTC,
agrees to cease advertising its products on TV during the "Red Man Pulling
1992: BUSINESS: Philip Morris Magazine folds
1992-Fall: MEDIA: Marvin Shanken publishes first issue of Cigar Aficionado
1992: BUSINESS: Marlboro Adventure Team contest is introduced. Philip Morris
has called the MAT one of the most successful advertising campaigns in
1992: BUSINESS: Financial World ranks Marlboro the world's No. 1 most valuable
brand (value: $31.2 billion)
1992-04: "Marlbor Man" Wayne McLaren asks Philip Morris to limit its advertising.
Dying of lung cancer, McLaren appears at PM's annual shareholders meeting
in Richmond, VA, and asks the company to voluntarily limit its advertsing.
Chairman Michael Miles responds: We're certainly sorry to hear about
your medical problem. Without knowing your medical history, I don't think
I can comment any further.
1992-05: AUSTRALIA: LITIGATION: ETS: Leisel Sholem wins $50,000 in second-hand
smoke suit, based on knowledge about ETS between 1975 and 1986.
1992-07-22: "Marlbor Man" Wayne McLaren, 51, dies of lung cancer.
1993: Incoming President Bill CLINTON bans smoking in the White House.
1993: BUSINESS: US Tobacco introduces Cherry-flavored Skoal long-cut.
1993: VERMONT is the first state in the nation to ban indoor smoking.
1993: US POST OFFICE bans smoking in its facilities.
1993: BUSINESS: Philip Morris is the nation's #2 advertiser, behind Proctor
1993: BUSINESS: Cigarette promotional expenditures reach $6.03 billion,
an increase of 15.4 percent over 1992.
1993: BUSINESS: Financial World ranks Marlboro the world's No. 1 most valuable
brand (value: $39.5 billion)
1993: BUSINESS: Philip Morris buys RJR Nabisco's North American cold cereal
1993: BUSINESS: Con-Agra's Charles Harper becomes CEO of RJR
1993: BUSINESS: UST introduces low-nicotine, cherry-flavored Skoal Long
1993: CANADA: LEGISLATION: Federal law is enacted to raise the legal age
for buying tobacco to 18. (NCTH)
1993-01 FRANCE: LEGISLATION: Tobacco advertising is banned; Grand Prix
auto race canceled because of tobacco advertising. In February, Grand Prix
is re-instated, without direct tobacco advertising; drivers still allowed
to wear sponsors' colors.
1993: SOUTH AFRICA: First tobacco control law passed--bans sale of cigarettes
to those under 16; largely ignored
1993-01: HEALTH: Environmental Protection Agency declares cigarette smoke
a Class-A carcinogen.
1993-04-02: BUSINESS: "Marlboro Friday"--PM Slashes Marlboro Prices
1993-07-15: USA: Tobacco BBS goes online(LB)
1993-09-29: LITIGATION: Wyatt, Tarant files suit against Merrell Williams
over "secret" tobacco papers.
1993: LEGISLATION: NYC passes Tobacco Product Regulation Act. Bans out-of-package
tobacco sales. Places age restrictions on handling. Prohibits sale of tobacco
products to minors. Requires one public health message for every four tobacco
ads appearing on city property. Bans use of tobacco products on school
1994: 24th Surgeon General's Report: Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young
People: A Report of the Surgeon General
1994: OSHA proposes severe workplace smoking restrictions.
1994: MEDIA: Frank Blethen's Seattle (Wash.) Times becomes the largest
US newspaper to refuse tobacco advertising.
One finds that 91% of 6 year olds can match Joe Camel to his product (cigarettes),
and is as recognized by preschoolers as Mickey Mouse|
The other study, by Joe DiFranza, finds that since the inception of the
Joe Camel campaign in 1987, Camel's share of the under-18 market had risen
from 0.5% to 32.8%.|
"These ads were designed to kill our readers," said Times president
H. Mason Sizemore, "so we decided to refuse them."
1994: BANS: McDonald's bans smoking in all 11,000 of its restaurants
1994: BANS: Dept. of Defense imposes restrictions on smoking at all US
military bases worldwide
1994: BUSINESS: Financial World ranks Marlboro the world's No. 2 most valuable
brand behind Coca-Cola (value: $33 billion)
1994: BUSINESS: Philip Morris sends out an estimated 19 million Marlboro
promotional items; briefly becomes #3 mail order house in the US
1994: CANADA: LEGISLATION: Bigger and stronger warning messages are required
on cigarette packs: (NCTH)
1994-02: CANADA: Tobacco taxes are slashed to curb runaway bootlegging
from the US.
1994-02-22: SCIENCE: Scientists from Canada reported finding evidence of
cigarette smoke in foetal hair, the first biochemical proof that the offspring
of non-smoking mothers can be affected by passive cigarette smoke.
1994-02: LEGISLATION: FDA commissioner David Kessler announces plans to
consider regulation of tobacco as a drug.
1994: LEGISLATION: NY State passes PRO-KIDS Law. Prohibits smoking on school
grounds in all schools, kindergarten through 12th grade. Bans out-of-package
cigarette sales. Prohibits smoking in child-care centers, youth centers,
group homes, public institutions or residential treatment facilities that
serve young people.
1994-03: ADVERTISING: Brown & Williamson Tobacco yanks cigarette accounts
from Saatchi unit Campbell Mithun. Gives Kool account to Grey Advertising.
1994-03-28 & 04-07: TV: ABC airs "Day One" segments concerning tobacco
industry manipulation of nicotine
1994-03-29: LITIGATION: New Orleans, LA. Castano case begins; a 60-attorney
coalition files what will become the nation's largest class-action lawsuit
plaintiffs charge tobacco companies hid their knowledge of the addicting
qualities of tobacco.
1994-04: BUSINESS: BAT Industries agrees to buy American Tobacco from American
Brands for $1 billion.
1994-04-13: Tobacco Industry releases "The List" of 599 cigarette additives
1994-04-14: Seven Tobacco Company executives begin
testimony in Congressional hearings
1994-04-28: ex-Philip Morris scientist Victor J. DeNoble testifies on his
research into nicotine and addiction in rats; claims PM suppresed his findings.
1994-04: MEDIA: Time and US News and World Report each run cover stories
on tobacco; as with the June 6, 1983 Newsweek, neither has a single tobacco
1994-05-07: New York TImes front-page article reviews "secret" Brown &
Williamson tobacco papers.
1994-05-12: Stanton Glantz at UCSF receives a box of "secret" Brown &
Williamson tobacco papers from "Mr. Butts."
1994-05-23: LITIGATION: MISSISSIPPI becomes the first state to sue tobacco
companies to recoup health care costs associated with smoking. (The State
of Mississippi v. American Tobacco et. al., filed in the Chancery Court
of Jackson County, Mississippi (Case No. 94-1429). Case brought by Miss.
A-G Michael Moore.
1994-05-31: FTC Clears Joe Camel
1994-06-02: LITIGATION: West Virginia sues tobacco companies to recoup
smokers' Medicaid costs.
1994-07: Ex-tobacco lobbyist Victor Crawford makes first national appearance
for tobacco control. Dying of cancer, Crawford is featured with ex-surgeon
general C. Everett Koop in a Coalition on Smoking and Health radio spot
which urges a $2 federal cigarette tax to help fund health care reform.
1994-08-17: LITIGATION: Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield sue tobacco
companie for violating anti-trust laws by failing to disclose addictive
qualities of tobacco..
1994-12: SOUTH AFRICA: Health Minister Nkosazana Zumaout mandates health
warnings on cigarette packs and advertising.
1994-12: POLITICS: FDA gets letters from Congress. 124 members of the
House sent a sharply worded letter to the FDA, claiming the agency's tobacco
proposal would put 10,000 jobs at risk and "trample First Amendment rights
to advertise legal products to adults." Two weeks later, 32 senators signed
a virtually identical letter. (According to Common Cause, those senators
who signed the letter had received an average of $31,368 from tobacco,
compared to $11,819 for those senators who did not sign. Similarly, the
House signatories received an average of $19,446, in contrast to $6,728
for other Congress members.)--Mother Jones, 4/96
1995: BUSINESS: MARKET SHARE BY COMPANY:
"Cigarettes are addictive;"|
"Tobacco smoke can harm your children;"|
"Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease;"|
"Cigarettes cause cancer;"|
"Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease;"|
"Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby;"|
"Smoking can kill you;"|
"Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in non-smokers." |
1995: GOVERNMENT: Tobacco companies give the GOP $2.4 million in "soft"
dollars. The top two soft money contributors to the GOP this year are Philip
Morris ($975,149) and RJR Nabisco ($696,450). Tobacco industry PACs gave
$841,120 to Republican members of Congress.
1995: LEGISLATION: NYC passes Smoke-Free Air Act. Strengthens Clean Indoor
Air Act (1988) by banning smoking in the dining areas of all restaurants
with more than 35 seats. Limits smoking to the bar area of restaurants,
with certain specifications, and to a maximum of 25 percent of a restaurant's
outdoor seats. Bans smoking in outdoor seating areas, such as in sports
stadiums and recreational areas. Limits smoking in the workplace to a separately
enclosed and ventilated room and to private offices as long as the door
is kept closed and no more than three people are present, each of whom
agrees to allow smoking. Prohibits smoking at all times in both indoor
and outdoor areas of day-care centers. Exempts restaurants seating 35 people
or less. Allows smoking in stand-alone bars. Allows smoking in sports arenas
in separate smoking rooms, with some limitations.
1995: BUSINESS: Financial World ranks Marlboro the world's No. 2 most valuable
brand behind Coca-Cola (value: $38.7 billion). The brand also has 29% of
the US market--the highest market share it has ever had.
1995: CANADA: LEGISLATION: The Supreme Court of Canada strikes down the
federal ban on tobacco advertising. Tobacco companies launch an aggressive
advertising campaign, using billboards, newspaper ads and event sponsorships.
Ottawa releases A Blueprint to Protect the Health of Canadians, an outline
of proposed legislation to reinstate the advertising ban, but no bill has
yet been introduced in Parliament. (NCTH)
1995-01: BUSINESS: BAT completes purchase of American Tobacco Co. for $1
1995-02-17: LITIGATION: CASTANO: US DIstrict Judge Okla B. Jones rules
class action case may proceed.
1995-02-22: LITIGATION: Florida sues tobacco companies to recoup health
care costs .
1995-03-19: CBS' "60 Minutes" airs segment featuring ex-tobacco lobbyist
1995-05: USA: First appearance of Tobacco BBS on the internet.
1995-05-26: BUSINESS: Philip
Morris announces unprecedented recall of 8 billion cigarettes due to
a suspected chemical contaminant.
1995-06-09: BATF Searches 1500 Brown & Williamson Tower, B&W's
US HQ, investigating possible complicity in smuggling.
1995-06-27: Philip Morris announces "Action Against Access," a voluntary
program aimed at preventing youth access to cigarettes.
B&W papers become available on Internet one day after the California
Supreme Court rejects B&W's attempts to suppress the information.
excoriates tobacco industry over "secret" B&W papers. AMA devotes
entire July 19 issue of JAMA to a study of the papers, finds The
evidence is unequivocal -- the US public has been duped by the tobacco
industry. No right-thinking individual can ignore the evidence. We should
all be outraged, and we should force the removal of this scourge from our
nation . . .
declares nicotine a drug
1995-07-21: US under-age smoking found rising.
1995-08-10: President Clinton declares nicotine an addictive drug; FDA
sends President Clinton proposals for regulating the sale and marketing
of tobacco products to minors
1995-08-10: LITIGATION: The 5 largest tobacco companies file suit in a
North Carolina court challenging the FDA's authority to regulate tobacco
and advertising.. The advertising industry files in North Carolina within
days. Smokeless tobacco manufacturers U.S. Tobacco Co. and Conwood Co file
suit in Tennessee.
1995-08-21:LITIGATION: ABC apologizes to Philip Morris for "Day One" program,
pays PM an estimated $16 million in legal fees.
1995-08-31: LITIGATION: $1.9 million awarded plaintiff Milton Horowitz
in Kent Micronite filter case; only the 2nd time an award has been given
in a liability case against a tobacco company. However, the suit concerned
asbestos, not tobacco
1995-09-04: "Winston Man" Alan Landers, 54, joins anti-smoking movement.
1995-09: RJR's faux-micro-smokery, Moonlight Tobacco Co., introduces its
artsy brands to New York, Chicago and Seattle: Politix, Sedona, Jumbos,
1995-10-12: "Marlboro Man" David McLean dies of lung cancer at 73
1995-10-20: ART: Hans Haacke and 11 other artists hang their works with
protests against their New York art show's sponsor, Philip Morris
1995-11-09: The NY Times reports that CBS has killed broadcast of a 60
Minutes interview with a former tobacco executive (soon revealed as
Jeffrey Wigand). That day, a CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, KCBS, killed
an anti-tobacco ad that had been running for weeks.
1995-11-29: Ex-B&W research executive Jeffrey Wigand testifies to federal
and state prosecutors in Pascagoula, Miss.
1995-12-19: LITIGATION: Massachusettes sues tobacco companies for conspiring
to "mislead, deceive and confuse" citizens on the hazardous effects of
1996-01-31: LITIGATION: Florida state appeals panel allows Florida suit
to proceed, but limits case to Florida residents.
1996-02: TOBACCO CONTROL: National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids given $30
M launch. Will incorporate previous group, "Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids,"
when it begins operation in June, 1996.
1996-02-04: CBS airs Wigand Interview on 60 Minutes. Wigand claims
B&W Chief Sandefur lied when telling Waxman's committed he believed
nicotine was not addictive.
1996-02-05: POLITICS: Geoffrey Bible, CEO of Philip Morris Cos. Inc., chairs
a dinner underwritten by Philip Morris for the Republican Governors Association,
and speaks to the governors about tobacco's benefits to the economy. The
gala dinner pulls in an unprecedented $2.6 million.
1996-02-16: LITIGATION: : Gov. Kirk Fordice (R-Miss.) sues his own attorney
general, Mike Moore, in order to block Moore's "Medicaid" lawsuit.
1996-03-02: Victor Crawford, tobacco lobbyist-turned-tobacco-control-advocate,
1996-03-13: LITIGATION: Liggett Group makes dramatic break with industry,
offers to settle Medicaid and addiction-based lawsuits. .
1996-03-15: LITIGATION: Liggett settles with 5 states over Medicaid lawsuits,
agreeing to pay over $10 million in Medicaid bills for the treatment of
smokers. . .
1996-03-18: FDA releases statements of 3 more tobacco industry insiders
(Dr. Ian L. Uydess, Dr. William A. Farone and Jerome K. Rivers) who claim
Philip Morris carefully controls nicotine levels in cigarettes. FDA reopens
1996-05: LITIGATION: 44 Liquormart v. Rhode Island. Supreme Court strikes
down liquor advertising ban as violating First Amendment
1996-05: MEDIA: The May Vanity Fair contains a massive, 22-page
article by Marie Brenner on the inside story of the CBS/Wigand story. The
issue contains no tobacco ads.
1996-05-15: BUSINESS: Philip Morris and United States Tobacco Co. offer
their own plan to stop youth access, in order to avoid FDA control..
1996-05-20: MEDIA: The May 20, 1996 People Weekly carries 2 tobacco
articles, a profile of Stanton Glantz, and an excerpt from Grisham's The
Runaway Jury. The issue contains no tobacco ads...
1996-05-23: LITIGATION: Castano case is de-certified by Appeals Court..
1996-06: CDC adds prevalence of cigarette smoking as a nationally notifiable
condition, bringing to 56 the number of diseases and conditions designated
by Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) as reportable
by states. This marks the first time a behavior, rather than a disease
or illness, has been considered nationally reportable.(LB)
1996-07-19: LITIGATION: Massachusetts becomes the 10th state to sue tobacco
1996-08-09: LITIGATION: FL: Brown & Williamson is ordered to pay the
Grady Carters $750,000 in only the second financial judgement ever in a
strictly-tobacco-oriented liability lawsuit. Carter Atty: Norwood S. Wilner
1996-08-23: LEGISLATION: President Clinton approves proposed FDA regulations,
giving FDA authority to regulate cigarettes as a "drug delivery device.".
1996-10-17: SCIENCE: Researchers disclose molecular link between a substance
in tobacco tar and lung cancer: a benzo (a) pyrene derivative damages lung
cancer-suppressor gene, p53, in the exact "hotspot" associated with lung
cancer. Science magazine
1996-12: TRAVEL: St. Louis-based CLIPPER CRUISE LINE bans smoking anywhere
on one of its cruise ships.
1997-03-20: Liggett Tobacco and 22 states settle lawsuits; Liggett admits
smoking is addictive, can cause cancer; agrees to turn over documents.
1997-03-21: Liggett issues statement: "We at Liggett know and acknowledge
that, as the Surgeon General and respected medical researchers have found,
cigarette smoking causes health problems, including lung cancer, heart
and vascular disease and emphysema. Liggett acknowledges that the tobacco
industry markets to 'youth,' which means those under 18 years of age, and
not just those 18-24 years of age."
1997-04-18: Attorneys General confirm they are talking with PM and RJR
about a Settlement
1997-04-25: LITIGATION: NC Federal judge WILLIAM OSTEEN rules FDA may regulate
tobacco as a drug; strikes down provisions to regulate advertising.
1997-05-01: Tobacco Cos offer a Settlement that would include FDA regulation,
money for anti-smoking campaigns, and bans on vending machines and outdoor
1997-05-05: Tobacco wins closely-watched liability suit. 6-member jury
in Raulerson vs. RJ Reynolds Tobacco, et.al. fails to find RJR guilty of
negligence in the lung cancer death of smoker Jean Connor.
1997-05-28: Health advocates meet in Chicago to hear of SETTLEMENT Talks.
1997-05-28: ADVERTISING: FTC acuses Joe Camel ad campaign of illegally
targeting underage youth.
1997-06-02: LITIGATION: NORMA BROIN's airline attendants seconhand smoke
trial begins jury selection in Miami.
1997-06-17: ADVERTISING: RJR Sues FTC over Joe Camel Complaint
1997-06-20: AGs, tobacco companies come to landmark settlement. Agreement
provides for unprecedented restrictions on cigarettes and on tobacco makers'
liability in lawsuits. Industry to spend $360 billion over 25 years, mainly
on anti-smoking campaigns, use bold health warning on packs, curb advertising
and face fines if youth smoking drops insufficiently. Subject to congressional
1997-07-03: LITIGATION: First State Settlement: Tobacco Cos Settle Mississippi
Medicaid lawsuit for $3.6 Billion.
1997-07-09: RJR kills JOE CAMEL campaign, replaces Joe with darker, sexier
"What You're Looking For."
1997-07-21: LITIGATION: BROIN: For the first time ever, a tobacco co. executive,
LIGGETT CEO BENNETT LEBOW, testifies that cigarettes cause cancer.
1997-08-22: LITIGATION: In a video deposition, PM CEO Geoffrey Bible says
smoking "might have" killed 100,000 people; RJR CEO Steven Goldstone links
smoking with cancer the next day.
1997-08-25: LITIGATION: Tobacco Cos Settle Florida Medicaid lawsuit for
1997-09-17: REGULATION: President Clinton refuses to endorse the proposed
tobacco settlement, instead suggesting Congress work on sweeping legislation
that first and foremost reduces teen smoking; second, gives FDA control
of nicotine; third, penalizes the industry if teen smoking doesn't go down.
"The tobacco bailout deal is dead," said Minnesota AG Hubert Humphrey III,
"This gives us a new chance to move forward and do the right thing."
1997-09: Former Asbestos company RAYMARK sues tobacco.
1997-10-10: Tobacco Industry Settles BROIN--First-ever Secondhand Smoke
Trial--for $350 Million.
1997-10-17: BARNES Suit--First of the "Little Castano" suits--is thrown
out by Pennsylvania judge; Gives impetus to national settlement movemement.
1997-10-23: Philip Morris Announces "Accord" Smoking System
1997-11-04: UK: It is disclosed that Health Minister Tessa Jowell has written
to the European Union asking for motor-racing to be exempted from a EU-wide
ban on tobacco advertising in sport. The "U-Turn" becomes the Labour party's
first major scandal when it is found that Ms. Jowell's husband had been
a non-executive director for an F1 company, and that Labour received a
$1.7 million donation from Bernie Ecclestone in January.
1997-12-05: EUROPE: European Union Health Ministers vote to phase out tobacco
1997-12-01: LIGGETT begins listing the Ingredients of its cigarettes on
cartons, beginning with the 26 ingredients of its L&M brand.
1997-12-18: Rep. Tom Bliley (R-VA) posts 843 sensitive Liggett documents
on House Commerce Committee website.
1997-12-20: AP breaks story of "fumo louco," a high-nicotine variety of
tobacco (Y-1) being developed in Brazil.
1997-12-30: LITIGATION: Lorillard Tobacco Co. pays over $1.5 million to
the family of Milton Horowitz, the first time a U.S. cigarette maker has
ever paid a smoking-related personal injury claim.
1997-12-31: LITIGATION: Asbestos fund Manville Personal Injury Settlement
Trust announces that it has filed a lawsuit against 7 tobacco companies,
asking they pay their "fair share."
1997-12-31: LITIGATION: MINNESOTA Judge Fitzpatrick fines BROWN & WILLIAMSON
$100,000 for failure to turn over American Tobacco Co. documents now held
by Gallaher in Britain. This is the most severe court sanction against
a tobacco company in decades.
1998-01-01: REGULATION: CALIFORNIA Becomes the first state in the nation
to ban smoking in bars.
1998-01-07: Justice Department files a criminal information against DNA
Plant Technology Corp. of Oakland, CA accusing them of developing "Y-1"
high-nicotine tobacco with an "unindicted coconspirator"
1998-01-14: SCIENCE: JAMA publishes major study that links both active
and passive smoking with irreversible artery damage.
1998-01-14: LITIGATION: MANGINI Documents Released. RJR documents that
appear to discuss targeting youths as young as 14 create a furor.
1998-01-16: LITIGATION: TEXAS settles its medicaid lawsuit for over $14
1998-01-29: SETTLEMENT: Tobacco
CEOs Appear Before the House Commerce Committee Laurence A.
Tisch, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Loews Corporation, Geoffrey
Bible, Chairman, Philip Morris Companies, Inc, Vincent A. Gierer Jr., Chief
Executive Officer, UST, Inc., Steven F. Goldstone, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, RJR Nabisco and Nicholas G. Brookes, Chairman, Brown & Williamson
1998-04-08: SETTLEMENT: Tobacco Walks Away. ">
RJR's Steven Goldstone declares settlement negotiations "dead," and
vows to take tobacco's case to the public. UST, PM, B&W follow.
1998-04-22: 39,000 super-secret documents are posted on the House Commerce
committe web site
Report of the Surgeon General on Smoking and Health:
1. PM 43%|
2. RJR 28%|
3. Brown & Williamson 11%|
5. American Tobacco Co. 7%|
3. Lorillard 7%|
3. Liggett & Myers 2%|
Use Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups
1998-05-02: LITIGATION: NEW YORK: A New York State Judge places The TOBACCO
INSTITUTE and the COUNCIL FOR TOBACCO RESEARCH under temporary receivership,
in response to a state suit charging the organizations abused their tax-exempt
status under New York law, where they were incorporated, by acting as tobacco
-funded "fronts" that serve "as propaganda arms of the industry."
1998-05-08: LITIGATION: MINNESOTA: Tobacco makes $6.1B settlement with
Minnesota and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The industry agrees to the dissolution
of the Council for Tobacco Research.
1998-05-27: LITIGATION: WYNN: Alabama Circuit Judge William Wynn, files
suit seeking to revoke the charters of the nation's five major cigarette
companies. Wynn called for the criminal enforcement of tobacco companies'
misdemeanors, and upon finding that the companies have broken the law,
that the state should revoke the companies' charters to do business in
1998-06-10: LITIGATION: WIDDICK Trial: Largest damages in tobacco litigation
history are awarded. Jury finds for Widdick, orders B&W to pay almost
$1 million. This is Norwood S. Wilner's 2nd win against B&W.
1998-06-17: LEGISLATION: On a procedural vote, US Senate kills McCain tobacco
1998-06-22: LITIGATION: CARTER OVERTURNED. Florida's 1st District Court
of Appeal votes 3-0 to overturn the Carter decision, ruling it had been
filed a week too late.
1998-07-17: LITIGATION: Federal Judge William Osteen overturns 1993 EPA
secondhand smoke report. Here's the
1998-08: TRAVEL: RENAISSANCE CRUISES claims the distinction of launching
the world's first smoke-free ship: the "R1," in which only crew may smoke--in
a room off limits to passengers. It tours the Mediterranean.
1998-08-13: LITIGATION: WIDDICK: A Florida appeals court rules that the
Widdick trial was held in the wrong county.
1998-08-14: LITIGATION: 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns the 4/25/97
Osteen ruling, throws out FDA regulations. Here's the
1998-10-19: LITIGATION: BROWN v. PHILIP MORRIS, et. al. filed. The national
civil rights class action lawsuit on behalf of African American smokers
of mentholated cigarette brands was filed in Federal District Court in
1998-11-16: LITIGATION: An agreement is announced between state attorneys
general and tobacco companies to settle lawsuits.
1998-11-23: LITIGATION: Attorneys General of 46 states and 5 territories
sign agreement with tobacco companies to settle lawsuits.
1998-12-18: AGRICULTURE: Flue-cured tobacco gets an 18 percent quota cut,
shocking industry analysts.
1999-01: LITIGATION: BOLIVIA files suit against the tobacco industry in
a Texas court.
1999-01-21: AGRICULTURE: 4 major tobacco companies agree to set up a $5.15
billion trust fund for growers.
1999-01-27: LITIGATION: VENEZUELA files suit against the tobacco industry
in a Miami court.
1999-02-04: AGRICULTURE: Tobacco companies agree to give growers $5.15
billion to compensate them for lost income because of the AG settlement.
1999-02-07: UK: Britain's royal family orders the removal of its seal of
approval from Gallaher's Benson and Hedges cigarettes. The company is given
till the year 2000 to remove the royal crest.
1999-02-09: LITIGATION: HENLEY V. PHILIP MORRIS: Patricia Henley wins $1.5
million from Philip Morris for medical costs, pain and suffering..
1999-02-10: LITIGATION: HENLEY V. PHILIP MORRIS: Patricia Henley wins $51.5
million in punitive damages.
1999-03-09: BUSINESS: RJ Reynolds announces that it will sell its international
tobacco unit to Japan Tobacco for $8 billion and split its US tobacco and
1999-03-30: LITIGATION: JOANN WILLIAMS-BRANCH V. PHILIP MORRIS: Jury returns
$81 Million verdict against PM, giving Jesse Branch's family about $800,000
in compensatory damages and $79.5 million punitive damages.
1999-04-26: The Supreme Court agrees to decide whether to give the Food
and Drug Administration jurisdiction over tobacco. The Court agrees to
hear a Clinton administration appeal.
1999-05: BUSINESS: RJR Nabisco sells its international tobacco arm to Japan
Tobacco for $7.8 billion.
1999-05-10: LITIGATION: KARNEY VS. Philip Morris, et.al.: A jury in Memphis,
TN, finds for the defense in a trial that consolidated the suits of 3 plaintiffs:
Bobby Newcomb, James W. Karney and Florence Bruch (McDaniel). Jurors found
RJR 30% responsible for Newcomb's lung cancer, and B&W 20% responsible,
but Tennessee law requires damages only if a company is found more than
1999-05-13: LITIGATION: STEELE VS. BROWN & WILLIAMSON: A federal jury
in Kansas City, Mo., finds the company was not at fault in the case of
Charles Steele, a smoker who died of lung cancer in 1995.
1999-05-23: ENTERTAINMENT: RUPERT MURDOCH's Fox Network runs "Independence
Day," the world's most expensive cigar commercial--and popular kid favorite--in
prime time. Fox also produced the film (cigar product placement by Feature
1999-05-27: BUSINESS: PHILIP MORRIS board member Rupert Murdoch's Fox Entertainment
Group announces that it will launch a new Web-cable property called The
1999-06-15: BUSINESS: RJR NABISCO Split is completed. The stock of R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange
under the symbol "RJR."
1999-07-07: LITIGATION: ENGLE jurors rule that smoking causes diseases
such as lung cancer and that U.S. cigarette makers hid the dangers of their
products from the public.
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
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
1949: AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT is passed again, this time authorizing
1965: The FEDERAL CIGARETTE LABELING AND ADVERTISING ACT is passed, requiring
health warnings on cigarette packages only.
1971: UK Government bans cigarette advertisements on radio
1971-04-01: The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act had been passed in
1969; The bill as signed into law by Richard Nixon on April 1, 1971 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.
1973: Congress amended the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act to ban TV
and radio advertising of little cigars.
1982: 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.
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.
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.|
1995: It is still legal to advertise cigars, pipe tobacco and hard liquor
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 uppówoc 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 uppówoc 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
"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 uppówoc'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
--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,
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 at the age of 61.
1590: LITERATURE: Spenser's Fairy Queen: earliest
poetical allusion to tobacco in English literature. Belphoebe includes
tobacco with other medicinal herbs gathered to heal Timais (Book III, Canto
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.
1595: ENGLAND: The first book in the English language
devoted to the subject of tobacco is published
The first book in the English language devoted to the subject of tobacco
was anonymously published in 1595, by Anthony Chute. It has the simple
title "Tabacco," and contains an illustration of an Englishman smoking
a clay pipe. In this little work for laymen, the author earnestly urged
smokers not to abuse the kindly weed, upheld its medicinal uses, and suggested
that physicians were trying to keep smoking a secret among themselves.
The reason was, he said, that a moderate use of the pipe was of such value
in preserving health that it was likely to make physicians unnecessary!--
from Early Literature of TOBACCO by George Arents
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
1847: LONDON: Philip Morris Opens Shop; sells hand-rolled
1880: Bonsack Machine is awarded patent
1880: 21-year-old Virginian James Albert Bonsack is granted a patent for
his cigarette-rolling machine.
The cigarette market was small then; cigarettes were expensive and hand-rolled
by the cigarette girls. Most manufacturers didn't see a use for that many
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
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.
1902: Tiny Philip Morris sets up a corporation in New
York to sell its British brands, including Philip Morris, Blues, Cambridge,
Derby, and one named after the street its London factory was on, Marlborough.
Marlboro is targeted towards women, and features a red tip to hide lipstick
1905: POLITICS: Indiana legislature bribery
attempt is exposed, leading to passage of total cigarette ban
In 1905, a clumsy attempt at bribery virtually forced the Indiana legislature
into prohibiting cigarettes. The measure had been passed by the Senate
with the intention of embarrassing certain reform leaders in the House;
the House as a whole was expected to hoot it down. However, right before
the vote, Representative Ananias Baker dramatically held aloft a sealed
envelope and announced that it had been given to him by a lobbyist from
the Tobacco Trust, with instructions to vote against the bill, He opened
it with a flourish: five $20 bills dropped out. The display seemed to confirm
a prediction by the state's largest tobacco dealer, reported in an Indianapolis
newspaper a few days earlier, that the trust would "buy up the whole House"
before it would permit passage of the bill. Baker left his colleagues little
choice but to vote for the bill, lest they be suspected of having been
influenced by similar envelopes. --Smithsonian, July 1989; "In the
1800s, antismoking was a burning issue" by Cassandra Tate
1913: Finally freed from the ATC, RJ Reynolds introduces
Camel cigarette brand
The massive, months-long "The Camels are Coming" campaign builds anticipation
for Camels. Camel, like Prince Albert before it, consisted of a then-unique
blend of 3 tobaccos, piedmont Bright, a flavored and sweetened burley from
Kentucky, and 10% Turkish leaf. The half-price brand (10 cents for 20)
is an instant hit, gaining 33% of the market by 1917, and 45% by 1923.
Soon after, the American Tobacco Company introduces Lucky Strike and Liggett
& Myers introduces Chesterfield, each with similar blends. The "modern"
cigarette has arrived.
1911: Dr. Charles Pease states position of the NonSmokers'
Protective League of America
In a letter to the New York Times dated November 10, 1911, he writes:
The right of each person to breathe and enjoy fresh and pure air--air
uncontaminated by unhealthful or disagreeable odors and fumes is a constitutional
right, and cannot be taken away by legislatures or courts, much less by
individuals pursuing their own thoughtless or selfish indulgence.
1950: Morton Levin publishes first major study definitively
linking smoking to lung cancer
Levin was then the director of Cancer Control for the New York State Department
of Health. His epidemiological survey of Buffalo patients between 1938
and 1950 appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association. His
shocking and controversial conclusion: smokers were statistically twice
as likely to develop lung cancer as non-smokers.
1952: Hollingsworth & Vose gets 100% indemnity agreement
from Lorillard on filters
1952: East Walpole, Massachusettes-based manufacturer Hollingsworth &
Vose Co. writes a "100 percent indemnity agreement" into its contract with
Lorillard. Hollingsworth supplied asbestos-laden material for filters used
in Lorillard's Kent cigarettes. The agreement required Lorillard to pay
all legal costs and damages stemming from lawsuits over the filter's health
1954-01-04 Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC)
Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC) announces in a nationwide 2-page
ad, A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers
The ads were placed in 448 newspapers across the nation, reaching a
circulation of 43,245,000 in 258 cities.
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.
A FRANK STATEMENT TO CIGARETTE SMOKERS:
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" . . .
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1963-07-17: LITIGATION: B&W's General Counsel
Addison Yeaman writes in a memo, "Moreover, nicotine is addictive. We are,
then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug effective
in the release of stress mechanisms."
In context, Yeaman was concerned about the upcoming Surgeon General's report,
and was writing of "the so-called 'beneficial effects of nicotine': 1)
enhancing effect on the pituitary-adrenal response to stress; 2) regulation
of body weight."
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?
1964-01-11: First Surgeon General's Report released.
From Smoking and Health:
Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in men; the
magnitude of the effect of cigarette smoking far outweighs all other factors...
Cigarette smoking is much more important than occupational exposures in
the causation of lung cancer in the general population ... Cigarette smoking
is the most important of the causes of chronic bronchitis in the United
States, and increases the risk of dying from chronic bronchitis and emphysema
... Although the causative role of cigarette smoking in deaths from coronary
disease is not proven the Committee considers it more prudent from the
public health viewpoint to assume that the established association has
causative meaning than to suspend judgment until no uncertainty remains.
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 isnot 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 brown paperback book the reporters received titled Smoking
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
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
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
1964: Industry writer suggests tobacco control advocates
psychiatric certification that they are not sufering from pyrophobia
and suppressed fear of the 'big fire' or atom bomb
1964: USA: In response to the release of the Report to the Surgeon General
in Jan. 1964, "World Tobacco" magazine published a two page article (pp.
19-20) titled "International perspective on smoking and health" in the
March 1964 issue. It ended with a review of the 25 years of research conducted
by Dr. H. Aschenbenner of W. Germany, the Secretary General of the International
Association of Scientific Tobacco Research whose work suggusts that "before
reports on smoking and health are taken seriously, those making the reports
should have psychiatric certification that they are not sufering from pyrophobia
(fear of fire)". His works "have proven that tobacco antagonism often springs
from a morbid (and often unconscious) pyrophobia -- a phenomena whose many
manifestations include suppressed fear of the 'big fire' or atom bomb"
contributed by Larry Breed
The Surgeon General's Advisory Committee:
Dr. Terry acted as chairman
Dr. James M. Hundley, assistant surgeon general, acted as vice chairman.
The members, announced on October 27, 1962, were:
Dr. Stanhope Bayne-Jones, former dean, Yale School of Medicine|
Dr. Walter J. Burdette, head of the Department of Surgery, University of
Utah School of Medicine|
William G. Cochran, professor of Statistics, Harvard University|
Dr. Emmanuel Farber, chairman, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh|
Louis F. Fieser, professor of Organic Chemistry, Harvard University|
Dr. Jacob Furth, professor of Pathology, Columbia University|
Dr. John B. Hickam, chairman, Department of Internal Medicine, Indiana
Dr. Charles LeMaistre, professor of Internal Medicine, the University of
Texas Southwestern Medical School|
Dr. Leonard M. Schuman, professor of Epidemiology, University of Minnesota
School of Public Health|
Dr. Maurice H. Seevers, chairman, Department of Pharmacology, University
1966-01-01: Health warnings on Cigarette Packs begin
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."
1967: John Banzhaf convinces FCC to apply TV Fairness
Doctrine to cigarette ads, and to allow anti-smoking grups to respond to
cigarette advertisements on TV.
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
1970s: Cigarettes are the most heavily advertised product
in America; magazines and newspapers stop covering tobacco issues in depth.
In a survey of leading national magazines, the Columbia Jounalism Revue
in 1978 is unable to find a single article in 7 years of publication
that would have given readers an clear notion of the nature and extent
of the medical and social havoc being wreaked by the cigarette-smoking
habit . . . one must conclude that advertising revenue can indeed silence
the editors of American magazines.
1971-01-02: TV Cigarette Ads Banned
January 2, 1971. Delayed for one day to allow a final glut of Super Bowl
ads, the 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. 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
Philip Morris quickly became the number one tobacco company in the US,
and its Marlboro brand became the number one best-selling cigarette..
1971: UK: Second British Royal College of Physicians
of London Report, Smoking and Health Now
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.
1977: 1st Great American Smokeout
1976: TV: Death in the West--The Marlboro
Story made by Peter Taylor and Director Martin Smith for Thames Television
The film, contrasting Marlboro promotions with interviews with cowboy
smokers dying of lung ailments, was shown in Britain, but legal problems
erupted with Philip Morris. In an out-of-court settlement, Thames turned
over all copies save one to PM. The sole remaining copy was to stay sealed
in Thames' vault, and terms of the settlement were to remain secret. The
film was sent to Stanton Glantz in 1982, and soon after was shown all over
1977: UK: Royal College of Physicians of London third
report, Smoking or Health
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.
1979-01: Report of the US Surgeon-General, Dr
Julius B. Richmond.
Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in both men and
women... is a significant causative factor in cancer of the larynx... is
a significant causal factor in the development of oral cancer... is a causal
factor in the development of cancer of the esophagus... is related to cancer
of the pancreas... is one of the three major independent risk factors for
heart attack... and sudden cardiac death in adult men and women... a major
risk factor in arteriosclerotic peripheral vascular disease... a cause
of chronic obstructive lung disease... increases the risk of fetal death
through maternal complications... contributes to the risk of their infants
being victims of the 'sudden infant death syndrome' [cot death].6
1980: US Surgeon General special report: The Health
Consequences of Smoking for Women
The rise in lung cancer death rates is currently much steeper in women
than in men. It is projected that ... the lung cancer death rate will surpass
that of breast cancer in the early 1980s... The risk of spontaneous abortion,
fetal death, and neonatal death increases directly with increasing levels
of maternal smoking during pregnancy.
1984: Louganis, Olympics, Tobacco
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
[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.]
1991-02-07: AUSTRALIA: The AFCO Case: Federal Court
examines 1986 ETS studies, finds data valid
1991 AFCO Decision ...there is a strong public interest in the respondent
being prevented from making the statement that there is little evidence
and nothing which proves that cigarette smoke causes disease in non-smokers.
Active smokers are likely to be misled or deceived by the statement into
believing that theirsmoking does not prejudice the health of non-smokers,
particularly small children. Non-smokers are likely to be deceived or misled
by the statement into believing that cigarette smoke does not affect their
own health or the health of their children. These are serious matters.
-- Justice Trevor Morling, Australian Federal Court, February 7, 1991 |
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
"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
1994-04-14: Seven Tobacco Company executives begin
testimony in Congressional hearings
The officers who appeared before Henry Waxman's (D-CA) Committee beginning
April 14, 1994, were:
William Campbell, CEO, Philip Morris
James Johnston, CEO, RJR Tobacco Co
Joseph Taddeo, President, U.S. Tobacco Co
Andrew Tisch, CEO, Lorillard Tobacc
Thomas Sandefur, CEO, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co
Ed Horrigan, CEO, Liggett Group
Donald Johnston, CEO, American Tobacco Co.
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
WILLIAM I. CAMPBELL (Philip Morris): I believe that nicotine is not
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
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
DONALD JOHNSTON (American Tobacco Co.): And I too believe that nicotine
is not addictive.
1994-05-31: FTC Clears Joe Camel
1994-05-31: the FTC votes 3-2 not to file a complaint that the R.J. Reynolds
"Joe Camel" advertising campaign encourages children to buy cigarettes.
Two commissioners issued strongly dissenting opinions.
"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
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_
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
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.
1995-07-21 Two reports find alarming increases in cigarette
smoking among minors in the US:
Trends in Smoking Initiation Among Adolescents and Young Adults -- United
States, 1980-1989 (CDC)|
The Monitoring the Future Study (Institute for Social Research,
University of Michigan. This study covers the years 1991-1994)|